Category Archives: Organization

A Pretty Little Meal Plan & Grocery List

At the beginning of last year, I made myself some lists and plans to help me stay organized and on top of housework and home stuff. I still like those little lists and I use them quite a bit. But I’ve been updating them a bit lately (partly because I just love playing around with making new graphics, and partly because I needed to tweak the lists to make them work a little better for me 😉 ).

So today I’m sharing my new Meal Plan & Grocery List:

Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

Little House on the Circle: Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

Little House on the Circle: Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

I made it a full page this time, which I like a lot better. (Gives me more space to fit all our groceries on there 😉 ).

I usually do my meal planning on the weekends so that I can start each week knowing what our dinners are going to be and what I need to make them. I know there are lots of people who meal plan months ahead at a time…and I wish I could say that I am like that…but I honestly do good to keep up with just one week at a time.  But even just planning one week ahead, it has helped me SO MUCH just knowing what our meals will be and making sure we have all the groceries we need for those meals at the very beginning of the week. It’s not exactly my favorite thing in the world to do…but when my list looks pretty, it makes the task a little more bearable ;).

So if you’d like a pretty meal planning & grocery list too, I’m sharing my PDF printable for you to use! Feel free to download and make as many copies as you need!

Little House on the Circle: Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

Click HERE to download and/or print the Free PDF Printable

I’m still working on some other home organization lists, and will share those soon!  So stay tuned!

Have a super happy Monday, everyone!!!

Getting Organized {& sharing my new 2015 printable calendar!}

 So I’m a little behind the power curve here…we’re already almost a week into January and I am just now getting my calendar together and getting organized for this new year.  I blame it on being sick a couple of times since Christmas…and on the fact that the girls just started back to school today, so we are just now getting back into a somewhat normal routine. 😉

I also think I’m still in a bit of shock that we are actually in a new year…2015?!  Is it just me, or do the years just seem to be flying by faster and faster somehow…

Emma will turn 12 this year, and Lilly will turn 10.  In a few short months, I will no longer have any children in single digit ages…they will both be double digits…that’s crazy to me…seriously.  Where did all that time go?…

Days turn to weeks.  Weeks turn to months.  One year flows into in the next.  Time just keep ticking by.  And it’s way too easy to get caught up in the rush and the hurry of the every day…it’s so easy to be so busy filling my time or worrying about what’s coming up next, that I miss the moments that matter most…I miss right here, right now.

And what’s crazy?  When I hurry, when I’m rushing from one thing to the next…time flies fast. I look back at the seasons in my life when my pace was fast and hurried, and it all is just one big crazy blur.  But…when I am intentional with my time, when I slow down and really live in the moment right here and now…time actually seems to slow down.  And when I look back at those kinds of days, when my pace was slow, when I used my time intentionally, when I embraced the moments in front of me…those are the memories that I cherish, the moments that make my life full.

So this year as I fill in my calendar, I’m going to keep two words in mind: slow and intentional.

I want to fill 2015 with moments that make my life full.  I want to embrace each day, whatever may come.  I realize that there will still be days that are busy…there are still tasks that must get done and obligations that must be met and things to do and people to see and places to go.  But…if I’m not intentional about family time, intentional about time with God, intentional about adding in margin and white space into my days…then the pace will quicken fast (because that’s just what the pace of this world and this culture tends to do) and the year will fly by in a blur and I’ll look back in a year as we enter 2016 and wonder where in the world all the time went.

I’ve been given a gift.  Today is a gift.  This moment is a gift.  And how I spend this day, this moment, this year…it matters.

So I designed this little calendar.  It’s pretty simple, really.  Just blank little boxes, one for each day of this whole big year.  My intention with this calendar is simple: to organize my days so that I can embrace each day to its fullest.

I’m going to fill in a few Family Nights or Family Adventure Days each month, intentionally planning some time together as a family….these are always some of our most favorite moments that we slow and embrace our time together…but if I don’t intentionally plan them, they simply won’t happen.

I’m also going to plan for Sabbath time to rest and just spend time with God…every week.  (I have a separate journal for my daily devotions…but I’m trying to do better about really taking a Sabbath day every single week, so I want to be sure to block out those days so that nothing else takes that time).

I’m also thinking of adding in some service projects and planning for some specific ways to love others throughout the year…and I’ll write down birthdays and appointments and all that good stuff too…but if the calendar starts getting really full, if I feel the pace of our family start to get too hurried and fast, then I’m also going to be very intentional about erasing things. 🙂

And in case you’re like me and need a simple little calendar to organize your days so you can embrace each day to its fullest, I’m sharing this little calendar I designed for 2015.  There are two options: a black and white version, and a color version.  Feel free to download and print either (or both 😉 ).  But please just note: this calendar is free for personal use only (please don’t take it and sell it or any of that kind of crazy stuff 😉 )

2015 CALENDAR – BLACK & WHITE
{click to download PDF file}

2015 CALENDAR – COLOR
{click to download PDF file}

Enjoy!!!  And have a wonderful year full of moments that make your life full!!

“In every job that must be done there is an element of fun”

The laundry room.

My arch nemesis.

It’s the room in our house that seems to collect everything that doesn’t have a “home”…it’s the designated place for everything that doesn’t have a designated place.  It’s a very small room that doubles as our primary storage closet in our little home that seriously lacks storage space.  So clutter builds up…things get shoved in and piled up…it’s bad.

I’m ashamed to admit that this is the reality of what our laundry room often looks like:

It’s so bad.  Horrible.  My least favorite space in our house.

And yet, I need to be able to use this room.  My family insists on wearing clothes every day, so I need to be able to wash clothes every day or else laundry gets out of control.  And it often does.  Because I hate this room.  And I hate doing laundry.  So doing laundry in this room is just plain miserable.

