Frankenstein Brain Halloween Treat

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frankenstein popcorn brain

Hello Penny Pinchin’ Mom readers, Kristin from Orville Redenbacher’s here. I am excited to be writing for Tracie today! Let me introduce myself. I live in Chicago with my Bichon Frise, Joey. What I love most about the city is that there’s always something to do: grab drinks with friends, stroll along the Riverwalk, check out a new exhibit at the Field Museum, ride a Divvy bike on Lake Shore Drive and so much more. When I am not exploring new pockets of the Windy City, I am cooking one of my favorite dishes or a new recipe from Pinterest.

Come October, I go into a frenzy preparing for the fall weather and my favorite holiday of the year—Halloween! I’m actually not a fan of scary movies or haunted houses, but I love throwing a costume party with spooktacular snacks and drinks. Popcorn is a great ingredient to work with because you can create unique shapes—like a brain! This recipe uses colored marshmallow-coated popcorn formed into a brain shape to make a popcorn ball. Spook your guests by serving a platter of Frankenstein brain!

Frankenstein Popcorn “Brain”


  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 bag Orville Redenbacher’s® Natural Microwave Popcorn
  • 4-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 drops green food coloring
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring
  • Cherry-flavored twist licorice


Spray a large bowl, your rubber spatula and a sheet of waxed paper with cooking spray; set aside. Prepare microwave popcorn according to package directions. Remove all unpopped kernels and place popped corn in the large bowl.


Microwave marshmallows and butter in large micro-wave safe bowl or until marshmallows melt and mixture blends when stirred.  Add food coloring, stir until well-blended.

Mini Marshmallows
Pour marshmallow mixture over popped popcorn. Gently toss with a rubber spatula to coat well. Cool until mixture is easy to handle. Divide popcorn mixture to shape into 2 brain lobes. Place on waxed paper and press lobes together. Cool until set. Transfer to serving platter; decorate with cherry-flavored licorice. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Bright Red Licorice Candy

It’s that easy! I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Check out Orville Redenbacher’s website for easy snack recipes!

How to Organize Kid’s Artwork, Report Cards and Other Mementos: 21 Days to a More Organized Home

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The artwork, yearbooks, photos, is all a LOT of paper coming into your home! Follow this system to learn how to organize school papers for your kids!

With three kids, you can probably imagine how much school artwork, yearbooks and other mementos we collect over the course of a year.  It really can get out of control rather quickly.

While I don’t save every little thing they have ever made or every little note ever written, I do save those that either they love or I want to keep. You might find that you just toss them into a box because you aren’t really sure what to do with them.  As a parent, you want to keep many items for your kids to have when they grow up.  I still have items from kindergarten that I share with my kids.  They find it hilarious to see that mom couldn’t write very well either!

If you take the time to organize this now, it will make it much easier to find what you need in the future. Not only that, but you won’t end up looking at a paper your child wrote and end up wondering — how old was he when he wrote that?  You might see that handprint and think, was she 5 or 6 when she made that in school?  I’ve got a simply way for you to keep those cherished items AND help organize them.  The best part of all is that you only have to do your filing ONE time a year!

First off, purchase storage tubs.  I have one for each of my kids.  I would make sure that you find the style which will allow files to hang inside of it.  This is the exact one I use:


I found mine at Office Max and they were around $15 each.  I loved the winged lid because it was easy to open and had the ability for me to put hanging folder inside of it.  You can find them at many stores, however, make sure that you find some which will allow you to hang folders inside of it.

Next, you will need hanging folders.  I use box bottom folders, so that they could expand wide enough to hold all of the items I needed to store.  These were a little more expensive, but knowing I could use one for each year and they would hold all of my items, it was worth it to me.  Here is what a bottom box folder looks like:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 9.01.54 AM


I took the tabs and wrote each school year on them – starting with Preschool.  I didn’t go higher than 6th grade, as I was not sure if years after that time would fit into this same box or not.  I can add additional years later on.

As you can see in the photo below, I have mine created from Preschool up through 6th grade for my kids.  I then filed the paperwork for each year into each folder.  I didn’t have to cut anything. I didn’t have to put it into a scrapbook. I literally just placed each item into the appropriate year for each child.


