Freezer Inventory Printable

Freezer Inventory Printable- Free

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone is having a great week so far.  I know I am ready for the weekend!  In my last post, I shared how I organized my freezer.  Once I was done, I quickly realized that even though I remember what is in my freezer now, in a few weeks I will probably forget again.  So to solve that problem I made a freezer inventory printable that I wanted to share with you… for FREE :).

Organized Freezer

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

I am loving my newly organized freezer.  I know right where everything is and can easily access items on the back of each shelf using my DIY pull out “drawers”.

Freezer Inventory Printable

I have a terrible memory.  I always tell myself I will remember when I did/cooked things, but in the end, I always forget.  My solution to this is to label EVERYTHING.  I put labels on leftover food, I label items like salsa, hot dogs, pasta sauce, and chicken broth with dates that I opened them so that they don’t sit in my fridge for a year long time.  It only makes sense that I also do this in the freezer.   I label vacuum sealed meats with their name and date.  I also label any cooked leftovers before storing them away in the freezer.

Now that I have gone through and cleaned out my freezer, I want to be better at using what I already have when meal planning.  Since I just touched everything in my freezer I can remember what I have.  But I know in just a short time, I will forget it all.  Although it is easy to see nearly everything I have in each category by just pulling out a bin,  I wanted to create a freezer inventory printable so that I don’t need to do that each time.  I also have another freezer in my garage (that currently needs love organization love).  It will be nice to see everything I have in both freezers in one glance.

Freezer Inventory Printable- FreeDivide by Catagories

I divided the categories into beef, poultry, pork, seafood, produce, meals, and a section for miscellaneous items that I want to remember I have.  I plan to write down the items in my freezer along with the date that I froze them.  That way I use older items first when I pull them out to defrost and cook.  I also tend to keep several pounds of ground meat and chicken breast in my freezer.  For these, I will just keep a count next to each one and erase it when it changes.

I hope this free freezer inventory printable will be helpful with your freezer organization.  To access this free freezer inventory printable sign up for my newsletter mailing list below!  You can also download the meal planning printable that matches :).

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

How to Tackle Freezer Organization

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

I have been living with my newly organized refrigerator for about a month now and am LOVING it.  Because food is organized by groups and is labeled, my husband and kids have not messed it up LOL.  Also a quick tip for you; label your leftovers with a piece of washi tape and write the date you cooked it.  This comes in so handy when cleaning out the fridge.  I write dates on everything I open as well.  My Kitchen Home Project List is getting shorter and shorter and today I am showing you how I tackled freezer organization.

Hot Mess Before Picture

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

We have a real problem with just randomly stuffing things into our freezer.  I really had no idea what was in there besides what I could see directly in the front.  Whenever I would come home with groceries I would just put things wherever I could find room for it.  The only place where I knew something always lived was ICE CREAM 🙂  That always stayed on the top shelf.

Clean Out EVERYTHING

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

The first thing I did was get some ice chests and put everything in my freezer into them.  As I was pulling things out I took a mental note of the kinds of food I had and also threw out anything that wasn’t good anymore or freezer burnt.  I then quickly took out all the shelving to wash and closed the freezer back up.  After that, I wiped down the walls quickly and replaced the shelving back inside.

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

Find Storage Solutions for Freezer Organization

One of the main problems with my use of the freezer is once something got shoved to the back, it was never to be seen again haha.  I thought that if I could create “drawers” on the shelf it would be easier to access items in the back.  So I measured the width, height, and depth of the shelves and found these inexpensive Sterilite containers that fit perfectly.

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

I removed the lids and slide them right onto the shelves and can pull them out just like sliding drawers!

Separate Food into Groups

When I moved all of my food into the ice chest to clean out the freezer, I paid attention to what kinds of things I had.  Obviously, I had ice cream 🙂 along with breakfast items, frozen vegetables, dinner items, seafood, and meat.  Before placing the food into the containers, I labeled each one using my Silhouette Cameo.

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

I only have some very small space on the door itself so I used this to store freeze pops so the kids can easily reach them.  I also store our ice packs, teething rings for Elise, and a random lean cuisine for work lunch.

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

Freezer Organization

In order for things to fit a little nicer into the containers and door shelf, I took things out of their boxes.  I then placed my labeled containers on the shelves and filled them with everything from my ice chests.  Everything fit great and there is room in some containers to add more.  Also, you may notice there is a lot of space above my dinner box.  I may stack two containers here if I need more room. Or I may try to order another shelf for my freezer.

Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

Another great thing to have when freezing meat or seafood is a vacuum sealer.  I got this one from Amazon and it works just a good as my fancy food saver that broke a couple years ago.  I also buy the roll of freezer bags from Amazon and it lasts a long time.  We normally buy our ground meat and chicken breast from Sam’s or Costco in a large amount and separate them into one pound portions before vacuum sealing and freezing.  This system really saves us money and works great for our family.

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Freezer organization using plastic storage containers and organizing food into groups

I’m so excited that I actually know what is in my freezer now and can access everything easily.  Also going through my freezer is really going to help me with meal planning and making sure that I use what I already have.  I hope this post inspires you to tackle your freezer soon!

P.S.

I need to tell you a funny story on why it’s important to go through your freezer and clean it out every once in a while.  My lovely grandmother is 88 years old and has TWO deep freezers along with a small freezer above her refrigerator.  My dad is a fisherman and regularly brings her shrimp, soft shell crabs, and fish.  He also hunts and brings her deer and duck meat.  So as you can imagine she has accumulated quite a lot over the years.  And because she grew up during the depression, she NEVER throws anything away.  In 2005 when Katrina and Rita hit New Orleans, it flooded my grandmother’s house and she went without power for quite some time.  When they finally got back home to clean out her house and freezers, they found things from 1985.  Yes, 20-year-old food in her freezer.  So moral of the story, use what you have and clean out your freezer yearly so that you do not end up having 20-year-old things living in the bottom of it LOL.  Love you Maw Maw Evelyn!!

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

 

Meal Planning Center with Free Printable

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

One of my biggest struggles as a parent is the never ending question of “What’s for dinner?”.  I really dislike that question.  If it were up to me I would eat cereal every night.  Ok maybe not EVERY night, pizza is nice too haha.  No, but seriously, every day when we get home it is always a scramble to throw something on the table for us to eat.  And it never fails that I always succumb to the same 4 meals; spaghetti, tacos, chicken quesadillas, or red/ white beans and rice.  (Here in southern Louisiana, we have this marvelous thing call Blue Runner Beans and I can make red beans and rice in about 30 min!)  It’s like my brain doesn’t work past 6 pm and I can never think of something else to cook.  Throw in dancing school and other evening activities and the only solution seems to be picking up a pizza on the way home.  As part of my Kitchen Home Project List, I am tackling this re-occurring problem by creating a meal planning center in my pantry.

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

Find Recipes

I love Pinterest, who doesn’t right?  It is really a great resource for inspiration, including RECIPES!  It is so easy to find a board filled with great recipes and links right to the blog that wrote them.  Take some time after the kids go to bed to pin some recipes that look good.  Then when you get a chance print them out and keep them in a file folder or planner.  Also, there is always the option of going paperless with this and use your laptop or iPad when it comes time to start cooking.  I can see a disaster waiting to happen with electronics in my kitchen with small children so I’m going with paper :).

One thing I also love to do is next time you are visiting with your mom or grandma, ask them how they make some of your favorite childhood dishes and add that to your file.  Tearing out recipes from magazines is always a good way to collect ideas as well.  Once you get a decent collection of recipes, separate them into different categories.  I split mine up by beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and slow cooker.  I also have a small pile of desserts and side items that I keep separate from my main course files.

Here is a link to my Pinterest board for recipes if you want to check them out.

 

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

Make a Plan

I have always been a planner when it comes to everything else in my life.  I don’t know why up until now I didn’t do the same when it came to cooking!  So to get my butt in shape I made a cute printable to plan out all of our meals for the week along with a shopping list.  Every Sunday I take a few minutes to go through my recipe files and pick out things to cook that week.  I know that we have dancing every Monday and Wednesday night so I make sure that we either have a slow cooker meal going that day or leftovers from another meal.  Also, I can plan ahead if I know we have any other events that week or dinner plans with family or friends.

I can usually get by with cooking about 3 or 4 full meals a week and have leftovers the other nights.  For some of my meals I make a large amount and freeze some for a small meal for another time.  There really are so many options out there but the main component is PLANNING!  Once I know what we are cooking for the week, I check my pantry and fridge for ingredients needed and make a grocery list.  I usually stop by the grocery store on my way home from work on Mondays (with NO KIDS haha) and then I am set for the week.

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

You can access my free meal planning printable along with my other printables by signing up for my email list below.

Create a Meal Planning Center

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

I am a very visual person and the best way for me to remember to do something is by putting it right in front of my face LOL.  So in order for me to really accomplish my goal of meal planning on a regular basis, I set up a cute meal planning center on an empty wall in my newly organized pantry.

