Brilliant Idea!

I’ve been thinking lately about what I want to be doing, career wise and I’ve decided that I want to start networking with professional organizers and party planners and stuff. I love doing things like that and to potentially get paid to do something like that would be great. I work part time now so I’m thinking I could free up some time in the afternoons and also on weekends to just kind of see what that would be like. I’m not too sure how to start even looking for opportunities like that but I’ll find out and I’m really excited.

If you live in New Jersey and know anyone, hook a girl up!

Recent Purchase – #1

Before you start reading this, I just wanted everyone to know that it took me about an hour to write this post because I’ve been so distracted ALL DAY! I opened up the “New Post” page and typed in the title, then put on some music, then started writing a little and then stopped to eat some potato chips, then wrote a little more and then called my mom, wrote a little more and then had a dance party in my living room. Yeah, I said a dance party. Anyways

I’m an avid Groupon purchaser. Sometimes they have really great deals that I just can’t pass up. A couple months ago they had $10 yearly magazine subscriptions, two weeks ago they had hookahs, and then last week I found this…

The Laundry Pod!

Have I ever told you the story about how much I hate doing laundry? No? Well it’s a long one and the cliff notes go a little something like this: I FREAKING HATEEEEE LAUNDRY!

We don’t have our own washer and dryer in our apartment. We have to go to a shared facility that’s like a block away to do any laundry or we have to go to a laundromat. It sucks! So anytime I need anything washed I need to pack up a laundry basket, pack up the car, and drive down the block to the communal laundry room, unload the car, and do the laundry. And here is the kicker… it costs us $5 a load! Not only is it soooo time consuming, it also costs a lot of money. I usually send Sam to do it (insert evil laugh here).

When I saw this product on Groupon, I immediately went and searched for reviews and videos of people using it and it actually looked pretty cool and kinda fun.

Umm, yeah it totally looks like a salad spinner for your clothes but that’s part of the awesomeness. It can’t hold a lot of clothes and I’m not saying that it’s going to completely rid me of  using the communal laundry room but it’s definitely a huge help. During the week if I need a couple t-shirts washed or something, it’s super easy to throw them in here, churn it as if I’m making butter for about 10 minutes and then setting the clothes out to dry on my drying rack. I’ll still need to go to the dreaded laundry room to wash towels and sheets and stuff like that, but pretty much everything else can be washed in here. Not only is it super portable and a super space saver, it’s also super green. And I say green as in eco-friendly. This baby doesn’t need electric and it uses way less water than an actual washer.

So, in conclusion, if you live in an apartment, go camping a lot, or just want to save the universe one laundry pod at a time, you should really get this. It’s easy to use, easy to put away, and it’s just easy. I probably only have to go to the laundry room once or twice a month. That alone gets me super excited!

Happy Friday!

Ask Kate! – #1

I received an e-mail from a woman that is having some trouble organizing  a drawer in her kitchen. This is what she had to say:

“I have this one drawer in my kitchen that contains everything but the kitchen sink.  It just so happens I also have a flatware tray in that drawer that holds my silverware.  This drawer contains everything from cash, credit cards, coupons, garbage bag ties, receipts, keys, pens, hair ties – I could go on and on ……

 Anyway I’m embarrassed when guests end up having to grab a fork and end up seeing all that mess.  The only thing that keeps me from cleaning this drawer is that all of this stuff has nowhere else to go.  That’s why it’s in there in the first place!

 Help me!”

Well, Mrs. Anonymous, it sounds like you have successfully combined your silverware drawer with your “kitchen junk drawer”. I think every has got one of those (EVEN ME!), but you need a solution so that you can gain back your silverware drawer. The easy (and dumb) solution would be to simply move all the junk to a different drawer so that your silverware drawer is free of clutter, but we’re not going to do that! We’re going to find an organized solution  for all that mess.

This is kind of what I imagine your drawer looks like right now:

(I know, I know, my sample drawer is actually a sample basket, but it works for now)

1) Let’s start with the cash and credit cards – It’s not a good idea to leave loose credit cards and cash  in a drawer. It’s 10x easier to misplace! I would recommend keeping that kind of stuff in your wallet or getting a small change purse to keep cash, cards, and ID’s so it’s not just hanging out in a drawer waiting to get lost. For example, I had a small change purse laying around, so it could be something like this:

2) Coupons & Receipts –  I get coupons every time I go grocery shopping and I never know what to do with them. Some coupons you know you may use and others you know you WON’T use. It’s best to just throw the ones you know you’re not going to use away. You need to keep the remaining ones organized. Remember those $1 accordion file folders from Target that I told you about in Organizing on a Budget #1? The smallest size would be perfect for keeping the coupons and receipts handy and organized. If you don’t have one of those, just use an envelope and label it “Coupons” and “Receipts”. This way everyone in the household knows after they come home from the store with new coupons and receipts that they now have a designated space!

 3) As for keys, I would get a small basket that you can leave on the counter top somewhere nearby. Not in the middle of the counter top but in a corner or against a wall. Put the keys, the coupon and receipt envelopes, and the change purse or wallet in this basket. It’s very accessible and not cluttering up your silverware drawer and not taking up too much space on the counter. I use a small basket on my bookshelf near the door for keys and stuff so I put the examples together to give you an idea:

4) Hair ties & pins – Hair accessories belong in bathrooms and on vanities. There’s many ways to keep hair ties and bobby pins together. I just recently got small glass candle holders 3 for $1 at AC Moore and I use them in my bathroom to hold my hair accessories.

If you have tons of hair ties and bobby pins use a mason jar or even small decorative boxes. Whatever works for you or whatever you have laying around!

5) Pens – They are easy to keep together. You can use a mason jar, a tin can that you’ve washed and possibly decorated, or a cheap box like the ones I picked up at Target in the $1 aisle.

I hope that this has helped you, Mrs. Anonymous! Get back your silverware drawer and get rid of that clutter! All of the solutions I’ve mentioned are easy and the supplies you need to do it are either extremely cheap or things that you’ve got around the house already. Being organized isn’t always about everything matching and looking perfect, it’s about functionality. Remember THAT, Martha Stewart!

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If you have any questions about organizing a drawer, a bookshelf, a corner, a room, or whatever it is and you need some inspiration or some simple solutions, let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

E-MAIL ME AT KATE@COORDINATEDKATE.COM

Declutter by Donating!

When you’re cleaning and you find THAT object, just laying around, time after time. It doesn’t matter what it is but you don’t use it and it’s always just in the way! I have a solution for that.

Make a Donation Station in your home! Just get a box or one of these big storage containers and label it so that everyone in the house knows what it’s for. Since Sam and I have been rearranging stuff in our apartment, we’re coming across a few things that we haven’t ever used or no longer use. Like:

Some bags and totes that I haven’t used in forever. And…

This weird light thing that we bought at Ikea that we haven’t ever used. Along with a bunch of other stuff that we just always see in the weirdest places and we can never figure out a designated spot for.

This is a perfect idea if you have a child with way too many toys! When you see a couple toys laying around that you haven’t seen your child play with for awhile, throw it in the box.

My rule is we put it in the box and then we wait 30 days. If the object hasn’t been taken back out or put to use or we don’t know of anyone that needs it, then it gets donated at the end of the month. It’s a win-win situation for you. On one hand you got rid of that annoying object that was cluttering your area. On the other hand you feel satisfied that you donated so that someone who needs it will find it and be able to put it to use!

NECESSARY Monthly Billing Binder!

When I first started saving all of my monthly bills and statements, I saved at least $100 within the first two months. You don’t realize where you can cut down or where you’re being overcharged until you actually look at your bills every month on a consistent basis.

And this is by far the easiest suggestion that I’ll probably make throughout this entire blog. All you need to do is keep your bills and this binder is going to help you keep them organized and could potentially save you some money!