So, what should you save?  Here are some the things I have filed in each of my children’s folders:

  • Report cards (I save ONLY the final one of the year and file it away and don’t keep the one for each quarter)
  • School photos (includes class picture and those given to them by friends)
  • Funny stories
  • Up to 3 pieces of artwork per year (I take photos of the others I want to keep and just retain digital files)
  • Certificates
  • Desk Tags
  • Yearbook
  • Other items which show my children’s personality at that age

As I mentioned, I only file once per year.  I have a large box which I set on top of these in my basement.  All year long, I just toss in the items I may want to save into the box for all of my kids.  Once the final report card of the year is issued, I print it out (they email them to us) and that is my cue to do my filing.  I go through the box of papers and open each child’s storage box.  I file the items I need to save and toss those things we don’t need to keep.  It takes me no more than 30 minutes to do this for all 3 of my kids!

I place a paper inside the box with each child’s name and school years listed.   They go into my basement and I have no worries of water damage (since the tubs are plastic) and I can get to them quickly should the need arise!



There you have it!  A quick and easy way to get those papers filed away and off of your kitchen counter, desk or wherever they happened to lie.

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How to Organize Closets: 21 Days to a More Organized Home

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It is Day 11 in our 21 Days to a More Organized Home!  First read How to Organize Your Closet and then get caught up with the rest of our posts!

Whether you have a traditional or walk-in closets, it can quickly become filled with items you do not use and often times, clothes you no longer wear.  Keeping it organized is a way to always know what you need and to find that favorite shirt and getting ready in the mornings so much simpler!  It also means you won’t forget about those shoes you bought that are hiding in the corner, still in the box!

De-cluttering your closet can be very overwhelming. No need to worry as I am sharing my very own tried and true tips and techniques for organizing our closets.

I tackled my closet this weekend.  It took me around 45 minutes to get it done – so not too terribly long.  It looks so much better and now, I can find the clothes I want (and I actually got rid of a large trash bag of shoes, bags and clothes)!!


Make sure you print out your checklist below.  You will also find the step by step instructions bel0w, along with more detail to help explain the tips a bit more.  The manner in which I organize my closets also depends upon whether it is a traditional or walk-in.  I’ve broken the tips down in greater detail for you, so you can use the one that works best for you.

Organizing Checklist - Closets

Click image to download checklist

1. Get boxes and/or bags for donations and trash.  Keep these handy and as you go through items, you can toss them accordingly.

2. Empty all items onto a staging area. This is often the bed, but could be a chair or even a corner of the room. By taking all items out of our closet, you have a blank slate and are ready to get started.

NOTE:  When I clean our walk-in closet, I will not always take everything out.  Instead, I start in the left corner and start at the top and work around and clean off the shelves. I then go back to the left corner and work around and clean out the racks.  I finish by doing the same on the floor.  I still follow the steps below, but rather than having it all on my bed, I may keep the sorting tricks in mind as I go through each space.

3. Clean the closet.  Wipe down any shelves.  Clean the corners to remove any cobwebs. Finish up by sweeping or vacuuming the space.

4. Sort through the items you took out of your closet.  As you have things to donate, fold and place them into the box or bags.  If they are trash, toss them.  Find one area where you will place all of the items you wish to keep.  Here is a guide to follow when it comes to sorting.

– items you still wear
– items that are not worn out
– items you still like (but may wear off season)
– items that need repair and you will actually fix
– any items you do not like or wear
– do not keep anything out of guilt
– duplicates of things you do not need (baskets, 4 pair of brown shoes, etc)
– anything that has holes and/or is beyond repair (or that you do not want to repair)

5.  Remove items that do not belong in the closet.  If you find old magazines, photos, empty boxes, remove them from the space completely by returning them to their home.  Remember that it is best to put them away immediately and not allow clutter to gather in another space.

6. Return items back to the closet.  Start first with the clothes.  Place those you want to wear for the current season into the location where you will see them first (keep them out of the back of the closet).  Put the non-seasonal items towards the back.

If you have space, try to fold jeans, sweaters and sweatshirts as they do better this way than when being hung on hangers.  If you need to hang pants, try to use pant hangers so that they hang full length, which avoids those horrible creases.

