While I want to be an ‘all digital’ gal, I’m about 50/50 on utilizing paper vs electronic documents. There’s just some things that seem to be a little easier to store in a hard copy paper format. One of those things is all the warranties and manuals we have from our bigger household items. Fortunately, I rarely need these. But when I do, it can be challenging AND frustrating to find if not organized correctly.

The warranty & manual binder was born!

The first thing I did was pull out all our manuals, receipts and warranties that I found throughout our home. Next I had to decide what paperwork to keep. While I could store every manual I’ve ever received, here’s my litmus test:

If the item stopped working, would I go through the effort to return it, try to fix it or ask for a replacement?

Some household are affordable enough that I would likely just purchase a new one and others I only expect to last a short amount of time. Items such as toaster and coffee makers are examples of product manuals that I don’t keep.

After reviewing the household paperwork that we have, I sorted in the following categories:

  • Kitchen
  • Master bedroom
  • Guest room
  • Family room
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Misc (I seem to always have a Misc category!)

Then for each household item, I hold on to:

  • Manual
  • Receipt
  • Warranty

** for some items, I was missing one of more of these. That’s OK, I just collected what I had.

 

I make a copy of each of the receipts I have (because the originals seem to always fade over time),

Once I had my categories determined & paperwork organized, here’s the supplies I used to compile the binders:


I used my trusty label maker to label each divider with my categories.

I pull out a clear sheet protector for each item and stick the label on the top right corner. Filling out the details:

  • The product (including make and model)
  • Date purchased
  • Store
  • Cost

Once I compiled everything in to the binder, it was pretty full to capacity. So every time we get rid of a product listed in the binder, we get rid of the paperwork. I also take a couple minutes once or twice a year to flip through to make sure the binder is up to date.

Added bonus is that compiling these all in one place actually ended up taking less space than spread out throughout our house. And I’m all about saving room!

Now if you want to get extra fancy with labeling your, here’s my step by step to a snazzy binder cover!

 

 

 

 

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No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

This past fall, I hosted my first baby shower for a good friend, which was a really fun process (not only because during the planning phase I found out that I was pregnant myself). While I’ve never really loved having parties for ME, I LOVE throwing them for others.

When preparing for the shower, a couple girlfriends asked when I’ll post the details of the shower on the blog….. ummmm? Well I wasn’t planning on it J.  As I’ve been blogging longer and longer, I get this question more often from friends: “when’s that going on the blog?” Eventually you’re going to get a post detailing how I do my laundry. Kidding. Maybe?

To be honest most of the projects I’m working on never make it to the blog, especially if it doesn’t relate to organizing.

But hosting this shower was so much fun and, to my surprise, relatively easy. So I decided to share my entire planning process in a blog as a series ‘Bless this Nest‘ …. One post for food, decorating, invitations and planning.

I’m excited to share the cute dessert I made for the Bless this Nest themed baby shower!

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Bird’s Nest Desserts

Servings: 12 – 16

 

Ingredients / Supplies

6 ounces (1/2 bag) of semi-sweet chocolate chips

6 ounces (1/2 bag) of butterscotch chips

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

10 ounces (roughly ¾  of a large bag) of chow mein noodles

36 jelly beans

Cooking spray for the muffin tin

Large microwavable bowl

Muffin tin

 

Instructions

Microwave the butterscotch and chocolate ships until completely melted, but not boiling hot. I heated for 30 seconds at a time.

Then add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly

Pour in the chow main noodles, adding about ¼ at a time mixing carefully until the noodles are completely covered.

* If you want your dessert to be denser/richer add fewer chow main noodles. For a lighter dessert, add more noodles to the mixture. There’s really no wrong way to go. It’s all personal preference! (I made mine a little richer.)

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Apply cooking spray to the muffin tin liberally.

Scoop one large spoonful of the mixture into each muffin tin mold.

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Place the full muffin tin in the fridge for an hour or two.

To remove the desserts, press a fork or knife on the side of the mold to ‘pop’ the nest out.

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Add a couple jelly beans to the top.

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

While not necessary, I kept the desserts in the fridge until I was ready to serve. Although it didn’t melt or change shape, these are pretty dense chocolatey treats so keeping at a cool temp until ready to eat is the SAFE route 🙂 !

