{organizing ideas and decorating advice from my home to yours}

A Practical Charger Holder

Posted: July 28th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 4 Comments »

Ready for the 3rd Storage Solution idea in my Storage Solution Series?

If you missed the first two you can check out  my solutions for shoes and books before you venture into this one…

Storage Solution # 3  A Practical Charger Holder

This is what (a small section) of my countertop usually looks like:


I know, I know, seriously, is this what I am writing a post about? Yes. And I’ll tell you why - because I just saved myself a lot of money from buying my dream charger holder thingamajig from PotteryBarn. I’m sure you all have seen the one I am talking about….


Ahh, so beautiful. And with all the electronics and cords we have flowing around here - I knew I was destined to have it, but instead my inner thrifty came out and found this cute little wooden letter holder at Hobby Lobby for a couple dollars on clearance. I drilled two holes in the back to make room for the chargers.

Drrillllll, drilllllll…




…I think this does the trick. And for the price - it’s a keeper!

♥ Katie

And speaking of ‘keeper’ — who remembers trapper keepers?

My next storage solution could use something similar…I’m on the hunt!

Books of All Seasons

Posted: July 24th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 7 Comments »

My Storage Solution Series is off and running with my first post on storage for shoes (no pun intended) called  Stomper Stash.

But now I must address another item that I seem to aquire plenty of in my house…books!

Storage Solution #2   Books of All Seasons

Being a teacher for 6 years – I sure did aquire A LOT of books from all my scholastic clubs and book fairs! One day, shopping at Office Depot, I noticed some cardboard folder holders sitting empty on the shelves. I’m hoping this has happen to some of you (or at least one of you!) but my inner organizer came out in me and I started taking the empty, or close to empty ones off and filling up the other ones to make them full. I mean there was wasted boxes on the shelf and I just couldn’t resist!

This should have been refreshing enough but then I got to thinking – these are great organizers and they are probably going to just go to waste. So I approached a salesman and he said that I could take what I needed since they just recycle them anyways. Now I really could have taken 50 of them but about 6 was all I could fit in my hands along with my 3 year old and purse.

When we got home the fun began. I started going through all his books and sorting them into seasonal categories. This way he gets a chance to see all the books at separate times and they all stay in a thematic order. Eeeekk — I sound a bit crazy don’t I? But don’t fear, then I took out my sticker tub (another teacher treat) and my son picked out stickers to label the box for each season.



Now I love how he looks forward to entering a new season with new books! It’s another Frugal Friday Link Party at Shabby Nest’s nest. Can’t wait to get a bunch of great ideas!

♥ Katie

And come on back for my next storage solution when I had to give up the Pottery Barn dream to own this:


…but I think my solution is even better and my bank account agrees!

Storage Solution Series

Posted: July 22nd, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 3 Comments »

So I’m going to attempt to do a little series. I don’t know if it is the beginning of the school year coming to a start or my lack of motivation for decorating lately, but when I looked over the posts that I wanted to share in the next month they were all organizing ones. So I thought I would do a series for you on some of my new favorite storage solutions

I will post 4 out of my 5 favorites on my site and then my 5th one I will showcase in my August Newsletter. I know, I’m so tricky! But it’s a goodie so I wanted to make it special along with some other fall favorites that I have been aquiring for your viewing pleasure!

 Yes, I’m obsessed about organizing. How do you know, you ask? For me it is verified this weekend when we made a trip to Target and everyone in the family got something special: My husband, churned chocoate chip icecream, my son, a matchbox car, my infant, a pacifier, and me — a storage tub. We’re all completely happy. 

So if this is not you - okay, if this is SO not you, then I would just say rule of thumb is to go slow on organizing and just do little bits at a time. Set a time limit, stick to it and you will feel so much better afterwards. I think it is also important to set a time when you can be completely focused and motivated. There is nothing worse than starting something and not having the time or patience to finish it and then dreading to do it again. Set yourself up for success…

Okay, so for my first storage solution:

The Stomper Stash

And I thought that girls were the ones that loved shoes? But it is my oldest son who loves to pick out his shoes everyday and if you didn’t know, there are shoes that make you go faster than others. And yesterday I did it. I was the mom who drove back home from school to get the faster shoes in order to avoid the major meltdown my son was about to have. I was not proud but it had to be done. The scariest part was hearing my son in the back of the car on the drive home to get the shoes whispering, faster, faster, hustle…oh boy.

Anyways, for this obsession, and his ever mounting stomper stash – it became time to find some solid storage for his shoes. Bonus would be something that he could reach and get to with ease.


I used a cheap little three drawer dresser that I had from college, stuck it in the coat closet, painted it an off white and added cute little scrapbooking sticker letters that I go in the dollar bins at Target. The bottom drawer is labeled, “etc.” that I fill with out of season shoes, gloves, hats, socks, etc. 


It has been the perfect solution for our stomper stash but something similar could be used for a variety of things such as, accessories, toys, scrap booking, etc! The key here is cheap and functional (and cute never hurts anyone!)

♥ Katie


I’m adding this to Kristen’s We are THAT Family Works for Me Wednesday link party where you can find solutions to almost anything! 

{And if you are looking for ideas for storing books - head on back soon for storage solution number two!}


Mabel’s Labels

Posted: July 16th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 2 Comments »

inc_4colnotagSomething near and dear to my heart.


So recently my MOPS group started participating in a fundraiser called Mabel’s Labels. If you have never heard of this business - you should take a couple minutes to check out their site. They have such cute, durable and unique items that will not only help you stay organized but in a fashionable way! 

 Mabel’s Labels is a company with all types of labels that are colorful, indestructible, easy-to-use, and fun! Here are a couple examples of why I’m hooked!

They sell Iron-Ons:



Name and Household Stickies:



Shoe Labels:



Bag Tags:



Fun Stationary (Wouldn’t this be a great gift idea?!):



Allergy Alert Labels:


& Much More!

And here are the great perks of all their products:

✓ Personalize your labels with names, nicknames, initials - whatever you choose.
✓ Cool icons help even little ones identify their own belongings.
✓ Dishwasher, microwave, laundry & kid tested!
✓ Dispatched within 24 hours!

Visit http://www.mopsoflawrence.mabel.ca to place your order while helping our fundraiser!

About Mabel’s Labels!

‘We are moms who were frustrated by the amount of stuff that left our houses, never to return. After lots of research and testing we created the perfect fun, durable labels for the stuff kids lose!

Our sticky labels and clothing labels, which are dishwasher, microwave and laundry safe, are not only practical, but also designed to be very special to each child. The labels are customized with a child’s name, favorite mix of colors and an icon (animal, symbol, etc.). We have also expanded our product line to include personalized stationery products, ID wristbands and household labels.’

Our fundraiser will run until August 22nd (just in time for school to start!)

Thank you for your support!

♥ Katie

Bringing the Inside-Out (to the Garage!)

Posted: July 13th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 18 Comments »

I think I was born and raised to love garages. Yes, you read me right. Garages. You see, since I can remember, my dad loved to be out in the garage, sweeping and organizing the day away. We would come home from church on a Saturday night to find him in the garage - holding his broom surrounded by big piles of dirt, smiling and sweating from ear to ear but with a complete sense of accomplishment in his eyes.

I really never knew the feeling until we owned our first house and slowly the desire to clean and organize the garage became stronger and stronger. My garage mud room infatuation might make a little more sense to you now. That brings me to sharing one of the best projects we have done in a long time!

{If you have no desire or just think I’m completely nuts to even care about a garage - feel free to stop now because it is going to get pretty disgustingly awesome.}

My husband and I have been talking about wanting to epoxy or finish the garage floor but the perfect weekend had just never come up until the last one.

Now let me state a couple of important details first before I go into the slideshow of pictures.

1. Our garage floor was D.I.R.T.Y - always and still was even after I swept it at least once a week. We had some awful stains which you will see.

2. We were blessed with amazing shelving in the back of the garage which came in handy when moving all the things out of the garage and keeping it off the floor.

3. If you have ever just thought it would be a nice thing – You HAVE to do it!!!


But after power washing it…





Storage shelving (and a plugged in tv because he didn’t want to miss the game!)




Lots of brands out there but we used Behr in tan from Home Depot -$75.00 for a one car garage (but we got out about 1 and 1/2 worth with one tub)




In the process 

First coat - My job was to cut in with the hand brush, David was painting with the roller and then I threw the flakes





One HUGE stain





Where is the stain now?





A surprise addition using 2×4’s for $20.00





Added trim to cover the ugliness of where the dry wall and concrete lip met. 





We love the finished but natural look!






Very little skill, a lot of sweat and a custom looking garage floor that you actually look forward to walking barefoot on. In my opinion, the best money ever spent!


And a final before and after, just because I love it so much!

  dsc01428      dsc01448

♥ Katie

I’ve linked this post up to Susan’s Met Monday Party and Nester’s Price My Space Party. (I realize this is going to be a little unconventional for these sites and their beautiful decor but I taking a shot!)

Medicine Baskets

Posted: July 6th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 7 Comments »

wfmwbannerkristenBeing in the midst of mosquito and chigger season here in Kansas, I’m currently dealing with a very sad little boy with major allergic reactions. He currently has one of each calf from last week, one on his cheek, one on his forearm and one where I won’t mention - although I’m sure you can guess if you think of the most uncomfortable place on a little boys body. Poor guy.

Needless to say, my medicine baskets have been in major use around here. I created this baskets a couple years back when I was completely caught off gaurd with how quickly medicines, q-tips, sunscreen, nose splundgers,(that’s what I call them), bandaids, etc. that you aquire throughout the years for the kids, but also for yourself. And then I would get so frustrated getting my stuff and the kid’s stuff mixed together. So here was my solution:


I got two fabric baskets (from Wal-Mart for about $3.00 a piece) and then just put a piece of clear tape on the outside and labeled it “adults” and “kids” this way I don’t rummage through too much stuff and my husband even knows where to find things! The bottom shelf is a bottle holder that I use to but the medicines that I am currently using or might need to use frequently. 

Works for me - and hopefully it could be a solution you might be looking for?! Head on over to Kristen’s for more Summer tips!

Now only if those bugs would stop biting my sweet little boy!!

♥ Katie