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Back to School Organization with Eleven Gables

Summer is coming to a close here and it is time to get back into the swing of things with SCHOOL!  
I always dread going back to routine.  It seems this summer went especially fast.  (Okay, I say that every August).  My boys are great sleepers and it only took the early risers a week to settle in to an 8:30 am wake time.  The late sleepers strolled out around 10-10:30 am.  This should have given me ample time to have peace and quiet time before the chaos began, but let's be honest, I slept until at least 8:00.  I am the night owl, catching up on IG, FB, Blogs, Decorating, etc. until the wee hours.  

I met three darling gals at Haven Conference who co-write a blog called 11 Magnolia Lane. They graciously invited moi to participate in their Back To School Project Organization Series and I jumped at the opportunity to get something organized.  You see, I am not by nature an organized person.  My sister and I shared a room growing up and she constantly complained to our mother how DISORGANIZED I was.  I am married to a darling man who likes to pile things.  And let's face it, I have my share of piles... you should see my desk in my master!  Remodeling the Kitchen here and the Laundry Room/Butler's Pantry/Craft Room here gave me the opportunity to pull myself together and find a solution to all of my disorganized woes.  

You don't have to tear out walls to get organized.  That is what I am going to show you now.  Start with a cabinet and GIVE IT PURPOSE! 

This wall of cabinets is on the north side of my kitchen, opposite my sink.  Since we tend to be a bit cluttery, I wanted to designate a cabinet for my "desk space" where bills could pile up and kids projects could "land" before filing them away.  I wanted a place I could "Shut the door" when unexpected guests drop by.  I used to grab the pile and pile it in the laundry room, but now I want to keep my laundry room/butler's pantry pretty.

And here she is in all of her glory.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that this cabinet was stuffed with things to file away.  It starts every August looking neat and clean, then I purge periodically through the year.  (The cabinets next to this are a fun surprise... stay posted for a reveal soon!!)

On the door, I have a Dry Erase Decal that I love writing my to-do list on.

This is my phone station.  I used a tole tray as a message center.  Magnet clips work perfectly on it!  I keep my coupons in this slim magazine file holder.  Gold binder clips come in handy for an assortment of uses.  The brass tray is from Target and the acrylic note holder was a gift.  

Magazine File Folders (Target) keep my boys' stuff organized.  Every day, they come home with a "project" they "really want to keep."  I will put them in their designated file folder, then at the end of the month, we I will go through them and purge the junk.  The "keeps" go upstairs to the linen closet where I keep tubs for each child to collect whatever "project" they would like.  I toss anything made with food (i.e. cereal or pasta).  I like to hang on to things that have handprints or self made pictures.   I sometimes have the gene "packus-ratus" so I really have to work on that. :)

This shelf has an acrylic file system that I separate "bills to pay," "Paid bills to file," and important directories/work schedule.   The acrylic frame was a gift and the brass turtle is from Target.

These photo boxes are labeled "Receipts" and "Taxes" for the calendar year.  I just incorporated this into my cabinet and my husband is thrilled he doesn't have to chase stuff down anymore!  I'd like to replace them with something bright and cheery, but I happened to have these in the study.  Next year's boxes will be fun!

Thank you, again, to the darlings of 11 Magnolia Lane for inviting me to this fun series on Organization.  Be sure to follow all of us on  
and I will be pinning as usual over on http://www.pinterest.com/elevengables/

One last look... 

Thanks again for stopping by!  Make sure to visit 11 Magnolia Lane to see all of the other wonderful ideas for Back-to-School organization!!  I would love to see your organizational projects.  Tag me @elevengables on your Instagram account!

xo, Emily

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  1. i am totally impressed! i was invited to do an organization series on another blog, but i was so embarrassed by my actual lack of organization that i had to say no. :(

  2. Nothing I love more than an organized space, except a 'pretty' organized space!! Love your little touches!

  3. I loooooove this!! I need to pare down my command center! I love yours and how compact it is.

  4. Love all of your containers and the system overall! And I also love the blog design so far!

  5. Great ideas Emily! My sister and I used to share a room growing up and I was definitely the more organized one. She used to pay me to clean her side of the room! :)

  6. I know this blog post was two years ago but I want to rub it against my face! I love it so much! This is exactly what I want to do and you had several ideas I had not thought of. The boxes for taxes and receipts, as well as the file for this month's art work. Love, love, love. Thank you for sharing.


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