First Day of School.

It’s that time of year — lots of firsts — Ben starts 1st grade today!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that he was starting kindergarten?


We’ve had a crazy summer and are ready for some consistent structure as I know most families are feeling this as well… as we all gear up, I found this post that I wanted to share – some really good stuff here.

Wishing all of the kiddos and parents a great beginning to a new year and hoping some of these “hacks” below provide inspiration for a more organized and smooth running household!


20 Hacks for the House from kids activities blog…


 hacks for the home


Make a stackable couch.  These are sheets of foam that they covered with fun fabrics to create a couch, or sections of mats for a “nap-over” – we could even take them camping.  When I make them, I hope to use vinyl so we can wipe them off when they get dirty.  via – Ma Petite

No more hunting for the “home” of clothing items.  This would be a great solution for the kids who tend to stuff all their clothes everywhere.  Give them labels on the drawers.  Paint your dresser with chalk board paint.  For younger kids you can draw an image of what’s in the drawers.  via – Apartment Therapy

Trampolines.  We love ours – it is a favorite “thing-to-do” when the kids need to burn off energy.  Get rid of nets and potential hazards by burying the trampoline into the ground.  Brilliant!  via – Nosh Kids.

hacks for the home

Make your own household cleaners.  Use common kitchen ingredients to make cleaners that are kid-friendly, kill germs, and safe for your home.  This is our lemonade vinegar cleaner.  Your house will smell so yummy!

Create a sick bucket and keep it close to where you sleep.  If your kids get sick in the night you don’t need to hunt around for the items that will help comfort them and protect your home.

Create and *USE* a meal calendar.  It will save you money and time as you are able to waste less food, can shop the sales, and won’t have to spend time hunting for ingredients.  via Kid Stuff World.

Keep a door unlocked with a rubber band.  We’ve all had those moments when our kids learned how to lock a door but not unlock them.  When they are in that lovely phase, keep doors open with rubber bands.  via – Good Housekeeping.

hacks to organize the home

Transform a play pen into an outdoor wonder yard – just cover it with a sheet.  Your child will be protected from bugs and sun while you garden.  If it’s windy out use a fitted crib sheet.  It fits perfectly!  via – Polly Danger

Create a family binder.  We *really* need to do this.  Put important contact information, any documents that you *need* to know where they are, future plans and account information.  If there is a house emergency, there is just one place to get all the important docs.  This site has printables to help you – 30 handmade Days

Painless Vacation Fund.  It is hard, really hard to save up for vacations.  This year we are getting cash back every time we go grocery shopping.  $20 a time adds up fast.  Stuff the twenties into a bottle so you can watch your fund grow until vacation time.

hacks for the home

Sort and store legos.   If you have a child who loves having his (or her) legos all organized in a visible manner they will love this shoe-organizer “hack”.  Fill the shoe slots with the lego “groups”.

Organize stuffed animals.  If you have a house with limited floor and shelf space you will love this – Hang a rope from the ceiling.  Use clothespins to attach the stuffed animals to the rope.  via – Attempting Aloha

PVC Pipe Bike Stand.  Clean up the garage with super easy to make and easy to adapt bike rack.


hacks for the home

Limit Soap by twisting rubber bands around the pump nozzle.  When the kids push the pump they can only get a small dollop of soap, the perfect amount for small hands.  My kids are soap-alcoholics, my bathroom sinks love this hack.

Remove labels from bottles so you can use the bottles for organization with the help of peanut butter and a magic eraser.

Get rid of fruit flies FAST!  Make a trap that they can’t resist!

hacks for the home

Kids Snack drawer.  Create a drawer with self-serve snacks that your kids can pick from.  This helps foster independence as they can go and refuel their growing bodies whenever they need it.  via – Good Housekeeping

Under Crib Diaper Station.  Use the space under the crib to create a diaper station.  You won’t have to go far in the night to get supplies.  via – A lovely Lark

Triple Decker.  If you have limited floor space go vertical with beds.    You can make the middle bunk into a desk area if needed.

Transform a closet into a school-center.  You don’t need a ton of space to create a mini-office to help organize and contain the after-school homework craze.

Quote of the week.


The Office Voyeur

Remember when you got to peek inside of Justina’s office last month?

This month I’m taking you into the super cool, uber productive, incredibly awesome office of my friend Mr. Seth Streeter.  If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that I’m a big fan of Seth.  I had the opportunity to work with his team a few years ago and he and I and many others of his amazing team have become friends and colleagues…. I love this company, Mission Wealth Management of which he is the co-founder and president.  Want to know more about him?  I wrote an entire article about him here! 

So, are you dying to see in his office?  I was too because they just moved offices and I couldn’t wait to see what was happening there!  He told me his goal is to create more white space… it’s a BEAUTIFUL space.

First of all when you walk into this new space you are greeted with what I thought might have been the most calming words I have ever seen – check out that amazing blue background!


And how about that Mission Statement – so simple, effective and clear.  LOVE IT!!!  (this is actually mounted, not stenciled so it has a raised look and feel to it)

The next thing I love about their office is how they have their mission smack dab in front of your face when you walk in – there’s no missing it and wondering what they are really all about… and having FUN involved is so cool!


In Seth’s new office he has a STAND UP DESK!!  These are all the rage in the office world these days… I have been seeing more and more of them in my consulting work in companies lately- you read the article Sitting is the New Smoking, right?

stand up

There it is!

todays activiites

And here’s a peek inside his office… pretty lean and clean, eh?

He keeps today stuff in a wire basket for easy accessibility and he uses 2 notepads – one for weekly activities/list and one for projects.

The stuff behind him in the black tray is anything that needs to go home with him

seth kids

He of course has an IN/OUT are and the drawers behind him house is paper and files (full disclosure – he DID open the drawers up and they WERE very organized with labels, etc… he shared what’s in each drawer – made perfect sense)  :)

Lastly- one of the things Seth and I connect around is our love of quotes and all things inspirational so you can imagine how fast I wanted to make an exact copy of this beautiful QUOTE board that he has (and hasn’t been hung yet)… Look at that 5th quote down… it’s definitely my new fave!

Ahhh, can’t wait to see the final version.  Thanks so much Seth… you rock!




Quote of the week.


A monthly tickler system.

We all have those once-in-a-while things that we need down the road — a very simple way to hold them and find them again when needed is to create a monthly tickler system… You can even break it down more and use the monthly/weekly ticker system by putting weeks #1-4 inside each month as discuss here from Lifehack.


This is a super easy to use system that supports essentially any household, entrepreneur, small business owner and everything else in between.  Think:  Directions to an event, a code you’ll need for a gate, a form you will need for a doctors appointment, a gift certificate with an expiration date that you need to use by a certain date, a project you want to do during a certain time.

Do you already use a tickler system?  If so, share how it works for you!