These fun to make colorful DIY file folders will keep paper clutter at bay and keep you organized!

Even though we’re in a digital world, I still find the need for simple paper organization systems. Whether it’s handouts at Declan’s preschool, paper invitations, or just random mail, paper enters my home on a daily basis.

To prevent paper from piling up, I have a pretty easy system at our entry way that allows me to quickly organize, file and throw paper as needed. We’ve been using this process for a couple years now and it’s truly been a game changer.

No more papers laying on the counters.

No more panicking before I leave the house because the keys are “missing”.

No more junk mail sitting around the house.

The list could go on.

If you don’t already have an entry way command center, I highly recommend it. (Click that link for my DIY one) Here’s another post on how I’ve been using my command center to keep the papers organized. It’s a pretty simple process to follow and has been a game changer.

Read this easy tutorial for colorful DIY file folders to keep ALL your paper clutter organized! I keep these in our command center and add a label to each!

In addition to the plastic folders shown in that post, I also like to have several file folders on hand for more specific projects: pre-school co-op exec board meetings, my weekly MOPS mom’s group handouts, a fundraiser I’m organizing, to name a few.

Because I’m always finding new things to store in folders, having extra manila folders at our entry command center is very helpful. It also prevents the ‘miscellaneous papers’ pile from occurring. It’s a slippery slope once too many papers turn to ‘miscellaneous’. You know what I mean.

I like my organizational systems to be pretty and my file folders are no different.

This is a really simple project to add a punch of color to paper files.

Supplies for these easy DIY File Folders

  • Manila folders
  • Decorative paper or wrapping paper
  • Label maker
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Clear tape

DIY File Folders Instructions

I selected a colorful patterned paper for the front (outside) of the folder and a solid color for the back (inside), where the label will go.

With a pencil, lightly trace the outline of the front and back of the folder on to your decorative papers.

Read this easy tutorial for colorful DIY file folders to keep ALL your paper clutter organized! I keep these in our command center and add a label to each!

Next, cut out the outline.

Grab your glue stick and smear it all along the edges of the decorative papers. Then secure the decorative papers to the folder, adhering the solid color to the inside folder first.

Before securing the patterned paper to the outside of the folder, I taped the folder shut. This creates a nice pocket to hold all the papers I’ll soon be adding to the folder!

Read this easy tutorial for colorful DIY file folders to keep ALL your paper clutter organized! I keep these in our command center and add a label to each!

Read this easy tutorial for colorful DIY file folders to keep ALL your paper clutter organized! I keep these in our command center and add a label to each!

Now you’ll have some pretty DIY file folders to use for any of your organizational needs!

 

 

 

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Getting clean makeup brushes is so much easier than you thought! Here’s my once a month cleaning tutorial that only takes 10 minutes!

Click here to find out my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

[Psst! Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with my latest posts and ideas]

As a self-proclaimed (and often reaffirmed by my husband) clean freak, I always get a good laugh when I notice an item I’ve so obviously neglected.

Enter: makeup brushes.

Now there’s lots of expensive makeup cleaners out there, but with so many DIY options, why not try that first?

Just for kicks, I’ll show you my process to clean makeup brushes. It takes less than 10 minutes. (However, if you have heavy build-up on your brushes, it may take longer to wash until the water runs clear.)

Oh, and these are my FAVORITE makeup brushes. Really affordable and long lasting (which usually isn’t the case).

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Grab all your makeup brushes and lay them out on a clean hand towel.

Put a small pour of baby shampoo in to a small dish.

Wet a brush and start swirling it in the bowl.

Click here to find out my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

Continue wetting and swirling until you have a nice soapy lather.

Then while pointing the tip of the brush downward, rinse in the sink moving the bristles back and forth until all the soap bubbles are gone.

Here's my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

Give a light squeeze to drain the extra water.

Here's my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

Repeat this process for each brush.

Depending on how dirty your brushes are, you may need to clean out your dish of baby shampoo before cleaning the next brush. Note, I had to do this between EACH brush 😐 😐 😐

Here's my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

It’s best for the brushes to dry at a downward angle to prevent water from getting stuck inside the brush. The easiest way to accomplish this is to add a hand towel (or roll up a small wash rag) to prop up the ends of the brush while drying.

Here's my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

Quick Tips: Clean your brush in the morning AFTER you put on your makeup to allow them to dry for a full 24 hours before you need them again. It’s also helpful to rotate the brushes once within the 24 hours so that both sides dry evenly.

Here's my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

Since I’m in ‘makeup cleaning mode’ (if there’s such a thing), I also wiped down my actually makeup and inside my cosmetic bag with a face cleansing wipe.

