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Friday, August 30, 2013

{Organized} Martha Gets it Done

Happy Friday, friends....and thanks so much for the kind words about our Kitchen Remodel...and the BH&G feature!! I have a perma-grin from reading all your sweet comments.

It's been a busy week with the kids going back to school, so I'm thankful for the weekend to catch-up on the papers already piling up! As prepared as I try to be, the demands of the kid's school and schedules always seem to sneak up on me. We've got some great systems in place, like a Family Command Center and Dedicated Mudroom, but that may not be enough.

Fortunately, the kind people at Avery sent over a box of Martha Stewart Home Office goodies to help me stay better organized this school year. And one of you lucky ducks will get to win some stuff of your own!!

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

I'm no stranger to the greatness that is Martha's aisle at Staples...I mean, half of my house is covered in those nifty bookplates! But I was surprised at just how many products she offers to help sort and store important paperwork, plan activities, and communicate messages to the whole family.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart


And because it's Martha, everything is bright and stylish.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

After a few more weeks of school, I'll have a better idea of where we need to improve our systems. It's important to reassess your organized areas occasionally as needs change and grow.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

We keep a monthly house calendar, but Mr. Sugarplum and the kids benefit from more concise information in small doses...and in plain view. This dry erase planner sticks to the stainless fridge, and gives everyone a quick overview of the week. I can easily remove and reposition it with no residue, too.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart
Morning Routine free printable, courtesy of Jen

 I like the option of choosing horizontal or vertical file folders...I might adopt a bin in the Mudroom for a few.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

One of my goals this year is to avoid digging through the petri-dish Lost & Found Table at school. My daughter insists on cutting the tags out of her jackets because they are too scratchy, so that's never left me with many options for labeling her clothes. And ain't nobody got time to sew them in! These no-sew, no-iron labels are genius!!! Just write the name in permanent ink, then peel and stick...not even the washer/dryer can get them to budge.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

I used the larger labels for lunchboxes, backpacks and water bottles.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

And I'm like a kid in the candy store with this Discbound Binder System...I can't wait to personalize it with calendar, file pockets, dividers and labels.

Hi Sugarplum | Organize with Martha Stewart

Can you even handle all this pretty organizational goodness?! Well, one of you will

win a $50 Staples gift card 
to buy your own Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery products!
Simply leave me a comment with your best tip for staying organized,
and you could be on your way to office-supply-shopping bliss.

Good luck, and happy weekend, lovebugs!

* * * * *

Update: The randomly chosen winner is:
This Sarah Loves!

Thanks for entering everyone! The giveaway is now closed.

126 comments:

  1. Oh man, I have dreams of being organized, but the thought of getting it all done is so overwhelming! I'd like to think our house is "organized chaos". :)

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    1. I hired someone to come in and organize mine or else it never would have gotten done!

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  2. I stay organized by having a trash can, shredder, and a file folder near the front door. That way most mail can be dealt with immediately, and not be piled on the kitchen counters!

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  3. Love this! Wells starts school next week and I am in for a whole new level of chaos with paperwork. I have got to get a command center started!

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  4. We started school this week and I'm in tHe organization mood as I already feel a bit overwhelmed. Love this stuff at Staples. Of course, Martha's stuff is always adorable.

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  5. I'm not great at being organized but my calendar/daybook is a MUST! I love to write down things and cross them off :)

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  6. Writing lists... It's the only way I can keep my head and get things accomplished.

    Btw -- I love anything Martha! Her stuff is so beautiful!!

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  7. I have one bin in our refrigerator that is dedicated to lunch box essentials. The kids can easily grab the items they want to include in their lunchbox for the day! I also placed two 3M Command Brushed Nickel Finish large hooks near the door to our garage that the kids hang their backpacks on when they come home from school.

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  8. I stay on top of the mountains of papers that make their way into my house, sorting (and tossing junk) mail as soon as I get it and reading and or returning important paper my daughter brings home from school right away.

