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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Are pet supplies taking over your house? Take a look at these tips & tricks for ideas to keep your dog supplies organized! 

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

When we first brought home our little Doberman puppy, our focus was on how to take care of her and what supplies we needed, not how to organize all those pet supplies.

{Here’s our MUST HAVE Supplies, How We Prepared, and What We Wished We Would Have Known.}

But in no time at all, our home was cluttered with pet supplies in a not-so-organized fashion. I spent some time to develop a better system for us keep all her supplies, food and toys organized (and out of sight!). I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to maintain the system for over two years.

Instead of storing all Reagans supplies in one spot, we store them in the location in which they’ll be used (think: dog food near the dog bowls, shampoo near the tub). This is somewhat of a general rule for all supplies for our home, but is especially true for dog supplies.

Medications and treats

Reagan has a lot of allergies so she’s on daily oral medication and does not eat many treats. I keep both her medication and ‘approved’ treats in our kitchen as I typically give her medication snuck inside a bit of peanut butter (which she’s NO allergic to!).

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Feeding

We strategically placed Reagan’s bowls close to the closet where we store her food. This tall and narrow storage container is perfect for the closet. Plus, it has removable wheels! For easy access, we also keep the food scoop and fish oil (which we give her once a day with a meal) in her food container.

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Grooming 

Reagan gets her baths in our guest bathroom, so her supplies get their own cabinet.

Her bath supplies are pretty limited: shampoo, conditioner (yes, our dog gets conditioner 🙂 ) and two towels. We designated two old beach towels as ‘dog towels’ to dry her off after her bath.

Since we brush Reagan outside, her brush isn’t stored in the bathroom (keep reading below).

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Bones & Toys

Just like babies’ toys, dog toys can end up all over the floor. The easiest solution for us was leaving a basket close to ground level for all Reagans toys. This way she can grab and play with them as she likes and it’s easy for me to pick them up at the end of the day.

I placed a basket under our side table for all the toys. It’s both close to the ground and mostly out of sight: a perfect combination!

Now if I could just teach Reagan to put them away on her own 😀.

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Leash & Rain Jacket

Storing the leash and rain jacket (a requirement in Seattle!) in the coat closet off the main entry made the most sense. It’s easy to grab Reagan’s leash and my coat from the same closet before we go outside.

During the rainy months, we also keep our DIY dog mitt hung up.

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Outdoor toys

Last year Joe helped turn two planters in to storage benches for our front porch area. One of these is dedicated to Reagan’s outdoor toys (balls, frisbees, ball thrower, etc.) and poop bags. I really love keeping outdoor toys outside to prevent more dirt from getting in to the house, as her toys can get rather dirty from outside play.

I also store Reagan’s brush in the storage bench, as we always brush her outside!

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

I hope these tips help keep your home a little bit more organized with your furry bundle of joy!

Here’s some of my favorite pet supplies:


Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

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Keeping your work bag organized keeps your work TIME more organized as well. It’s a win-win in my book!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

While I work from home the majority of the time, several days a week I’m stationed at a coffee shop pounding away on my laptop. During the days I’m not at home, I try my best to utilize my time well. I’m much more efficient without tempting distractions (aka dishes that need to be done), so I value this work time! A big part of the success of my coffee shop work time is coming prepared with everything I need in my work bag to be as efficient as possible.

Here’s what I pack in my work bag

I’ve always been a big fan of pouches. You’ll find them in my suitcase, purse and work bag. In my work bag, I always keep at least two pouches.

Electronics Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven

  1. Computer Charger | Since I have an older laptop with a dying battery, I always keep my computer charger nearby!
  2. External Hard Drive | Every week, I backup the documents on my computer to my external hard drive. I get nervous that my computer could crash and I would forever lose all my documents! Ahh!
  3. Phone Charger Cord | I like to have several of these on hand in our home as I’m notorious for my phone dying.
  4. Portable Charger | When there’s no outlet to plug my phone in to, this portable charger has been my lifesaver!
  5. Headphones | I get distracted easily, so popping in my headphones and listening to music while I work is really helpful.
  6. Portable Flash Drive | I always keep at least one of these in my bag to easily backup my work.
  7. Clips to secure the cords | I like to keep all my cords under control! Having clips to keep them from tangling keeps me sane 🙂

For my smaller, thinner cords, I love these cord clips:

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Sometimes the best solution is found around the house: thick rubber bands often do the trick!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Blog Supplies Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

