Tips for an Organized Linen Closet

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6 tips for an organized linen closet

My home’s upstairs hallway linen closet used to be a mess! I used to dread using it! It was so bad that I could hardly put things away, or when I did, I had to stuff everything in. It looked terrible! This is what the closet used to look like:

messy and disorganized linen closet

One day I finally decided to tackle the closet, and was surprised at how little time it took to get it organized! It took me less than an hour! These are the steps I used to quickly organize my home’s linen closet:

1. Weed Out What’s Not Needed. One of the best ways to get a linen closet organized is by getting rid of what isn’t needed. My linen closet was stuffed with beach towels. My daughters’ birthday falls before summer vacation, so they always get at least a beach towel or two for their birthday. We don’t need 20 beach towels! So I donated some of the beach towels we don’t need anymore — I don’t think my daughters would want to use beach Disney princess towels anymore anyway!

2. Use Organizing Bins One way I organized my home’s hall linen closet is by placing our stash of paper towels and tissues in a cloth organizing bin. By placing all those loose odds and ends in one bin, our closet looks much more organized! Plus, our paper products are easier to find now!
3. Utilize Vacuum Seal Storage BagsIf you have some things that are seasonal or that you don’t use as often, consider storing them in vacuum seal storage bags. The bags are really easy to use — just fill them with your items, stick the hose of your vacuum in the bag’s opening, and vacuum out the air. You’ll be left with a small, flat package that will take up at least half the space your items took up before! I used a jumbo vacuum seal storage bag for extra towels that I’m not ready to part with yet.

If you look closely in the below photo, you can see the vacuum seal storage bag and black fabric bin that I used to organize my linen closet. The rolls of toilet paper you see on the upper shelf in the closet in the photo have been since been moved to the cloth bin!

an organized linen closet


4. Use Center Shelves for Items You Use Most. For my home’s upstairs hallway linen closet, I used the center shelves for the towels and linens that my family uses the most. I stored seasonal items like holiday pillows on the very top shelf, and things that we don’t use much — like a vaporizer for colds — on the floor underneath the shelves. That way, the things that we use the most are most easily accessible.

5. Utilize Door Space. Don’t forget to use the door space for organization! I have a simple cloth bag that I hang on the inside of the doorknob. In the bag I store extra toothbrushes, toothpaste and other dental items. The bag makes it super easy for my kids to find what they need! A simple Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer would also be great for using the door space to organize things like, soaps, wash cloths, or hand towels.

6. Label. I only have one basket in my closet currently, but should I add more, I will definitely need basket labels! Labels make it easier to determine what’s in each basket — especially if your can’t easily see inside the basket (e.g., if its a tall cloth basket.) I think these Clothespin Mini Chalkboard Blackboard Labels are super cute and would work well with cloth baskets!

Now I have to organize some of the other closets in my home. Stay tuned!

DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Boards

DIIY fabric covered bulletin boardsI can’t believe that the new school year is almost here! In my daughters’ school district, school starts in about two and a half weeks! So, to get my kids ready for school, I made custom fabric covered bulletin boards for them!

I found a fun and easy way to put the bulletin boards together — I simply cut the fabric to fit the cork part of inexpensive bulletin boards, and pinned the fabric onto the board with decorative silver tacks!  My kids love their new bulletin boards, since they each picked out their own fabrics, and the boards match the decor of their bedrooms!

I am sharing the full tutorial for my easy DIY fabric covered bulletin boards at Ask Anna — hop on over to Ask Anna to see more photos of both bulletin boards and to get the full craft tutorial!

Back to School Ideas

back to school ideas for organizing your school year

The BACK TO SCHOOL countdown has begun! In my kids’ school district, the new school year is only about three weeks away! That means many of us moms will be scrambling to be ready for school and hectic fall schedules! So, I’m sharing some ideas to get the new school year off to a good start!