I had three goals for my new meal planning center; storage for my recipes, place to display meal plan for the week, and place to write down a grocery list.  I accomplished this goal by hanging a magnetic chalkboard that I got from TJ Maxx and a cute file holder from Hobby Lobby.  Hobby Lobby also sucked me into buying the pantry sign, which I know I could have made myself, but for only $12 I said what the heck :).  I organized my recipes into categories and labeled my files first by covering the tabs with some pink washi tape then with a clear label using this label maker.  I made a “This Week” file to keep in the front that holds all the recipes that I am cooking that week so that I can find them quickly.  There is also a binder with more recipes in the other file holder.

Other Meal Planning Resources

Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

As you can see in the picture above, I have a binder called “eMeals Recipes”.  A couple of years ago I signed up for emeals.com.  Every week they sent me 7 recipes to cook along with a grocery list.  They have several different types of meal plans to choose from depending on your diet.  I am a plain jane kinda girl so I just got the classic comfort selection for a long time. I have also tried clean eating and low calorie.  If you don’t have time to search for recipes on Pinterest and are not a picky eater, this may be a great option for you.  I used a Groupon when I got my membership so it was half price.  Also, I think just a year membership is enough to give you a ton of recipes.  Just make sure you cancel your membership before they automatically charge you again for the next year.

Here is a blog that posts a meal plan each Monday and links each recipe (www.orgjunkie.com).

Lastly, I know there are several options out there that will mail you ingredients like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.  I haven’t tried them out myself but have a couple friends that use them and love it.

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Create a Meal Planning Center in your Pantry or Kitchen. Keep Recipes Organized and use Free Printable to plan out your weekly meals.

Overall there are so many options out there to meal plan.  For me and my family, having a meal planning center results in less stress and saving money.  We also have less waste each week because we are only buying things we need for those planned recipes.  Remember if you would like a free copy of my Meal Planning Printable, subscribe to my email list.

What is your favorite go to recipes?  Tell me in the comments below, even share a link to them if they have one.  I’ll take all the help I can get, haha!

 

 

 

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

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8 Neutral Fall Decor Favorites from Pier One

Neutral Fall Decor Hello Fall Sign Pier 1

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Fall is right around the corner and I can’t wait for the weather to cool down and to start decorating!  My only issue with fall decorating is that I typically am drawn to blues and greens.  So putting a lot of orange and red colored items around my house just doesn’t fit well.  I am always on the hunt for more neutral colored items that blend well with my home.  Today I wanted to share with you some of the neutral fall decor I recently found at Pier 1 Imports.

At the top of my list is this awesome tin hello fall sign.  This sign would fit in well anywhere in my house right now.

Neutral Fall Decor Hello Fall Sign Pier 1

Pillows are a great way to change up your home decor with the seasons.  This beaded fall leaf pillow would be a great neutral addition to my couch.


Neutral Fall Decor Leaf Pillow Pier 1

I am in love with this woodland pumpkin.  It reminds me of drift wood, and it comes in two different sizes.

Neutral Fall Decor Wooden Pumpkin Pier 1

This blue harvest table runner would look beautiful on my farm table.

Neutral Fall Decor Blue Runner Pier 1

I bought these glass light up pumpkins for my mom a couple of years ago.  They look so pretty lit up on her mantle at night.

Neutral Fall Decor White Glass Light Up Pumpkins Pier 1

Another neutral fall pumpkin pillow that I need want for my sofa.

Neutral Fall Decor Pumpkin Pillow Pier 1

These hand painted pumpkins would be a nice addition to my mantle.

Neutral Fall Decor Blue Pumpkins Pier 1

Now I’m gonna step outside of my neutral comfort zone and show you two things that really caught my eye.  And the fact that they are both on sale didn’t hurt either :).  This fall magnolia garland would look beautiful on any mantle.

Neutral Fall Decor Magnolia Garland Pier 1

And this harvest wreath would look really pretty on my red front door.

 

Neutral Fall Decor Wreath from Pier 1

I hope you enjoyed this little shopping trip with me.  What are your favorite kinds of fall decor?  And do you decorate for fall then Halloween? Or do you just dive into Halloween cause that’s what I really can’t wait for :)!

 

 

 

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

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An Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

When I first moved into my house, one of the things I loved about it was that it had a walk in pantry/ laundry room.  The room is about 8’4″ x 5’7″ and has 5 rows of wire shelving for food storage.  There used to be a wire shelf above the washer and dryer too, but we pulled that out when we moved in and I’ve got big plans for that area…later.  We added another small shelving unit to the side wall for extra storage.  The space quickly got filled up and things have been out of hand for a while now.  I have been working on my Kitchen Home Projects List and really feel like I’m on a roll now :).  So next on my list is an organized pantry.

