Home Organization On A TJ Maxx Budget

Home Organization On A TJ Maxx Budget | Today I am happy to share a few decor and organizing tips that always help me achieve that warm and welcoming look and feel for our home, cuts down on the clutter, but on a realistic budget. |theprimarilyinspired.com|

One of my favorite pastimes is split between pinning a variety of interior design inspirations and doing my best to replicate what I pin. I try to find affordable and easy DIY pieces at my local TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, World Market, and Marshall’s. It also doesn’t help that my current favorite home renovation show is Fixer Upper (along with every other woman in America). It does nothing but give me home design envy and the bug to go out and spend money on cute decor for our home. However, living in a one bedroom rental only allows me to do so much within our home and considering I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, I have to get crafty.

Today I am happy to share a few decor and organizing tips that always help me achieve that warm and welcoming look and feel for our home, cuts down on the clutter, but on a realistic budget.

start with a home plan

Living minimally, I have to get pretty practical with what I bring into our home. For the most part I have full control on the design and decoration, but it never hurts to run things by the husband prior to making any purchases or adding anything. So, making a plan for what I’d like to do is the first place I always start. How much wall space do I have? Square footage? Type of flooring or counter space? These questions help me find the potential in my home and gives me a place to start.

Another part of any plan of mine is making sure I am making the space we have useful. This goes back to the minimalistic approach we live by: everything needs to have a place and purpose. Given that we currently have limited space and can’t do any permanent renovations in our apartment, I have to see each room differently and plan a way to improve the space without leaving damage.

Before jumping right into decorating there are some steps that I encourage for anyone and that is what Chip & Joanna call “demo day.” I don’t mean tearing down your walls, but I do mean a total cleanse of your home. This makes room for new projects and allows you to see where you could use better organization.

step 1: de-clutter the home

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Mathew 6:19-21

Holding onto things and becoming a clutter-bug is something I easily slip into. I have to remind myself that anything that comes in must be equalized with items that go out. This is whether we donate, sell, or just trash those things. God gives us a plan for how we should live our lives and I personally remind myself of His Word and how we should keep our homes free of materialistic distractions. With that said, here are a few ways my husband and I de-clutter our home so that it doesn’t leave us feeling like that cat lady on Animal Hoarders.

DONATE/SELL
“Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.” Luke 12:33
  • Clothes: I try to make sure that I go through our apartment and clean out the clutter every 6 months or so. This means routinely going through my closet and donating any clothing, accessories, or shoes I haven’t worn or don’t fit (ThredUp, Goodwill, and local consignment stores are great options for offering you a bit of cash or tax deductibles for donating your lightly used stuff!). Think about what you’ve worn/haven’t worn in the last 6 months/a year and separate them into piles. Pregnancy has really made this step easy considering my body has changed since welcoming baby so I’ve been able to pitch a lot of what doesn’t fit anymore.
  • Unused furniture: See if you can host a yard sale or put up unused furniture on Craigslist to clear out the larger pieces you’re not using or are just taking up space. Another great idea is lending or even giving away furniture to young couples, those who have just moved, or otherwise need to stock their homes with the basics. No need in holding onto those bookshelves or old coffee tables you have no idea what to do with them.
  • Refurbish: A great DIY project is to take your old crummy furniture and give it some elbow grease and transform it into something you’ll love. Either that or refurbish it to sell it!
TRASH
  • Magazines, junk mail, and other stacks of unused paper is worth throwing away. That Entertainment Weekly that’s four months old can get the pitch and so can all of those old pay stubs (unless you’re properly organizing it for taxes). See what you’ve accumulated over the last few months and shred/throw out all of those pesky papers you have stashed around your closets or countertops. Get in the habit of going through your mail and immediately throwing away the junk.
  • Maintain your junk drawer. I believe it’s healthy to have one drawer that is designated for those knick-knacks because we all have them. Accumulated pens, matches, knobs from random cabinets, etc. are going to end up in your home no matter how hard you try. Just keep your junk drawer to a minimum and always go through it and see what you can throw away.

step 2: create storage where there isn’t any in your home

Hanging baskets, shelving, and incorporating other drawers or cabinetry is an easy and affordable way to create storage where you may be limited. In our apartment we only have a small linen closet and our bedroom closet for storage. That’s it. However, we have plenty of wall space and square footage that I try to use that to our advantage.
Hanging baskets, shelving, and incorporating other drawers or cabinetry is an easy and affordable way to create storage where you may be limited.

