Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker

Updated: The winner is The Austell Family!

I have always tended to be more concerned about the functional when it comes to organizing and not so much the fabulous. It wasn't until I started reading Aby Garvey's blog, Creative Organizing, that I realized that those two things can in fact go hand in hand. Aby inspires me not with expensive organizing solutions but inexpensive ones that have been "touched up" with simple organizing supplies.

So when given the opportunity recently to read Aby's new book, The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker, I jumped at the chance.

Overwhelmed by creative clutter? With 26 years of combined experience, professional scrapbooker Wendy Smedley of Simple Scrapbooks and professional organizer Aby Garvey of simplify 101 will guide you through the process of creating your very own organized and inspired workspace. Overflowing with tips, quizzes, projects, and inspired scrapbook spaces, The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker will help you define your scrapbooking approach and discover how to organize your stash in ways that support your hobby. Plus, you will learn from the beautiful spaces of Stacy Julian, Renee Pearson, and other inspiring scrapbookers.

This book is by far the most beautiful book I have ever read. No kidding, the pictures are bright, colorful and just plain stunning. I was blown away. I'd love to just cut them all out and use them as art but that's probably not what Aby had in mind :)

The content is equally as delicious. Now to be honest I gave up scrapbooking in albums years ago however what I do enjoy doing is scrapbooking other things like composition books, pictures, gifts, etc. The nice thing about this book is, regardless of what kind of scrapbooker you are, it aids you in creating a functional AND fabulous workspace (no matter how big or small) designed to meet both your vision and your goals.

The more aware you are of the reasons you scrapbook, the easier it is for you to navigate through all the choices you face: which photos to use, which products to buy, how to organize your stuff, what stories to tell, and so on. Identify what truly inspires you and drives you and it will become your ultimate filter, laying the foundation for everything else. You can easily eliminate clutter by cutting out the supplies and ideas that get in the way of what you really want to accomplish.

Doesn't that sound exciting?! The book then goes on to help you do just that and even comes complete with a workbook (found in the pocket on the inside back cover) to help you pull it all together. You'll fill out short quizzes that will inspire you to create real and lasting change in your scrapbook space!

Section 1 ~ walks you through the eight components of a scrapbook and offers specific organization and storage solutions for each element

Section 2 ~ gives you an up-close look at the workspaces of a few successful and productive scrapbookers. Plus you'll learn how to select and incorporate the right organizing strategies for your space and your lifestyle.

Section 3 ~ you'll roll up your sleeves and get to work on inspiring projects for your workspace. Instructions to make the following are included:

Album Labels
Mini Quote Book
Photo Checklist
Mini Artwork Display
Journal Kit
Inspiration Statement Board
Magnetic Tin Labels
Seasonal Photo Box and dividers
Get-out-of-a-Rut Jar
Workspace Design File

The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker is indeed inspiring with it's step-by-step instructions and amazing visual impact which literally provides you with hundreds of organizing solutions in pictures for all your scrapbooking needs. From an organizer's point of view I definitely can't recommend this book enough.

And I'm so excited that Aby has offered to giveaway a copy of her book to one of you as well. Please leave a comment on this post before Monday, July 28th, 6:00 pst for your chance to win. Please also make sure you leave a way for me to get in touch with you. Thanks and good luck!!


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Monday, July 14, 2008

Meet the Organize It Mom!

Laurieann is a Professional Organizer turned WAHM mom who saw a need and set out to fill it. Her site, Organize It Mom, offers all sorts of products (that she creates herself!) to help you organize your days, your kids and your kid's toys.

I had the opportunity to try a few of these products myself and hands down my favorite were the toy labels. These are absolutely fantastic!

Each kit includes 18 toy labels laminated with removeable adhesive on the back of each label. The are bright and colorful and as you can see each one includes not only the word but a picture as well. In the picture below I've added the lego one to my son's lego storage container.

Now I know labels aren't really a necessity on the clear bins like above but it is especially helpful on the fabric bins like the ones I use in my playroom.

I'm definitely going to replace my labels with Laurieanns because hers will stand out so much better than mine do. I know it isn't too hard to make your own labels on your computer but what I know, as I know Laurieann does also, is that not everyone has the time to do so. For $5.00 a set even the busiest of moms can have clearly labeled toy bins. It is so important for kids to be able to see quickly and easily what goes where so that we aren't setting them up for failure. So great!

Another one of my favorite items that Laurieann makes is something that organizes your kids computer and TV time....coins called Media Money. Each little laminated coin designates 30 minutes of media time. I like that I can use these coins as rewards for good behavior or completed chores. Then when they use them to watch TV or play computer they turn them back into me. It's a great way to keep track of the time without it hurting your head trying to remember who did what when and for how long. They even come in different colors which is perfect for different kids.

For menu planning enthusiasts she offers a laminated menu planner as well as grocery list set that serves to save on paper. The menu planner has room to menu plan breakfast, lunch and dinner and the grocery list is conveniently broken down into grocery store sections making it very efficient. Simply write on and wipe off.

The Organize It Mom's charts , lists, cards and coupons are super fun and easy to use with professional quality colorful graphics. She has many other products listed on her site, too many to mention here, so you'll have to head on over and check out her site for yourself. I'm confident that you'll find something there to help you on your organizational journey.

I'm also super excited to announce that Laurieann has joined on as one of Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-Up sponsors. Participating in the round-up gives you the opportunity to win an Organize It Mom prize package!