Archive | Organizing Your Home & Life

Back To School Tips To Help You Organize Yourselves

This post was shared last year, some links may have expired though…but I thought I’d bring it back anyway :)


Schools back in session for some; for us we still have another month left! :(
Switching from a laid-back fun in the sun summer; to RULES, HOMEWORK, and ROUTINES can be challenging.
Make it easy for yourselves mom- with a little preparation, the right attitude and some good organizing techniques, it can be fun.

Take advantage of this opportunity to help your kids start building skills they will need in life as adults.

Organize Yourselves CHECKLIST

I’ve created a BASIC BACK TO SCHOOL checklist + included LINKS on great deals that will help you prepare for the start of this NEW school year.


__ Find out what day school starts and what time your child should arrive

__ Have your child memorize your home address and home, cell, and work phone numbers

__ Fill out emergency contact sheets and any other required forms

__ Don’t forget to get their physicals and checkups

__ Talk with your child about their daily school schedule


__ Establish a firm bedtime BEFORE school starts

__ Showers ought to be taken before bed

__ Have your child set their own alarm clocks 15 minutes before they need to get up

__ Lay out clothes the night before

__ Have backpacks and lunches packed and ready to go

__ Shoes and socks SHOULD be next to door, for easy access

__ Lively music playing in background helps with staying awake :)

__ Determine where and when your child will do homework

__ Figure out a plan for balancing homework and playtime

__ Set rules for the time spent on TV, video games, and computer use for non-school projects

__ Consider making a chore chart so your child will know what he has to do everyday…brush teeth, clean bathroom, take out trash, clean room, etc. Check out these free chore charts, they have princess ones, and one for your little Ninja


__ Have nutritious food on hand for breakfast and after-school snacks (we’ll have some articles to help you out soon)

__ Laptop Lunch boxes ( are American-style bento boxes designed to help you pack nutritious, environmentally friendly, healthy school lunches

__ Here’s a link to a good article on healthy foods and nutrition to help you decide what to put in your kids’ school lunch to make it both nutritious and appealing

__ Interview your Child’s Healthy Nutrition Adviser on How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for School

__ See more healthy school lunch ideas and don’t forget you can always get great recipes and ideas here on Fit Moms Fit Kids Club

__ Make some freezer lunches, check out Once A Month Mom for monthly ideas.  In fact Tricia has a great ebook called Survive Before 5: Toddler Meals for Your Busy Days. (affiliate link)  It’s not just for toddlers!  It has recipes for homemade spagetti O’s, apple chicken nuggets, and more, who wouldn’t like that for lunch.


__ Unclutter your child’s closet and get rid of clothes that are to small (donate them) or to worn

__ Wash a weeks worth of all acceptable clothing; have them pressed and ready in ADVANCE

__ Check out back to school sales and separate WANTS from NEEDS

__ Get Back To School Clothes At 50% Off


__ Go over shopping list together. This teaches them how to get organized. (A skill that applies to more than shopping)

__ Set a budget for supplies. It will help your child set priorities & learn how to manage money

__ Check the school website or call for a list of required supplies

__ Find out whether students will store supplies at school or bring them home each day

__ Set up a supply shelf or storage container in your home that you can use all year long

__ Place supplies near the place your child will do homework, you’ll be modeling good organizational skills and they’ll have what they need close by

__ Stock up on the basics at The Dollar Store. Pencils, notebooks, glue sticks and other inexpensive school supplies

__ Buy a backpack or bag to carry daily items.  TJMaxx has $7 Jansport Backpacks

Here’s To An Awesome School Year!

Mother of 2, CEO and Master Organizer of "Organize Yourselves" a home organization company

If you need help organizing your home you can find me at Organize Yourselves and email me at ani @

Posted in Organizing Your Home & Life0 Comments

How to Clean Your Bathroom in Just 5 Minutes

Christmas is upon us once again.
I love the Christmas season! It’s my favorite time of year.
It’s also the time of year when we get the most visitors.

With all I have going on from Christmas shopping, decorating, and
preparing for this season; the last thing I want to make time for is
CLEANING.  But, I know that I still have to clean, and I need to do
my holiday cleaning fast! So I put together a “Quick and Easy” guide
to teach you how to clean fast. By fast I mean you can clean your
bathroom in 5 minutes. That’s right, just
5 minutes! If I can do it, so can you. The more you do it
the better you’ll get! :)

I am notorious for having wipes in every single bathroom in my home.
Not only are they good for sticky fingers and faces, but it’s also good for
cleaning your bathroom when you don’t have a whole lot of time.
Trust me- once you try this, you’ll be notorious for having wipes
in every room in your house too.

Please drop me a comment and let me know how this works for you. :)

How To Clean Your Bathroom In JUST 5 MINUTES

Minute 1:

Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into the toilet bowl and let the bubbles do their magic.
Toss used towels in a pile outside the door; stash odds and ends (brushes, hair dryer) in drawers or a pretty basket.

