Monday, February 24, 2020

20 Simple Changes I Made Around the House that Have Made Life Easier - Part 2

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Last week, I started sharing a few things that I changed around our home last year that have made our lives easier.  My intention was to share all 20 things in one post, but the post got a bit lengthy, so I had to split it into two.  If you missed the first one, you can see it here and today I’m sharing the second half! 

Here we go!

E L E V E N – Created a designated place to diffuse oils downstairs

When I first started oiling last year, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it or if I’d even stick with it, so in the beginning, the diffuser floated around the house along with all of my oils and accessories. 

I quickly fell in love and knew I was going to be in it for the long haul, so I set out to find a permanent home for my diffuser as well as a place to store everything else.  I knew I wanted the diffuser to be in the kitchen since it’s the heart of our home, and I ultimately decided that the kitchen island would be the perfect place.  It’s in the center of the kitchen which allows the mist to spread more evenly throughout the house, and there are no cabinets above that space to get in the way. 

I bought a gorgeous serving basket at Kohl’s to sit in the middle of the island to hold my supplies.  The diffuser is there along with a little glass jar to hold some of the accessories.  That little vignette has become one of my favorite spots in our whole kitchen and it looks so much sweeter there than the tiered tray full of produce that used to be there.

To organize all of my oils, I found a cute little shelf for just $19.99 at TJ Maxx.  I hung it on the wall in the kitchen near the diffuser, and I was able to line all of my oils along the shelves in a manner that allows me to see everything I have at a glance.  I chose to organize my oils in rainbow order (you know!), but you could organize them in alphabetical order, too.  ;o) 

T W E L V E – Added extenders in kids’ closets

The kids both have closets in their bedrooms and each closet has one hanging rack near the top.  Since the racks are so high, neither child could reach their own clothes and that obviously presented a problem every day when it was time to get dressed. 

I found some closet extenders at Target and it was an easy and inexpensive fix that allowed us to add an extra hanging space on their level that didn’t require screwing into the walls or installing anything permanent.  The width can be shortened or extended to fit any closet and it was seriously the easiest thing to set up.  Literally all you do is attach the two hanging bars to the main bar and then you just hang it in your closet.  This took about two minutes of my time and only $10 out of our pockets.  Both kids now have two rows to hang clothes and they can now reach the bottom row themselves.

I keep all of their clothes for the current season on the bottom rack so they can reach what they need, and the clothes for the other season go on the top rack.  When the seasons change, I just swap them out.  Easy peasy and oh so affordable.  I dedicated an entire post to this and you can see it here.

T H I R T E E N – Added plastic pocket organizers to kids’ closets

Another problem we had in the kids’ closets is that we had no good place to store their shoes.  When I would clean out and organize their closets I would line their little shoes up in neat rows but within two days all of them were scattered all over the floor of the closet, rolling under the clothes and disappearing behind other things.  This resulted in lots of “lost” shoes, especially for Olivia, who sometimes can’t even find the things that are right in front of her face.  Lol.

I bought over-the-door pocket organizers for each of their closets and now all of their shoes are right there on the door lined up for them to see.  They can see every pair that they have, and for Olivia, that’s especially great since she has so many different ones from which to choose.

F O U R T E E N – Bought a nail polish organizer

For years I stored my nail polish in our medicine cabinet lined up in tidy little rows.  The problem with that was that I couldn’t easily see all of the colors I had on hand.  I ended up using the same ones in the front over and over because I rarely wanted to take the time to pull each of them out to see what I had.

This was an easy fix – I bought a tiered nail polish organizer, set it up in the same spot in our medicine cabinet, and now I’m able to see all of the bottles at the same time! 

F I F T E E N – Installed a pantry door organizer

Our pantry in our kitchen is small, but it worked for us until we had kids.  Once we had kids, we started keeping aaaallll the snacks on hand, and we got to a point where we literally didn’t have enough room to store all of our food items (a blessing, yes, but a pain, too #firstworldprobs).  I thought about transferring some items to a cabinet since we have so much cabinet space, but my Type A (read: OCD) reeeeaaaalllly needed all of the food items together in one location. 

I found the perfect rack and it has been a complete game changer!  It added a huge amount of useable space and we now have enough room to store all of our food in one place.  My OCD heart is happy.

S I X T E E N – Bought bins for the medicine cabinet

Prior to having bins, we stored all of our medicines and first aid supplies in organized rows on a shelf in our cabinet.  Again, they were organized, but it was impossible to see everything easily which meant that it was a pain to find what we needed when we needed it.  This also resulted in us buying duplicate items when we didn’t need them. 

My initial instinct was to buy some sort of tiered shelf organizer to stand everything on, but I quickly realized that wouldn’t work because of the weird shapes and sizes of some of the items.  Instead, I bought this set of 3 acrylic bins from Amazon and I organized all of our supplies in them – first aid items in one bin, adult medications in one bin, and kid medications in one bin.  Now, we just pull the bin down that we need, and we can easily access everything that we have.  Each item can be taken out and put back easily.  No more hunting ten rows deep for the one item that we need. 

