Tag Archives: organizing

Organization Project: Homework Caddy or Quiz?

Have you ever taken one of those quizzes to find out what type of personality you are or in which state you should live or who your soul mate is? Well, today I’ll have you take a quiz on how organized you truly are. In the process of finding out how organized you are, you will also learn some very funny things about me (Wiebke).

Hi Y’All –

Glad to see you.  Come on in, grab a cup and sit a spell and find out what happened in the Papenfus household on the first day of school this year and see how you pass or fail the Organization Back To School quiz.

Tea for two

One of the reasons I decided to take on writing for the blog about our episode on “How to Organize School Supplies in a Handy Homework Caddy”, is because I totally failed the OFBTS Test this past week! And if you don’t know what the OFBTS Test is, you have already lost one point….

Denine and I always look at the calendar ahead and then make a decision on what we should film, based on holidays or other milestone marker moments. So when we decided to film this THHB episode, “How to Organize School Supplies in a Handy Homework Caddy”, we had all the mothers and fathers and kids in mind who would want to be able to complete homework in a stress-free environment.

But first you will have to get past the quiz, to find out if you should attempt to get organized or not.

So here is the quiz:

Organization For Back To School Test

AStressed VeeBee

1. The OFBTS in the OFBTS Test stands for:

a. Organization For Back To School Test

b. Obsessive Following Better Trade Skills Test

c. Olaf Fries Blended Tomatoes Slowly Test

d. Orientation For Bulky Time Sensation Test

2. You usually have all your kid(s) supplies for the next school year bought:

a. Before school is out for summer break.

b. In the middle of summer break.

c. Why buy their own if they can borrow from their classmates?

d. After your kid(s) has been back to school for a couple of days.

3. You always have the school’s calendar written into your calendar or entered onto your digital device:

a. For two years in advance.

b. In the week before school starts.

c. What? The school has a calendar?

d. Don’t know that your kid’s school started, until your friend                  posts a picture of her kid’s first day of school on Facebook.

4. When your kid has orientation at his school you show up with:

a. Your calendar, your husband’s calendar, your digital device,                  your kid’s digital device, a variety of pens to color code your                    kid’s classes on your family’s organizational calendar.

b. Your purse with lipstick, your wallet, and a smartphone.

c. Why go to orientation when you could go to Starbucks?

d. Your husband, your sister-in-law visiting from South Africa                  and your purse filled with receipts from your vacation.

5. The dress code for hair at your kid’s school requires short back and sides haircut for boys. Your reaction:

a. You make sure that your son follows this dress code all the                  time, even during summer break.

b. You allow your son to have crazy hair during summer break,                but make sure it is up to par at least a week before school                        starts back up.

c. Huh? When did that rule come out?

d. You make a once-in-a-lifetime decision to let your son grow               out his lovely locks, and realize that he has to go to school                         with long out-of-control hair on his first day back to school,                     after you realize it actually is his first day of school because a                   friend posted a picture of her kid’s first school day on                                 Facebook.

6. You realize that it’s your son’s first day back at school, only after seeing a friend post a lovely picture of her kids on Facebook. It is 7:50 am, your son’s school starts at 8:15am (and you live 40 minutes away from the school). You realize your son isn’t even awake yet because you, your husband, your sister-in-law and your son were up until 12.30am playing “Sequence” and taking a personality quiz. You also realize that your son has no supplies ready, very long unruly hair and his school clothes need to be ironed. What you do is:

a. Call the school’s attendance line and tell them he’ll be tardy.

b. Start running around like a chicken with its head cut off and               throw random school supplies in your son’s backpack, all                         while making lunch, ironing his clothes and waking him up.

c. Why should he attend school today if you actually planned to             go blueberry picking with him and your South African sister-                   in-law?

d. Tell your son to “zip his lips” while he is eating breakfast and               trying to converse with your South African sister-in-law, who                 is sitting drinking coffee and looking totally confused at all                     the commotion around her.

Okay, I guess by now you’ve seen a pattern! If you answered mostly “a”, you are too organized to have read this far. If your answers were mostly “b”, you are right on target. If most of your answers were a “c”, you need serious therapy, and if your answers were mostly “d”, your name should be Wiebke! All of the things described in the “d” parts of the quiz happened to our family the first day of the new school year. We are planning to get more organized in the future with our very own amazing Ruth Soukup planner as to NEVER have a repeat of this year’s chaotic first school day (psst..we are not paid for this plug it is just a very pretty and practical planner – see below).Wiebke's Living Well Planner

By the way, after my husband and son left via their low-level-flying machine (my husband’s car), I sat and just laughed hysterically for an hour while drinking my very large cup of coffee!

We at The Hard Hat Belles hope that our quick organizing tips will make doing homework easier for you and your kids. Check out all these ideas you can use to make your very own homework caddy.

How To Make Your Very Own Homework Caddy or StationCreate a homework station

  1.  The first rule is to use your imagination – then gather your supplies. It doesn’t matter if they are new or what you have around your home or office.

2.  Think about your needs and those of your student.  Several little or big baskets or containers can be made in to one using zip ties.  For more information on zip ties check on our Amazingly Simple Zip Tie Hacks video here.

3.  Assemble baskets and supplies together.

Mini Homework Caddy

Basket Office Supply Station

Large Homework or Office Supply Caddy

Disclaimer

You are now prepared to conquer your homework struggle of finding supplies!

Want More THHB??

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

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MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Bible verse Proverbs 15:32

Love & Hugs,

Wiebke & DenineTHHB Logo

Summer Break, Improvements, Education & A Better Schedule

Is your time getting away from you?  Need more of it? Have you ever felt a need to rejuvenate or needed a really long break?  Or did you need to take time to regroup, rethink some of the plans you have made or needed to make improvements in your life, business, or family?  Come see what we are up to now and how we are handling it!

Hi Y’All,

Welcome! Grab a beverage and come on in and sit a spell.  Wiebke and I are up to some mighty (out of the ordinary for us) plans and time solutions that we just can’t wait to share them with you.

Tea for two

What, When, Where, & Why

Even though winter was lllooonnnggg in Michigan, summer just seemed to rush up on us before we knew it.  School let out, kids home, vacations, canning, field trips, relaxation and the list goes on for the summer.  That doesn’t even include the everyday things that need to get done like laundry, cleaning house, grocery shopping, cooking, errands, repairs and home maintenance and that list also goes on and on and on.

What should we do?  That is one of the nice things about being the boss – we can determine and make executive decisions that work for us.  So, we thought long and hard……

We came up with a win-win solution for Wiebke, myself and YOU! What? We need to find more time?  When? Now! Where? The one place that we could find some give in – our business and mission “The Hard Hat Belles”.  Why? We need to carve out more time in our lives for our family and loved ones and for everything we want to accomplish, but we also want to work on improving our business  – THIS ALL TAKES TIME, TIME, TIME.

Ideas and Improvements

After burning all our brain cells up we finally came up with a solution we are excited about and we hope you find useful too.

Something has to give! One place we scheduled more time from was our business.  Instead of a weekly YouTube and Blog release we are going to film, produce, and edit one video per month.  We have found that each video takes roughly 10 hours to script/film and coordinate and sometimes up to 18 hours to edit and that is only if things run smoothly (which there are always glitches). So what can you expect from us? On the first Friday of the month you can expect a wonderful new style and shorter video from us.  With that extra time Wiebke is Mischievous Wiebkegoing to be working on learning new techniques for filming, editing and spending time with her son and husband.  She wants to take this time out to get better educated in videography. This will allow The Hard Hat Belles to possibly create a couple of channels/playlists with super short DIY/LIY videos on just recipes, Pinterest  flops/successes or crafts – the sky is the limit.  We are still thinking and marinating on that one.  Any suggestions?  Drop us a note in the comments below.

