Back to school: Arts and Crafts Closet Organization

Closet organization – Timing couldn’t be better for me to share this small make over I did in a closet at my house and maybe inspire you to get a project like this done in time to back to school. 

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If you live in Baltimore City (MD), you probably live in a rowhouse. If you live in a rowhouse, you know the struggles to make every single space of your home useful. Finding spaces and organizing them has become my “expertise” since I moved to Baltimore, haha.

When we moved to our house, about two years ago, I knew the potential of every space. Every year we tackle a couple of projects to make our spaces useful to suit our family best.

A couple of months ago it was time for me to turn a small closet in the basement {our multipurpose room} into an arts and crafts closet for the kids. 

This closet is actually where our water meter and water filter are located so this is just a space that hides all the ugly utilities from the finished basement. Anyways, to me it was a waste of space and I knew I could use it better.

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This is the space before the project. My husband added some 2×4 to the frame so I could use them as shelves. 

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It all started with a nice coat of white paint on the walls. What a difference it made already. Next I used some leftover vinyl flooring from another project and voila!  

This is how I transformed an ugly useless space into a craft closet! Now comes the fun part, organize it =) 

Since it is an utility closet I couldn’t build any permanent system, in case we need to get some work done in there. 

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I decided to use this colorful storage cart to store most of the items. There we have: ribbons, craft supplies, learning materials, paint, paper, stickers, markers, etc. 

On top of the cart I have a bin where I put all the daily materials we use for “mommy school”, as my son calls it.   

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On the side shelves we have more paint, balloons, learning material, glitter, etc. I use free containers {peanut and lunch meat packages} to organize everything. 

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I put some 3M hooks on the wall to hang aprons and the white board my son practices his letters. 

This project was very easy to put together and it makes a huge difference on our routine. I hope you like it!

Kids’ Travel Kit

Even though every store you go to is in back to school supplies mode, SUMMER IS NOT OVER! And that is why I am here, still talking about summer plans and organization like this travel kit I put together for my kids.

Do you still have a long family trip planned? We do! The best part of going on vacation is all the excitement and preparation to go on vacation. Does anybody else agree with that?

Long car rides and flights aren’t much fun for kids though. They get bored, tired, cranky, etc. So, having activities and snacks handy for them are a must in order to make things easy to us parents as well.

I would like to share my “travel kit” with you all and maybe get you inspired to do the same. I get a few new things so they look forward to playing with them and I also pack some of their favorite toys.

For my preschooler boy I like to have: his activity tray, magazines, sticker books, a bingo game {we got it at dollar tree}, magnetic letters {learning while you play is always good}, some cars, portable DVD player and a couple movies.

For my toddler girl I have: magnetic books, pompoms {her favorites}, stickers, coloring book, crayons, figurines, a doll, and a notebook.

I use a basket from dollar tree to keep everything handy and in order.

One activity I like do with them after we get back from vacation is to capture their memories of the trip in a “Vacation Journal”. My son tells me what he enjoyed, I write it down and after that he draws it. It is such a cool keepsake. If you like this idea, you can download the “My 2017 Summer Vacation Memories” here.

I hope you are enjoying your Summer until the last minute!

Organizing Family History

Lets talk about Organizing Family History. Today I took the morning off of organizing for my clients and decided to learn about genealogy and what to do with all the “stuff” that one day belonged to our ancestors. Plus, I often see that people want to have their memories preserved but not always know how to do it.

Some tips from Mary Mannix, Maryland Room Manager, C. Burr Artz Public Library, Frederick County Public Libraries are: “Organize your materials now! Whether it is family papers or your own genealogy notes. It’s never too soon. Label everything and do not use rubber bands or metal paperclips.”

When organizing your historical material (letters, pictures, research, interviews, etc) make sure you have copies somewhere else other than your own house and that close family members know how you want to preserve them.

If you find yourself in a situation that you prefer to donate your collections to an institution, a good source to learn more about it is the Society of American Archivists (SAA). You could start by reading this article: A guide to donating your personal or family papers to a repository.

Look at this paper a client and I came across the other day when organizing her files. These things were taught in schools and were expected behaviors from women back in the 50’s. Can you imagine it?

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I hope you found this information as interesting as I did. I always have a good time organizing family history.

 

Di is Organized – Youtube Channel

I would like to announce that Di is Organized is officially on youtube. This is a big step for me since English is not my birth language and I still have a lot to learn. But as human beings we always have things to learn in our lives and I just have to be brave, put myself out there and try to do things that make me happy. 

