Friday, July 12, 2013

23 Extra! Extra! Organizing Reads! And Monthly Challenge News!

Happy Friday friends!

Aside from hanging out here at my IHeart home, I have been also seen partying in some other cities around blogland {fingers crossed no paparazzi are following and snapping wardrobe malfunctions}.  This little once-in-awhile feature will keep you up to date with IHeart Organizing blog happenings, features and contributing posts around the rest of the www, so you don't miss a thing!

Oooh!  And today I have some news about our Monthly Challenges, so stay tuned for that at the end of the post.

As many of you know, I also write for the BHG Style Spotter's blog, which means I get to find amazing storage and organizational topics to write about over at a really fabulous site.

Are you crushing on open shelving in the kitchen as much as I am?  Seriously, love it!

Another thing I love is a good, cozy office nook.  Sure, having a studio rocks my world, but there is something so charming and amazing about making a small space uber functional.

And if you have been a long time reader, you already know that acrylic organizers rank high with this gal.  There is something so chic and versatile about them!  This post chats all about the different places they work and why.

I am guessing that many of you already know the beautiful and talented Kirsten from 6th Street Design School.  She ran a really happy series about decorating around the little joys in our lives, and asked some really awesome bloggers to share their input throughout the series of designing with kids in mind.

I chatted about my favorite fabrics, upholstery and colors for working with our boys, along with a few other tips and tricks along the way.

The sweet folks over at Mommy page invited me over to share my thoughts on creating fun organizing and storage solutions for the whole family.  You can read the entire interview here.

Our artwork display idea was recently featured over at Country Living Magazine's website!  There are a lot of really adorable ideas for those looking to move beyond hanging artwork on the front of the fridge.

The folks at Wayfair {a.k.a.the most amazing home shopping site ever} invited me to share some organizing tips on their blog.  Since I have had my brain on the outdoors lately, I chatted about all of my favorite outdoor storage solutions.

And the beautiful Jackie of Teal & Lime is currently hosting a Decorating with Kids series, and she invited myself, along with other darling blog writers, to share in their process when decorating with kids and for kids.  It's so fun to read the varying advice from such talented mommies.

So hopefully those links will fill some of your organizing and inspirational needs through the next few days.  And if not, you may have seen on Instagram I recently purchased the new Better Homes & Garden's Organize Your Home Book!  I have only just begun to read through the glorious full color inspiration and information packed pages, but I am in love already.

Now, let's take a minute to chat about these ultra-exciting monthly organizing challenges I have been hosting this year.

From the amazing amount of link-ups I am seeing each month, I am head over heals happy with how the challenges have been going.  I get giddy each time a new post is added to the link-party and love devouring all of the added inspiration at the end of each month.  You guys seriously amazing me, knock my socks off and inspire me in more ways than you will ever know.  It seems many of you are having fun with the challenges too!

On the flip side, I am finding that I am forcing myself to focus so much on such specific areas each month, that I am losing track of other areas that need my attention.  For example, we had spent so much time outdoors in June, that the final few projects for my studio have been sitting on the back burner.  And I am also getting through a whole month and not getting everything crossed off my list {seriously, isn't that how real life goes?}.  I am missing the random painting of a piece of furniture or crazy last minute decision to clean out a junk drawer, because in reality, that is how I operate and always have.  I am a bit of a doer when it comes to organizing and design.  If I see something that sparks an idea or inspires me, I do it.  If a cabinet is driving me crazy because I can't reach the Tupperware in the back, I pull it all out and organize it on the spot.  And then I would blog about it in all of it's random glory.  For me to only allow myself to blog and focus on the main challenge areas, has really thrown me this year.  I think to focus on one room at a time is really great in theory.  Yes, organizing files and the office is super important in January to set you up for a successful year, but above and beyond that, I like to organize as life needs and when inspiration strikes.  It's just what I find works best. 

But challenges are so GOOD!  I still like the idea of challenging myself to take on at least three to five organizing tasks each month.  Whether that means organizing my hair ties or tackling an entire closet, I still have a mile long list of organizing projects I want to conquer.  And I love when you organize with me, organizing is always more fun with a friend.  And when you share your projects, ideas and successes with me at the end of each month, it is what I love most about what I do!  So challenges are NOT GOING AWAY!

They are just changing a bit.  Here is the scoop:

Instead of each month being a specific space to tackle, it will be an organizing free-for-all!  Picture me in my best Wayne and Garth voice, "PARTY time!  Excellent!"

All you have to do is take on a single project, or ten projects, and share each one with us at the end of the month during the monthly link party.  So take a good long look at your list, or just follow your heart, and snag a project.  Recover a shoe box or organize your family photos.  Anything goes and I can't stinkin' wait to see what you all come up with.  This is gonna be awesome!

