Category Archives: Organization

Color Coding Method: How I Organize My Home Daycare

How I Keep My Home Daycare Organized ::

Affiliate Link DisclosureColor Coding :: EverydaySmallThings.comMost days, I have six children running around my house because of my home daycare. There is one trick that I have implemented that has helped immensely: color coding.

Each child is assigned a color and everything from their cups and plates to their hand towels are in their color. This has been most successful with their cups. In the beginning, I would just hand a kid any old cup, but 10 minutes later I would find a stranded cup and couldn’t remember who I had given it to last. My younger children would just pick up a cup and drink out of it; no matter whose it was. This was not working in the germ department.

Color Coding :: EverydaySmallThings.comSo I began searching for solid colored cups that were eco-friendly and BPA/phthalate free and found the Kid Basix Safe Sporter. After my baby gates, these are my next favorite thing around the house. We LOVE our water bottles. They are lightweight, durable and made of food-grade stainless steel which translates into “will stand up to daily use by a toddler”. In all of the spills and drops, only one of our water bottles has slightly dented. They are easy to clean, dishwasher safe, non-leaching and antimicrobial. Awesomeness all around!

Color Coding :: EverydaySmallThings.comAnother piece of having a home daycare is the towels used to dry hands. DCFS guidelines allow two options, paper towels or separate hand towels.  Paper towels negate my pursuit of reducing waste and being eco-aware, plus I can’t imagine the cost of keeping them in stock. Thus, I have opted for the separate hand towels.  Each child has a hand towel hanging in the bathroom, in their specific color. All I have to do is throw them in the wash with all of my other cleaning cloths and we are good to go!

Color Coding ::


Do you have a system that you use to keep your day organized? I would love to hear about it!

4 Ways We Paid For Christmas

4 Ways We Paid For Christmas From Our Couch |

Affiliate Link Disclosure4 Ways We Paid For Christmas From Our Couch | EverydaySmallThings.comChristmas always has a way of sneaking up on us financially.  We try to budget using Financial Peace University principles which includes putting aside Christmas money each month. But in all honesty, it typically gets used for something else.  Usually, this leaves us scrambling come December trying to figure out how to afford Christmas gifts.

But not this year! Here are four ways we paid for Christmas from our couch.
This is an app I discovered in June and is our biggest Christmas contributor. rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar (or however much you decide) of any purchase you make using a linked bank account. So, let’s say I spent $13.65 at the store using my debit card. Acorns will set aside 35 cents into a savings account. This has been the easiest way to set aside money! The only downside is it’s not an instant transfer.  Transfers occur when you hit a minimum of $5.

If you sign up using my referral link, you and I will each get $5!

If you haven’t signed up for Swagbucks, you are missing out on easy earnings! This is a search engine where you get swagbucks earnings just for browsing the internet and then you can trade in your swagbucks for cash or gift cards.  I use this as my main search engine and even type in websites that I know I’m going to, just to get a better chance of earning swagbucks which are awarded at random, not per search. Online purchases through websites like Priceline and Vision Direct will earn you swagbucks per dollar spent. Easy peasy!

They also offer surveys, videos and other ways of earning swagbucks. I rarely utilize these avenues but more power to you!

Did you know that you could be paid to test out websites? pays testers an average of $10 per website tested. I’ve earned $85 on UserTesting since February 2015. Typically, I log on after the kids get into bed and see if I qualify for any website tests. If you have the time and a quiet space, then this is a great way to earn some Christmas cash.

I haven’t used Ebates as often as Swagbucks, but this has still contributed to Christmas. If you shop online, this is the website for you! They actually pay you back a percentage of your purchase. Make sure you install their Ebates Button so you instantly know if the website you are purchasing through qualifies for cash back. What an easy way to earn some extra cash!

So there you have it.  Four ways to start earning extra money for things like Christmas!

When Clutter Sends You Running For Cover

When Clutter Sends You Running For Cover |

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When Clutter Sends You Running For Cover | EverydaySmallThings.comWhen it comes to home organization, are you an Innie or an Outie? And no, I’m not referring to your belly button.

Innies appear very organized because most of their stuff is “in” something. They tend to have files, not piles. Their kitchen counter is practically naked. An innie’s mantra might be, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Outies often have to deal with clutter. That’s because their mantra might be “Out of sight, out of mind!” Outies might love sticky notes and use them everywhere. They tend to be pilers rather than filers, because if they file something they might forget about it.

As my mom and I talk about in our book Better Together, (releases March 2016 Woohoo!!!) we are both outies. If I don’t see it, I forget about it. My mom has learned some great innie practices to use in her home. However, I am still working on how to make my “outie” more “innie.” I have cute files ready to be used for all of my paperwork; I just don’t think to use them…you can find them in one of my piles.

Being an outie with a home daycare has proven chaotic at times, especially when a parent comes to pick up their child and we are searching for a lost shoe for the umpteenth time. “You need a locker system for each kid!” suggested one of my daycare parents.

Coloring On the Wall |
The artwork on our walls

Lockers would be ideal for a daycare setting, but this is my home first and foremost so I wanted to find a solution that worked for both. Another daycare parent had suggested a bench with baskets underneath. This cabinet was the best of both worlds. However it was so…white. White and little ones don’t mix. Just ask my walls.

Storage Cabinet with Custom Wood Top | The white bookshelf was a blank canvas calling for some wood accents. My dad gave me a ton of furring strip a few months ago as I’ve been wanting to redo a few tables and a wall (yes…a wall). However, those projects just haven’t happened. I’m the type of person who, when inspiration strikes, wants to get to work right away. So, true to my nature, I did. I LOVE how it turned out! Adds the right amount of warmth and character to an otherwise cold and plain bookshelf.

Now, each daycare kid has their own basket that their stuff can go in and my family each has a bin to put their shoes in. Who knows, I might change things up a bit, but right now I’m loving the new storage!
Cabinet with Wood Top | EverydaySmallThings.comPossibly more exciting than my new piece of furniture in my entryway is that it could be in yours! My Etsy shop is now open for business and I can’t wait to make custom creations that reflect YOU! So head on over to my Etsy Shop!