UPDATED Essential Monthly Planner

Can you believe it’s been FOUR years since I blogged about my monthly planner and how I keep all my bills and events organized in one place? I noticed recently that it’s getting a lot of hits on Pinterest and I thought I’d post about how I’m keeping my planner now.

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Currently, I’m using highlighters and small post-it notes to keep everything together. I’m not sure where to start, so I guess we’ll go from left to right.

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On the border on the top left I use pink post-its with blog post ideas that I may want to blog about that month.

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Then, once I blog about one of those ideas, I move the post-it to the day that I posted the blog, which isn’t necessary but is helpful in case you want to go back to previous months and look at what you’ve done.

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On the bottom left margin I use these pale yellow (or as I like to call them, smoker’s teeth yellow) post-its with things that I HAVE TO get done during the month. And yes, I moved to PA from NJ back in May and I still have not gone to the DMV to get my license plates transferred. I just REALLY hate the DMV! Anyways, once I get an oil change or get my license plates registered, I’ll move that post-it to the day that I did it.

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In my planner, I write when a bill is due. Since we moved, we’ve got a lot of credit card bills to pay off. So for example, I write down on the 4th that my Home Depot credit card bill is due, then under that I put what the balance is that I still owe. Then under that I write “New Balance” so on the 4th when I pay that bill, I write what the new balance is after making the payment. Then I take that new balance and put it on the next months post-it under “Still Owe”. This makes it easier to know where you’re at with each of your outstanding credit cards without having to look each one up online.

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As for our other bills, like the mortgage, car payments, electric, etc., I just write down on the day that I pay them and then cross them off. I also highlight it in green, or in my case I highlight it in yellow and blue because I don’t have a green highlighter – haha!

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I use these teal colored post-its for any kind of photo sessions I might have. I would just write that appointment in my planner but since moving to Easton, I have not required clients to pay a deposit to hold the appointment, so the appointment days change a lot. With the appointment being on a post-it, I can just move the post-it to any day they may change it to. It keeps my planner pretty so I don’t have to scratch out anything.

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I use the bright pink post-its for fun events like birthday parties, people coming into town, events in the community, etc.

Btw, you can get these convenient post-its on Amazon and they’re super cheap. Pick them up here.

And that’s about it. I feel like my monthly planner has become a lot more efficient in the last four years and I hope it helps make your monthly planner more efficient as well!

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Travel Fund

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed that Sam and I went to Boston for the weekend to visit some family. We had so much fun, even though it felt like it was below zero outside! But we survived and ended up eating and drinking our way through Boston.

Yes, that is our mess. We are pigs!

Yes, that is our mess. We are pigs!

I haven’t shared it on my blog yet, but my father passed away in early November of last year. He was pretty young and I think about him constantly! Anytime Sam and I are planning on going somewhere or doing something I think to myself, “Hmm, I wonder if my dad ever had the chance to do this, or go to this place.” Not sure if that is normal or not but whatever. I made my new years resolution to experience more things and go to more places.

On our 4 hour drive up to Boston, Sam and I decided that every year we want to travel to at least 2-3 places we’ve never been before. Doesn’t have to be to some extravagant place and doesn’t even have to be super far from where we live. Maybe just for a weekend trip or a few days longer, but just somewhere that neither of us have been before. I’m pretty excited to start coming up with ideas of places to go, but thinking about how much money it’s going to take makes me a little nervous. We save a lot of money each month and some of the money we save goes into our “travel fund” so that should help cover our trips throughout the year but I’ve also started doing the 52 week money challenge in order to save money that we can use as spending cash while we’re on one of our adventures. I don’t think people understand how easy it is to save with that damn challenge. I love it!

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Where have you traveled to? Your favorite vacation destination? Favorite weekend getaway location? Give me ideas!

Happy hump day!

Awesome Photo Storage!

 I love pictures! No matter what they’re from, who they are of, or where they were taken, looking at pictures is definitely one of my favorite things to do. Almost every time I go home to Pittsburgh, my family and I end up bringing out the box of old photos and just sit for hours going through them and telling stories. Last time we went through them I even stole some and took them home to scan so that I can have digital copies also 🙂

Like this one for example. Wasn’t I the cutest baby?!

Anyways, for Christmas last year I got a pretty nice camera, the Olympus Pen Mini, and I’ve been trying to take lots of pictures at holiday parties and family events because when I have kids I want them to get excited about rummaging through a box filled with old photos too! But I’ve decided that maybe instead of an old, beat up box, I’ll store my pictures in really pretty photo boxes!

