Cozi: Free Family Organizer App

Cozi, the #1 family organizing app

Are you looking to get your family a bit more organized?  You should check out Cozi!  It’s FREE to sign up for!

Cozi is a free calendar app and website (that was named a must-have app by The Today Show!) that helps families stay organized and manage it all:

  • Everything in one place: calendar, shopping lists, to-do lists and more
  • One account the whole family can share
  • Accessible on any device (iPhone/iPad, Android, PC and Mac), at home and on the go

Sign up for Cozi today and you’ll finally have one place to manage school schedules, sports activities, meal plans, chores and more.

What do you use or do for family organization?

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Get Cozi - it's free!

Smart Uses for Mason Jars

Here are 7 smart uses for mason jars that you’re sure to love!

Mason jars can be found in almost any store these days. While they are easy to find brand new, thrift stores and garage sales are also great places to find older mason jars in great shape.

But for starters, many of us will already have some empty mason jars around the house. Even empty glass pickle jars are useful! Here are some inventive and fun ways to reuse empty mason jars.

Here are some inventive and fun ways to reuse empty mason jars!

Mason Jars for Bathroom Storage

Mason jars are also great for storing bathroom supplies like cotton balls, cotton swabs, makeup sponges and even little soaps.  You can also store bobby pins. I have found they are especially great to hold makeup brushes or toothbrushes.

Mason Jar Sewing Kit

All you need to create a mason jar sewing kit is fabric, batting, spray paint and of course the mason jars. Here is how to make them:

  1. Spray the lid whatever color you want it to be.
  2. Then, use the lid of the mason jar to draw a circle on the fabric; you want the circle to be about an inch wider then the jar.
  3. Cut the fabric circle out.
  4. Turn the lid upside down and place it on the fabric circle.  Using a hot glue gun put a line of hot glue almost all the way around the lid and start folding the fabric over onto the lid bunching it as you go.   When you are about 3/4 of the way around the lid, take the batting and stuff it into the opening of the fabric so it is on the top of the lid.  You want it to be even and poofy.  Now glue the last section of the fabric to the lid.
  5. Now on the outer piece (the rim) you will need to make a line of hot glue.  Press the fabric covered section of the lid into the outer piece and let it dry.

Now you can fill the inside of your jar with sewing essentials like thread, thimbles, sewing needles, mini scissors, buttons… etc.  Once you’ve filled it, screw the lid onto the jar.  Because of the fabric, the lid will be a little difficult to screw on.  Now you have a beautiful little sewing kit with a pin cushion lid!  These make great little gifts for teachers, moms or anyone really!  They’re handy to keep in the car in case you have a little fashion emergency that requires a little sewing, such as a button that has popped off. (or a broken soccer shin pad in my husband’s case!)

Here are 5 smart uses for mason jars that you're sure to love!

Mason Jars for Pantry Storage

Mason jars are great for pantry storage solutions.  Make your own labels and use them to organize your pantry. (I love these printable Chalkboard ones from Lia Griffith.)  The larger mason jars are great for items like pasta or rice. Mason jars are a great solution because they’re decorative and because they’re made of glass, so you can see exactly what’s in them.

Mason Jar Cookie or Soup Gift

This is a simple gift idea that can look beautiful when everything is carefully layered in a mason jar.  The best way to layer the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, for example, is to start with an ingredient like flour and add the other white ingredients like baking soda, baking powder and salt which will mix in with the flour.  Next, add the quick oats or M&Ms or chocolate chips.  Finally, add the brown sugar and/or white sugar. Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar and add a tag with the directions on what wet ingredients they will need and directions on how to bake the cookies.

For the soups you can add different beans or noodles and other spices and dry ingredients the soup calls for. Again, layer the ingredients in a way that it looks visually appealing. Don’t forget the instructions on how to cook the soup.

Mason Jar Gift Containers

Mason jars make great little gift containers for things like a DIY manicure kit.  Just get all the manicure must-haves like a few different shades of nail polish and some nail art supplies.  You can find some super cute nail art supplies at dollar stores or Amazon. Take everything out of the packages so it will fit into the jar better. Then, to fancy it up a bit, wrap some of the smaller items in tissue paper and tie it shut with a little thin ribbon or twine.  Add a few cotton swabs and cotton balls and you have your manicure in a jar all ready to give as a wonderful gift!

Mason Jar Luminaries

This idea is so simple and beautiful! Simply grab a mason jar and a string of battery operated fairy lights. Place the lights into the jar, then turn them on and place anywhere around the house or even on the deck!

Mason Jar Apple Pies

Apple pie in jars? It’s true! You can make adorable mini apple pies in mason jars! I have another blog post with instructions on how to make Mini Apple Pies in jars.

Related mason jar articles:

See how mason jars are so useful and fun? How have you put mason jars to use in your life?

6 Ways Being Organized Helps to Save Money

The more I think about it, I really think that being organized is the key to saving money.  Not only does my sanity thrive when things are organized in my home, I find our bank account is happier too. 🙂

Here are 6 ways being organized helps to save me money:

The more I think about it, I really think that being organized is the key to saving money.  Not only does my sanity thrive when things are organized, I find our bank account is happier too. Here are 6 ways being organized helps to save money.

Know what I already own

Having a spot for everything will help ensure that you know what you have on hand at all times. No need to buy the beans that are on sale because you know that you already have plenty in the pantry! Being organized (or more organized because we can’t be perfect!) stops you from spending money to replace items you can’t find.