I love the DIY Homework Station Idea by Must Have Mom!  I love how she organized all her kids’ homework supplies (like notebooks, crayons, pencils, etc.) to fit neatly on one portable tray. And each school supply has its own container! Genius! My kids like to do their homework on our kitchen table, so this system would work perfectly for us!

Portable Homework Station by Must Have Mom

I pack my kids’ lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY during the school year. It can be tough coming up with healthy and new lunch ideas five days a week! So, I am really liking the Turkey Pesto and Avocado Rolls lunchbox recipe by Mommy Gaga! The rolls look super easy to prepare, and I know my kids would love them! Score!

Turkey Pesto and Avocado Rolls School Lunch
My kids have left items on the school bus in the past, so I really like the Back to School Backpack Tag by Kids Activities Blog! The tags are a fun and inexpensive way to label kids’ backpacks, lunch sacks, sports sacks and other school items!

back to school backpack tags
My kids are always famished when they get home for school, and are always looking for a little something to eat! I think these Easy Monster Fruit Pies by Catch a Tiger by the Tail would make for a fun (and unexpected) afternoon treat!

mini monster fruit pies
Lastly, I am sharing my own mini mud room! I put the mini mud room area together by my front door to help my kids and me get out of the door on time on school mornings! The area has everything we need to keep on track in the morning — a place to store our shoes and coats, a calendar to help us keep track of dates and events, a clock to keep us on schedule, a small mirror and a DIY dry erase board  for important reminders! I think our mud room area has been helpful in getting my kids off to school on time!

mud room
Here’s hoping these ideas help you launch a successful school year for you and your kids!

This post was shared at Project Inspired Link Party

Kitchen Coffee Station

kitchen coffee station

My husband and I are BIG coffee and tea drinkers — for me, a hot cup of English Breakfast tea with a little milk and sugar is just heavenly. We used to store our Keurig coffee maker on our kitchen counter, but it took up way too much space! So, I bought a stylish glossy black rolling kitchen cartonline (for just under $145) and converted it into a really useful kitchen coffee cart!

The cart really came in handy earlier this month when I hosted a bridal shower for my sister at my home. My sister’s sister-in-law to-be set up a really great coffee bar outside on the patio, but the folks who wanted decaf coffee or tea were able to step in my kitchen and brew themselves a custom cup of tea or coffee.

Visit my guest post at Ask Anna to read more about my new kitchen coffee station!



#GiftFellowes for Dads, Grads and Brides!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Fellowes Brands. I received a product sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

#giftfellowes M-12C shredder

With June around the corner, lots of us will be celebrating Father’s Day, graduations and weddings with loved ones. That means many of us will be searching for the perfect gift idea for that special someone. Gifting the perfect item to a grad, dad, groom or bride can be tough — you don’t want to get them another tie, picture frame or something that will end up in the back of a closet, creating clutter.

Take it from me, who has a lot of clutter in my house — you won’t want to gift a new grad, Dad or a happy bride or groom with extra junk — 54% of Americans admit to being overwhelmed by the clutter they already have, according to a recent survey.

#GiftFellowes for Less Clutter

fellowes shredder

The M-12C shredder makes a great gift!

The Fellowes M-12C Shredder, on the other hand, is a gift idea that dads, grads and newlyweds are sure to appreciate. I have an M-12C shredder in my kitchen, and I use it daily! Sad to say, most of my mail goes into the shredder, because much of it is junk mail! I keep the shredder in my kitchen because the M-12C doesn’t take up much space and has an attractive and sleek design. I also like that the M-12C has:

  • Cross-Cut blades that destroy 12 sheets of paper into approximately 302 particles per sheet for greater security
  • SafeSense® Technology that automatically disables the shredder when hands touch the paper opening
  • The ability to shred credit cards, paper clips, staples and junk mail for added convenience
  • A 5 minute run time before automatic cool down.
Fellowes M-12C shredder

I have been putting my Fellowes M-12C shredder to good use!