I got these at AC Moore, 5 for $10. I thought it was a pretty good deal. They had all different types of patterns and colors but I chose these, pretty much because they were the easiest to grab. AC Moore always has some kinda deal going on with photo boxes so if you’re ever in the market to buy some, check with them first.

For this project I also used #6 envelopes, some mod podge, some labels I made on my Cricut, and of course all my photos!

I used #6 envelopes because all of my pictures are 4 x 6 and the boxes don’t hold 5 x 7 photos unless they’re laying down. I ended up cutting off the top flap of the envelopes because they just got in the way.

After all the flaps were cut off I glued my labels to the front of the envelopes. You don’t need labels, I just figured it would look prettier this way.

Now all you need is your boxes and all of your pictures!

This is the fun part. You have to go through all of your pictures and group them into categories or events. For examples, I grouped all of my Christmas pictures together, all of my trips back to Pittsburgh, and so on and then I went through each category and sorted them by year or event. If you have lots and lots of photos this could take awhile so break it up into groups.

Once you’re done put them in an envelope and label the envelope with the Holiday and year or the event and location.

And that’s it! If you have tons of pictures you can designate a box just for holidays or just for vacations or birthdays or you can just label the box with a specific year and fill it with New Years, Valentines Day, 4th of July, Christmas, etc for that year. I hope this helps with some of your photo storage needs!

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

Convenient Uses for Mason Jars

I love mason jars! I think everyone on Pinterest loves mason jars as well. Recently I was browsing through some posts and came across Food Paradise’s blog and she was painting the inside of jars. I loved the look and normally I wouldn’t even attempt to try it but I thought I’d give it a shot because she made it look so easy.

I got the mason jars at Christmas Tree Shop for $.89/each and the acrylic paint was on sale at AC Moore 2 for $1 so I got a bunch of different colors. One of these small 2 ounce bottles of paint wold be enough for two mason jars.  Then all you have to do is put some paint in the jar add a couple drops of water and then just kind of wiggle it around until all the sides are completely covered.

Once you do that, you want to turn it upside down and let the excess paint drip out. I left mine upside down for about 20 minutes then sat it up right for 15 minutes or so then flipped upside down again for another 20 minutes. After that I just set it up and let it dry overnight.

After letting them dry overnight I sprayed them the next day with a clear cote matte finish acrylic sealer.

I got this at AC Moore also. It was $4.50 but I got it for $2.25 with a coupon. It’s definitely essential to keeping your jars looking nice and protected inside.

Then I put all my q-tips, cotton balls, cotton swabs, and makeup sponges in them and now they live on my bathroom counter!

The colors are great! I really like them. It’s like a little make over for the traditional mason jar. I wanted to use a mason jar for all my makeup brushes but there was too many so I got a small vase and filled the bottom with stones and now that’s on my vanity.

I also use mason jars to store my incense and to hold some pens and pencils.

Mason jars are perfect containers for homemade mod podge!

Mason jars are really cheap and have endless great storage possibilities. Decorating mason jars is also VERY easy and extremely inexpensive. If you’re like me, and not really the type to try a DIY kind of project, you at least need to try painting the inside of a couple mason jars. It’s so fun and gives color to places that may need it!

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Where do you use mason jars? Have any great ideas? Let me know! Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at kate@coordinatedkate.com

Organizing on a Budget – #6

I was searching online for a 12 x 12 paper holder for my scrapbook paper so that I could free up storage space in one of the drawers in my white storage container. I found a really awesome Cropper Hopper Paper Holder on Amazon.

It was perfect for the amount of paper that I have and it was only $7 something and eligible for Amazon Prime free two-day shipping. Though the price has went up to $10.70 since I bought it late last, it’s still totally worth it. It holds up to 200 sheets of paper and it’s really easy to store. I actually decorated mine with some really pretty tissue paper and some mod podge.

It fits perfectly with my binders. I found the same product at scrapbook.com for $6.65 but you need to pay for shipping so it may be worth it if you pair it with any other scrapbooking items that you may need.

I also found a similar item on amazon. It’s pretty much the horizontal box version of  the vertical stand up box. And it’s also eligible for Amazon Prime free shipping!

This one runs for $10.99 so the prices are very similar and I’m sure you’d be able to decorate this one and make it pretty also.

The best part of all of this is that now I have a drawer open to store random stuff in! HOORAY!

Happy MONDAYYYY!

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If you use or know of any affordable organizational supplies, I’d love to know and feature you on my blog. Comment with your e-mail address or e-mail me at kate@coordinatedkate.com

Organizing on a Budget – #4

First off, let me start by saying HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful mother, even though I don’t think she looks at my blog. Oh wellz!