I finally got to the point last week that I couldn’t even get to the washing machine without crawling over piles of stuff and moving things out of the way.  Something had to change.  I knew I had to do some major work in this space (which is one of the reasons I’ve procrastinated it so long…I knew it would be a lot of work and a pain in the booty). But enough was enough…no more procrastinating.  The laundry room makeover HAD to be done!

But the task was a bit overwhelming.  There is no way everything that was stuffed into that room would fit back in and still be a functional space.  And I had a very limited budget (like $20 limited).

I had to get creative.  And I had to purge.  A lot.

It took all week, but I finally have a clean and organized laundry room!

Ahhhh….soooo much better!

Here’s what I did to get there:

  • I pulled EVERYTHING out.  every. thing.  It seriously FILLED my dining room and kitchen.  It was ridiculous.
  • I threw out and got rid of a LOT of stuff.  Basically, if it had been sitting in there collecting dust for like 3 years and we never used it, it was gone.  If it served no function or purpose, if I didn’t love it, or if it was broken or otherwise unusable…it was gone.  I only put things back into that room that I knew we would use.
  • I took down most of the existing shelving and moved it around. I moved all shelving onto the one wall above the washer and dryer. (Before, there was shelving on every wall…it was ok, but made the room feel even smaller and more cluttered than it already was.  I just moved the shelves around so that it looked a little less chaotic. I didn’t lose any shelving space…just organized it differently.) Then I used a tension rod I already had from a previous project and hung a little “curtain” in front of the top shelves to give it a nice, clean look above the washer and dryer. (The curtain was made from a half-panel of an old shower curtain that I saved for some reason. I may replace it with a different fabric if I find one I love…but this was free, so it works 😉 ).  And it’s super easy to slide and get to anything I need on the shelves.
    (I realized in cleaning out this room that I had a bit of a laundry detergent hoarding problem going on, as you can see by all the All on that shelf…I counted 13 of them!…lol.  Lots of coupons and great sales lately…so I have enough laundry detergent now to last me quite a while.  I love couponing…but that’s another post for another day.)
  • I painted the walls.  The walls had not been painted…EVER.  And they were in BAD shape.  So I filled all the (many) holes all over the walls and put on a coat of primer and then topped it off with a nice, crisp coat of white paint.  I’m really loving white paint lately…it’s just so bright and clean. (This step of the process was a pain because of the limited space I had to move around in…especially when trying to paint beside and behind the washer and dryer…which is why I never ever painted that room…and why it probably will not get painted again for a VERY long time 😉 ).
  • I cleaned everything.  (It is so gross how much gunk builds up under and behind that dryer….so gross…just so gross).
  • I painted and hung up a peg board.  This was the only thing I spent money on (the board itself was only $6, and then I purchased a pack of assorted peg hooks for about $8…so $14 is all I spent on this whole project).  I’ve been wanting a peg board for a long time…I just like them, and I had found all sorts of cool ideas of ways to use them on Pinterest. (I love Pinterest).  We don’t have a garage, but I think if I ever had a garage I would probably have at least one wall be a solid peg board.  Anyway…I love how my peg board turned out and how it allows me to organize all my random little things. (And I can change them around and add more buckets and containers if I need to…I love it!)
    peg board(This is on the tiny wall directly opposite of the washer and dryer)
    I painted a section of the peg board blue (just because) and mounted it to the wall using some scrap wood I had, and screwed it into the studs. (The wood pieces behind it allow for the hooks and brackets to go in the holes without scraping up the wall behind it). This was another step of this whole process that was a pain…but in cleaning up I found a stud finder and laser level I didn’t know I had (it was like Christmas all over again, lol!)…so I used those and that helped the process 😉 ).mason jars to organizeThe set of brackets and hooks I purchased included two “shelf brackets”…so I used an old fence board as a makeshift shelf, and then sorted some of my supplies into mason jars and stuck them on the shelf.  (I love using mason jars…they have so many wonderful functions! But that’s a whole other blog post too 😉 )
  • And then…to finish it off…I made some art!

    And I used a quote that I love from Mary Poppins: “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun”…because finding that element of fun when doing laundry is a little challenging for me (because, like I said, I hate doing laundry 😉 ). But now with my nice and organized laundry space, maybe I’ll be able to find a little more fun in this job that must be done 😉 .

Mary Poppins laundry room artwork

I made my large laundry room artwork using watercolors and a Sharpie marker (what would I ever do without Sharpies?!).

Unlike Mary Poppins, it’s not practically perfect in every way…but I like it 🙂

I also made a smaller version and used it to help me create a digital version of the same art…a version to share!

So if you’d like to print your own Mary Poppins art, just click below on the size and version that you would like! (*It is free for personal use only…please do not sell or use it for profit…thanks!)

MaryPoppinsQuote

Mary Poppins Quote (Original)
{Click below on the size you want to go to the PDF file}
5×7
8×10

MaryPoppinsQuote_color

Mary Poppins Quote – Full Color
{Click below on the size you want to go to the PDF file}
5×7
8×10

MaryPoppinsQuote_blackandwhite

Mary Poppins Quote – Black & White
{Click below on the size you want to go to the PDF file}
5×7
8×10

Oh, and that cute little printable hanging above my dryer?….

I found that little one on Pinterest over a year ago.  You can print your own over here: http://apopofpretty.com/giant-laundry-room-sign-tutorial-endless-love-laundry-free-printable/ 

I am already loving my “new” laundry room.  Doing laundry, although still not my favorite thing to do, is not nearly as miserable. And I can find everything I need very quickly without having to dig and make a mess in the process.  Now to tackle our tiny hall closet….if I can organize the nightmare laundry room, surely I can handle that black hole in the hallway 😉

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