I love sharing things that I’ve found to be useful with you guys, so I went back through my Amazon orders for all of 2021 and have listed them for you here, by category. You can see what the products look like and underneath the photos, I’m sharing with you how I’m using them. I hope you enjoy it and get some good ideas for organizing your home or maybe even some gifts or products you might love too!
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Floating Shelf with Paper Towel Bar or Utility Hooks – Keeping the counters in my small kitchen as clear as possible is important to me because I need all the work space I can get. I utilize wall space whenever possible, and this is one of the products that helps me do that well. This little shelf holds my everyday cooking & prepping essentials (Oils, Spray, Salt & Pepper, and our Butter Dish) We aren’t using the hooks that are shown in the picture, but that is one way it could also be used. We actually just use the bar for our paper towel roll so it’s easily accessible, but off the counter as well.
mDesign Plastic Storage Bins – I actually use these all over the house, but I have one in my fridge that I like to fill with fresh produce and a couple in my pantry to organize things there too.
Extra Large Tall Food Storage – I like to buy baking ingredients in bulk from Sam’s, (especially during all of my holiday baking) and these extra large bins are perfect for that. They are the perfect size if you like to buy in bulk, like me.
Magnetic Knife Holder, Ouddy 16 inch – Again, using my vertical space and keeping counters clear… I’m now using this instead of my knife block, and I love it!
Zevro/Gat200 Indensable Dry Food – While I love the look of this and how it does make it easier for kids to get their own cereal, it is pretty tall. It does fit perfectly on my counter, beneath the upper cabinets, but I’d really rather keep my counter-tops clear. It also needs to be low enough to be accessible for the kids, so that’s been an issue for me to find. It’s great, but I haven’t found a place for it that I really love just yet, to be honest. Give me that beautiful, dreamy pantry though…. and I think it would be just perfect!
mDesign Large Plastic Standing Can Organizers – I bought the large set of these because I also like to buy canned items in bulk when I can. Ideally, these would be organized by type of food like “Diced Tomatoes in one, Green beans in another, etc. but sometimes it ends up being a little more mixed together than that, depending on what we have in stock.
Over the Sink Dish Drying Rack – Hands down, this is my favorite thing I’ve bought this year for organization! It makes me want to hand wash all my dishes, seriously, because there’s a place for them all when I’m done. Vertical storage for the win again! I did add my own little bin from Ikea for utensils that I keep right on the sink ledge, but other than that, it’s been absolutely perfect. I don’t even feel like I need to put some dishes away because it always looks nice, and I can just grab them from here when I need them. If I had a small family and not as many dishes, I probably wouldn’t even use cabinet space for dish storage. I’d just use this. It’s seriously amazing!
Miscellaneous Home Organization
Jewelry Wall Organizer – I don’t have a ton of jewelry, and most of mine is just costume or fashion jewelry, not actual real pieces that I need to keep safe or protected. This is perfect for me because it allows me to see all of necklaces and bracelets at once. My stud earrings have a place. I keep my glasses on the little shelf, and the little drawers are perfect for smaller items like earring backs or charms, etc.
12 Pcs Plastic Mesh Zip File Bags – I originally bought these larger bags to re-organize all of our games. I got rid of all of the large (and mostly broken) game boxes and replaced them with these. Our games are still just as easy to find, but they take up a lot less space!
Sunee Multisize Plastic Zipper Pouch – Then, I decided to buy more, and I got the multi-size pack which holds the smaller game pieces, card sets, and we even use them in other places around the house too. I used them recently in my carry-on bag when we travelled.
Utopia Home Premium Velvet Hangers – We made the velvet hanger switch years ago, and I’ll never go back. There are a ton of options, but I would say – just make sure you get the ones with the bar across the bottom so that they can be used for both tops and bottoms. I bought more because I’ve decided that since we have extra closet space, I might as well just hang all of my Summer and Winter clothes at the same time… especially during these weird months where you don’t really know if it will be hot or cold out. It just makes sense.
50 Pack Children’s Velvet Hangers – I’m doing the same things for the kids as well. I pretty much have three different sizes of these hangers. I use the large ones for Justin and my clothes, the kids’ size for Lawson and Linkin’s, and the baby size for Layten and Lyndon. It makes it really easy when I’m putting away laundry too.
Hanging Closet Organizer, 4 Section – I bought this organizer for Layten’s closet to bring the bar down lower for her to reach. I still have room at the top on either side of the organize for “out of season” clothes or clothes that don’t fit just yet. The organizer currently holds extra blankets and play sets. She has all of her tops and dresses and dress-up clothes hanging on the bottom bar.
