Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Creating a Family Command Center

January is "Get Organized Month," or "GO Month" for those of you who like snazzy titles.

Almost every time I help a mom organize her home, I hear, "Oh man, this is so embarrassing! Your house must be immaculate. It doesn't always look like this, I swear!" Now before we had a child, our house was almost always tidy. Sure, a few things were left on the counter or a bag in the doorway, but it was for the most part lookin' pretty good. Then came Cubscout and the exponential amount of baby gear, little dishes, toys {If I step on one more piece of fake food...}, doctors appointment info, and just stuff that comes along with these adorable little treasures to keep them warm, plump, and cheerful. Now I choke over my stifled snorts and giggles when I think of those moms! I want to call them all and say, "I get it now!!! Totally get it." The truth is, life sometimes just gets in the way. We get lazy. Choose an excuse; there are lots to go around.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and show you what my counter looked like on December 31st and then how I used a few organizing tools to create our new and improved Family Command Center.

File Box // The Alpha-Omega Collection
Phone Tray // Red Envelope

First things first. I threw away all of the magazines in the pile to the left that I haven't or will not read. I kept my cooking mags and stored them in a magazine holder alongside my other gazillion cooking magazines. We sorted through all the papers, receipts, gift cards, and business cards. Some papers took a fun trip down the shredder, and others were filed in our new file box. Business cards found themselves on the wheel of our little yellow Rolodex. Receipts and gift cards were placed in the file box as well for quick reach as we leave the house. Everything else was put away or tossed.

My company, KC Streamline Concepts, designed and produced the file box. We offer a line of organizing tools and systems at Stay tuned for my next post about our new website and products!

Filertek Dry-Erase Tabs
I labeled our hanging file folders with Filertek Dry-Erase Folder Tabs. I love that I can reuse these tabs and relabel them as needed without having to bring out my label maker.

Create folders that are specific to your family's daily life. {Clearly stickers are important in our house.} Here are some suggested tabs: To Do, Menu Planning, Take-out Menus, Coupons, Gift Cards, Medical, Dental, Babysitter, To File, and To Pay.

Gift Card Storage
Easily store your gift cards in your hanging file folder by taping an envelope to the inside. This way, they won't shift or slip out of the folder.

Phone Tray

One of our new years resolutions as a couple is to put our phones and iPads down when Brian comes home from work. From the time he walks in the door until the time Cubscout goes to bed, it is family time. Brian bought this sweet valet tray on Red Envelope, which unfortunately is no longer available. Since Cubs is too little to use it yet, we chose to use it as a dedicated place to put our phones during family time.

I hope this motivates you to create a fun and organized Family Command Center. Life is so much better when it's stress-free and simple.

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a lovely holiday and spent yesterday with the ones you love.

2014 is the Year of the Horse. It's time to harness your energy and use it to propel you forward this year. Dream big. Love hard. Work smart. Plan well. Pursue goals you've been putting off. {I know I am!} Remember that decisive action leads to success.

Take time to write down your goals and make a detailed plan to accomplish each. I'm using Evernote to keep track of mine this year.

Copyright Megan McGlynn, Third&Patterson Blog

I'm really excited to see what this year brings. It's already off to a great start with my company's product line, The Alpha-Omega Collection, being featured in the Better Homes & Gardens Spring Storage Edition! It's a dream come true!

Here's to a happy, healthy, and successful new year! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

DIY // Toddler Learning Tower

Happy 18 months to our Cubscout! Our little bear is growing up so fast; it seems like yesterday we were celebrating her birthday. She's spunky, witty, and oh so curious. So much so that she wouldn't leave me alone when I was in the kitchen. Every time I washed dishes, made a meal or made a much needed cup of joe, Cubs would hang on my leg or sit on the floor at my feet and fuss until I picked her up.

We are believers in the Montessori way of teaching life skills from an early age. Brian was browsing Ikea Hackers one evening and came across a DIY post for building a learning tower. Learning towers are basically step stools with safety rails in which a toddler to preschool aged child can stand. It allows a young child the ability to participate in every day chores from washing dishes (Mainly just sloshing around in the sink!) to preparing basic foods and simple kitchen tasks. The tower also serves as a great perch for them to simply hang with you and contribute their jibber jabber to your conversation. (It's adorable.)

Cubscout LOVES her learning tower. She likes being apart of the action and feeling as though she has command of her space. She's learning invaluable life skills and is having a great time. She can climb into it herself (Hasn't mastered getting back down yet.) and even pushes it around the kitchen to be closer to me. Better yet, no more hanging on my leg! Cubs is my little partner in crime in the kitchen, and we've had some really fun times.

You can easily purchase a learning tower from any baby supply store or online. But, be prepare to pay upwards of 200 smackers. I kid you not. Why spend that kind of dough, when you can make one for less than $30?!

Here are the instructions Brian followed. The Ikea stool, which serves as the base of the tower, can be purchased here.

We left the wood in its natural state to blend in with our cabinets. Whether you leave it au natural or paint it, the tower will get a little grimy during your tot's kitchen adventures. Just wipe it down with a sponge and warm soapy water or spray with disinfectant spray.

{If you are looking for instructions to build a more commercial learning tower like you see in stores, you can find building instructions here on Ana White's blog. She refers to it as a "helping tower."}

Take a photo of your learning tower and send it to me. I'd love to do a follow-up post with your awesome builds and toddler adventures!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hello Again...

Hello, friends! I have lots of excuses for why I haven't been blogging for the past couple months, but I will spare you. Excuses, excuses...

Lots of great things are in the works for me right now. I have been serving as a design consultant for a startup company here in Silicon Valley and look forward to sharing photos with you in the next few weeks. I just stopped by the office last night, and it's getting there.

I also have an exciting announcement - I'm a founding contributing writer for a new women's online magazine coming out this month called Maxwell's Playbook. I feel really honored to have been asked to write an interior design and organizing column for the mag.  I will share more details and a link as soon as it's live!!! To top it all off, I'm also in the process of editing two children's books. Life is surely busy, and certainly blessed.

Be on the lookout for some fun holiday crafts and design boards. I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!

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