I'm an Organizing Junkie http://orgjunkie.com helping you be clutter & chaos free! Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:00:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 Menu Plan Monday ~ March 27/17 Weekly Dinner Inspiration http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-2717.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-2717.html#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:00:38 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39514
Hey everyone, happy new week to you! If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to get menu plan happy and make it happen. Who couldn’t use a little less stress and chaos in their lives? Don’t complicate life more than you need to because dinner shouldn’t be something we stress about. Okay? Okay :) […]]]>

Menu Plan Monday - weekly dinner inspiration for the week of March 27/17 at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Hey everyone, happy new week to you! If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to get menu plan happy and make it happen. Who couldn’t use a little less stress and chaos in their lives? Don’t complicate life more than you need to because dinner shouldn’t be something we stress about. Okay? Okay :)

I got personal on the blog last week, not sure if you saw it or not. But if you didn’t, I shared more about my autoimmune disease and how the Paleo diet helps me with that. Since inflammation is known to be at the root of most diseases, reducing this inflammation has helped heal the guts of so many people dealing with all sorts of illnesses. It’s literally life changing! I also share over there a ton of resources to guide you and answer all your questions if you are just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Read more HERE.

It was such a beautiful spring day for us here yesterday. My hubby grilled a delicious pork steak dinner which was such a yummy treat considering we don’t normally do anything big for dinner on Sundays. There’s nothing like a BBQ dinner on a sunny day, yay!

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week.

My Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday: Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Tuesday: One-Pan Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs served with roasted potatoes and broccoli

Wednesday: Potato Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Pizza Party Friday Night with 5 minute homemade pizza dough and for me Paleo Salmon Cakes

Saturday: Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Sunday: YOYO (you’re on your own!)

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

WHAT ARE YOU EATING THIS WEEK? SHARE RECIPES AND MENUS BELOW!

Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join our growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

My favorite menu planning resource:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you. As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*

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Organize Gut Health Changes to Heal Your Body http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/organize-gut-health-changes.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/organize-gut-health-changes.html#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:35:40 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39528
Today’s post is a little bit of a detour from most but it’s a topic that is a pretty important part of my life. I wanted to share it with you today to answer some questions I’ve gotten lately about my health and to share some helpful gut health resources with you should you also […]]]>

Today’s post is a little bit of a detour from most but it’s a topic that is a pretty important part of my life. I wanted to share it with you today to answer some questions I’ve gotten lately about my health and to share some helpful gut health resources with you should you also be experiencing some health problems that you need help managing. Please keep in mind that I am not a health professional and you should always consult a Dr. prior to making any changes to your diet and exercise regimen.

Organize Gut Health Changes to Heal Your Body For Lasting Results

Many of you by now have read about my experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis and how I’ve successfully been able to manage this autoimmune disease with a certain way of eating rather than medication. I am not cured, but I no longer live with the excruciating joint pain I once use to experience. It’s been two and half years since I was diagnosed and began this new way of life eating a Paleo Diet (no refined sugar, gluten, grains, dairy, beans, peanuts, and very minimal processed foods).

How I manage my autoimmune disease naturally without meds!

Since inflammation is known to be at the root of most diseases, diet can play a crucial role in reducing all this inflammation often running rampant in our guts. To give myself as much chance of healing as I could, I ate an Autoimmune Protocol Diet for the first 5 months, which is a more strict version of the Paleo Diet that does not include any inflammatory foods. Reducing my inflammation and taking care of my gut health was key for me to be able to wean off my medication. After the AIP Diet, I then transitioned to the Paleo Diet which allowed me to add some additional foods back into my diet, like eggs, nuts and tomatoes (as healthy as these foods are, they are also inflammatory foods).

The whole process has been fascinating to me. It’s pretty incredible how life changing eating the right foods has been for me. I’m certainly passionate about educating others now because quite honestly until I got diagnosed I hadn’t even heard of the AIP or Paleo diets or how inflammation can affect almost every area of the body. I’d also say that I ate pretty healthy before all this, I just wasn’t eating the right foods geared specifically towards reducing the inflammation that was making me so sick. Losing 30 pounds was a sweet bonus as well that you won’t hear me complaining about!

In case you are interested, some of the warning signs of inflammation in the body include:

  • bloating/gas
  • food sensitivities
  • chronic fatigue and/or exhaustion
  • joint pain
  • headaches
  • sinus infections
  • skin issues
  • digestive issues
  • constipation/diarrhea
  • depression/anxiety

Maybe you’re enduring stomach cramps, skin issues, mental fog, frequent bathroom trips, allergies and food sensitivities, or maybe even symptoms of autoimmune disease (or worse). No one actually knows how much you’re suffering, or how much this is affecting your whole life. Poor gut health isn’t pretty.