3 Tier Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer – I have two of these organizers in the boys’ closet. All 3 boys share a single closet, and this is perfect for them. Lawson’s clothes are kept on the top rod since he can reach it well, and Linkin and Lyndon’s clothes are on the bottom. This definitely promotes independence when kids can reach their own clothes. The shelf sections of the organizers are holding things like, soccer shin guards, football helmet, a football, and pull-ups for the toddler, etc.
COOGOU Bamboo Wood Garment Rack – We have this really big wall in our room that I really don’t know how to fill because I like how our room is arranged. We really don’t need the extra clothes storage, but I do like having my pants folded on a shelf, shoes displayed on the others, and I can pick out what I want to wear each week or use it for hanging space when I’m folding and hanging laundry because my bedroom is my favorite place to do laundry anyway. I also got this particular one because in one of the photos it showed it as a plant holder. Hanging plants from the rod and potted plants on all the shelves so I thought I might use it for that someday too.
Burlap 14 pocket Chart – One of my goals with decorating a School Room is that it would not be filled with all the primary colors. Instead, I love neutrals with just a little color mixed in, and I love that it’s now much easier to find things in your favorite styles, like these burlap pocket charts. We use ours mostly for Tot School Vocabulary Development, but it would also be great for posting your Daily Schedule or Tasks.
Teacher Created Resources Burlap 10 – This is basically my vertical filing system for our homeschool. It holds pages for me until I feel like taking the time to organize them better into my favorite disc-bound books or toss them. I also use it sometimes for future planning, where I print worksheets and things in advance and have them ready to go. This filing chart keeps them organized and easily accessible for when we need them.
Ticonderoga Pencils, Wood Cased – Our favorite pencils, hands down. We haven’t made the switch to mechanical pencils, and I’m just not sure if we ever will. We have a great pencil sharpener as well and these two work pretty well together.
Excellerations 2.5 x 5″ Pegboard – I love all the Montessori things for hands-on learning. This is mostly for my preschooler, Layten, and toddler, Lyndon, but the older boys have been caught playing with it from time to time as well.
Elite Montessori Hundred Board – Same story with this one. Layten and I are using it for counting to 100, but the older kids use it too.
Elite Montessori Wooden Moveable Letters – I love using this with the kids for spelling and dictation instead of having them have to write the words every single time. Linkin, especially, can get really overwhelmed if there is too much writing in a lesson so this helps to keep that to a minimum.
Meroco Montessoi Screw Driver Board – This is something I grabbed for Lyndon for Christmas, so we actually haven’t gotten to use it just yet, but I’m sure it will be just as great as the others.
Break Open 2 Jumbo Geodes – We used this as a supplemental activity with our study on Geology this semester. The Geodes are beautiful, and they are now displayed with our rock collection in our antique printing tray in the living room.
88 Pieces Plastic Mini Discs – I ordered this set of discs because our children are color-coded, and it’s perfect for organizing their school portfolios without having to write names on things.
Talia Discbound Covers 5pk – I just grabbed these clear covers, and they work perfectly with their colored discs. We also have one for each of our group subjects as well…. Bible, Science, and History. I think it’s fun to see the different levels of work from each of my kids from the various lessons, and it will be fun to look back on over the years.
Pilot Frixion Clicker Erasable Pens– These are my favorite pens for color-coding my lesson plans. I can easily tell which assignment belongs to which of my kids, and they are erasable so when things change, it’s no big deal at all.
Magnefic Magnetic Squares, 1″ Tape – We use these magnetic squares in a few different ways. For the most part, I like to laminate different cards, especially with Tot School. We’ve got color cards, shapes, vocabulary development, and numbers. I usually will print two copies. One to keep as one page, and one to cut apart and add these magnets to the back. Then we use them with a simple Dollar Store cookie sheet like a magnet board / puzzle. The magnet just helps the pieces to stay in place a bit better, and it makes it easier for little toddlers and preschoolers.
Things that Help Me Manage my Home Better
Echo Dot, 3rd Generation Smart Speaker – I’ll be honest. We received one of these for Christmas a couple years ago, and we didn’t really know why we needed it. But we kept it. Thank goodness. And then I learned that it could be used like an intercom system in your home where you can “Drop in” to various rooms, and my mind was blown. So on Prime Day, I ordered a few more. We installed them in the Living Room and all of the kids bedrooms. Now, I can easily drop in to ask what they want on their sandwich or announce to all the rooms that dinner is ready. I can even set up “routines” where I have an order of events set up when I tell it to start. For example, we have our “Start School” routine that announces to all the rooms that it’s time to come downstairs to the school room, and then it plays the song “ABC 123” by the Jackson 5. I love it! It sets us in a fun mood and gives everyone time to stop what they are doing and make their way downstairs for school. We also have a routine set for our Chore Time where Alexa gives us an encouraging and motivating message to get us going and then it plays Shawn Brown’s Clean up Song which is the best clean up song I’ve ever heard. It what we used back in my preschool-teaching days.
