Organized Charm

Saturday, February 24, 2018

How to Style Kitchen Shelves

In our kitchen, we have these really fantastic shelves from Restoration Hardware. I love them because they add a rustic, farmhouse-y feel (without the cost of a renovation- yay!).

However, the problem with any kind of surface in a house is that it can eventually attract the most dreaded of all things… clutter.

Our shelves slowly got stocked with baguettes that were too long for the pantry, produce, and every glass container we owned. I found myself getting annoyed at the sight of them and their contents. So the other morning, before my 10:00 doctor appointment, I decided to do something about them!

(Related: Clear to Neutral)

If you have some shelves that are out of control, too… here’s how you can make them pretty and organized again :) 

Step 1 | Remove EVERYTHING from the Shelves

I took down every little baguette, book, and bowl. I just LOVE the way that surfaces look when they’re empty and free of clutter! This allowed me to see the exact amount of space available and to try my best to recapture the feeling of openness!

(Related: Dorm Room Organization)

Step 2 | Dust

While you’ve got all that stuff cleared off the surface, you might as well dust it, right? Two birds with one stone, as they say.

(Related: Office Organization Tips)

Step 3 | Categorize Decorative Pieces

This is one of the most helpful ways to restyle a space. Choose whatever categories work best for you and the items! Sometimes, I categorize by height or overall size, sometimes by color.

When I took the items off of this particular shelf, I noticed that they were mostly glass (makes sense because it is a kitchen!). So, I organized them by material: earth (fruits, plants) glass (mason jars, pitchers), metal (champagne bucket, watering can), wood (serving dishes, trays).

Organizing by material allowed me to create some balance on the heavy metal and wood shelves.

(Related: How to Feng Shui Your Study Space)

Step 4 | Place Items

The fun part! Start arranging your items in groups of threes. Also, try to notice potential ways to put them together that you may not have thought of before! When I took down all of my items, I noticed I had a stack of rectangular, white serving dishes. So, I used these to hold items on the different shelves.

(Related: How to Make Your Workspace Work for YOU)

Step 5 | Find Another Home for the Rest of Your Items

Just because you have an item does not mean that you have to return it to your shelves! Look for other places in your home that could benefit from a new piece! My glass pitchers looked great stacked with cookbooks on top of my fridge! A metal sculpture from these shelves gets more attention on our dining room buffet!

And of course, donate any items that just aren’t your style anymore. You don’t have to keep it all!

(Related: 8 Simple Things to Organize This Month!)

Now, I feel like our shelves are light, airy, and organized. 3 words I’d use to describe my dream kitchen :) 

(Related: 5 Fresh Starts for the First of Each Month)

Do you have any tips or advice for styling or restyling shelves? Share them below!! :) 

Follow Organized Charm on Pinterest for home organization ideas! 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Favorite TpT Products for Classroom Organization

Classroom organization is one of my favorite parts of teaching! 

You never would have guessed, right?

Over the summer, I spend my time in “Print, Laminate, Cut, Repeat” mode. (suuuper relaxing, yes?) Because I am a stickler for efficiency, I am always on the lookout for products that can keep our classroom running smoothly! 

Here are some of my favorite TpT finds that I use daily!

Daily Chevron Schedule Cards | $4.00 | Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten

These cards are amazing and we use them every day! Mrs. Ricca has come up with cards for every subject that you could possibly think of! However, there are still editable cards in case you need them (which we did). 

Just print, laminate, and cut! Last year, I hot glued magnets to the back and kept them on a whiteboard. This year, they’re in a pocket chart. Super versatile and they help Kindergarteners learn the schedule so well!

Positive Parent Communication Binder | $4.50 | Teacher Trap

Parent communication was my professional goal last year, and I downloaded this binder to help. Oh. My. Gosh. It is wonderful! It is full of forms to use for conferences, phone call tips, etc. My favorite thing was the Positive Notes Home section! 

These are editable notes that you can grab to send home with your kids when they do something spectacular! I edited them to align with my Class Dojo skills, printed out a bunch on AstroBright paper and keep them behind my table. 

Whenever I notice a student going above and beyond, I grab one, write a quick summary of what they did, and have them put it in their lunchbox so their parents will see! :) 

Editable Computer Login Cards | $2.25 | TCHR Two Point 0

When you have young students, logging in can be the worst. Every time we learn a new computer program, I spend the first day(s) just teaching my kids how to log in independently. Simply type in their info. Print. Laminate. Cut. 

