Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back to cleaning....

I certainly have not forgotten about Operation Organization that I started back in January and I certainly have not forgotten about this blog.  This has been a crazy 2 weeks with a recent Spring Break and this week trying to get ready for our upcoming trip.  While I have been posting about every holiday and some summer fashion ideas, I have been diligently working my way through my house to get every single room organized.

Here's where we've been so far in case you missed any of the posts:

1-  Operation Organization Part 1 - Setting up a family binder and schedule 
2-  Operation Organization Part 2 - A schedule for your cleaning
3-  Operation Organization Part 3 - Rules of Organizing
4-  Operation Organization - The Kitchen
5-  Operation Organization - The Linen Closet
6 - Operation Organization - The Junk Drawer

There are a few other areas I want to tackle in the next few weeks and wrap up this series on organization including the playroom, the office, bedroom closets, the car and a wrap up on how to keep it clean!  If you can think of any other areas you're struggling with, please let me know.

Today I'm going to focus on the playroom.  I usually organize our playroom twice a year- right after Christmas when we have new toys and once over the summer.   This is when I purge and rotate toys.  I keep some toys up high in the closet in the playroom and save them to bring down throughout the year to keep it fresh.    Our playroom is actually an extra bedroom in our house, so it has a big closet which comes in handy.  I really don't let my kids keep many toys in their bedrooms.  I don't want them playing in their rooms with friends and creating a second mess, so that's the only way I can seem to avoid it.

 The playroom is a room that always gets messy and I've had to come to terms with the fact that I'll never be able to stay on top of it.  But....I have come up with a way to make clean up much easier.     This was a little mess generated by a certain 5 year old in about 2 minutes.  As you can see, I use lots of bins....but I'll get to that later.

I've come to the point with the playroom that I spent a little time to make our clean up job easier and in the long run save some time.  Now I know there are some who think it's crazy to clean up a playroom or any room for that matter, but I find it so much easier this way.  No longer are we missing a piece of a puzzle or of a board game.  No longer am I dealing with tears because we can't find the most important action figure as we are heading out the door in a hurry.  Do what works for you.  That's always been my motto for organizing, but hopefully this will give you some great ideas!

We have a few key pieces in our playroom that really help with organization.   I am all about bins for different pieces of a toy or theme of toys and LABELS.  Even though my son cannot yet read, my daughter and husband both can (lol) and they can put things away far easier when they know where to put them.  When I redid our playroom a few years back I invested in a bunch of these great fabric cubes from Target.
They come in TONS of different colors and while they are $6.99 each, they often go on sale.  I have to say they are worth every penny too.  They have held up not only to toys, but being sat or climbed into (yes my son can fit inside still) and every other imaginable thing possible with small kids.

Of course they are not labeled so....I bought small round thin wooden pieces from the craft store and I painted them with my chalkboard paint.  Then I just hot glued them onto the bins.  Super simple and I can change them as we rearrange our playroom and switch out toys.  I tend to put the toys with tons of parts in these because then we're just throwing them in a bin at cleanup and it's far easier than putting them back in a box or other container.  Easy out, easy back in!

I also invested in this this unit from Land of Nod with a center hutch to hold our TV and 2 large bookcase to hold toy bins and bottom storage for books, etc. which they no longer carry.  It is great and has tons of storage.   The only down side was that I (yes, I) had to put it together.

Here it is on a day when we had not yet cleaned.

I was able to fit 15 of our bins and they even fit perfectly in the bridge piece at the top.  I also have additional bins on top that are not labeled because they hide the things I don't want to get down often.  I also bought a storage unit from Ikea like this one that you can custom with large and small bins.  You can customize your own configuration and use different color bins.

And in our closets, I invested in 2 small bookcases from Home Depot.  They look like this.

Lastly, I love these large and bright baskets from Land of Nod.  They are incredibly sturdy (I often find a small child hanging out in one) and hold TONS.   

So despite all of my organizational tools, our playroom still gets really messy VERY quickly.

Here is what it looked like the other day before clean up...a total mess!

The cleanup only took us a few minutes though (thankfully or I'd be doing it alone every time) because the kids know where things go or at least I can tell them where things go.  We also tackled the messy kitchen and accessories.  Here is our before.