Tackling your Home Project List- Planner

Wire Shelving

The first issue I need to address is the wire shelving.  Boxes, cans, and containers all wobble on these shelves.  I have seen wire shelving cover at home improvement stores, but it is expensive.  Foam board covered in contact paper is also a popular option for wire shelving, but I wanted something a little more durable.  I decided that a thin plywood with my favorite stain would be durable and give my organized pantry a rustic touch.

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Wood Boards for Wire Shelves

My shelves are just high enough for some of my tall cereal boxes so I did not want to compromise the height of my shelf with a thick board.  I decided to go with 1/4″ utility hardwood plywood.  Our shelves are 12 inches deep but have vertical pieces that cut in about an inch.  To save us the headache of notching in the boards so that they were flush with the edge, I cut them at 11″ deep.  The shelves are 48″ inches wide and this worked out perfect since the boards are 4′ x 8′.  I highly recommend you have someone at your hardware store cut the boards for you if possible.  Go there with your dimensions written down so that you can tell them exact cuts.

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Stain

I stained the top, bottom, and sides of the boards with Minwax Dark Walnut stain.  This is the same stain that I used to make my gather wooden sign and it’s my favorite.  I applied the stain with the foam brush and let it sit for a minute.  Next, I wiped up the excess stain using an old rag.  I allowed the board to dry for several days so that the odor from the stain was gone before bringing the boards into the house.

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Contain with Containers

The most important, and prettiest part of an organized pantry are the containers!  I have been collecting small containers overtime and now am finally putting them to use.  I received these OXO containers as a wedding gift.  Once I found some at Stage for 75% off and I scooped up everything they had :).  I also got some containers from Ikea the last time I went to Florida.  I mainly use all of these contains for dry baking goods, rice, crackers, and pasta.  Recently, I got these containers from Walmart for my cereal and I love them.  I also have this rubbermaid container for cereal and is great for family size boxes.  Basically anything that comes in a box, I transferred to a container of some sort.  If any boxes had instructions on them that I needed, I cut them out and taped them on the side of the container.  I also taped a piece of washi tape on the bottom with the expiration date.

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Sort Like Foods

I kind of had a system in place before for sorting food, but it needed to be cleaned up and re-done.  I use these sterilite bins for sorting like foods.  This really works great when you are looking for something specific.  I know that all of my baking needs are in one bin and condiments are in another.  I also used baskets from the dollar store to contain all of the kid’s snacks in one place, and it is easy for them to see everything and grab what they want.  We eat a lot of cereal in our house, so I also have a bin to store all of the cereal that we are low on and that are in ziplock bags.  You may also notice that we have a candy bin, and its up high for a reason, haha.  Other storage that we use it this stackable bin from The Container Store for out oatmeal and grits.  This can riser from Target is expandable and works great for allowing you to see everything you have.  The plastic sterlite drawers on the bottom are for small bags of chips, juice bags, and baby snacks.

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Label EVERYTHING

Like I mentioned before I previously had some like foods sorted together in bins.  But if anyone else but me put groceries away, there was no telling what kinds of foods were in each bin.  Once I went through everything for this organized pantry, I labeled every bin that I could.  I used my Silhouette Cameo with some turquoise vinyl and I love the way it turned out.  Now there is no excuse for not knowing where something is, or where to put things when we get new groceries.

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

Extra Storage Shelf

Since we currently have no storage above our washer and dryer, I added this shelf from Ikea for some extra storage.  Because these shelves have rounded corners, it would be a little more complicated to cover them with plywood.  So I bought some cork place mats from Ikea that happen to fit perfectly on top the wire shelving.  The top shelf contains our bread and a basket for chips.  The second shelf holds a bin with all of our ziplock bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and wax paper.  It also holds a basket of microfiber towels and our paper plates.  The bottom is where I store our garbage bags, cleaning and laundry supplies.  I am hoping that most of these items will go in the storage cabinet and shelves we intend to install above our washer and dryer later on.

Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

An Organized Pantry

I am so pleased with how my organized pantry turned out!  It looks so pretty and is sooooo functional now that everything has a place.  Also, there is some empty space on top the silver metal shelf in case we get anything different in the future.  I did not go overboard with buying a bunch of expensive containers all at once.  Also, its good to buy things as you notice you need them.  Pick up a couple containers every month to spread out the cost.  I also chose really cheap options to contain like items (even though I really wanted to buy every $20 basket at target :p).  I hope my organized pantry inspires you to give yours a little facelift too.

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Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving Hack

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The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

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How to Make your own Produce Saver Containers for Cheap

Produce Saver Container

We love to eat fruit in our house.  But it never fails that if we don’t eat our berries within a few days of buying them, they usually go bad.  I have seen fancy produce saver containers for sale, but they are so expensive.  So today I’m am sharing my cheap hack on how to make your own produce saver containers.

