Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fate & a New Hallway Rug

Posted by Krista at 12:22 PM 2 comments
Remember last week how I was saying I would love to get a new rug for the hallway?  Well, when we went to our big box store to get supplies for the bedroom closet organizer, my darling husband said "oh look there is a clearance section over there". You have to know it didn't take me long to steer the cart in that direction and I swear it was fate!  Look what I found!


This gorgeous rug! You'll never believe what I paid for it. 11 dollars!!  This was the only rug on that table that was marked so low. Every other one was marked much much more than that even on clearance. The colors are perfect for what I am envisioning for the hallway and the odds that the rug would be that price - fate I tell you, fate! :)  This rug was meant for me. :)  We're going to go this weekend and price up the cost to build the console table and that may get built this weekend.  Very exciting things happening here.
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Organizing in the Bedroom Continued...

Posted by Krista at 9:27 AM Comments
It's been a long week but at the same time a very quick week. Ever have weeks like that? I've been sick this week, not sure if it's just a run of the mill cold or the flu.  It hit me hard and fast which makes me lean towards the flu. Somehow I lost a day too.  I thought for sure today was Wednesday, but surprise it's Thursday! So that makes me feel like the week has flown by.  I haven't really done much work in the bedroom this week. I'm not quitting though. :)  I did take a little time Monday or Tuesday (can't remember now) and cleaned out the cedar chest in our bedroom.  Originally we bought it to store extra blankets and such, and maybe one day I can actually us it for that.


So here it is before crammed with a bunch of junk. Okay, it's not all junk.  There was a lot of the kids school papers and such in there, along with a set of dishes I haven't used in oh maybe 5 years. All of that stuff came out.  Papers will be sorted through and put into a Banker's box for each child.  That will be stored in their closets once I get to decluttering their bedrooms later in my "plan".  The dishes are going to consignment shop and I think just about everything else was donated or put into it's proper place.


Here it is after.  I decided for now to store all of our books in here. We're going to be building bedside stands (hopefully this spring or early summer) that will have plenty of room for both of us to have our books displayed, so I decluttered some but kept the ones we really love. Also kept extra wooden hangers, I didn't want to get rid of them because eventually we'll be moving to a bigger house and I will need them for guest's coats in the coat closet.  I also put little E's stuff in here that will be displayed on shelves once he get's his own bedroom.

This project didn't take more than 20-30 minutes I think.  It's amazing how we let things go and then it doesn't take very long to get it tidy and organized.  Too bad weight loss wasn't the same haha.

How are your organizing projects going? I haven't done too much this week, but I am planning on spending some time today working on decluttering and organizing dressers and the armoire. Should be do-able even though I am sick. :)
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Organizing in the Kitchen - Menu Planning Step Two

Posted by Krista at 9:28 PM Comments

This week we'll talk about my second step in menu planning. After I made my huge list of meals my family enjoys I started transferring the recipes (from cookbooks, printed recipes, ect) to recipe cards. Some of the recipes I did right away and some of them are still waiting.  When I make something from the list I now try to get the recipe card done that day or I will sometimes make up the cards when I do my menu planning.  The second way works best because then I have the recipe handy when I go to actually make the meal.

The reason you want to do the recipe cards is so that after you have planned your menu from your list (+ one or two new recipes to try) you can then get the recipes out that you will be using that week. You can put them in your home management binder or just put them right in the front of your recipe box.  Also this makes figuring out what you need to buy easy. You can look at each recipe and check to see what you need and immediately put it on your list. No more forgotten items or only having half the ingredients on hand when you go to cook your meals!

You can use plain index cards if you want, buy some cute recipe cards, you can even find them for free online.  The ones I use I found at MessyVegetarianCook. Some of the cards can be saved to your computer and edited in a photo editing program, others are pdf files that you can edit and print from. You can also just google free printable recipe cards and lots will show up.

Hope you're having fun getting all your recipes organized and ready to use!
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

28 Day Organizing Challenge - Week One, The Closet

Posted by Krista at 8:20 PM 3 comments
This weekend was devoted to getting the closet emptied and putting in a new organizer. When talking with Dh about how to go about getting the room organized we decided the best place to start would be the closet since so much needed to go in there (coats from the craft closet makeover, clothes, ect.).  So with his help I am now the proud owner of an organized closet.  You are not going to believe the difference in pictures.  I am so excited. It does make it easier to continue having the pictures to compare...I can do this!