Gut Health Super Bundle

Gut Health Changes

If you are experiencing health problems, you may want to think about changing your diet. This can be a pretty scary thought though. For me it took about three weeks of some tough withdrawal symptoms before I started seeing some change. That process was no joke but the cravings do eventually go away I promise you. Do your research beforehand so you know exactly what you are getting into and why. Being prepared makes a huge difference. I’ll share a huge list of resources for you at the end of this post to help make the process that much easier for you. Once you’ve made the commitment and set a date to begin, here are a few more tips that can help you be successful with your plan.

Menu Plan:

Quite honestly this was (and is!) a lifesaver step for me. In the beginning I thought I was going to starve with such a huge list of foods I couldn’t eat. I quickly realized that I was concentrating on the wrong thing and instead switched to only looking at the foods I could eat. I printed out helpful AIP guide sheets that I hung front and center on my fridge and planned my meals accordingly. On Sunday nights I sit down with my computer (thank goodness for Pinterest!) and a few Paleo cookbooks and slot in what I’m going to eat for each day of the week. Doing this step means that you won’t have to panic about what’s for dinner come 4:00 when you are so tired and can’t think straight. You’ll know exactly what to do, taking all guess work and stress out of it.

Purge the NO Foods:

In order to focus on the things you can eat, remove all the foods you can’t from the house. You can’t rely on any kind of willpower, it just won’t work! Donate unopened, unexpired food to the food bank, turf everything else. Go through condiments, spices, everything. You wouldn’t believe where sneaky ingredients hide (especially sugar!).

Stock Up with Safe Foods:

Now that all the NO foods are out of the house, it’s time to stock up on what you can eat. Take your guide sheets and menu plan to the grocery store with you. It’s overwhelming at first and will take longer to grocery shop at first as you spend time reading labels but eventually you’ll find your new safe favorites.

Designated Food Storage:

My family doesn’t eat Paleo although many of the recipes I make for them are Paleo and they don’t even know :) I like to keep a few special safe foods on hand just for me though for when I need an occasional Paleo treat. Things like pistachio nuts, plantain chips and Paleo chocolate for instance. So I added a special Paleo snack basket for me into a cabinet that my family doesn’t typically go into. You can read more about that HERE. They know this basket is off limits and just for momma. This ensures I have a treat when I need one and keeps me from grabbing something I shouldn’t. I also have a section of the fridge that is set aside just for me.

I often get asked if it’s hard to stick with this way of eating and while I don’t love the extra time is sometimes takes to make food from scratch, what keeps me motivated is the lack of pain in my hands. Seriously it’s what keeps me from having a soft serve cone on a really hot day. I don’t want to feel that kind of pain ever again. I also don’t want to experience the intense side effects from the drugs available for my disease. I’m not saying that everyone will be able to eventually come off their meds but by changing your diet it’s unlikely you won’t feel better in some way. You just will never know unless you try, what have you got to lose? For me being able to manage my disease with food is a blessing that I’m so grateful for.

Reduce Sleep & Stress:

I also have to take a minute to tell you how important getting good sleep and reducing stress is to the healing process. Diet, sleep and less stress all play an essential role in keeping inflammation down and your body well. Here are some of my tips for a good night’s rest.

Resources:

*affiliate links below*

There is currently a bundle of resources available all about gut health, compiled by the same Ultimate Bundles team that brought us the Conquer Your Clutter bundle. It’s a comprehensive bundle with 16 eBooks, 5 eCourses, 3 videos, and 1 humongous summit, all with one goal in mind: help you heal your gut. The combined value of the resources in the bundle is over $695, but you get EVERYTHING for more than 93% off!

Gut Health Super Bundle - healing your body from the inside out

While I was reading through the resources in this bundle I almost started crying because all I could think about was where was this resource when I first was diagnosed. I couldn’t not tell you about it just in case someone out there is in the desperate place I was in just 2 years ago…so sick and tired of being sick and tired.

If you literally hate your guts, the Gut Health Super Bundle will help you learn to work with your body to heal itself.

Gut Health Super Bundle - available for a limited time

Don’t be worried about the volume of resources included and being overwhelmed with them all as there is a Getting Started Guide to help you so you can take action right away. It’s even backed by a 100% happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.

The Gut Health Super Bundle is only available for purchase until Monday, March 27th at 11:59 PM EST!

No one should put up with poor digestive health because it costs too much or they can’t get the help they need. Embracing a healthy lifestyle is an important first step. But to really experience holistic health, you need to get your digestive system back on track.

Please let me know if I can help you in any other way.

Gut Health Super Bundle

  • This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you,  if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!