In the past, I have come home from the grocery store and just put the produce in the fridge.  Then each time I wanted to eat some or pack a lunch I would just rinse off a few and leave the rest.  This would result in the fruit not lasting very long.  I have also tried rinsing the entire container first, then storing, but this also did not seem to make a difference.  After doing a little research, I learned some new tricks to help my produce last longer.

Vinegar Bath

Fruit Vinegar wash

Why is it that every time I am looking for a solution to a problem around the house, vinegar seems to be the answer?  Because it is AWESOME that’s why :).  Anyway, I learned that by adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to a bowl of water will help keep your berries and fruit from spoiling early.  Allow your produce to soak in the vinegar water mixture for 5-10 minutes, then rinse with fresh cold water.

Fruit Vinegar wash

Dry Completely

It is important that you allow your produce to dry completely before putting them in the refrigerator.  You can do this by spreading them on a clean dishcloth on your counter to dry.  Or if it is not a delicate fruit, you can use a salad spinner to remove excess water.

Fruit Vinegar wash

DIY Produce Saver Containers

Produce Saver Container Produce Saver Container

I recently organized my refrigerator as part of my Kitchen Home Project List.  One thing that I wanted to get for my new pretty refrigerator were the fancy produce saver containers.  I had the old version of the Rubbermaid kind, but of course, I lost some of the pieces.  When I looked into buying some new containers I was so surprised by how expensive they were!  At Walmart they are $20 for 3 containers, and that was a sale price!  Basically, all I need is a container with a little ventilation.  So instead of buying the $20 containers, I bought the 88 cent cheap ones instead.  I then went home and asked my husband to drill a few holes around the bottom edge and a few holes in the lid.  It took about 5 minutes to do 4 containers.  After the holes were drilled and we cleaned up the edges, I washed and dried them.  I then added a paper towel to the bottom and placed the freshly washed and dried fruit in my new produce saver containers.

Produce Saver Container Produce Saver Container Produce Saver Container

So far I am super happy with my new produce saver containers and am using them for strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and cherries.  We finished the blueberries in about 5 days and they were all in great shape.  I am most impressed with my strawberries.  They are currently on day 8 and they are still firm and none are growing mold!  Previously I think strawberries last about 4 days before they start getting gross so this is a huge improvement :).

We are not big veggie people in my house so I haven’t used them for that yet.  Also, I believe most veggies like humidity so I don’t think the ventilation will help them.

Pin ThisProduce Saver Containers

 

Overall I am super happy with my cheap produce saver containers.  I’m so glad my fruit and berries are lasting longer now and I’m not having to throw anything away after a few days!  I hope this little hack helps you too :).

 

 

 

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

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How to Create a Decorative Command Center

I don’t know about you but paper has ALWAYS been a problem in my house.  Between regular mail, junk mail, bills, and now an abundance of school papers; my counters were always covered in piles.  I have a filing cabinet upstairs and have repeatedly tried different methods of organizing papers downstairs, then bring them upstairs to file.  After years of failing, I finally figured out my problem.  I am too lazy not capable of bringing papers upstairs.  Don’t get me wrong, I bring everything else upstairs including the girls washed clothes and towels, toys that make their way out of their toy room upstairs, and my crafting supplies.

I guess the real problem was that the filing cabinet upstairs was a mess and I didn’t really have a solid system in place to deal with papers from start to finish.  After Abigail started school last year I finally decided that the solution to my problem would be to deal with all paperwork and school work in one central location…downstairs :).  I wanted to create a command center right around the corner from my front door.  But since this was technically my formal dining room and a space that everyone would see when they first walk in my house, it needed to be a pretty and decorative command center.

The Plan

I have learned that when starting a new project, it is really important to have a written plan and an understanding on how the area should function.  I started by making a list of all the things I wanted my decorative command center to store and functions I needed it to accomplish.

  1. Place for incoming mail
  2. Place for school paperwork
  3. Space for filing boxes
  4. Area for displaying invitations, important papers, kids artwork
  5. To do list/ menu plan
  6. Charging station and cord management
  7. Recycle and Shredder
  8. Basic office supplies and mailing supplies

I then drew up a little sketch in my notebook of how I wanted it to look and what the layout would be.   Warning, my drawing and handwriting capabilities are about even with my 5-year-old LOL.

