Posts tagged organization
How to Add Stylish Back to School Organization

*This post is sponsored by Minted. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for showing love to the brands that support Pars Caeli!

We're a few weeks into school now. Can you believe it? My 5th, 3rd, and Kindergartener are humming along with their daily schedules and evening activities. And in order for me not to completely use my mind, we have our systems in place. I still find that I lose my phone or forget someone's library book way more than my wishful, maximizing self would like it.

How can we make our days smoother? Less forgetful? Happier? I'm always analyzing and wondering if we could set up our home or our schedule differently to make our days better. So many organizational systems and DIYs are out there (SO, so many, dear Pinterest). However, most of them are not the kind that I want to put in my home. Organization doesn't have to be ugly! Take those cute Minted labels (see above photo) that are saving me many trips to the Lost & Found box. 

An organized school year is a happy one! Of course, no one wants to skimp on style for the sake of tidy. Here's how to add stylish back to school organization to your home.

An organized school year is a happy one! Of course, no one wants to skimp on style for the sake of tidy. Here's how to add stylish back to school organization to your home.

Inspired by the combo of style and organization, I'm putting these fabulous projects on my fall to do list. They not only make lives more efficient but make (or keep) your home super styling, too. Win!!


I swoon over this one! We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen, and I feel like this magnetic board would be the Gandalf version. Michelle of 4Men1Lady has created this command center that's chic, textural, and completely multipurpose.


Clipboards as frames or easels? Bring it on. Why couldn't schedules, calendars, classroom projects be displayed so beautifully? Amy of Delineate Your Dwelling created this piece to hang clipboards, and it's brilliant and sweet on the eyes.


The papers that need to be kept for reference throughout the school year? Where should those go? We put ours in a folder holder, mounted right next to our exit door (by the garage) and are easy for people of every height. :) I think the way Summer of Simple Stylings beautified hers is perfect. Who wouldn't want to add to this lovely?


The passwords, phone numbers, permission slips, special tickets - they also need a home and often one where they can be seen! Laurel of A Bubbly Life has this chic geometric board idea that I think would fit right in.


This project from Lindsay of Shrimp Salad Circus is perfect for the grown ups. Keep your supplies in check, too!! And make the morning rush a breezy, chic moment. Why not keep all your coffee/tea supplies on a gorgeous tray? It's enough to make you feel special and cared for even in the early AM.

What's your favorite way to incorporate organization into your home design?




New Printables Section

The obvious sometimes evades me. For example, I'm a graphic designer, and I create printables for other sites including Modern Parents Messy Kids, Classic Play, and now Kids Stuff World. 

A printable here on Pars Caeli is rare . . . Until now.

Printables for holidays and everydays on Pars Caeli!

Printables for holidays and everydays on Pars Caeli!

I'm delighted to add to our menu of possibility the free printable section! Every day I'm creating and printing signs, labels, banners, and more for myself and my family. Maybe you do, too! Or maybe you just don't have the time this week or the creative spark to get that card/invite/organizational helper/motivational that you really wanted.

Voila. Hop on over as we add to the great menu of free printables!

I'll also be teaming up with my friend Jeran, of Oleander and Palm, to offer a memory verse of Scripture every month! Jeran has been creating these for a while, and she's been kind enough to let me butt in to the process, and I'm delighted to show you the psalm that I have ready for March! It's one of my favorites, and one that I want my children to know by heart.

I'm so excited to have this offering for you lovely people who come back again and again! Share these with all your pals looking for another printable resource! Head on over to the printables page to see what we have so far.

Are you searching for a printable you just can't find? Leave a note in the comments, and we'll put it in the que for development.

xoxo, MJ

3 Steps to Create an Art Caddy for Kids

Sometimes you run across a loved object and know that it's just perfect. But, you can't quite put your finger on what it is or what it will be perfect for...

This is.... a chicken feeder, used on farms, and it's seen a lot of good use and has an interesting patina to it.

So, I picked it up at a bargain price.

And we have repurposed it for the perfect art caddy for the kids! It fits in so well with my goal to live in every room.

In every room of our house (save the bathrooms), we have art supplies. We also, of course, have an art room where all major art projects happen. Sometimes my adventurous children want all of the supplies wherever they may be, inside or out.

We've always enjoyed the joy of spontaneous and mobile creation. I have many happy memories of bobbling toddlers and determined preschoolers walking around with buckets of crayons, as my daughters or my son would decide to plop anywhere and draw.


Now we have a chicken feeder converted to art caddy extraordinaire. Here's what every great caddy needs:

1. Portability:

Whether it's a bucket or a shelved unit like ours, a great caddy needs to be easily handled in small hands. Sturdy buckets with strong handles work well indoors and out. Ours is a big piece so the handle bar at the top is helpful, as well as felt pads under the caddy to allow even small people to push this one easily from room to room on our floors.

I love seeing one of my kids creating, with the caddy pulled up right alongside.


2.Select the best of the best supplies:

When children are young artists, they may focus on one medium more than another. Until preschool, my kids were all about crayons. Now everyone has their sophisticated choices for what they want to use.

Our caddy currently holds:

  • Scissors with many different edges
  • Hole punches of various shapes
  • Glue sticks and white glue
  • Tape
  • A ruler
  • A bucket of colored pencils
  • A pencil sharpener
  • A stack of small notepads (always ready to be doodled upon)
  • Three crayon buckets (now that everyone is older, we sort them by primary colors for learning and ease of use)
  • A pack of markers
  • 3 small packs of crayons (great to grab if you're headed to the car)
  • Finger paints
  • Stapler and staple remover

We rotate the caddy supplies in and out as favorites come and go.  What's most used in your house? Make sure your caddy is well stocked for a great invitation to create.


3. Make storage within the storage.

The dollar section at Target or any dollar store have great options for small storage. Keep old Easter baskets, sturdy gift boxes, and even plastic containers to help your caddy stay clear of clutter.

It also allows for easy sharing. One child can grab the bucket of gluesticks and basket of scissors to create out of construction paper, while another takes the box of markers and a hole punch for a birthday card.


Such a beautiful and clutter-free caddy might just inspire the grown-ups in the house to create and to bring that sense of spontaneous art making anywhere you go!

xoxo, MJ

The Under-$10 Fix to School Paper Clutter and Chaos

Getting down and dirty today. Do you ever feel like you're being covered by children's papers, projects, and homework? I do, or I did. Here's how I'm showing this year's clutter who's boss.

Our kitchen is the hub of our house. It's located off of the garage and mud room, and it's where we enter our home most of the time. The kitchen had also become the final resting place for all paper and kid clutter. Typical meal prep would involve a grand shifting of piles, that would lead to misplaced papers or unchecked homework assignments.

But that era, my friends, is over. For under $10, we have a new system to keep the counter tops free and clean, to keep kids school work in the right places, and to allow all of us (parents included) to have a piece of responsibility in the process.

It's a simple three-step process. I share it with you in the hopes that it might alleviate your own piles or missed 

Step One: It all goes up on the calendar. A paper calendar these days, you ask? I have my Google calendar that tells me when to sit and when to stand. :) It also has important dates for my husband and children on it. But with children the ages of 9, 7, and 4, I don't have a way to share this electronic info easily with the people who need to understand it most. 

So this rainbow pad from 3M is where it's at. I complete it only a week at a time (too many things shift for me to go much further in advance), and post it on our chalkboard wall in the kitchen. It's helping all three to take responsibility for prepping their after school bags, squeezing in time to practice instruments, and buying school lunches. Each child has a row, and Mom and Dad have one, too. Guess who gives us helpful reminders, too?

Step Two: Next hurdle to tackle, the unpacking of the backpack. Each child has their own hook and drawer for shoes. This was not a problem. It was the, "Look, Mommy, what I did today!" moments. Folders undone, papers here and there. 

Now, I spend time with each child individually (yes, we're all practicing patience) going through the folder. We look at what homework needs to be completed, and we get right to that. The papers that have come home just for review get clipped by the child to the "Done Door." Go with me on this gimmick. This door is also the door to our garage, a metal door that, thanks to the use of these strong magnetic clips, has a ton of space for everyone to use. So oldest on top, middle in the middle, and youngest on the bottom. It's still in our main traffic area, but it's gleefully off of the kitchen counters.

This activity is a fun one for L, the youngest. The task of clipping and sticking the magnet to the door has proven endlessly entertaining.

Step Three: Because my hubs and I look over work at different times, we ran into the challenge of keeping the papers in a central location for him to see. Now, they all hang on the Done Door. Most of the time, each child brings over things they want to show him.

He has a chance now to see them as a stack of one child's work and talk to them about what's going on in their learning. And he's the last step in the chain. When he's done looking at school work, he puts completed work in each child's box. 

Children can now return to that one paper from last Tuesday that they really want to see. :) And I don't need to fish it out of whatever pile it might have landed. Or even worse, rummage through the recycling, because I DO love to recycle. 

These boxes are cereal boxes covered in neutral contact paper. On the end of each, I attached colorful chalkboard labels to entice everyone into keeping up this process. It's cute! Let's do it!!

And it's full steam ahead, friends. We all have our role to play, but my children are movers in this process and not passive participants. And I love that. 

Also, I love my countertops.

xoxo, MJ


Itty Bitty Lovelies To Charm You

March Mondays! Welcome to them, friends. We're going to make them grand. How was your weekend? My oldest daughter had the experience of her first Reconciliation on Saturday, and she was so excited to feel "lighter" afterwards. Other than that, ours was a pretty lazy weekend with errand-running and movie-watching topping off the excitement.

We're going to fill March with warmth and charm, and I found some super easy ways to do so...

Extend the Bloom Time of Your Tulips


This amazingly simple step will keep your tulips blooming for extra days... and you likely have what you need at the bottom of your purse. Pop on over to see what the ladies over at Sweet Lulu have to teach us.

Color Twine in Your Own Kitchen


Victoria from A Subtle Revelry posted a nice tutorial on dying twine on Mint's blog, Julep. Everything we need to change inexpensive twine to something much more fabulous is sitting in our kitchen cabinets! Ack, so easy and charming, too. Pair some of this fabulous twine with kraft paper for a classic look.

Organize in Style


Kendra shares such a cute storage solution that pairs twine (yes, let's use some of the beauties we just dyed) and cotton drawstring bags. It is so darling, in fact, I consider these final product good enough to gift! Check out her simple solutions and follow along with her new organizational series over at Piece of Cake/Peace of Mind.


Here's what I'm finding really charming these days: work date nights with my hubby. Say what? Yes, really. In the last few weeks, my hubs has taken me on quite a few work dates to great local restaurants, and I've had the pleasure of seeing him through his coworker's eyes. He's incredible at what he does, and I kinda fall in love with him all over when I see him in his element. Extra bonus: all of these meals have been delectable!

Am I crazy or do you, too, enjoy seeing your loved one in work mode?

Here's to a great first week of March.

xoxo, MJ


A tri- to try

Dear Friday that welcomes the long weekend, you are beloved. We're taking time this weekend. Time in Chicago with family, time splashing in pools with friends, time sleeping in (yes!) and getting exercise, and time giving this webhome a new feel for the new season. I can't wait to welcome you over next week!!

What will your Labor Day weekend include, friend? Are you stuffing your face with trail mix today? If you did, you'd be totally justified because it's National Traix Mix day. And if you're so able, make a bouquet of forget-me-nots, morning glories, and asters on Saturday. These are the flowers of September. On Sunday grab a cupcake and sing happy birthday as you smile along with a few of Keanu Reeves' movies (Point Break? Matrix? A Walk in the Clouds?).

I'll be doing something really relaxing and life-giving on Monday. I have no idea what that will be, but I'm counting on finding something. Hope you'll do the same. See ya back here on Tuesday.



Over at Lovely Indeed I saw a fabulous use for glitter that I would actually use. Honestly, friends? I just don't handle crafting with glitter so well. Having excess glitter floating into my rug, blowing and sticking to the wood floor, and finding all sorts of other menacing spots to tease me...well, it kind of drives me itchy. However, these cute pins would be perfect for my daughters' room, my office, or even as a fun collection for a friend. Zippo crafting skills required.


Danni over at Oh, Hello Friend always has beautiful stuff gracing her pages. This week she's showcased some great organization photos that have me dreaming of whimsical storage solutions and something interesting for every room, closet, and drawer in my home.


Blogger bud, Dana over at Five30Three has been on fire, creating some great accessories. She's a diva of jewelry, typically showing her latest styles from Stella and Dot. I think she's giving them a good run for their money with her new creations. I love that she's turned from curator to creator. And, I really want to make this necklace.

Can't wait to hear about your weekend plans! Pretty please?