Home Organization, Unclutter Your Life

Tips for a Successful Sports Season

Back to School means back to sports for many of parents.  The two often go hand-in-hand, and many times, the sports season begins even before the school year does! While the coach usually provides a list of necessary gear, like helmets, rackets, cleats, etc., they don’t always mention the other important items you’ll want to have on hand for a successful season.  I actually looked forward to the fall – the start of Belinda’s sports seasons (gymnastics, then field hockey then all-star cheerleading).  It was a crazy busy time but so much fun.

Here are a few products you and your sports star will be glad you have:

Water bottles. Being hydrated isn’t something moms just nag about. Kids who play sports expend tons of energy. Each drop of sweat is fluid lost from their body. It’s important they have a good water bottle to help keep them cool in warmer weather. Even in the coldest winter months they’re still running and sweating and need to keep the fluids coming.

Healthy snacks.  Whether or not they play sports, it’s important for growing bodies to receive proper nutrition. Sports kids need even more to fuel their bodies. Some easy snacks are things like fruits, veggies, and protein-packed yogurt and cheese. To keep the snacks fresh, use Thirty One’s Around-The-Clock Thermal.  When practices and games fall within meal times, this thermal will allow you to pack enough to keep everyone fueled up. It holds up to 15 lbs. and is generously sized to fit water bottles, sandwiches, and snacks.Back-to-Sports Gear: Tips for a Successful Season

Quality backpacks are also an important thing for sports kids to have. I love the Sling Back Pack. If you’ve got a kid who flings their bag of gear over their shoulder, a sling back pack is a good solution. It’s easy to carry, stylish, and holds everything they need. It’s the perfect pack for in school use, sports games, and for weekend trips as well.

Duffle bags. Our Thirty-One All-Packed duffle bag holds everything from tablets to laptops to knee pads, football helmets and snacks. One of my favorite features of this bag is the separate compartment for shoes, so the rest of the gear doesn’t get dirty. The bag also does double duty if we travel, holding enough clothes for a few days away from home. This is an especially attractive and versatile bag that will really work for anyone.

Thirty-One also offers personalization options, allowing you to customize items with your name, your team’s name, etc. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful it is to have your child’s name on their bag when there are 30 of them laying on the ground after a game! You can also personalize using icons like soccer balls and cheerleading megaphones. Sports mom lesson #1: Label everything!

Another thing I’ve learned over the years is wipes are necessary long after the child is out of diapers. Whether they’re 5 or 15, they still spill things and/or get them on their clothes. And your car’s seats too! Wipes make short work of little messes. Sports gear gets a little messier, as you can imagine, and for that we use antibacterial wipes. Cleaning the equipment after use helps keep kids healthy. Wiping things down immediately also makes for easier deep cleaning later. Mud comes off a football helmet with less effort before it gets dried on!

How about keeping a plastic bag or laundry bag inside the kids’ bags. It makes it much easier to collect dirty uniforms after events. Most kids can’t seem to find the laundry basket if their life depends on it, so by providing the laundry bag inside their bags, You have a much better chance of washing those socks before they can stand on their own. Grab the bag and throw the stuff in the wash.

It should also be said sports gear isn’t something you should skimp on when it comes to quality. If you purchase a lower quality item at your local discount store, you’ll likely end up doing that two or three times throughout the year. Usually this happens at 9pm when your child says something like “Hey mom, I forgot to tell you there’s a big hole in this thing needed for 6am practice tomorrow.” It just makes more sense financially and from a convenience standpoint to buy the higher quality items the first time.

Sports seasons can get crazy, but it is likely the most fun that you’ll have while your kids are in school. There’s nothing quite as exciting as sitting on the sidelines cheering them on as they play hard and work as a team toward a goal. Being a sports mom is one of the most rewarding experiences ever, and with a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’re in for an awesome season.

Are you a sports mom? Do you have tips to share?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Favorite Products, Unclutter Your Life

50 ways to #LUVmyLUT

From the grocery store to the beach and back, everyone has their own favorite uses for our famous Large Utility Tote. And with so many colors and prints to choose from, you can never have too many!

