She’s So Organized: Organizing DVDs and Games

In my household DVDs and games are an endless growing collection with three boys (husband included), especially with three gaming consoles and a 2 1/2 year old that loves to watch his moovies! About a year ago, DVDs and games in my house were scattered in multiple rooms of the house; in multiple baskets/bins, behind the TV and stuffed in drawers.  After having to look at the stack of DVDs and games behind the TV and after so many questions asking “Where is?” I decided this was an organization project I had to tackle head on.  I began to dread this project as I just knew it was going to either cost me a lot of time or money.  Ultimately this project actually ended up being one of my favorite projects because it was so simple and had such great rewards!

I started my journey by exploring multiple options;  purchasing a large expensive DVD/CD furniture case, plastic containers, or maybe just throwing them away (my husband wouldn’t notice right)?  After doing hours of research for furniture or products that would solve all my organizational problems I had my great epiphany.  Why was I going to buy expensive furniture that we didn’t have room for to basically store containers that held our DVDs and games.  I always just assumed I needed those cases for some reason, but I couldn’t find one reason why.  I do realize for collectible DVDs/Games you might want to keep these cases but for the majority there really isn’t a reason.  So after my great epiphany, I began my DVD/game organizing project by ordering five binders for our DVDs and games; one for Adult DVDs, Kid DVDs, and 3 for each gaming console (so they could be stored where the gaming console is located).  Below are the binders I ordered from Amazon.

I removed all the DVDs and games out of their cases and sorted into their appropriate binder, I also stored any booklets that came with them inside the binder as well.  And for those great cases that caused me so much grief, well they all went straight to the trash!  This organizational project only took me a couple hours and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Besides not having to look at those ugly DVD/game cases anymore, an extra plus has been the convenience factor.  If we go on vacation or kids go to grandparents, just grab the binder and go.  Also if we need a movie we want to watch downstairs, again just grab the binder and go.  Hope this small but so rewarding tip helps you along your organizational journey!  I’d love to hear about any other creative ways that you use to store your DVDS or games.

She’s So Organized: Staying Organized with Children

As a mom of two small children I am constantly challenged with how to keep my family organized.  All the bottles, toys, missing socks, loads of laundry, oh did I mention toys?  Below I’ve provided some tips and products that I use in my household to keep us organized.

1) Toys – We try to make sure that toys are picked up before naps, before leaving the house and before bed time. For the most part, this strategy help us to maintain sanity and ensures that toys don’t overtake our house.  With toys you need to realize that the clutter is just temporary, as long as you have a system.  To help create that system make sure you have an easy access toy storage area that kids can get to, this will prevent you from being the only one picking up as well.  I highly suggest not using toy chests/boxes as little items just get swallowed in them and it is extremely hard for little ones to find their toys. Below is the toy storage I use from The Land Of Nod, we’ve had it for several years and I still love it!  It allows for sorting of larger toys and has easy access, we use small bins on top to sort the smaller toys.

2) Missing Socks – This is a problem for everyone, but when you have kids it becomes even a bigger problem. The best solution that I have found is to designate an area (basket, separate drawer, bag)  for your missing socks wherever you fold your laundry. Most of the time that matching sock will magically show up again and you will know exactly where to find its missing partner. I love this sock bucket from Etsy.com.

3) Bottles – This is always a constant struggle in our house to make sure we always have clean bottles.  My husband and I both work full-time so 3 dirty bottles always come home dirty and 3 bottles have to be made for the next day. I bought enough that if we were down one day it wasn’t the end of the world but this is for the worse case scenario.

One of the very first things my husband or I do when we get home is to take 10 minutes and clean the dirty bottles from school and make new bottles for the next day. We try to rotate this responsibility so it doesn’t become too much of a chore for one person.  The 10 minutes of cleaning and prepping prevents bottles from piling up or having to rush in the morning to get the new ones prepared.  I always tell my husband if you really want to make me happy wash the bottles 🙂

If you are staying at home I found the easiest way to keep up with bottles was to immediately rinse out the bottle after use and put in a dish washing basket.  Clean twice a day, during nap time and while you are preparing dinner or after kids are in bed.

Below is a tool I love that we use to keep all the bottles and accessories organized while cleaning and drying.