One fact about myself that you might not know is that my major is in Journalism and I have worked on TV before, while still in Brazil. 

Anyways, today I decided to do not let my fears overcome my dreams and see where this new project will take me. 

I have big plans for Di is Organized channel and I hope they come true, but for now I really would love to know your opinion. What do you think of this first video? 

Going Camping

We love going camping!img_4017-1

We don’t do it very often. Usually once a year, in August. But we really enjoy it.

For the past two weeks my son, who is 3 years old, didn’t talk about anything else but going camping.

So, last Friday we decided we were going camping that weekend. However, we couldn’t go for the whole weekend because I had a client Saturday morning and a meeting with an Interior Designer in the early afternoon.

Since we were just going to the Patapsco State Park {if you live in Baltimore you should definitely check it out} that it is less than 30 minutes away from our home, we thought we could do it just for one night and get summer camping crossed out of our bucket list for 2017.

Since we have all of our camping gear organized, packing the car and leaving wouldn’t take too long. In moments like this we can enjoy time together and not be stressed out looking for everything all over the place. Here is how I do it:

IMG_40071- We have a plastic box, that we keep on a shelf in the garage, filled with air mattresses, pump, flashlight, plates, silverware, mugs, picnic blanket and other little things.

2- Next to the box we have folding chairs, the tent, pots and pans easy to access.

3- Inside the house I have an Ikea storage box with extra blankets and linens that we just use when we go camping.

4- The kids summer stuff is already in our Summer bag kit and that should be enough for one night out, no problem.

5- So, the things we need to pack at the last minute are just food and a couple of things for my husband and I.img_4038

My point here is that if you spend some time getting your house organized it will payoff and it will save you tons of time later to do the things you love!

We had a great time hiking along the river, looking at the train tracks, cooking hot dogs and eating s’mores, sleeping in the tent {even though it was very cold over night}, the park even host a nature talk for kids in the afternoon and that day we learned about turtles.

What are the things you want to do and have been putting off because you can’t find what you need or have to get the house organized? Please feel free to download a Summer Bucket List to fill out with all the fun things your family want to do this year.

I hope you all have a great Summer!

I want to get Organized

Get ready for Summer adventures

It is the unofficial beginning of Summer. If you are a little bit like me, Summer means long days/mornings out with the kids, fun trips with the family, calendar covered with playdates, and tons of unexpected activities here and there.

To make things easy with the kids I keep an extra bag of summer essentials in the car. Are you curious to know that is in it? Today I will show you how I organize this bag and what I keep in it for smooth outings.

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That is it! Being organized is all about saving precious time (and space) for the things you love. In this case: my family!

We are ready for new adventures and create fun memories around town. How about you? What would you include in your summer bag?

Di is Organized got rebranded!

Last March I took a trip to Brazil with my family for 6 weeks. It was a great moment to see all the people we love and relax a little bit. However, for Di is Organized it was the time to get stronger, grow and get a new face.

Last week we announced the changes on our website and logo. I thought that it would be a good time to update everyone on where Di is Organized is going and what you can expect next.

The new Di is Organized logo represents a brighter and simpler tomorrow. The font we chose is simple and elegant. The placement of the pink lines under the company name reflects our approach that organizing is something easy just like a breeze, not complicated at all.

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So far, some of our clients have already been able to experience and become familiar with the new release, and the comments that we’re receiving are very positive. Thank you to everybody for providing the feedback.

Along with the new face, we’ll be offering new options on how to get organized:

Hands-on Organizing – This is still our most popular option for getting your house and life back in order. This service now includes the hours we spend in your home, referrals to the right products, communication with you by phone or email up to two weeks after the session, arranging appointments with other service providers, taking items to consignment, and taking your donation so you don’t need to worry about it and get results sooner.
One difference is that this service is now sold by the hour like before, with the rate of $65 per hour, but also in packages of 4, 8 and 12 sessions where the client gets discounts on each package.

DIY Plans – For those that like to work on their own but don’t know where to start or just need some ideas of what to buy and motivation to get things going, we now offer a DIY plan.
This service includes a 60-90 minute walk-through in-person (local service area only), a customized plan for your needs within 5 business days and follow up emails after 7 days and 30 days

Virtual Organizing – This service is special for those who are too far (like clients in Brazil) or life is too busy for us to work together. If you’re comfortable using digital tools, we can achieve an amazing amount together through virtual organizing.
This service includes a 60 minute Skype call to determine what types of organization will fit your needs, a collaborative workspace set up for you in Asana.

