Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kiddo's Room

I got up early this morning and finished Evan's room before church. I started it yesterday but we had such a busy day I didn't get to finish it.

Yesterday I went through his clothes, closet & dresser got rid of the ones that no longer fit him and got the rest that are left looking nice & organizer. Straightened up his toys in his closet & books. I found a cute little old rustic wooden crate, that goes perfect with his room. So I took that and I stuck all of his books in there! I love it, they are perfect height for him to get one out and sit & read, plus it keeps them all in one area.

Then this morning I got up, emptied his toy box... where did he get all of this stuff?? Then decided to organize and declutter all of that. Lots of toys that weren't in his age range anymore. I put those in the basement (I tell you when I go to declutter and organize all of that it is going to take me a VERY long time!) but anyways... I put those toys in the basement for when/if we have another baby. No point getting rid of them just yet! I put all of his trucks, little people in a really nice metal organizing shelf we had his books in prior to the wooden crate. Then I put all of his bigger things and put them back in the toys box. I put some toys up in the closet, you know the ones with millions of pieces. Figured we could get those out here & there for special times, just like with his craft stuff and crayons and markers. To many little pieces to loose.... plus it is something different to play with.

This is all we have left to do upstairs:

Laundry Room & Stockpile pantry (I was hoping to wait to start this until Brad had the doghouse built because currently there is no where to go with the stuff until we get the puppy dogs crates out of there!)

Hall Bath

Desk Area (in our room currently until the basement is done)

Out Bathroom

Our Room

Our Closet

Kiley's Room

However... everything EXCEPT the laundry room is waiting on the basement to get done. But, I personally want Kiley in her new room and settled before school starts. So, I told Brad we would go ahead and primer & paint her new room (which is currently our room) and then move in all of her stuff and get her settled & until the basement is done we will be in her room or in the basement... which isn't quite finished!

Just the same... it all (including the basement being decluttered and organized) MUST be done by July 31st. We have the garage sale then and I want to unload as much as possible and you never know we make some money in the process!

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend too. Happy Cleaning??

I hope to hear from more people on the blog, I have a lot telling me things on Facebook and on Chocolate Soup!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

~Homemade Laundry Detergent~

I'm personally all about saving money. At our MOPS meeting this past year we had someone come in and discuss the earth and little things we can do to be a little more "green". So this was something I had been planning on doing... just wanted to finish using the detergent we had. We had made a sample in our MOPS meeting, and I tried it several times on my clothing & it worked really well actually! So this past week the kids and I made the detergent. Here is the receipe for others who may like to give it a try:

Equal parts of Fels Naptha soap, Borax, and Washing Soda. One bar of Fels Naptha is 1 cup. (So you will have three cups total) You can also make enough to last quite awhile, just use all of the Borax & all of the Washing Soda... You will need one bar of Fels Naptha per every time you dump more of the other two ingredients in... Did I make any sense just then??Use 2 tablespoons of the mixture for each load of clothes.

Hope you all enjoy it, we like it... It works for us and it is better for the environment & our family.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You can organize that? Why Not?! Challenge 9-11

So yesterday I had no time to really do a challenge, I had to work most of the day, so while I was working I organized all of the items I had marked in my "favorite" section. It looks so nice and pretty.

However on to today. I know I won't be able to do any organizing tomorrow either, because again I will be working all day. So I figured I would do as much as I could today. This morning Evan is very into his blocks and wants nothing to do with me so I took advantage of that time.

Challenge #9 Pantry, Our pantry is a small one, so I put all of our stockpile or double items in our laundry room which works for now. My husband put up shelfing in there, so this morning I just pulled everything out of the pantry I knew we wouldn't eat and passed it on to someone who would. My Grandma loves to give us food.... 1/2 of it never gets eaten so why not give it to someone who can use it.

Challenge #10 Spice Cabinet, this little cabinet holds so much! I went through and tossed any spices that were expired there wasn't to many since I had just done this not to long ago. I also then took out anything we haven't used or don't plan to use and passed it on to someone who can use it. Looks much nicer now!

Challenge #11 Fridge & Freezer, I pulled all the shelves & drawers out and got them all cleaned out. I wiped down all of the bottles & jars straightened it all out and put it back. Needless to say it will be a mess again by tomorrow but at least it looks nice for a few hours. I did the same thing with the freezer. I also tossed out anything in the fridge or freezer that needed to go.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I haven't forgotten you! Challenge 4-8

Hey everyone, it has been very busy around here. Our little man got tubes put in his ears & had his adenoids taken out, it has been a very busy last week. Anywho... althou I have been busy with him I have still been decluttering just not posting here. So, I have some more challenges for you... However I don't have pictures... Just don't have the time right now. So read on for the challenges and let me know how you all are doing!