 

 

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

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Hello everyone! Welcome to our weekly Top 5 where I’m sharing 5 amazing articles from my favorite bloggers. This week we’re focusing on goal setting as we’re almost a month in to the New Year and if you’re anything like me, you’re struggling a bit to keep up with the 2017 goals that seemed so easy back at the beginning of the month! I hope these articles inspire you to stick with your New Years Resolutions!

 

1 Do You Really Need to Set Goals this Year?

Well, we might as well start with the big elephant in the room. Should we even have these in the first place?

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2  How to Stay Focused on Your Goals

If you want to accomplish BIG goals this year, you’ll want these tips to stay on track and stay motivated!

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3 The New Years Resolution You FORGOT To Do!

It’s so obvious, it SHOULD be on the top of everyone’s list!

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4 Keep Organized with Your Goals

Organization tips to making sticking with your goals easier than ever!

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5 How to Use a Vision Board to Stay on Top of Your Goals

For all the visual types out there, a vision board is a great way to stay motivated to reach your goals!

{Source}

 

 

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Each month I’m taking on a common organization challenge and tackling it with a thrift store item. I love when great organization solutions end up being affordable. It’s always a win-win.  All it takes is a little patience, DIYing and a great thrift store find! This month we’re tackling all clutter with:

 ||| PAINT DIPPED BASKETS |||

Wicker baskets continue to stay in style and are such practical storage solutions. It can add an extra layer of color and texture to a room while keeping things tidy.

I wanted to update my basket with a dipped effect, but was hesitant to use the real dipping process (filling up a tub with paint and dipping the basket inside). I saw disaster written all over that. So instead I took a different approach and got the same look …..

Supplies

Instructions

I masked off areas of the baskets with masking tape and painted them with a small paint brush, working simultaneously between the inside and outside to avoid drips collecting between the wicker. Once I had finished painting the baskets I removed the masking tape before the paint had chance to dry to avoid the paint chipping off.

Using the painting tape, cover around the basket at the point where you want the paint to end. I tucked the tape in to the ribs of the basket a little to prevent paint dripping on to the lower parts. (Note that I painted the top half of my basket, as opposed to the bottom half)

For the first coat, I used a standard cut in tip paint brush. Starting at the top of the basket, I worked my way down with the paint.

Since we’re not painting a flat surface, the first coat is likely not going to completely cover all the basket. That’s OK!

Once the first coat dries (a couple hours), I used my small acrylic paint brush to get in to the nooks with a second coat.

As you can see the second coat really did the trick!

Once you’re satisfied with the paint coverage, slowly and carefully remove the painting tape BEFORE the paint dries. Removing painting tape over dry paint can sometimes pull the paint off as well!

I took a chance and didn’t use a protective clear top coat and haven’t had any issues with chipping yet. If you’re not as much of a dare devil as I am, I really like xxx protective coat. Just give it a quick spray in a well-ventilated area.

I used this basket in our guest room to store an extra blanket and magazines for our guests. But the uses for decorative baskets are really endless. And remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune on these if you’re willing to invest in a little DIYing!

 

 

 

 

Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge

As a lover of affordable solutions of ANY kind, I’ve paired up with 19 extremely talented bloggers to bring you a monthly Thrift Store Upcycle Challenge. Each month we will create something amazing from an item(s) we’ve found at a thrift store, yard sale, resale shop etc.

Meet the Bloggers

Amanda | The Kolb Corner    Maureen | Red Cottage Chronicles    Kim | Made in a Day    Dru | Polka Dot Poplars    Erlene | My Pinterventures    Colleen | Life on Kaydeross Creek    Pili | Sweet Things
Shirley | Intelligent Domestications    Ann | Duct Tape and Denim    Debra | Shoppe No. 5    Marie | DIY Adulation    Chelsea | The Johnsons Plus Dog    Jes | My DIY Envy    Jennifer | Smart Fun DIY   Lindsay | Crazy Organized    Molly | Just a Little Creativity    Ashley | 3 Little Greenwoods    Kimm | Reinvented    Michelle | Our Crafty Mom    Jeannee | Shepherds and Chardonnay    Ali | Home Crafts by Ali    Sue | A Purdy Little House   Sara | Twelve on Main    Claire | Pillar Box Blue     Chelc | Inside the Fox Den    Kim | Farmhouse Made       Victoria | Dazzle While Frazzled    Sherry | Savvy Apron    Jennifer and Vicki | 2 Bees in a Pod    Lora | Craftivity Designs    Megan | C’mon Get Crafty    Denise | My Thrifty House    Toni | Small Home Soul    Deborah | Salvage Sister and Mister

Follow along on our Pinterest board for more upcycled inspiration!

