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!

_________________________________________

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!

________________________________________________

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

Lazy Weekend

After last weeks extravaganza this weekend was a well needed relaxing, not-much-going-on, hang out in bed until 10:00 am kinda weekend. No great organizational tips or financial spreadsheets today. I’m sorry. But I did go to Christmas Tree Shop today and found these awesome Sally Hansen nail pen things and I got one in a chrome silver and also a fuchsia chrome which looks something like this:

Isn’t it pretty? And it was only $1.69!

I’m also currently listening to:

I was never a huge Beach Boys fan until I found this vinyl. They’re amazing!

But that’s pretty much the highlights of my weekend. I did find a little time to work on a few projects for a few posts this coming week so stay tuned! Especially if you love mason jars and scrapbook paper storage! Hahaa.

I hope all of you have had a great weekend and I can’t wait to share my new organizational ideas with you this week!

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!

_______________________________________________

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

Cheap Travel Kit For The Car!

I have this weird reoccurring dream that I’m driving through a desert like setting at night and my car breaks down. Don’t ask me why! I don’t think there are any desert-like roads in New Jersey but for some reason I still think my nightmare is relevant – Hahaa! That nightmare is the reason I always keep a few necessities in the car at all times. Remember those $.97 storage boxes I told you about last week in my Organizing on a Budget #4? Well that’s what I’ve used to put my kit together.

My kit includes:

– Toilet paper, because you never know when you’ll have to go. I know this all too well. But that’s another story!

-Small first-aid kit

-Bottle of ibprofen

-Pack of Wet Ones wipes that are on sale this week at Target for $1, by the way.

-Small bottles of shampoo & conditioner

-A mini lint roller. I don’t know why, but I never notice that I need a lint roller until I’m in natural light (like when I’m sitting in the car), so I added a mini lint roller to my purse and to the car kit.

-A little pack of tissues

-Hand sanitizer

-A small bar of soap that I stole from Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City 🙂

– Swiss army knife (w/ a wine bottle opener!)

-And matches, in case I really do get stranded in the desert and need to start a fire to stay warm in the freezing cold nights to keep away the dangerous animals and desert scorpions that are all out to attack me! (Alarm clock goes off)… Oh, just a dream.

So the whole kit was under $10 to put together and I think it’s well worth it because you never know when you’ll need some of this stuff. Some things I might add is maybe a couple bottles of water. Maybe a couple small bags of snacks or nut bars that won’t melt or get gooey if left in the hot trunk. Super easy to customize and actually pretty fun to think of all the scenerios when you might need this.

Happy hump day!

More ways to save money & be organized!

If you’re like me, when you get a gift bag with gifts in it, the only purpose that the bag serves is to keep everything together until you get it home. Then once I get home, the bag gets thrown in the garbage because I just don’t have anywhere to put it or don’t ever suspect that I’ll have the need to recycle it. WRONG! Do you know how much money you could save by keeping all of your gift bags and reusing them? And by buying Christmas wrapping paper after the holidays? It’s crazy! Preparing for situations before they happen will save you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t just chalk up the money for a new, pretty, frilly gift bag! Just keep the ones that you get for your birthday and Christmas and recycle!

(Sorry for the awful pics. I took these with my phone instead of my camera)

Keep a storage container with your left over bags and gift boxes!

Do you know how hard it is to find gift boxes in the summer time or any time other than Christmas? It’s very difficult, believe me! Keeping your extras really saves money and the time it would take you to search for them! Not only should you save gift bags and gift boxes but save your shoe boxes also! It’s so easy and cheap to decorate a shoe box into a pretty little gift box.

With all the Christmas bags and just random little bags I’ve gotten in the past year, I don’t think I’ll need to purchase any for awhile.

Right now, Target has these storage containers 2 for $9 and Amazon has a gift wrap storage bag for $12.99 and it’s also eligible for Amazon Prime Free Two-Day shipping!