Friday, January 4, 2013

41 Favorite Posts of 2012 & Some Goals!!

Every year at the end of the year, it is IHeart Organizing tradition to reflect back on the year and share my favorite posts and projects.  It is the fire that keeps me going for next year and I find it fun to look back at progress we have made, lessons we have learned and get excited for what is to come.

You can see the 2011 recap post here and the 2010 one here.

This past year we spent a lot of time rebuilding and regaining our lower level, which meant quite a few larger projects.  We were also determined to get good storage systems in place for the boys to make for smoother mornings, afternoons, evenings and trips to the ball fields.  Major thumbs up!

However, it is amazing to think about the down the line impacts from some of the bigger projects we took on.  Smaller things are impacted like diligent filing, junk drawers and clutter.  All things on the list for 2013, wink wink!

Organized Holiday Decor, Organized Bath Cabinet, Painted Magazine Files, Organized Pet Supplies

Labeled Laundry Hampers, Study Box, DIY Studio Desk, Organized Greeting Cards, Bedroom Molding, Bookplates

DIY Canvas Boxes, Herb Planters, Becky's Dining Room, Catherine's Bedroom, Painted Entertainment Center, Organized Cords

Toys Wall Letters, Our Meal Planning, Birch Tree Wall Stencil, We were on HGTV!, Jewelry Display, Playroom Bench Storage

Cord Keeper, Labeled Playroom Baskets, Dresser Update, Organized Purse, Basket by the Stairs, Crate Book Storage

Kid's Closet Organization, My Closet Organization, Kid's Craft Storage, DIY Rope Basket, DIY Upholstered Headboards, Our Summer Schedule

Pantry Crate, Spray Painted Mirror, Over-sized Wall Map, Painted Dresser

Lined Drawers, DIY Laundry Drying Rack, Organized Vanity, Organizing my Brother's Apartment, Traveling w/Kids, Organized Entry Cubbies

Instagram Desk, Organized Touch Up Paint, Sports Station, Paint Baskets, Washi Tape File Folders, Paint References

Thrifty Bath Updates, Playroom Reveal, Organized Craft Room, Laundry Helpers, DIY Herringbone Pendant, Two Toned Dresser

Wooden Stair Install, Thrifty Storage Box, Toddler Boy Bedroom, Under the Kitchen Sink, Votive Desk Storage, Laundry Lighting

Christmas Card Display, Painted Glass Jar, Holiday Display, DIY Christmas Ornaments, Striped Curtains, DIY Chalkboard Calendar

And we had some incredible features along the way and I was able to join the Better Homes & Gardens Style Spotters team!

Getting Organized Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens Storage

Oh what a year it was!  And here is hoping that 2013 is just as bright, colorful, exciting and filled with DIY and organizational fun!

So how did I do with my goals from last year to this year?
  • Balance the "Big" and "Small" projects more.  I tried.  I really did.  I think I maintained a pretty good balance for the most part.  We did a lot of small DIY projects like painting jars, furniture, mirrors and even curtains.  We organized closets and drawers and cabinets.  But we also did a complete playroom overhaul, added great storage to the garage and entry. 
  • Balance my TIME better. Yes and no once again.  I felt far busier this year, even after removing some of my services and hiring on Emily to help with emails and sponsors.  I think we pushed ourselves harder to get projects done and bring more content, but I also made sure to be OK taking some days off, turning off the computer in the evenings to be there for my family and just saying no for sanity sake.  It's all about balance right?
  • New projects!  I revisited some of our existing systems, like under our sink, our meal planning and our first aid cabinet.  But we also continued to work on beautifying and finishing our home which meant all sorts of fun new projects too!  And I was so excited to get away from our home own to help out my pal Becky with her living room/dining room and daughter's room, my brother with his apartment, my bestest friend with her son's bedroom, Emily with her guest room and a beautiful local mom with her craft room.
  • More YOU!  You all blow me away daily!  Your reader spaces rock my world and I can't get enough of them!  I feel like the Very Greedy Bee, but send me more, send me more!  This year I also brought more variety by adding the most incredible team of contributors, aren't they inspiring?  I even got to raid a couple of local homes {thank you Jillian and Jackie!}, which were some of my favorite moments of the year! 
  • Emails.  The email dinging would haunt me from time to time throughout the year, but I have to say, it has gotten SO much better since Emily has joined the team {in comparison to previous years of inbox chaos}.  Together, we can tackle the shop orders and inbox, the sponsor inbox, the reader space inbox and the main inbox!  That is a lot of emails and inbox's but I promise you that YOU are our top priority!  We love you!  So please accept our apologies if you still experience delays, but we are doing our best to get back to you all.  And many many thanks to my dear friend and assistant Emily for all she does for IHeart Organizing!
And as much as I plan to keep working towards last year's goals this year, you may be wondering what is in store for 2013?  Well, I have a few things up my sleeve!
  • Monthly Challenges!  I am excited to announce that starting next week, I am bringing back monthly organizing challenges!  Organizing is more fun when you do it with someone, so let's tackle our projects, one space at a time.  January is Home Office month so start looking at those paper piles with the evil eye and prepare to share your projects with all of us at the end of the month with a giant link party!  We organize together, we celebrate together!
  • More Contributors!  My contributors have really added great variety to this blog as we all live in different sized homes and have different organizing needs.  I couldn't possibly cover them all on my own, and they think of the things I don't.  They have style and skills that I cherish and I am grateful for all of their contributions thus far!  It was so much fun having a team in 2012 that I have decided to expand in 2013 and bring on three more lovely ladies:

