Newlywed organization and the merging of two households can be challenging. Not only are you merging styles, but stuff too. Then there are the wedding gifts!
Each person brings with them a set of established habits that the other must learn to “live with.” In this brief interview, check out how this married couple is making it work!
1. How long have you been married?
May 29th, 2011 so about 5 months and we already act like an old married couple!
2. How did you choose where you would live as a married couple? Was it based on the size of the space, location, style?
We knew we wanted to stay in the same part of town since that’s where our friends and my family live. It’s in the middle of everything and you get the most value for your money. We decided to look at a neighborhood one of our friends lived in because it had brand new houses. We started by looking at floorplans together and discussed what we were both looking for in a house. For the most, part we liked the same things! It was a very quick process since he needed to have a place to live in as soon as possible. We went and looked at the three homes that were available and almost completed. The second house we toured had a perfect floorplan, nice big kitchen with all of the upgrades, a TON of storage/attic space and would be ready to move in within the month. It was the perfect size since it was four bedrooms (three upstairs with the master bedroom downstairs) – so just big enough for us to have our three children down the road. With the extra three bedrooms upstairs we had plenty of space, but can cut off the upstairs air conditioning, since for now we only need the downstairs for just two of us. Another deciding factor for my husband was the size of the fourth bedroom upstairs that was the room above garage — perfect for my husband’s “Man Cave.”
3. Does your style mesh with your husband’s? Describe your styles and how you’re working to create a space that showcases both of you and how organization plays a part in that plan.
We agreed from the beginning that he would have his one room upstairs in the house as his Man Cave that he could decorate however he wished…and I had the rest of the house! I thought that was a great deal. We still shopped together for the big items like furniture and luckily, we really do have the same style and easily chose our furniture. There were no issues deciding on that! I chose the paint color, pictures, etc. though. Recently, he’s been talking about how he wants one of those basketball shooting games and how there’s no room left in the man cave, so he wants to put it in the corner of our den or kitchen – HA…I will not let that happen, I just keep referring back to our original agreement!
4. Did you register for wedding gifts? Have they all been unpacked? Describe the influx and was it unexpected and a challenge to create space for the gifts in your new home?
Yes, we registered at Bed Bath & Beyond together and since we were moving into a new house and neither of us had lived on our own other than college, we literally needed everything! Therefore the gifts were unpacked immediately to start using and we had no issue making space since there was nothing occupying the space before!!
5. Who is the organized one in your new family?
That would definitely be me! I can’t stand not knowing where things are or when drawers get too cluttered or when there’s just random things being stored away or sitting around that take up space when they will never be used and should just be thrown away.
6. How do you keep a sense of humor about your differences and adjustments to life as a married couple?
You can only expect so much from a man when it comes to organization. I found a man who not only cooks (and cooks very well at that) but cleans too, so I truly can’t complain because I know that is a rarity and I’m a very lucky woman!!! If I have to do all of the organizing, at least I don’t have to do all of the cooking and cleaning too!
7. What’s the one thing about your husband that frustrates you when it comes to organization?
SHOES and clothes…. I pick up pairs of his shoes around the house DAILY to put them back in the closet – Sometimes four or five pairs at a time. He just doesn’t always “pick up” after himself in general – clothes will literally sit in a pile on our bedroom floor for weeks and weeks before he gets to the point that he can’t find clothes to wear to work so then he finally hangs them up or STUFFS them into a drawer without folding.
8. What’s the one thing that frustrates your husband about you when it comes to organization?
Easy – When I move his stuff! I try to organize the room and put his stuff away or put his clothes into one pile rather than sprawled all over the room but then of course he’ll blame me when he can’t find something since I’m the one who moved it.
In today’s world or reduce, reuse and recycle, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a cool space for your teen. Paint is an amazing game changer because it’s easy, inexpensive and not permanent, which is great if you’re in a rental or temporary space. Most teens have eliminated the big bulky “toy” items and have slimmed down to sleek electronics. However, there still seems to be a lot of clutter to contain. For example, for girls, nail polish and hair accessories, jewelry and clothing. For boys, there may be video games and baseball cards (do boys still collect these??). To keep the clutter at bay, I suggest containing and labeling much of what can be taken out and looked at, as opposed to continually looking at the items (trophies, for example) that will likely just collect dust.
Another thing to consider when creating a cool space for a teen is a workspace, which can also function as a dressing table for girls. Your teen will likely wind up doing homework on their bed or sitting on the floor (add comfy throw pillows), but creating a workspace can encourage positive study habits.