Minute 2:

With a damp microfiber cloth, swipe cobwebs from ceiling corners.
Stick the cloth on the end of a broom to reach and dust door frames,
tile ledges, moldings, shelves, framed art and window sills.
Rinse and wring. Do the light switch and the soap dish with a disinfecting wipe.

Minute 3:

Spray mirrors with glass cleaner and rub in circles with a clean cloth.
Then run a wipe over the vanity and the sink to pick up rogue hairs, powder, and toothpaste.
(Clorox brand is safe for most hard surfaces, including marble.)

Grab a few more wipes for the faucet handles, the wall behind the faucet, and any light fixtures.

Minute 4:

With a fresh wipe, clean the top of the toilet tank, the flusher handle, and the lid.
Use a new wipe for the top and the bottom of the seat and the lip of the bowl—in that order.
Take one more wipe and do the base of the toilet and the floor around it.
Next, swish water around the inside of the bowl with a toilet brush and flush.

Minute 5:

Move the wastebasket to just outside the door.
Set out clean hand towels and a roll of toilet paper.
With a few more wipes, tackle the floor & base boards.
Clean & dust hair from every corner, starting with the
corner farthest from the door and backing out.

Empty the trash and viola- you’re done!

(To conserve wipes; run through HOT water, spray with a disinfecting
bathroom cleaner and reuse for another bathroom)

Take an extra minute to marvel at what you’ve done in only 5 minutes!

Alright now. Set the timer and… READY, SET, GO!

Mother of 2, CEO and Master Organizer of "Organize Yourselves" a home organization company

For more great tips and idea’s go to my website at Organize Yourselves.

If there’s anything you’d like to know more about, email me at Ani (at) organizeyourselves (dot) com

Posted in Organizing Your Home & Life1 Comment

Check Yourselves Before You Wreck Yourselves

Wake up call for all moms like ME!

Today I am coming out of the pantry. Yup!
I am not the healthiest of eaters. Ok- I said it.
I’m a big time snacker. I’d much rather have a cupcake or a doughnut than an apple.

Why don’t I feel better?  They say once you purge- you feel better.

Ok, well maybe I’ll feel better once I share with you the steps I’ve taken
that have helped me keep that extra layer of fat that hangs over my jeans.

You know what I’m talking about right? :)

Enough said?
Ok, well- for those who need a little more information then this…. KEEP THE JUNK OUT YO MOUTH! (the mouth receives the junk, that winds up in your trunk) :)

Alright, here you go. You gotta know where your strengths lie.
As for me my strength needs to kick in at the store because once it makes it to the house- it’s in my mouth.
Through all my research for GOOD, HEALTHY SNACKS.
I’ve found that there are snacks out there that not only taste good, but are good for you and
are low in sugar & low in carbs/fat.

Here’s one of my all time favorites.

Not only is the name great, but I think one of the best tasting protein bars on the market. They’re also Gluten Free and very satisfying.

Plan to SUCCEED or plan to FAIL
because failure to plan is a plan to fail
Now how many of you are like me when the time comes
will hold you over until dinner.

to prepare dinner it’s like this blank stare into space wondering what the heck to cook.
I don’t know how many times a day I do that.
Not only is it poor planning but it’s not very smart.
Although I love organizing homes I struggle with organizing daily meals.
I know with practice and a PLAN I will get better & I have everyday to practice. :)

Managing your time is the biggest key to eating healthy and not just grubbing on whatever is there.  So when grocery shopping; buy healthy things that can serve as a quick snack that will hold you until dinner.

Kids can mess you up big time. lol! Yeah I said it!
Those crumb snatchers love sweets and anything that tastes sweet. :)
But just because they do, doesn’t mean you have to give in to them.
Buy foods that are low in sugar.  There are plenty of things on the market
that taste good and are low in fat and sugar.  Better yet, make your own snacks!

I’ve learned that when I fail to plan my meals daily; I’ll eat very poorly.
So with a little planning you no longer have to wonder what to eat- you will know exactly what you will be preparing and so will your family. has tons of great tips on healthy eating; & menu planning.  Every Monday Annett posts her family’s weekly meal plan on the Fit Meals Monday meal plan.  If you need inspiration check it out! 

Instead of reaching for those Hot Krispy Kremes; reach for that apple.
Your hips will thank you. Maybe not right then, but definitely later. :)

Here are some more healthy tips on making sure you…
Check Yourselves before you wreck Yourselves.

Mother of 2, CEO and Master Organizer of "Organize Yourselves" a home organization company

Posted in News, Organizing Your Home & Life0 Comments

Organizing Tips for the Trip

I hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start.

As I prepare to plan for our very exciting, very long 20 hour drive from Portland Oregon to California. I’m wondering how the heck I’m gonna make it all that time in a van with two very active, nonstop talking girls; and one very focused, for the lack of a better word- driver (my husband).

I should start praying now! :)

I know road trips are fun, somewhat- ok… at least in theory.

I love my family don’t get me wrong- but to much of anything can’t be good. :)~

Now, unless you love to hear “Are we there yet?” over and over and over again, make sure your kiddies have enough to keep them entertained & busy.