Then I hole punched the top corner and used a binder clip to hang them on a command hook near the iPads. These are so small that you can have several hanging on the wall, depending on how many computer programs your school uses! 

Class Slides with Timers | $13.00 | Teach Create Motivate

Ok, I have to say, I didn't not remember these bing this pricey. BUT I will also say that we do use them every day! You can delete the slides you don’t need and put the ones you do need in order of your daily routine. Then I project them on our screen. I LOVE the timer feature! 

You can edit it in 5 minute increments and everyone can see it, no matter where they are in the classroom! It is most helpful during workshops/centers because the kids can see their time running out… by the time the timer stops, several of them have already started cleaning up! This helps rotations go so much more smoothly! 

Book Bin Labels | $4.75 | Learning in Wonderland

I have seen these around on Pinterest and TPT for quite a while, but finally made the commitment and tried them this year! I'm so glad I did! Originally, I just meant to use them for one place in the classroom. However, we have ended up using them in several places! 

They are good for birthday walls, cubbies, chairs, class jobs, reading levels, data boards, attendance, graphing activities, etc. etc. etc. Basically anything your kids do in the classroom, these cards can be used for! 

They LOVE them and parents think they are super cute, too! 

If you’re looking for more classroom ideas, I have a whole separate Pinterest account for teaching (Peppy Pandas), and it is full of even more TpT products that I love! 

I’ll never know how teachers did this job before Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers! :) 

What are some of your favorite TpT finds? How do you incorporate them in your everyday classroom? Share your ideas (and links) below! 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

One Phrase to Redefine You in 2018

There are many things to organize other than the things in our houses. 

If you take a look around some of these posts, you may notice that organizing my LIFE is equally important to me as organizing my kitchen cabinets is. 

I am CONSTANTLY searching for balance. Balance between work and relaxing, balance between staying in and going out, balance between personal needs and the needs of others. 

And while time management and health are things that we're probably all thinking about anyway. What about organizing our thoughts? Feelings? Attitudes? Honestly, this is one of those areas where people usually say "I just am who I am and I can't change it"! That saying drives me crazy! 

Of course, there are some built-in personality traits... But for the most part, You are whoever you decide to be and you CAN change it. I am a firm believer in mind over matter. I believe that we can do, think, feel, act, and react however we choose. 

I believe this for (at least) three reasons:

Reason #1: When I was in elementary/middle school, I used to be insanely shy. Like, so shy that I would start crying if the teacher asked me a question in Sunday School. In front of a small group of girls. That I saw every week. And I am talking panic attack level, here. 

Today: I can still be quiet(ish) but I have no problem talking to people. I don't even mind public speaking... in fact, I even enjoy it!

Why? Because I simply decided to be something else. 

Reason #2: When I was in high school, I was the worst. student. ever. Do you hear me? EVER. I was always failing at least one class (usually math), I would copy someone else's homework 24 seconds before we had to turn it in, and I NEVER knew when we had tests. Tests!

I studied (read) for a test once and it turned out to be the wrong chapter. My teacher and classmates thought it was hilarious. Being a bad student kind of became my identity in high school, so I just went with it. Worst if all? I didn't even have a planner! (Oh, the horror!)

Today: I have multiple (color-coded) planners. I NEVER miss a deadline. In fact, I remind others about deadlines. I mades straight A's in college, and I finished grad school with a 4.0 GPA. I even made an A in a math class for the first time ever! 

So what changed? How did I go from being the girl that was never prepared to the girl who was overly prepared? 

I simply decided to be something else. 

Reason #3: Senior year, I took a Mock Trial class and decided that I LOVED law! I loved the research. I loved reading through scenarios and pulling out the rule of law that applied. I loved Elle Woods (obviously)! I declared my major Legal Studies during my first semester of college and never looked back.

But guess what? When I started to actually work for attorneys, I HATED it. I hated being inside all day. I hated the nonstop calls. I hated it that I didn't actually get to interact with people... everything was mostly over the phone. And I hated sitting at a desk all day. 

Today: I am in my seventh year of teaching Kindergarten, and I couldn't be happier! I still get to do research but I also get to run around, use silly voices, give hugs, draw, go outside, and do a million different things with my students. I love everything about my job!

I'm SO GLAD I simply decided to DO SOMETHING ELSE! 

So, if you have an area of your life that you're currently unhappy with, I think you know what to do! One of my favorite quotes is "never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."! 

What area of your life would like to commit to changing in this new year? 

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