Okay, and here’s the best part. Not only does it allow me to talk to my kids in different areas of the house without yelling, but I can even send a text from my phone in my Alexa app to make announcements as well! This is my favorite part, for sure, because I can let my kids know things or ask them to do something after I’ve already laid down in bed for the night.
Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock – We bought this to use doing our afternoon Quiet Time. This is the time in our day where we all go to our rooms and either nap or work on screen-free activities quietly. The toddler naps. The middles play quietly, do puzzles, color, etc. Lawson usually reads. I do whatever I feel like doing. Sometimes it’s nap, sometimes it’s housework, sometimes it meal prep, sometimes I get my bath during this time. I do my own work during this time. It’s nice to have a couple hours during the day without any nagging or requests, and it’s good for them too.
I set the nap timer on the clock for two hours. We’ve been doing different versions of this Quiet Time for years, so my kids are used to it and two hours is a good amount of time for us all. After Quiet Time is over, they can get a snack, go outside, or have screen time.
Water Bottle Pump – This is the pump we used to make the play kitchen into a real, functioning kitchen. This pump pulls clean water from a 2 gallon container, and we have another 2 gallon container that the dirty water drains into. We simply drilled some holes into the existing sink, and it’s so amazing! The little ones have their own working sink that they can use to wash their little dishes, wash their hands, and even brush their teeth at. It’s just perfect and promotes so much independence!
Eco Frenzy Kids Bamboo Toothbrush – This makes my life easier because since my kids are color-coded, it lets us easily know which toothbrush is whose. I never good remember “Okay, which boy is super man, who is using the spider man tooth brush, etc.?” and even the colored ones I found in stores were mostly two-toned, and it was really confusing because they would be green and blue and that’s both Lawson and Linkin’s colors. So this really just solved that problem and contains exactly the colors we need. I’ve ordered it several times when we’ve needed to replace brushes, and it’s perfect.
Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover– Folex is one of those brands that I’ve seen people recommend for years, and I’m kind of late to the game at trying it. It works wonderfully!
E-Cloth Window Cleaning Pack – I especially love using products that are chemical-free, and this is one of those. I’ve had a set for years, and I use it for windows and mirrors. This year, I grabbed two additional sets to keep in each of the bathrooms for easily cleaning those mirrors on a whim. I love storing cleaning products where I actually use them, so I always buy enough for each bathroom to have their own.
Now Foods Lemon Oil – This is one of the ingredients I use in my everyday, homemade, all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. This is what I use every day to wipe my counters and tables to keep them chemical-free for cooking and meal-prep.
BBQ Grill Cleaning Drill Attachment – Work smarter, not harder. That’s what they say. I’ll be honest. Cleaning is NOT my best skill. Nor is it something I really enjoy. But I DO really enjoy having a clean home, and it’s something I’m working harder at to be more consistent with. The oven was something I could NOT clean, no matter how many green-homemade cleaning solutions I tried. (I’ve learned that oven cleaners are one of the most toxic cleaners out there so I’ve made the decision to not use them since this is what we are cooking our food in every day. It’s important to us.) Anyway, I found these brushes that attach to the drill and do the hard scrubbing for me. I just use my home made cleaner recipe, and the drill attachment does the hard work for me. It’s the only thing that’s worked really well for me – this combo!
Drillbrush 4 Piece Nylon Power Brush Attachment – I also bought one for the tubs. From using oils and salts and soaking in the tub, we had an extra layer of grime that needed some extra “elbow grease”. The bathroom attachments worked perfectly for that. When you look at the link, you can see what each of the different colored attachments are typically use for and decide what you need most.
Rael Acne Pimple Healing Patch– I was influenced to try these by someone on social media, and I LOVED them. I love putting them on at night and while I’m sleeping it draws out the yuckiness from my breakouts. Sorry if this is TMI, but I love them. I’ve since tried some store-bought brands, and they do not even compare and left the sticky film from the adhesive on my skin. Rael is the brand I’ll be using from now on, and I won’t waste my time or money on other brands anymore. I’m also interested to try their different packages.
DEYBBY Natural Beeswax Taper Candles – Justin actually ordered these for me, and I love having them on hand whenever we want to feel a little fancier or set a whole vibe in our home. It makes dinners extra special.
Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Dot Single 6– I stalked someone’s planner account on instagram to discover what they were using to make these awesome circles for checking off tasks. It’s basically like a circle stamp, and the pastel colors are perfect! I love using these in my planner!
144 Pack 18 Colors Jumbo Sidewalk– I bought this HUGE pack of sidewalk chalk at the beginning of Summer, and it’s great because you don’t have to worry about ever running out any time soon! If one breaks, you’ve got another to use. No biggie!