One | Two | Three | Four | Five

 

  1. Business Card Holder | I not only keep my business cards, but also business contacts I’ve met through conferences and work trips.
  2. Mini Sticky Notes | Always in bright colors!
  3. Receipt Holder | I keep all my receipts in pouches so that I’m able to process my taxes easily. I’m in the process of writing a post detailing how I handle all my blog finances!
  4. Note Pad | I typically take notes digitally, but I ldo ike to keep a pad of paper nearby.
  5. Pens & Highlighters | My pens go missing all the time, so I like to carry several!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

If I don’t also have my purse with me, I’ll pack my wallet, sunglasses and a

Toiletry Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

I like to keep mini versions of toiletry items that I use regularly. This includes items such as a small brush, lotion, chapstick, breath mints, nail file, mascara and a nail file.

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

My laptop is by far the heaviest item in my bag. It’s an older cheaper laptop which automatically means it weighs more than any out on the market today. Because of this, I like to use a sturdy work bag. If you’re willing to spend the money, I’m a huge fan of Lo and Sons bags, but I’ve found a canvas LL Bean bag also checks all my requirements!

Lastly, I bring a couple folders. The first is my ‘business folder’ which is part of my system to track of net earnings (more on this in a future post). The second is a ‘notes’ folder that includes anything written down from conferences and work trips (I’m a huge note taker).

Love these tips? Pin it for Later! Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Now I just need to grab a coffee and get to work 🙂 .

 


 

 


 

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Each year of blogging there’s projects that I just knocked out of the park and others that end up admittedly flopping. While I never intentionally post a ‘bad’ project, sometimes what sounds brilliant at the beginning just ends up not working out long term.

Do you ever wonder how well those projects you see on Pinterest or in magazines end up? Does the blogger still use that solution that they claimed was the ultimate life saver?

The projects I post here on the blog are always ones I’m actually working on for my home. I rarely post a project just to get something up on the blog. (My friends always ask me what I’m going to do with the blog once I’ve organized every in of our home. ‘Move?’ I say???)

Some of these projects have truly been game changers for me, making life easier, more organized, and less stressful. Others ended up not working the way I planned. Since I’m big on setting goals and taking time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, I decided to share my 2017 top 10 blog project wins & misses with you today!

So, I looked through this past year of blog posts and pulled out the projects that were the big winners of the year and ones that didn’t work at all.

Here’s my wins & misses for 2017:

Wins

These are my top 5 projects that have really stood the test of time this year. These are the ones that make me think ‘man, I’m a genius’. Don’t worry, I’ve got an equal number of misses to bring me back down to earth.

1 Fridge Liners | These were so incredibly easy and pretty much required NO skill at all. I used flimsy cheap plastic placemats (found at Target) as the liners. Making these really quick, I barely measured the space before trimming the placemats. I really believe this is one of the best beginner DIY organizing projects on my list.

DIY Fridge Liners (wins & misses)

2 Digital Christmas Card Storage | Being a professional organizer, I really hate to admit that I don’t like getting rid of things. Well, there I said it. That includes cards. I had STACKS of old Christmas cards from friends & family that I just didn’t want to part with. The problem was that these cards were taking up valuable space in our closet and realistically I never looked at them. To appease my desire to hold on to them with my need to clear up some space in one of our closets, I stored all these digitally.

digital Christmas card storage (wins & misses)

3 Foam Board Shelves | The white wire shelving in all our bedroom closets created some storage challenges for me, especially since I store a lot of non clothing type items in our closets. It’s pretty much impossible to store binders on wire shelving without something below. These wrapping paper covered foam boards were a quick fix that I honestly thought might be temporary. Well they’ve held up incredibly well over the year and I have no plans to change them.

foam board shelves (wins & misses)

4 Tax Preparation Process | Obviously, not a fun topic, right? Well that’s probably why this one ended up on the wins list. Each year Joe & I have the best intentions of being that couple that gives our tax docs to our accountant EARLY. You know the ones who get a discount on their taxes because they turn them in before anyone else?

Between job changes, a variety of investments, home purchases, and my blogging business, not only have our taxes gotten more complex, but so did accumulating all needed documents. The process and checklist we came up with has made a huge impact come January when we’re getting our taxes together. Yes, you read that right, JANUARY. We became ‘those people’.

