Tuesday, November 17, 2015

73 Twenty Ways to Organize with Pouches

Pouches are not just for kangaroos!  I find myself reaching for pouches more than just about any other organizational tool.  And I am always picking them up when I see them on sale or find a pattern that lights up my eyes.  After I posted a sneak peek of my planner the day I photographed it, I received some questions about the pouches in the photo, and more specifically, how I use them.  At that moment I couldn't believe I had never posted about this love affair of mine, and all of the different ways they have helped me out!


I primarily utilize pouches to organize my totes and handbags.  I find it so much easier to compartmentalize items by purpose to prevent endless rummaging.  It also helps me select and edit the items I opt to bring depending on what my day holds.  What I may grab when I head to the grocery store will definitely be different than spending the day in the car or traveling to the coffee shop to work.  Having everything pre-packed in individual pouches allows me to just grab what I need and hit the road.  All while keeping my handbags super organized!

Today I thought I would share twenty different ways to utilize pouches for organization.  Some may seem super obvious, others may trigger a nice little "ah-ha" moment.  And I love pouches of all shapes and sizes, I don't discriminate!  They are all great!  Let's dive right in so you can see why I feel so strongly about these fabulous things!


TRAVEL DOCUMENTS


Although the majority of my boarding passes and booking details can now be stored on my phone, I never trust the internet while traveling, especially out of the country.  I always keep print-outs of my important travel details stored inside of a document sized pouch.  I may never grab for it, but it is nice to have just in case.  Everything from flight details to schedules to my passport and receipts, these pouches easily slide in and out of my carry-on and keep things readily available when I need them.



JEWELRY


Another way that I utilize pouches while traveling, is to keep all of my jewelry together.  Smaller earrings are held by a cosmetic container while the remainder of the items are tossed into the pouch and into my suitcase (I will use a jewelry roll when traveling with nicer/valuable jewelry or for longer trips).



NAIL KIT


I always love to paint my nails, but it seems I only do it as a passenger in the car (very carefully).  A few nail polish wipes, file, clippers, cuticle oil and polish are the supplies typically found in my nail care kit.



SEWING KIT


It seems one of us is always losing a button or having a hem fall out or needing a small hole repaired.  Melvin the stuffed giraffe also needs to have surgery every couple of months.  A small sewing kit can contain a few mini spools of thread, small scissors, extra buttons, needles and safety pins.



LOYALTY CARDS


I always tend to have a variety of loyalty, reward, and gift cards that I carry at any given time.  Add my library card to the mix and the stack can get much too thick for my wallet.  I prefer to keep these cards separate in a small business card pouch.



FIRST AID KIT


You can never go wrong having first-aid kits in your bag (especially parents to accident prone youngsters).  Just the very basics get the job done for a date at the park; band-aids, sanitary wipes, wound cleaning spray, aspirin/ibuprofen, cotton pads and a thermometer should be enough to get by for a short period of time should someone become hurt or ill while out and about.



STATIONERY KIT


I am a believer in leaving little notes while traveling (thank you's when traveling for business and for housekeeping at hotels, a quick hello when away for a few days and notes of encouragement when someone least expects it).  A pouch is the perfect place to keep a small stack of cards, stamps, stickers and writing supplies.



CORDS & SMALL ELECTRONIC


This one is huge for me, especially when traveling for work (even if just to a local location).  Earbuds, charger cords, flash drives, a portable charger and even my external hardrive are all kept in a pouch or two inside of my work tote (it is important to select pouches with a small amount of padding when transporting your external hard drive - and it should always be backed up before taking it on the go).



DENTAL KIT


If I am planning to be out of the house for the entire day, I like to have the option to brush my teeth at some point.  A washable pouch with a toothbrush, toothpaste, flossers, gum, breath spray and chapstick, keep my mouth clean and happy and ready for a make-out session.  Just kidding - seeing if you are still with me.  But I am sure the person I am hanging with for the day is happy my breath doesn't smell like pico de gallo after a delish meal.



MAKE-UP


I find that I like to do my makeup in different places, depending on how my day is going.  I typically do it at my vanity, but if I am waiting for company, I take it up to our main bathroom.  And if we have somewhere to be, I do it in the car.  Keeping my favorites in a pouch allows me to do it wherever I wish.