I  will also be limiting our blog releases to once a month – released the same time as our one video.  However, there Happy Denineare other ideas in the works.  I will not be sitting around eating bonbons and reading romance novels…nope, I will be reading about social media, Pinterest, WordPress, monetization and attending webinars to learn more about blogging and how to reach more individuals and give you all what you want!

But to accomplish all this we need your help with ideas on what YOU want to learn or do or see.  Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page – we really do care.  After all -our business is to entertain and teach YOU!

How Can We Help You Find More Time

Does your day just disappear from you? Does time disappear? Feeling overwhelmed? Need help prioritizing ? We also had that problem. In addition to the changes we are making in our business we are also making changes within our “whole” lives.  Clock

I have learned how to schedule my days using an hourly planner allowing for time interruptions and those things that “just pop up”. I schedule all things I want to get accomplished for the day and set a timer on my phone to signal when my time is up to work on those tasks.

While Wiebke and her son, Sidney, who is off school for the summer, are both using day planners in order to get what they want done each day, which gives them a feeling of accomplishment.  This also, allows Wiebke to keep track of how Sidney is spending his day (not just on electronics…blahhahahah).

I have also found that making lists are also a great way to help keep me sane and on track. I make all kinds of lists: groceries, chores, tasks, organizational…..When I make my lists I start with the three most important items that I want to get done on each one everyday.  It keeps me focused and the time stealer away.

We have scoured the web for ideas and have created some really good boards on our Pinterest site to help you.  Everything from being organized, summer schedules, to being productive and more.  Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

Wiebke and I both love Ruth Soukup of LIvingWellSpendingLess.  We own some of her books that have been very helpful from working smarter not harder to unstuffing, purging and organizing our homes and ourselves.  She is a great resource for getting practical advice on managing your time.  I especially like her tip about getting your FROGS out of the way first thing each day – this really does help set the tone for the whole day.  See what she has to say about your FROGS in her article on Filling The Time Jar.

One thought I want leave you with – By purging my house and garage of “stuff” I have less to handle and clean.  I am by no means finished, but you can start small as I did one box, area, or room at a time and eventually it will be done.  Work your way through it by donating, throwing it out or selling the stuff that swamps you.  This makes cleaning, organizing and upkeep easier, less time consuming and less stressful.

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

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MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Bible Verse Matthew 11:28

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo

 

Easy Steps to Organizing Your Cupboards or Kitchen Cabinets

Organized Cupboards Verse1

Hi Y’all!

We are just so excited here at The Hard Hat Belles to be rolling out our third blog and YouTube video.  Thanks to all our subscribers for signing up and keeping us here and going.   If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so.  This allows us to give you a heads up when we post new videos and blogs to the internet.

This particular episode of Organizing Cupboards is near and dear to Wiebke and me.  When we decided to do this YouTube/Blog thing we were in the middle of organizing Wiebke’s kitchen cupboards.  It was then that we decided “why not.”  We felt strongly that we had something of value to share with others and decided to do something about it. Seriously, who doesn’t like to laugh and have fun while learning?  We certainly did and do.  Go grab your coffee or tea and come join us, we’re glad you’re here!

Tea for two

OUR VERY, VERY, VERY BEGINNING

You might ask, “How did Wiebke and Denine get to be such good friends?”  Well, you see, our friendship really hasn’t been a long one, but it has developed into a strong friendship through our many crazy schemes.

Seriously, we had been friendly acquaintances through our church, The North Branch Wesleyan Church, for several years.  You know those people you see every Sunday and say “hi” to without actually getting to really know them.  You care for them, but you just don’t have time to develop a real friendship even when you want to.