I will have my girls pack their own travel bags with things they love to do to keep themselves occupied during our road trip.

When they have done all they can on their own, then that means my break is over and the creative juices need to kick in.

We begin by playing every car game known to man, proceeded by telling old stories passed down from generation to generation.  Then we end with our all time favorite “the make up your own song singing game”.

(And of course this will all happen when we are completely tapped out with no where to turn for peace!)

So in planning, preparing and organizing for our trip this month, I’ve searched and found some very cool and creative ideas to make our road trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

Notice I said LESS. There will be stress; I’m just trying to minimize the amount of it.

Car Organizer

First things first. When planning for a long road trip, make it easy on yourself and purchase an inexpensive small accordion file folder.

Organize and store all the important paper work you’re gonna need for your trip.

You can keep your registration, insurance, emergency contact information, maps, directions, receipts, and more inside. You can also choose to label them for easy access.

Have it handy on your passenger seat or in your glove compartment.

You will be very glad you took the time to do this let me tell you.

There’s nothing like searching for information you need in a hurry and not finding it.

Travel Light

Packing is one of the most stressful things you can do for a trip;  especially when you’re doing it for a family of 4 or more; but it really doesn’t have to be.

Keep in mind that your on vacation; Less is More!

You don’t need six pairs of shoes, trust me; you won’t wear them all!

A whole lot of stuff means less space for those treasured purchases you will most likely make. Packing is a fine balance of bringing what you really need without taking too much. Planning ahead and having a really good list will work best here.

Bring anything you absolutely must have, bring coordinated clothing you can mix and match. Don’t bring anything that can be bought along the way if you really need it.

Basic necessities is the key!

And because you’re traveling with little ones- wash and wear will be your best friend!

Car Trunk Organizer/Snack Section

Traveling with kids as you know can be a challenge. My girls love to snack all day long. Convenience is my middle name… HEY I’M A MOM.

We’re supposed to have everything at our fingertips, right?

So I’m making sure I have plenty of snacks and things to keep them occupied.

Items in the back trunk tend to roll around and get lost underneath seats, so it will help a great deal to arrange them in a vinyl catchall or any sort of storage bin.

You can purchase two.

Stock one with plenty of healthy goodies.  See Michelle’s post about what healthy snacks she takes on a roadtrip and how to stay healthy while traveling.  Pack the other bin with emergency items such as a first aid kit, rope, flashlights, blankets, etc.

You will be so happy you did this when it’s time to grab something from the trunk & you know EXACTLY where it is.

Kids Back Seat Toy Organizer

How cool would one of these be… A canvas shoe, I mean toy organizer. :)

This is great for keeping things neat and easy to reach for the kids.

You can purchase an inexpensive 16 inch pocket organizer and cut it in half and hem at the bottom. Put a ribbon loop at the top and hang over the back of the front seat.

You best believe I’m doing this… 20 hours is waaaaayyyyyyy to long to hear, “Can you get me this!  Can you get me that!” They can reach out and get it themselves.

The pockets can hold anything from headsets, flashcards, coloring books, DVD’S, pad & pencils, small toys and EVEN a nintendo DS.

You could even make another one for the other seat so each child can have their very own toy organizer!

Movies, Movies, Movies

I would be absolutely CRAZY if I didn’t have a stack of movies for my kids to watch. Did I say 20 hours??? Yes, even with the frequent stops you will make along the way kids need to be entertained at all times; at least mine do anyway.

Before we leave you best believe I will pack the car with their favorite dvd’s and buy some NEW ones that will keep them engaged.   Mums the word.

This will be the very first thing on my LIST. :)

If you are planning a road trip this summer that’s 20 hours or 2 hours make sure you PLAN, PREPARE & ORGANIZE yourselves in a way that will make your trip a pleasant one with few stresses; if any.

Here’s a quick list I came up with to help keep everyone happy-  especially MOMS.

The Perkins Road Trip Packing Check List:

* Lots & Lots & Lots & Lots of DVD’s  :)

* Tricks and treats bag (new games, toys, healthy snacks and any other magical distractions)

* Small cooler for upfront and larger cooler in the back filled with refill items (the more food you take the less food you buy)

* First-aid kit (with motion sickness relievers for ME)

* Roadside emergency kit

* Wet wipes, paper towels or napkins (can’t leave home without this)

* Trash bags (a must)

* Flashlight(s) and extra batteries

* Cell phone and DVD player charger (not worth going anywhere without this)

* Easy on/off shoes for the entire clan (flip-flops)

* Camera and video camera

* Pillows and blankets

* Toilet paper (Have you ever stopped at a rest stop that’s out of TP? Yup- we have)

* Laundry bag for dirty clothes

* Laundry detergent (I believe in wash and wear when I travel)

* Laundry Basket (great for carrying lots of small bags into the hotel room or to the beach)

* Rolls of quarters (for tolls, laundry, gumball machines & meters)

* Duct tape (in case anyone gets out of hand) :)

Mother of 2, CEO and Master Organizer of "Organize Yourselves" a home organization company

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