Coffee with Me

Cleaning Off My Desk February 16, 2010

Filed under: Home Organization,Works for Me Wednesday — Melissa @ 10:56 pm

Last week I bought these fabulous bags at Costco and I briefly mentioned them in this post. They really deserve a whole post. And to top it off you’re getting a two-fer “works for me” this week!

I love these bags. They come in a pack of 4 – two large and two small. Though as you can tell the small ones are not really small.

They are very sturdy and strong. They’re made of a type of vinyl material. The label just says 100% recyclable.

We put our Costco items in the bags to cart them home and these bags can hold some weight!!

The big bags have two sets of straps as Hannah is demonstrating to you. And the smaller bags have two bottle holders on the inside. Very nice! I’m definitely taking these grocery shopping with me next time.

Oh my. Look at my desk. It’s a terrible mess. It’ll take forever to get through that pile and company is on the way.

No need to grab a laundry basket like before. I’m grabbing a Costco bag. They’re sturdy and HUGE enough for this mess!!

Look how clean my desk is now and it only took 10 seconds! Don’t mind the full bag. It really will be easy to go through…another day.

These reusable bags work for me…for grocery shopping, carrying books from the library, taking toys for an outing, and even for cleaning off my desk!


Kitchen Organization – Kid Style February 9, 2010

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — Melissa @ 9:20 pm

Many years ago, my oldest had the chore of emptying the dishwasher. Except that she couldn’t reach to put away the dishes and I didn’t want her climbing up on the countertops. So she’d leave those dishes on the counter and then I’d come behind her and put them away.

Fast forward a few years and my 2nd daughter had the chore of emptying the dishwasher. I had a brilliant idea to move the main dishes to the lower cupboards. Afterall, I didn’t set the table or unload the dishwasher. I hardly touched the dishes! Why not make it easier for those that did?

It’s many years later and I have several other little ones now and as they continue to pass the dishwasher-unloading-baton down the line, it is still easy for them to unload the dishwasher.

Here’s my lower cabinet with the main dishes in it.

I also put “kid” cups down low as well as the cereal. In the mornings, while they’re getting breakfast together, I’m usually walking on the treadmill or showering, and this makes it easy for even the 2-year-old to pick out what she wants. She gets her own water too.

This cabinet is actually the pantry. It’s deep and goes up to the ceiling. I would lose food in there. I use the upper cabinets for small appliances and my pans. The lower one is pictured here with the “kid” dishes and the cereal. The bottom shelf has paper supplies. My food is in some upper cabinets that are not so deep and are really much better for holding food.

As a side note here is a quick picture of how my kitchen is organized. The upper cabinets hold plastic food storage containers (easy to put away and don’t break if they get dropped), coffee cups and other related coffee/tea items, food, medicine, baking supplies, cooking items (oils and such), “adult” glasses (which I do put away). The lower cabinets hold dishes, bowls, serving items, baking sheets/pans, everything else, and the rest are drawers.

Having a kid-friendly kitchen works for me! Check out Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family for more great tips!


My Notebook February 2, 2010

Filed under: Home Organization,Works for Me Wednesday — Melissa @ 8:40 pm

Listen carefully! This will be the best tip I ever give you. Seriously. It is the best. This is my lifesaver and timesaver! I learned about this from Annetta Bowman back in 2000 when we lived in Utah. She is a wonderful woman who we attended church with and she shared so much with me about being a mom and wife. And I will never, ever forget her just because of this one tip she gave me (plus she’s very faithful to send me a Christmas card each year).

It’s a notebook.

Yep, folks, that’s it. A notebook. I usually just use a simple one. I have used that same size/style for years. Once in a while I get a fancy one or something different, but mostly I just stick to something like that. I have gone through a lot of notebooks in the past 10 years.

So what is so special about a notebook. Ah. It’s not what it looks like. It’s what you do with it. I use my notebook for writing down everything. Anything that comes to mind that I need to do, I write it down. No dates. Not time limits. Just a list. One after the after. Anything that comes to mind. Because then it’s out of your head and it’s on paper and you will NOT forget to do it.

That page is dated because I date the first day. As I complete an item, I cross it off. If I get to where I have 3 or 4 pages of to-dos, I’ll cross off the one or two that are left on a page and add them to the end. When I finish a whole page, I put a check mark in the corner.

The reason I don’t tear my pages out is that sometimes I’ve made little notations regarding an item or I might need to look back to see if I’ve taken care of something and I can’t remember if I did or not. So I just keep the noteback intact and keep turning pages as I need them.

I also use the notebook to write down notes of anything else that is going on in my life.

For example, this next picture shows my notes regarding Matthew’s upcoming birthday party.

And this next picture shows a list I’m keeping for some upcoming Cub Scout events. When I’m done with these events I’ll just put a check mark in the corner.

And lastly I use my notebook for shopping/errands list. We’re going to CostCo this Saturday and I started making a list of items that I don’t want to forget to buy. I also put my WalMart list and Joann Fabric list on there. And if I think of anywhere we need to stop, then I’ll write that down also. I don’t skip around in my notebook. I just turn to the next page and start a new to-do list page or start a page for whatever else it is that I need to take notes.

I do my grocery shopping list on a regular piece of paper because 1. it’s long and 2. I use a clipboard. I should put my menu in this notebook though. Then I’d have a running record (and future ideas) of what we had for our meals. Great idea! I’m going to get right on that. 🙂

And for bloggers.  Start a page with ideas for blog posts.  Add to it as you think of new things.  Cross off the ones you actually write about.  You’ll always have fresh ideas from which to choose!  I can’t share a picture of mine.  It’s highly classified!

Thanks for letting me share for Works for Me Wednesday hosted at We Are That Family.