HINT:  Turn the hangers backwards. As you launder and hang items back up, put the hanger back the right way.  Then, at the end of the season you can quickly see which items you never wore, which means it is time to donate them!

If possible, get a rack to double the space for your shoes.  You can find hanging racks for the back of doors or even shelves for the floor. Do what you can to maximize your space.  Make sure the shoes you wear most frequently are within easy reach. One easy organizing tip is to place shoes like this — right heel facing out left to facing out. That takes up a bit less space, but you can still find them easily.

Place items back onto the shelves.  Try to fold jeans and sweaters.  This will prevent hanger marks and those dreaded “sweater points” when you go to wear something.

7. Make a list of all of the items you now need. As you get rid of items, make a list of what you need to replace so that you can watch for a sale!

Now your closet is organized and which may just save you a bit of time when getting dressed in the morning!

How to Organize Dresser Drawers: 21 Days to a More Organized Home

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Follow the next post in our awesome series - 21 Days to a More Oragnized Home. This lesson will teach you how to organize dresser drawers!!


We are moving through the house to help you organize every single space!  Up next we are heading into the bedroom and will first tackle the dresser drawers.

Drawers are intend to hold the clothes you need so you can find them when you get dressed each morning.  However, over time, they become filled with items you no longer wear, things that you should toss and just honestly, end up being a mess.  It makes it difficult to find what you need (and to determine what clothes you need to buy).

I tackle this job at least two – three times a year.  I always make sure I do this in my kids’ rooms right before school starts and again when I am needing to shop for clothes for the next season.  Doing so helps me keep track of what they’ve outgrown and the items they really need (so I don’t end up spending money on things that weren’t really necessary).


Make sure you print out our checklist below before you get started.  Just click the image to get the printable version.  You will also find these steps listed below and explained in greater detail.  Let’s get started!

dresser checklist

Click image to download checklist


1.  Get your Trash and Donate boxes.  Label the box or the bag and then place items into them as you clean things out.

donate and trash bag

2.  Take everything out of all of the drawers.  It is always easiest to tackle this job when you have a clean space.  You can place items from each drawer onto separate piles on the floor and the bed, so you can tackle each one individually.

3. Clean out the drawer.  You might be able to just wipe out the dust and dirt, but you my find you need to scrub it clean.  If you like using liner paper, this is the time to replace what you had used previously.

4. Start with the first pile of items.  Go through everything.

– items you still wear
– items that are not worn out
– items you still like (but may wear off season)
– items that need repair and you will actually fix
– any items you do not like or wear
– do not keep anything out of guilt
– anything that has holes and/or is beyond repair (or that you do not want to repair)


5.  Fold each item and place back into the drawer neatly.  While you may think that putting items into new drawers may seem like a good idea, it may not.  If you don’t feel you can remember the new location, it is best to keep things where they were at previously.

5.  Remove items that do not belong in your drawers.  If you find things that should not be stored in your dresser drawers, return them to the place they should live.  Do not toss into another room, but rather actually put them away (or you will just be creating more clutter).

6.  Use organizers.  You may want to use a basket for belts.  Perhaps you could hang your scarves on the wall instead of putting them back into your drawer.

7.  Make a list of the items you need. If you find that you have to throw out 4 pair of socks due to holes,  you may need to replace them.  If your child has outgrown all jeans, then you need to buy new ones that fit.  Making a list while you organize will help you know what to buy the next time you see a sale or visit the store.

This is the form I use for my kids when cleaning out drawers, but you can use the same one or something similar.

school list


That’s it!  Now you can move on and do these same steps for each dresser in your home!!

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DIY Fall Leaf Luminary!

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This adorable DIY Fal Leaf Luminary is SO easy to make and the perfect craft to make yourself or to do with your kids - no matter what their age!

I had such a good time making this adorable DIY Fall Leaf Luminary! It’s so easy to make and is a pretty quick project too! Customize it to your decor, and even change up the symbol on the front if you don’t like the leaf!


So, here are all the items you will need for this craft:

  • Mason Jar (or any clean jar – size doesn’t matter)
  • Acrylic Paint in the color of your choice (Walmart sells them for $0.50)
  • Flameless Candles
  • Lentils, Split Peas, Black Beans, Brown Rice or whatever other filler you have on hand or want to use.
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Vinyl leaf sticker. (I had a friend who has a die-cutter and she made me these, so if you don’t have one yourself, you probably know someone who does.)