Just when you thought the Large Utility Tote couldn’t get any better…. along comes the  the Large Utility Tote Ltd.  Post your most creative, practical or just plain wacky uses for the LUT using the #LUVmyLUT hashtag – check it out!

  • Storage made portable!
  • Bestseller since its debut in 2009
  • Sturdy wire support to hold its shape
  • Reinforced stitching on handles and seams
  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • Approx. 11.75″H x 21.5″L x 10″D

Large Utility Tote Ltd. is everything you love about our classic LUT, plus:
  • Elevated fabrics
  • Contrasting handles with faux-leather trim

Here are just a few of our favorite uses!

1. Roller derby gear
2. Pet toys
3. Car emergency kit
4. Vacuum parts
5. Snowballs
6. Hurricane/tornado prep bag
7. Plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt
8. Board games and puzzles
9. Road trip essentials
10. Pool floats & goggles
11. Firewood
12. Triathlon transition bag
13. Reusable gift bag
14. Girl Scout cookie delivery
15. Separate kitchen items for food allergies
16. Ski pants, boots & goggles
17. Library books
18. Water balloons
19. Gift-wrapping station
20. Grocery shopping
21. Carry farm implements and feed
22. Transport veggie plants

23. Transport Christmas presents
24. Newspapers for recycling
25. Drone-flying equipment
26. Dry ingredient sensory bin
27. Playdate-in-a-bag
28. Food drive collection
29. Search-and-rescue gear
30. Kids’ school projects & artwork
31. Take baking ingredients to Grandma’s
32. Pet carrier (Wait…what?)
33. Teacher tote for recess duty
33. Video games & controllers
34. Fire/police vehicle bag
35. Paper cutter & cartridges

37. Youth sports team snacks
38. Dirty clothes hamper
39. Yard sale shopping
40. Pumpkin patch
41. Hands-free laundry basket
42. Daycare bag
43. Paintball gear
44. Hanging closet storage
45. Moving into a college dorm
46. Dress-up costumes
47. Tailgating kit
48. Horse grooming supplies
49. Girls on the Run practice gear
50. Leggings!

 

Don’t have a large utility tote, be sure to grab this AWESOME special – friends don’t let friends shop alone!Already have a large utility tote, why not try this bundle:

The perfect addition to your large utility tote.  The Double Chill Thermal Set.  The Double Chill Thermal Set includes one large thermal insert and one small thermal insert. Both inserts have a special Leak Lock lining, zip closure, and side handles for individual transport.. Slip both thermal inserts into the Large Utility Tote to keep food and drink cool for picnics, camping, tailgating or any other outdoor gathering.

The Pocket a Tote will keep all your loose items together and secure in the Pocket-A-Tote. This clear plastic zip bag attaches to our Large Utility Tote and Deluxe Utility Tote so you never lose the important little things. Made from clear PVC material, the Pocket-A-Tote snaps into the grommets of our totes so you can separate and transport smaller items for picnics, beach trips, camping, play dates, tailgating, sports practice and games, holiday decorating, kids’ stuff and more

When you need to keep things separated for traveling, business or home, the Zipper Pouch is a must-have essential. Made of laminated canvas and featuring a zipper closure, the Zipper Pouch is a great option for transporting beauty products, jewelry, accessories, first aid, baby items, art supplies, medications and more when you’re away for the weekend or longer. Keep it in your beach bag for lotions and sprays, in your car for manuals and service papers or in your desk drawer for cords and chargers.

The Top-A-Tote fabric lid is designed to fit securely on our Large Utility Tote in order to keep contents secure and dry. Inside contents can be viewed through the clear PVC window on top. Slots on the ends allow for the handle straps to slide through. The Top-A-Tote also makes it possible to stack Large Utility Totes for easier transport and storage. Available in four colors to match easily with our Large Utility Tote spring fashion prints

How do you use your Large Utility Tote? Share on social using #LUVmyLUT!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Clear the Clutter

Closet Storage Hacks

196922-Happy-Hump-Day-EveryoneWhen I was a single mom, we lived in a double wide trailer.  I had a HUGE walk in closet with lots of space.  I couldn’t imagine having anything smaller.  Was it filled with clothes? NO!  It just had lots of space to store things.