A simple solution for containing the containers, if you will, is to use bookshelves. The shelves in this makeover are actually about 20 years old. They were one of the best investments I ever made! Not only are they fold-able, but they’re stackable too. I’ve used these in a bedroom, a storage area and now in my teen’s room, after repainting a crisp white. We already had all of the containers used in this project. I spray painted the round containers black. We used magazine holders for Teen mags and a pull out drawer for note cards and stationary. Yearbooks are in the mesh container on the bottom shelf next to scrap books.
When it comes to repurposing items you already own, think outside the box. You may want to do this when it comes to a particular room too. In a recent home organizing project, we repurposed a client’s formal dining room into a study/arts & crafts/music room. Consider using an “old” table as a desk or a bookshelf as a container for baskets full of arts & crafts supplies, as opposed to the books that could be donated instead. There are many ways to increase functionality in a space, it just takes a little creative thinking.
…say that five times fast!
Couponing has become a household word these days, especially in this economy. There are web sites, blogs and even TLC has introduced a reality show called Extreme Couponing. I don’t think I like the idea of stocking up on thousands of dollars of items, especially if you have to resort to installing shelving in your bedroom (as one extreme couponer on TLC did), but saving money is always a good thing!
Recently, a friend of mine, who coupons regularly and has a small but respectable stash in her garage, introduced me to triple coupons at our local Harris Teeter. I’ve got to say that I was ecstatic to have saved $35 and only spent $17—all on products I will actually use such as deodorant, chips, and a few other items.
Well, Smead Organomics has introduced a portable organizer for couponers more like myself who use store coupons and discounts received in the mail directly from retailers. It’s called the Tag Along Organizer and has five pockets and comes with 15 pre-printed labels.
Smead also provided me with some great tips to pass along to you:
Don’t overdo it—The sheer volume of offers that area available can make coupon clipping seem like a daunting task. Don’t get carried away. You save money when you use coupons on things that you plan to buy anyway. Don’t be tempted to by good deals on things you don’t want or need.
Keep your collection current—Make sure you weed out expired coupons regularly.
Be an organized couponer—Use a portable organizer or expanding file to keep coupons sorted. Then sub-organize by: product classification, expiration date, and store or mail location.
Look for ways to maximize offers—Sometimes you can save even more by using coupons on items that are already on sale or clearance. Merchants occasionally run “double coupon“ promotions. Check your packages and receipts for rebate offers and redeem them right away so you don’t miss out on the additional savings!
Happy couponing and, more importantly, happy savings!Read More
First, let’s keep it simple. Hang a few finished pieces on the refrigerator or even on the playroom wall.You can use removable strips and tabs to easily hang and change up each week. The bulk of the artwork can be placed in a container to be sorted later. The key here is to not let too much accumulate. It will be difficult to choose, but that’s the rub. Choosing will keep you from drowning in artwork and from having to spend much time later on.
Here are a few recommendations that can help you stay on top and keep the piles from growing.
1. Organize by age or school year. This will be a tough one, especially once your child reaches kindergarten and they have a birthday in the middle of the year. Therefore, before you little one officially starts school, organize their art by year. Choose a manageable size box for each year and once the box becomes full, only keep the most desirable.
2. Create a photo book. To hold onto the artwork forever and have it take up little space on a bookshelf, take photos of the artwork, then create a book at the end of the school year or after a birthday celebration. (Keep a back up of the photos on a dvd and you’ve potentially eliminated an entire box).
3. Create a work of art with a collage poster. This is one of my favorite discoveries and you can simply ship off the original artwork, which is returned to you along with a custom collage poster of your child’s favorite artwork. A great way addition to any child’s room that will last a lifetime! (click on the photo below for more information).
Here’s more on what to do with children’s artwork…Read More
I’ve teamed up with Fisher-Price to offer expectant and new moms how-to tips for the nursery, creating baby zones in the kitchen, baby gear must haves, and on-the-go organization. These videos appear on the new Room to Bloom site and provide helpful tips for getting out the door with baby, where to put baby items in the kitchen, what tools you need to help you to keep baby occupied while you prepare bottles, and other must haves. In addition to the videos, Fisher-Price will post a series of blog posts that I’ve written especially to help new moms in all areas of the home and on-the-go. Stay-tuned as the blog posts are rolled out very soon. In the mean time, watch the videos for quick tips!