Tag Archives: organization

Wishes Granted Everywhere….

7 Aug

Ok, just the material wishes….

I have always adored the wishlist feature on Amazon.com… It makes shopping/giving so much easier and I am convinced it is a clutter buster as we don’t always wind up with things we will never use (or can’t use…I’m not an XS. I haven’t been an XS since I was a fetus.)…

On the other hand, all of you know I love handmade. Most of my amazon.com list is comprised of books on metal technique, SID, SPD, ADHD, etc… There are a couple of tools, and occasionally a big ticket item… I often use my wishlist as a holding place for things I will buy myself…Of course, if anyone wants to get them for me before I save up enough ducats, than hey. I’m not complaining! I like them because they give direction to family members that are far away when buying for boyo… It’s all good…

What I really love is handmade stuff (and not just because I am a maker of handmade goods)….

I have a million things I adore on Etsy.com and SmashingDarling.com that I would love to put in a wishlist… Etsy has a favorites list but I tend to favorite things either I want to give to someone else or that I want… Last year I wound up with a really cool nitroglycerin holding keychain from hubby. Um, I’m not on nitroglycerin…I can’t remember who I earmarked that for, but it wasn’t me…. So until that allows for greater organization and clarification I am so excited that Amazon now has a Universal Wish List button that you can add to your browser.

You can add anything from anywhere. It adds a title, image, and link…You can put a description and the price if you would like… When someone views your wishlist they just click and bam! they are on the item page… The only potential issue I can see on this is that checkout will of course be with the linked site, not with Amazon…Might confuse those who are not yet familiar with venues like Etsy… For now though I am hoping it brings more exposure for the fabulous Etsy (and all of us who peddle our handmade goods there…Me included, of course…) and a great way to organize and add to wishlists….

Here’s a link to the button!

Now head to Etsy.com and have fun! Enjoy!

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Off the fridge and on the walls…

29 May

Kid art storage solution….

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

I have been looking for a solution for displaying the bits of art that my little guy makes for me…

Our fridge has been taken over by a family calendar and the wall next to it has been plastered with boyo’s papers for so long that I finally decided that I was going to get my rear in gear and mature our kid art display….

I looked into clip frames of all sorts and even a display “wall system” for hanging photos… All of those seemed either too makeshift or too “dainty” or frankly, required too much effort from this tired and sick and stretched mama to actually change out the art…. I wanted something substantial looking as we have very high ceilings…

I wandered around our local Michaels on a quiet Sunday and found these attractive shadow boxes. Perfect. They have a slightly padded linen backing for pinning artwork…They are a couple of inches deep so they offer even more of a substantial presence and depth…
The doors are hinged and held closed by magnets (strong)…

I think these are going to be the perfect solution for storing boyo’s creations where everyone can enjoy them and he can beam with pride….

When pictures are rotated out I plan on letting him scan them into the computer as he loves scanning and copying stuff…then they go in a large photo storage box in his room for safe keeping… I still have a box with my creations and school work from when I was a wee one and it’s a blast looking through some of the silly stuff I wrote and painted…Even if boyo isn’t as sentimental as I am when he’s older, i know I will enjoy looking at all this stuff…Little snapshots of his world for us to treasure….

By the way, these were on sale on Sunday- I think Michael’s home collection frames are all 40% off this week- so these were $29 and change, I believe….  And I hung them using a laser lever and Hercules Hooks/Monkey Hooks… Quick and easy and secure….

kid art closed

Not really type-A at all….But I have to be… For the boy….