"My name is Casey, and I live in a sweet, tiny little house in Delaware with my hubby & our two adorable rescue dogs. As a longtime fan of Jen's phenomenal organizing skills, I am absolutely THRILLED to be a contributor for IHeart Organizing
I used to be a total mess, but after I let go of the idea of “perfect,” I found freedom. I stopped trying to fit the mold & learned how to make organization work with my natural habits, and I have become obsessed with creative organizing solutions ever since! When I'm not drooling over the latest amazing project features over here, you can find me happily tinkering away on my own blog, Pretty Organized, where I share my addiction to aesthetics, small space storage ideas, DIY projects, and all things aqua!"

"Hi everyone! I'm Anneke and you can often find me working with some tools, browsing for great furniture finds, or getting all girly for a date night! Like many of you, I'm often looking for ways to make life run more smoothly amidst kids, messes, responsibilities, and limited time. I recently celebrated the awesome 3-0, ten crazy years of marriage with my hubby Michael, and have the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom to 3 amazing kiddos, not to mention our sweet miniature schnauzer. We live in the beautiful Northwest, near Seattle.
Although I have a degree in Music, my brain spins with ideas about DIY projects, interior design, health, and family, all of which I blog about over at This, That and Life.  I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the wonderful contributing team at IHeart Organizing and can't wait to get to know some of you better as well!"

"They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Leslie Ezelle is no exception to this rule. The acclaimed interior designer and TV personality has entertained millions of people around the world with her vivacious and eccentric demeanor. Recently crowned as HGTV’s first ever Design Star All-Star winner, the mother of six brings a magnetic energy to anyone in her path.
A great believer in the correlation between design and health, Leslie's aesthetic revolves around the philosophy of “tame your domain,” the idea that simplicity and functionality rule. The talented designer believes this is truly the only way to create a stress-free, organized home." 
A huge welcome to the newest members of the team!  Along with their weekly posts, we will also host "Ask the IHeart Organizing team" polls in which you will get a variety of responses and organizing tips from the panel! 
  • New Design!  I have been working with a very special and talented someone, Ashley from 7th House on the Left and Ashley Brown Creative, to hook me up with a current logo, color scheme, business cards, and all sorts of branding goodness!  She has done a phenomenal job and I can't wait to begin working on updating the site and my marketing materials! 
  • More Projects!  My studio needs all sorts of love and I am dying to get going on our kitchen, so fingers crossed we can keep the projects coming for all sorts of new ideas and content.  And don't think I will forget about those quick impact smaller projects, we all need those and they are often times the most important.  I have already been hoarding cereal boxes for a studio project coming up, so stay tuned!
Many thanks to you all for making 2012 so much fun and for hanging out at this happy blog place with me!  Cheers to the new year!

What were your favorite projects from 2012?  How about goals for 2013?


  1. What a great recap! I've lost MANY hours on your blog. Well spent hours, though :) You have such amazing talent, and it's great to see you use it to inspire others. More importantly, to help manage your time with your family.

    1. Oh, and congratulations on your success! :)

  2. We made the list! Here's hoping that we do next year as well;-)

  3. Thanks for the awesome recap! Now I have even more ideas for my to-do list for 2013! Your blog is completely inspiring and I am so thankful that have found it! Keep the awesome ideas coming!

  4. Congratulations! What accomplishments this year. I can't wait to see what you do in 2013. I also love the new contributors!

  5. You have had many wonderful projects on here this year!! Truly inspiring, Jen!!! Here's to another fabulous year!! :)

  6. So awesome to see all those projects compiled for the round up! What a great year and another great year ahead!

  7. Wow Jen! Seeing your year-end recap all in one place is kind of mind boggling - all you've accomplished and managed to try to maintain balance too. Always tricky, but you seem to do it so well. :)

  8. So many inspiration projects!! I have really gained so many great ideas from reading your blog. Thank you, and looking forward to reading all of your great 2013 projects and ideas!

  9. OMG! Why didn't I find your blog earlier?! Lol. Going to catch up on all your post now! Can't wait. =]

  10. Such a wonderful year and so much more to come in 2013! A big hello to the fabulous new contributors too.

    I can't wait to see what you have in store for us this year Jen! xx

    1. I agree Serena ~ such a fantastic year! Thanks so much for the sweet welcome! :-D

  11. I'm so impressed by all you've accomplished this year Jen! And your plans for 2013 are going to be so fun! I couldn't be more excited that you're starting off in January with the office, because that is already our #1 project of the year. :-) And thank you for such a warm welcome!

