Monday, June 14, 2010

Party Planning & Organization with SKINNY MONEY

Baskets are absolutely the BEST organizing tool! They allow you to mix function and beauty at the same time. I'm all about making everything look pretty, while still being useful. I've shared some organizing tips, here, or here. Today I wanted to share a simple way to keep party and gift wrap supplies functional. I also wanted to share a couple SKINNY MONEY tips, helping any budgets that are on a diet.

I found these delicate white wire baskets at the {beloved} Target dollar section. WIRE is IT in baskets right now and these ones are adorable! The possibilities are obviously endless.

To dress up any organization I like to find playful tags to label each thing. These are gently tied with Martha Stewart tags from Michael's. (I never shop at Michael's without a coupon!)

I also stock up on pretty ribbon from Michael's whenever it is on a good sale. Never pay full price for anything at craft stores because there are constant opportunities to get discounts via online or newspaper coupons.

The basket categories include:
Ribbon, Gift Toppers, Balloons, and more...

Right beside these cabinets in our utility room I keep gift boxes and a gift wrapping/laundry work station. The curling ribbon is threaded through our laundry clothing rod for easy access. Half of the area is still available for laundry too.

I also store a lot of my entertaining and party goods in this room.
Tea Lights and Candles in a Jar:

Once, when I was younger, I packed my holiday candles away in the attic with the rest of my holiday decor only to find a disfigured heap of wax the following year. Now ALL candles are stored inside. {wink} I have always kept my seasonal and pillar candles in individual brown paper lunch sacks. This keeps them free from dust and also prevents colored wax from other candles rubbing onto each other. So, if you open that cabinet door, you'll see a row of paper sacks!

Bag them up!

A frugal tip I constantly use is salvaging the ribbon off of store bags. How often do you return from a shopping trip from the mall with a handful of beautiful bags? The bags are just as pretty as the items in the bag sometimes. I hate majorly dislike wasting things! I wish I could reuse the store bags as gift bags but the stores have their company logo plastered on the front. However, I always remove the ribbon and save it in my ribbon basket! The ribbon can be used when gift wrapping or decorating for a party.

Save the ribbon!

This box is labeled with my favorite: chalk ink. I've showed it in action several times throughout my blog. The box is filled with a GIGANTIC variety of party paper goods!

In the box: every color of the rainbow to choose from!

Some years, our kids can anticipate an amazing party for their birthdays. I {double love} party planning and throwing events so it's a treat for me too. HOWEVER, it is a lot of work AND money.

I have 3 kids.

If I were to throw them a SuperStar party every year
until they were 18,
that would be 54 SuperStar parties
and literally thousands of dollars.

Obviously, we keep those parties to a minimum and most years we simply do sweet family gatherings. On those years our kids get to pick from this party box what papergoods they want for their birthday. It's always a hit! And it saves A LOT of money to help keep the budget SKINNY.

Give it a try! Save your "leftover" party goods in a special box and watch your kids' eyes light up whenever you pull it out to use for special birthday love or even an easy celebration like the last day of school.

-What are some of your favorite ways to use baskets for home organization?

-How do you incorporate a moderate budget as you party plan and organize?

Share your Secrets,
I'm a Secret-loving girl...

This post is linked to: Organize and Decorate Everything, Frugal Friday, Lovin It, Spotlight Yourself, Weekend Wrap Up, Inspired Room, Show and Share Day, Works for Me Wednesday


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, this is great! And I wish I had seen those baskets at Target. That's a super price on them, Lisa. Thanks for the tip!!!

I bought a bunch of cute pink and purple small plastic boxes and I have things stacked in my guest room closet in them... decorations, wrapping paper and such. I probably need to come up with a better system like yours. I like the way you have the candles protected in bags, too. Great idea! And I love the way you have your ribbons on the dowels. Great idea!


Sheila :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

One more thing...

You know, if you wanted to store things for various holidays... it might be a good idea to have different colored storage boxes for each holiday! A good excuse to buy more cute storage containers. ;-)

The ones I have are the plastic kind, and I get them at K-Mart. I don't put too much in each one so they are easy to lift. I usually buy the ones for toys, and I think they are around $5 each. They are sturdy for storage.


Sheila :-)

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

You have some great tips here...I never buy anything at craft stores without a coupon too! Hope you have a FUN day!


The Tablescaper said...

You've got some great ideas and although you may not have a lot of money to work with, you've definately got a decent amount of space.

I've got my wrapping items in a small closet and use an over the door rack for the ribbons. I too am constantly repurposing ribbons. Many table linens (one of my favorite items to purchase) come with some sort of ribbon. I press them and use them in various ways: on gifts, as a napkin ring, around the top of a vase or around a candlestick holder and my daughter loves to make greeting cards (even small scraps come in handy then).

I hadn't seen the chalk pen before. It looks fun. I try to use my label maker whenever possible. I find the uniform look to add to the neatness.

I love the Target dollar section (but lately it's the $2.50 section) and I'm always checking out dollar stores. You never know what you'll find!

Great sharing ideas.

I'm hosting a weekly meme "Summer Sundays" and it's all about what summer means to you. Hope you'll come and join us.

- The Tablescaper

Kate said...

You have got that event planner blood in you I tell ya. Great tips an d amazing oraganization skills. Anyone would be so blessed to have you organize an event for them. Have a beautiful week.