We get a subscription to Bon Appétit Magazine and this wall basket has been a great touch to display these magazines in our kitchen. Prior to that I just had frames, now I’ve created purpose to that little wall space by using baskets to hold and display our magazines.

  • Our coffee bar has served more than one purpose for our little apartment too. It’s not only a place where we can store all of our coffee needs, but it has really allowed us to create storage where we didn’t have it before. To create our coffee bar we simply used a rustic wall shelf with hanging hooks and purchased an affordable cabinet from Target. This bar alone has allowed us now to clear out space in our kitchen cabinets, get more organized, and pitch anything we’re not using.
use wall shelves to save space

I love taking pictures, making prints, and hanging our memories all around our home. When you have a plethora of prints you need frames and when you have a bunch of frames you need to hang them. But how? I actually hate hanging things because somehow two necessary holes in my wall somehow turn into thirty misplaced ones. To solve this problem I use wall shelves and simply lean my frames against the wall. Doing this I’m able to display more frames and without the hassle of trying to hang them. Another great way to display your photos is using a gallery wall. This incorporates multiple frames on one wall to create a collage of sorts.

I use wall shelves and simply lean my frames against the wall. Doing this I’m able to display more frames and without the hassle of trying to hang them.

Opt for cheaper frames to display your prints!Frames: Ikea & TJ Maxx

Other wall shelves are great for getting things off the counter, such as in our kitchen. In this house we love to cook and having certain spices at the ready has made cooking that much more convenient (plus it looks cute!). So, using a small wall shelf we not only display, but use the spices on our rack. Other spices we use sparingly or not as often we keep in our cabinet out of sight.

Other wall shelves are great for getting things off the counter, such as in our kitchen. In this house we love to cook and having certain spices at the ready has made cooking that much more convenient (plus it looks cute!).

step 3: give everything a place in your home

The key to getting organized and continuing to live that way is by giving the things you keep (or purchase) a place in your home that also has purpose. Decor is nice, but if you find yourself with more frames than you do photos or those decorative sea shells don’t have a specific place, then don’t purchase them. Here’s how I manage to organize my tiny space even with a baby:

Hide those ugly cords with simple organization solutions. I picked up a mail organizer at TJ Maxx and use it to keep our modem out of sight. We hold the mail we keep, our laundry card, and other important paperwork in the organizer so that it doesn’t get lost and makes that area useful.

Hide those ugly cords with simple organization solutions. I picked up a mail organizer at TJ Maxx and use it to keep our modem out of sight. We hold the mail we keep, our laundry card, and other important paperwork in the organizer so that it doesn’t get lost and makes that area useful.

Use a simple magazine basket to store dog toys in your living room!

I had picked up a magazine basket from Ikea years ago and had no idea what to do with it…until we had Murphy. Now I use this basket to keep his toys in one place and it’s easily accessible for him. He’s since taught himself to go up to it and get his own toys…if only we could train him to put them away 😉

Hang cards or other mail using a cute chicken wire frame with mini clothespins! Instantly keeps clutter off your countertops!

I absolutely love this rustic card display I bought on Etsy (and you can see how I use it during Christmas)! Originally I thought I would just have it up during the holidays, but there’s always an occasion we can display the cards we receive, like my first Mother’s Day cards (see photo). So, I’ve kept it up year round and now we’ve maximized that wall space facing out into our living room.

Useful baby storage

 Using a bookshelf and wicker baskets from Target I’ve created a changing station that hides our overstock of diapers and wipes.

Keeping our baby stuff organized has been pretty simple considering we don’t have too much stuff to begin with – just the necessary basics. Using a bookshelf and wicker baskets from Target I’ve created a changing station that hides our overstock of diapers and wipes. The baskets are easily accessible and one holds his plain onesies, hats, and burp cloths and the other stores medicine like his Infant Tylenol, first aid kit, nasal aspirator, etc. The rest of his baby clothes are stored in designated drawers in our bedroom and his “hamper” is a tote bag hanging in our closet!

See what his nursery area looked like before Baby Greyson arrived.

**Our nursery has since changed with the arrival of his crib and changing table. These baskets are now organized on his changing table shelves and we use the space under his crib for extra storage.

Lastly, affordable storage units like this one from Target is a simple way to keep baby things (or anything!) organized and offers bins to hide everything you don’t want displayed.

Lastly, affordable storage units like this one from Target is a simple way to keep baby things (or anything!) organized and offers bins to hide everything you don’t want displayed. Also, being a teacher turned SAHM had me with a lot of my books without a proper home. So, I de-cluttered my closet and put them into Grey’s bookshelf. Now he can enjoy these stories my students did for so many years!

These are just a few ways I’ve managed the clutter in our home and I hope these solutions can help you get your space organized and begin living meaningfully!

How do you stay organized? Any tips or tricks to share?

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Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms

Being a mom it’s all about finding and sticking to those baby products that are tried and true, safe, and practical for our minimal lifestyle. Living minimally has not only changed my outlook on ‘stuff’, but it’s allowed me to cut out the clutter and really invest in items for the home that have multiple purposes whether it be furniture, clothing, or anything in-between. My husband is the true minimalist; I only adopted it after we moved in together years ago. I’ll be honest: it was a difficult transition to make considering my single-hood allowed me to collect all sorts of things without anyone telling me, “do you really need that?” However, over the past few years I’ve really come to appreciate living minimally because it’s given our home purpose and free from the accumulation of uneccesary things.

Insert baby and thus the real challenge began. As any new mom does, I quickly created a baby registry and found myself overwhelmed by the number of things that are out there; do I really need a ‘pee-pee teepee’ and why are there a zillion different types of bottles or pacifiers? Has America overcomplicated parenting?

Regardless, we stuck with purchasing the necessary items first such as a carseat (you can’t take the baby home without one) and crib and what we didn’t receive as gifts we waited until Greyson arrived to find out what we really needed. Living in a one bedroom apartment, it doesn’t really allow for frivolous baby spending and acquiring so being smart about what truly was a ‘must-have’ was crucial. Thanks to The Baby Cubby for reaching out and allowing me this opportunity to share with you my baby gear must-haves for those fellow minimalist moms out there.

Thank you to The Baby Cubby for allowing me this opportunity to share their wonderful products with you. Although I received product in exchange for this review, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine

One: Baby Jogger City Mini GT – Single

One item that can be essential for parents, or the SAHM like me, is a stroller that has all-terrain wheels such as this Baby Jogger City Mini GT stroller. Often times I want to take Greyson for a walk on gravel, dirt paths, or anything that isn’t a smooth paved road and our current stroller doesn’t quite allow me to do that. A jogger is a worthwhile investment for those mamas who are looking to get out of the house.

Two: Stokke Flexi-Bath – White

The concept for this foldable bathtub is pure genius and one item I couldn’t wait to receive. When Greyson first came home and began giving him baths we loved using our 4Moms Infant Tub. Flash forward to my now seven month old he was in need for a new tub. I literally had spent days trying to find either a chair for our bathtub or invest in the popular suction mats – but I wasn’t in love with either option. Then I found that Baby Cubby carries a foldable bath tub just for my little guy, which he could use up until 4 years old. OMG baby bathtub jackpot.

I love that I don’t waste water, it’s easily cleaned and stored after every use, has rubber lining for a non-slip grip, and not to mention, transportable! Quite possibly the best baby product we have yet.

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com

The grey lining is a non-slip rubber which securely seats my son. There is also a water line that rings the tub which tells you the proper amount to fill it.

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com

Three: Maxi-Cosi 2015 Pria 70 Convertible Carseat

A convertible carseat a serious must-have only because you want to invest in baby gear that will last you more than just a few months. The AAP just released a new recommendation that children should be rear facing until at least 2 years of age whereas the common practice was 1 years old. This is important for any mom and investing in a carseat that can grow with your child is crucial and, not to mention, budget-friendly.

