Monday, January 30, 2012

A Crying Toddler and Some Accomplishments

I got a lot done today.  I am really amazed at how much I did considering that Kyler cried for the better part of the morning.  I managed to unload the dishwasher, fold and put away three loads of laundry, clean out the refrigerator, work on a craft project that has been taking up space in the dining room (it is almost done and ready to be put away), help Cade get his homework done that he has been putting off, work on sorting Cade's Legos, and sort through a bunch of magazines and articles I have been saving.  I really like a few particular magazines, and I subscribe to them when I can find really good deals.  My absolute favorite is Disney Family Fun.  It has so many good crafts, games, recipes, and so much more for those with little kids.  The problem is that I never want to part with the old issues of Family Fun.  All of the other magazines I get I go through and tear out what I want to keep for future reference and keep them all sorted in two expandable files.  I keep only the latest issue of each magazine and recycle or pass on the old ones.  I had at leat fourteen old issues of Family Fun, and they took up the entire magazine rack.  I was going to make some magazine files from old cardboard boxes, but then I came up with a better plan.  Almost everything from the magazine is on the website, so I just chose my favorite activities and ideas from these issues, found them on the Family Fun website, and pinned them to Pinterest.  Now I can get rid of the magazines, and I am much more likely to actually do the crafts and activities with the kids because I have everything all organized neatly together.  Yay.  I am also going through my expandable files to clear things out and find what I can online.  In addition to all of that, we all went for a walk together this afternoon.  The only way most of these things were able to be accomplished is that James was home from work really early today. 

Last night James started sorting through our mountain of paperwork.  Today he has been working on shredding all of the stuff that we do not need anymore (and there is a lot of it).  I have really appreciated that he is getting on board with my organizing and simplifying efforts (even if he does tell other people that I am on an "organizing rampage"). 

In a few minutes we are going to watch some t.v. and sort some Legos.  I know, you are so jealous, right?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I feel like such a failure

I wish that when I set my goals for this blog that I had included that I would like to have written proof of my inability to meet my expectations.  If that were the case then I would have accomplished at least one of my goals.  I saw on another blog recently where a blogger posted some "Friday confessions."  I am going to steal her idea.  These are my Saturday confessions.

Confession #1- On Monday while I was in my bedroom taking pictures and writing out descriptions for the things I want to list on Ebay I heard, "Mommy doesn't know what we're doing" along with a lot of giggles.  This is what I found:

They emptied almost all of their clothes from the dresser, dumped them in a big pile, and danced around them.  I let them play with the mountain of clothes while I finished what I was doing because they were entertained and I needed to go through their clothes and take out all of the stuff that was too small anyway.  

Confession #2- When Kyler and I got home from our weekly grocery shopping trip I carried in the bags and then I needed to use the bathroom (because I'm pregnant, so that's what I do).  In the 45 seconds that I was in the bathroom Kyler noticed that I had already unlocked the pantry and accomplished this:
He emptied two shelves from the pantry in less than a minute.

Confession #3- This morning when I got out of the shower I found Kyler sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor covered in Cade's blueberry scented shampoo.  I hadn't even realized that he was in the room with me.  I felt like Mother of the Year.  I managed to get Kyler, his stuffed dog, and the bathroom floor cleaned up, but in the middle of that process James called to let me know that he'd be home from work later than we had expected.  At that point we were still hoping he would be home by 10:30.  Later during nap time I went up to check on the boys (who I knew were still awake based on the noises coming from their room) when Cade informed me that "Kyler made some oatmealy-spit uppy stuff in his crib."  I got Kyler's clothes and bedding changed and he finally took a nap.  After all of the messes I have cleaned up this week I am too exhausted to get anything else done.

Confession #4- I skipped organizing on Monday afternoon to take the boys out puddle splashing.

I don't even feel bad about it.  We all had fun (until Kyler was knocked flat in a giant puddle).  The organizing will get done eventually.  I am not willing to sacrifice opportunities like this with my children.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Goals for the Week

I did not get any organizing done today, but I will post my goals for the week to help keep me accountable (in theory).