I really like my shredder! I don’t have to worry about my kids hurting themselves with the shredder because of its safety features. Plus, the shredder saves energy with its cool down feature, and I can throw any of my junk mail into it with no worries of hurting the machine. My home’s kitchen table hasn’t been cluttered with junk mails these days, because most of it goes straight into the shredder! I can also shred many of my bills once they are paid, so that helps to keep my kitchen table clear, too.

The M-12C is available at and at Target stores nationwide with a suggested retail price of $99.99.

For More Information

Fellowes website:

Fellowes M-12C Shredder Product Page:





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Monday Favorites (Link Up Party Picks)

link up party favorites and picks from Mom Home Guide

Last week, I was lucky enough to co-host the Creative Spark Link Up Party. It was so much fun! There were so many great projects and ideas shared! So today I am sharing my favorite tutorials and projects from that party!

I am crazy about Deb from Seeking Lavender Lane’s Tutorial on how to keep a beautiful home with kids! I think she’s just brilliant! In her tutorial, she shows how she hides her kids’ toys and craft items in plain sight! Her post shows her beautiful living space, complete with grey walls and white furniture. Her space looks like it’s right out of a magazine! But scattered throughout the room is lots of hidden storage space, like the DIY decorative book storage boxes that she made to conceal and store her kids’ crayons! If your kids have a lot of toys, and you don’t have much space to store it in, you have to take a look at her post!

how to organize kids toys in your living space

Source: Seeking Lavender Lane

I am craving spring and springtime gardening, so the Welcome Garden Wreath by Lisa of Concord Cottage really caught my eye! I love how she made the wreath at no cost with items she already had on hand, like gardening gloves, a watering can and a pool noodle! So cute!

welcome spring garden wreath

Source: Concord Cottage

I also adore the Pom Pom Embroidery Hoop by Carrie of Curly Crafty Mom! I think her craft is such a smart way to add color to and personalize a kid’s room! I will be working on this craft project soon!

pom  pom embroidery hoop

Source: Curly Crafty Mom

That’s it for this week’s favorites! Be sure to stop by Wednesday to link up your projects at Wednesday’s A Little Bit of Everything Link Up Party, and stop by Monday to see which projects were chosen as my favorites!

Enjoy your Monday!

How to Organize Toys for Kids

Today I’m off enjoying the weekend with my family, so I thought I’d share one of Mom Home Guide’s oldies but goodies!

A big problem most moms face is how to organize toys for my kids. It seems that these days, kids have way more toys than kids did when I was young. Or, maybe, my parents did a better job of organizing my and my sister’s toys when we were kids than I do organizing my kids’ toys. I just find it hard to organize toys!

My daughters’ room doesn’t get cleaned as often as it should because it takes me over an hour just to clear all their toys off the floor and their beds before I can change their sheets, make their beds, vacuum, etc. Sometimes, I simply just don’t know where to put it all!

Getting Organized

So, what to do? I’ve found that often, the best inspiration comes from other moms and parents. So, I went to Pinterest and searched for organization ideas that other parents have pinned.

One great idea I found is using wire bins to store stuffed animals on a bookcase. It seems like the bins would do a great job of keeping plush toys from falling off the shelf.

organize, toys, bookshelf, wire, bins

Another great idea I found, from the Iheartorganizing blog, is turning an Ikea bookshelf on its side to create a cute bench for organizing toys – all you need to add are some cushions and storage bins. I am hoping that if I ever get the playroom together that I’d like to add my home’s basement, I could add a bench like this:

iheartorganzing, playroom, ikea,bookshelf, bench

Source: Iheartorganizing

Something as simple as adding some cloth organizing bins to a regular bookshelf might work, too. For example, I recently used cloth bins to organize the bookshelf in my home’s upstairs hallway.

how to organize your home

We use the upstairs hallway as a mini hangout space for the kids, so it can use some organizing!

TV area, wall mural, beanbag chairs

We Could Use Your Tips!

Have any great toy organization ideas? I’d love to hear them!


Kiwi Crate Family Brands >>

#FF Follow Friday Faves!

follow friday, #ff

Happy Friday, everyone! In honor of the end of the work and school week, I thought I’d share with you some of my Follow Friday (#FF) faves!