FEMININE CARE PRODUCTS


Always an awkward subject but let's be raw and honest for a second.  You don't want to be at Target or out to lunch in your white skinny jeans when your monthly visitor arrives.  Keeping a couple of extra products in a small pouch in my tote or car keeps me prepared for one of those things that can be a little unpredictable.



KID CAR FUN


Speaking of cars and switching the subject quickly, larger plastic pouches are durable and fabulous for keeping a few fun things together in the car for kiddos.  I find that a book, drawing pad, crayons, small game and small toy are plenty to keep my boys entertained for a couple of hours in the car.  Except when they have hot cocoa and donuts for breakfast... then nothing prepares me for that kind of trip... not that I would know... just a fair assumption.



GYM SUPPLIES


Gym bags are great when needing a way to transport all of your exercise clothing and gear before or after work, but if you are just heading to a nearby gym for a quick jog, a small pouch can take the place of that bag.  A few things to keep pre-packed are headphones, headband/hair tie, gym card, chapstick, refreshing face spray and face cleansing wipes (in a travel size). 



MONEY


Back to the basics, it is no surprise that smaller pouches are great for holding spare change.  I also toss some cash and a debit card in a small wristlet when I don't want to carry a full size handbag and wallet.



MEDICATION


I always forget to take my vitamins, so I have been using a small pill case to ensure I always have them with me.  I also like to sip on Emergen-C when the first signs of a cold creep up.  Lastly, I prefer to keep some headache essential oil and body ache medication on hand at all times.  You just never know when you are going to start feeling yucky and are in need of some instant relief.



PLANNER TOOLS


Planner addicts, this one is for you!  If you love to color code, add stickers, mark a combo of dates with washi tape and flag important pages of your agenda... Then you will also have a small arsenal of planner tools to really keep your schedule organized. Just as we have used pencil pouches for... pencils, these pouches are an obvious yet great way to keep all of those planner related items corralled.


COUPONS


Why can't all coupons be digital?  A huge "thank you" to Target for your Cartwheel app and to Retail-Me-Not and Ebates for the rest of those online and digital coupons.  All of the rest of the coupons that I clip, receive in the mail or that are given to me at check-out from the store, end up in a single clear pouch in my handbag.


WILD HAIR DON'T CARE (BUT REALLY I DO)


Another great pouch to keep handy in the car or when out for a long and busy day; this pouch contains a small brush, mirror, hair clips and ties and a small hairspray.  I would also toss a travel size dry-shampoo into the pouch to keep my locks looking fresh all day long.



BUSINESS CARDS


I always like to keep a couple of business cards in my wallet because I never know when I am going to run into someone that is curious about what I do or that is in my industry and may be a helpful business person to collaborate with.  However, when traveling for a work specific trip, I dedicate a specific pouch just to holding my cards.  This ensures they maintain their shape and also means I will always be ready to hand them out and spread my business word.


MIX-IT-UP


Not everything has to be a kit!  Sometimes I just keep all of the smaller bits and pieces together in a single pouch to keep everything from becoming tossed around at the bottom of my bag.  Some of my favorite items to take with me everywhere are a mini-tape measure, nail clippers, headache oil, face powder, business cards, hair ties/clips, gum and lip care.




I don't stuff my tote with every single one of these kits, but each one definitely comes in handy and I have used some version of each at one point or another.  Some I keep pre-packed, others I toss together quickly if I am planning to be away for more than a few hours.  On any typical day, my tote contains the about 4-6 pouches at a time.


Yet my tote never feels over-filled.  And with everything organized in categorized pouches that act like "bins", everything is quick and simple to pull out and find.  And ditto to putting things back.  I love when I don't have to dig to the bottom of the black hole that is my purse when I am trying to get somewhere or I am in need of a specific item.   Digging and rummaging are two activities that my heart doctor recommends I avoid (not really, but he probably should).



A few of my personal favorite pouch sources are linked below:



Are you a just like a kangaroo with a reason to crush on pouches?  What types of "kits" do you create out of the good ol' pencil pouch? 