I would have a heart attack if my kitchen sink looked like  They don't seem to care though.

This is the little hutch (my dad's amazing garage sale find from many eons ago) that houses our "accessories" for the play kitchen.   It usually gets to the point where they shove something in and quickly try to shut the door of it before it falls out.

We started our clean up with this kitchen and hutch and dumped everything and sorted.  With the help of my  two literally took about 5 minutes.  We took out the miscellaneous items that mysteriously made their way into here on a clean up, sorted and re-stocked it.  The 3 clear plastic Tupperware containers are invaluable in here.  While they were empty it gave me a chance to wipe down the kitchen and shelves too.   Here is our after...

One of our bins...all fruits and veggies.

Now I know it won't stay this way for long, but I find when it's clean the kids are more excited to play.   Not sure why that is.

We also cleared the floors and returned everything to either the closet shelves or bins.  Much better.

We put all of our dress up and play "weapons", light sabers and capes back into the storage bin...

We put our books back on the shelves of our bookcases...

We put our toys back onto the shelves in the closet...

Oh, one other great storage item I have to share are those tiny colored boxes you can see on the shelves in here.  I use them for play money, card games, etc.  They are from Ikea too and super cheap.  Here they are...

We put our baby clothes and "accessories" back into the storage unit.  

We put our arts & crafts back into this guy.

And here is our final product after a very short clean up!

You may notice a pinata in the picture....don't ask!  Let's just say my husband has a VERY hard time saying

I'd still like to add a bigger TV to this room as my kids grow and want to watch their own shows, but in due time.  My favorite part of this entire room is the wall on the right side of this picture with art work from my daughter from years ago.  She painted these and I LOVE are a few!

Now if you're wondering where I keep the arts & crafty things that are messy and that I need to supervise like Playdoh and paint?  Well, they are on the top, unreachable shelves of the closet in bins.

And how about those small toys that don't belong with anything or little goody bag gifts or McDonald's toys?  They are all in this bin in the corner.  They rarely play with them, but I'm not allowed to get rid of them until the bi-annual purge session...

And that's our playroom.   It's been this way for about 5 years now and I want to eventually replace some of the carpet tiles with a more masculine feel since my son was so little when I originally planned it, but for now...they love it!

Here are some other fun ideas I found...

Fun and bright...reminds me of our playroom.  It even has similar carpet tiles....

I love the use of clear bins in this one from The Container store.  It allows kids to see what is in each one.

Another fun use of color and labels.

Here's a cute idea to use pictures of toys to help with clean up.  Notice that they are using the same containers I showed you that we use.  Love them.

I'm not sure if you could tell from this photo, but we store our card games in their original boxes and all of them together in one clear bin.  (They are on the left side of this picture and are a mess in this photo before the big cleanup)  I like to keep the original boxes for directions and to know how many cards belong in each set because often they are all dumped out together and we have to put them all back where they belong.

I also loved these 2 ideas to store games.  Notice that the first one uses the same Ikea boxes I mentioned earlier that we use for small toys and play money.

And a travel soap container...genius!

I hope some of these ideas will help you find a way to make your playroom clean up a little easier.  Or...if you have some great ideas to share...please pass them on!

Poshed Up

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pins of the Week

This post should really be titled "Pins of the Last Few Weeks" because I haven't shared one in some time now. I have so many fun pins and ideas to share.   A funny story first, my daughter came home yesterday and told me that in her science class they were making fairy gardens and the teacher got the idea from Pinterest.  She asked the class if anyone's mom was on Pinterest and my daughter said quote, "I was the only one who raised my hand.  Isn't that crazy?  I cannot believe what they are missing!"   A chip off the old block...HA!


I love these homemade hooded towels.  When my little guy was born, a friend made one for me and it's my favorite towel for him now because it fits so well.  He has grown out of his baby hooded towels (although I secretly love them on him when his little buns hang out the but he still wants the hooded part that a big person towel does not provide.  This is the best solution if you don't want to invest in the expensive ones.
(source and source)


Chevron is EVERYWHERE right now.  From fabric to fashion...even nail design and I love it!   Here are a few of my favs...


a beach bag I sold, but more to come about an accent wall in the home.  LOVE this idea.