Easy peasy! Clean makeup brushes. Now if only the rest of my house was as clean 🙂

Click here to find out my favorite tip to clean makeup brushes: the secret household product to this easy DIY cleaning solutions. Makeup brushes clean in 5 minutes!

 

 

 

 

 

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For all those home items that need to be washed but don’t always get to the hamper in time, keep a Dirty Laundry Reminder List near your washer.

Read on for the 5 minute solution to never forget a piece of laundry again. Create a 'Dirty Laundry Reminder List Card' placed on your washer!

Laundry seems to be an overwhelming common post on my blog, almost to a embarrassing degree. (Here, here, here AND here) Yet, as our family grows, I’m continually looking for ways to streamline our laundry process …. because the laundry piles are just getting bigger and bigger!

Have you ever come up with a solution so simple, that you can’t believe you didn’t think of it sooner? (Or one where you walk around the house for days claiming that you’re a genius?) That’s how I feel about my Dirty Laundry Reminder List.

This reminder list is simply a list of items that should be washed periodically that may not always be placed in our laundry baskets.

Too often when I wash a load of laundry, I’d forget about these need-to-be-washed-but-not-always-in-the-hamper items.

Lindsay, why aren’t your dirty clothes in your hamper? Let me clarify: MOST of them are. I promise my family is not walking around with dirty clothes on daily basis.

Read on for the 5 minute solution to never forget a piece of laundry again. Create a 'Dirty Laundry Reminder List Card' placed on your washer!

Read on for the 5 minute solution to never forget a piece of laundry again. Create a 'Dirty Laundry Reminder List Card' placed on your washer!

Here’s some examples of my ‘Dirty Laundry Reminder List’:

Declan’s jacket could use a wash probably every week. I don’t want to put it in the hamper if I’m not doing laundry immediately (I typically do laundry weekly) or I won’t have a jacket available for him when I need to grab it.

Another example is our family room couch pillow covers. These white pillow covers can get dirty SO easily (I know I know. White? What was I thinking?), so anytime I’m doing a load of whites, I like to throws these pillow cases in the laundry.

One more example: kitchen towels. I store dirty kitchen towels and rags in this canvas bag for easy storage before laundry day. Our laundry room is on the second floor, so it’s much quicker to store a dirty towel in these bags in our kitchen pantry instead of running upstairs each time.

OK, so what’s the solution? Since I like to keep a list of most aspects of my life, I do the same for my laundry needs.

Read on for the 5 minute solution to never forget a piece of laundry again. Create a 'Dirty Laundry Reminder List Card' placed on your washer!

On top of my washer near my detergent, I keep this list of all the additional items to potentially wash before I start a load. For my family, this list items such as:

To grab a copy of your own customizable Dirty Laundry Reminder List, just download it from our Organization Toolkit now!

If you need access to the Organization Toolkit, simply subscribe to the Crazy Organized Newsletter below and the Organization Toolkit password will be sent straight to your inbox!

Already a member? Head over to the Organization Toolkit to access your FREE Dirty Laundry Reminder List!

Read on for the 5 minute solution to never forget a piece of laundry again. Create a 'Dirty Laundry Reminder List Card' placed on your washer!

 

 

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Working from home may seem easy, but those who do it know that it can be touch. Now, working from home with a toddler: that’s a whole other story! Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

[Psst! Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with my latest posts and ideas]

I’ve been getting a couple questions from readers and friends on how I schedule my day with a little one at home. Some are just interested in what I do all day staying at home. Others are curious how ‘work from home’ really ‘works’ with kids.

Now, let me start off by saying I’m no expert on this. While I like to organize my sock drawer (and pretty much every other drawer in our house), I’ve had to learn through lots of trial and error how to manage my time running a business while taking care of a little one.

So here’s what an average day looks like working from home with a toddler:

6am | I get up. I’m a morning person by nature so this isn’t that hard for me. I pour myself a cup (or two) of coffee and either get some blog work in or miscellaneous items on my to do list that are more difficult to accomplish when Declan is awake. For example, yesterday I booked a flight to see friends in Cleveland. It’s tough for me to do ANYTHING on my laptop when Declan is up as he wants to jump (literally) on it.

7am | Declan gets up & I get really for the day. I utilize the time where Declan sleeps to be on my computer or to photograph projects (it’s wayyyyy too hard to photograph with a very active little baby climbing all over my project). This means daily tasks get done while Declan is awake: brushing my teeth, doing dishes, laundry, etc while Declan is playing near by. I’m hoping that this teaches him independent play, but at minimum it allows me to get some things done around the house without eating in to nap time.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Declan is MUCH better behaved in the morning so that’s when I also try to clean the house and prep what I can for dinner. (Here’s some tips to be extra efficient with cleaning.)

