Category Archives: Organizing

May Organizational Roundup: Spring Cleaning!



It’s spring cleaning time here at the Morgan Homestead. I am generally a very organized person; however, due to our move in October, and life with a three-year old and a baby, some areas of our home need a bit of attention.

I spent some time this past weekend cleaning out the attic (allergic haze and all) and I got a ton of stuff out of our house! Most went to Goodwill, some went into the yard sale section of our garage, some kids items went into a box for the consignment shop, and a few items I posted on a Facebook resale page. I still have a few hours worth of work up there, but I am happy with the progress I have made thus far.

Last week I completed the following organizational tasks:

  1. Cleaned out the desk. I shredded what was no longer needed, and recycled the rest. (I found $17.00)!!
  2. Rearranged the laundry room. I re-organized our current homeschool and craft materials and put all unwanted materials into the yard sale. (I found a $35 gift card)!!
  3. Cleaned out and re-organized the linen closet. I put all of our unwanted sheets, and towels into donation bags.

Below are some images of our efforts while in progress.







This week I have the following items on my list:

  1. Pull out winter / early spring clothes from Jack’s dresser and closet. Place in designated storage tote in attic, and bring out the remaining summer items.
  2. Clean out and either use up, or toss, food items in kitchen cupboards (stay tuned for my meal planning blog this week – it is all about using what’s inside your cupboards).



What areas of your home could use some attention? Do you have a specific spring cleaning routine?

Happy Spring Cleaning,

The Joyful Homemaker

Dress Your Kids For Less! Six Tips For Saving!

Back to school and the change from summer to fall and eventually to winter can only mean one thing; buying clothing for the kiddo(s)! This happens to be one of my favorite areas of homemaking. I enjoy organizing, grouping, and putting together outfits. I adore those knit sweaters, corduroy pants, and striped polo tops.

While this is the case for me, it may not be for many parents. I am sure many worry about the cost of clothing, shoes, mittens, hats, and coats. Well, here are my top tips on dressing the kiddo(s) on the CHEAP!


As always, this is the first and most critical step to ensuring you curb excessive and unneeded spending. Have a set budget for each child and a detailed list of what they need. If your child needs turtleneck tops and jeans, stick to finding those items. Don’t forget to add important items such as, Halloween costumes, holiday clothing, shoes, mittens, hats, hair accessories, and any special occasion items into your budget.


I will preface this by saying, not everyone has gobs of hand-me-downs flowing their way; however, one need not look very far for hand-me-down clothing. Post a swap notice at church or on a community Facebook site. You could simply ask to swap needed hand-me-downs for an afternoon of yard work or other helpful task. Many sites like Free Cycle and Craigslist are great for finding needed items, like hand-me-downs, for free. Many people want to get rid of unwanted items and will either toss them or donate them. By doing a little groundwork, hand-me-downs are easy to obtain. I am beyond blessed to have mountains of hand-me-downs passed along from my family and friends. I have also put want ads on Craigslist and have found great items through Free Cycle.


There are a few important differences between thrift shops and consignment shops. Thrift shops take donated items and sell them for profit or charity. These stores are often cluttered and will eat up the most time because clothing is often not organized by size. Consignment shops take hand picked items directly from their consignors and sell them at a 50/50 or 60/40 split with the consignor. Consignment items are often slightly higher in cost and may be of better quality in some cases. Both may have a ticket sale system and consignments shops usually have a deep clearance rack. Shopping at thrift and consignment shops will undoubtedly save you major cash as long as you stay focused.

dino sweater



Yard sales are a great way to save on clothing. You will need cash and time to hop from sale to sale and to check each item for quality and size.


Most stores begin their summer to winter seasonal clothing transition at the the end of July and keep pushing the discounts out the door until the end of August. Target and Kohls are my two favorite stores for clearance shopping at the end of the season. It is important to note, the items in the seasonal discount are more than likely for the current season (if you are shopping in July and August, clearance items will be summer items). At the end of last winter, I picked up a few 4T, long-sleeved tops at Target for $2.00 a piece. Jack was wearing 3T at the time and I knew I could stash them for this fall / winter. Sure enough, they fit perfect.

target tops


This one is questionable; however, for a seasoned sale shopper, outlet stores can offer rewarding finds. Outlets often have deep discounts especially during their transitional season. Outlet shops also offer coupons and bulk discounts throughout the year. Outlet shops are a great way to pick up coats and shoes for a huge discount. Just remember to be stay away from tempting stores!