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Menu Plan Monday ~ March 20/17 Weekly Dinner Inspiration http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-2017.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-2017.html#comments Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:00:11 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39473
Hi friends! I feel like I’ve been complaining about the weather quite a bit lately with all the snow we’ve been getting dumped on us. And then God provides us with a hoarfrost and I’m just in awe of his wonder. Hoarfrosts only happen once and awhile and they are just stunning against a beautiful […]]]>

Menu Plan Monday - weekly dinner inspiration for the week of March 20/17 - dinner without stress and chaos

Hi friends! I feel like I’ve been complaining about the weather quite a bit lately with all the snow we’ve been getting dumped on us. And then God provides us with a hoarfrost and I’m just in awe of his wonder. Hoarfrosts only happen once and awhile and they are just stunning against a beautiful blue sky. There are a few more pictures of it on my Instagram page if you want to take a peek.

canadian hoarfrost

I also like to re-share here the link to any posts I’ve written in the previous week that have to do with menu planning and cooking. Just in case you missed it, last Friday I wrote all about getting your kids in the kitchen cooking because if you do, then by the time they are teens, they’ll be able to cook entire meals for YOU. Who wouldn’t want that? :)

Teaching Your Kids to Cook so eventually you don't have to!

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week.

My Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday: Paleo Squash Soup

Tuesday: Grain Free Paleo Meatloaf served with rice and broccoli

Wednesday: Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs served with Oven Roasted Potatoes

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Pizza Party Friday Night with 5 minute homemade pizza dough and for me Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce

Saturday: One-Skillet Balsamic Sausage, Asparagus & Mushrooms

Sunday: YOYO (you’re on your own!)

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

WHAT ARE YOU EATING THIS WEEK? SHARE RECIPES AND MENUS BELOW!

Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join our growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

My favorite menu planning resource:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you. As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*

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Teaching Your Kids to Cook So Eventually You Don’t Have To! http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/teaching-kids-cook.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/teaching-kids-cook.html#comments Fri, 17 Mar 2017 17:07:14 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39483
So I suppose I should start this post by telling you how awesome you’d be to teach your kids how to cook so when they leave home they’ll be able to make themselves a decent meal. But that’s not really my motivation for this post. I mean it sounds good and all but really my […]]]>

So I suppose I should start this post by telling you how awesome you’d be to teach your kids how to cook so when they leave home they’ll be able to make themselves a decent meal. But that’s not really my motivation for this post. I mean it sounds good and all but really my motivation for teaching my kids to cook is simply so that I don’t have to. There I said it.

Hi, my name is Laura and I teach my kids to cook so I don’t have to!!

Teaching Your Kids to Cook So You Eventually You Don't Have To!

Some of you are not going to like me for saying so either. I’ve been told I’m a mean mom for expecting so much of my kids. Those same people probably aren’t going to like it when I say that my kids also do their own laundry and clean all the bathrooms too (along with many other chores!). And you know what? I don’t feel guilty at all. Not one bit. In fact, I’m really proud of them. They are great hard working kids who are going to do just fine when they get out on their own (one of them already is!). In the meantime, I’m happy to enjoy the benefits of all their hard work :)

In our house everyone has responsibilities, this isn’t a free ride. Nope we all pitch in. Is it easy to train up children to do the chores and cooking? Ummm definitely not. Let’s face it, we could for sure do it faster ourselves and certainly better but that’s because we’ve had years and years of practice. And that’s what we can give our kids. Years and years of practice. That doesn’t make us mean, that makes us smart!

Teaching Your Kids to Cook

The more years of practice you can give your kids the better which is why it’s so important to start them young. My kids are older now, 20, 17 and 11. They all started helping out in the kitchen when they were little and each year I would increasingly give them more responsibility until eventually in their teens they were able to prepare entire meals for the family. That’s when all the years of training FINALLY pays off. It’s glorious people, absolutely glorious!!

My sister is currently in the thick of kitchen training with her two girls ages 8 and 6. So because it’s fresher in her mind than it is in mine, I asked her to share with us some of her best teaching kids to cook tips.

Task list suggestions:

I am reluctant to tell you which ages your kids should be doing certain tasks. All kids are different and each parent will have to assess what’s appropriate for their child’s skill level. As they successfully master one task like peeling veggies for instance, move them up to cutting veggies. There are many steps of the dinner preparation process that kids can do. Kids make excellent sous chefs! Here are just a few suggestions:

Peeling potatoes, cucumbers and carrots
Grating cheese
Slicing fruit and veggies
Getting out and microwaving frozen veggies
Rolling out homemade meatballs and hamburgers
Making easy meals quesadillas, grilled cheese, scrambled eggs
Heating cans of soup
Rolling out pizza dough and adding toppings
Measuring out baking/cooking ingredients
Rolling out cookies
Making simple tea biscuits (my kids had this one mastered young thanks to their Granny!)
Setting and clearing the table
Washing dishes/loading dishwasher

Teaching Your Kids to Cook

Patience is required:

It can be extremely difficult to cook with kids at the beginning. Brace yourself and go slow. Remember, it’s just dinner and it doesn’t have to be perfect, keep expectations reasonable. Occasionally you may experience some fit throwing because they don’t want to help. The older they are when you start probably the more resistance you are going to get. Make it non-negotiable and tell them you can do this nicely (perhaps with an incentive) or you can do it with attitude and a consequence. It’s their choice but either way it’s still going to be done. You may have to leave the room a time or two for some deep breaths but stand your ground momma. You’ve got this and it will eventually be worth it, I promise!