To start out, I love the wire heart ring tutorial by Erlene of My Pinterventures. I never thought I would try to make jewelry, but I might give her rings a try! They are so pretty, and they don’t look that difficult to make! Her rings might make nice gifts for my daughters for Valentine’s Day! I met Erlene through the Spring Craft Blog Hop that we co-hosted this week together!

wire heart ring

My next fave is the lace dress for winter by Carrie of Crafty Curly Mom. I really love how the lace dress looks layered with the cool green jacket, lovely scarf and navy tights! I think her outfit would be a wonderful fit for Valentine’s Day! I met Carrie through a secret Santa blogger gift exchange that we both participated in this year, and it’s been fun getting to know her and her wonderful blog!

lace dress for winter
This week I also loved the Fast and Easy Valentine’s Sugar Cookies recipe by 5MinutesforMom.  I’ve been following 5MinutesforMom for quite a while now! With Valentine’s Day coming up, I will be needing a sugar recipe so my kids and I can bake and decorate some cookies together!

easy, sugar cookie, recipe, valentine
I know I will be trying the Tips for Organizing a Small Fridge by Ask Anna.  I have been enjoying my stint as a decorating guest blogger for Ask Anna since September. My home’s fridge is small, so it’s hard to find everything in there! (Especially when I cram everything in!) My home’s fridge sure needs some organizing!

tips for organizing a small fridge
Hope you enjoy these faves of mine, and enjoy your weekend!

An Organized Home in 2015

organize your home

Hey, everyone! How has your weekend been? It’s a rainy weekend here in New Jersey, and my family and I are feeling a little cooped up because of the weather! LOL

So, I am here blogging through the rain, and decided to share one of my top goals for 2015 — GETTING MY HOME ORGANIZED! I got a lot done over the past few months in organizing the clutter in my house, so I decided to share a few of the organizing tactics that have worked for me so far.

Organize the Basement

If your home has a basement like mine does, you are in luck! A basement is a great place to store and corral all your stuff! My family has a lot of stuff that we don’t know what to do with. Luckily, my husband has put up wall-to-wall shelves in the basement to organize our belongings: Our holiday decorations, our kids’ toys and my craft supplies! The shelves are great! This year, I hope to get the basement even more organized, so I can free up some space in the basement for an exercise or rec center! There is a lot of valuable real estate down in the basement that could be put to good use!


shelves, basement, storage

Walls of shelves in my home’s basement for storage

Storage Bins

how to organize a home

Bins are great for concealing and organizing clutter

I’ve found that bins are a great way or organize everything from books, to movies to office supplies! My home’s second floor has wall to wall shelves in a second-floor hallway. The bookshelves are filled with books and movies and can look messy at times, so I use fabric bins to make the space look less cluttered. The bins also help me to organize our stuff so it’s easier to find everything!

Create a Mud Room Space

If your home is small like mine, it might lack a hall coat closet or ample space to store coats, shoes and hats. So, I’ve created a mini mud room space in my home’s front entrance area, by adding bins and shelves for shoes, a wall-mounted coat rack, a mirror for last-minute touch-ups and a clock for making sure that we get out of the door on time! It’s a simple system, but it works! In 2015, I am thinking of perhaps adding some chalk paint to the shelves in the mud room area to add a dash of color!

mud, room, shoe, organize, store, storage
Organized Pantry

My home doesn’t have a pantry, so a large cabinet space has to serve as a pantry instead. I’ve found that using bins in my makeshift pantry area does wonders in keeping all the canned goods and boxed pasta, etc., neat and organized.

pantry, organize, cloth bins, storage

My organized pantry with cloth storage bins.

Use Top of Fridge Space

Because my home’s kitchen doesn’t have a pantry or lots of cabinet space, I’ve had to use the top of the fridge for more storage space. I’ve found that using two pretty wicker baskets really works well! In those baskets I store water bottles and extra plastic storage containers that I don’t have space for elsewhere.

kitchen, basekets, refrigerator, storage

Using more baskets is one way to plan to get more organized this year.