73 comments:

  1. That's amazing! I love to use pouches as well, but in comparison it looks like I don't use any! I love your use of a pouch just for loyalty cards- like you, I have way too many to fit in my wallet :)
    Stef
    beautifulbeakers.com

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  2. Can you pleaseeeee tell me which MK tote that is? I need a new one!! Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. I am so sorry Ellen, I am not entirely sure. I purchased it at an outlet a few years ago now. It has held up really well and is easy to clean! Love it!

      Delete
    2. random question but where is your key chain from?

      Delete
  3. Your purse just makes me happy! Sounds weird, but I love not having to fumble around looking for floss or my ear buds. My pouches aren't as pretty as yours, but that's about to change. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. Great tips! I use my ipsy subscription makeup bags to organize my purses.

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  5. I do the same thing! it's helps so much!

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  6. Great post and ideas!!! I do have one to share being a mom of toddlers still :). A pouch for the baby wipes and an extra diaper something small but comes in super handy!! Love your blog

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    Replies
    1. Great addition! I remember doing the same when mine were littles. Thank you for chiming in!

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  7. Without labels, how do you keep track of what each pouch holds? I love using pouches as well but can only use 2 at a time, otherwise I forget what is in each one and end up searching through all of them to find that one item. I have a very bad memory!

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    Replies
    1. The clear ones are usually my "go to" and don't need labels. I always use the same one for cords and electronics and planner items so I just remember. They could definitely be labeled though!

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  8. This is brilliant!! Definitely had the a-ha moment and will be putting all the things that get lost at the bottom of my purse into pouches!!

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  9. Hi! Where did you get the cute business card / credit card holders? They aren't called out in your link section but I love them and want to replace my ugly black one :)
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Janine!

      The pink & white is from Etsy a couple years ago and the white/black polka dot is from The Limited a few years ago as well.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  10. This is amazing, I never even thought about using pouches as a way of organising so many little odds and ends we keep laying around.

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  11. I love this! I use pouches for everything as well...but I think you've covered all the bases with them! I remember in a IG comment you mentioned finding a no-sew tutorial...just curious if you have tried it out yet!?!?!?!

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    Replies
    1. I have not - but thank you for asking! Here is the link: http://blog.pbteen.com/diy-makeup-pouch-inspired-by-emily-meritt/ It looks wonderfully easy!

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  12. These are such great ideas!! I especially like the idea for loyalty cards. My wallet is crammed full and it drives me crazy. Thank you for the continual inspiration. I always look forward to reading your blog!!

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  13. great ideas! you always come up with the best. i hate paper coupons, i always end up losing most. although, i have taken pictures of some and used my picture at checkout. usually works.

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  14. I utilize pouches for some things, but now I have more ideas. thank you!

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  15. Love this post! I recently started using mesh/see through pouches in my slouch, no pocket MK purse and life changing. So far only two....own with sanitizer, lip balm, small amount of makeup, tissues. Other with mints, snacks, pills. I will for sure be adding more, love the loyalty card idea.

    Also bought that Nate Burkus I believe is the mint/gold one earlier this summer and love.

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  16. Oh I really really love the pouch you used in the sewing picture! Do you know where it's from?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Meghan! It is from an event I attended for Better Homes & Gardens this year, I believe they had them designed specifically for the conference. I apologize that I don't have more details for you, it is a great pouch!

      Delete
  17. I sew and just got a new pattern that is for 7 different sizes of bags…now I have a reason to get sewing!

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  18. This is awesome! Some of these seem like no-brainers, and yet I'm often digging around to the very bottom of my overflowing purse trying to find something. I need to take your advice and pouch-it-up!

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  19. Love this! I use pouches like crazy too. I think it started when I realized I had a million pouches from Clinique bonus time and my Ipsy subscription!

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    Replies
    1. Those Clinique bags are so great, I have a few from over the years and I still love them all!

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  20. Great post with great ideas!! I only jumped on the pouch bandwagon 1-2 years ago and it is a game changer when it comes to your PURSE. Time to go get a few more to take my pouch game to the next level!

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  21. Thank you for this post..I just love your blog. Feeling organized makes me feel good about my day and life in general...! ;) You are teaching something so valuable that truly has the power to alter someone's habits and happiness! Thanks Jen!