Take a look at all these bloggers’ amazing thrift store projects:


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This post is sponsored by Hobby Lobby!

My crafting space may be small but it’s definitely FULL! I use every inch of space in all rooms of my house and my crafting area is no exception.

While I’m a lover of clear plastic storage bins, rolling carts and 3 ring binders purely for function, these are not always the prettiest way to fill the shelves of my craft room. Since I’m in this area so often, I not only want it organized, but decorative as well.

I made a goal at the beginning of the year to beautify this space, while getting it MORE organized. Using some items I already had in the house and shopping sales at Hobby Lobby, I was able to get everything I needed for under $100! While we all know Hobby Lobby for their great home décor selection, I was excited to see the vast storage, labeling and organizational items they have as well. And nothing tugs at my heart more than a good label 🙂 .

For this project I focused on 3 main areas:

1 Rolling Cart

In my three-tiered rolling cart, I keep all my craft essentials. When working on a new project, I simply wheel out the essentials to have on hand as needed. While this is incredibly helpful in so many ways, I struggled to keep the items within the cart stored in a neat, pretty manor.

Here’s the supplies I used (all from Hobby Lobby):

  • Photo Boxes: on sale for $4.99 each
  • Oval Metal Pail with Handles: on sale for $4.99 each
  • White Sticker Labels with Gold Trim: $3.99
  • Small Rectangular Containers with Spring Color Lids: on sale for $4.79 for 3
  • Small Clear Compartment Organizers: $1.99-$3.99 each

The bulkier craft supplies were placed in the colorful metal bins. Two of these fit perfectly in the bottom shelf of my cart.

In the top and middle shelf, I used decorative photo boxes. These work really well for all sorts of storage solutions. Adding the gold rimmed sticker labels made searching for items so much easier.

I also wanted the storage inside the photo boxes to be organized and pretty, which is not always an easy feat. Smaller plastic containers were ideal for all the small items I had to store. Adding labels from my label maker to the sides of the containers helped me find what I was looking for easily and forced me to put everything away where I got it!

I had been struggling with a solution for storing our nails & screws for quite some time before I saw these 4-6 compartment organizers in assorted sizes. It was as if they were made to store nails!

When Joe (my husband) saw how I labeled the our nails & screws, he got a bit of a laugh … “Big”, “Medium” & “Small”. While I doubt the professionals sort their nails in such a way, it worked for us!

2 Shelf Storage

For storage on our metal wire wall shelves, I had two approaches. Some items would remain in the clear storage bins that I already owned and others would go in to new colorful cube storage bins.

Here’s the supplies I used (all from Hobby Lobby):

  • White Gift Tags: on sale for $.99
  • Foldable Storage Box: on sale for $7.99 each
  • White Sticker Labels with Gold Trim (same ones I used for the photo boxes): $3.99

Since the shelves were filled colorful storage cubes, I opted for simple white gift tags to label each. Using my label maker, I printed the labels with small black font adhering them to the bottom of the gift tag. The result was clean and simple …. just what I wanted.

I love that this simple labeling solution is easy and affordable to swap out over time if I opt to use the bins for other purposes.

The clear storage bins needed some attractive labeling as well. The gold rimmed sticker labels used for the photo boxes were a perfect addition. They added the right amount of color and interest while still being easy to read. I kept the same clean bold font as on the gift tags. While I love creative fun fonts, I found that this simple bold design was easier on the eye which made locating items simpler.

3 Paper Storage

Ugh paper. Love hate relationship. While I would love to go paperless with everything, it’s just not going to happen. EVER. So instead my goal is to make the paper storage easy to access and pleasing to the eye.

Here’s the supplies I used (all from Hobby Lobby):

  • Wrapping Paper: $3.99
  • Foam Board: $1.99
  • Alphabet Stickers: $4.99

Have you ever tried to store 3 ring binders and folders on wire shelves? If you have, you’ll appreciate my first step: to cover some of our wire shelving with foam board. This creates an easier way to store 3 ring binders and additional craft papers. All you need is wrapping paper and foam board. Take a look at my full tutorial to create foam board shelving in just 5 minutes!

Once the foam board was placed down on the wire shelving it was much easier to store binders and paper pouches. Those green binders are a nice pop of color, but needed labeling. I made my own labels very easily from the simple black font alphabet stickers I grabbed on my Hobby Lobby trip. I made sure to get a large enough sticker size that it would be easy to read sideways!