Stay Tuned!

I have lots of organizing projects planned for 2015, including organizing my home’s linen closets, straightening up the master bedroom closet and getting the kids’ rooms organized! Check back for more fun organizing tutorials!

Fellowes M-12C Shredder: The Gift of Security #GiftFellowes

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Fellowes Brands. I received a product sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

fellowes m-12c shredd

Around the holidays, things can get crazy in my house! There is the decorating, the shopping … and lots and lots of extra junk mail! Sometimes I don’t know what to do with it all! That is where my new Fellowes M-12C shredder comes in handy! I think the Fellowes M-12C shredder  (available at Target stores nationwide and with a suggested retail price of $99.99) would make a great holiday gift for anyone who is looking to get organized and protect their household from identity theft this holiday season.

My husband I take great pains to remove and shred any personal information and our address from any mail that we receive in our home to protect ourselves from identity theft. Identity thieves collect names and addresses to steal identities and money. Identity thieves can actually get this information by going through your trash. So, my husband and I shred credit card convenience checks, credit card offers, utility bills and anything that has our names, addresses or financial information on it before putting it in the trash. Since I am the one who deals with the mail in our house, that means a lot of extra work for me! In the past, I’ve had to stand over the trash with our junk mail and finely shred it by hand. What a pain!

Gift of Identity Theft Protection

Now that I have my new Fellowes M-12C Shredder, I simply take unwanted junk mail to my Fellowes M-12C Shredder, shred it, and worry no more! With my shredder, I don’t have to fret about thieves getting personal information from my trash. The shredder is sleek and compact, so I can keep it in my kitchen, in a corner by the kitchen table, which is great! I simply sit at the table, read my mail, and toss the junk mail right into the shredder! I like that the trash bin for the shredder is hidden within the shredder and is easy to slide out, so there is no mess!

The cross-cut blades on my Fellowes M-12C Shredder can shred 12 sheets of paper at a time into about 302 particles per sheet for added security. I don’t have to worry about tossing junk mail into it, because it can shred credit cards, paper clips and staples with no problem! I won’t overwork my Fellowes M-12C Shredder, because it will shred for 5 minutes before automatically cooling down. That is a good thing, because the amount of junk mail I have to shred on a daily basis is downright ridiculous!

fellowes shredder

I don’t have to fret about my kids accidentally getting their hands hurt with the shredder — its SafeSense® Technology disables the shredder automatically when hands touch the paper opening.

Fellowes M-12C shredder

I have been putting my Fellowes M-12C shredder to good use!

Easy Holiday Gift Packing

I recently found a new and fun way to use my shredder! I had some holiday gifts to pack and mail for the holidays, and needed some package filler to protect my gifts from breaking or jostling around during shipment. So, I just grabbed some clean red and green paper, shredded it, and filled my shipping boxes with it! Voila! Pretty shipping material for my holiday gifts! I think adding shredded paper to wrapped holiday gifts would be a fun way to add some color to the gifts that I will be putting under the tree this year!

packing gifts with shredded paper

I am glad that the Fellowes M-12C made it to my home for the holidays this year! Thanks, Fellowes!

christmas tree

A House Full of Clutter: My Daily Struggle

how to organize a home

When my husband and I moved into our house, our home, save for a small pile of boxes in the basement, was blissfully empty. We wondered how we would fill the house! Now, some 12 years later, our house is filled with so much stuff that I don’t know what to do with it all! I am constantly working to organize it all.

An Organized Chaos

The biggest problem in my house is that nobody (except for me) really wants to get rid of anything. While I’ve been dutifully emptying my unneeded stuff out of our home bit by bit, the other members of my family have been clinging to nearly every possession! My kids offered to sell some of their old toys in a recent garage sale, but sadly, there was very little they were willing to sell.

