Tuesday, June 20, 2017

11 Mini Binder Coupon & Receipt Organization

Last week I mentioned that I spotted the prettiest blush mini-binder at The Container Store. I also mentioned that I love those fantastic mini-binders for organizing my coupons and receipts. And then I realized that I have been using the mini-binder organization for awhile now and I have yet to show you!

Between feeding a family of five and working on home organization and DIY projects around the clock, I run a lot of errands. Given my location, I try to consolidate my trips whenever possible. I live 20-60 minutes from the majority of my favorite shopping sources so I will typically hit up HomeGoods, Home Depot and a couple grocery stores all in a single outing.

Over the years I have attempted to organize my trips and handbag with a variety of checklists and pouches. Expandable files for coupons, envelopes for receipts, a small card holder for store cards and folded stacks of ideas and lists. Each individual attempt has been OK, but when combined it just created a jumbled mess inside of my purse. Or things would get misplaced, and transferring the items between totes would cause some to become separated from others. And sometimes the pouches and lists would get left in the car and then I would end up in our other vehicle. Not the end of the world, but I really wanted to find a way to keep everything together in one harder-to-lose organizer.

Maybe my situation is unique and not everyone will have the same needs as I do, I know many of you rely upon on your device when out and about, I am just not 100% there yet. That said, I did want to share because I sure do love my current setup and it really has helped to make my outings much easier to manage.

To assemble my shopping assistant, I began with a standard mini-binder from Container Store, which can also be found at Amazon, Target or any office supply store. Back when Staples offered a plethora of amazing Martha Stewart for Avery items, I picked up some secure-top page protectors and divider tabs. Although their offerings have since dwindled, Avery continues to offer a lot of similar options (again at Amazon, Target and office supply stores). I use page protectors/pockets to hold coupons and receipts, business card pages for store cards/gift cards, and added pages in the back for keeping track of my shopping lists. Let's take a closer look.

I continue to utilize my meal planning printables every week for coming up with our weekly meals and grocery shopping list. It typically lives inside of my pantry door throughout the week for the family to easily reference (in one of these clear sign holders), but when I leave for my shopping trip I use a clip to attach the list to the inside cover of the binder.

Although I use my phone for coupons every trip, I also receive a number of offers in the mail or print some from emails and websites or clip coupons from the newspaper and even the backs of receipts. I use one pouch to hold coupons for groceries and another for everything else (like haircuts, clothing, oil changes/auto maintenance, etc...).

Each pouch was labeled with my label maker and my favorite clear/gold tape.

When it comes to receipts, I generally only hold on to any that relate to my business and possible return items. I also like to keep my grocery receipts to check against our budget each month (and then they are recycled). I log my business expenses weekly and then permanently file away those specific receipts. Due to our location, I generally find myself over-purchasing for projects to be sure I have options and to prevent any last minute delays and trips. That also means I may have to manage quite a few returns and need to keep track of those receipts.

Business card sheet protectors were the ideal solution for all of my store loyalty cards and gift cards.

Because I may shop for project and home good materials at different times and locations than I will for our groceries, I keep those items on a separate list from our weekly meal planner. It is easier to utilize a separate printable to list the item and any specific details as a project progresses, or when multiple projects are taking place at once. And I love mini-tape measures because they are ridiculously helpful out on shopping trips to the hardware store or when measuring for bins and baskets (I find the small tape measures at craft stores, here is a similar one).

I have two free versions of this Shopping List printable for you, both designed to fit a mini binder! One to account for the center binder rings, and another that just allows the list to be centered on each page. The printable is designed to print on 5.5" x 8.5" paper, duplexed.

On occasion, I am out looking for an item that works with a specific paint color or I have inspiration pics clipped from catalogs/magazines. A small pocket on the back cover was added to organize those smaller items.

I also use a spare pocket to hold a calculator and pen as both come in handy at times.

All of these items tuck away nice and neat and the binder is still able to close flat without trouble. And best of all, I am able to carry this mini-binder in the majority of my handbags and totes. And if not, it is still portable on its own.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

13 Just Three Things & Some Link Love: 06 | 15 | 17

It's that time of year again! The kids are home from school for the summer and we are trying to figure out schedules and daily activities and boundaries and sanity savers. We have already made a trip to the craft store to load up on supplies, picked up a couple books from the library and Amazon, enrolled the boys in a few summer classes and tuned up their bikes for hours of cruising the neighborhood. We had a rocky start just trying to get everyone adjusted to the freedoms of summer, but I think we are finally finding a good groove that we all enjoy (fingers crossed). I am always looking for ways to keep the boys busy doing fun things that don't include a lot of tech time; they are each working on summer journals and have picked up a few fun hobbies to try and learn and also just spend a lot of hours playing with friends and being typical boys. But I always enjoy (and appreciate) chatting with fellow friends and families to add some additional summer sanity savers to our list. Maybe I should dedicate a post just to that since I could totally keep this conversation going for multiple paragraphs...