I’ll avoid late fees

When you have an organized system in place for paying bills and returning borrowed items on time, you’ll certainly avoid the ugly late fees. Avoid paying late fees by implementing a system that will work for you. I have to tell you a story about the one time I had a late fee on the Visa bill. My bill paying “system” is not how my husband would do it and he suggested I try it his way.  His way was to pay off an amount as soon as there was a balance. My way is to pay it once a month on the due date, the balance of the statement in full. As soon as I receive the statement in the mail, I log into our online banking and schedule the payment to be made on the due date. Sure, it may be a larger amount doing it my way, but I’m never late in paying it! My husband has learned to just let me do my thing in that regard. 😉

Have time to plan a menu

When you’re organized, you’ll have time to set aside to plan the menu for the week. I’m a firm believer that having a menu plan in place will save you unnecessary trips to the grocery store and your sanity.  In our case, it saves us a ton because we’re avoiding the drive thru and actually eating what we buy from the grocery store.

Have time to cut and use coupons

If you’re a coupon user, being organized means you most likely have some time set aside for printing and organizing your coupons. Which also means you are probably organized to use the coupons at the store to pay rock bottom prices!

Know what projects you have on the go

Let’s pretend that I don’t know all about incomplete projects. (you know, those unfinished sewing and knitting projects that I found…) Every once in a while I get an urge to do something creative. But when I take the opportunity to have an organizing session, I usually discover a few unfinished projects.

Most recently, as I was going through my fabric stash, I found two unfinished projects.  A purse, which only needs to have the handles sewn on, and material for a sweatshirt I’ve cut out for my husband.   I now have two projects to finish to satisfy my creative urge without spending any more money!

Buy gifts well in advance

When you’re on the ball with upcoming special occasions, you can buy ahead when you find a great deal online or in the store. Helping you to avoid paying full price for something near your deadline.

How does being organized save you money? In what ways would you like to be more organized so you can save more?

11 Tips for Sharing a Small Home with Children

Living in a small home with children doesn’t have to be a bad or hard thing. Living in close quarters is possible, if you have the right tools and tips to help get you through! Check out these 11 tips for sharing a small home with kids:

11 Tips for Sharing a Small Home with Children

Living in a small home with children doesn’t have to be a bad or hard thing. Check out these 11 tips for sharing a small home with kids

1. Less stuff = more room

This is a tip that everyone should already know. However, when you have less stuff in your home, you always have more room, making a room feel more spacious.

2. Bunk beds

When you have kids and they need beds, going “up” is a great solution for leaving the floor space open. Triple bunks work wonders if you have more than 2 children sharing a room.

3. Utilize closet space

Closet space can be a real organizational nightmare, especially if you have a limited number of closets in your home. But learning the best way to maximize their usability is key. Use baskets, bins, shelves and even rolling cart techniques for linens and clothes to make the best use of the closets you have. Although that might mean you have to store some kitchen appliances in the linen closet ;).

4. Have strict rules on keeping items off the floor

When you have a small home with the addition of children, things have to be off of the floor or your home will end up looking messy in no time. And that’s the worst.

5. Purchase items that have double uses

Purchasing items that have two uses is genius. For example, an ottoman that has storage space within is a smart idea! Doubles as extra seating and storage!

6. Get rid of any bulky items

Is your couch too bulky? Trade it in for a slimmer version. Is the coffee table taking up precious play space? Maybe it’s time to donate.

7. Slim down the amount of clothing

If the drawers are stuffed full of kids’ clothing, it’s time to eliminate some items. Here are some tips for paring down your clothes that you might find useful!

8. Utilize storage in the attic, garage, or shed

If there simply isn’t enough room in your home for your everyday stuff and stored items, try to store stuff in another area of the home if you can, like a garage or attic.

9. Stay as organized as possible

Organization is key when space is at a premium. Try to make sure that everything has a spot to call home. Encourage the kids to put things in their “home” by making labels with pictures indicating where each item goes.

10. Use wall space as much as possible

There’s always room on a wall for storage. If you’ve run out of room, use wall space. Build some floating shelves. Or create a command center with a white board to keep all the activities running smoothly. Pinterest is full of ideas for wall storage.

11. Reevaluate the way you have items set up in your home

Maybe it’s the current layout that isn’t working in your home. Reevaluate your home’s setup to see if there could be a better way, then change it up!

Making room for everyone in your home shouldn’t be a problem if you follow these tips. I’ve noticed that the less items we have, the less frustrated we get.

What are some ways you deal with living in a small space with children?

Simply Clutter Free: Day 21

Simply Clutter Free Day 21: Declutter your Outerwear

Oh my goodness, we’ve reached the final day of the Simply Clutter Free Challenge! My house is feeling so much lighter! Even cleaner because I’ve been cleaning in those areas that don’t often get cleaned!

Today, we’re going to tackle our outerwear. That means we’re finally going to let go of jackets or snow pants that no longer fit. Or we just don’t care for any more. Donate or sell the items you no longer want. This task also includes winter gloves, hats, scarves, etc.

How many items do you think you’ll be getting rid of today?

I will be posting random progress reports throughout the week over in the Simply Frugal Facebook group and Instagram! Follow me on Instagram @simplyfrugal and use the hashtag #simplyclutterfree to get updates and see what others are up to during the challenge!

Also, I have set up an email list that you can join if you would like me to send you the daily tasks each day to your email address! This is also the email list to be on if you are interested in any of the future challenges I have planned for 2020! You can sign up for the Simply Clutter Free Challenge emails, here!