8am | I  go running with Declan and Reagan. I don’t LOVE running like some people do and I’m not very fast (let’s think of it as more of a fast walk), but it’s the most effective way for me to get a workout in while Declan is awake. Plus I’m able to exercise our dog at the same time, so it really makes the most sense. Other mornings I go to the gym which also has drop off daycare. (Here’s how I pack my gym bag.)

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

9am | Declan takes his first nap and I go STRIAGHT to my computer to do work. I’m very disciplined on getting to work right away. This means no cleaning the dishes, organizing the house, etc when Declan is asleep. The biggest struggle to working from home with a baby is the limited work hours, so making the most out of nap time is KEY.

11am | Lunch for the two of us, then off to play groups, Zoo, swimming, visit with friends, etc. While we do weekly baby classes (swimming, Gymboree, etc), I love heading to the local community centers’ tot play rooms so that Declan can burn some energy!

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

2pm | Declan takes his second (and final nap) and I go straight to my computer to work! I often do photography during the afternoon as the lighting is better.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

3:30pm | Declan wakes up and we play inside for a bit. Like clockwork, he hits his fussy period by 4:30 so we typically head out to a park if it’s nice. I also try to have dinner as prepared as I can by then. I’m a huge huge huge fan of meal prep and lots of organization in making dinner. If it weren’t for this, we’d spend all our money ordering out.

6pm | Joe comes home from work and we all have dinner. Then I let him play with Declan for at least 30 minutes while I go do something else, whether that’s taking a quick shower , doing a little work or a household project.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

7:30pm | Declan goes to sleep and we clean up the kitchen from dinner. I like to wake up in the morning with a clean slate! Then Joe & I hang out for the evening.

Then rinse and repeat. Literally.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Here’s a couple things I do to help manage life at home with a 12 month old:

  • I keep Declan moving around the house. We spend probably 15 minutes in a room at a time: whether that’s doing laundry and bringing it to our bedroom to fold & put away. In all honesty I can probably find something to clean or organize in any room of our house. Oh and I also work from my phone. In fact I’m writing this blog post right now from Declan’s room.
  • I let Declan play with items around the house. Kitchen spoons while I’m making dinner, clean clothes while I’m doing laundry, etc. He finds it interesting because it’s new, while giving me enough time to get some chores done.
  • I plan out my days in advance (and even Declan’s meals). I don’t like to be ‘over scheduled’ but a little planning the night before goes a LONG way during the day.

As far as working from home with a toddler, here’s a couple of my best tips:

  • First, it’s not as easy as it looks! Just need to set the record straight on that one.
  • Find a way to ONLY work while your child naps (no cleaning, no well… anything else).
  • Before the nap, you need to know WHAT you’re going to work on so that you can dig in. For example, if I’m planning on photographing while Declan is sleeping, I pull all my supplies out BEFORE he takes a nap. Essentially I only try to do the items that I can’t do while he’s awake.
  • As a blogger, there’s lots I can do on my iphone as opposed to my computer. Personally I’d rather work on my computer, but the reality is that often I need to work via my phone while Declan is awake.
  • Work in batches: I do projects on one day, photography on another, writing, editing, etc on another. This is just a good general practice, but it’s helpful with a child.

Click here to take a look at my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

 

 

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Here’s my best baby registry tips for all you first time moms who are totally overwhelmed by the number of baby products on the market today! (For the record, I was completely overwhelmed too!)

Make sure to read these baby registry tips before you create your own registry! These smart, savvy and practical tips will help you register for the RIGHT items! Great for first time moms!

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!

Creating a baby registry can be overwhelming. Period. You’re trying to decide what products (most of which you’ve likely never heard of before … merlin suit?!) you need to help take care a new person you’ve never even met. It’s also one of a zillion things you’re trying to do before the baby is born. Or just 100 things 🙂 .

Before we had our son, I’d never changed a diaper before. Besides diapers and wipes, I didn’t know what else was needed for a diaper change.

While I had no idea how I was going to take care of our new little one, I was determined to be practical about the purchase we were going to make. Here’s some of the baby registry tips I learned along the way:

1 Rocking Chair: You can spend more on a rocking chair than a used car. While I didn’t go that route, I did research quite a bit. Not all chairs are made the same and some are MUCH more comfortable than others. I was surprised at how few chairs had tall backs. While it’s ideal to test out the chairs in person, reviews are helpful.

I’m so happy we opted for a dark colored chair. Milk spills and baby spit up are an everyday occurrence. I cringe to think of what our chair would look like if it were white or cream. Here’s the rocking chair we purchased. (PS… It has a tall back)

2 Baby clothing: Yes, baby blue, light pink and white make for adorable baby clothes. But guess what’s not so adorable? Light colored clothes that show stains all over. Diaper blowouts are a real thing and stained outfits are no fun. No Declan isn’t dressed in black every day, but I intentionally registered for some darker colored onesies and outfits

3 Same thing goes for bibs. I don’t understand why white cotton bibs even exist. From personal experience, caked on sweet potato puree doesn’t come off. After I learned this, Declan’s bibs got washed maybe once a week. Gross? Yeah maybe. But you probably can’t tell which ones have been washed recently and which haven’t. While it’s inevitable that bibs will get stained, I tried to stick with dark colored ones. Or better yet, these plastic ones.

[Psst! Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with my latest posts and ideas]

Make sure to read these baby registry tips before you create your own registry! These smart, savvy and practical tips will help you register for the RIGHT items! Great for first time moms!

4 Think outside the box – room decorations, bookshelves, etc. If you need it, people will buy it 🙂 .

5 I really wanted our nursery to be complete well before Declan arrived. So on my Amazon registry I marked all the nursery decoration items as ‘priority’ so that friends & family would select those items first. I’m a huge fan of registering at Amazon. I even wrote a whole blog post about why.

6 I wanted a nice diaper bag. Make sure you think about how you’ll use it. Some people like the backpack one. Others want smaller ones, or larger. Some want fancy leather ones. I registered for a this-doesn’t-look-like-a-diaper-bag diaper bag at Land of Nod. It makes me feel like something I have on is put together even when I’m feeling (and looking) like a mess.

7 Just because everyone else is buying it, it doesn’t mean you should. It’s REALLY helpful to understand what products are useful to others. Just know that there’s no ‘every single parent in the entire world must have this product’.

8 Make sure your registry has a variety of price points. Some people don’t like adding really expensive items to their registry, but keep in mind that your friends/family can join together to purchase those bigger items. (Several of my college friends purchased our crib for us).

9 Consider your storage space. Many baby items have a very short lifespan. A bassinet may only last 6 months, a Bumbo seat may end up only being usable for a month. Do you want items that can double dip (pack & play with a bassinet on top) or that fold up compact when not in use (this bouncer)? If you’ve got limited space, don’t worry. More and more products on the market are foldable and/or have multiple uses!

10 I found it was worth spending on items that would make my life easier as opposed to picking out cutest wash cloth and towel set possible.

Make sure to read these baby registry tips before you create your own registry! These smart, savvy and practical tips will help you register for the RIGHT items! Great for first time moms!

11 Ask your friends for their recommendations, but also take it a step further, WATCH them use the product in action. While you may have never given a baby a bath before, watching a friend bath her baby will give you an idea of what products you may need. (Do you want a foldable bath tub? Do you want a special matt for the floor?)

12 Strollers & car seats: I found that most baby items can be evaluated online. But if I was to go into the store to take a look at an item, it would be the stroller and car seat. (This is the travel system we got. It’s great for tall parents!)

13 Return the gifts you don’t want. Ok, this one sounds mean. A friend gave me this idea and it was a game changer. We all get gifts that aren’t on our registry. Sometimes it’s a fun surprise and something you end up really using. Other times, it’s a duplicate item or something that you just don’t need. Most of the big retailers (Target, Buybuy Baby, Walmart) will accept the item without a reciept if they sell it in their store and give you store credit. Each store will have a different policy on their returns, but if you know you’re not going to use the item, it’s worth it!

14 Sizing: I recommend registering for clothing at LEAST 3 months or larger. You’ll receive clothing gifts not on your registry. People love to buy cute baby clothes. And most people won’t get you the larger sizes. Babies grow so quickly in the first couple months that even if you don’t have lots of newborn clothes, they likely won’t need them for long.

15 No matter how much you prepare prior to your baby arriving, you’ll need to purchase items after they baby’s born. I tried so hard to have everything done prior to Declan’s arrival, including buying everything I thought I would need. But there were still items that I purchased afterwards – gadgets that fellow moms swore by, items I claimed I didn’t have room for (hello bulky swing) that I made room for.

16 Right before my baby shower, I made sure that the only items on my registry were the ones that I really needed at the beginning right after Declan was born. Think: first 2 months of sleeping, bathing, feeding, and diaper changing. I knew these were the most important items for us to have. Yes, there were items, such as sippy cups and bath toys, that I knew I wanted. But Declan wouldn’t use until the later months.

I hope these baby registry tips are helpful for you! If I can leave you with one piece of advice (or words of wisdom??), everyone is overwhelmed with the baby registry! It just comes with the territory!

Make sure to read these baby registry tips before you create your own registry! These smart, savvy and practical tips will help you register for the RIGHT items! Great for first time moms!

 

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