2 May

Magnet Board…

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

This is our magnet board. I am not a neat freak. I’m nowhere near organized.  I am struggling with this, but it is helping…. *phew*
The magnets were made by me using the Make-a-Schedule software from Do2Learn.com ….
We use the magnet board to lay out boyo’s every task for the day… As he does the various things he gets to put the magnet in a little container (like a piggy bank)… At the end of the day we count them up and they count as points to be used for things on the “menu” of treats…

Right now it is broken down in a fairly detailed fashion but as he masters certain tasks that contain multiple steps they will be truncated to focus on other areas…

The Prize Menu comes from conversations with kiddo, so they really mean something to him…
He loves going to the big car wash (actually, it’s the same size as the other car washes, but that’s what he calls it…) so for 200 points he gets to go to the carwash with us… Or for 200 points we can go out for ice cream on the weekend… 200 points can also be watching a DVD movie with baldguy and me…

The magnet board/scheduling like this is not easy. Right now it and helping boy with the tasks on it are all consuming. I’m exhausted and burnt out but boyo is doing great. This is helping in a huge way with transitions- it’s like he can fight with us and totally lose his marbles, but the pictograms are irrefutable….

We are still working out the kinks… And eventually will have a more variable point system, but starting with the basics works best for us… So here we are…

Oh and the do2learn.com software is wonderful- the desktop version requires a bunch of downloads to get all of the images onto your computer (so you can use the software without a live internet connection- I do most scheduling during boyo’s therapy and they do not have wifi in that building so using it off-line is important to me… If you do order the desktop version make sure you scroll down on the get images menu- there is a “get all” option at the end- you don’t have to be a dolt like me and click them all and wait one by one… Ugh. need more sleep…)

Maybe I should put my sleep on the schedule…. :-)

The Best Mother’s Day Gift…

20 Apr

If you get the mother in your life a gift certificate for spa treatment(s) or something else requiring time away please please please make two things also a part of that gift… Generally, the two extras are free in regards to cold hard cash (or a swipe of the credit card) but they are worth more than money to an exhausted and hard working mom…

1. Help the mom, especially if she has responsibility to other creatures- be it small kids, a high-needs pet, an ailing relative, or is generally feeling frazzled and spread thin- help her find and make time to use the gift. That means, when you hand her the gift certificate say, or put a little note in it, that says “you rock, you work hard, I’ll watch the kids, you sit back and enjoy it…”

2. While the mom is away enjoying the gift certificate/experience that you so thoughtfully chose for her that you do everything in your power to make her return home a smooth one that doesn’t instantly negate the effects of her relaxing experience. You could, depending on what you have planned with the kids, strip the bed, wash the sheets, make the bed… put out fresh towels… Clean the bathroom counter and sink… Load the dishwasher…. Vacuum. Enlist the kids to put away some of their toys (they don’t have to be precise about it- give them a bucket or box or laundry basket and have them fill it)… You don’t have to do all of this or any of this. But I highly suggest at least NOT making extra mess and extra stress while she is away…

Trust me. She will remember her relaxing time, but most of all she will remember how good it felt for her family to show how much they love her, which is something that money can’t buy…

A friend of mine bought a pack of 10 cleaning services for the home for his wife for Mother’s Day one year- which is a really great gift but also a loaded one- anyone could take that the wrong way…. He turned it into an unbeatable gem of a gift by writing a little note about how the gift was so she could focus on things she wants to do (rather than the million things she has to do with kids and house and work and pets and relatives) and so they could stop fighting about the cleaning and reconnect with each other and as a family. He then helped her get the house ready for the first cleaning (you have to put as much clutter away as possible- you don’t have to sanitize from top to bottom as that would be redundant, but removing clutter from surfaces- even just stashing them in boxes to go through later, helps the cleaning folks do their job, and gives you a visual clean slate that is inspirational as far as trying to maintain it…). He also took the kids out while the cleaning folks were there so she could talk to them and keep an eye (she’s a nervous gal in general)… And when they left he brought food in so nobody would have to cook or mess up the sparkly kitchen until the next day…

That is thoughtful…

Us gals tend to overthink things and overanalyze… I think the best mother’s day present is when guys (and grown kids) put themselves in our shoes and overthink and overanalyze to prepare… That shows true appreciation (in my opinion)…

Of course, jewelry is almost always appropriate and you can find some gorgeous pieces at:  Clevergirl.Etsy.com

xo

Bek

Mama’s Brand New Drawers!