Once you’ve got all your supplies together, you can begin. I did all my painting on a large piece of cardboard because my five year-old was helping, but you could also do it on a paper plate to save space.

Place the vinyl sticker on your jar. I put mine at a slight angle, because that way I didn’t have to worry about it being perfectly lined up.  Make sure the bottom of your leaf stops about an inch and a half to two inches above the bottom of the jar.

Press down all the edges smoothly on your leaf. Flip your jar upside down, and give yourself about a tablespoon of paint (this is more than enough.)


Now you can begin painting. Using your foam paint brush and smoothly cover the entire jar with paint (don’t forget the rim).

It takes about 10 minutes for a thin coat to dry. If you like the brush strokes look (like I do) then one coat is plenty, however make sure all your brushstrokes are going the same direction! If you want a more solid look, go ahead and put on a second coat of paint after the first coat dries completely.

When it’s dry, you can remove the leaf sticker. Use your fingernail, and in my experience, start at the stem of the leaf. Otherwise you may mar the points of the leaf.  Make sure you do this VERY slowly!!!

Once the sticker is removed flip your jar over, and add one cup of the filler you chose (lentils, beans, rice etc…). Then nestle a flameless candle into the filler in the center of the opening.

Finally,use your raffia (or ribbon) and tie a bow around the rim of the jar and viola! Done!

Share your pictures with us after you’re done! We’d love to see your creations!


How To Organize Toys: 21 Days to a More Organized Home

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Do you hate to organize toys?! Check out these tips, including checklist and even questions flow chart, to hep you organize toys!!

Organize Toys

Do you ever feel like toys somehow multiply at night while you are sleeping?  It seems I go to bed and wake up and there are more of them than the day before!  How does that happen!?  When it comes to kids, this is probably the one area that is the most difficult to keep clean and organized.  Having three kids of my own, I know this is true!

Believe it or not, it is possible to keep organize toys and keep them cleaned up and under control!!I actually have one secret tip to keeping on top of this task:

Clean and organize toys once every 3 – 4 months to keep them under control.

The manner in which you clean and organize is the same.  However, if you do it a few times a year, it is a little simpler as they haven’t had as long of a time to get messy, lost and in disarray.   I highly recommend you do this a few weeks before any event where more toys may enter you home such as birthdays and holidays.

That is why organizing toys in October of each year makes perfect sense!  You can clean them up before you get ready to shop for Christmas or Hannakah and know what your kids really need (or what your house has room for them to get).

When I get ready to clean my kid’s toy areas, I make sure I walk in with all of my supplies in hand:

  • Trash bag(s)
  • Box(es)
  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Cleaning supplies (rags and spray)
  • Vacuum

If you are a checklist type of person, then you will want to use our form as well. It is free to download, just print click on the image to download and print out your copy!

Do you hate to organize toys?! Check out these tips, including checklist and even questions flow chart, to hep you organize toys!!

The first thing I do before I start to organize toys is to clean up the room and put it all away.  Now, that may sound strange, but this gives you a clean work area on the floor, so that you can start working.

Now that the room is generally clean, get your supplies ready.  If you use boxes, label one TRASH and one DONATE and set them aside.  If you do not have boxes, you can use trash bags and label them the same way.

Do you hate to organize toys?! Check out these tips, including checklist and even questions flow chart, to hep you organize toys!!

Next, pick one corner of the room.  This is where you will start.  As you tackle each section, you will work your way clockwise around the room, until you are back at the beginning where you started.

Do you hate to organize toys?! Check out these tips, including checklist and even questions flow chart, to hep you organize toys!!

First, remove everything from that small area in the corner.  Dust and vacuum the clean space.  Now, as you get ready to set things back in an orderly manner, look at each item.  Determine whether it should be KEEP, DONATE or TRASH.  Here is an easy guide to help you know what do do with the item.  I have created simple flow charts for you to use when looking at each item to know if what you should do with it.

Do you hate to organize toys?! Check out these tips, including checklist and even questions flow chart, to hep you organize toys!!


