Friday, December 30, 2011

83 2011 Project Review and Some 2012 Goals!

Every year I like to reflect.  Take a look back at the year and say WAHOO, it was a GREAT year!  And... take a moment to look for any areas of opportunity and set some goals to make the next year even BETTER!

2011 was a really great year for us.  I got to be a stay at home mom and be extremely involved with the kids at home and at school.  We started rebuilding our lower level and even tore down a wall!  The hubs and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and renewed our vows.  I organized like crazy and was able to start blogging full time.  The blog had some incredible features, and ended up in a glossy mag!  Seriously, I feel blessed every single moment and think that 2011 was one of my favorite years EVER!

So, just like I did last year, I thought it would be fun to look back at my favorite projects from this year!

In January, I started out the year by looking at time management and shared a couple of things that work well for us.

I chatted about all of my favorite storage any why.

We tackled the paper monster: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6 and Step 7.

In February, we worked hard on getting our photos organized: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4 and I shared what camera and lenses I use.

And we took a little break from all of the photo organizing to make a quick DIY earring holder:

And we used a great blog tutorial to create our own inexpensive burst mirror which we still totally adore!

In March, we rocked out a Household Binder!  Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step 10, Step 11 and a wrap up post.

We made a major transformation to our living room and built in some bookcases!

We created a memo/menu chalk board out of an old cabinet door.

We also learned about the proper way to store our medication.

In April, I went through our home and purged like crazy in every room, to make some moola {I was able to pocket some for future projects and snag a flip cam!} and learned that we can really live with less.  Entry, Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom.

In May, we spent the month making over the boys room.  We sold the bunk beds which funded the project, painted stripes, added a new light fixture, painted some old frames, and did some organizing projects which gave them a pretty fun space to call their own!

We even managed to redo their shared closet that month as well!

In June we started checking off a bunch of smaller projects off of the list.  We added a door to our bathroom cabinet.

We had a garage sale and sold a bunch of our purged items, said farewell to majority of the daycare toys and hauled the rest off to be donated.

The kid's even had fun with it at their lemonade stand.

We added some labeled baskets to our kitchen cabinets to corral some of the smaller items.

And took another stab at the spice cabinet.

I found some great cutlery caddies at Target which I decided needed to be transformed to organize more important things around our home.  Like art supplies:

Cleaning supplies:

And our projecting tools:

In July, we really got to town working on the lower level.  New floors were in which meant I could start painting and working my magic.  I started off in the laundry room by giving it a fresh coat of paint and adding some decorative corbels to the floating shelves we already had.

We tore down a wall in-between an unused sitting nook and walk-in closet in the master bedroom, to create a new giant dressing/exercise room!

A great blog friend came to visit and show me how to no sew some curtain panels!

We had finally finished up painting all of the trim and doors in the upper level and I shared the "how we did it" and before and afters.

Once the new walls were up in the dressing room, I got the crazy idea to stencil them!  And I LOVE how it turned out!

August, we turned out attention to getting amped up for the first day of school.  And made sure that we also soaked up all of the time we could outside before winter would come and take it all away!  That included going to the beach {and sharing how we organize those day trips}

We created a lunch basket to simplify the lunch making process a bit!

Changed my hair color {hey, that's a project right?}:

Snuck in a quick basement project and created a place for my sweater, camera bag and tote:

And also snuck away for a final summer vacation and shared how we stay sane in the car with three little monsters kids.

September was a whirlwind.  All sorts of goodness happened.  I created some inexpensive magazine files for my future studio.

I created my first VLOG {more to come in 2012, I promise!}:

With school in full swing, we established a morning routine for the kids.

The hubs and I took a day off to head to "Junk Bonanza" and find some great inspiration!

Used some pretty fabric to add some color to the laundry room:

And no sew curtain for our doorless under the stairs storage area:

Entryways can be hard to organize, especially when they basically don't exist because they are so small... I shared how we dealt with that!

Oh yeah, and I was on THE NATE BERKUS SHOW!  Just sayin', that was pretty neat!

And to top it all off, I gave the blog a major face lift!!

In October, I helped a pal organize her playroom:

And got to work organizing our insane stash of Legos!  We started out with build buckets for the boys:

November we decided to try and breath a bit.  We had giant plans to host guests for the holidays and switched our focus.

However, I did squeeze in some dressing room organizing!

And painted their rug with fun stripes{Which I later updated here since it was getting dirty in the high traffic areas}

For Thanksgiving, we DIY'ed some super simple and cheap dining table decor, like pine cone napkin rings:

December we switched gears to start focusing on Christmas!  We created a fun countdown which helped me slow down and focus on the holidays with the kids!

I even snuck in a minute to organize our linen closet.  Even with the hustle and bustle of holiday crafting and projects, I had to organize something!

And tweak some playroom artwork with pretty paper!

And can you believe that we even got to start building my dream studio desk?  Me either!

