Monday, January 11, 2016

Today marks the first full week as a stay at home mom. I'm nervous and excited for this new chapter all at the same time. Of course ideas and lists of things to accomplish are floating around in my head along with the questions of how to do everything and most importantly help our little bug to grow and learn.
The morning has started off as I expected. I was able to get some tidying done between nurturing Bug as he is extra sensitive right now with 4 teeth making their way out. While he has napped I'm working through ideas of a rough schedule we can try to stick to. Pretty much the same as I've sketched out before...I'm great at writing out lists and planning things out, but once I sit down, it's much more difficult to get up and begin. Hence me documenting this morning!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 2 -- Day 2 of Decluttering

Today, I quickly tackled two more drawers. These are drawers that both hold random utensils that rarely get used, but some do get used.  You'll see in the pictures that I utensils I kept, are still split across two drawers, but I could easily combine them later.

Random Misc Utensil drawer before

Emptying and sorting as I go, from left to right: Keep, Relocate, and Garage Sale

After and organized drawer. You'll notice that the Iowa State spatula has moved from the garage sale pile into the drawer to be kept. Jesse got home as I was sorting through and informed me that he does in fact use this when he grills. I thought he used others that we have but I guess those are too short. Good thing I checked with him!

This is the Misc and mostly knife drawer before. Eeeesh couldn't tell on my phone this was so blurry!

Same here where I've emptied the and sorted the drawer the left pile is to keep and the right pile is for the garage sale, and the little pile at the top are to be thrown away. Don't worry we aren't knife-less now, we have a block of knives that sit on the counter.

And here is the after. As you can tell both drawers aren't full so could be combined. But right now I'm afraid that if I combine them they'll just get all jumbled around and won't be easy to access the items when we need them.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Start of Week 2

Well, it's a good thing I was extra motivated last Sunday. Because not only have you not seen any updates here, but there haven't been any updates to report. That's right. I went through the whole week ignoring my most recent challenge. Part of me wonders if it was because I mentally already knew I had made my 'quota' for the week. We'll find out how this week goes I guess.

Today I decided to go through our junk drawer, which I'm sure is something that should probably be looked at once a month.

Here is the before. It doesn't look to horrible, but that's because a big notebook is covering nearly all the contents. The drawer was pretty full.

I emptied it all out on the counter.

Then made three piles. From Left to Right: Trash, relocate to another part of the house, put back in the drawer as neatly as possible.

And here is the end result. Now, no it's not too organized, but with the hodge podge of items in this drawer, I'm not sure there is a way we can make it organized. Considering we probably grab a phone charger once a day or so, no use in wrapping them up all neat and tidy, right?

Plus, here's the question of the day; should a junk drawer be expected to be nice and organized?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Next Challenge: Decluttering

Yup. Decluttering. Honestly, it has been something that's been on my mind for quite some time. I've been reading the Becoming Minimalist blog for a few months now, and last year for my birthday I requested and received The 100 Thing Challenge. So really, minimalism and decluttering have been on my mind for over a year.

I already go through phases of purging possessions on occasion, usually in one focused area. But this time, I'm going through the whole house. I have a plan and am setting goals, plus hope to track my progress here. Of course, knowing me, this plan comes in the form a of a list. A categorized list in Excel format to be exact.

I've broken down each room (right now excluding the basement and garage) into bite-sized chunks. Maybe even toddler bite-sized chunks. When I get 3 weeks into this and the high of my new challenge and list checking wears off, I want my weekly 'tasks' to be easy to accomplish rather than daunting. So, what's the challenge you ask?

115 areas to declutter in 6 months
See --- I told you toddler bite-sized chunks.

My plan is to attack just 5 areas each week. How I got to a whole 115 is be breaking each cupboard or drawer into it's own item. So, down the road, tackling one drawer during the day won't be too big of a deal. I realize some weeks will be more productive than others, that's why I'm not planning for 7 items a week. At the end of the 6 months I'll have gone through the main living areas of our home and will have a big pile of items and we'll hold a garage sale or find places to donate.

So, now that you know my challenge and the simple plan of attack, here is what I accomplished today, a full week of items, five kitchen cupboards! This week is going to be one of those highly productive ones since I'm excited to get going!