 I use a 1″ binder that I got from Target for about $2.79, but sometimes they have really good deals (especially around August for the back-to-school sales) for their Up & Up brand of school/office supplies and you can get two 1″ binders for like $3. I also picked up some sheet protectors and binder dividers from Staples for really cheap (and right now they have 1″ binders that are really inexpensive). Target is my go-to place for supplies but Staples has really great deals sometimes that I just can’t ignore!

Just divide your binder into sections according to the different bills that you acquire during the month, for example: Verizon Wireless, Fios, Electric, VISA Statement, etc. Then decide how you’d like to organize each section. For instance, I like to put the newer bills in the back of each section, just because it’s easier.

Once the bills come in the mail or are available to print out online, put them in the binder and compare it to the last months bill. Look at all the details and make sure you weren’t overcharged. When I first started this I was seeing some crazy things on my Verizon Fios bill for some crazy internet security bundle that I didn’t need and didn’t ask for. I called and they took it off and reimbursed me for the past three months and got me $20 off my next bill. I also was looking at my Verizon Wireless bill and found out that I was paying for insurance on a phone that was no longer on my account!

It’s really simple. All you need to do is save your bills and pay attention. I use one binder for all my bills and I keep them for an entire year. When the year is over, I throw them out, or burn them – haha, just kidding!

 This is a great project to pair with the ESSENTIAL Monthly Planner project. In a couple days I’m going to show you how I do my financial spreadsheets that are super easy and I promise, if you follow all of the steps, you’ll be the most financially organized person around! Stay tuned!

Organizing on a Budget – #2

Chargers and USB cords everywhere, but I can never find them when I need them or they’re stuck in the huge jumbled mess of cords that are all plugged into the same surge protector…. all the way under my desk.

Well, you could go out and buy one of these nifty things

You can buy them at Target, Staples, Walmart or pretty much everywhere. But they all cost $10 or more! So I found a solution.

A BINDER CLIP!

Who doesn’t have one of those laying around the house?! Just thread the smaller end of the cord (usually the USB end) through both of the handles and then clip to the side of your desk, nightstand, or charger table, and TA-DA! Yeah, they don’t look as cool as those $15 cordies or whatever they’re called but they’re functional, and sometimes (especially in a simple case like this) isn’t it enough? I found really cheap binder clips at Staples in awesome colors for $3-$5.

I think this solution is really awesome and very cost effective.

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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 kate@coordinatedkate.com

Rearranging my apartment!

In one month it will have been a year since Sam and I moved into our apartment and to this day, I still don’t feel completely at home. We’ve just signed the lease for an additional year and I figured it’s the best time to start making some “homey” changes. It’s hard to figure out where to put things or which room should be designated as the dinning room or computer room/home office space. So, we’ve been moving it around constantly since we moved in.

There’s a room right off of our kitchen which I suppose would be the dining room but it’s such a non-functioning dining room because of it’s size. It’s a very thin room and when the table is in the middle and the chairs are pulled out, it’s impossible for people to get by.

Then we have a pretty decent size living room which we’ve cut kind of in the middle and use the other side for a computer/gaming/home office space and it was pretty function-able. Until yesterday. We were sick of it! We did a complete flip flop of the rooms and now I’m starting to organize things and find a place for everything which can be both fun and annoying.

I took a couple before pictures from a couple months ago before I turned it into a little computer area but it looks a little different now. I’ll post these before pictures now and then once I’m done setting everything up, expect some after pics!

Before:

After our first little revamp:

Stay tuned for the official after pictures from our latest little update!

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

Are you ready?!

Papers all over the desk? Bills gone unpaid? Can’t find that paper you got in the mail? Can’t find ANYTHING?

Sound familiar?

Well, let me help you organize and coordinate your life! I promise it’s not hard and it won’t take long. You’ll thank me for it later. I’ll walk you through everything, including: keeping track of bills, finances, organizing your home office, kitchen cabinets, nail polish, make up drawers, meal planning, etc. Believe me, if it needs organized, I have the solution. Everyone can benefit from this blog so follow me and let me make organizing fun, exciting, and easy for you!