Sew Organized: Declutter The Sewing Room

The verdict is in: a big house is not the answer to the clutter problem.

Biggest culprit: CEO's sewing area. One small room. Two large closets face one another in the hall outside with facing mirrors. Perfect for storing fabric and supplies, and just the thing for checking fit and marking hems!

Except that who can pin a hem in the middle of this? Check out this unretouched photo to see the bitter, bitter truth!

Friends and Futures: A Double Household Notebook Tour

When blogger Elizabeth and her friend Kim took on the challenge to create household notebooks, they aimed high.

Deciding to create more than just a simple binder for household information, they envisioned their notebooks as "living books" that would help teach their daughters to keep house.

In these posts, Elizabeth shares her Foss Family Home Companion, while Kim outlines her Family Management Journal. Both notebook tours go further: they explain the thinking behind these two young mothers' decision to create order for their families, now and for the future.

Don't miss Kim's downloadable dividers and forms in Microsoft Word format. Check them out:

Elizabeth's Family Home Companion

Kim's Home Management Journal

Home Management Journal - The Basics

Home Management Journal - Housekeeping

Home Management Journal - Cleaning Forms and Lists

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A Not-Notebook Solution: Home Management Whiteboard

If you're visually oriented, there may be resistance to the idea of a household notebook. Who wants to flip all those pages ... and what happens when you set the mail down on top of your daily schedule?

Clever blogger Jumping On The Bed has an in-your-face solution: a home management whiteboard. Using a large dry erase marker board, she juggles schedules, lists and information right on the wall. Check out her not-notebook solution for better home management!

Home Management Board

home management binder alternative

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Free Freezer Labels to Print ... from Martha Stewart

Printers ready? Here's a super resource for freezer cooking: printable labels for frozen foods. They've got that Martha style, but come with a super innovation: an embedded calendar to make it easy to mark the "frozen on" date.

Martha advises using a full-page label paper to create stick-on labels, but it's simpler and cheaper to print on inkjet paper and slide the label between double freezer bags.

The printable is in .pdf format, so you'll need the free Adobe Reader to print:

Freezer Labels to Print

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Family Dinners: Creative Solutions for Menu Planning

How do working mothers manage menus and meal planning? Working mom Leslie Kaufman's story (published in no less than the venerable New York Times) shares valuable strategies for feeding the family fast--and well.

We liked the menu planning concept of having four core dishes to save time and please picky palates:

I have four core dishes: meatloaf, pot roast, roast chicken and meatballs. I prepare the most basic, pared-down version of each dish. By now it is reflexive. I could do it in my sleep. Perhaps I have. My basic roast chicken is covered in oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and paprika, and that’s that.

Every week I make at least one of those dishes and leave it in the back of the fridge to do emergency duty, as in: “I am not eating anything stuffed with spinach. That’s disgusting.” And like a great friend, it never fails me in a crisis. It can be reheated as a meal, sliced for sandwiches, diced for a pasta sauce and used with cheese to fill a tortilla or a twice-baked potato.

Mom Puts Family On Her Meal Plan

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Get A Handle On Paper

Real Simple describes setting up Systems for Managing Your Mail that will conquer a huge source of clutter and leave you free to enjoy the Spring and Summer days that are quickly approaching!

Their advice?

  • Create a workspace for handling mail

  • Make bill paying more organized
  • Manage Important Documents for easy reference
  • Create a system for Tax & Financial papers
  • Create a system for Magazines & Catalogs

For each type of incoming mail, RealSimple offers ideas and examples of creating systems and streamlining the process.

There are even forms for:

A Monthly Spending Plan

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