Luckily, we have been able to contain our mess to just a few areas of our home:  the basement, a small unused spare bedroom, and sadly, our master bedroom! I will share with you my progress in neatening up those spaces within the next few months.

A Clean Living Space

The neatest room in my house is my home’s living room – I am very happy about that! A room that was once held two toys boxes and often had toys on the floor now has a beautiful new sofa, ottoman and area rug! The sofa was my Christmas gift last year, and I have to say that the sofa goes a long way in making me feel happier about our home! I love our new living space and recently redecorated the living room for fall!

sunny, bright, living room, reveal

See how nice and empty the space is? I love it!!

To the Rescue

Luckily, a few months ago, my husband put up wall to wall shelves up along one length of my home’s basement. (Thanks, honey!!) Those shelves have been a godsend! Lately, I have been using those shelves to sort my kids’ toys and to get them up off the floor. Sadly, my work often becomes undone after a play session down in the basement, so I will have to put my kids to work and have them neaten up the space.

shelves, basement, storage

Lots and lots of  toys!

Cleaning House

While most of my work in the basement is spent sorting and organizing toys, I sometimes donate items my family no longer needs to make my job much easier! This morning I spent just one hour in the basement, and I was able to donate three large garage bags of stuff to my a local thrift store, Greater Goods Thrift Store. Money from the thrift store’s proceeds go toward the charitable organization, Rise, which runs a food bank and helps local struggling families. I feel doubly good about donating my unneeded things to the thrift store: It helps me to create some space in my home’s basement, and I know that my unneeded belongings can help other families.

More to Do

Check in to see how I do against the daily battle against clutter in my home! Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing strategies for conquering clutter, and the progress I make on getting rid of the clutter in my home’s basement and in the living areas of my home. Wish me luck!

Free Printable Calendar for 2015

Do you feel like this year is speeding by? I do! My family and I were just enjoying summer and trips to the beach, and now we are already firmly entrenched into the school year! It won’t be long before my family will be planning dates for 2015, so we’ll need a 2015 calendar! So I thought I’d make up my own free printable 2015 calendar for both my family and yours! Who couldn’t use a free printable calendar?free printable 2015 calendarThe free printable calendar has fairly large boxes for each date so hopefully there’s room to track every family member’s busy schedule! I am lucky that my kids are twins and like many of the same pursuits, so they share a few activities. Thank goodness! That’s helpful for a busy mom!

I got my idea to make a free printable calendar from Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog, who always makes great printables! Feel free to check out her free printable 2015 calendar, too!

More Free Printables

I have been into making fun printables to help keep my family organized, so be sure to check those out! I’ve recently made a free printable chore chart for tweens (or older kids) and a free printable weekly cleaning schedule. Hopefully these printables will help us manage our busy fall schedules more easily!

free printable chore chart for tweens
free printable weekly cleaning schedule



I am linking this project up at Creative Spark Link Party.

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Early Morning Routine for a Night Owl

bathroom routine, clean, bum, wipe, cleansing, cloths, toilet paper

This post is sponsored by Cottonelle.

I bet this sounds like a lot of moms’ early morning routines. Your morning schedule starts early, so you get dressed in 10 minutes or less and throw on sweats before seeing your kids off to school. That’s my routine this year! My husband and I are night owls, and I get up at 6 a.m. to make breakfast and help my kids out the door, so I’ve been very sleep deprived!

So, I’ve developed a quick routine to make myself presentable enough to walk my kids to the bus stop. Now, I don’t actually have to walk them to the bus stop (none of the other parents do), but this is my kids’ first year taking the bus, so I am having a little trouble letting go!

Quick Early-Morning Routine Products

These are my favorite products for getting myself ready in 10 minutes or less on school mornings — in just over one week of school so far, I’ve gotten it down to a science! (Thank goodness I can take a leisurely shower later once the kids are in school.)

1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub: Part of my early morning routine includes washing my face with Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash, Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub. I just love this scrub — it is gentle on my sensitive skin, but also helps take care of blemishes. The pleasant grapefruit scent also helps to wake me up in the morning!