Take turns with siblings:

My sister has found that if she has both kids in the kitchen at the same time, chaos and fights ensue. The way to avoid that and make the process more manageable is to have your kids take turns in the kitchen. Designating separate nights for each really helps. When my sister asks her kids what the best part of cooking with Mommy is, they say spending time with Mommy. So as you can see, at the younger ages they don’t see it so much as work yet. You want to capitalize on this time so that by the time it stops being fun as they get older (for some it might) it will already be established as a daily routine that needs to get done whether they like it or not.

Teaching Your Kids to Cook

Menu plan with kids:

Menu plan with the kids so that they can choose recipes that they are interested in making. This gives them a sense of control over their food choices. Choose really simple recipes (the fewer the ingredients the better!) when first starting out, maybe even using kids recipe books. If your kids are able to read have them read through recipe books getting ideas of recipes they want to try.

Also as kids get older having recipes printed out and ready to go each night becomes essential, read my post about why I think so HERE. You may be able to whip something up off the top of your head, but it’s unreasonable to expect our kids to be able to do the same. So even if it’s a recipe you’ve made a hundred times before, have a recipe ready each night so your child can set out the needed ingredients and follow the necessary cooking steps. If a child isn’t at the cooking stage yet, just getting the ingredients out and on the counter ready for you to cook saves so much time! Once a child has learned how to read a recipe, they are well on their way to getting dinner on the table for you all on their own. You can thank me later :)

Practice:

Like I said earlier, the only way it will get any easier is if your kids practice and work at it. Bit by bit, they will get better. Also keep in mind that some kids may require more practice than others especially if they don’t enjoy it. My daughter enjoyed being in the kitchen more than my son does and as a result she caught on much faster. That’s okay. Also like I said earlier most little kids are so keen to help out. Keep a stool in the kitchen so they can stand beside you watching and “pretending” to help. Try not to discourage them which is easier said than done I know because those younger kids are also mess makers. For sure it will be more work for you in the beginning especially in the clean up department but even if you just give them a cloth to “wash” the counter while you work they’ll be happy. Every day as they work along side you, no matter how little the job, is practice towards a higher goal. Keep your eye on the prize :)

Teaching Your Kids to Cook

Additional benefits:

I know I said I teach my kids to cook so I don’t have to but really there are so many other benefits to it as well. When kids are part of cooking dinner they are much more willing to try new things. They may not like it but they are willing to try it and give it a chance when they cook it. They are also more aware of how much work goes into cooking for them and they appreciate it more. In addition, my sister told me that the first time her 8 year old made dinner for the family all on her own she was so proud of herself and it meant so much to her. It’s very cool how much you can see their confidence grow from week to week!

Knife Training:

One of the areas that many parents get nervous about when it comes to teaching their kids to cook is teaching them the safe way to use a knife. Definitely an area to be concerned about which is why it’s important to teach proper knife techniques to them. Now my sister’s Executive Chef husband can obviously teach their girls the right way to hold and use a knife but the rest of us might not necessarily know how. Over the years you might have heard me mention a fantastic FREE kid’s knife video series from Kitchen Stewardship that I highly recommend.

It’s coming soon, get on the waiting list now (at that link just click on where it says stay in the loop and enter your email)!

It’s only available at certain times of the year but I’ve heard that it will be coming available again on April 1st. This same company will also be opening their popular Teaching your Kids to Cook Course (affiliate link) at the same time however please keep in mind that there is a cost to that program. If you leave your email address at the link above, they’ll notify you as soon as both of those two courses become available in April if you are interested.

Teaching your kids to cook recipes:

In part three of my teaching kids to cook series I’ll be sharing some recipe links that I think are great starter recipes for kids of all ages. They’ll be tried and true recipes that we’ve used and that I know work so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, check out my Pinterest boards that are dedicated to quick and easy meals and slow cooker recipes that you might find helpful.

Which stage of kitchen training are you at? Are you just starting out, working on it or finally reaping the rewards of your teens preparing the entire meal (whoot, whoot!)? Your comment might be great encouragement for someone else.

If you found this post to be helpful, don’t forget to share it with the other moms in your life. Thank you!

  • This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you,  if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!

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Successfully Organize Your Finances in 5 Simple Steps http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/successfully-organize-finances.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/successfully-organize-finances.html#comments Thu, 16 Mar 2017 03:20:44 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39491
The following is a guest post about organizing your finances from regular contributor, Morgan from Morganize with Me.  In our home, I happily took on the role of CFO from day one. My hubby has his strengths and I have mine. Mine include – charts, graphs, percentages, and numbers. Whereas my husband, David, is SO […]]]>

The following is a guest post about organizing your finances from regular contributor, Morgan from Morganize with Me

In our home, I happily took on the role of CFO from day one. My hubby has his strengths and I have mine. Mine include – charts, graphs, percentages, and numbers. Whereas my husband, David, is SO much better with creative play and telling jokes. (Can you guess who is the “fun” parent in our home!?!)