Monday- set up an e-bay seller account, take pictures of stuff for e-bay listings, pare down back issues of magazines
Tuesday- list some stuff that I want to sell on e-bay, go through the house with a trash bag and throw away as much as I can
Wednesday- scan photos and work on organizing all photos on computer
Thursday- Make inventory sheets for keeping track of what is in the freezer, pantry, and my stockpile area; clean out downstairs bathroom cabinet
Friday- work on organizing/shredding/filing paperwork

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Great Closet Clean Out

Thanks for being patient with me recently while I have been sick and not posting as regularly as I would like.  I hope I am past the worst of it now. 

I finally got my closet clean out done today.  James kept the boys busy while I worked on it all day long. I took everything out, sorted through everything (getting rid of some), and found a home for (almost) everything.  This was a pretty big undertaking because my closet is not just where I keep my clothes and accessories.  Because we have no garage, attic, or basement my closet is where we keep all of our Christmas decorations (including our tree), my craft supplies, and all of my clothes.  There is nowhere else to put out of season clothes or my non-maternity clothes.  I have a few under the bed boxes where I have some clothes and craft stuff stored now, so we have thrown away every last Space Bag.  If you don't know how I feel about Space Bags, I HATE them.  Now they are gone.  Yay!  Anyway, here are some before pictures of my closet:

I know.  It's bad.  But this is how it looks now:

This is what my bed looked like after everything was out of the closet: 

Both closet doors even close now.  This is a huge accomplishment.  My husband did not believe that all of the stuff that came out of the closet went back in.  I did set aside some things to get rid of, but almost everything that came out went back in.  This was a huge undertaking, but I feel so much better knowing that it is done.  I am most excited about how accessible everything is.  I can get to my craft supplies easily, I know where everything is, and it is easier to put everything away.  Getting dressed in the mornings is no longer a challenge because I can walk all the way into the closet and look at my clothes.  Also, after working on this I was in a organizing mood, so I worked on some kitchen cabinets while dinner was cooking.  I will try to get those pictures posted tomorrow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sickness, sickness go away

I am still feeling pretty crummy.  As a result very little has been done for the last week.  Thanks to the help of my wonderful husband, we did get a lot of stuff out of our house today.  He helped sort and pack stuff throughout the week.  This afternoon/evening we had our first "date" in months.  On our date we dropped stuff off at Goodwill, took more stuff to a used book store, went to 2 different Target stores, and had dinner at Olive Garden.  I know that aside from dinner it sounds more like errands than a date, but it was all done without the kids, so we count it as a date.   We took 4 large boxes of stuff plus our old Christmas tree to Goodwill.  We also took a large box of books, c.d.s, and DVDs to the used book store.  We got $35 in cash plus about $5 in store credit for all of the stuff that we didn't need anyway.  We could have gotten $78 in store credit, but we agreed that since the goal is to get stuff out of our house and not bring more in we went with the cash.  At Target we got a lot of organizational bins because I had a gift card that I had set aside for this purpose.  Now I am really looking forward to cleaning out my closet.  I had to put it off from last week because of a sinus infection.  I hope this week will be better and I will have more to post.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Goal met, but nothing much extra

My goal for today was to scan some photos, which I did manage to do.  I made a good dent in the photos I have left to scan.  My hope is to scan all of my photos and back them up on our external hard drive.  After this is done I plan to sort through the mountain of photos, keep my favorites in organized photo albums, and give away the rest (as well as the shoe box full of negatives). 

I also typed enough recipes to get rid of another cookbook. 

Tomorrow morning we are planning a trip to Goodwill to look for a bike for Cade, so I went through some stuff and filled a canvas tote with stuff that we can drop off while we are there.  I am so excited to see more stuff leaving our home.  I also realized today how often I talk about getting rid of stuff when Cade showed me a few small envelopes with some pieces of his art in them and told me, "These are going to leave the house today." 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finished bathroom cabinet

This afternoon I was able to get the bathroom cabinet organized.  Here is the after picture:
This is how Kyler though I should organize my basket:

Despite Kyler's help, I am pleased with the results.  Now there is a system for where things belong.  The basket on the right is my stuff, the basket on the left holds James's stuff as well as extra baby/kid stuff.  There is a small basket for my "pampering" stuff and another small basket for bath stuff for the boys.  The stuff that is in between the baskets is stuff that I want to have easy access to, but not stuff that I need all of the time.  I am going to post a laminated paper on one of the cabinet doors to keep track of what is in the cabinet.  I still have a few things that came out of the cabinet that need a new home, but it is a work in progress. 

Now, on to the daily goals.  Yesterday my goal was to find a home for new toys and art supplies.  All of the toys have found a home, but I am still working on art supplies.  I hope to be done with this by the end of the week.  Today's goal was to type my Christmas card mailing list.  I did get this done today.  Yay!  I also typed several recipes and sorted my recipes on the computer.  They are now divided into 2 main folders: recipes to try, and family favorites.  Because I got some recipes typed I can get rid of two more cookbooks.  Yay again!

I am finally feeling like things are getting done.  I hope you are, too.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Unexpected Interruption

This afternoon I was feeling particularly motivated, so I decided to organize our under the sink cabinet in the upstairs bathroom.  This is where we store the stockpile of personal care items in addition to rarely used stuff like the extra cottonballs and q-tips.  This is what the cabinet looked like to begin with:

With a little help from the boys I took everything out of the cabinet.  This is what our bathroom looked like with everything out:
I then grabbed one of the two wire baskets that I keep in there and it bumped (very gently) into the pipe.  Then water began spewing everywhere.  I am so thankful that this happened when I had everything out of that cabinet.  It is also moments like this that make me so thankful that we are renters.  It seems that I have one of these moments with each pregnancy.  Two days before Cade's due date our water heater busted while James was at work and I was home alone.  Thank you, Lord, that we rent this apartment and this will be repaired in a timely fashion and at no cost to me.  A week and a half before Kyler was born the air conditioner went out.  It was June and over 90 degrees.  Thank you again, Lord, that all I had to do was call and the repair guy had it fixed by the end of the day.

This is what the cabinet looks like now (minus the sopping towel):
The repair did not get sone until almost time for me to leave for church, so the rest of the project will have to wait. 

A plan and some accomplishments

We are now back in town and everyone is well(ish).  Over the last month while I have been seriously lacking in energy I have been working out a plan for things I want to do, so now I am putting the plan into action.  I found a 2012 declutter calendar on  After looking at it I decided to make my own calendar.  Beth's calendar is great, but if I make my own I can make it more specific to what really needs to be done in my home and life.  Also, her calendar goes through the whole year and I just want one that will got to the end of April.  I am only scheduling things for the calendar about 2 weeks ahead of time because this way I have a better idea of what is on the calendar.  Here are my goals for the week:
  •      Wednesday- Find a home for all new toys and gifts (the biggest challenge is the mountain of art supplies my son now has)
  •      Thursday- Type Christmas card mailing list so it will be easier next year
  •      Friday- Scan photos and organize them on the computer
  •      Saturday- Overhaul my closet
I am a little apprehensive about doing my closet, but I think this is the only way.  I have tried to work on it in small doses, but it just ends up being a bigger mess.  I have decided to take pretty much everything out of the closet and start all over on it.  I'm a little scared, but also optimistic.  I plan to post before and after pictures.

I know I have not gotten much posting done the last several weeks, but this does not mean that we got nothing done.  My wonderful husband turned this pile of wood
into this:
The boys love their new kitchen.  The most difficult part was keeping it a surprise for Christmas.  Each night after the boys were in bed James would work on it, then he would carry it up to our bedroom and cover it with a blanket in a corner.  One of the advantages of having a cluttered house is that the boys didn't even notice that it was there or try to look at what was under the blanket. 

Also, I threw away a lot of stuff yesterday and added a lot more to my Goodwill pile.  I even threw away my Christmas wreath that I made several year ago because it was faded and falling apart.  I am sad to see it go, but maybe I will get a new one made by next year.  I also threw away a bunch of funky bath toys that are WAY past their prime.  My biggest accomplishment of the day yesterday was that I worked on my kitchen reorganization plan.  I didn't actually do much organizing because my standing on chairs and lifting things is frowned upon right now, so I will just have to put my husband to work as soon as there is time.  My main motivation in the kitchen is to make room in my cabinets for a Pampered Chef deep covered baker before my birthday at the end of February. 

I now have 108 days until my goal.  I have no idea how I will do all of the things I want to in that time. 

Do you have plans to reorganize or simplify in 2012?  How do you intend to keep motivated?