Command Center Plan 1 Command Center Plan 2

At first, I planned on using a cork board to display invites and important papers.  But my mother had the brilliant idea to display them in a much prettier way.  She suggested that I get a pretty rod iron window frame from Hobby Lobby and use small clips to attach papers to it.  That way when I have company over or a special event, I can take down the papers and it just looks like artwork hanging.  Psst…Mom…thanks!!

Once I had a plan of what I needed in the space, I started shopping online and in stores.  First I needed a cabinet that was pretty shallow but could still fit file boxes into it.  I almost bought this horizontal bookcase from Target, but then decided that I really needed something with doors instead.  The piece I have is from the store At Home and it fits my space perfectly!  It was a little more money than I wanted to spend, but I lucked out because the one on display was missing the door hardware and a small chip in the paint on the side so I got it 30% off :).  Next, I waited until the items I wanted from Hobby Lobby were 50% off and put everything together.

Decorative Command Center

Decorative Command Center

Here is the layout I ended up with.  Everything is pretty similar to what I had in my drawing, except the file bins on the wall.  I decided to keep catalogs and magazines in the top file since I access those the least…and I am short :P.

Decorative Command Center- Inside Cabinet

 

On the inside of the cabinet, I hide my filing boxes.  The black box is from Target and it holds files that I only keep on hand for a year just in case I need them.  The green box is also from target but is a few years old and they don’t have this design anymore but you can find other cute ones here and here.  I keep important papers in there, but I try to go through it every year to weed out things we don’t need anymore.

Decorative Command Center- Inside Cabinet

The middle chalkboard file box is from Marshall’s but Target carries a cute, similar one here.  I keep the kid’s artwork and papers from school that I want to hold on to in there.  I plan on making memory boxes for each of my girls soon that will hold this kind of stuff in the future.  Next are these gray boxes…surprise, also from Target.  I labeled everything with my Silhouette Cameo so that things are easy to find.  The white box is from Ikea and holds mailing supplies.  I labeled this one with my small label maker so its hard to see in the picture, but is a great option if you don’t have a Cameo!

Charging Station

Decorative Command Center- Charging Station

One of the other important jobs of my decorative command center is to serve as a central place for charging our electronics.  I bought this power strip that has USB plugs and used command strips to attach it to the side of my decorative command center cabinet.  The gray letter box is something I picked up from Home Goods a couple of years ago but here is a similar option.

Decorative Command Center- Charging Station

Right underneath the power strip, I keep a shredder and a small wooden box for recycling papers.  Every evening before bed I go through the mail and immediately recycle junk mail and shred credit card offers.  Then I act on anything that needs my attention or file important papers away.  This method has been the key to me finally getting my paper issues under control!

School Papers

Decorative Command Center- School Papers File

All important school papers have a place in the wall file holder.  Everything that has to do with school can easily be found by keeping it in one central location.

Important Papers on Display

Decorative Command Center- Display Invitations and Important Papers

Birthday parties and other events never sneak up on us since they are always on display on this beautiful iron window frame.  I also clip any important papers that I need to act on up here so I don’t forget about them.  I used these small clips from Ikea to hang everything.

Decorative Command Center- Take Down Invites for Parties

The best part about this decorative command center is that I can remove the papers off the window frame and even the mail from the wall file folders whenever I need to.  For Abigail’s recent birthday party, I removed my To Do list off of the chalkboard and did my best at a little chalk art.  I then placed all my invites and mail in a tray I keep inside of my cabinet.  It is also fun to decorate this space for holidays and to hang Christmas cards on display.

Decorative Command Center- Hide Invites and Papers in Tray

Here is the little tray holding everything that was hanging on my window frame.

Create a Decorative Command Center Near your Entrance

I have had this command center set up for a year now and it has worked wonders for my family’s paper problem.  Having an organized space to keep our important papers has been awesome.  What is even better is that this decorative command center is located right by our front door.  This is where we have our drop point for the school bag, diaper bag, my purse, and MAIL.  Look in your own home where you naturally drop everything when you get home. Try and set up a decorative command center in this area so that it will come natural when its time to organize your papers and life.

Decorative Command Center- Entry way

This is the view from my formal dining room where you can see how we enter our home.  Recently I came to the realization that this dining room really is wasted space.  I think the only time we sit in here is Christmas.  So I have decided to turn it into a homework area/ Office space instead.  I have a bunch of things on my Home Project List for this space and I hope to share them with you soon…once I am done in the kitchen :).  One room at a time remember?

Have you picked up your free printables to help make your own Home Project List? Sign up for it along with blog updates in the box below.

