simple is beautiful

Staying Organized During a Busy School Year & a Giveaway!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

You would think that being the mother to a rising freshman and senior would make me an expert at being organized and ready for school.  Even the best intentions sometimes fall short from how I would like the school year to go.  That is why I am thrilled to share some new products with you from Martha Stewart Home Office from Avery that I feel with set my family up for success this year!


I can speak from experience that there are a few things that keep our family on track once school is in full swing.  1) Keeping an accurate calendar  2) Weeknight meal planning  3)  Managing the paper trail.


My new disc bound notebook will come in handy for tracking appointments, holidays, sporting events, etc. and is the perfect size to slip into my purse so that it is always with me.


I've never been a big fan of hanging stuff on the fridge (just ask Mr.), but once I received and began using the weekly planner and meal planner, I changed my tune.  The best thing about the meal planner is that it is located beside the stove, in the heart of our kitchen and comes with a handy shopping list pad so that I can quickly jot down the ingredients needed for meal preparation.  The chalk board comes in handy for quick notes and reminders.  All can be re-positioned so I don't have to worry later on if I change my mind and want to remove them.


I think our biggest challenge as a family has always been managing the paper trail.  When papers from school arrive they tend to pile up on the kitchen counter which really drives me crazy.



I think I've finally come up with a solution to keep my sanity this year.  I hung the message board in our butler's pantry (which is also where lunches are made early in the morning).  The message board will serve as a place for papers that need to be signed, invitations, etc.  Below it are metal bins containing vertical file folders for each member of the family as well as a few extras.  This should keep the counters free and clear of clutter.


This is only scratching the surface of the wonderful items my friends from Avery shared with me.  To find out more about the product line, go here.  Now for the giveaway.  One lucky reader will win a $50 gift card to Staples and what better time that the back to school season!  To enter the giveaway click on the rafflecopter below.  The winner will be announced next Monday.  Good luck!

45 comments:

  1. I was JUST looking at these yesterday! Would love to win!! I have a third grader and a sophmore--it is hard to juggle the two very different schedules. I do try and keep a central calendar on the fridge and each person in the house has their own basket to put their papers in. It could be better though. Thanks!

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  2. I have yet to find a way to keep everything available but neat and orderly. This would help.

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  3. Very inspiring...I love the weekly planner, especially. I don't like things on the frig either, but on the side, it's ok! :) Beautiful shot of your home there, too! Thank you!

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  4. I love being organized and these look like a great idea!

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  5. I have been procrastinating on some of this. Your home always looks so well organized!

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  6. Organized and pretty ~ count me in! I wish we could see your menu for the week, I'd copy, that's where I fall short! :)

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  7. We home school. So I have to keep every single paper and project and put together a sampling of their work in a portfolio at the end of the year.

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  8. I sure could use a little organizing in my life.....:). If you only knew:)

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  9. Weekly calendar book that I take with me everywhere keeps me sane! Redoing the home office so sure could use the gift card! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  10. Great ideas, Renee! Love the message board and vertical file holders. The kitchen counter paper clutter is something I struggle with in my home, too. Thanks for offering this give-away!

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  11. I don't have children, but have just added a pretty hanging board with a clip on it for organizing my coupons.

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  12. Beautiful organization! I use my smartphone but still love the old school calendars and boards to collect everything for an easy visual of whats coming up.

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  13. I am always unorganized during the school year. My kids started early this year, and it snuck up on me. My goal for this year is to be organized with school stuff, house cleaning, and laundry. We'll see if I can do it! :)

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  14. I have tried everything to stay organized and the old fashioned way of folders and hand written calendar are the only thing that works for me so this is great!!! Thanks!

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  15. I try to keep my husband aware by inviting him to calendar events on my phone and keeping an print out of a monthly calendar on our fridge. something a little more updated would help greatly!

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  16. There is no doubt in my mind that you are a super organized person Rene! these are great tips you've shared. I'm a big list maker. I also try to plan a week's worth of meals so that I don't have to pop into the grocery store every couple days.

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  17. Color-coding everything, separate colors for each child. Green is Emily's color so all her post-it reminders, chalk (for calendar board), lunch bag, ribbons (on baskets for holding her items like sports equipment in the garage), etc. are green. Really easy way to help everyone grab the right thing in a hurry.

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  18. I've started sharing my calendar on my iphone with my husband so we automatically get each other's schedule. No more double booking events for us!

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  19. We have a boring old calendar on the side of the fridge where we jot down our appointments and somehow we manage to keep it all straight - lol!

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  20. Love your metal bins and the vertical file folders! I got that same message board and we are working on our "drop station" this week too! I find that bulletin boards and magnetic boards work great for our family.

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  21. Love to win organising goodies! Thanks for the chance!

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  22. Lovely! I need to get organized!!!

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  23. Nice things from Avery....great giveaway!

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  24. Planning ahead helps me stay organized.

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  25. I have the dry erase adhesive sticker from martha stewart that I put on my fridge! It helps me keep track of groceries for weekly shopping trips

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  26. Assigned places for homework, things to sign, books to read, lunch boxes, backpacks and shoes...

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  27. Where did you get the metal wall bins for the file holders?

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    1. I looked everywhere for those! Finally found them at Garden Ridge in Greensboro. Hope this helps ;). BTW, only $12.99

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  28. Ahhh, the beginning of the school year and the organization that ensues. I always promise myself I will stay on top of everything, but the school papers inevitably take over my kitchen! I love your command centers (and hello, butler's pantry? Would you mind if I just packed up and moved right in with you??)

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  29. I also wondered where you got the metal bins.
    Thanks!

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  30. Having just moved I could really use some organization!

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  31. I am luckily a few years away from school, but it's never to early to begin thinking about how to handle all the paperwork--we already have so much! Love your bin solution. And the meal planner would be handy over here already.

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  32. We plan out our upcoming week together so we all know each other's schedules in advance.

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  33. I currently use my iPhone to stay organized which is not the best way I think so would love this. Can you also tell me where you got the wire metal baskets? Love!!!

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  34. my little one is just starting school so i need all the tips i can get for organizing!

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  35. I agree that the school papers and permission forms etc. can be overwhelming. That looks like a great solution and very stylish and adaptable products too. Thanks for the chance.

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  36. Our oldest just started Kindergarten this week, and I'm quickly realizing I'll need to get better organized with all the incoming paper!

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  37. love it,,,, who doesn't want to be more organized

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  38. Freezer meals/Double one meal and freeze half for the following week helps me keep my sanity during the school year.

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  39. I agree with the post about doubling meals and freezing one. I don't know why it took me so long to figure that out. I do it with taco meat quite frequently. I also have a set of 4 wood wall pockets from Ballards, but we don't use them like I thought we would. Things tend to get put in there and forgotten! Each member of my family has a bin, and the bin that works the best is the one for my oldest son who is a few years out of college and does not live with us. We still get mail for him, so we do have the bin to put his things in, and he is good about checking it when he comes home. At least the pockets look nice!

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  40. I can't say for certain as my boys are just two right now. But I stay sane with a home binder for our papers and meal planning!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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