I went into Target yesterday after work to pick up some supplies because I’m making mini s’more cupcakes for a cookout on Saturday, but of course I had to look all over the store for some good deals. I made my way over to the dollar aisle and I found a couple things.

These really cute boxes were only $1.00 each:

I was growing out of the jar that I had been using for all of my pens, pencils, and markers so I figured they would be perfect. I love the black and white design! The mini cupcake liners that I go for the cupcakes I’m making on Saturday have a similar black and white pattern as the front box. I’m super excited to use them!

Burger Trays $1.00 for 4!

Don’t laugh! I don’t really even eat a lot of burgers and I highly doubt that’s what I’ll use these little baskets for but I will find a justification for this purchase! I just don’t know what it is yet – haha! But stay tuned!

Then I was walking around the rest of the store and found something super awesome!

Target has a 6 Qt. Sterilite storage box with lid for $.97! You can use these types of boxes for a lot of different things. On the label on the box it shows that you can put a pair of shoes in but I came up with a couple extra ideas, even though there’s endless amounts of things you could do with a box like this!

In drawer storage compartment! My envelopes and post its and stamps were floating all over the top drawer of my storage set and it was driving me crazy. This box holds all that junk and makes it look a little more organized.

A medicine or first-aid kit. This is great if you have kids and you don’t want them to be able to get into all of the medications and ointments that you have. Just put them in a box like this and put it all the way at the top of your bathroom closet or wherever you keep your medication. I like this idea because all these bottles and boxes were just kind of tossed into my bathroom closet and it was a mess (it’s still a mess because I haven’t conquered it yet, but shhhh).

I might have to go back for a couple more of these while they’re on sale. I was looking for a really cheap cupcake holder to transport my cupcakes to and from the cookout and I couldn’t find one for under $20 so I figure most of my mini cupcakes will fit in a box like this.

After I left the storage area of Target I went over to my favorite section… The school supplies!

I found a really cute Blue Sky planner that was July 2012 – June 2013.

I loved everything about it! The design on the front and the inside was beautiful with built in To-Do lists and grocery list column, but I didn’t purchase it because it was a July – June and my planner will get me through December of this year. I just hope that I can find one similar when I’m ready to purchase a planner for next year.

I also found these

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of these but I see them on Pinterest all the time. They’re called Smash books and supposedly they’re kind of like a casual scrapbook for people that don’t want to take too much time saving and pasting something. It sounds like a really cute idea but I didn’t purchase this either. I love actual scrapbooking too much – LOL!

So my total for the items that I showed you today was $5.28 and that’s including the tax! I also purchased a 8 x 10 white frame for $4 that I needed for a project I’m working out but I excluded that from my total.

And that concludes my post for the day. I think Target should be paying me to talk so good about them. If you work at Target or know someone who does, tell them to sponsor me or whatever! Haha, just kidding… unless you do know someone that works there, put in a good word.

P.S. After I left Target last night I went and bought a new car! It’s a 2013 Sonata… Isn’t she pretty?!

Organizing on a Budget – #1

Organizing and making things look pretty and put together can often cost a lot of money. But in my “Organization on a Budget” segment I’ll be introducing products that I’ve found or that I use that are really affordable for everyone.

Five Pocket Letter Files – TARGET $1.00

Yes, I said that these are $1! What a steal?! Not a real steal, I mean, I did pay for them, but you get it.

I have about five or six of these accordion like file folders and they’re amazing. They come in 3 different sizes and about 4 or 5 different colors. They can hold hundreds of pages and they’re so easy to store. Something like this at Staples or Office Max would be well over $4 or $5.

I use the large ones to file away my monthly bank statements, random manuals from appliances and electronics that I use to just shove in a drawer or throw away. I use the medium size file accordion for recipes that I cut out of magazines or books or that I write on index cards. Since the inside is sectioned off I can label each section poultry, beef, pork, and fish. There is even room for a dessert section! As for the smallest size, I use it to store coupons. I keep one of them in my purse in case I make an impromptu stop somewhere and remember that I have a coupon for a certain thing. My husband Sam makes fun of me for it all the time, but two things you don’t mess with is a girl and her make up and a girl and her coupons.

So next time you’re at Target check out their $1 section, usually near the front of the store, for these really awesome, organizational must-haves!

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If you use or know of any affordable organizational supplies, I’d love to know and feature you on my blog. Comment with your e-mail address or e-mail me at kate@coordinatedkate.com