One new project is that we want to be on social media more often. As right now you can find and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Linkedin. Just look for diisorganized in all these platforms to get inspired by our projects, articles and
pictures.

Let us know what you think. We’re pretty happy with it and hope you are too.

Of course, and as always, if you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat, let us know.

Thank you.

Di

 

Hello Spring!

IMG_5706Spring is here! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE spring. Winter is so hard for me since I grew up in Brazil.
I just learned about spring cleaning after I got married. I know that many people prefer to do anything else but clean and organize. I just love it!
I like to open the windows, let fresh air get in the house, and go room by room cleaning, purging, de-cluttering and reorganizing our belongs. There is just something about all this process that makes me feel good.
Share with me how you feel about spring cleaning. I would love to hear your plans and/or cleaning routines.

I hope you all have a great Spring after all!

 

Home Office Organization

A couple months ago I shared with you how I got my small home office ready. Today I want to show you how I organize it.


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I have two shelves, a desk and a magazine holder to keep all my papers and supplies.

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On my the shelves I keep:

– Books: I recently purged my books and I just keep the ones I love and refer to them often. Chances that I will read a book a second time are almost zero.

– Pens and art supplies: I keep them categorized in some mason jars that I already had. I think it looks nice there as well.

– Magazine Folders: In them you will find some of my Storage Magazines (I consult them often to look for inspiration for the perfect system for my clients) and my kids keepsake baby books.

– Binders: I like to use binders to organize some of my business paper work, home schooling activities for the kids, and kids documents.

– Planner: I use an arc system from Staples as my home planner. I like to design my own monthly planner, project tracker, meal planer, expenses tracker, etc.

– Recipes and cookbook: I have two binders where I keep my collage of recipes. One is for my Brazilian recipes and the other one for my recipes in English. I also keep some cookbooks in easy access. However, soon I will have finished transferring most of them to my cook’n app.

– Office Supplies: I have a wooden tea box I painted and decoupaged when I was a teenager that wasn’t been used and now is the home for my office supplies. I love looking at it!

– Decoration: My few decor items are some of my favorites from growing up. It makes me happy to look at them. It is important to put things that we love in use, otherwise what is the point of having them? 

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Oh! This is getting long =) Let’s move to my desk.

I like to have a clean space to work, plus my desk is not that big anyways, so I have my computer, and couple decorate items on it.

In the first drawer (the largest one) I like to keep all the papers I am working on, other planners, notebooks, etc. I like this system because it keeps my desktop clean most of the time.
The smallest drawer is the home for some notepads, pens that I use everyday, the charger for my camera, some candies, etc.

In the shelves, behind the door, I keep my extra recipe books, a container with a project that I am working on: right now I have some papers that I need to purge and file.


I also have a wall mounted magazine organized where I keep my active files. I will talk more about active files in details in my next post.

So that is it! This is how I organize my small efficient home office. Here I have most of the important zones an office needs to have: work, filing, planning, office supplies, books, and school zones. We do mail and bill payment in the dining room so these zones are located on our command center area, since there is where we keep all the incoming mail as well.

Here are some more pictures for you to get inspired:

Small Home Office

One of the reasons we bought the house we live now was the half finished basement.
The room wasn’t big but it had potential and it had to be because, this special room would need to serve as playroom, office and guest room.
In the beginning we didn’t do much, but it is slowly getting shape.
Anyways, I am here today to share with you the small “update” I made to give myself an office. I don’t need much since most of my work is done at the client’s home but I do prepare a lot of activities for the kids and like to have a home for my computer and all my little projects.
The space I had to work with to create my small home office was is about 44” (W) x 26”(D).

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I love Ikea and most, if not all, of our furniture is from there. So, with this measurements in hand I searched online for the perfect fit. I got two LACK shelves ($14.99 each), a MICKE desk ($79.99) and a MARIUS stool ($4.99) because the space wouldn’t fit a regular comfortable chair, since it is by the door to the laundry/mud room. Ah! I also got a KVISSLE wall magazine rack ($16.99) to keep my active files and to keep the paper clutter out of the desk.

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And there it is: My Home Office!
I am happy to share this update with you all specially because some people believe it would take a long time or they would need to have a big space, or a lot of money to have a nice, working home office. This is one more proof that you don’t. You just need get yourself motivated and do it.
I hope you guys like it as much as I do.
Soon I will share with you all my organization for this space in details. Meanwhile if a home office is your goal for the New Year, I would love to help you with the process of getting one.