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  9. My biggest organization tip is to purge paper asap, either scanning in the must-keeps to my computer, returning permission slips and signature forms, and recycling junk mail as soon as I can.

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  10. I have three to-do lists and file folders galore. But I am so OCD about organization and putting things away that I sometimes forget where I have things filed/stored! Does that even make sense?!

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  11. My best organization tip is using clear sheet protectors to store manuals in a binder. It's so much easier now to find something (er, how I do clean the coffee maker?). Ahhhh I want everything Martha makes!

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  12. Lists lists lists! If I don't write it down, it's forgotten! That's my biggest tip.

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  13. I have a cute vintage bowl in my kitchen where I throw everything! Once a week I organize everything into keep, pitch or handle! Works for me!!

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  14. Definitely making lists, and sorting all the paper that comes into the house as soon as it arrives. It lessens the chance of piles taking over the flat surfaces in the house!

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  15. As soon as I empty papers out of backpacks they either go to the trash, keep important clip on fridge or totes in the closet for their keep sentimental reasons. I love the Martha Stewart set at Staples. I tried to buy it a few weeks ago when Staples online had it on sale for 40% off, but the 40% wouldn't work. Even went into the store and they couldn't figure it out :(

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  16. Our household actually struggles with staying organized, so I don't necessarily have any great tips. We just need to put into practice tips that you and other bloggers have provided. But one that does help keep some clutter down is sorting through the mail the minute we get it out of our mailbox. If we even let it sit on the kitchen counter without going through it - messy kitchen results. :-(

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  17. We have a large desk calendar on the wall too. I loved being able to see at a glance where everyone needs to be.

    My tip? each of us had our own color marker. Between soccer, plays, concerts, business trips, field trips, well you get the idea. It was nice to look at the calendar and see why someone wasn't home yet.

    Also, the family group had a color so no one could say "I didn't know I had to go to...."

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  18. I have a recycle bin & shredding file in the entryway to (try) to immediately take care of the paper that comes in. I also have some small Martha pocket files stuck to the inside of the pantry door to handle little recipes, etc. that come on food containers.

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  19. I stay organized by keeping most everything in a bin/basket and labeling the contents. Then once a month I go through the baskets and file or purge. This really works for me. Thank you for the giveaway :)

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  20. We are working on organizing our new kitchen and I would love to use some of these for organizing schedules.

    My best tip for organizing is to constantly purge purge purge any mail, paperwork, expired coupons, empty bottles, boxes, etc. When working on organizing an area of my home, I am shocked at how half empty boxes or containers that can be combined, will free up storage space and make it seem like you have more of something than you do. I like to eliminate boxes and plastics and organize items in reusable tubs, bins and glass-wear. It always makes the home more personal and less cluttered!

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  21. Thanks for the giveaway!
    I keep a paper calendar and that's the best way our family stays organized. I am the scheduler so no conflicts with anyone else scheduling things. Also we don't over extend ourselves with too many extra activities. We keep it to just a few things the boys or the family can do together. Also a routine is wonderful!

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  22. I'm such a nerd when it comes to organizing certain things. For example in high school I was that girl that would color coordinate her notebook, folder and pen color to take notes with for each different subject. Yup, it seemed nerdy and somewhat extreme but it worked for me. Also, I would write down homework assingments on my planner with it's respective color. Maybe something like that would help you with your scheduling? A color per family member? Anyway, thanks for the opportunity!

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  23. I do like others mentioned and take care of the mail as soon as I get it from the mailbox. I also try to conquer the school requests as soon as they come in the door - forms that need signed, etc. I also try to keep backup school supplies on hand and lots of posterboard stocked so there are no 9 pm trips to the store.

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  24. I stay organized by putting every single I have to do personal and work related on my work calendar and sync it to my blackberry phone calendar(yes I still have one LOL). So whether I'm at home or at the office (I work fulltime) I always know where we are supposed to be.

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  25. My best tip is to consult your planner or list every day. If you make it part of your routine, then its hard to let something fall thru the cracks.

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  26. What a cowinkadink. I am planning to make a trip over to Staples this Labor Day weekend and browse around at all of the organizational products. I need to get all of my magazines in order because I refuse to toss them in the recycle bin just yet. But like most of other commenters, I too keep lists. I have daily personal-to-do and at-work lists. They keep me on track! :)

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  27. I keep a full wall calendar up where the whole family can see it. I note all business trips, appointments, parties and dinner plans so everyone can see what's happening. I DO love the idea of a 1 week snapshot on the fridge though....I'd include my plans for the week's dinners there too.

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  28. Oh, Love Martha Steward line of planners, etc....Need to get those labels ASAP for my kiddo's clothes and lunchbags. My way of staying organized is constantly follow you guys on the blogs to get daily inspirations so when i get home i actually can do somethign about my messes:)

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  29. Love the MS line at Staples. To stay on top of it, I try and empty out the K & 1st graders backpacks on a daily basis.

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  30. I've been getting everything ready the night before which as really helped in the morning. I'm also turning over some resposibility to my husband and kids. Oh, and Microsoft Outlook. I'd be lost without it.

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  31. I love Martha's line at Staples! Last weekend, I went and picked up a few labels, because they just make everything better. :)

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  32. I live by my phone calendar! If I lose that I am sunk...I have it remind me 1-2 days before the event! Would love to win this..love Martha!

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  33. I carry a small purse rather than a large one. By having such limited space, I'm very organized with what I carry with me. I have a wallet, change purse, phone, and lip gloss. I used to carry a large purse and ended up with some crazy stuff in there (I once found a hammer and a single flip flop). Smaller is the way to go.

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  34. I try and make a place for everything and label it! Things we need often like homework supplies, lists, calendars, etc. all live together in one cabinet, and everyone knows where to find them. I also swear by a shared google calendar and google keep for task lists!

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  35. i make lists and my calendar is my sidekick... if i don't have those don't expect me to be there or to get it done!

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  36. Folders! I have a labeled folder for ev-er-y THING!

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  37. Great Giveaway! My biggest thing is paper clutter- I sort anything that comes in the house immediately and throw away or file it- like mail or school papers:)

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  38. My best tip for staying organized-- don't put off what you can quickly do now. Get the mail, sort, recycle/shred immediately. Same with lots of other things around the house. Take the extra 20-30 seconds to pick up something, put it away, etc.

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  39. I stay organized by keeping on top of the paper that enters the house. Spending a little time every day keeps the paper monster at bay!

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  40. My most important tip is to have hooks by the door you use to go in and out. I always, always, always hang up my keys and purse when I walk in the door. Never lose my keys! Now that permission slip is another story... maybe Martha can help me with that ;)

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  41. My best tip for staying organized: Don't let mail enter your house unless you're filing it away! I throw away all my junk mail in the trash bin before I even enter my house.

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  42. Hi! My best tip to handling all the papers: a vertical file slot for each child as well as myself (similar to what you have in your mudroom). Next, each of us has our own clipboard that hangs under the large white board --- (mine hangs next to the sink w/ a calendar). Everything needs a home, and we all need to follow the checklists! (Checklists on clipboards along with teacher newsletters). Master calendar on large white board. My vertical file has all of the forms that have to be returned; the children's contain their school folders/binders, etc. These things have helped. (Oh, along with color coordinating stuff per child/parent!).

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  43. My best tip for staying organized is a place for everything, and everything in it's place.

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  44. I keep so many notes in my phone it's ridiculous! But they help me stay organized, somehow.

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  45. Love that Martha! I have to have different bins, planners and drawers for different things. that old adage, "a place for everything and everything in it's place" so true!

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  46. I sort like items together & I label everything!

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  47. I make lists of lists I need to make! I am an avid to-do maker!!! Now that I've started Law School I know organization will be that much more important. I am obsessed with Martha Stewart stuff. My dogs have tons of her clothes and toys, and I am looking forward to stocking up on home office supplies!