2. Listerine Mouthwash: Listerine mouthwash gets ride of any morning breath I may have, so I don’t worry if I run into a neighbor or two on my way to the bus stop! I also like that it does more than freshen breath — it helps prevent gum disease.

3. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Makeup: I love this makeup — it does a great job in evening out my often red and blotchy skin, is kind to my sensitive skin and helps protect my very fair complexion from the sun! This base is also practically scent free – the scent in other brands bothers my sensitive nose/allergies.

4. Mary Kay Compact with eyeshadows and blush: I adore my Mary Kay compact. I can fill it with the eye shadow and blush colors of my choice and is not pricey at all! I also love that I can try on my color choices at home with my Mary Kay consultant and return whatever doesn’t work for me!

5. Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper and Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths: Because I don’t have time to shower before stepping out of my house in the morning, I want to be extra sure that I am as clean as possible. I like the softness of Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper and the extra security of the Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths. The wipes are alcohol-free so they are harsh on one’s skin, and they are sewer and septic safe, so I don’t have to worry about my home’s plumbing.

Rite-Aid Cottonelle Coupon

I got my Cottonelle products for $1 off at my local Rite-Aid, and you can, too. Visit the Rite-Aid website and watch the 30-second video. After the video, you can log in to receive a coupon to download for $1.00 off your purchase of Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths and Cottonelle Clean Care toilet paper.

cottonelle, rite-aid, coupon

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Back to School Mud Room Area

mud, room, how, to

With fall and winter upon us, and the school year into full gear, having a family mud room is essential. I know one is needed in my house! We need a place to hang our coats and drop off our sometimes wet and muddy shoes. My home isn’t very large, and we don’t have a coat closet by the front door, so we have created a “mud room” out of a small space.

This is what I have found helpful to have in our “mud room” space:

1. Easy-to-Clean Floors: Tile flooring is great for a mud room floor, since it’s easy to clean and durable. My mud room area just inside my home’s front door has linoleum flooring, which I don’t love, but at least it stands up to dirt and wetness better than the carpeting that runs through the rest of my home. (I would love to replace the carpeting with hardwood flooring, but that’s another story!)

 2. A Place to Stash Shoes: A mud room should have a place to take off wet shoes and boots, and a place to store them, as well. In my mud room area, I have fabric bins in a small bookcase — the bins give my family a place to stash our shoes.

mud, room, shoe, organize, store, storage

3. Hooks for Jackets and Coats: It seems obvious that a coat closet should be placed near a home’s front door, but my home doesn’t have one. (Go figure!) So just above our mud room’s shoe storage area, I’ve hung a coat rack for our jackets and coats — otherwise, we’d have to walk almost all the way to the back of our home to hang up our coats!

4. Someplace to Sit: I am still hunting for a small stool or bench to keep just adjacent to my home’s mud room area — our mud room area is actually too small to house a small stool. LOL. So now, my family and I sit on the steps just off our mud room area, or try to put on our shoes while still standing.

5. Clock: When my kids were younger, I was constantly dropping them off at school at least a minute or two late each morning. It wasn’t until I hung a clock by the front door that I realized that it took my kids longer to put their shoes on than I realized! Anyway, I tend to run late, so I need a clock to keep me on schedule!


mud, room, clock, message, board, dry, erase
6. Message Board: My family has a message board just to the right of our front door, and it is very handy! It helps to remind us what needs to be brought to work and school and what else needs to be accomplished that day.

7. Calendar: A calendar is also a useful mud room essential — sometimes I wouldn’t know what day it is or where I am heading if I didn’t have my calendar to glance at! Our calendar is hung on our front door, and on that calendar are all my kids’ school holidays, after-school events, etc. I have the calendar custom printed each year, just before school starts.

mud room, back to school, calendar

8. Mirror: A mirror is a great thing to have in a mud room for those last-minute touch-ups before running out the door — “running” being the most appropriate word for my family!

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Do you have a mud room in your home? What items have you found to be essential for your mud room space? For more on how to design a small mudroom, take a look at this gorgeous mini mudroom area from Fry Sauce and Grits! I think I need to add some color to my mudroom space! What do you think?

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Marker Roll Up Tutorial & Teacher Gift

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Office Depot, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #inspirestudents

My kids moved up to middle school this year, which means buying a lot more school supplies! My daughters and I visited our local Office Depot and stocked up on everything we needed before school started. I picked up some Sharpies, Papermate pens and scented Mr. Sketch markers. The pens, Sharpies and markers will be great for a back-to-school teacher gift! I know teachers have to cart a lot of school supplies around, so I thought it would be nice to make a pen and marker roll up as a back to school gift.

fabric, roll, up, marker, pen, teacher, gift, school
I adore office supplies, and really like the colors available in the Sharpies, Mr. Sketch markers and Papermate pens. I found a crayon roll up tutorial at Make-it and Love-it and adapted it to fit my fabric’s size and my office supplies for my pen and marker fabric roll up teacher gift. For my fabric, I used fabric cloth napkins that I had left over from my cloth napkin pillow project. (I recently made really great inexpensive pillows for my new living room sofa.)

sharpies, markers, pens

Fabric Roll Up Materials

Two 17.5 x 17.5 cloth cloth napkins; one trimmed to 17.5 x 9 inches

21-inch ribbon (or you can use the fabric left over from your trimmed napkin)

Coordinating thread

Pen & Marker Roll Up Tutorial

Fold both pieces of fabric in half lengthwise and iron. Using sharp fabric shears, trim your second piece of fabric to 17.5 inches x 9 inches. Sew a 1-inch hem on the raw edge of your cut fabric.

Take the smaller piece of folded fabric and sew a seam close to the folded edge. Open the large piece of fabric and put the smaller one on top. Match the two raw edges of the smaller piece of fabric with the long raw edge (opposite the fold) of the big piece of fabric. Sew along that long (17.5 inch )raw  edge.

fabric, roll, up, pens, markers, supplies

Fold the empty half of the big piece of fabric over the smaller piece that you just sewed on and pin it along the 17.5 inch edge and the two sides. (Fold in half where you ironed the fold on the large piece of fabric, but in the opposite way.) All the four raw edges of fabric are now pinned together.

Sew along all three sides (not the fold). Leave at least 4 inches open at the bottom, so you can turn your roll up right side out. Trim all four corners of your roll up, and then turn your fabric right side out.

Iron your roll up flat and sew around all the sides, close to the edge.

dew, fabric, roll, up, marker, pen

Now you need to sew the compartments in your top pocket for your markers and pens. What I did was lay out my markers and pens along the pocket, and pinned where I wanted each compartment to be.

sew, fabric, roll, up, pen, marker

Sew in each compartment seam. Turn your marker and pen roll up over, and pin on your ribbon.

fabric, roll, up, ribbon

Fabric roll up with ribbon


Sew on the ribbon, making sure you don’t stitch any of your compartments closed.

fabric, roll, up, market, pens, teacher, gift
Your pen and marker fabric roll up is complete!
sew, craft, fabric, roll, up, marker, pen, teacher, gift

I really like how the pen and marker fabric roll up came out, and think it’s really handy for carrying pens and markers in a purse, briefcase or backpack.

Are you interested in making your own pen and marker fabric roll up? Now is a great time to head out and get your supplies, because Office Depot and Office Max will allow you to save $5 Off your purchase of $20 or more on Select Newell Rubbermaid Brands (PaperMate, Expo Neon Window Markers, Sharpie, Uni-Ball, & Mr. Sketch), while supplies last. That’s a good deal!

Do you have a great back to school teacher gift idea? I would love to see it! Tag me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram and use the hashtags #InspireStudents #TeachersChangeLives #pmedia. 

I am linking this project up at Pin Junkie Pin PartyBe Awesome Link Party #12 , Moonlight and Mason Jars # 71 , Work It Wednesday and Inspire Me Monday (24).

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