Click here to download Toy Question Flow Chart

As you look at each toy, ask these questions:

  • Is the toy age appropriate?  Have they gotten to old or outgrown the toy?  If so, consider donating it or even boxing up to keep for younger children.
  • Is it broken or missing pieces?  If there is a piece missing, you may set it aside until the room is cleaned up in case it is located.  If you are unable to find missing parts or it is broken, throw it away.  If you find it simply need batteries or small repairs, go ahead and do that and then keep the toy.
  • Is it important to your child? If it is a toy that is special to your child, make sure you keep it.  If you are not sure, just set it into a box or bag and set aside for 6 months.  If they do not ask for it in that time, then it may not be as important to them as originally thought, and you can then donate it.
  • Do they play with it? If you are not sure if they will really miss the toys, box them up and consider storing them for up to 6 months. If they do not ask for it during that time, then you can donate it.  If you know for sure they no longer play with something, go ahead and donate it.
  • Is it a duplicate?  Sometimes kids have more than one of the same toy.  Consider keeping only the item that is in better shape and either donate or throw away the other one.

As you look at the item, you can go through the flow chart to decide if you keep, toss or donate the item.  Place the trash or donate items into the bag or box.  Place all other items in a large pile.  You will put these away once you are done going through everything.

Work around the room and go through all items on shelves, in bins, bags, boxes, etc.  It will take a while and you will end up with a VERY large pile of toys you are keeping.  You may also end up filling multiple bags and/or boxes with items that are trash or for donate.

If you are in doubt, some of the items we trash include:

  • Toys from meals or doctor’s offices
  • Broken pieces
  • Stickers (that are not sticky)
  • Pieces of toys we know we do not have or can not be repaired

It may also be nerve wracking to get rid of a toy.  It seems when you do, that is when your child suddenly MUST have it.  If you have a place in your home where you can store a couple of boxes or bags, I would do so for a period of 3 – 5 months.  Then, if after that timeframe your child has not asked for the toy, he or she has probably forgotten about it and it is time for you to go ahead and give it away.

Now that you have all of the trash and items to donate out of the room, it is time to put everything away. As you do so, you might consider how your kids play.  Put the “play house” items together.  That would include a kitchen set, dolls, etc.  Also place the car items together such as race tracks, cars, etc.   By keeping them organized in the room, it can cause less of a mess when your child decides to play.

Do you hate to organize toys?! Check out these tips, including checklist and even questions flow chart, to hep you organize toys!!

As you find the small items such as the little cars, army men, LEGOs, etc, there are some options out there.  You can purchase organizing stations, such as this one:

Organize Toys Storage System

(Click Image to Learn Where to Buy)



You can also use lidded containers, such as these, and place them onto shelves:

Organize Toys in Lidded Bins

(Click Image to Learn Where to Buy)

We actually use open bins to keep our kids toys stored, and it works great as it is easy for them to pick up at night before they go to bed:

Organize Toys in Storage Bins

(Click Image to Learn Where to Buy)

Other ideas for storing toys include:

  • Shoeboxes
  • Oatmeal containers
  • Coffee containers
  • Metal Cans
  • Metal Tins
  • Plastic Bins
  • Open shelving
  • Baby Wipe containers
  • ….. and more!

Just look around your house to see what you might be able to recycle to use to store your own kids toys.  When you put them into storage containers, try to group like items together.  Farm animals and trucks in one.  Card games could be in another.  Place coloring books and crayons in yet another bin.  This way, it is only ONE bin, container or tub that is pulled out when it is play time, and can make it much simpler to clean up and put away.

Once everything is put away, give your kids a tour of their toys.  Show them where they can find what it is they want.  They may end up playing with those items that they have not touched in a year.

This is also a great way to help them learn how to put things back when they are done.  They are never too young to learn how to clean up after themselves.  When it is organized, it can make it easier for both you and your kid(s) to keep it all cleaned and organized!

What additional tips do you have to add to our list?  
Please share them below or on our social media page – we will be adding the to this post!

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5 Simple Ways to Show Love and Appreciation Without Saying It

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Sometimes the way you show your love for someone matters more.  Check out our simple ways to shop love and appreciation without saying it.


