I love this 2-week holiday break with my kiddos home from school, and my husband off of work (for a portion of it anyways). BUT…this is about the time that I get a little bit antsy about the chaotic state of the house and the willy-nilly-ness (is that a word?) of our daily schedule.
As a creature who thrives on structure and order, I’ve had to develop some coping mechanisms over the years to successfully navigate extended vacations and breaks. Tackling bite-size organizing projects around the house is one of the things that keeps me grounded during the break. Of course, there are the larger projects around the house that need to get done as well (my husband’s office is at the top of our list), but those require a large chunk of time, which can be hard to come by when the kiddos are home.
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So what mini-organizing projects did I complete during the break? Let’s take a look.
HOLIDAY BREAK ORGANIZING PROJECT #1: CAR
Typically, I put together a winter emergency kit for my car in early November. I’m really behind this year, but for a GREAT reason. My good friend El Nino came for a visit and stuck around the northeast Ohio area for about 2 months, bringing with him abnormally AWESOME warm weather. Only now in late December do I really see true winter weather on the horizon.
If you live in an area that experiences severe winter weather, you know how important it is to prepare for the worst. My emergency car kits includes:
- Water and food
- Windshield washer fluid
- Jumper cables (these are always in the car, but I transfer them from under the wheel well to the car kit in the winter)
- EZ Traction Tire Tracks
I also took a moment to restock my Thirty-One Hang-Up Organizer that hangs on the front side of my mini-van passenger seat. In the summer, I use it to store sunscreen and bug spray, which I swap out for hand lotion, tissues, anti-bacterial wipes and lip balm during the winter months.
I also use it to hold doggie necessities (waste bags, portable water bowl), Post-It Notes and pens, my coupon book, and a few snacks for when the kiddos announce that they’re starving.
HOLIDAY BREAK ORGANIZING PROJECT #2: PURSE
During the holiday season, monthly maintenance tasks such as organizing my purse seem to fall by the wayside. Then one day I took a close look inside and see this:
Then I began to dig out the contents, only to discover this:
It’s time to sort, purge, and put Humpty Dumpty back together again:
I have a few extra items that always seem to sneak into my purse, namely pens/Sharpies and mini-notepads. Once I purged the extras, trashed the trash and receipts, I used my Pouchee purse organizer to organize what remained:
Aaaaahhhh, much better!
HOLIDAY BREAK ORGANIZING PROJECT #3: KITCHEN UTENSIL DRAWER
This drawer is another one of those areas that requires fairly regular maintenance in our house and has been neglected…plain and simple. It’s been really getting on my nerves this past month, with baking and cooking kicking into high gear during the holidays. This week really is the perfect time to give the kitchen utensil drawer a once over.
During the process of re-organizing this drawer, I decided that the original drawer organizer I’ve been using for the last decade just wasn’t cutting it. I was able to dig into my leftover supply of organizing products and dig up a few Ikea Stodja Utensil Trays to set up the perfect divider configuration for the space.
Then it was just a matter of sorting like with like and determining that I can live without the Easter bunny spreader and the 5 extra spatulas. There was also the matter of relocating the 10 pumpkin carving tools to the Halloween storage bins, since they are only used during that season.
HOLIDAY BREAK ORGANIZING PROJECT #4: GADGET CORDS & ACCESSORIES
Gadget cords and accessories have been multiplying like rabbits in our house over the past year or two and have slowly become the #1 organizing challenge in my house. I suspect that this is a huge thorn in your side as well if you live in a household with multiple device users (and kids who play with toys that use chargers), so I’ll address gadget cord and accessory organization in a separate post.
HOLIDAY BREAK ORGANIZING PROJECT #5: UTILITY (“JUNK”) DRAWERS
Ah, the junk drawer. I used to have one, but over the past year, it’s overflowed into 2 adjacent drawers, so now I’ve got 3. You’ll witness the transformation of the overflow drawers during the gadget cord organization process, but here’s the “Before” shot of the main utility drawer:
Not horrible, but just disorganized enough to be annoying.
It literally took all of 20 minutes to clear the drawer out, clean it, sort items, and place everything that should stay back in.
Our junk drawer consists primarily of a few basic office supplies (including a large stash of pens, pencils and Sharpie pens), a few toiletry/grooming items, and a few random items (decks of cards and tape measure).
What a difference 20 minutes makes! Once again, it’s Ikea to the rescue…I use a Stodja Flatware tray (which costs less than $2) to divide the drawer, along with a few long, shallow gift box lids to fill in the spare space.
Because I felt inspired, I went the extra mile and added labels to help keep the writing utensils separated. The kids spend a lot of time rummaging around in the drawer for a pencil to use when it’s time to complete their math homework. Hopefully this will save a bit of aggravation (there’s enough aggravation that comes with 6th grade math homework, right?)
Now it’s your turn…what’s on your mini-project list for the break? It should be something you can complete within a few hours’ time.. Be sure to let me know what your project(s) will be in the comments section, then return back here to brag once you’ve gotten it done!