As the money manager, I have designed a system that helps to organize our finances and (most of the time) stay on budget. Here are my five simple steps to successfully organize your finances.

Successfully Organize Your Finances in 5 Simple Steps at I'm an Organizing Junkie

Step One: Create a Budget

Organizing finances requires a lot of flexibility (so does parenting, but I’ll save that for another post). I’ve tried a few different budgeting programs over the years, but I always go back to Quicken because it works for me. Having a method of organization helps to better anticipate your daily/monthly balance and to see things from a monthly/quarterly perspective. Find a money management system that works for you and make it a habit to live on a budget. If you like pen and paper, I have a Health+Home Management Planner that has a financial section of printables to help with organizing finances. I use the financial printables in combination with Quicken to help manage everything.

Step Two: Categorize ALL Expenses

Quicken, (affiliate Link) Quicken For Mac 2017 Personal Finance & Budgeting Software [Download], allows me to upload all of our transactions, categorize all purchases, and set up a “smudget” (my term for an organic budget). I categorize every purchase we make, but I keep the categories general. For example our “Auto” category can include – gas, maintenance, repairs, payments etc. I don’t like to split things up more than necessary. We have monthly fixed expenses (ie: mortgage, car payment, insurance etc.) and variable expenses (ie: medical, groceries, dining, entertainment.) At the beginning of each month, I set up the proposed amounts for each category and then I tweak the numbers as necessary throughout the month. Life is after all – fluid. By categorizing every expense you are better able to see where you are staying on budget, and where you are not!

Successfully Organize Your Finances

Step Three: Commit to Giving & Saving

I have as many of our monthly payments set up automatically that I can. This is a great way to ensure payments are paid on time and helps to maximize giving and saving. (When you don’t see it you don’t miss it!) I also allocate our giving and saving money right around payday, instead of waiting until later on. Building these amounts into your budgeting and making them automatic, will help you to maintain an increased habit of giving and saving.

Step Four: Curb Spending

When it comes to spending, specifically in the variable categories, David and I each have a monthly cash and clothing allowance. We’ve been doing both of these allowances for years. By putting boundaries around our personal spending, it has helped to hold us more accountable. Furthermore, by setting limits on our spending we are able to better achieve our giving and saving goals. If you don’t draw a line with spending, it can be too easy to just keep on spending.

Step Five: Coach your Kids

We live on a budget and so do our children! I created a system where each month our kids (currently 16, 13, and 10) have the ability and responsibility to manage their own finances. Instead of a small allowance for incidentals, we provide them with a monthly budget (starting at around age nine) that they are responsible to manage. They are each presented with an individual “Monthly Budget” that lays out exactly what they are responsible for and our expectations of them are as well (this changes every year as they receive more money and more expenses to manage). They are responsible for saving 10%, giving 10%, and the remainder 80% is their money to organize and manage. I encourage you to take a proactive approach with teaching your kids how to manage money. I wrote a more detailed post titled, “Why I Don’t Give my Kids an Allowance” – if you want more direction on how we implemented this system.

Organizing finances can be overwhelming which is why I encourage you to work on things one step at a time! Which step do you need to work on implementing? What budgeting tips work well for you? Where do you need to focus specifically when it comes to organizing your finances?

Happy Organizing!

Headshot-Circle

Morgan is the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl, behind Morganize with Me. She is a list lover, fitness fan, and chaos calmer! Her mission is to share tried and true techniques that she hopes will encourage her readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes. Join one of her Challenges and be sure to check out her Shop full of fabulous organizing printables!

  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced.  A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you.  As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*
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Menu Plan Monday ~ March 13/17 Weekly Dinner Inspiration http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-1317.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-1317.html#comments Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:00:41 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39422
Hi friends! I sat down to do up my menu plan as I usually do on Sunday night and went to search Pinterest for recipes only to find out that the Pinterest search wasn’t working. Ack! I didn’t really know quite what to do with myself, I’m such a creature of habit, but I eventually […]]]>

Menu Plan Monday - weekly dinner inspiration for the week of March 13/17 at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Hi friends! I sat down to do up my menu plan as I usually do on Sunday night and went to search Pinterest for recipes only to find out that the Pinterest search wasn’t working. Ack! I didn’t really know quite what to do with myself, I’m such a creature of habit, but I eventually figured it out :)

Last week I was going to try making some cauliflower bacon biscuits but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t love cauliflower although I really wish I did because it’s so good for you. I’ll eat it occasionally but not too often. So instead of those biscuits I decided to a simpler Paleo one that didn’t involve yucky cauliflower. Although different from a regular flour biscuit, these healthy Paleo Almond Flour Biscuits were easy and fast to whip up and were really good. Nice to have a little something different for lunch.