Now, in the condo my closet is a constant battle which I’m always losing. First of all, it isn’t very big.  I have two racks to hang clothes on because I honestly thought it would be better. I must admit, I am rethinking the decision.  Between clothes I wear, clothes I hold on to just in case, and storage of some other random crap, it’s like a time bomb ready to explode.  I know, not the best advertisement for someone who wants to help YOU get organized, right?  Well, this is a year of being accountable and it includes sharing the good, the bad and the ugly!  I do LOVE helping others get organized….

I’m trying to get a handle on it – of course with using some Thirty One products BUT also with some other hacks I found in the black hole of Pinterest….. Here are some of the ideas I found which could help you…

Use a soda tab to hook hangers together.
soda-tabUse a wine rack to organize purses.  Being a purse girl, this may come in handy in my office or family room more so than the bedroom..

howtoorganizevintagejewelry

A shoe rack can hold a lot more than shoes.  You know all of those scarves or belts or maybe even your tank tops.
7w5maqt

Keep a kitchen bin in the closet for outgrown clothes.  Put a plastic bag in it so when it is full, you can just pull it out and head to your local donation spot.
7vl0a8q3973y95vn0wuj51d4bb58c5bec

Keep shoes neat and off the floor with a ThirtyOne Large Utility Tote.
e08c4179b3f752d80386fd4f0fcac588Keep flip flops and other flats neat in magazine holders. I also LOVE our large utility tote for flip flops.f45c27df6203cc2400d402c6f5f9e075_940x640

Take pictures of your shoes and tape them to the boxes.
photo-boxes-shoe-storage

Keep laundry organized and ready to go.
mobile-laundry-station-v-w

Or try Thirty One’s Stand Tall Bin….802f02f87f653cdfb6fc6d61708b87b3

Keep hair tools and makeup brushes neat and tidy with Thirty One’s Double Duty Caddy.e6b048b6ea610b3e3ad9ff95b288e514

What are some of your favorite closet organizing tips?  Share them with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Home Organization, Hope Wissel

How to Conquer Laundry Mountain

Happy Monday!  If you are a busy mom, I’m sure the weekend included some (or many) loads of laundry, right?  I am always amazed at home much laundry we have in our house when there are only TWO adults.  Some days I feel like there is more than when I was a single mom with a baby.  3aeec5f983d285791643424c2a8aa6d5

Do you have piles of clothes around the house? Are you constantly feel overwhelmed by the never-ending cycle of keeping clean clothes in the dresser drawers?

laundry-room-collage-4

Most of us know our family needs clean clothes but we also hate doing laundry so we procrastinate. And procrastination makes doing laundry even more unpleasant so we continue an ugly cycle, and unfortunately it’s not the spin cycle.

Here are 3 tips to put a stop to the cycle….

#1 – Create a Routine

Let’s face it, kids produce a lot of laundry, right?  No matter the age, it seems like they product PILES of laundry.  The easiest way to stay on top of the endless mounds is to make laundry a regular part of your schedule.

I used to do the Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine when it was just Belinda and I.  Now, I do the Monday Friday Method.   Some may need to do the Once-a-Day method.  Whatever the need, put it in your routine.   Start a load first thing in the morning, move it to the dryer after breakfast and fold it in the afternoon.  When I worked outside the home, I would start a load as soon as I came home from work,  move it to the dryer after dinner and fold it before going to bed.

I will admit my current Monday Friday method would get lost, if I didn’t write it on in my planner.  cmemhkbu8aasmif

#2 – Organize the Baskets

I know you don’t believe laundry could be pleasant, right?  It is when you have control over it.  Let’s be honest, picking up the dirty clothes then sorting them is an effort BEFORE you even begin the washing/drying process.  The Peaceful Mom suggests gaining control by designating baskets for each type of laundry load you do. Of course, the toughest part could be getting everyone in the house to follow the rules.

The 3 Basket Method works like this: darks (colors might bleed), lights (colors will not bleed), towels (washcloths, rags and towels need to be washed in hot water). If you have a lot of white clothing you may want to add an additional basket for those clothes.