Buddy Biscuits Oven-Baked Healthy– Finley’s favorite treats… I love the gingerbread man shape, and I think it’s perfect for Christmas time, but he enjoys them year-round.
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein– This is the protein I use, and I grab it from Amazon when I see that it’s on sale. The vanilla is great because it’s versatile. You can add fruits to it or even cocoa powder to make it chocolatey if you want.
Smarties Double Lollies, 200 Count – I grew up enjoying these, but the selling point for me, now as a mom, was that there is no sticky mess when you have toddlers. Hoo-ray! We use them as “Car Treats” when they get right in their seats and buckle right away. (If you have a really slow toddler who takes his sweet time and/or throws tantrums about everything, you’ll understand this method of bribery.) We also use them to reward good behavior when we run errands in public places.
Nespresso Capsules Vertuoline – I don’t have coffee every day. I’m working to be caffeine free to support my hormones, but when I do I’m definitely a coffee-snob. Since I switched to nespresso, I no longer drink just regular cups of coffee. I just don’t enjoy them as much anymore. It’s either nespresso or a latte from a coffee shop. I really need to invest in some sort of portable Nespresso machine for when we travel because I want to enjoy the something hot like everyone else, but I just can’t make myself do it, knowing I’m not going to love and enjoy it like I do my Nespresso. These are my favorite pods. The strong brew blends well with my dairy-free almond sweet cream creamer that I froth and pour on top.
Clothing & Accessories
Fake Hoop Earrings CZ Cubic Zirconia – Justin actually ordered these for me in gold, and I feel like they are the perfect accessory with little commitment. 🙂
Bingerlily Womens Casual Longsleeve Sweatshirt – He also ordered me this sweatshirt, and it’s definitely a favorite.
Ouges Women’s Long Sleeve V Neck – This dress is SOOOO comfy! I have it in brown, and I especially love the long sleeves.
Atomic Habits – This is something I ordered for Justin, actually, but I love that I can benefit from the things he has on his list from time to time as well. I listened to the audiobook version.
Atomic Habits Workbook – But the workbook was perfect for me to really be able to apply what I learned in the book.
Just for Fun & Nothing Else
Disney Princess Royal Collection, 12 – We ordered these on sale on Prime Day to put up for Layten’s birthday. She’s getting into Barbies now, and she absolutely LOVES all of the princesses so this was perfect!
2 Pack 6 Inch Premium Decorative Plant Holder – Plant mamas have to buy a few necessities from time to time, and this is one that I got for a couple hanging plants in my living room.
I’m so glad that I have been able to meet Gina and work with her! We had a home consult last month where we walked through her house, and she told me her story and what she needed from me. She lost her daughter almost six years ago and now that her son has also moved out, they are basically empty-nesters. She’s now ready for a refresh in her home, and it’s time to move some things that have been in the same spot for the last six years since Carmen died.
I knew that working with Gina could potentially be a really hard process emotionally, so I suggested we start with something “easy” that didn’t feel so taxing emotionally. We started in the laundry room and a storage room off of it. I absolutely LOVE it when a client’s space already has amazing cabinets and shelves to work with. It makes my job really easy!
We basically moved out most of Tyler and Carmen’s memorabilia for the time being. I actually ended up with some empty boxes and some extra shelf space so the might eventually be able to sort through those boxes and bring them back into the space, but for now, my goal was to make these spaces functional for them, more than anything else.
I sorted and categorized everything, thought about how they would best use things, asked questions, changed things, and I think we found a way to make it all work.
Gina has been a pleasure to work with! I’m so proud of her for the progress she’s already made with parting with some things, and I really hope she enjoys her new space!
#BeKind #HelpAStranger #HaveAGodlyAttitude
Let’s Check out the Before and After’s of Gina’s new space!
This is what you see when you first walk into Gina’s back door. We cleared this counter top, emptied the cabinets and drawers, reorganized everything, and we even made use of the vertical space she has above the cabinets, but now it’s functional storage that’s also appealing to the eye.
These are the upper cabinets in this space. I corralled many of the smart item groupings in these clear, acrylic bins. It’s so nice to be able to see at a glance what you have and what you may be running low on with these. We also gave Gina two bins for her “Fragrances”. I wish you could smell the inside of this cabinet because every time I opened it, it smelled AMAZING!
We tried a few different things for the laundry and cleaning products, but this is basically the “back-stock” of extra supplies so instead of containing them in bins, we left them lined on the shelves.
The “Laundry Box” on the top shelf holds all of the smaller laundry-related items like clothespins, patches, safety pins, etc.
These are the “Junk Drawers”. Yall know we all have ’em! But now you can see exactly what you’re looking for and easily find what you need!
These are the lower cabinets which we organized into bins of cleaning supplies, separated by category. There’s also a couple bins for electronics.