Challenge #4: Living Room, it has taken me years to be "comfortable" in our living room, you have to find the right flow or it just doesn't work well at all. I started by cleaning off my entertainment center and all of it's cubbies. We got rid of all of our DVD's (more for the garage sale) and then I moved on to all of the surfaces "mantle, 1/2 wall, bar ledge I dusted all of those and took anything off of them I didn't absolutly HAVE to have there. Then I tackled our little book case, it houses more pictures then anything but it did have some books. I went through them and I got rid of all that I have read or will not read & then I took the ones I want to read and put them up... so I have them when I am ready for a book. After that I figured out how to get my blankets and decorative pillows to not look like clutter and wala... I was all done. I also assigned the remotes a spot... top of the tv. I personally was sick of losing them.

Challenge #5: Kitchen, I started with doing all of my drawers (do one and then take a break if you need to, but I got on a roll and did it all in one afternoon) I did my silverware drawer and there was so much stuff I never use.... garage sale! Then I tackled my junk drawer.... more stuff for the garage sale and lots of TRASH!! Then I did my cabinets, and reorganized how I wanted everything and where. We don't have a lot of cabinet space so I dont take advantage of it. I kept tossing things still.... lots of garage sale items and things that just needed a new home. I will say I have left my one cabinet that houses all of my spices and baking stuff... that will be a challenge all in it's own. I also left the fridge & freezer. Again...another challenge another day. If you feel up to doing it all go ahead thou.

Challenge #6: Coat closet, this wasn't very time consuming for us. We took our Kirby attachments and got them mounted to the wall, took all of the other Kirby stuff we don't use regularly out to the garage for storage, we then gave the camcorder a home and got rid of all of the coats we will no longer use. We then hung the rest up nice and neat and mom made the rule "If you use your coat hang it back up" There is no reason for them all to just be shoved in there like that. I also think that instead of having the kids coats in their room they will also get put in the coat closet in our hallway. It is just one less thing for them to have cluttering up their room & take up more space.

Challenge #7: Kiley's closet. You may not have a Kiley but clean your child's closet :) I have made the mistake in the past of saying "If it doesn't fit you get rid of it" However that did nothing for allof the stuff she had she just didn't like or that didn't fit comfortably and she didn't want. So this time I said "If you don't like it, don't wear it OR it doesn't fit.... get rid of it" Her closet is looking way better now. I also organized her clothes the way I do mine (Sweaters, Long Sleeved Shirts, Tanks, T-Shirts, Dress Clothing) it makes it easier for her to find them and put them away. Less searching.

Challenge #8 Kiley's dresser drawers. Again you may not have a Kiley but clean your child's drawers. We started at the top with undies & socks. Socks had a hole... they were gone. If they didn't fit... they were gone. Undies... stained or didn't fit...gone. She had a pair of fours she was still wearing. She is 9...explain that one to me?? We then did her jammies (drawer two) and then her shorts (drawer 3) and then jeans (drawer 4). Mom's other new rule, I will buy you jeans in the fall and they will get cut off into play shorts in the summer. She ruins almost all of her nice shorts otherwise. Just a tip.

Happy Cleaning, let me know how you all are doing, remember not to get overwhelmed just take it a day at a time, 15 minutes at a time.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

3rd Challenge: Entry Way

I apologize everyone, I thought this was posted & it didn't go through. I love technology. So yesterday our Challenge was to clean and declutter our Entryway. The reasons we do this is because it makes your house look welcoming, it also kind of sets the "tone" if your Entryway had shoes laying all over the place and book bags... people are more then likely going to think "sloppy or messy" I do.

Some people have a "shoe rack" at their entryway for people to place their shoes. We do not, you can do whatever works best for you. Our rule is if they aren't on your feet, then they should be in your closet. We're still working on getting them from our feet to the closet, but we remind each other and I am convinced this is going to get better. When it is muddy or raining they go in the garage :).

