Organization Salvation

>> 9.08.2014

Last school year I felt like I did a really poor job of managing the tons of paper, folders and homework that the kids sent home. (Sometimes I feel like it's all a little excessive, don't you?) I knew I couldn't control what the kids brought home, but I knew that there had to be a better way of keeping it straight, so this year I set out to improve my system.

I found this awesome wall pocket at Homegoods and knew it would be perfect for holding my kids stuff. I found some colorful Mead folders to keep their homework and other school papers in and I pulled this magnetic board and calendar out of storage and gave the once-black framed calendar a coat of primer and teal paint.

I chose to put it all in the hallway next to our kitchen, which gets a lot of traffic. It's beside the pantry and laundry room, and this small hallway is also serves as a pass-thru into the office (which is technically a dining room.)

So far this system is working great, and it's also nice to have a pop of color in the hallway!

Do you have an information station set up that works for your family? I'd love to see what you've done in your home!


Taking Inventory

>> 9.01.2014

I was thinking the other day about my slight addiction to thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist, and the thought lead to, "what percentage of the things in my house were purchased second-hand?" So I went through the house and took an inventory, and the results are pretty interesting. First of all, when you count every single frame and accessory, the numbers are a little startling. But when they are distributed through our modest-sized house it doesn't seems so excessive.

So if you'll humor me for a bit, I'd like to share my findings with you!

Of the 47 pieces of furniture I have in my house, only eight of the pieces were purchased at a store that isn't considered second hand. The rest were purchased through Craigslist, garage sale pages, or thrift stores.

80% Thrift
17% Regular purchases
3% Heirloom

I counted a total of 82 accessories (not counting the currently not being used stashed in my closet) and 50 of them were purchased at thrift stores, etc. The other 32 were found at places like Ross, Homegoods, Target and other places, as well as a few special heirloom pieces. I very rarely buy things at full price however, so just because I didn't get them at a thrift store doesn't mean I didn't get a good deal.

61% Thrift
35% Regular Purchases
4% Heirloom

I have learned my lesson with lamps. A lamp I bought at a thrift store and then later gave to my sister caught on fire at her house. I felt horrible that I was the one that gave it to her, and I have since decided that unless I rewire, I may never buy a lamp at a thrift store again. So that is why 19 of the 20 lamps I have were purchased at department and home stores. My favorite places for lamps are Homegoods, Hobby Lobby, Target, Ross, Marshalls, and Garden Ridge.

95% Regular Purchases
5% Hand me down

I love searching for great frames and art at thrift stores, but I think the majority of my frames are actually from Ikea. You can't beat their prices, and the clean lines of the frames work so well in wall collages. I have never gotten a clock from a thrift store, because I don't want to deal with the probability that it won't work. I counted 100 frames, wall art and clocks (good grief!) and 37 of those I purchased second hand, the rest were regular purchases.

37% Thrift
63% Regular Purchase

Pillows are one of my most favorite accessories, but I have never bought a pillow second hand, so the 22 accent pillows currently in-use in my house are all from places like Tuesday Morning, Target, Ross and Garden Ridge. I have bought several throw blankets at thrift stores and yard/estate sales, however, so of the six throws we have, four are from thrift stores. Nothing like a hand knitted vintage throw to make a room complete!

10% Thrift
90% Regular Purchase


47% Second Hand Purchases
51% Regular Store Purchases
2% Heirloom

Going into this inventory, I really thought the thrift stores would be the majority, but because of my aversion to buying pillows and lamps at thrift stores, as well as my overwhelming amount of Ikea pictures frames, my regular store purchases have won out! 

What about you? What are the stats at your house?


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