So I’m here to tell you that even storage can look attractive! Not only attractive, but MORE organized.

Here’s a rough breakdown of how I spent my money:

  • 1 Rolling Cart: $41
  • 2 Shelf Storage: $45
  • 3 Paper Storage: $11

TOTAL = $97

Visit: Hobby Lobby.com for these finds and much much more!

As I mentioned, many of the items I purchased were already on sale at Hobby Lobby. When I buy a regularly priced item, I always use their smart phone app to pull up the weekly coupons.

You can use the coupon below on your next trip to Hobby Lobby. Either print it out or show it to the cashier on your phone!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hobby Lobby. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the Merry Monday 138

 

Hello everyone! Welcome to our weekly blogger showcase. We’re featuring some of our FAVORITE DIY projects and recipes from the past week by a group of amazing bloggers! Come take a look at our favorite projects that we’re dying to try out … next weekend!

 

It’s Pinterest Follow Week! Although it isn’t required, we’d love for you to follow your us on Pinterest.

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My Pinterventures |Pinterest

Made In A Day | Pinterest

The Kolb Corner | Pinterest

Intelligent Domestications | Pinterest

Inside the Fox Den | Pinterest

C’mon Get Crafty | Pinterest

The Organized Dream | Pinterest

Crazy Organized | Pinterest

Two Purple Couches | Pinterest

DIY Adulation | Pinterest

Meatloaf and Melodrama | Pinterest

Twelve on Main Pinterest


Most Popular

Dollar Store Bins for Pretty Organization

Makeover Dollar Store Bins for Pretty Organization via The Country Chic Cottage

Hostess Picks

Erlene’s pick: Salted Caramel Cinnamon Rolls | 5 Minutes for Mom (PIN IT)

Kim’s pick: Herb Drying Rack | Grandma’s House DIY (PIN IT)

Amanda’s pick: 10 Ways to Flavor Water | Healthy Helper Blog (PIN IT)

Shirley’s pick: Crispy Seasoned Chicken Wings | Kleinworth & Co. (PIN IT)

Chelc’s pick: Printable Valentine Word Search | White House Crafts (PIN IT)

Megan’s pick: Dollar Store Bin Makeover | The Country Chic Cottage (PIN IT)

Katie’s pick: Farmhouse Kitchen Canisters | Houseful of Handmade (PIN IT)

Lindsay’s pick: DIY Budget Envelope System | Maggie Lois (PIN IT)

Emily’s pick: Cozy Pom Pom Garland | Paint Yourself a Smile (PIN IT)

Marie’s pick: Vintage Rhinestone Button Bracelet | Sadie Seasongoods (PIN IT)

Dee’s pick: Halo Honey Sugar Scrub | My Pinterventures (PIN IT)

Sara’s pick: DIY Interior Wood Shutters | H2O Bungalow (PIN IT)

Merry Monday Link Party Rules

Tailwind

  • BIG NEWS!!!! Pinterest is a great blog traffic driver and we’ve opened up a Merry Monday Tailwind Tribe! It’s FREE (just sign-up for a Tailwind account) and you can share your Pins with other members! If you would like to join, please sign-up HERE. But please remember, if you drop a link to repin a few others. Link droppers will be deleted from the group (we can see who is repinning in the dashboard).
  • Also looking for contributors to Tailwind Tribe for Popular DIY, crafts, and Recipes for pins that already have a minimum of 300+ repins on Pinterest. If you are interested, please sign-up HERE.
  • CHANGES COMING! Starting next week, each host will be choosing 8-10 posts from the previous party/parties for a themed feature round-up for the Merry Monday party. For this month, we’re looking for posts about organization, storage ideas, cleaning tips, and Valentine’s Day recipes/crafts, home decor, and DIY projects.

 


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I have a love hate relationship with white wire shelving. It’s affordable, readily available, adjustable and pretty nice looking. I should probably just resort to loving it because it’s in every one of our closets. But it can be so difficult to use. Crumbs fall, spills are messy, it’s difficult to clean and many items won’t stand straight on top of them.

Thank goodness the fix is super simple and affordable!

Foam board was my preferred solution since it was thick enough to hold everything and pretty easy to work with. But it created it’s own problems. Spills aren’t easy to wipe up. Plus the white color is a little boring. I wanted some color! Here’s my solution:

Supplies

Instructions 

Measure your shelves width and depth in the area where the foam shelf board will go.