Another way to organize laundry is by child.  Each one gets his or her own basket for dirty clothes, then wash a complete load of only his or her clothing.  When the drying is done, the child can take the basket of clean clothes to his room, fold it and put it away. Okay, I can hear the skeptics now.  It takes practice.  Of course you also take the risk of clean clothes not getting put away and dirty clothes being thrown on top of clean.  What is your best solution for this struggle?

#3 – Recruit Help

I will admit I was not very good at this.  Belinda didn’t do laundry or put her clothes away.  I tried it for a little while BUT the result was more trouble then it was worth.  As a single working mom, I picked my battles and laundry was not one of them.  The downside, when she went to college she was clueless on how to do laundry.  Opps, I squirreled.

The truth is teenagers can help but even Toddlers can help match socks and fold small items like washcloths and their own pants or shorts. They can then carry the clothing to their room and put it away in a drawer.

Children as young as 4 or 5 can fold towels and clothing. The clothing may not be folded according to your standards but the point is to get your children involved.  It will teach them responsibility and hopefully work yourself out of a job.  Believe me, no one is going to open your linen closet and judge you for a few sloppily folded towels.

Children between the ages of 10 and 12 can start washing their own laundry. Post a written list of the steps and provide lots of supervision until they get the hang of it. (‘No, we don’t add bleach to the load with jeans.’) Then leave them on their own.

I challenge you to pick a laundry system. Since it takes time to develop a routine or a habit,  write a note to remind yourself or set an alarm on your phone or put it in your planner.

Which system do you prefer to use for laundry –  once a day or once a week?  Share with us your best laundry tips.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Home Organization

Ready for College?

6358821728125653991782600800_college-ch

As many kids are getting ready to go back to school, some parents are facing sending their kids off to college. I have to be honest, sending Belinda off to school wasn’t so bad – I mean I was a single mom and she had been in daycare/ preschool since she was 6 weeks old (no judgements, please).  I also knew that she would be home at the end of the school day. Sending her to college was a whole different ball game.

I thought it would be a piece of cake, of course being a workaholic I thought would make things easier – WRONG!  As we drove to what seemed like the end of the earth – western North Carolina – I tried to maintain my calm. Mom (grand mom) was struggling, Belinda was anxious (or maybe it was excitement) about being so far away from home. On a map, North Carolina didn’t seem so bad. Twelve hours didn’t seem so long. Then the reality sunk in as we made that trip for the first time.

The toughest part for me was driving away – leaving my baby girl.  Mom cried most of the 12 hours home and was furious that I left her there.  Belinda was ready to come home right away BUT momma stood tough.  I told her she made the decision so she had to stay for 1 semester – then if she wanted to change, she could.  Well, as they say the rest is history!  Belinda stayed at Western Carolina University for 4 years, graduated from Honors College, got a job in her field (Social Work), earned her Master’s degree, got married and is still living in Sylva, NC.

Okay, so why I am reminiscing about all of this? A blog written by The Joyful Organizer called “Dorm Room Ready” appeared in my “time hop”  Here are some of her suggestions for heading to college:

Cubes are a great way to organize just about anything; toys, clothes, accessories or even office supplies. Thirty One’s Your Way Cube has all the options you want in a cube; handles, a sturdy bottom and even a window so you can see the contents. It can also be embroidered so when you’re headed off to college, it’s already labeled for you! Fun patterns and colors mean you can match this to your dorm room style. The tote even has an optional lid to keep the contents protected, contained and dust free.

office

Thirty One’s Stand Tall Bin is perfect for laundry. It’s light weight and easy to carry back and forth from the laundry room. When it’s not in use you can fold it up and store it under the bed. The pattern is easy to distinguish from other’s bags and the flat bottom allows folded clothes to stay folded. This is a great bag to bring things back and forth to school as well; particularly linens, large winter coats or pillows. It’s also great for plush toys, linens and beach towels in the summer, you’ll find a thousand uses for this bag.

b0629e42c0152cf2175630f3e36eb27ff0db1102

Need help getting organized at home? Is someone heading off to college?  Let me help you get organized and send them off in style.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!