  12. What a fantastic look back through the year.. my head is spinning wondering how you did it all and then I think.. you know what Amanda, you could achieve a lot of this if you got off facebook, stopped watching tv and shifted some priorities around.. so thank you for re-energising me.. mind you, I will still stalk your blog and many others for inspiration and oohing and aahing etc.. Thanks again Jen.. now when are you coming to Australia? :) Happy New Year and all that comes with it. Amanda and family xx oh and can't wait to hear from your new contributors, they sound amazing! Bring it on!

  13. I LOVE your blog Jen!! I came across your blog mid-year in 2012..and I am so proud of my random pinterest and google surfing..I came across all great organizing blogs this year.
    I am 20 year old Architecture student from India..and I love interior design and now organizing thanks to you! :)
    Lots and lots of love! Hope you have a great and fun year ahead..

  14. I love the recap. There were a few things on there I wanted to try but got busy and didn't get the chance to. Now they are fresh in my mind again. It is fun looking back. I am sooo happy for you and your success. I can't wait to see what amazing things 2013 brings for you. Looking forward to the new projects you show us too. :) Thanks for inspiring us daily Jen!

  15. Hi, Jen! Anneke will be such a great addition to your team! She is simply wonderful! Here's to 2013! xo Kristin

    1. Kristin, you are too sweet! I SO wish you lived closer so we could have coffee dates!!! I love you and your blog. ;-)

  16. I think you ROCKED the big-little project balance. Your blog always has something for me to do and I love the little things as much as the big. A++ from this teacher.
    Finally, I am so excited for the monthly challenges - these really motivate me!
    Thanks Jen & Emily, and happy 2013!

  17. I am new to the blog and also a new blogger. I have to say I absolutely LOVE your blog!!! I also love to organize my home and keep it clutter free. :) So thanks for always sharing such great ideas. :)

  18. Hi, I love love love your blog and read it religiously. Ive copied so many of your projects but wish I was naturally more of an organised person. Im expecting my 3rd daughter (so excited) but im worried that any organisation and systems that I currently have in place will collapse with an extra little one. How did you continue to be so organised when you had your third little one? Thank you. Kirsty :-)

  19. Hi, I love love love your blog and read it religiously. Ive copied so many of your projects but wish I was naturally more of an organised person. Im expecting my 3rd daughter (so excited) but im worried that any organisation and systems that I currently have in place will collapse with an extra little one. How did you continue to be so organised when you had your third little one? Thank you. Kirsty :-)

  20. Jen, Jen, Jen------I am SO excited for the new things you have in store for us (your lovely readers) and especially the monthly challenges! This blog really inspires me to stay (and want) organized in a pretty rock jen!!!

  21. I have loved everything you have done this year and then some! I also love how you keep things fresh by adding contributors and look forward to the monthly challenges to come. I have been planning a bunch of home office organizing for this month, so it's great timing. Here's to a fabulous 2013!

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

  22. Wow, I can't believe it was February that you did your desk! Doesn't time fly when you're reading a great blog. :)

    Here's to an even better '13! xx

  23. Bought the new storage mag and love the article featuring your home! Very cool!

  24. I had completely forgotten about a number of these wonderful projects; thank you for the recap! Your blog has become a legitimate resource for me, and for that - thank you. :)

  25. I love your blog! I Have a question, What program do you use to do all of your graphics?

  26. I love the recap. I have to say that I just recently did the home-made chalkboard project. I used canvas though, I haven't quite finished those yet but thanks for the inspiration. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for this year.

  27. Love the blog! Wondering what font you used for the months of the year in this post?

  28. Hey Jen!

    I love your blog! Can you tell me the names of the following fonts?:

    1. "iheart" in your header
    2. "organizing" in your header
    3. the months in this post


    your font snob buddy,
    alexis :)

  29. I can't wait to use some of these tips to organize the bathroom. What a disaster area! When we have company I just hope and pray they don't open any cabinets our cupboards :)

  30. Love your recap and have loved seeing you in the magazines! You are such an inspiration and I wish you happiness and continued success in 2013!

  31. I was so excited to find your blog featured on 'Today's Creative Blog.' I just spent a solid hour pinning ideas from your site. Thank you for being you and Happy New Year!

  32. hello,
    would you please give me the links to those above projects in 2012

  33. Happy healthy new year to you and your family, Jen. I love your blog, your design aesthetic, your enthusiasm. You are so inspiring!

  34. It all sounds exciting, Jen. Can't wait to see what unfolds in 2013. Happy New Year!

  35. Looking forward to see what you have planned for 2013. I found your blog early last year and have been following ever since!

  36. We just moved three months ago, a week after we had our third baby. We still have a small stack of boxes to unpack (compared to what we started with) and we need to organize EVERYTHING! So glad I found you a few weeks ago! I've been spending a lot of time here ever since! :0)

  37. Love your blog and since I am new to it - really enjoyed your "year in review"!!!


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