Oh my goodness guys, am I excited to share this post and awesome giveaway with you! I’m honored to be among a group of bloggers chosen to receive some products from the Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ product line AND to be able to give away a $100 gift card from Staples (where the line is exclusively available) to one of AOC’s readers!
I’ve been pretty much stalking Staples since this line came out and even did a quick update in our kitchen a few months ago using the cool chalkboard labels, so it was kind of like Christmas when I received a box full of the products you see above. And I think you’re going to be amazed and hopefully inspired by all the ways I found to use the various items throughout our house to make simple updates that solved a number of problems that had been bothering me:
- clutter and papers had overtaken my work desk
- a messy (and very public) kitchen family desk
- a way to organize canned food so that the oldest would be used first
All that, and I was able to get a jump-start on our holiday wrapping and shipping by setting up our traditional wrap station! In order for you to get the full impact of the difference, I’ve got to show you some before photos. Notice I say I HAVE to, not that I WANT to. Oh dear … just file this under “keeping it real:”
Sigh. My attempts to organize my work desk fell by the wayside during the 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations in October. But in all honesty, things often revert to a mess like this for me after a few months. So this time I wanted to implement these tips:
- Organize the papers scattered around the desk and create a place for these near the computer – obviously where I used them most.
- Make a place for the things used daily closest to the computer – weekly or monthly further away.
- Use less sticky notes and more to-do lists or files. I obviously got carried away with the sticky notes.
- Probably the most important: USE the new files and to-do lists and keep on top of filing and putting papers away. Which I think is a life-long learning lesson, don’t you?
Isn’t this great? It looks simpler to use and keep up – and definitely does it with style. And how awesome is it that I already had things that coordinated with the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line like the file folders and a thrift store oil painting?
A few simple items made a big difference here:
- A Shagreen (what a lovely, sturdy material, by the way) magazine file which I filled with coordinating 6-pack Vertical Files to become my go-to idea box. The built-in metal bookplate is a nice touch – for looks as well as usefulness.
- A standing Accordion File (also Shagreen) where I was able to create new files for blog information and notes – all within arm’s reach of the computer.
- A single Shagreen Pocket to store inspiration photos on the bulletin board – I love that I can fit more without overwhelming the bulletin board (it holds up to 50 pages!)
- Color-coded file labels that I used on my old dollar-store decorative file folders. I don’t know why I haven’t jumped on the color-coded band-wagon before now, but I already love how I can tell at a glance which files are blog related, which are financial, and which are personal.
- Chalkboard labels for the Shagreen Pocket and Accordion File so I can change the contents if I need to, since it’s so easy to erase the chalk.
This desk is in the middle of our great room and is seen by everyone who visits our house. The large file box had worked well while our kids were younger and bringing home daily papers from school, but now with one in college and one in high school, that many files weren’t needed anymore.
Enter the The Stack+Fit™ Shagreen Organizer and Pocket in white that coordinates with everything in our great-room. Seriously, that sounds like an ad, but I can’t believe how they fit all the things we need so beautifully – and how clean and clutter-free our desk looks now. Plus, it took only two items and 10 minutes – love.
4 tips that guided me in creating a clutter-free family desk:
- Keep items used multiple times a day on the desk for easy access – pens, pencils, and sticky notes (and my glasses, ugh) are what we need available.
- Find a place for the calendar. It’s not lovely and since it can’t be hidden, the organizer works great to minimize it at least.
- Make a spot for those little notes, reminders, and small pieces of paper that invariably accumulate. Which, again, the organizer accomplishes with the front pocket. We can still see it, but the paper is no longer on the desk (or if it is, I know where to put it!).
- Keep only the most used and current papers in the desk area. The double Shagreen Pocket fit perfectly in the spot under our photo board and now houses our daughter’s papers and the most-used of our papers.
This solved two problems:
- Knowing which jars to use first (because the date is easily seen on the front now).
- Quickly telling the difference between similar items like tomato sauce and pizza sauce.
However, the absolutest, most wonderful aspect of the kitchen labels is this: they come off cleanly (and easily!) with NO residue!! For any of you who have canned and applied those “canning labels” for gift giving, you know that the residue takes FOREVER to come off – if at all (which you can see clearly in the “before” photo on one of the jars…). All I can say is – it’s about time.
One of the things I do each November is to set up a wrapping station in a corner of my workroom. This, combined with my wrapping system for Brian and the kids, has been the reason I’m not up until the wee hours before Christmas and makes it easy for the rest of my family to wrap whenever they need to.
I was impressed with the new Holiday Shipping products in the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line; they are durable enough to mail and pretty enough to go right under the tree. There’s also wrapping paper, bags, tags, and ribbon – all coordinating of course, these products are available in-store at Staples.
I have to admit, though, that I love the printed Kraft paper so much I plan to use it for gifts under our tree and for decorations – won’t it look great with the book-page ornaments and some burlap ribbon?
Now it’s your chance to win a $100 Staples gift card to score yourself some lovely Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery products to “simplify in style” and organize your home – woot! To enter leave a comment answering the question: What areas of your home need to be organized? Read the rules below for more ways to enter.
Sweepstakes Rules and How to Enter:
No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/14/12-12/14/12.
Be sure to visit the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!