Paleo Almond Flour Biscuits

If you haven’t had a chance yet to make up a menu plan for the week yet, it’s not too late. Pick out 4 or 5 EASY recipes, print them out, do a grocery shop and you’ll be all set for an organized week!

Here’s what my family will be eating this week.

My Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday: Oven Baked Quesadillas served with Caesar Salad and for me Bacon & Tomato Lettuce Wraps

Tuesday: One pan Lemon Chicken with Veggies (with asparagus instead of beans)

Wednesday: Italian Rubbed Pork Chops with rice and broccoli

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Pizza Party Friday Night with 5 minute homemade pizza dough and for me Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Saturday: Sweet Apple Pork Meatballs with zucchini noodles

Sunday: YOYO (you’re on your own!)

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

WHAT ARE YOU EATING THIS WEEK? SHARE RECIPES AND MENUS BELOW!

Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join our growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

My favorite menu planning resource:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you. As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*
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Friday Favorites: Free Spring Printables, Secrets of Professional Organizers + more! http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/friday-favorites-free-printables.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/friday-favorites-free-printables.html#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 20:52:43 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39459
Hey friends, TGIF! I’m not feeling the greatest today so I’ve had some time to catch on some blog reading. I still managed to get some decluttering done this week though. Just a small amount but like I shared on Instagram, small purge piles add up over time. It took me 10 minutes to go […]]]>

Friday Favorites: Free Spring Printables, Secrets of Professional Organizers + more! at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Hey friends, TGIF! I’m not feeling the greatest today so I’ve had some time to catch on some blog reading. I still managed to get some decluttering done this week though. Just a small amount but like I shared on Instagram, small purge piles add up over time. It took me 10 minutes to go through my bookshelf and purge this pile of books. Books are hard to part with but once you get on a roll it does get easier. Deep breath!

Book purge pile!

So spring is still on my mind because I literally can not wait for it to get here. It won’t stop snowing where I live in northern Alberta, Canada. I’m so over it. But then Lowes Canada sent me their new Spring/Summer catalogue and that definitely helped cheer me up. We have a lot of guests coming from out of town in June for my middle son’s graduation this year so I am dreaming about how I am going to freshen up the deck and yard to make them party ready and fun. How adorable is this rain boot planter? So cute and yellow, my favorite color right now as I shared last week if you remember.

Also they sent me super cute cookies that look like coasters!! My son is very anxious to get his hands on one!!

My Favorite Links & Printables This Week:

free spring desktop background

Changing out my desktop background is another way to lift my ‘spring please come soon’ spirits. Here’s a pretty tulip one I’m loving right now from Houseful of Handmade.

Keeping with the spring theme, check out this lovely free spring floral printable from 36th Avenue.

And if that makes you as happy as it makes me, then you might also like this timely reminder below too.

Two beautiful free spring printables from The Everyday Home

two free spring printables

Under Kitchen Sink Organization ~ @ Creative Cain Cabin

5 Things To Do Immediately To Boost Your Teen’s Organizational Skills ~ @ Get Organized Wizard

This is a great list of 14 Simple Secrets of Professional Organizers ~ @ mental_floss

Have a wonderfully relaxing weekend but don’t forget to take even a small amount of time to do some organizing!

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Six Helpful Tips for Managing Toy Clutter http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/helpful-tips-managing-toy-clutter.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/helpful-tips-managing-toy-clutter.html#comments Thu, 09 Mar 2017 03:31:29 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39445
The following is a guest post about managing toy clutter from regular contributor, Yuni at Love Your Abode. One of the most common complaints I hear from my mom friends is the stress of keeping toys cleaned and organized. I can definitely relate because almost every day, I’ll tell or more like nag at my […]]]>

The following is a guest post about managing toy clutter from regular contributor, Yuni at Love Your Abode.

Helpful tips for managing toy clutter at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

One of the most common complaints I hear from my mom friends is the stress of keeping toys cleaned and organized. I can definitely relate because almost every day, I’ll tell or more like nag at my kids to pick up their toys and put them away. We lived in a smaller town home without a garage for 10 years with 2 kids before moving to our current home. Back then, I really had to be creative about organizing our stuff since storage space was so scarce. Since we’ve moved to our larger home, I noticed stuff just gradually accumulates, especially since we now have a separate play area. I’m by no means a minimalist but my husband and I made a decision to pare down stuff in the home, especially when it came to all of the toys. Making this choice has been so beneficial to our family!

Six Tips for Managing Toy Clutter

Today, I’m sharing some helpful tips when decluttering toys and keeping them under control in our home. I know that every family is different when it comes to decluttering and purging items so I hope these tips will help start that process for you.

TIP 1: Get rid of all odd pieces, puzzles with missing pieces and old or broken items.