The word “splurge” is enough to send a smart shopper into a panic. Splurge means to spend money on something far out of one’s budget. A savvy splurge is two things; a needed sale item and an item bought with remaining budgeted money. If you have purchased every item of clothing needed for your child and have extra cash left over, you can do two things; save it for the next needed clothing purchase or a savvy splurge. For example; last year after organizing all of our hand-me-downs and purchasing any additional needed items, I had some money left over. I decided to go for the savvy splurge and buy Jack’s Christmas sweater for the following year. I purchased a (brand new with tags) $58, Heartstrings Christmas sweater on EBAY for $14.00. A splurge would have been to purchase a sweater outright for $58.00. It would have broke the bank and been a foolish purchase. No kid needs a $58 sweater! My splurge was a savvy splurge for two reasons; the sweater was a needed item and in my budgeted clothing money. I do not need to buy a Christmas sweater this year and a have extra money in this year’s clothing allotment in the holiday category!

xmas sweater

Hopefully, my 6 savings tips for purchasing kid’s clothing is helpful. How do you save money on kid’s clothes? What are some of your favorite places for bargins? I would love to hear your ideas!

Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Getting Ready For Baby & Move


With only 43 days to go until due date, it is time to get serious with the baby preparations. Since we are experiencing some minor complications and Jack was two weeks early, I am preparing myself for an earlier arrival with Baby Morgan (just in case)!

At this point I am on modified bed rest, meaning no resting in bed but taking it very easy for the next two weeks. No lifting anything. No extensive stair work. No prenatal yoga. No laundry baskets up and down the stairs. This makes it more difficult to get everything done along with packing for our move of an unknown date and regular house tasks; however, I am making some progress.


Install car seat bases into the car and truck.

Pack hospital bag. This includes coconut water and some of these amazing things from Genevieve at Mama Natural –

Put together Jack’s Big Brother Surprise Bag.

Pre-register at the hospital.

Pick out baby announcement design.

Take Jack to have his 3-year photos done at JC Penny

Maternity photo shoot.

Babies R Us to buy an Ergo carrier, breastfeeding supplies, pack and play sheets, bassinet sheets, and stock up on infant diapers and wipes for the first month before we begin cloth diapering.

Pickup laundry detergent and dryer sheets. With Jack we used BabyGanics. We have used many of their products. All are excellent. For laundry (not diapers – we use Charlie’s Soap for washing diapers) I love:

Pick up a few more cloth diapers for our stash.

Pick out a baby memory book and a foot print / hand print keepsake.

Put together a few freezer meals.

Hose down, dry, and pack away all outdoor toys and beach toys.

Clean out front hall.

Go through Jack’s Fall/Winter 4T clothing bin and label, “Jack’s room.”

Drop off a truck load of stuff to Salvation Army.

Put together a “home bag(s)” for the move. Bag(s) will contain paper goods, dish soap, hand soap, shower curtain liner and curtain, toothbrushes and other needed products, all-purpose cleaner, garbage bags, camera, vitamins, and batteries. It is good to have a few supplies on hand when needed so we don’t have to dig through boxes to find what we need.

Purchase some more Ziploc Cube Bags.

Have list for move supplies ready – we will need drinks and food for those helping.


Potty training Jack.

Christmas shopping for Jack.

Packing the attic.


All infant clothes washed, dried, and placed in tote.

All cloth diapers washed, dried, and placed in tote.

Daytime arrangements made for Jack while John and I are at the hospital.

Yearly organization folder system put together.

All books and homeschool materials packed in totes.

All puzzles and games packed in totes.

Freezer cleaned and organized for the move and to make room for pre-cooked meals.

Nursing “wardrobe” purchased.

Franklin has a new tank – this was not on the original list; however, unforeseen events while on vacation caused us to have to replace it.

That about sums it up! We have a lot to do before due date. Let’s hope Baby Morgan ends up being an October baby as scheduled.


Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker