Friday, November 30, 2007

30 Day Organizational Challenge (Whole Room) Wrap-Up

As per this post I entered I'm an Organizing Junkie's 30 Day Organizational Challenge to work on our office/family room (just called our office). As per this post, things this month have not gone as I planned or hoped! With the baby being sick, I just haven't gotten the rest I've been needing or the time/energy to work on the office as much as I'd planned. Needless to say, I'm pleased with what has been accomplished and gotten rid of. I would like to have something to cover the glass doors with but hopefully that can be addressed in December. A lot of laundry has been culled through, folded and put away (2 movies were watched in this process!), books have been rearranged and gotten rid of, 1 yard sale was participated in, a "brilliant" idea has been born for receipts and filing. I'm going to use a sandwich ziploc for each week (labeled) and then a gallon ziploc for each month. Then after 3 months the receipts can be shredded. So many stores are limiting returns to 3 months that I think this is a good time period to keep them. A separate envelope will be in the gallon bag for reimbursement and for receipts to keep (purchased appliances that need the original receipt - these are filed in the box). Per FlyLady (and others), I need to remember that a load of laundry isn't finished until it's folded and put away & to begin having an office day to address receipts, filing, and bank/budget issues - this will probably be Sunday.

Answering questions:
1) Hardest part - getting up early to participate in our church sale :) next was probably just getting a chance to work on everything b/c my husband was busy this month, 3 kids got sick, and Thanksgiving. I just tried to get a little time here and there to work on it, and put a lot of last-minute effort into it.

2) New habits/changes - laundry. This is a big issue obviously (looking at the before pictures). I'm making an effort to fold and put away laundry as it comes out of the dryer instead of letting it build up. Buying a pop-up hamper for the baby and toddler clothes has helped immensely! I really did need that. Another new thing was moving our filing box from on top of the fireplace area to under the desk. I really think it will help to have it accessible where I need it! :) I still need to discuss with my husband that every new book has to have a place before it comes into our house! My oldest child's comment, "Hooray, we have furniture" is definitely a shot into my heart that I need as a reminder that it's furniture not clothes holder.

3) Sold the computer desk chair, rocking chair and ottoman, speaker stands, some clothes, toys, and books. Outgrown and out of season clothes are stored in the kids' closets in totes. Some luggage went into our closet and some into our kids' closets. Trash!

4) Yes I think having this space is wonderful for us, it's nice to be around less cluttered spaces, and a place to sit and socialize. I know the kids will enjoy having room to move around. We're hoping to move the baby into the crib so the playpen could come down and open up the room some more. Implementing a filing system and plan for receipts will clear up clutter from the rest of the house, keep our finances more organized, and keep my husband off my back (he's always wondering where stuff is or how our checking account is doing). :)

5 or 6) I may have the biggest progress/better look but I'm not sure I should win b/c I feel like I wasn't able to give my full effort into this challenge and didn't make all of the changes I talked about (didn't get glass doors covered). However, I do feel we're more organized now and the room is definitely looking better! And new systems are being put into place. I guess it's up to the judges. :)



All laundry folded and put away! Matching ottoman brought out of our living room because there's room in here for it. :)

New pop-up hamper for kids' clothes, on the lower left is my 2-step step stool now cleared off and ready to use.

CD spinner (on the right) is cleared off (top) but I probably need to put something pretty there so it doesn't turn into a hot spot (FlyLady). Bookshelves have been gone through (except a couple shelves), some purging and reorganizing. The only new container (was empty, came out of our room) is for the batteries, the small shoe box I had wasn't big enough after I found a good deal at K-Mart a while back! :) The diapers will be used, hopefully freeing up another shelf but this seemed to be a good spot to put them in the meantime. I used the diaper boxes for my husband's books that he was selling.

Playpen has been moved over because rocker and ottoman were sold, floor cleaned. The fireplace is covered with a blanket to keep the cold air out (we don't use the fireplace).

Here's the cleaner desk, computer chair has been replaced with a folding chair (hope to replace with another "rolling" chair soon). Filing box is under the lower right part of the desk within reach of sitting at the desk! :)

LOOK! I found the space heater! And there's room on the floor for it! :) Really just showing the bookshelves being less cluttered.

Any questions?? Here's the posts at Org. Junkie's for the 2 updates - whole room, one area.

Purge - this before picture shows the office chair and top of the rocker, one of the before pictures (black diaper bag, can see the arm rest of the rocker - it's wood) shows the ottoman.

one small bag of trash, as the space is being cleared out

one bag of trash (regular 13 gallon kitchen). Two diaper boxes worth of books (sold or waiting to be sold).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WFMW - shower head

I believe every woman should have a "hand held" shower head thing. I'll link to one sold online at Wal-Mart. I'm not recommending this particular product just giving you a visual for what I'm talking about in case I'm not very clear (it's pretty late/early depending on how you look at it!). I'm talking about a "hand held" shower nozzle that slips into a holder that you replace a regular shower head with. Hopefully, your husband or friend is handy enough to install this for you if you're like me and completely clueless in areas that deal with plumbing. You will LOVE it. Why?