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  49. …Labels, labels, labels… (sung like Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, Jingle Bell song)

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  50. I make lists of lists I need to make. I have a family calendar, personal planner and an app on my iphone and somehow I still need help staying organized!

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  51. We have small recycling bins in several rooms, which helps us get rid of tons things all the while being environmentally savvy. : )

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  52. Having my calendars sync on both my laptop and my iPhone helps immensely! Wall calendar in kitchen for everyone else to view. And definitely dealing with mail and school papers immediately as they come in to the house.

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  53. Lists! I'm a big list maker and it helps to put everything on paper instead of trying to remember everything.

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  54. Lists! I'm a big list maker and it helps to put everything on paper instead of trying to remember everything.

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  55. I like to make lists and keep an old school calendar on the side of the fridge with everything on it.
    Bonnie M.

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  56. I have a baaad memory, so I keep a pen and set of post-its in each of the main rooms. This way if I get a random idea or a sudden inspiration, I just write it down before I forget. I can continue on with whatever I was doing without getting side tracked.

    Sometimes, however, I am really focusing on the task on hand, and don't want to lose my concentration! (Ex. when I'm budgeting.) An additional solution has been to make brainstorming a part of my routine. I take 5-10 minutes a day to update project lists, re-prioritize, problem solve, and record reminders. Sometimes I go on a roll for more than 10 min if I'm feeling extra creative. This has caused me to associate organizing with developing skill & creativity, so I love it now. I realized that organizing is not just about systems and projects, but also a frame of mind.

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  57. Gotta be the classic- a place for everything and everything in its place

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  58. I have the vertical files (1 for each child) in a basket on my kitchen desk... all the school papers get stashed there!

    Emma @ from my little pink couch

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  59. I am a huge list maker! I also have stacks of misc papers sitting around that need to be sorted and organized. I would love some of Martha's fabulous products to help me get organized and make my life a little bit easier. Thanks for the chance on your giveaway Cassie! Enjoy the holiday weekend!

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  60. I love using the MS teardrop stickers to mark important events in my planner!

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  61. I make lists for everything and I keep a planner for all daily planning

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  62. I use the discbound system for my planner and it has made a world of difference keeping my family organized.

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  63. I stay organized with my Martha Stewart disc bound binder system. I love all things Martha!

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  64. I had moved away from my iPhone calendar and back to a planner, backwards I know but I have to see things!

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  65. To help cut down on the mail, we have moved our shredder to a spot in the kitchen. This way we immediately shred the junk mail and then I have a magnetic file holder on the side of the fridge for bills.

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  66. My greatest passion is organizing. Something we do to keep the house in order is meal planning - every Sunday, we make a list of dinners for the week. It makes shopping more budget-friendly, and the weeknights are much less frantic around feeding time! <3

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  67. I am obsessed with office supplies; Staples is my favorite:) I purchased the ARC disc bound system after swooning for years over the Levenger system (and not being able to afford it). I used the punch and some dividers to put all of my old holiday cards in books. Now when Christmas rolls around we can pull them out and re-visit our family and friends' photo cards and letters from years past. I didn't know Martha Stewart also had a disc bound system and can't wait to check it out in the store tomorrow:)

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  68. I have a binder with lists for everything - house projects, things to do today, a master to do list, shopping lists by store, activity ideas for my little guy, etc. Lists, lists, lists! [My husband thinks I'm crazy.]

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  69. Lists of course are great! Not only do you get things done, you get to CROSS OFF the items you did! Win win!

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  70. Baskets in the mudroom for each family member. If someone can't find something, 99% of the time it can be found in their basket. Love all of the Martha Stewart items - definitely planning a Staples trip this weekend!

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  71. We are just setting up our new house- and those dollar store bins have been, quite literally priceless! I've taken to buying the brightest colors possible just to encourage us to keep the systems up.

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  72. I have the cork board, weekly organizer on my fridge and a couple of the clear blue storage envelopes but it's just never enough!!! Love her entire line of products!!! Next item on the wish list: storage for magazines.