Sometimes when disaster strikes in families, such as, death, sickness or other unforeseen things we sit back and think… Could I have done something different, what if I did… and so on. Sometimes saying, “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” seem robotic (if you will) and not really heart felt. So that led me to ask what are some ways we can show appreciation and love without saying it.

We posted this question on our weekly Penny For Your Thoughts post on our Facebook page. Here are a couple of the tips which were shared by our readers.

“Cooking. When everyone is full, cozy, and happy, that’s love shining through the recipes.” – Matthew G.

“One of my favorite things to do is to make something. For the hubby its Pumpkin pie. He knows its Food Translation for “I love you”….when I hand him a slice he actually says, ” Mmmm….I love you too” lol. For parents I love to make ornaments. Especially Christmas ones, my parents love them!” – Angel H.

“I have a college age boy who seldom shops for the necessities..So randomly I send him a care box with socks, cold medicine, cough drops ect.. and of course his favorite cookies! I always get a “how did you know I needed socks?” and a thank you for the cookies!” – Deb B.

“A hug, card, little gift or home-cooked meal or dessert.” Mimi J.

“Agreed: cooking someone’s favorite dish. Also a random ‘thinking of you’ greeting card mailed.” – Melissa B.

I think our readers had some great ideas and I agree that sometimes cooking a meal for a family member, dropping off a card or even just doing something sweet for someone will brighten up their day and let them know you care.

Make sure you watch Facebook each Monday for our newest question and share your ideas.  You may find your name and tip featured each week on Penny Pinchin’ Mom!


How to Organize The Laundry Room and Linen Closet: 21 Days to a More Organized Home

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Find out the most helpful tips when it comes to learning How to Organize the Laundry Room and Linen Closet!  Then check out our other TWENTY ONE tips to organize your entire home!


Whether you have a full size closet for your linens or if they are on a shelf in your laundry space or even a cabinet in your bathroom, this is prime real estate as you have many items you have to keep here.

From sheets and towels to toilet tissue, cleaning supplies and more, these spaces are home to many items you need — some of them every single day.  The idea is to keep this space clean and organized so that you can find what you need when you need it.  That can be a virtually impossible task if the space is not kept tidy and organized.

Since some people have a linen closet and laundry room (space) combined and other have separate spaces, I wanted to make sure our checklist would work for all of you.  Print out the checklist by clicking the image below. You will also find all steps outlined at the bottom of this post, in detail, to help you understand more about what each step entails.

Organizing Checklist - Laundry Room - Linen Closet

Click image to download the checklist

1. Remove all items that do not belong in the space.  You may see shoes, blankets or even toys lying in the laundry room.  Your linen closet may be housing electrical cords or items that should be in another location in your home.  Take a moment to move these to their proper place (make sure you put them away so you don’t create more clutter in a new space).

2. Remove all items from closets, shelves and/or cupboards.  While the space is empty wipe it down completely.

3. Go through all items removed before returning them back to their place. Here is a guide you may want to follow:

– Keep no more than 2 – 3 bath towels, 2 hand towels and 4 washcloths per person living in your home.
– Fold large towels in half and then half again and finally into thirds  to ensure they fit onto the shelf properly.
Untitled design (4)
– Check for holes, threads and discard.
– If new towels are needed, make a note so you can order at the next big sale.
– Keep no more than two sets of sheets per bed (if more than one is the same size, you can keep just 2 sets total).
–  Fold the flat and fitted sheets and one pillow case and place inside of one pillow case.  This keeps it all together.
–  Toss anything that you no longer use.
–  Discard anything that is leaking or torn packaging.
–  If the item is more than one year old, dispose of properly.
–  Make a list of anything you need to purchase.

4.  Put items back into the cabinet or closet neatly.  Place like items together and keep those you do not use as frequently higher up on the shelves.  You may also need to add bins or baskets to help hold smaller items, so that they do not roll around on the shelf and/or fall onto the floor

–  Sheets
–  Paper Towels
– Additional household supplies (cleaning, soaps, etc).
IDEAS FOR CENTER SHELVES (eye level for ease in accessing)
– Bath Towels
– Washcloths
– Hand Towels
– Basket with smaller items (brushes, sponges, etc).
– Toilet Paper
– Kleenex
– Trash Bags

4.  Wipe down appliances.  Use a hot soapy bowl of water and clean down the top and sides of your washer and dryer. If the soap dispenser is removable, take it out and rinse it well.  Use a vacuum to clean out the lint trap on the dryer. Clean the plastic sealing gasket on both (remove any build up of mildew and/or lint).