She’s So Organized: Baby Bottle Labels

These labels are great if you have a baby in daycare and have to label their bottles.

http://www.appliedlabels.com/.

She’s So Organized: Bluelounge – CableBox: Out of sight, out of mind

I  had to share this site and new tool I just discovered.  They have great products for organizing and disguising those messy looking cables for your computer(s).  I made sure to add this CableBox to my WishList.

She’s So Organized: Products I Love!!

One of my favorite things about organization is being creative and finding new solutions to staying organized.  Unfortunately this also includes having to shop ;). I have put down a few of my favorite organization solutions that I have found over the years that I don’t know how I lived without.  I hope some of them inspire your creative side or help you find a solution to your organizational challenges.

This product is so simple yet so effective in organizing. No more storing DVD, CDs or game cases... DVDs, games and CDs are easy to access in separate binders. I have a separate binder per category broken out by Kid DVDs, Adult DVDS, and XBox Games. I no longer have to figure out where to store all those awful plastic cases, YEAH!!!

So technically it is designed to be used to store formula, snacks and baby food on the go. But this product can be used for so much more! I use it in my pantry to store all my baking decorations together and I have one upstairs that stores all my small hair clips and bands. It could also be used to store rubber bands, paper clips, medicines. I am obsessed over this product, I constantly think about new ways I can use it to stay organized.

Command Hooks are the best invention since ok I'm going to say it sliced bread! I have these all over my house to hang up purses, jackets, robes....just about anything you can possibly think that needs to be hung up I have a command hook for. They are wonderful little tools that don't cost a fortune , and they are cheap and reusable. So if you decide you don't like the location you can move the hook without destroying your house and place it somewhere else.

I love this product from IKEA for organization! It offers so many endless possibilities when organizing. I currently use it to store all my gift wrapping and craft supplies and also use one in our media room to store Gaming controllers, DVDs and Games. Although it can be used for so much more. It would be great to store kids craft projects, puzzles, art supplies, magazines and of course any type of files.

She’s So Organized: More “Outside the Box” Ideas

A couple other ideas I have used in my house…

I use this in my son's nursery on his changing table to store those easy access baby essentials (diaper cream, thermometer, q-tips, cotton balls, and brushes). I also have something similar in my older son's bathroom to store his bathroom supplies.

I use these to store my baby bottles in the pantry, so much better and cheaper than what is already out there. I have one shorter one for my small bottles and one taller on for my larger bottles. Works great!

She’s So Organized: Think Outside the Box

There are a lot of products out there made specifically for meeting an organizational purpose but for a lot of reasons (not enough space, too expensive, etc..) they may not meet your personal organizing needs.  You don’t need to be limited to just “organizational” products or what a product says it can organize.  I have found a lot of products out there that aren’t designed for a specific need but work much better or are cheaper than the products designed. The next time you look for something to say organize your jewelry, your gift wrap, or say ties….challenge yourself to think outside the box.  Just because it doesn’t say it is designed to fit your organizational need(s) doesn’t mean it won’t work!

Below are some examples:

1) Ribbon rolls: Use a sock drawer organizer or don’t have much space, use an over the door shoe organizer.

2) Hair and makeup brushes: Use a tool or silverware caddy, there are some very nice silverware caddys out there that are nice enough to leave displayed on your counter top. Below is one that I use to organize my cosmetic brushes, hair brushes and skin care.

3) Craft Organizer: I saw in a magazine the other day for a craft organizer someone used a “Bucket Bag Organizer” found at most hardware stores to store their gift wrap and tools.  They used the bucket to store all their gift wrap and the pockets under the bucket to store their scissors, tape, ribbon, etc..  Love it!! You could also use these for storing kids craft projects.

4) Scarves, hat and gloves: If you are limited on room to store your scarves, gloves and hats use an over the door shoe organizer or one that hangs on the  rack.  Hang it in a closet close to where your family leaves, this is great for easy access so you can put them on right before you leave and when you get home they go right back.   The over the door shoe organizer is a great  product that can work for organizing a variety of things.

5) Jewelry: I have seen a lot of articles using decorative bulletin boards which are great for displaying and organizing your jewelry.  If you don’t care about displaying your jewelry boxes and just need a way to neatly organize your jewelry; tackle boxes,  small craft organizers, or tool boxes can work great to organize your small jewelry.

Have fun and always think outside the box!