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  73. The Martha stuff is great! I hope I win :) We have a bill/charger/key storage center that helps us keep organized. It's just a little charging station that we bought at Target, but it has a compartment for the To-Be-Paid bills, and we added hooks for our car keys. It really helps to know where the phones, bills and keys are at all times! Plus, it's pretty :)

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  74. pick up after yourself NOW, not later. Helps keep the whole house organized!

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  75. I have a calendar that I print from my computer that I hang in my kitchen. It keeps us organized and that is also where I write what's for dinner in red. The next month when I am trying to figure out dinners I can look and see what we had the entire month before.

    What a great giveaway. I would love to choose lots of Martha swag.

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  76. I need those vertical file folders for the kids school papers they bring home each day!

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  77. I need those vertical file folders for the kids school papers they bring home each day!

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  78. I need those vertical file folders for the kids school papers they bring home each day!

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  79. I try to only handle paper once. Sign, file or shred as soon as possible. Cuts down on clutter.

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  80. Check backpacks as soon as we get home and lay out clothes the night before- complete with socks, undies, shoes, bows & accessories.

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  81. Will have to go back and read everyone's tips! Sign folders as soon as you get home so you aren't signing in the drop off line. I'm also working towards having clothes picked out for the week on Sunday afternoon. I also try to get gas every Sunday afternoon after my oldest goes to his practice at church.

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  82. Will have to go back and read everyone's tips! Sign folders as soon as you get home so you aren't signing in the drop off line. I'm also working towards having clothes picked out for the week on Sunday afternoon. I also try to get gas every Sunday afternoon after my oldest goes to his practice at church.

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  83. I heart the adhesive planners!They are versatile. If I have to write one way in which they can keep me organized, it will be for writing Dinner Menu. It can ease the process of ...what's for dinner??!!

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  84. I love all the Martha Stewart organizing supplies at Staples! I think a Command Central is really important in getting and staying organized as the school year starts uo again. :)

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  85. I try to remember OHIO: only handle it once. Hard to do, but once you get the hang of it you are more efficient.

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  86. A good calendar is my life-saving organizational tool!

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  87. I use my iPhone for all my appointments, student lessons and activities - as soon as they are scheduled they go in the phone. It's easier to consult that when I'm out and about rather than my home management notebook - although I do have one that stays at home. My notebook is mostly for my lists of things to do, current papers I need as reference and grocery/meal planning. It could use an update! :)

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  88. I like the clothing and lunch box labels. I am a teacher and we have a huge lost and found cart. Some lucky volunteer gets to go through the stuff and hang it in front of the school 3-4 times per year. If there is a name in the clothing, the item usually makes it back to the student. It is AMAZING the amount of clothes that goes unclaimed....which is then donated to a local charity. So, I think the Martha Stewart clothing labels are a must!

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  89. I use my planner for everything plus we have dedicated baskets for each of the kids. They empty all papers in there daily for me to go through.

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  90. Martha is amazing at understanding our needs, and her inventions to help us achieve organization are fantastic! Personally, I keep organized with a calendar that I keep in my purse at all times. It is my bible - containing dates, appointments, phone numbers, business cards, etc. I even made sure I took it to the hospital (when I had surgery), as I keep everything necessary in it! Thanks for the opportunity to win a great offer! :)

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  91. I try to sort through all papers and mail that come in each day to keep the paper monster is at bay.

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  92. My calendar is my key. Everything that needs to happen goes in there and then I keep it also as a day-to-day diary of what the kids are up to. I have been crushing on the Martha Stewart binder and inserts for awhile...I would love to get started!!

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  93. My mother always said "Make a clean mess." I didn't understand what she meant until later. She means, take the little bit of time to stay organized now, and you won't have an avalanche later. =]

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  94. My planner (that I hope to replace!) is key for me. I write EVERYTHING down or it gets lost in the back of my mind. I keep multiple ongoing lists on post-its so they can be repositioned if need be. My typical lists are "to do", "store" (any odds and ends I notice I need in between grocery trips).