O N E //

I have said it a thousand times, but sometimes the best organizing solutions are the simplest, most obvious ones.

I am completely ready and dreaming of a true full-size built-in closet system, but until then I am making the most of my personal armoire. This last winter I realized that I own and utilize more sweaters than summer/swim items, so it only made sense to create easier sweater storage in the main area of my armoire and move my seasonal swim items to the less accessed canvas boxes I made. And who are we kidding, I am always so cold that I wear sweaters year round. In fact, I just pulled one from my pile yesterday. #freezebaby

I have forever wanted to try these wire shelf dividers but was skeptical that they would be flimsy and that I could DIY something better. Why do I let myself believe that I need to try and make everything?! I don't! So I finally just bought a couple of dividers, popped them on my shelf and fell in love with this little area of my closet.

I am happy to report they are very sturdy! The dividers do not stick out too far to shut the cabinet doors (but if they would have I would have just shaved a 1/4" off of the back of the shelf), and they do exactly their job of keeping my piles stacked and separate. Now, if I pull out a sweater out the rest remain in place. They are so much easier to see and use on display this way, and considering I wear them so frequently, this makes my happy every day!

I still love my DIY sweater boxes, but they now hold swimsuits, coverups, and other seasonal accessories.

Moral of the story? You don't need to DIY everything. Don't avoid simple solutions. Easy changes make a big difference. Rethink your spaces from time to time. Nicely folded and stacked things are always going to make me smile. And I can't wait to use these in more closets.

T W O //

I have a thing for pretty hardware for a few reasons but basically, I appreciate that it can take anything and make it look shiny and new. Good hardware elevates cabinets and furniture and also can instantly change the entire look and feel of a piece or even a room. That said, good hardware can be expensive. I have been sourcing bar pulls for a few projects and the majority of my faves were running from about $20-$50 for anything over 8" long.

I wish that I could report that I found the most stunning hardware on the planet for under $5, but I did find these at Home Depot for a really great price considering their quality, scale, weight, and finish. They are really so good in person. I was so heart-eyed when I opened them, I decided to end my search, order a couple more for the other projects and share their prettiness with you.

T H R E E //

I continue to contribute to Redbook magazine each month, which is always such a rewarding and fun experience! It is really important for us to collaborate on projects and spaces that are accommodating to busy families, won't take a lot of time, effort or money, don't have to be perfect to be functional, and ideas that are completely no-nonsense/approachable! That last one is especially important!

A few of the spaces we have covered recently are the pantry, junk drawers (using my tried and true method as well as a new one), and this summer cabinet which is currently on newsstands.

We have two summer stations in our garage; a cabinet that holds all of our picnicking items and beach supplies and another for our outdoor toys. I also especially love this bin for transporting items to and from the beach and parks because it is lightweight, durable and holds quite a bit.

Having these two areas has been essential in getting out the door quickly and easily when traveling to the ball field, park or lake. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to setup an easy-to-access summer cabinet.


L O V E  L I S T

July 11th and 12th I will be speaking at my third Bloom Workshop! I can't wait to go back because this workshop is done so beautifully and thoughtfully. There is something for everyone and it is especially amazing for those in the creative industry with small businesses. We focus on photography, styling, design, branding, social media, blogging, florals and growing a variety of additional creative skills. This time I will be heading to Chicago and I would absolutely love to meet you there! IHeart Organizing readers can receive 10% off their ticket with the code IHEART at checkout.

This mini blush and gold binder is calling my name! I love these for organizing receipts and notes in my handbag.

I do my best to stay away from Target but I have found a couple of good items lately! These gold sandals have been on my feet for a month straight and my son loves his new super-soft and super-cute Pillowfort sheets. The one thing I have somehow resisted, although I have gone back to it a few different times, is this super chic file box. I don't need another file box, but am trying to come up with another use for it!

I will be the first to admit that I have made quite a few mistakes while working on our home. With that, I have learned some things over the years; if you don't try you won't learn, nothing is permanent, and some of the best results come from taking risks. I also feel like making mistakes comes from rushing something or acting on creative impulse, and at times those mistakes can make us feel a little defeated, discouraged and deflated. Emily Henderson recently shared some mistakes she has made in her new home, and I found it to be really humbling to hear from someone with a lot of experience that this is OK and normal. In this Pinterest pretty blog world paired with the Instagram highlight reel that we look at daily, I think it is really important to share and talk about the good, bad and the ugly.

These gold wall pockets are stunning and I am considering a couple for stylishly stashing away small accessories.

I recently made these "no"jitos for a lunch gathering and they were delightful!

20 Weekend Projects Under $20! I spy one familiar project, but I have 19 more to add to my list!


I should know by now that I am too chatty to limit these posts to just three things or just some links. I think we need to have more frequent chat sessions, would you be interested in that? I always think that I have nothing left to blog about, and then I sit down and start typing and you can't shut me up.

This week I have been working on a really great pantry project for a friend, I can't wait to finish it up and share soon!

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