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  22. Love these ideas and I already have a few spare pouches on hand!

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  23. I use little pouches everywhere too! Part of the reason I find my Ipsy subscription so worth it - always get another little zipper pouch for corvallis random bits.

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  24. I love these ideas! I use a pouch for my loyalty cards and when traveling with jewelry. I always forget to use them when traveling with all my documents. That was truly my ah-ha moment!! Also, I use them to hold my kiddos puzzles, like Chelsea shared a while ago! Thanks for sharing these useful tips Jen!

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  25. Hi Jen, I'm a looong term reader from Australia. Thanks for further inspiration. I think I realised your pouch 'fetish' when I spied them in some of your kiddie posts.
    It meant when I saw a few cute colourful but clear document size pouches at the dollar store, I knew what I'd use them for. I put some removable hooks up under my kids' notice board in their room, hung my son's school hat from one and used the other to hang a pouch holding swimming supplies for after school classes (rash shirt, bathing suit, goggles and sunscreen). The other pouch holds his soccer pads for training after school. This has helped us keep much more organised and avoided protracted searching sessions, especially for goggles and shin pads, which tend to get thrown wherever by my son. If I see there's nothing in the pouch, I know we need to search now, instead of waiting for when we are in a hurry. Thanks!

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  26. You're a girl after my own heart! I, too, am a pouch junkie! I even keep a basket of pre-made pouches that I can just grab and stash in my purse, beach bag, gym bag, car, kids' bag, etc. Never know when you'll need the wet wipes, hand sanitizer, hair ties, and things of that nature. This post made me happy! :-)

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  27. What's this magical headache oil?

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    Replies
    1. I am not a huge oil pusher, but I have found that this oil does help me with some tension headaches: http://amzn.to/1ltTS2b - I just happened to crack the original bottle and had to transfer it.

      Delete
    2. Peppermint oil is like liquid ice that can really stop a head or neck ache if dabbed on the offending areas!

      Delete
  28. This is a great idea! I like having a purse with several compartments so I can keep it organized, but it's getting harder to find purses like that anymore. So, the next time I need a new purse, it's o.k. if all they have is totes, because now I know I can use pouches to organize it. Thanks!

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  29. I do this with going back and forth between using the diaper bag and my purse, and it has made my life SO much simpler! If baby is going with me, then I just pop my purse pouches into my diaper bag (which also has its own pouches), and just as easily move them back to my purse if she is staying with someone while I am out.

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  30. Hi Jen,

    Great tips. Where did you get your ear buds and charger cord ties. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Radhika!

      Here are the sources for the headphone wrap: http://amzn.to/1ltYXYm

      And the headphones: http://amzn.to/1ltZvxk

      xoxo!

      Delete
  31. Some really lovely ideas here. Thank you for putting these up. I am definitely inspired to try out pouches.

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  32. I also organize my bag like that, but I have the problem of knowing what I have in each, so I put a sign on each pouch. How do you do for not become crazy looking for?

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  33. Just wanted to say that I loved this post! Posts like this are so inspiring because they are quick and easy, yet make such a difference in daily life! And everything is so pretty!!

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  34. Wow this is such a good idea! Also prevents things from getting torn or messed up x

    Wonky Lauren

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  35. Love this post. I love organizing and like you, i absolutely dread digging through my bag for stuff. it gives me total heart burn. Now I'm going on a pouch shopping spree. xoxo
    Breshana

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  36. Love it!!! All your pouches an dthings looks so colorful and cheering, so lovely! I use pouches in my bag also, but I have them less, like 2-4 is enough, because I try to keep things as minimal as possible.

    I really love your blog, it´s sooo inspiring and helpful, definitely one of my favorite blog out there! :)

    www.dodolce.com

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  37. Best post I've seen in a long time.

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  38. I'd suggest one more use - I carry food bars in them (so that kids are not hungry and driving me crazy, when I'm out 'n about). I simply use ziploc bags (with slider closure, preferred for ease). I can see what's inside, and don't have to spend any money on buying pretty pouches. By the way, I have a few pretty pouches at home, but I never use them as I cannot see what's inside. I've used pretty much all the pouch categories you've mentioned, except the business card and nail polish (I don't use nail polish).