S E V E N T E E N – Bought an organizer for the toiletry drawer

B and I keep our toothbrushes and toothpastes, dental floss and picks, and a few other toiletry items in the top drawer in our bathroom.  Prior to buying organizers, our toothbrushes were stored in a cup on the countertop (which I hated) and everything else was just floating around loose in the drawer.  It drove me insane. 

I bought this set of interlocking trays to organize all of our little toiletries and it fits perfectly in the drawer without wasting any space.  Now each item has its own cubby, it doesn’t slide around, and our toothbrushes don’t have to be exposed on the countertop!

E I G H T E E N – Created a designated space to do daily quiet time and meditation

I used to be really bad about skipping quiet time.  I never had a designated time or place to do it and my devotionals and other materials were often in different places each day.  This often resulted in me skipping altogether because I didn’t feel like rounding up the supplies or finding a quiet place to do it.

Last year when I made over my home office, I bought a chair and a small accent table to put by the window and I declared it my designated spot to do my quiet time and meditation.  I now have a quiet place to sit where I don’t have to worry about being interrupted, and I have all of the supplies I need to be comfortable and successful – a lumbar pillow for comfort, a basket of blankets to snuggle up if I’m cold, and a lamp for extra light.  The little table has a shelf on the bottom where I keep my ever-growing stack of devotionals and self-improvement books and it has a drawer where I keep my prayer list, my daily affirmations, and a pen and highlighter to take notes.

Since I’ve created this space, I’ve been so consistent with both my prayer time and my meditation and it has become one of my favorite things to look forward to each day.  I haven’t missed a single day in 50+ days!

N I N E T E E N – Bought a Makeup Organizer

I’ve been wearing makeup since probably 9th grade or so, and for my entire life I have stored my makeup in a makeup bag… I just threw everything in there.  Each day I had to dump it all out, sift through to find what I needed, and then throw it all back in there. 

Last year I realized just how dumb and time-consuming that was, and I went and bought an acrylic makeup organizer.  Now all of my makeup is organized, easy to find, and I don’t have to sort through it every day.  I store the organizer in my bathroom drawer so it’s out of sight when I’m not using it, and each morning, I just pull out the organizer and everything is right there at my fingertips.  I love the acrylic bins because you can see everything inside, even the small items that fall to the bottom. 

T W E N T Y – Bought an Amazon Echo for my office and the kitchen

Y’all.  I’ve wanted an Echo Dot for so long and B finally gave me the gift of Alexa this past Christmas.  I’m totally kicking myself for not having gotten her sooner.  Is there anything she can’t do?!  She’ll play music by artist or genre or on Pandora, and she’ll even the play lists on your phone.  She can tune in to your favorite local radio station, she’ll set timers and reorder items we’re out of, and she’ll answer cooking questions (and pretty much any other question you have).  Need to know how many tablespoons are in ½ of a cup?  Alexa’s got you!  And the best part is that she can do all of those things for you, hands free!

I love her so much that B got a big Echo for me for Valentine’s Day so we can also enjoy her services in the kitchen while also having the premium sound.  He also gave me a smart plug which allows Alexa to control an electrical outlet of your choice.  I always hate bending down to plug in the bar cart lights but I use them every day because I love the ambiance they provide, so we decided to hook up our first smart plug to the bar cart.  Now all I have to do when I get home each day is say, “Alexa, turn on the bar cart,” and PING, on come the twinkle lights!  Aaaahhhh technology.  Time to wire the whole house! 

But anyway, Alexa has made all of our lives so convenient and the kids are having fun with her, too… maybe a little too much fun since Olivia almost started a subscription for Amazon Music the other day.  Face palm.  Time to turn on the parental controls!!

My goal for sharing this post was to hopefully inspire you to locate your own pain points in your house and try to find some permanent fixes for them to save time for you and to make your lives easier.  Sometimes all you really need are the right tools to be successful and I hope you’ve found a few of them here today. 

If you do decide to find solutions for the pain points in your homes, I’d love to hear from you!  Be sure to tag me in your posts and stories on Instagram @lindsayssweetworld!  I’d love to get some ideas from you, too!!

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  1. Having one dedicated spot for everything makes me feel so much better! I love what you’ve done with everything here from your diffuser station to your pantry to your nail polishes! Great job girl!

  2. So many great tips. We got smart light bulbs for the kids and they have been very convenient. I'd love to have the whole house be smart!

  3. I think I need the nail polish organizer in my life! Honestly organization makes me so happy! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  4. Love all your tips! I mean seriously adding the pantry door organizer was like life changing for me! HA
    I love your quiet time spot! You know how much I love my little spot!

  5. Love your little tray with your diffuser. Isn't it so fun to find ways to make life simpler? I need to do a post like this! Pinning becuase EVERYONE could use a little Lindsay in their life!

  6. I second those bins. We bought them for our bathrooms and they are amazing. I need to diffuse oil in other places too. I love the nail polish rack. It keeps them together and upright which mine are not. Ha.

  7. These are all great ideas and such an inspiration to get organized and find solutions to problem areas. Have a wonderful week!


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