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  95. My calendar....old fashioned paper calendar! Everything on it!

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  96. i love all things labels, tags - ORGANIZATION.....this giveaway would help to better organize..

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  97. I love my MS Avery planner. Its a notebook and calendar in one.!

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  98. My command center in my office is the only way I stay organized and don't lose my mind. :)

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  99. I have a big monthly calendar on my refrigerator that helps us keep track of kids activities, etc! My husband also makes a spreadsheet of the kids' sports practices/games and prints one for each of our cars. Another way I try to stay organized is go through the mail daily and always do what I can the night before ( kids' lunches, paperwork). Great giveaway! Thanks for a chance at winning!

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  100. I need all of the tips I can get...sorry i dont have any to offer.

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  101. my best tip....LISTS! I make a list for everything! :)

    erincyoung (at) yahoo.com

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  102. I use a vintage chiffarobe as my craft and gift-wrappinig station. A chiffarobe is an organizer's dream. There are enclosed closet sections for hanging things on both the left and right side of the piece as well as drawers down the middle. I use one of the hanging compartments for my tissue paper----paper is folded length-wise and hung from the rod on children's hangers (perfect!). A galvanized bucket on the floor of that space holds rolls of gift wrap. The opposite closet compartment contains stacked plastic file drawer organizers that hold gift bags, folded wrapping paper, card-stock, scrapbook paper, party supplies, etc. The drawers down the center of the piece hold my greeting cards, scissors, stamps, note cards and stationery...this piece is amazing! I love everything about it but the hanging tissue paper is my most favorite!

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  103. I just purchased Marthas wall mounted boards, I'm starting to centralize our home life in hopes of making the most out of organizing!

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  104. I still use paper lists and calendars to keep myself organized. Thank goodness Martha understands that paper needs to be pretty!!

    Thanks!
    Ann

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  105. My home office was a disaster until I enlisted Martha's help! I'm using her file folders, wall organizer and labels. It's still a mess but much prettier.

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  106. This is the first time I've ever commented on a blog - but I just love your style of writing. :) Started with your pantry, then read this one. I am going to Staples tomorrow to check out the Martha Stewart stuff - especially the labels, as I need to label my daughters stuff for dance class and had no idea how to label the jazz shoes... problem solved! My organizing strategy is similar to yours in your pantry - group like items, label everything, and yes, make lists! And I use Google calendar so I can access it from the computer at home or work or on my phone, so I can always figure out where I'm supposed to be. The pop-up and email reminders that Google calendar sends (if you set them up) are invaluable.

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  107. Love this line of products! I am aawful organizer! I need help!!!

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  108. Going through the mail every day really helps me keep our junk piles in line.

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  109. Writing everything in my planner!

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  110. I am a big list maker... I sit down every sunday night and make a list of all the random things that need to get done that week, and I enjoy watching that list fill up with check marks.

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  111. Put thu gs away immediately. This never happens, so I need helpM

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  112. Over the years I have found putting things away immediately, planning ahead, and that you don't need perfect containers and tools to be organized.

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  113. My system is to deal with the mail ASAP, too. Open it, toss envelopes and junk mail, then the important stuff goes on the desk in a folder to pay. Once paid, it's tossed into our current "Tax Box" in the office closet where anything important for the year goes - bank statements, cards, letters, new appliance or electronics manuals that we've bought, etc. I probably could use a better system, but once something is in the Tax Box it's out of sight, out of mind. Actually, Martha's stuff is much prettier :).

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  114. I have so much trouble keeping my mail and paperwork under control. I've started going through my mail at the post office to weed out the junk mail. They will allow you to use their shredder to dispose of it. It keeps it from coming into my home and piling up. Now to get organized on what does actually come into the house..... :) that's where this giveaway would be great!! Thanks!

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Your comments are like crack, or popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. And unfortunately, because of insane amounts of spam, I've had to disable Anonymous comments for awhile. I just didn't need any more information on penis enlargements! But you can always email me! xoxo, cass

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