Do you keep the same missing or odd pieces of toys or puzzles hoping to find the rest of their “family?” I don’t know how many times I’ve done this. This last time, I said “no more!” I trashed all of the odd pieces of toys, missing checkers pieces and all of that Monopoly money. It’s amazing how completing this one step cleared so much clutter! Also, please don’t donate these random items, friends. Just throw or recycle them. You will be so glad you did!

TIP 2: If your child hasn’t played with it in over a month, it’s time to let it go. 

Have you noticed once you start decluttering toys, all of a sudden some of them become their most favorite possession? This is a wonderful time to teach your kids a valuable lesson on generosity. If the toys are in great condition and donation worthy, my husband and I tell the children that it’s time for these same toys to bless another family as much as it has blessed ours. It’s difficult at first but I’ve noticed that it gets easier over time. Even better, let your children physically pass them on to others.

TIP 3: Use baskets and label them.

Helpful tips for managing toy clutter at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

We recently got rid of a good amount of toys so now there’s only about 5-6 bins left. The bins or baskets don’t have to be expensive. I created simple labels to hang off the containers so the kids know where to put away their things. It’s easy to yell at the kids to organize and clean their stuff but, as parents, we need to teach them these skills. Be patient and show them how to organize so they know and understand where to put things away.

*Note from Laura –> I’ve got some free printable toy labels HERE.

TIP 4: Arrange a toy swap with friends or rotate toys in your own home. 

Helpful tips for managing toy clutter at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

In my closet, I keep a few bins of toys like this train track set and rotate them every few months. This is especially great for young children because they forget about what they have and it’s like new toys again. This works wonders on those rainy days when you’re stuck inside with your little ones.

Another idea is to create a toy box swap with a friend that has similar aged children. You can coordinate swapping a box of clean, gently used toys once a month and rotate them.

TIP 5: Keep a container in the main living area to keep toys out of sight. 

Helpful tips for managing toy clutter at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

In our home, the kids know that by the end of the day, toys need to be placed back in the toy room. This doesn’t mean that they can’t ever do puzzles or play with their toys in our living room because we’re all about game nights and doing puzzles together. However, there’s nothing worse than stepping on Lego in the kitchen. Plus, a lot of homework and crafts happen in our kitchen so the less distraction, the better.

Keeping a basket or bin near our stairs has helped keep those main living areas free of toys as well as keep our feet safe from those dangerous Lego pieces. Before bed, we make sure the space is clean by easily throwing all the things that don’t belong into the basket. I don’t mind seeing the play room messy since it’s not visible from the main living areas and the kids are in charge of cleaning that room once a week. This teaches them responsibility and the importance of each family member doing their part by taking care of their things.

Tip 6: Be intentional about what toys you purchase.

I’ve had to remind myself that just because it’s a great deal doesn’t mean that my kids need it. Maybe instead of material gifts, you can save up to enjoy that special family vacation.

I hope you found these 6 tips helpful when it comes to managing and organizing toy clutter in your home. After purging our home of a bunch of toys, it has been a huge stress relief! I’m all about removing stress in our home and I realized accumulating things was doing the opposite. It’s so much work managing our stuff and it can really become a full time job. Instead, removing some of these material things has helped my kids utilize more of their imagination, understand the value of what they do own and to see the importance of having a generous spirit.

Do you have other methods to managing toy clutter in your home? I’d love to hear them!

Yuni is married to her high school sweetheart and is a stay at home mom to three precious miracles. She is passionate about Jesus and loves creating a home with purpose. You can find her at Love Your Abode where she shares her love for DIY, organizing, cooking, and interior design. She loves gathering, feeding, and celebrating people. 

Related posts:

Organizing Concepts for Kids – Rotating Toys

Concepts for Kids - rotating small toys

How to Organize & Rotate Toys

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Kitchen Tips: Smoothie Cabinet Organization http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/smoothie-cabinet-organization.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/smoothie-cabinet-organization.html#respond Tue, 07 Mar 2017 17:14:56 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39428
The following is a guest post about how an organized smoothie cabinet from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home. I’ve been doing some Spring cleaning that has evolved into Spring purging around my house. Recently, I tackled an upper cabinet in our kitchen that has been on my de-clutter list for awhile now – […]]]>

The following is a guest post about how an organized smoothie cabinet from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.

I’ve been doing some Spring cleaning that has evolved into Spring purging around my house. Recently, I tackled an upper cabinet in our kitchen that has been on my de-clutter list for awhile now – our smoothie cabinet.

Quick Kitchen Organizing Tip: Smoothie Cabinet Organization at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

This space is a narrow cabinet that holds an assortment of smoothie add-ins and healthy supplements, as well as a few other related kitchen gadgets. All of it is located above the countertop space where our blender rests. I did my best to give you some good before and after shots to see the benefit of a good purge and tidy session that took me less than 20 minutes. Lets jump right in to how things really looked for longer than I care to admit.