Tax preparation process (wins & misses)

5 Front Porch Storage | The townhouse we moved in to a couple years back is a pretty good size for Seattle, but one thing we do not have is a garage. It was a concession we gave up while house hunting in a very expensive and competitive market. We got used to it pretty quickly and have been able to easily park our car right outside our house, but we do feel the effects of not being able to store items in a garage. You know the stuff you need to store, but don’t really want in the house? Lawn mower, bikes, outdoor kids’ toys, gardening supplies, etc.

We (well Joe) upcycled two plant containers in to storage bins to hold some of Reagan’s supplies, gardening tools and bike cleaning items (Joe’s a big cyclist). Essentially, it’s the stuff that I don’t want stored in the house because we only use them outside. This was a HUGE win for us.

outdoor porch storage (wins & misses)

Misses

Now on to the ones that just didn’t work the way they were intended. I had the best intentions with these 5 projects, but in the end, they just didn’t work the way I envisioned them. Live and learn.

1 Dog Paw Mitt | Living in rainy Seattle with a big Doberman, I thought this cleaning mitt would be a life saver. It just didn’t work for us. Because of Reagan’s size (she’s about 75 lbs), I sometimes need more than one small mitt. The other problem we encountered is that we just don’t have a great place to hang it. Cute idea, but just didn’t use as intended.

dog paw mit (wins & misses)

2 Painted Wooden Hangers | More than anything, I think these were just fun! But practically, I found myself not using them the way I thought I would. Yes, they brighten up our closet, which I LOVE. But I didn’t use color coded hangers for real organizational needs. I already had a system for keeping my closet organized and incorporating colored hangers ended up being unnecessary for my needs.

painted wooden hangers (wins & misses)

3 Organizing Baby Feeding Supplies | This one just makes me laugh every time I read it. Oh this new mom was a little naive in assuming that all the baby feeding supplies would stay in nicely organized labeled bins. Realistically as time went on what worked best for us was to have ONE drawer that we threw all feeding supplies in (sippy cups, spoons, formula, teething rings, bibs) and one small station on our counter for bottles. Sometimes I cringe when I open that drawer, but I know right now this is the best solution for me.

organizing baby feeding supplies (wins & misses)

4 Labeled Paint Cans | I’m actually really glad that I did this project. We had lots of paint cans left over from our builder, as well as paint cans from rooms I painted. So, I wanted to make sure these were appropriately labeled to make touch ups easy. I’m planning on updating these by using my label maker to label each can with the ROOM the paint belongs to. Then I’ll create a google doc that lists all the details (paint color, brand, etc). These paper-y labels just don’t seem to hold up long term, especially with paint spills.

labeled paint cans (wins & misses)

5 User Manual Binders | This binder is a HUGE improvement to what we used to have: warrantees and manuals scattered all over our house. Yet, the reality is that since putting this binder together, I’ve actually never used it. Also, as my husband pointed out, most of the user manuals can be found online. Plus, the binder is literally overflowing. A project that I’d like to do this winter is to get all this information stored online.

warenties & user manuals (wins & misses)

While it’s never fun to recount the quote on quote ‘failures’, it is a good reminder to me that creating solutions that work for your home and family do take some trial and error. Some of my projects were home runs from the start and others needed some tweaking to fit for our family. Even the ones that didn’t work at all helped me to figure out what WOULD work for our family.

I’m excited for the upcoming year as I’ve got lots of projects I want to tackle!

If you’re thinking of getting organized for the new year, take a look at some of my favorite affordable organization products here. I’m not a big believer of buying your way to organization, so I choose my products carefully.

See you in the new year!

 

 


 

 

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I appreciate everyone’s continued support for Crazy Organized: visiting the blog, reading my newsletters and following along on social media. All the support has kept my little business growing for the last couple years!

(PS… here’s the most popular blog post to date!)

I’m a huge fan of setting goals and spending some time reflecting on what worked and what didn’t. And it goes without saying that I love planning. So, in effort to get a head start on planning the blog for 2018, I want to get some feedback from all of you!

Each year between Christmas and New Year’s (you know that time where no one really knows what to do), I spend a good chunk of time prepping the blog for the following year: brain storming blog posts, updating the website, getting taxes ready (ugh), and making a list of priorities for the upcoming year.

I thought it would be a great time to pick your brain and find out a little bit more about your organization style & what you’re working on for the new year.

And as a thank you for filling out this super quick survey, you’ll be entered in to a raffle for a $50 Amazon gift card!

 

You can also click THIS link to take the survey. 

 

Stop by next week when I share the results! Until then, continue enjoying the holidays and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

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