  1. There are different settings so you can adjust the water flow, etc.

  2. Take the shower head down and SPRAY your bathtub/walls. So much easier to clean! :)

  3. Are you pregnant? Now you can reach every area if need be, 'nough said.

  4. Do you have kids you need to bathe (ok, this one isn't working yet for us, but maybe some day), spray them off, especially when washing their hair.

  5. Need to wash your dog OR cat? see above

  6. It's so adjustable!!

  7. Pull it down to wash your hair (for those days you just want to wash your hair, you can stand outside your bathtub and lean over it to wash your hair!).

I would recommend looking at hose length when buying, consider how far you want it to reach around your shower. (The one we got recently isn't very long and doesn't reach very well.) This is what Works For Me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving and RECIPE

Have you been wondering where I've been? Hmm, trying to keep the house running and 4 kids away from the doctor. I've been failing. I took all 4 in last Wed, 2 had ear infections (the oldest really wasn't sick anyway). Then today I took one to the immediate care center and lo and behold, another ear infection! What fun!! :)

We had a good Thanksgiving at home, just our family (didn't want to spread any sickness). I roasted a turkey (my 2nd ever), made gravy (yeah, it turned out okay unlike theirs, I feel their pain!), Stove Top Stuffing (bought at $.29), instant mashed potatoes (Betty Crocker cheese flavored, oldest thought they were good), sweet potato casserole (followed the recipe from the can of Bruce yams, adding a little extra brown sugar and miniature marshmallows), vegetable casserole (maybe I'll give that recipe sometime), canned jellied cranberry sauce, frozen rolls (Pillsbury wheat, we are very nutritious!), and pumpkin bars. I decided at the last minute to switch from pumpkin pie (not my favorite) to pumpkin bars (my husband might have been a little disappointed but he was gracious not to say so), and all of us (except the one who didn't like anything except the rolls) LOVED them! This is the same recipe as what I used - Pumpkin bars with frosting except my recipe says 15 oz pumpkin and adds 1-2 tablespoons milk for the frosting (to achieve desired spreading consistency). I feel this is not enough frosting to cover ALL of the pumpkin bars (might be a good choice to leave some unfrosted) so you might double the frosting recipe! :) As you can tell, I'm not a has-to-be-from-scratch kinda cook! Maybe some day I'll try a little harder.

I've also been trying to keep up with this and this. I need to write 3 book reviews, and work A LOT on our office. Hopefully, those will get done this week. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WFMW - Donate Airline Miles

Do you have airline miles that are about to expire? Or are you changing credit cards and don't know what to do with the airline miles you have accrued (maybe the amount is too small to take a trip)? I have an idea for you!! (Sorry to sound like a commercial.)

Donate your airline miles. You may know someone who wants to take a missionary trip but doesn't have the $$$. Usually, the most expensive part of a missionary trip is the airline ticket. My husband has done mission trips using donated miles. A person from our church helped by donating miles, it wasn't enough for the whole trip but covered part of it.

Remember it never hurts to ask. I'm not sure of other organizations that would take donated miles, this is one I know of - The Centers for Apologetics Research (

Donated miles - it Works For Me!
UPDATE - per texastanya in the comments, you can donate to Fisher House which flies a wounded service men or assist families of wounded service men get to wherever the soldier is being treated.

Monday, November 5, 2007

30 Day Organizational Challenge

I've watched before, I've seen the transformations, and now I'm ready to participate!! Ok, I can't believe I'm doing this! My husband is cheering me on (thanks honey!). I'm submitting myself to I'm an Organizing Junkie's 30 Day Organizational Challenge. I'd like to work on our office/family room. We just call it the office. And it's terrible. There's a mountain of laundry, no make that 2 mountains of laundry. There's a ton of stuff on the floor. Ugh. And there's paper. Double ugh! But the desk isn't too bad (trust me it's been much much worse).

Plan of Attack

Mountains of laundry - folding party (maybe by myself, maybe with littles - we'll see), to fold and put away, stash in bins (summer clothes, outgrown clothes), give away, sell, or throw away ALL of the clothes mountain. I know there's a loveseat and chair there.

Desk - reorganize bill paying/filing system (need to implement system for receipts)

Clean up floor - put away items that don't belong in office, develop a toy area for this room

Talk to hubby about bookshelves (90% of the books are his, the books are piled upon books, reorganize or get rid of please???)

Purchase a pop-up hamper for youngest 2 children, I might purchase more of these pop-up hampers because I think it would be easier than laundry baskets that take up lots of room and urge me to leave clothes in them!

Purchase curtain rod (or something) to go across double glass doors, hanging clips, re-find full-size sheet to hang up as curtain (trim if necessary). I think this will work and look nice in this room (and be easy to move to allow access to door, also to allow light in). Plus it should be cheap! :)

Our church is having a sale day so hopefully some of this stuff will make it into that!

I'm a little late starting (the challenge started Nov. 1) but hopefully I'll finish well (Nov. 30). Now, before I chicken out - BEFORE pictures: