I've been slacking.  It's been weeks since my last post. In all honesty, I haven't really had it in me. Once the calendar flips to August, I start to cringe on the inside just the tiniest bit, knowing that the end of summer is not too far off. In an effort to completely deny that fact (as well as the fact that my daughter starts kindergarten in just a few short weeks), and soak up some more of summer's offerings, here's a glimpse of what we've been up to these days:
 picking beautiful flowers with our vegetables at our CSA
out on my brother in-law's boat...

Mind the horrible expression on my face, below. It's not low tide that's making me frown.  It's my first time driving a boat and I squint while concentrating. I loved every minute of this. Really.

Enjoying sweet, simple fun at Sesame Place. This mini-vacation was a home run. I secretly hope my kids never stop watching Sesame Street.

And finally, tonight, we'll be capping the last few lazy weeks of summer off with Mr. Summer Himself, sans children. Cross your fingers that the thunder and lightning holds off until after the outdoor concert.
Jimmy Buffett

 I hope you're enjoying these dog days of summer as much as I am.

Have a great weekend...


Magnetic Paper Sorter...

Organization makes me happy. When things have a place and look neat and orderly, all feels right in my home. This feeling is usually fleeting. I so wish I was one of those people whose homes are expertly organized and systematized (is this even a word?), all the time, like these photos below.

images via Pinterest

Honestly. How does this happen?  I'm actually pretty good at creating systems and organizing things, it's the maintenance that is my weakness. Try as I might, things stray from time to time. I become forgetful or tired, seasonal decorations end up on the guest bed "just for now", and my family tends to think putting all the dinosaurs in their own bins or baskets is insane. A few months ago, in an effort to battle the counter top paper monster, I made this little paper sorter. 

I wanted something a bit more attractive than the plastic or metal options I found online and didn't want to spend a ton of money. I was inspired by this project over at Live.Love.Larson.
framed fabric from Live.Love.Larson.
I found the frame at my local Goodwill Store (with an old watercolor that had seen better days) and decided to put my own spin on Andrea's pretty project.

Using leftover fabric from my kitchen valances, I wrapped a piece of sturdy cardboard, cut  it to size, and stapled it down.  I secured it using the existing fasteners on the back of the frame. 

To create the pockets, I cut two strips of my fabric, taking the pattern's repeat into account. I ironed folded over the edges to create a hemmed or finished look. Then I simply pulled them taut and stapled them along three edges from the back side of the cardboard so the staples would not be visible (they blend into the pattern).  Fabric glue or hot glue would be more seamless, but I couldn't find my glue gun (ironically, it was somewhere on the guest bed).

Then I added heavy duty magnet tape to the back of the frame.
Using wood glue, I attached super magnets (these things having amazing magnetic pull) to the back, and put heavy canisters on top of them for about fifteen minutes.  Again, hot glue would probably work best. 
I printed out two labels for outgoing mail and pending mail/papers with my label maker and voila, a harried lady feels like she has some control (of which she really has none)!

So far, it hasn't become too overfilled, but time will tell. For now, it's the closest I'll get to effortless organization.  I may never be Martha organized. Honestly I may be too lazy for that. Right now I'd rather be at the beach with the kiddos while the summer lasts than a slave to correcting my less than stellar tendencies. I've got all winter for that...

Do you have an organizational project or strategy that helps you tame the clutter?