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  39. Cute ideas!! Love this post and all the cute little pouches! Where do you keep all the pouches when you aren't using them? Or do you always have all of them in your purse?

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  40. I keep a small pouch of pennies in my purse for whenever we happen upon a fountain.

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  41. Such a great idea and so funny to see this post because I have this new purse that I really, really can never find anything in (this is a chronic problem for me but this time it's unreal) and I was looking at my makeup pouch and thought "everything should be in a damn pouch!"

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  42. What a great article, I'm so inspired to organise my handbag! Tote shopping here I come!

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  43. Hi-Where is your makeup bag from? The floral one?

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    Replies
    1. Hello,

      I found it at Target a few seasons ago, but I couldn't find it there any longer. They always seem to have a great selection of colorful cosmetic pouches both in store and online.

      xo!

      Delete
  44. These are great! I'm going to get a business card pouches for my loyalty cards. I've always hated how they bulked up my wallet so much!

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  45. I have used the pursekets and now the joey junior and love having a system I can move from bag to bag.
    But, I do LOVE pouches! One problem I have is all my crap in the pouches goes to the bottom making them bulky at the bottom and such. But I suppose if the bag is sized just right maybe it won't happen as much. I may have to revisit this method.

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  46. So many cute pouches in this post! I use a tote bag as a purse and I love that pouches keep it from being a black hole of lost items. I organize the stuff in my pouches by activity so it is easy to grab one or two and transfer them to a smaller purse or a larger beach/playground bag depending on what we are doing for the day. I definitely need to try out the idea for loyalty cards - those take up so much space in my wallet. Thanks for this post.

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  47. I love a pouch,agree they are so useful. Some of those in the photos are just lovely.

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  48. I, like many others, have a ton of loyalty cards-the app CARD STAR is fantastic and free. Scan the barcode on your card, choose the retailer from the dropdown menu or enter it in and done. When you get to Eddie Bauer, open the app, choose the card and show them. They can scan it right off your phone and if not they will just type in the number on it and you're good to go. No more sifting through 2 dozen cards to find your toys r us rewards card on black friday while 25 people grumble behind you. Not that it's ever happened to me...

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    Replies
    1. I can't wait to try this app! Thank you so much for sharing your secret. :)

      Delete
    2. I just popped into the comments to add my favorite app and saw this. I use Key Ring. It's so easy and free also. It also lets me know when coupons are available at some places.

      Delete
  49. Great post..... I love pouches and with my love of beauty clubs I have so many......

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  50. Posts like these make me want to jump up from the couch and start organizing everything in sight! :)

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  51. I love this article. I miss reading your blog. Been a fan of you! Keep it up and more good reads on 2016, jen!
    Also pouches are good for kids bags. Toiletries. Toys-for tots or small ones that are hard to sort out. diapers. Coz there's a tendency that our bags get messed up. or for my car - cords, cables and small gadgets. car maintenance booklet ir records. i love pouches too.

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  52. HI Jen.
    I'm wondering what you use specifically for Credit Cards and Money. I'm having a hard time trying to find the perfect wallet.
    Thanks so much.
    Jen

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jen,

      I have two different wallets that I like to switch between -

      Target: http://bit.ly/1ONP6JV
      Fossil: http://bit.ly/1PLedtQ

      xoxo!

      Delete
  53. I absolutely love this post!! I have an ipsy subscription and never know what to do with all the make-up bags. this is pure genius! Thank you!

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  54. Hi Jennifer, thank you for sharing! We moved to a new house last fall and I'm loving working through each space and organizing and beautifying each nook and cranny. Your blog is so inspiring and pure eye candy. Thank you! Could you share where you purchased your gold braided key chain? I loooove it! And have searched high and low for a similar one without success.

    Also wondered if you're familiar with the app Wunderlist? It's a super helpful list app that my husband and I use ALL the time. I make a grocery list, for example, and share it with him so he sees the same items I see. You can check them off as you go through the store and they disappear from your list. Next time you need to make a list you can click on "Show completed to-dos" and can re-add items without typing out the same things like milk or eggs every time.

    Gratefully,

    Sarah

    ReplyDelete

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