Next cut the foam board just a tiny bit shorter than your shelf measurements. My shelf measured at 25′ w x 12′ d so I cut the foam board to 24′ w x 11 1/2′ d. Its much easier to make your foam boards a little too small as opposed to a little too big, especially after the next step of covering with wrapping paper or contact paper.

I then cut my contact paper / wrapping the same width as the foam board and one inch longer in depth than the foam board. This is so I could wrap the wrapping paper over the front side edges of the foam board.

If you’re using contact paper, simply place your contact paper onto the foam board (if you struggle with contact paper, take a look at my tutorial). For those using wrapping paper, follow these instructions:

Spray the adhesive spray over the foam board and place your wrapping paper on top. Starting in the middle, smooth the wrapping paper onto the board. I grabbed a long book to help smooth it down (a ruler would have been an easier choice, but I couldn’t find one).

Then spray about an inch in length on the opposite side of the foam bard so that you can wrap that extra 1 inch of wrapping paper around it. Remember that when using the adhesive spray make sure you’re in a well ventilated area.

Now place your foam board shelf cover onto your wire shelf and stock up with all your items.  You can LOVE wire shelving again!

(It was because of these binders that I was inspired to make the foam board shelves. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to store binders on wire shelving without the foam boards!)

 


 

 

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Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Every year I had the best of intentions to file our taxes EARLY or at minimum really get ‘ahead of it’. It’s taken us a couple years to find a system that works for us, but I’m really happy on how organized we’ve become in preparing our taxes. Now granite, we do not DO our own taxes. We have an accountant that handles that tough work for us. Between selling our old condo, getting married, and purchasing a new townhouse over the years along with me being self-employed, it makes more sense for us to use a professional.

While we may be paying someone to assist, we don’t just hand over a wad of messy paperwork and wish him well. Being organized and ahead of the game not only saves us time, but it saves our accountant time. And that means it’s saves us money. So it’s a win-win all around.

 

Document List

In early January, I make a list of all the documents we’ll need to collect on my Tax Checklist. This includes any earnings documents (such as w2s and 1099s from our employers, checking accounts, savings account and investments), deductions (donations, mortgage tax credit) and general documents that our accountant will need (copies of our drivers license, checking account information for refunds or payments, copy of last year’s return).

It’s extremely helpful to do this step first before I try to compile any documents.

I keep the Tax Checklist in a clear folder near our entry where I place our mail. It makes collecting and storing these documents easier.

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Organize Documents

As I receive a tax document in the mail, I add it to the folder and highlight it on my Tax Checklist. It’s an easy visual way to know which documents I still need to collect.

Some of the documents we’ll need may not come in the mail as we elect to have a lot of paperless statements. For those, I simply go online to the account and print them off.

By mid-February, I make sure that we’ve compiled all the documents from the list.

There’s some documents that I save throughout the year in a small plastic pouch including charitable donation receipts and paid property taxes. I add these to our clear tax folder to supply to our accountant.

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Scan Documents

Before handing the tax folder over to our accountant, I scan each document electronically. Yes, this may seem a bit time consuming when there’s a lot of documents to scan. After all the time it takes to compile the documents, it’s worth it to me to have backup in the event that something happens to the ones we turn in to our accountant. (Note this has never happened, but it does make me sleep soundly knowing it wouldn’t be a problem!)

Instead of a huge bulky scanner, I use a Neat Desk Scanner. It’s extremely easy to use and compact enough to store easily once I’m finished using.  Highly recommend!

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Save Finalized Documents

After our accountant completes our taxes, he packages everything up and provides us a folder of all the documents. I file this each year in a binder with the year labeled in case of an audit. Each year I simply add an additional folder with the new year labeled. I rotate out the taxes from over 7 years ago yearly to make room for the new year’s documents.

I also scan the finalized documents from our accountant, adding this to the already scanned prep documents. It’s just great to have a digital copy of everything.

To summarize my digital system:

I have a folder titled ‘Taxes” within My Documents. The level of sub folders are for each year of taxes:

Within each of year, I have folders for Deductions, Earnings, Additional Documents, & Finalized Taxes from Accountant

I hope these tips make tax season a little easier and more streamlined!

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

I always treat myself to a cocktail when I’m finished!

** All these tips and checklists are personal use only. I love to organize, but I’m not a tax professional! Always consult your tax professional for tax advice. **

 

 

 

 

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