After a long battle with aggressive prostate cancer, my husband, Bill, went home to our Lord in September 2014.  I didn’t know it at the time, but Wiebke had kept me and my family in her prayers during our hard times.  When Bill passed away, Wiebke felt very strongly about the bible verse (James 1:27) that speaks about tending to the widows.  She felt God wanted her to be with me. You see, she had experienced a similar loss in her early twenties that also left her a widow and she had just lost her mom the year before Bill.  So she knew from experience how hard it was going to be for me and wanted to be there for me.  I tried to tell her thank you, but no and at that time if I would have known different languages – I would have said “no” in those as well. I’ll let you in on a little secret ……. that woman can be persistent as all get out and boy am I grateful to God that she was.

During the first couple months after my husband passed away I was very grateful for her help, but even more important than that an amazing thing occurred – a wonderful friendship blossomed.  As our relationship grew closer together we experienced a lot of healing tears, but there was also laughter (oh, was there) while we each were trying to figure life out.

THE STORY BEHIND THE ORGANIZING CUPBOARD EPISODE

Org Cpb barbie tea1

In the beginning – Yes, in our beginning, not God’s; it was my turn to be over at Wiebke’s house and she was complaining that she was so disgusted with her lid, bowl, and whatnot cupboard (seriously, whatever she could shove in her cupboard) and her pan, skillet and baking cupboard.  She was so frustrated she just blurted out, “I can’t take this anymore DDDenine.  It’s disgusting and I’m tired of not finding what I am looking for.”  Then she pointed to her kitchen table where a few items she picked up were stacked and said, “These are the racks I got at Walmart and the Salvation Army… And I already had this dish rack I dug out.  Can we please do this today?”

Messy to Clean Cabinets

So that is what we did.  We tore into the job of organizing her cupboards and in the process we had a lot of fun and laughs at what we found and what we did. At one point while we were busy organizing and working I remember lying on the floor in a fit of giggles thinking that we really need to share this with others. It was then that we both felt God leading us on a path to becoming The Hard Hat Belles.

WHAT YOU NEED

There really is no rhyme or reason for what you can use to organize your cupboards with.  What worked for Wiebke didn’t work for me as our cupboards are different shapes and sizes.  However, to start – you can search your own home and look at your own items differently.

A CD rack or dish rack can become a plastic lid holder or small pan lid holder.org cpb pp rack pic (5)1

A wired magazine/file holder can become a cookie sheet organizer.

Different sized baskets can become utensil holders or used for larger items like soup ladles, frying spatulas or wooden spoons.

org cpb pp rack pic (2)1Empty coffee cans or jars can be used to gather smaller lids or put utensils in.

The key is to use your imagination and think outside of the box on how you can use different items in different ways.  Look at a potential item and brainstorm over what it could possibly become for you.  For example take a wired or plastic dish rack – it can become a lid organizer, or hold pan lids of various sizes, or keep your plates in an upright position in your cupboard.  Keep going until you find what works for you.

Some of the places you might also consider when looking for organizing items (remember think outside of the box) are Salvation Army or Goodwill stores, thrift stores, resale shops, Dollar stores, Walmart, Meijers, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Ace Hardware, Aco Hardware, local hardware’s (they can have some really neat items), the list can go on and on, but you get the idea.

And remember Pinterest is Wire Racksalso a great go-to place to get several ideas on organizing your cupboards.

We recommend that you wait to organize your cupboards until you get your organizers together.  Once you are ready you will need to unload your cupboard completely.  Then put in the newly purposed organizers and get started.  We found that it took us a few times of putting things in and taking them out before we were happy with the outcome.

Once we completed Wiebke’s cupboards she was so happy.  She still raves six months later about how much easier it is to find things now that the cupboards are organized.  Even her family puts things where they belong now.

Welcome to The Hard Hat Belles way to diy (do it yourself) and liy (learn it yourself).  Do it, learn it and laugh!!

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We pray you have been entertained while you learned a thing or two. We’d love to hear from you – Do you have any neat ideas for organizing and having fun?  What would you like to learn?  We’d love to hear from you!

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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