A life changing organizing tip

Well, that might a big dramatic. But, my sister did promise it would change my life. So here we go…

This happens all day long, right? I am constantly digging through the pantry and grabbing snacks for the kids, and trying to keep my diaper bag stocked. And then along came…the snack bin.

I did not come up with this idea. I was raiding my sister’s pantry during a visit and admiring her organization (she is amazing, you can find her at Morganize with Me), and I saw the snack bin. She explained how it worked, and I knew I must do the same thing immediately. She got the idea over at I Heart Organizing.

The idea is to package up portioned snacks ahead of time in small containers and make them accessible to your kids so they can help themself. Then the individual snacks go in a bin in the pantry where they can reach them.

In our house, my son needs to ask permission to get a snack from the snack bin, because I don’t want him helping himself all day and filling up too much before meals. I have found it really helpful for those times when I am busy and can’t grab a snack, and my son loves to be able to pick his own out.

I copied my sis and got the same containers, they are the Ball Plastic Freezer Jars. I have tried pre-portioning snacks in ziploc bags before but they end up getting smushed in my bag and my son can have a hard time opening the bags. I love these containers because they keep the snacks fresh, they don’t get crushed and they wash well.

I also love these because they help me when I’m doing the mad dash out the door in the morning. I always grab a couple of snacks for my bag so I am prepared for the day.

Some snack ideas for your snack bin:

  • Crackers
  • Cereal
  • Animal crackers
  • Veggies Straws
  • Raisins
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Pirate’s Booty
  • Nuts
  • Chex Mix
  • Granola
  • Trail mix

My sister also keeps a snack bin in the bottom drawer of her fridge for items like string cheese, yogurt, applesauce, etc. I love this idea but I’m not ready to give my kids access to the refrigerator yet. 🙂

How do you organize snacks? Would these work for you?

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Displaying kids art

I am SOOO excited about this finished project and can’t wait to share it with you!

You know the drill…you’ve got your kids adorable art sprinkled all over the house and car. I think it’s important to honor their creativity and display their prized artwork, but I was struggling with a way to contain it all. So I came up with the idea to once a year scan the pieces onto my computer and make a mosaic collage to hang on the wall. I had Cole go through his art and pick out his favorites for the mosaic and other favorites to keep in a file. Now he can proudly show off his work and I don’t have projects all over the place.

This is so easy to do, you don’t need a fancy program. I searched for a free program to make a mosaic using his first day of school picture as the master image, and found mosaickr.com. This is a free program and worked great, you just upload your photos and they put it together for you. The only problem I had was that this looks the best when you use 300-500 photos, and I had around 50.

I ended up using Picasa (also free) to put together the collage. After uploading your images and editing, you simply select all the photos you want to include and click on the “Create Photo Collage” button at the top.  I also included his first day of school photo in the collage to put in the center.

Then select “mosaic” from the collage options and rearrange until you are happy with the layout. I was able to put his school picture in the middle and put the year in text over the picture as well. Then, just save and have it printed and that’s it!

And I framed it. Now I just have to figure out where to hang it up!

Bathroom organization

Why do the tweezers always go missing? I am convinced that there is a black hole somewhere in our house containing a bunch of socks, tweezers, pens and all the other stuff that constantly gets lost.

This is a smart and simple way to manage the little things in your bathroom drawer. I use one of those paper clip holders from an office supply store to keep bobby pins, tweezers, manicure scissors, etc. – anything small and metal. The magnet at the top keeps them from spilling out and keeps pointy tweezer ends from poking you!