My 10 year old has one more tooth to lose and it's crazy loose.  My little guy has not even started so I think this could be really fun for her last and his first.  Take a picture of your child sleeping and go to the website linked below the picture and have them insert a picture of the tooth fairy.  FUN!


This website offers 17 hairstyles that take less than 10 minutes.  I'm in.


Watermelon lemonade..YUM!


If you can count to 100, you can do this.

Great guide...


I have Disney on the brain since we are less than a week away from our trip!

Poshed Up

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Great summer dresses...

I am in packing mode for our upcoming trip to Disney...YAY!   I know the weather will be in the mid to high 80's while we're there and it's hard to pack for weather you're not currently experiencing at home (or is that just me who has a hard time?)  Anyway, while I want comfort while I'm there and functional clothing, I do not want to feel uncomfortable and frumpy.    I know the fanny packs and sneakers with socks are what everyone recommends, but I just cannot do it.

So, I've decided on lightweight dresses with light sweaters for the mornings and evenings and my Havianas flip flops.  I know, I know...flip flops sound crazy, but they are cool and comfortable and what my feet are accustomed to anyway.  I am still hoping to add some short shorts for the summer, but I find that dresses are better for a long hot day.  And, if we decide to add in a dinner somewhere nicer, I'm prepared.

I had been on the hunt for some cute dresses and wanted to share some great ones with you.  I shop at so many different stores and do a ton of online shopping.  My priorities with purchasing something for myself are 1- look, 2-price, 3-fit.  I'm somewhat thrifty when it comes to clothing because my taste changes so quickly.  Unless I know for sure it's something I already own and love, I don't like to spend a  ton on clothing.  I also like to shop the sales and coupon whenever possible.

I loved so many dresses out this year that I had such a hard time deciding.  In fact I ordered a few more this morning and I will return whatever I don't decide on.     I wanted something that hit at least close to the knee even though the really short dresses are in this year.  Disney is a family place afterall.  Here are a few of my favorites.

This one from Land's End is $55 which with shipping added on is more than I would spend for a dress, but I think this is such a classic and comes in tons of colors.   Check it out HERE.  I love this 'mushroom' color.  You can dress it up like in the picture and add some fun jewelry or dress it down with a cute pair of flip flops. LOVE it and I think it's flattering on tons of body types.

Also on the pricier side are these few from Ann Taylor of my favorite stores.  Their clothes fit me so well and are trendy.  I have 2 dresses from the past 2 years just like this, with different necklines.  My most comfortable by far.

I love the orange color they have online and they paired it with a super cute belt.
Click HERE to view it!

And this one covers up a little more on top if you don't like your shoulders showing.
Click HERE to view it!

This cute patterned dress from H&M is so airy and lightweight.   At only $29.95, it's a steal and would look great with cute flip flops or sandals.  It comes in a beige color as well.  Check it out HERE.

I also love this cute dress from H&M for only $24.95.  It's super cute and comes in this bright green color and a purplish blue too.  Check it out HERE.  It has gathering around the top too with a bit of color.

Here are a few of my faves from Old Navy. 

Only $29.94 and it also comes in a cute red/pink shade too.
Click HERE to see this.

$34.94 and it says "Limited Edition", but I have no clue what that means at Old Navy.
Click HERE to see this!

I have this dress from last year in black and I can say it is one of THE most comfortable that I own.  It's only $29.94 too :)
Click HERE to see this !

One of my faves that I bought.  I have a thing for sunny yellow this year.
Click HERE to see it!

This dress is super cute from J.Crew, but at $78...too much for me.  I'm too
Click HERE to see it!

And Target...oh how I love Target.  You can find things in all shapes and sizes, all colors of the rainbow and at every price tag imaginable.   From Merona to Mossimo..they have something for everyone in my opinion. Even the preggo!  Here are a few I love.

Only $27.99
Click HERE to view it!

LOVE the Chevron-ish print. 
Click HERE to view it!

I guess I have a thing for green too this  And only $ $18, I'd get two.  They have tons of colors.
Click HERE to view it!

Click HERE to view it!

Here's to warmer weather and sunny days!

Poshed Up