I even got to meet some lovely local ladies and I can't wait to do it again!

The icing on the cake was an awesome two page Cottages & Bungalows magazine spread!

Wow.  Now that was a fun trip down memory lane!  Did I crash your computers?  Maybe my blog?  I wonder if blogger will even allow me to post this?  Ooops.

Doing this made me realize a couple of things, and allow me to set some "goals" for an even better 2012!
  • Balance the "Big" and "Small" projects more.  This year we had a lot of ripple effect from the lower level flooding, which caused us to really continue to move things around and start rebuilding a second level of our home.  A lot of focus went into the larger projects {which is still all organizing related}, yet it seemed like last year I really focused on a lot of the smaller, quick and easy projects {which are my favorite}.  So, I would like to better balance the two.  Make sure that each month I am sharing the quick, fun and little things that can be done to be super organized, along with the bigger DIY projects that we also adore!
  • Balance my TIME better.  Ugh.  For someone who loves to organized, lacking in personal time management is about as bad as fingernails to chalkboard.  I have a hard time saying no.  With that, I take on more than I can possibly manage effectively.  Between style tiles, Etsy orders, projecting, blogging, emailing, facebooking, site updating, guest posting and contributing, picture editing and being that person called, "Mom" and "Wife" and "Friend" and keeping up our life and home.... I don't have two seconds left in my day.  And every one of those tasks is lacking in greatness since I am trying to do them all, yet I am only one person.  I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to be "Super Humans" and "Super Bloggers" and "Super Mom's" and I fall right into that trap.  This year, I am going to prioritize my time, my family's time and make some changes to how much I am taking on.  And yes, that means some of my services will probably get cut this year, or maybe I can find a way to expand and hire?  Only time will tell.
  • New projects!  My home has been the main attention of this blog for the last two plus years.  I still have a slew of organizing projects that I want to accomplish {the list is always changing and growing}, however, I am sure you and I can both agree that you don't want to spend the next year re-visiting previous projects and watching as I keep moving things around until I get it just right {although you will still see some of that I am sure}.  I am going to take a risk of putting my dream "out there" so this year I DO IT!  I want to start helping YOU!  Right now, my youngest is still home with me for a large part of the day, so I don't have a ton of capacity to get out and start organizing full time.  However {and this is just a thought}, I would love to pick a reader each month, to help FOR FREE in person, in exchange for sharing the process and before and afters right here on the blog.  That's about all I have figured out, and of course there are all sorts of fine print details that would have to be worked out, but it's in the planning phases and I think it could add a new variety to this blog that I am longing for!
  • More YOU!  Again, because I am trying to manage my time better, yet I also want to work with you more and keep expanding my shop {big dreams for this gal}, I need to think about how many projects and posts I run that are focused on the things we are doing here.  You all have endless talent, I have a slew of Reader Space submissions in the hopper to be featured and I want more!  I am thinking of keeping the Reader Spaces {before and after style features}, and adding more "Guest Posts" {tutorial "how to" simple project type features}.
  • Emails.  I have a confession.  I am an email hoarder and sure, I can organize a cabinet, drawer or even an entire room, but my inbox looks like it was hit by a hurricane, tornado and blizzard all at once.  It's ugly.  It has emails from two months ago that I know I still have to reply to and that eats at me every minute of the day.  The hard thing about running this incredible blog and having it grow beyond my wildest dreams, is that I get a lot of questions looking for organizing help.  A lot.  And the time I have to think up amazing solutions to each one just isn't there right now.  Again, it's on the list of priorities to manage better in 2012, however, I had an idea in the meantime.  I am going to be filtering through your organizing questions and dilemma's and start answering them via "IHeart Answering" posts on the blog.  You know, kill two birds with one stone kind of thing {Where did that awful saying come from anyway?  Who would ever want to hurt an innocent bird?}  I think that many of you have similar dilemmas and by answering the questions here, hopefully I am helping more than just one person.  {Of course, I will always check with you prior to publishing your question and photos}.  Unfortunately, this means at this time, that not all dilemma's can be answered {although I will do what I can to try}, but hopefully more will be addressed and more variety in my posting will happen which is a giant win for everyone.
So those are the main goals I have had swimming around in my brain.  I will also always be looking at ways to make other blog enhancements throughout the year as well, such as better navigation, fixing glitches {maybe even switching away from blogger if I can figure that one out}, adding videos, etc... so stay tuned for a fun and fresh 2012!!

What "goals" do you have for 2012?  How do you go about sticking to them throughout the year?

Happy new year to you all.  I wish you the most fabulous and fun and safe holiday weekend!  I honestly get chills and tears looking back at this year and thinking about the growth that has taken place here, and how much I appreciate every email, comment, virtual hug and picture you "pin".  The support I receive here is far greater than I ever could have imagined and you all rock my world.  IHeart you!