Tag Archives: organizing

I’ve Been Busy!

22 Apr

Wheew, sorry folks!  I know I’ve been MIA, but I have a REALLY good reason!  We put our house up for sale and I have been spending 90% of my time cleaning, decluttering, sorting, donating . . . and the other 10% sleeping.

Selling your house is seriously a full time job!  Especially with 2 kids and 3 pets that make a lot of messes and clutter!  Putting your house on the market is so much more involved than just signing on with a realtor and sticking a sign in your yard.  You need to do your homework or you may as well not even list your house.  The weeks prior to our realtor coming over were spent comp shopping to decide on a competitive price, fixing things that needed fixing, and a massive purge and clean that made our house sparkle and shine!

Why did we purge and clean?  Well that’s a pretty simple question to answer.  You want your home to show off it’s bests assets, it’s size and functionality.  How can someone come in and decide if they want to live there, visualize their family living there, if you have nicknacs and pictures on ever wall and surface?  Any good realtor will tell you to take down all the personal affects and only leave out a few decorative touches.  You want to make it look like you don’t live there, like it’s staged.  And after going to a bunch of open houses, some of which were so cluttered I didn’t even know what room I was in, I think it’s safe to say that a tidy house will sell faster than a cluttered one.

We removed all of the personal photos from walls, shelves etc.  Over our mantle we hung a large mirror, and over our sofa we hung a nice piece of wrought iron artwork.  Speaking of artwork, you all know I love to paint . . . well I took down most of my paintings to show off the size of the rooms.  If there are too many things on the walls, they distract the eye.

In the boys rooms we put most of their stuff in storage, to showcase the rooms instead of the toys.  Same with the playroom, we put away a good chunk of the toys.  They still have plenty to play with, but it looks less busy.

Extra furniture was stored away as well, too much furniture makes a room look small.

So, those are a few of my tips for getting your home ready to sell!  I will keep you posted on the status of ours!

30 Days to Organized- Day 10

13 Jan

I didn’t want you all to think I forgot about organizing something today, because I didn’t.  But my back feels like someone is sticking knives in it, so I wasn’t about to crawl into the depths of my laundry room or the kids closets today!  What can you organize while you lay on a heating pad?  Photos on the computer!

It was actually kind of fun, strolling down memory lane and putting all the photos into folders.  The oldest ones I just did by year, and they went back to 2006.  When I hit 2012 I did them by month, mostly because I am WAY behind on ordering photos!

I also back them up using Shutterfly as well as burning them to a disk.  I never used to back up my photos, but then the Great Computer Virus of 2009 wiped out my files and it took months to find everything again!

So, no great words of wisdom or magical organizing tips for you today . . . just  a mementos from our past that I came across.

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Here is Big A, one year old and messy face!   Hard to believe he is 7 now . . .

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He’s 2 here, my little cowboy!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd his 3rd birthday where I constructed the notorious “train cake”, that parents needed to sign a release before allowing their children to eat it.  75 toothpicks held that bad boy together!

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9131_155649691638_7310254_nBig A meets his baby brother Little C for the first time!  Big A was 4.  He told the nurse his new brother’s name was Train Edward.  The nurse believed him!

Here is Little C, 1 year old and chubby!  Love those cheeks!

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Little C packed, 15ms,  his Diego “pack pack” and was headed to Nana’s.

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So, thanks for letting me share my babies with you!  I hope I’ve inspired you all to dig through some old photos and awaken some memories!

30 Days to Organized- Day 9

11 Jan

I needed copies of some old check stubs last night.  I went to the desk where we keep all the important papers and paid bills etc and THIS is what I found: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAjust a massive stack of bills and statements tossed into a drawer in the desk.  I cannot find anything in this mess!

Ironically, the messy drawer has little metal lips inside so you can use hanging file folders.  So . . .  USE FILE FOLDERS!

We hold onto paid bills, bank statements, receipts etc for 7 years.  I know if sounds excessive but that is the statute of limitations in our state.  You should always hang on to receipts and paid bills, including medical EOBs and insurance payments for the entire amount of time allowed in your state for collections to take place.  That way if there is ever any question as to whether or not you paid, or you received payment . . . you have proof.  Once the window of time is closed- in our state 7 years- you can shred away.

I made a folder for each of the following categories:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit cards
  • Auto
  • Medical
  • Receipts
  • Pay stubs
  • Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Personal

Once the folders were in place, I went through and filed everything, and found 3 more piles of crap that needed to be filed!  But now that it’s all in place, if I need to find something, I know just where to look.

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30 Days to Organized- Day 8

11 Jan

I was planning on spending the day with my good friend Laundry . . . but then a human friend called and asked if I wanted to go outlet shopping!  Who can say no to that?  So I was gone almost all day, I only bought 2 things, and I accomplished VERY little.  But it was fun and the kids had   blast running around outside between stores.

I did manage to organize our craft cupboard and the drawer that Big A refers to as “his drawer”.  It’s basically an extension of  the craft cabinet.

If you do as many arts and crafts as we do, your storage may also look a bit like this, and need an overhauling: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  

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Craft cabinet in total disarray, Play-Doh, cotton balls . . . you name it.  Same was happening in the drawer . . . stickers, paint, pencils, paper . . . how could we ever find anything in these?  Seriously!

I started by taking EVERYTHING out of both of them.  I threw away empty packages, half-done projects and anything I had held onto thinking maybe we would do a craft with it and after a year or more it still sat there.

Once the trash was gone, I took out some containers-here come those lovely wipes boxes again!  I sorted all the like items- stamps and ink pads in a Ziplock bag, google eyes in a bag . . . you see where this is going.  Especially all those little items that have a tendency to spill and end up everywhere. . . . they need to be stored in a way that you won’t end up with little pom poms all over your house!

So, post organize: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at all those neat little bags filled with fabric, popsicle sticks and cotton balls!  The large bin has bags of themed foam stickers, pipe cleaners, beads and yarn.  Play Doh is all in the little caddy.  You can actually find things in here now!

And the over stuffed drawer? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGlue, pencils, paint brushes and Little C’s “magic paint”.  I keep the regular paint in an old Clorox wipes container, I can fit 4 or 5 water color sets in one of those.  I LOVE reusing containers!  Saves so much money on storage!

Lesson I learned in the process if cleaning our craft cupboard is that we don’t need to hold onto EVERY little scrap.  Also that my boys are much more likely to engage in arts and crafts on their own if they can access the items easily.  So, I cleared all the excess off Little C’s easel and created a Creation Station!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADry erase crayons for the white board, paper, crayons, coloring books, tons of stickers scissors and construction paper.  They can create at the easel, or take the tote to the table or playroom or wherever.  I want to inspire them to be creative!

30 Days to Organized- Day 6

8 Jan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASorry for the late post tonight, folks.  My evening turned into a Lego building marathon . . . and I enjoyed it very much!  Now the kiddos are in bed and I can show you all what I worked on today: My little corner of the bathroom.

We have one full bath in our house, and one half bath.  If the half bath were on the same floor as my bedroom I would probably keep all my junk in there, but it’s not.  So 4 people share one full bath.  4 people keep their junk in one full bath.  4 people tend to all try to get ready in that one full bath at similar, if not the same time each day.

A while back, in an effort to keep as much of my “girly junk” off the counter as possible, I bought these cute storage baskets and mounted them on the wall.  It worked great . . . but eventually I realized that they had become catch-alls for anything and everything that ever made it’s way into the bathroom.  Match Box cars?  REALLY?

Today my job was to take out all the items that didn’t belong and only use them for what they were originally intended for-hair supplies and lotion.

I’m quite proud of myself, actually.  I managed to throw out a lot of items I had collected in these bins that I thought I might use and never did.  Headbands that turned out too small for my big noggin, ribbons that I thought I might tie in my ponytail (what am I, 6?) empty bottles of lotion I never threw away . . . you get my drift.

I even found a pill bottle that was the perfect size for all my wayward bobby pins!  I am constantly leaving them all over the house, drives my husband bonkers!  (might actually be the reason I do it sometimes-insert evil laughter here)  In the end, they came out looking like this:

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Wow!  SO much better! Note the mountain climber-type hook on the basket there with all my hair ties on it?  Thank you Pinterest!

Now I was on a roll and decided to tackle my make up.  Scary in there, let me tell you!  I don’t wear makeup daily, so there was a lot that just needed to be thrown out!  Makeup expires, collects bacteria etc and can lead to breakouts, amongst other things . . . eew.

I keep my makeup in a little Rubbermaid deal with 3 drawers.  Works great until I get lazy and start tossing everything in there.  The top drawer was a tangled mess of jewelery . . . necklaces all tied in knots which is bad for the links.  All the jewelery went in this fancy contraption I had sitting empty on my dresser.  Ready for it?  It’s called a JEWELERY BOX!  Holy crap, when did they start making those?  Har har har.

So after the jewelry was all freed from is Rubbermaid prison, the top drawer was designated for hair clips and barrettes.  The bottom 2 for makeup.

Here is the beforeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the after:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wow, all the drawers open again!  Imagine that!

30 Days of Organization- Day 5

6 Jan

Today my organizational goal was to clean out the medicine cabinet.  Mostly because when I opened it this morning to take my meds four bottles and a box of band-aids fell on my head.  That usually means we are 3 bottles of Tylenol past it needing to be cleaned out!  Most people keep their meds in a medicine cabinet in the bathroom, but our’s is actually in a cabinet in the kitchen with a lock on it.  We don’t have a opening mirror in the bathroom like some people, and I don’t have a way to lock the linen closet in the bathroom, hence the choice of kitchen cabinet.  Also, because I take a lot of meds and take them at different times throughout the day, so the kitchen seems the best place for me to keep them where I may actually remember to take them.

First things first . . . here is what it looked like before: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Old meds we no longer take, nearly empty and expired pain killers, Tylenol and cough syrup, 7 partial boxes of band-aids, birthday party invitations, old glasses, nail polish . . . No wonder things were falling on my head!

I started by removing ALL the old meds we no longer take and everything that was expired.  Yes, Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, sunscreen and bug spray do expire.  All of these items need to disposed of properly, you can’t just toss them in the trash.  I bag them and drop them off at a clinic or police department where they do pill drops.  Many local pharmacies do these as well.  They dump them all in a big bin and from what I understand burn them.  Safer than tossing them in the trash where kids and pets can get into them or they can end up in any number of hands and even in your drinking water!

Next, anything that doesn’t belong in a medicine cabinet- like the birthday party invites, old glasses etc.  Those have other homes or can be donated . . . I always donate my old glasses to our church and they distribute them on missions.

I combined the boxes of band-aids all into 2 boxes and keep them in an old wipes container.  I tell you, those baby wipes containers are so useful for so many things!  Some day I may need to do a post of 101 things you can do with a wipes container!  I found 3 or 4 bottles of hand sanitizer, decided those were better put to use set around the house than hiding in a cabinet.  I grouped the children’s medicine together, then adult cough and cold and Advil etc, and then all my daily meds.

Most of what was in there seriously just had no need to be in there though!  Sorting out the junk and trash took more time than actually arranging the items that belong!  But now when someone is sick or has an “owie” it will be so much easier to find what they need to help them feel better!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wow!  HUGE difference!  And, I will also add that I keep the medicines on the 2nd shelf because Little C has been known to get curious and even if he should decide to push a chair over, figure out how to work the child lock and open the cabinet, he still won’t be able to reach anything harmful.  As my kids get older and begin to learn about getting high (which they’d better not do, but I know at the very least they will know someone who has) I will have a combination or padlock on my medicine cabinet.  The things kids and teens use to get high now . . . cold medicines and mixing different OTC drugs together . . . not only dangerous and scary as a parent, but also deadly.

30 Days to Organized- Day 4

5 Jan

Today is my slightly lazy organization day.  Why?  Because I had spinal injections Thursday and then decided it was a GREAT idea to organize my playroom the day following.  Smart, I think not.  So what am I organizing today?  My Pinterest boards!

I love Pinterest.  I love finding cool home decor ideas, fun craft projects, funny Ecards and adorable pictures of puppies and kittens sleeping in odd positions.  It’s slightly addictive and I find myself having a hard time finding the things I’ve pinned later on . . . where is that great chicken soup recipe I pinned 3 months ago?

What are your boards?

When I first started out on Pinterest I had maybe 6 boards.  Now I have 27.  Too many?  Probably, but I needed more categories so it didn’t take an hour to find something I wanted to try.  I currently have My Style-for cute clothes and hair styles and make up tricks, For the Home-everything inspiring for home decor, DIY-every project I like that I will actually try, Food to Try-duh, recipes I want to try, Big A Goodies-things like Lego instructions or cool stuff people have made that he and I enjoy exploring together, Little C Goodies-same premise- things I know Little C enjoys or something I think he might like for a gift, Parenting Stuff-a VERY broad spectrum of cute parenting quotes to live by all the way to fun games and crafts to do with kids.  That board NEEDS some reorganization!  Holiday Awesomeness- holiday themed crafts, decoration ideas, holiday cooking.  Wrong Way Dummy Dolls- anything cool I find that has my beloved nesting dolls (crafts, fabric, cool sets of the dolls etc) Puppy Stuff-filled with fun toys and DIY projects for my furry friend.  Birthday Goodies-this is where I keep all the great birthday party ideas I find.  My Honey Do List-anything I want my husband to build.  Most of which he most likely never will, but a girl can dream.  My Thin Pins-anything exercise related for workouts to try etc.  Life’s Little Tricks-all those great DIY soaps, laundry detergents, cleaning tricks etc to make life a little easier.  Bwaahaahaas- Funny pictures and ECards, which I honestly don’t ever look at after I pin them so I could probably get rid of that entire board all together, but I don’t.  Science Day- Fun experiments to do with the boys.  Geekery-all those great Star Wars themed pins, book worm pins etc.  Again, another board I never look at after I pin to it.  Girly Goodies- cute pink and fluffy things I want to do with or for my nieces.  Gifts to Make- DIY projects that I already know will make a wonderful gift for someone in my life.  I’m pretty sure the Girly Goody Board can pop right into this one.  Animals- apparently all animal related pins that aren’t dogs.  Hmmm . . . delete?  Elfie- all the Elf on the Shelf ideas I find, easily held in one great spot instead of floating around in the holiday board where they were too hard to find.

Even as I was making this list, I was able to delete 3 boards that I realized I no longer needed.  It may not be decluttering my house . . . but decluttering my pinboards helps Pinterest be more manageable and therefore more likely to actually be used.

So, how do you declutter your pinboards?

First rule to use when you are pinning: Is this useful?  If it’s a recipe, craft, tip for making something easier or a product you like then the answer is yes.  I used to have a board called “If I Had a Million Dollars”.  I realized that all it was was a giant list of things I was never going to have, therefore making me less grateful for the things I DO have.

Second rule, when it comes to recipes and crafts or home projects: Is it something I’m ACTUALLY going to try?  I found that I was pinning so many crazy and fancy dessert recipes, then one day realized that I NEVER make desserts!  And I can’t eat gluten, so why am I pinning all these?  All they are doing is making it harder for me to find the recipes I actually want to make!  (pinning on an empty stomach will do that to you!)  Same goes for crafts and other DIY projects- if it’s something you don’t think you will try, something that will cost you a small fortune or something that is totally out of your level of capability, why pin it?  I found myself pinning some amazing sewing projects to make clothes.  I don’t sew.  No seriously, not a sewer.  So why am I pinning these sewing projects?  Or those crocheted Yo Gabba Gabba characters since I have never in my life picked up a set of crochet needles?  Hmmmmm.  Delete.

Am I saying you have to totally over think every item you pin?  No, not at all!  But when you start finding that it’s getting harder and harder to find a recipe or craft you want to try, it’s probably time to clear out some pins!

This post actually took me a lot longer than it should have because as I was typing I found myself deleting pins I didn’t need, putting pins in other boards and removing boards all together.  So, mission accomplished, my Pinterest account has been organized!  Your turn!