Remember this picture? Where I couldn't even get to the closet...

All of that stuff is out of the room & the closet is revealed...oh yes it's bad.

And 24 hours later:
Can you believe the difference? I can hardly. The closet doors still need to go back up but they need some touch up paint first.  But holy wow! I am just amazed.  I really didn't think I was going to be able to do it when I had all the stuff out of there.  The mountain of stuff was huge!

Remember last week's picture when you walk in the room?

Here is the view today:

And the view from the bed last week:

The view from the bed today:

Still lots of work to do in there but it's coming along very nicely if I do say so myself. :)  Actually looking forward to going in the to go to bed tonight. That's a nice feeling.
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spotlight on Flylady

Posted by Krista at 9:20 PM 2 comments
Today I didn't really do a specific organization project, I mostly worked on getting the house cleaned up (minus my room - yikes!) for the weekend.  We are planning on spending the weekend working on the bedroom of doom. Getting started with the closet is our first project.  Since I don't have a project to share with you today I thought I would feature a website that has been helpful for me - flylady.net. If you follow me on twitter you see me using #flylady in quite a few of my tweets. If you've wondered what that was all about now is your chance to find out.
Guess I should tell you a little bit about me first.  When I first started with Flylady I was not your typical living in c.h.a.o.s.(can't have anyone over syndrome) person. I am more of the Born Organized type. Generally speaking my house is ready for company , of course I'm human and have areas where clutter lives - hidden clutter, my bedroom (door closed), closets, drawers. The problem was, I was obsessed with cleaning. I couldn't just sit with my family and enjoy watching a movie, I couldn't just leave the house and go for breakfast without stressing out.  This is where Flylady came to help me.  She helped me find a way to get the things done I needed to and be able to relax and enjoy life outside of constant cleaning.  That housework even done imperfectly is okay. She gave me permission to relax.

Key Flylady principles for me are:

  • You can do anything for 15 minutes - Flylady is big on using a timer. She suggests if you’re having trouble starting a project, just set a timer for 15 minutes and work on it until the timer goes off. You might keep going, you might not. But at the very least, you’ve made progress. (This flew out the window when I had little E, for the first 13-14 months some days I couldn't do anything for 5 minutes.  I'll talk more about this later)
  • Routines, Routines, Routines - These will get you through.  When I am sick I can do nothing more than my basic routines and the house will stay in decent shape.

Some things that may turn people off Flylady:

  • The shoes - She's big on putting your sneakers on first thing. I don't do shoes in the house ever, so i just ignore this little reminder.
  • Some find her ideas to have religious overtones or come across as anti-feminist. I never really thought about it or paid much attention.  I take what works for me & leave the rest. I don't have to agree with everything that's on the website to use it. Just like in real life we don't have to agree 100%, all of the time to be friends. :)
  • The endless emails - This used to be a huge issue for some. I think since she switched to Big Tent it's set up a lot better. You can read all the emails right online.

I have made up my Home Management Binder (what she calls a control journal) and parts of it still work for me.  At some point I need to revamp it, but that'll come eventually.  I have the files for my binder done in MS Word so if anyone would like them let me know & I'll put together a post for them.

So if you think Flylady can help you get your home out of chaos or even just help you learn to let go - check out her site.  There is tons of good information on there to hep you.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Entryway and Hallway Clean-Up

Posted by Krista at 6:08 PM Comments
Room Two on the Schedule - Entryway and Hallway

Since I didn't have to babysit again today, I thought I would go ahead and get the entry and hall clean.  I know according to my schedule I have almost two more weeks to complete these areas, but starting this weekend I am hoping to put a lot of time working on the bedroom project (yes, I really want to win one of those fantastic prizes!).  I figured that today was a good day to get it done.  Little E was in a very good mood, and not too demanding.  All signs pointed to go clean. :)

Here are the before pictures:
It doesn't look too bad but there are things I notice that others may not - dust! 