Smoothie Organization Before

Smoothie Organization Before

As you can see above, if left unchecked any space can get out-of-control. Instead of rearranging the mess, I kept adding to it and shoving more inside. So much so, that I started using the countertop space next to the blender to keep my vitamins and a handwritten favorite smoothie recipe. In addition, I had printed recipes hanging on the outside left of the cabinet AND written recipes on sticky notes inside the door. Good grief! No wonder I had my eye on getting this small space spruced up for Spring!

Below are the containers I had on hand for this project. Two small sized baskets similar to THESE purchased years ago from The Container Store and a 9″ non-skid lazy susan like THIS (affiliate link). After I removed the cabinet contents and de-cluttered, these three items were all I needed to organize what was leftover. Oh, and I gave everything a good cleaning, including the cabinet shelves. That’s how I classified this as a Spring cleaning chore. ;)

kitchen declutter

I hesitate to admit, but I honestly found everything I needed to organize this space within my home. I know we don’t all have the same container stash to resource and I hope that doesn’t frustrate you. I linked (in the paragraph above) the products I used in this post if you’re curious, with the encouragement that you always try to shop your home first when addressing your own spaces.

So here is the final organized result…

Smoothie cabinet organization - after

You can see, I had so much extra space that the entire top shelf contains nothing! All my supplements and smoothie add-ins fit on the bottom two shelves. My Pampered Chef food chopper and my Cuisinart immersion blender (affiliate link) went above the smoothie contents. I kept a variety of smoothie-related sticky notes on the inside door. It’s an easily located resource for early morning smoothie assembly.

Below is a close-up of the bottom two shelves; my main smoothie stash aside from fridge and freezer foods. Everything that once toppled over now fits on one lazy susan with room to spare on the right side for the blender tamper. The surplus ingredients or refill packages go in the baskets above. Before, I always disliked having the tamper piece on the countertop next to the blender. I don’t use if frequently enough to warrant it as necessary countertop clutter, so you can imagine the little happy dance I did when it fit perfectly inside the cabinet. :)

Smoothie Cabinet Organization - after

kitchen organization

kitchen organization - smoothie cabinet

One quick tip I want to share if you use smoothie add-ins other than fruits and veggies. I use different things like Chia seeds or Maca powder that require measuring (although not right now because of my healthy new weight loss). Most powders and seeds like this are measured in tablespoons. I recommend grabbing extra measuring spoon sets and adding a tablespoon piece to each of your bags or containers. It saves time and makes measuring simple without the hassle of hunting down what you need in other parts of the kitchen. You can grab extra measuring spoons at the grocery store or dollar store inexpensively. That way, you always have the tools you need on hand during assembly. I personally use my baby’s old formula scoops. They measure a tablespoon exactly and are free. :)

smoothie cabinet organization

I’ll leave you with final before and after comparisons of both inside and outside my smoothie cabinet project. The outside shot isn’t as impressive, but you can see that a little purging on the inside allowed me to clear the countertop space of everything but the blender itself. I’m happy and it didn’t take anything but a few minutes during the baby’s nap time. :)

smoothie cabinet organizatio - before and after

smoothie cabinet organizatio - before and after

In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughters. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours! Learn more about me HERE or visit me at UsefulBeautifulHome.com.

  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced.  A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you.  As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*

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Menu Plan Monday ~ March 6/17 Weekly Dinner Inspiration http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-617.html http://orgjunkie.com/2017/03/menu-plan-monday-march-617.html#respond Mon, 06 Mar 2017 14:00:36 +0000 http://orgjunkie.com/?p=39389
Hi friends! Welcome to a brand new week and the chance to make it an organized one with a weekly menu plan! Recipe Highlight: Last week I had a Ladies Dinner Club night that I decided to make this Paleo Thai Shrimp Salad for. It has a few more ingredients than I usually like in […]]]>

Menu Plan Monday - weekly dinner inspiration for the week of March 6/17 at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Hi friends! Welcome to a brand new week and the chance to make it an organized one with a weekly menu plan!

Recipe Highlight:

Last week I had a Ladies Dinner Club night that I decided to make this Paleo Thai Shrimp Salad for. It has a few more ingredients than I usually like in a recipe but it was so worth it. Delicious! The almond butter dressing is what makes it!! This is definitely a great potluck dish and it makes a big batch.

Did any of you take my advice last week of printing off your recipes to help your kids in the kitchen? I’d love to get your feedback on how it worked out for you.

Here’s what my family will be eating this week.

My Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday: Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings with Green Smoothies

Tuesday: Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Wednesday: Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Pizza Party Friday Night with 5 minute homemade pizza dough and for me Cauliflower Bacon Biscuits

Saturday: Sheet Pan Steak and Fries served with carrot sticks

Sunday: YOYO (you’re on your own!)

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

WHAT ARE YOU EATING THIS WEEK? SHARE RECIPES AND MENUS BELOW!

Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join our growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

My favorite menu planning resource:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


  • *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you. As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*
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