29 Mar

*swoon*

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Ok. I finally did it. I finally had enough of my little small parts boxes stacked high in their bright orange Black & Decker caddies…
So I took some measurements and did some research…

It’s a pretty obvious solution to my small-parts storage needs (in this case my bead collection) but it took awhile to get here….

My wants (wishes) were:
-able to keep dust out
-mobile within our home (casters, or overall portability)
-easily transportable outside the home (in case of emergency, but not a “you have 5 minutes to get out of the house and have to spend a week in a shelter” sort of emergency…. I do have my priorities straight.)

I researched a few options, and eventually decided to invest in a steel literature sorter- like the ones used in schools as mailboxes for the teachers… Sheesh, again with the old office stuff floating my boat…..

I already had all of these (ok. 30 of them, 24 are being used, 6 are just waiting for occupants) small parts boxes with lids… I figured I could put them in my (rather large considering I’m not a clothes junkie) closet and give each box a bin….Nicer and easier and less noisy (and frankly, hard on my old bones and muscles these days which really don’t take kindly to much lately) than pulling them in and out of the plastic caddies they came with.

Well, earlier this week I took another look at topdeq.com’s offerings (I have been getting their catalog since way back when) and my brain just decided to do the math…. I realized I could fit 2 tackle container things in each drawer- totally releasing the concept of buying the Bisley brand drawer dividers (at $10-$18 a pop and still not enough spaces per drawer for my liking)….

So I ordered…

I wound up with this beauty…. This is a Bisley unit, purchased from Topdeq.com, and delivered yesterday by freight. It has 15 drawers…Each drawer measures 2″ x 12″ x 16″…. Each drawer fits two of my little small part tackle boxes with a little wiggle room- just enough to put that hank or two, or bag of beads, where I can have a visual reminder of it (hugely important with my ADD and creating- I tend to have stuff everywhere because with me out of sight out of mind holds so true) when I open up the drawer of similar beads….

Anyway, this came with a plinth (steel riser) and I bought the caster attachment to go with the unit… So off came the plinth and on went the casters….

I busted the hinged lids off the little divided containers -with some success…. On some I had to cut a hinge, but the lids still fit on top, and if and when we do move and I need to transport everything I can just use some of those fabulous “h” rubber bands to hold everything secure….

So now I have a unit that holds all of my beads (I don’t like to buy more than a strand or two at a time as I get bored easily, so most beads fit in here)… And is organized…

And mobile….
And easily stashable (fits in the hall closet/linen closet…. Also tucks under my elevated kitchen bar area (43″ tall….Bisley unit is around 36″ I believe)….
Dust free…
Quiet….
and of course easy enough to use for a quick bead sort that I won’t put it off until I have a gallon bucket of loose beads (like now. *gulp*)….

It was delivered super fast- I ordered Monday night and got the call about delivery on Wednesday… Pretty awesome. And for the amount of space and comfort and peace of mind this creates, it was totally worth it, and no more expensive than the various other solutions I was looking at. Actually, as the drawers are such a great size, and not too deep, I wound up saving money and space…Yay!

I just need to pen some pretty labels for the drawers….

Oh and here is a picture of one of the drawers (with a freshly started small parts, tackle bin/thing, hence it has space to add more yippee!)….

drawers

My only cons about this purchase:  I was instantly aware upon unpacking that I have many more spaces in my studio and home for rolling steel units and I have a pretty clear idea of what drawer sizes I need and hey, add a sturdy top to these badboys and I have a nice packing table…. Woohoo!

Also- the drawers don’t have stops. *gasp* So I will have to rig some up… Boyo has been warned that the drawers are not to play with, and I told him a dramatic bedtime story about what would happen if a drawer was pulled too far…. It involved beads, the shortcomings of our vacuum, and the dynamics of hard round things on tile flooring and tender little foot-soles….

I’ll list some of the other options I looked at shortly…. Some cool things for storing for folks like me that are combining family and work and art and then taming them into a happy and less frustrated ball of goodness.

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