As for me, I want to finish the outdoors, wrap up some studio projects, organize a storage closet, update two bathrooms, start a kitchen renovation and completely clean out the pit of a garage.  Of course it all can't be done in a month, but don't worry, there is still oodles to come!  Our quest to turn this house into a home is never done.  Oh, and I have been pondering a few other random updates for around the house, so those are on their way also...

Thanks so much everyone and I am wishing you a super fun filled {with a side of organizing} weekend!


  1. Jen, you are preaching to the choir!! I tried to set monthly goals of focusing on one room at a time, but quickly noticed it doesn't quite work that well. Especially if the funds aren't there to complete every area! So I make sure I prioritize my time on spaces that need attention most (or that are bugging me the most).

    Really, really excited about the free-for-all link-up!!

  2. I'm SO excited about this!! I love showing off my organizational ideas!


  3. Love the open shelving too... ..but obviously don't have "littles". ( : Just picture how my almost 2year old boy would "reorganize" that to look like! ( ; What can I say, he has a talent, lol.

  4. Exciting news!



  5. Yay!! I'm totally the same way about needing some flexibility & variety on my own projects. There's just something so much more fun about accomplishing things on an as-needed or as-inspired basis! Bring on the randomness and party on, Jen! :)

  6. I also love the look of open shelving in a kitchen. When I was in NYC earlier this year I visited some design showrooms and saw a really cool idea for open shelving. They had used painted, open backed boxes to segregate and frame stacks of plates, cups, and bowls. It was a great way to add a pop of color and a sense of order, while making the dishware look like framed art.

    I don't have anywhere to implememnt the idea in my house - but maybe someone else here could steal the idea - photo on my blog:

  7. So fun!
    Emma @ from my little pink couch

  8. I LOVE open kitchens! I've been trying to design a 2nd kitchen for our house. Although that sounds...odd, it's for my soap business. I am so going for the open style so items are assessable and students in the classes can see the different ingredients - even if we aren't working with them right then.

  9. I can't wait to hear more about your ideas inspired from BHG "Organize your home"! And I am embracing the idea of the random organizing projects because although I love to see what everyone else has accomplished each month, I tend to tackle other things instead of just focusing on a single space or room. My only request with the random "link up" at the end of the month would be to organize the link up into sections by "type" or "room" "small or big project"..I would just like categories to scroll through if possible :D I love visiting each day, it helps keep me inspired! Thanks so much for this amazing blog that has changed my life!

  10. Can't wait! I have so many things on my list and it just keeps growing. Can't wait to see what you do. You always make everything look so pretty.

  11. Oh I really like this change! As much as I loved reading about one space per month, and how it inspired me to tackle a room I've been avoiding (read: our patio!), I found it hard to keep up. I always wanted to join the party, but sometimes I had a more pressing project first and I couldn't get it all done in a month. Looking forward to July's link up!


  12. Just got my organization fix and inspiration. Thanks Jen. Now I'm off to help the boys clean out their closet.

  13. I have a mix of open and closed storage in my kitchen. I think they both serve a purpose. And I love having choices!

  14. This is hands down one of my favorites websites on the internet, Jen. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I am working on becoming organized like you, and your site really helps me <3 <3 Blessings from NJ!

  15. Jen, I am so excited you are changing up the way the monthly challenges work. I love what you have been doing, but have felt totally out of sync...because I was always tackling a different space. So, now I can't wait to participate :)

    And, thank you so much for sharing the Decorating With Kids series. I am so thankful to all the wonderful bloggers, like you, that contributed!

  16. This is such a good idea. Now we can all participate. I can't wait.

  17. Quick question on your acrylic organizing post on BHG Style Spotters...where, oh where, did you get those acrylic drawers (the ones that have the sponges and say scrub)?? I'm in love and I've googled and looked all over the Container Store and Amazon and I can't find them!! :)

    1. Hi Leanna!

      Here is the link for you:

      They are fabulous for under the sink!


    2. Thank you SO SO much!! I read your blog every day. I love everything you do! It's kinda ridiculous how excited I get about new posts. :) Keep doing what you do! Love it!

  18. Woohoo! I can't wait to join in on the organization!

  19. I enjoyed all of the posts included in this one! Such a nice morning getting all of these ideas and inspirations! One question. Where is the acrylic jewelry holder from, the one with several trays stacked? I tried clicking on it, but it seemed to want me o pin it, not get it. Please help. Thanks for the GREAT posts!

    1. I believe this is the one you are referencing:

      If you look below the products at the end of the post, there should be a list of numbers linked to the sources.

      Hope that helps!


  20. I don't know if this project will qualify for the July challenge, but this is definitely the one that kicked it off!


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