These 2 cupboards don't seem that full, but after unloading them and weeding through the items we haven't even used the 2 years we've lived in this house, it proved there was more than I realized. Items just taking up space that we don't use.

This is nearly everything that didn't go back in the cupboards. I have some jelly jars to give back to Mom, lots of glasses for the garage sale and a group to go through with Jesse. See, this is all of our stuff I'm going through, not just mine. He needs to be all in on this too. It wouldn't be right for me to give away an item that means something to him that I didn't realize. We ended up keeping most of that group that I checked with him on.

The cupboard afterwards, only one side filled up! It felt so freeing since I know eventually I want to remove 4 of our cupboards so we can take down part of the wall and make the space feel more open. Being able to open up more cupboard space feels great!

I went through 3 more cupboards. Not a whole lot in those changed since I'd recently gone through them, or they are small enough where only items we use fill them up. Here are the after pictures:

The other benefit of going through these kitchen cupboards, I'm cleaning out the shelving too, which I've been putting off. I'm excited for the week and to see how much more I can get through!

Do you go through phases of purging your possessions? I'm hoping this process will open my eyes to some things that I buy and then don't use so that I can stop myself buying it before it gets stashed somewhere and then given away later.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Lyric Canvas

Carrying on with Christmas decorations from my Christmas Craft list. Today we venture to the two canvases with Christmas hymn lyrics.  Now, I made these in two different ways and got pretty much the same results.

The Simple Supplies:
Lyrics printed out -- I got these prints from Landee See, Landee Do
Knife & Cutting Board
Canvas (or two)
Paint colors of choice -- I used a shimmer white as a base coat with Christmas Green and Red for the 'filler' space

The Simplified Steps:
Step One - Paint the shimmer base coat on both canvases

Step Two- Cut your printed lyrics down to the size of the canvas, so it fits in the back of your canvas

Step Three - Hold your canvas (with the paper tucked in the back of it) up to a window or light so you can see through and have the pattern in front of you. Trace the pattern onto the front side of your canvas

Step Four - Paint in the background with your color of choice, covering the pencil markings as you go.

Step Five - After your canvas has dried, hang it up!

Sounds, simple right? How could I have screwed this up and made this take an ENTIRE day, for the first canvas I painted? 

Well, you see, instead of having the genius idea to simply hold the canvas up to light and trace the pattern onto the canvas....I used a knife and cut out all of the letters. This along took a good amount of time. Then with the background pieces, I taped them together on canvas like puzzle.  Next, I finally outlined where every letter would be. These steps again, taking a very long time. Finally I was able to paint in the background.

Boy, am I thankful I was able to come up with the tracing idea for the second canvas, otherwise these two projects probably wouldn't have been worth the time and effort.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holly Letter

One of the holiday projects on my list to tackle this year is an 'S' made out of holly. It was a fairly simple project and I completed it in one night while catching up on some TV shows we enjoy.

Flat letter -- I got my S from Hobby Lobby
Bundles of fake holly -- I used 7 bundles from Hobby Lobby
Red paint to match holly and paint brush
Glue gun and sticks

Step One - Paint your letter

Step Two - As your letter is drying, trim up all of your holly.  I tried to keep them in the bunches that they were already connected in and also wanted to keep a few individual or pairs of holly together to use as filler at the end.

Step Three - Hot glue your bundles of holly onto the letter, covering the entire piece as best as possible. At the end I still had some holly leftover, so I went back over it and filled in any gaps with the individual pieces. 

Step Four - Touch up the holly with red paint as needed. Some of the red coloring had come off of the holly I was working with, so I hit it up with some paint!

Step Five - Enjoy your work! Hang on a door by itself or with a wreath. Hang it on a wall or lean it up against any other holiday decor you already have!  We are enjoying it, hanging with a wreath on the inside of our front door, so we get to see it often.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

More Organized Home?

So, yeah. I may have dropped off the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series by Money Saving Mom. Blame it on some late work nights, being sick this week, and some general old laziness. I hope to hop back on where I left off this week.

In the meantime, how about a little Christmas cheer and some Christmas crafts that will be coming your way soon?