Now on to how I make ours work for us:

For starters the biggest thing is our entryway table. I couldn't live w/o this anymore. On the top we have a little dish, that Kiley made in art we decided to place that on the top and make that our "key dish". I use to lose my keys ALL the time. This has really cut down on that happening. The drawer is where I put coupons to give to other friends that clip coupons, that way they are out of the way and I know where they are! The bottom shelf on the right is where the kids library books go. We go to the library every week and this prevents the library books from getting mixed up with our personal books. The other 1/2 of the bottom shelf is where I put things that need to "go" somewhere. For instance in this picture there is a Girl Scout book, I need to give back to one of the mom's when she comes over and also a CD that I need to take up to our church. So when I go that way, I can grab it! I also have things I save for family or things people leave here. You can see my dad's eyeglass case, well there it is, when he is back here or I am there he can get it. There is also a coupon for my mom's cat Ella for Cat Food! Plus all those Pampered Chef catalogs for my friend Pam, because I no longer need them!

You can also see my pretty flowers, from Melissa's wedding on Saturday. They still smell wonderful.

Next to the table there is a crock, my Grandma gave it to me, it sat there and had no real purpose so I decided to make that the spot our newspapers go. If they are wet, they can go in there still and it doesn't hurt anything or drip water all over my clean floor.

The rug is there for looks and to prevent again... water from getting all over my clean floors. :)

I will post my pictures from my entryway, I hope you all will email me your before & after pictures. You can email them to me at I will post all the mom's pictures and if you don't want to send them in that is fine too. You can still do the challenge.

I will post another one for today, later on when I am finished working.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Budget OR Bust

So we officially have out budget made out throught July. We're learning this all in our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class. It's tought to make a budget, you think you have everything on there but I know something else will come up. Dave says it takes about 3 months to get a good budget down, if that holds true for us we should have a good one in place by the beginning on November! Seems that is a long way off however... I know it will be here before we know it. We're also going to a "cash" system as of Friday. The way this will work is we will take cash out of my checks/his checks and then keep that cash in a sorter for coupons. We will then have each tab labeled and know what the cash in each individual spot is for. So we have $150 for groceries once it is gone... it is gone. This has me nervous but I can tell that during this will actually save us a lot of money. You don't have the moolah you can't buy it.

I will keep everyone posted on how we are doing on our FPU journey. No challenges the rest of the week, I am preparing for my girlfriend Melissa's wedding and I have lots I need to personally get done. Not to mention homework for class and getting a few of our other "forms" for class figured out.

One other thing we have to do is a "Debt Snowball" this works when you take your lowest bill pay it off and then you put that monthly payment towards the next, so you can get things paid of much faster! I can't wait to put down eveything we owe and then everything we can pay off. I am excited to see that happen.

Keep everyone posted, if your behind in the challenges work on those the rest of the week and I will get a new challenge up soon....


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How DO you declutter

So I apologize. I figured everyone had done this before, finding out that is not the case. So let's start at the beginning! You have to look at the severity of your case, if you have already done a huge declutter on your own (I have) you won't need to do this every single time. However, if you have never decluttered... I recommend you follow the directions below.

1) Your going to need three boxes or three laundry baskets

2) Your going to mark the first basket "donate" these are things you no longer need & want to donate. I suggest that as soon as you are done with the room take it put it in your car and donate it the next time you are out, otherwise you will leave it there, and you will decide later on you may really need that can opened your Aunt Betsy got you that you don't know how to work & have never used. You won't... get rid of it! Your going to mark the second one "trash" this is all going to go STRAIGHT into the trash can as soon as you are finished with the room you are in. Lastly your going to mark the other one "return" this may be an item you borrowed from someone, or an item that is just in the wrong room... for instance: your cleaning the kitchen and find a Polly Pocket, just throw it in that basket... don't run off to place it where it goes, otherwise you will get sidetracked. Trust me... been there done that!

3) Each item, ask yourself "When did I last use this?"
Never~ out it goes!
Within the last year~ Out! unless it is a holiday item, and in that case go get yourself some colored totes and store the stuff!
Within a month~you have found yourself a potential keeper! You need to decide where that item goes thou, in that room you are in & if it doesn't then stick it in that "return" sorter and we can deal with that later on.
Yesterday~Hold on to it.

If you absolutly can not stand to part with your stuff, like someone is ripping it from your hands, stick all of it in a box and label it "whatever room you are in declutter" seal it and stick it in your attic. Leave it there for 6 months, write it on your calendar so you don't forget. If you then live w/o the items in there for 6 months.... take it and donate it. You don't need it. All it is, is stuff! Clutter causing you chaos. Do not open the box or just take a peek otherwise you will start this whole process over again.

So hopefully this will give you some motivation to work on these challenges... those of you who were FREAKING out!

Let me know if this helps at all.
We will go back to our challenges tomorrow.