 

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How to make a Decorative Command Center Pinterest

How to you keep paper clutter under control in your home?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

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How to make a GATHER Wooden Sign

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign

I have had my Silhouette Cameo for about 3 years now and have made everything from decals for cups, heat transfer t-shirt designs, and even cut fabric with it.  One project that I have had yet to try is using vinyl as a stencil.  I have been needing something on the wall in my kitchen above the refrigerator and I figured a gather wooden sign would be perfect.

So off to Lowe’s I went :).  After measuring the space above my fridge, I decided that the gather wooden sign should be 10-12″H x ~50″W.  After shopping the boards and trim section I found a piece of common board that was 1″ x 12″ x 48″.  Perfect, I didn’t even need to cut anything!  I already had stain, paint, and vinyl at home so the only other thing I picked up was a foam brush to apply the stain and my total was right at $10.

Prep & Stain

I lightly sanded the board then wiped it clean using a dry rag.  Next came the fun part…stain.  I am currently in love with Minwax Dark Walnut stain.  We recently had a table, bench, and barn door cabinet built for our living room and they all have dark walnut stained tops and I am in love with them :).  I applied the stain with a foam brush.  After covering the entire board, I used an old rag to wipe up the excess stain.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Dark Walnut Stain

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Dark Walnut Stain

My plan was to have a white sign with the word “gather” being the stained wood color.  But after seeing how pretty the stained board was, I almost considered leaving it and making the words white instead.  I think that would be very pretty in a white kitchen.  Since my cabinets have more of a red tone, the colors clashed.   So I decided to stick with my original plan.

Apply Vinyl Stencil

While the stain drying, I worked on making the vinyl stencil.  I used a very pretty font called Octavia and made the dimensions about 10″ tall by 40″ wide.  Then I used some simple contact paper that I got from Dollar Tree, no sense in wasting good 651!  I cut the vinyl so that it was 13″ wide by 45″ long, I then clicked “load media” so that I wouldn’t need a cutting mat.  I used the normal glossy vinyl settings and set my blade at 2.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Vinyl Stencil

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Vinyl Stencil Cutout

Once the cutting was finished, I weeded it and applied the transfer paper.  Next, I measured and figured out exactly where the wording would be centered on the board.  Without moving the placement of the vinyl, I carefully peeled the underneath so that the transfer tape (with the wording) stayed on the board while using a scraper, I then peel the underneath off.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Vinyl Stencil Application

Once the transfer tape with “gather” was stuck nicely in place, I used the scraper to remove any excess bubbles and to make sure the vinyl was stuck well to the wood.  I then carefully peeled off the transfer tape without removing the vinyl.  Now the hard part was complete!  In order to prevent paint from leaking under the vinyl, I painted the edges of the vinyl with Mod Podge.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Vinyl Stencil Sealed with Glue

Paint & Remove Stencil

When the glue was dry, which didn’t take long at all, I painted over the entire sign with flat white ceiling paint (aka cheap chalk paint :P).  I found that the paint did not spread well at all on top of the stain.  This worked out great because I wanted a very brushed/ distressed look.  I did make sure however that there was plenty of paint over the letters so that they would stand out.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Vinyl Stencil Painted Over

When I was done painting, I carefully pulled the vinyl off.  I used my weeder to get the first section up, then peeled it off very slowly and carefully so that I would not mess up the wet white paint.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Vinyl Stencil Removal

Add Hardware & Hang

All that was left was to let the gather wooden sign dry and add hardware to the back for hanging it on the wall.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign- Adding Hardware

Finished Gather Wooden Sign

Now on to the pretty pictures 🙂

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign

This is the table and bench I was telling you about earlier.  If you live in southern Louisiana, shoot me an email at hello {at} karliebelle {dot} com and I’ll give you all the info on the builder.

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign

Disclaimer: Yes I had a bunch of stuff on the counter that I moved for this photo 😛  sorry…not sorry!

How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign How to Make a Gather Wooden Sign How to Make a Gather Wooden SignHow to Make a Gather Wooden Sign

I have to say making this gather wooden sign was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Now I want to cover my house in other wooden signs!!  Not really but maybe one or two more :).  I’m so excited that I knocked another thing off of my Kitchen Home Project List!  That sign looks great above my now clean and organized refrigerator!

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Gather Wooden Sign

Have you ever used vinyl as a stencil before?  What has been your favorite Silhouette/ Cricut project so far?  Let me know in the comments below!

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

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Tackling your Home Project List (w/ Free Printable)

Home project list for Kitchen

Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed with everything you would like to do in your home? I go from walking in my living room thinking about what I should hang on the wall.  Next, I walk in my foyer and want to change the doorknob and light fixture. Walking in my bathroom and closet, I think how I need to clean out my old clothes and beauty products.  Today I’m getting better focused by creating and using a home project list.