Four: Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Crib Sheet – Forrest Friends

I absolutely adore this fitted crib sheet not only because it comes in such a cute woodland theme but that it’s 100% cotton muslin. That’s right. The same fabric as many of my swaddle blankets!

Little Unicorn Muslin Fitted Crib Sheet | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com|

Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Fitted Crib Sheet - Forrest Friends | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com

Five: Oeuf Sparrow Crib – White

When looking for the perfect crib we had a few non-negotiables: it had to be sturdy and safe, convert into a toddler bed, and come in a white finish to go with the rest of his nursery decor. Baby Cubby’s Oeuf Sparrow Crib fulfills each of those preferences and more. I love the contemporary look and the fact that it is made sustainably in Europe with non-toxic finishes. Best yet, it is a convertible crib so it can grow with your child – worth the investment.

Six: Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover – La Jolla

A consideration for all breastfeeding mamas out there is to determine which kind of nursing cover works for you. I personally received a scarf cover and I love it for different reasons. However, having a cover such as this one allows for breathability and ventilation for baby. I did find that the nursing cover I had made Greyson stuffy so if I could go back in time and make the switch I would opt for this open neckline!

Seven: 4Moms MamaRoo

I absolutely love the brand 4Moms because they’re exactly that: for moms. I feel as though their designs and innovations for baby gear is in line with what real moms need and babies expect. I can’t speak highly enough of our MamaRoo swing because it sways and moves just like we would if we were holding Greyson. He loved it as a newborn and it provided some relief for me as a new mom too. I would place him in it and set it to whichever movement he enjoyed at the moment and would place it next to the sofa so I could catch a few zzz’s while falling asleep to reruns of Catfish #truelife. I used their newborn insert (sold separately) then took it out once Grey grew enough to fit in the swing on his own. Such a great investment.

4Moms MamaRoo | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |theprimarilyinspired.com

Eight: Owlet Baby Monitor

If there is one product out there that is hands down the most worthy of an investment it’s Owlet Baby Care and their monitor.  If you didn’t know, an owlet is the term for a baby owl and considering owls are nocturnal (meaning they’re awake at night) it makes for the perfect baby monitor metaphor. It is a brand that boasts peace of mind and it couldn’t be further than the truth. I’ve been able to sleep soundly at night because my base station glows a slight pulsing green, which tells me my son has healthy and normal vital signs. It helps protect parents against SIDS in that it will notify you if your child’s heart rate or oxygen levels are below normal – just watch the testimonial videos if you need convincing. It’s an investment, but I would happily invest in my son’s wellbeing. I’d be happy to talk with you more in the comments if you have any questions about our experience with Owlet.

Nine: Skip Hop Chelsea Downtown Chic Backpack

If I could go back and redecide on a proper diaper bag it would hands down be a backpack. We are a family on-the-go and it’s important that Greyson’s things are as well. If it’s not weekend getaways it’s simple evenings out to dinner and we’ve found that it’s important that we save on space and really consider the things Greyson would need while we’re away from the house. A backpack is a wonderful alternative to a traditional diaper bag and, for minimalists, it only provides enough space to truly take what’s necessary and allow for the convenience of carrying it on your back.

So what makes The Baby Cubby so great and different from any other baby retailer? And why am I sharing them with you today? Well, it’s pretty simple actually…

When I was approached by them I couldn’t help but peruse through their website and social media and I was amazed at what I found. I was encouraged to actually engage with them as a new mom versus just shopping from them. The best part is that they not only have an in-store experience, but they offer their customers multiple ways to get involved in the conversation through their blog, social media, and their website. Parenthood can be overwhelming at times and it’s nice to know that The Baby Cubby is there as a resource for me and other moms around the country – because they are parents. Sometimes it’s helpful to have your village be there for you; even if it’s online. I urge all of you to check them out and discover for yourself what I love so much about this brand!

Linking up with Momfessionals, Diary of a Real Housewife, and Sept-Farm

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