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How to Organize Kitchen Drawers: 21 Days to a More Organized Home

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It is possible to organize your kitchen drawers.  Just head over and get our best tips to organize this and every space in your home!!

The kitchen junk drawer.  I think every one of us would raise our hands if I asked if you had one of these.  From coupons to pens to menus and more, it seems to be the place where good items go to die.

Honestly, it seems that all of our kitchen drawers get messy before any other space in our home. Every couple of months, I take the time to go through them all, one by one, to get them cleaned and organized.


Make sure you print out your checklist by clicking on the image.  You can find more details instructions further down in this post, where explain the items in greater detail (as needed).

Organizing Checklist - Kitchen Drawers

Click image to download checklist

1. Remove everything from the drawer. Look through all items and decide what you will do with them:

– items you still use.
– items you may not use often, but do from time to time.
– coupons/menus
– tape, stapler, pens and pencils
– items that are broken
– dishcloths or towels with holes or worn out
– pens or markers that no longer work
– paperwork that is no longer needed
– items you no longer use or want
– do not feel guilty to keep items that were a gift

2. Return items that don’t belong back to their original home. If you find things that don’t belong, put them where they should be.

3. Wipe down the drawer. Clean out the crumbs and wipe down the outside, including the handle or knob.

4. Use drawer dividers or storage systems to organize items neatly.  We use plastic bins to keep items together in our “junk drawer.”  You might invest in dividers or other systems to keep things together.  You find some great ideas HERE.

Keep like items together.  Put those that you use most frequently towards the front of the drawer and those you may not use nearly as often towards the back.

catch up

Kitchen Hacks for the Holidays

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There are things you can do to make the holidays less stressful....check out this list of Holiday Kitchen Hacks!!!

The holidays are creeping up on us fast and that means we’re all soon to be in the kitchen preparing meals. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could spend less time preparing for the holiday and more time hanging out with family and friends? Well, I’ve been thinking about this and decided to ask our readers for their favorite kitchen hacks for the holidays!

We posted this question on our weekly Penny For Your Thoughts post on our Facebook page. Here are a couple of the tips which were shared by our readers.

“Make mashed potatoes day before then put in crock pot next day to keep warm.” – Lashawn D.

“Make cornbread dressing up to a month ahead of time. Mix it up but do not cook it. Freeze it. Thaw in refrigerator a few days ahead of the holiday. The flavors marry well and it turns out moist and so good.” – Lurline N.

“I cook and as I take out my food I put hot dish soap and a fabric softener sheet in the pan .When its time to do the dishes they wipe it clean.” – Sandra H.

“I prep everything the weekend before and freeze it, except any meat dishes. I buy those prepared, like smoked turkey or ham. I don’t eat meat. I’ve given up cooking it. I take the frozen food and I toss it all into slow cookers the morning of. Simple. Everything is there ready when folks filter in. I don’t have a set dinner time because lives are just so busy.” – Celina B.

“Clean as I go along.” – Tara H.

“I make bread pudding / french toast breakfast casserole the night before and put in the fridge for morning. Very easy to pop in the oven during present opening.” – Colleen H.

“Share the work! In our family, the host ( which rotates sometimes) takes care of the turkey and mashed potatoes and everyone else brings assigned side dishes. Keeps the cost down for each person AND the work!” – Courtney B.

“Plan ahead, take advantage of sales and coupons. I also prep a few days before, so that the day of goes quicker (and with considerably less dishes–no extra cutting boards, knives, pans, utensils).” – Amber M.

“Have lots of snacks available and in the living room. It keeps people from wandering into the kitchen getting in the way.” – Lissa F.

There are still quite a few ideas that we did not list… You can always scroll back to see Monday’s questions and answers! I love these ideas and think they’re great ideas to help cut down on time in the kitchen on the day of the holiday!!

Make sure you watch Facebook each Monday for our newest question and share your ideas.  You may find your name and tip featured each week on Penny Pinchin’ Mom!