Tackling your Home Project List- Living Room with Fireplace

Exhibit A: I need something on the wall behind my love seat.  I’m thinking a wood and metal shelf and a lamp or fake tree…but I’m not sure yet.

Tackling your Home Project List- Foyer

Exhibit B: Light fixture needs to go and I can’t wait to change the gold doorknobs in my house!  Also please ignore my dying plant lol, I have a black thumb, hence wanting a fake tree haha

Exhibit C: There is no way I am showing you my bathroom or closet right now :P.  But hopefully, I will get it presentable soon.

My mind constantly jumps from thing to thing that I want to do that I end up getting overwhelmed and get nothing done. I know what you’re thinking, sounds like ADD (haha j/k, my husband has ADHD and he tells me I’m not even close 🙂 ).  The problem is that I am a normal, full-time working mom and wife. I’m busy all the time and fixing up my house always ends up at the bottom of my list.  Also, there is always the budget factor…

Well, the time has come to act.  I am ready to sit down and make a plan to get our house together using a home project list.  If I can focus on just one room at a time, maybe I would not feel so overwhelmed. And if I could start with a very easy project in that one room and get it done quickly with little to no money, that would motivate me to push on and tackle the next thing in that room.

So I made myself a cute home project list printable to help me get my act together. I have a page for each room in my house and I went into each room and made a list of things I would like to do, change, or fix.  These pages are in my planner so that I can keep track of what I am getting done and also to add new ideas as I think of them.  There is also a place for a budget and shopping list so that I don’t go too overboard.

Home Project List for Kitchen

Our Home Projects-Kitchen

Click the link above for your free printable.

Tackling your Home Project List- Planner

Once my lists were made, I looked over each room’s home project list and decided that I should start not only with the shortest list but also the list that had the least to buy for. This momma is on a budget! 🙂 Then I picked out the easiest project on that list and got started.

First Home Project List: Kitchen

My smallest list turned out to be my kitchen. One of the things on my list was to clean out and organize my refrigerator. This has been something I have been wanting to do for a while but just have never made the time for it. This was also a very budget-friendly project in that I could shop my house for containers. Plastic food containers work really well when used without the lid for fridge organization. You can also purchase some cheap and cute containers from Target and Walmart. The Dollar Tree is usually a good source for bins and baskets but for some reason I didn’t have much luck the last couple of times I went there. 🙁

Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization- before

Clean out Refrigerator

First I started out by getting our ice chests out of the garage and storing all of my current cold foods in them while I cleaned the entire inside of the fridge including walls, shelves, drawers, and the door.  Then I closed the fridge back up so that I wouldn’t burn too much energy.  Next, I looked at all of the food in my ice chest and started on dividing them up into categories.  I knew that I mainly wanted to have a lunch and snacks section but also noticed I have a lot of condiments, cheese, and yogurts.

Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization- Cleaned Out

Organize Food into Groups

As I make lunch for myself and my oldest daughter every day, having a bin that contains all of our lunch making supplies will definitely make that process a little easier.  The snacks bin is also for lunches and is great for when we need to grab something quick after school/ work when we are all hangry.

Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization. Use containers and baskets to group like foods together.

Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization- Snacks Drawer

Previously, I kept all of my hot sauces on the bottom of the door shelf.  This is NOT a good idea when you have a one-year-old running around and snatching one everytime you open the refrigerator door!  So I contained all of my hot sauces, pickles, and other glass containers on the top shelf in these cute baskets that I picked up from Target on sale.  I replaced my bottom shelf with play plastic food so now I don’t have to freak out every single time I open the refrigerator LOL.

Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization- Add Play Food for Toddlers

Make it Pretty

Next, I added shelf liner to the bottom of my door shelves and drawers to add a little pop of color and to help keep items from sliding around.  I also used my Silhouette Cameo to make vinyl labels for my lunch bins and snacks and veggies drawers.

Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization- Shelf Liner

Overall this was a great, fairly quick and easy project to jumpstart me to tackle my home project list.  Even though this was not a big home décor project or room makeover, it still makes me feel good every time I open the fridge.  Next up…the freezer.

And because everyone loves a good before and after picture…

Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization- Before Tackling your Home Project List- Refrigerator Organization- After

 

If you would like a free copy of my home project list including a page for your Kitchen, Dining Room, Office, Playroom, Bedroom, Bathroom, and a blank one for any other room in your house, sign up to receive it along with blog updates in the box below.

 

Thanks for stopping by and let me know in the comments below what kind of projects are on your list.  Am I the only one that gets so giddy when I get to check something off of my list or what?!?

The post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.  All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

 

 

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