Entryway Cleaning List:                                                       
- dust mop & damp mop walls                                                
- clean blinds & window
- dust shelf & contents
- vacuum rug
- scrub floor & stairs
{need to get paint & touch-up wall, baseboards & rail}

Hallway Cleaning List:
- dust mop & damp mop walls and doors
- clean light fixture
- dust shelf
- windex picture & mirror (vinegar & water solution)
- vacuum rug
- scrub floor

Here they are all clean & shiny:

I added some cute little Valentines decorations to the mirrored shelf:

I would love to get a new runner for the hall & a new mat for the entryway.  The craft closet door needs a new knob.  The wall in between the two doors on the right hand side is blank and I have no idea what to put there.
The wall on the left side currently holds this picture from our wedding day 

That is going to be replaced with a collage similar to this:

I am planning on making this console table to place under the collage
Image from Better Homes and Garden

Do you have any ideas of what would look great on that right wall? Or any other decorating ideas for these two spaces are more than welcome. :)

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Living Room Clean-Up

Posted by Krista at 3:45 PM Comments
Room One on the Schedule - Living Room

Since we are now officially in February I decided that I needed to finish up the chores in the living room so that I could cross that room off my list.  Since Miss. Bean was home from school and could help entertain Little E, I figured today was as good a day as any.  I really want to be able to spend the weekends when daddy is home working on the bedroom for the next few weeks.  I also don't want to fall behind on my schedule for cleaning either - so far so good!

Before I show you my cleaning list for this room, I thought I would show you the before pictures I took the morning before starting.


Living Room Cleaning List
- remove any trash from room
- clean up and declutter toys
- dust mop & damp mop walls
- dust all furniture
- windex all glass (I use vinegar & water solution)
- vacuum all furniture & under cushions
- move all furniture and vacuum
- clean window & window sill
- put up Valentine's Day decorations

This is the play area after cleaning:

This is the living room area after cleaning:

It was so nice after all this was finished to sit in this room and just enjoy how it looked.  I find it so much more relaxing when everything is in it's proper place.  There are some things I want to do to redecorate now that the room is all clean. These will be gradual things - I would love to have new furniture (couch and chairs), I want to go with something neutral so I can accent more for the seasons. I want to paint the mirror on the back wall - unsure what colour yet though. The big project that we are going to do is build a new entertainment center - like this one:
Image from Pottery Barn

The plans for it can be found on Ana's site - Knock off Wood. I'm not sure if I want to paint it black or a dark brown.  Remember I want to go neutral but I know for sure I do not want white or a variation of it in the living room.  I want something warm.  I think I'm leaning towards black though.  What do you think? What other decorating ideas do you see for this room?  I'm up for hearing your ideas too!
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Monday, February 1, 2010

28 Day Organizing Challenge in My Bedroom

Posted by Krista at 9:54 AM 13 comments

I've known about this challenge for a couple of weeks now and I've tossed around the idea of joining. Two things were holding me back. First of all once you see the room you'll see it's going to be a huge commitment. Can I follow through? Or will I start and then freeze on it? Secondly I would have to take before pictures and share my embarrassing mess with all of you.  Admit I've got a dungeon - who likes to do that??  Well, I'm taking the plunge.  I'm joining the challenge and I hope by the end of the month I'll have a beautiful retreat to show you.

Before I get started on the great organizing mission I'm going to share the before shots *deep breath*

This is what you are greeted with when you walk in the bedroom. Not exactly the most welcoming retreat to walk into. 

And here we have the view from the bed. Best just to close your eyes and go right to sleep to avoid starring at the mess for too long.

And the view towards the closet. Lovely isn't it? I would have taken pictures of inside the closet but *ahem* I couldn't exactly get to the closet. Trust me, it isn't any better than the rest of the room though.

There you have it, in all it's glory - the mess from hell.  Now, in a little fairness some of this mess wasn't created until the great craft closet makeover. Everything from that closet was dumped into  my room and the leftover bins were also dumped in there. So it wasn't quite this bad a couple weeks ago - well, the closet was but not so much the rest of the room.

Just in case you've already forgotten - here it is again for you ;)

I hope to take pictures as I tackle this challenge and share some progress pictures with you. Now, don't flame me for my mess okay? Just hold my hand and tell me I can do this. Been there, done it? Have some tips for me? Have some ideas? Please share!
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