Hugs from Cali
Kate xo said...

All of our seasonal/holiday decor is stored in plastic bins in the basement. My handy hubby lined the walls from floor to ceiling with shelves, and the bins fit perfectly on them! I decorate A LOT so he made sure I had ample storage room.

I hang out seasonal and decorative flags, so he made me a flag rack (like the kinds you see in gift shops) so I can hang the larger ones and still see their designs for easy picking! The smaller, garden ones are stored in plastic bins.

I haven't devised a designated wrapping area {YET} but it's in the works. For the holidays, we usually construct a makeshift wrapping station in the basement with all of our materials handy.

I do have other workstations that keep me organized - a baking section in my kitchen with all of my tools, sprinkles, cookie cutters, and mixers handy. A crafting workstation for all of my papercrafting and letter writing. A potting table in the garage with a bin for potting soil with a scoop, a seed packet rack with dividers, shelves for various fertilizers and pesticides, etc... and a large rack underneath for extra pots and larger items.

My husband's much more organized than I am - he's built me shelves and hutches throughout the house to hold all of my many collections and to store items. For my candles, we picked up a hutch at a going out of business sale for peanuts that houses all of my tea lights, tarts, candles and candle holders. Love it!

Like you, I buy everything in the off season that I can. SAVES a TON of $$$! Right now I'm shopping for fall/winter and holiday items. I can still pick up whatever I need later, but it's great to get some awesome deals ahead of time!


Jane said...

Boy, this post is filled with great ideas! I love the paper bag storage for the candles. Excellent! I keep my taper candles in paper towel tubes and tissue. But had never thought of using paper bags for the pillars...I'm hitting my stash today!

Like all of us, I have leftover napkins, plates, etc. from all our gatherings...not enough for another "matching" I keep a basket on the kitchen counter to hold all the leftovers. When we want a quick snack or need a napkin for something, these "leftovers" are within grabbing distance. I do try to keep a seasonal mix of napkins and plate in this basket...changing them out as needed.

My biggest cost-saving boon was to purchase clear glass plates at a discount store...BOGO. These are so versatile and have saved me TONS in paper goods (just pop in the dishwasher!). I also found translucent, plastic plates on sale at JoAnn's when we had our son's rehearsal dinner here...blues and greens...8 for $5...on sale for $1. I needed 50 plates...sure beat the cost of paper...and much more substantial. I went back and bought orange and red. I just add colorful napkins to complete the look.(I have over 100 of these plates now...yes, we entertain BIG groups!)

Keep saving and SHARING your tips!!!
Jane (artfully graced)

caveman said...

I didn't know you kept your candles in those neat rows of brown bags. I've always wondered what was in them!

When you said you never pay full price for anything at craft stores I had to smile. If the rest of your readers had any idea how much money you save us in every area, they would be astounded! :-)

Thank you for all the hard work you put into making our home so perfect. Even your girly touches make a big difference in your 4 boys lives.

Ben said...

Great ideas! I LOVE being organized! What do you do with your mail? That is one area where I always have clutter!


Tammy @ said...


Great post, you are so organized! Love the candles in the cupboard I have mine lined up in one too, but without the bags (they will be bagged befor the day is over)!

I love throwing parties too. To save money I avoid party store "theme" decorations and use things from around the house. If I need to buy something I look for decorative pieces I can use in the house or for another party. I also like to decorate their cakes with a toy (I once used a Cars Lego set) or decorative keepsake item (Alice in Wonderland tea cups)for their room and not a cheap plastic cake topper. I rarely ever buy the plate and matching napkin to avoid the "party in a box look" and it saves a few pennies.

Thanks for the great ideas!

Best wishes,

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

You have the BEST ideas lady!

Anonymous said...

I love all of your organizing tips! I am storing most of my seasonal decorations in my garage (in Houston) and realized that I can't put any candles out there! The paper bag idea is a great one!

Jenny @ Anything Pretty said...

Love those baskets! So cute, cheap and functional. Thanks for all the great tips!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

Great frugal ideas. I love those Tarjay baskets. I will look for them. I'm working on my craft room/gift wrapping space and trying to get it organized.

Jen @ said...

Wow - what a great space. Those baskets are awesome. I am going to see if they have any at mine. Thanks for the tips!


Ranelle said...

The spools of ribbon hanging on the closet bar is brilliant - brilliant, I say!

Cambria said...

I also wish I had seen those baskets. Now I'll be on the hunt for something similar. You are so organized. Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas. I've been needing to organize my collection of party/wrapping supplies. Right now I'm always hunting for what I need or simply going out and buying stuff again because I can't find what I bought before. This post has inspired me! Thanks for sharing.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

These are great tips, Lisa! I love your use of the wire baskets. I like that you can still see what is inside them, too. Love the paper bag for candles tip; I will definitely be trying that one!

Leanne said...

Lisa, you always have the best ideas. I love all your party supplies storage ideas. Baskets are my favorite too. Great idea with the candle storage too. I've had many candles be discolored because of other candles or things. Thanks for joining We're Organized Wednesday. Have a beautiful day!

Denise Marie said...

great post. I love to use left over paper napkins to surprise my boys by sneaking it from the stash while preparing a tray of snack or lunch. I also love to buy them on clearance or use up stash for lunchboxes.

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