Sunday, March 18, 2018

Vacation's over, back to reality

Ok so we've been home for a week but I was in denial about getting back to real life.  And after living in real life for a week, it's time to get back to the challenge!  I'll take this first week back to catch back up to where I had gotten before, so I'll go over the kitchen, pantry and dining room for a quick 'refresh', and then move on with the challenge. 

I just hope my dining room refresh includes fresh flowers again! 

For those followers who are doing the challenge, where are you in your home?  What's your favorite room so far and what's been your biggest challenge?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Getting the most out of your toiletries

Our family recently spent 2 weeks in the beautiful Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  My biggest concern was how the kids, aged 9 and 6, would react to the sun.  So I was sure to bring ALL of our sunscreen bottles, some half full and some completely full.

When the first bottle became 'empty', I remembered something I do with my face wash and creams. 
I cut the end off and scoop out what's left inside.

This time, I went one step further and opened up the entire bottle.  Since I didn't have regular scissors, I used a small pair of nail scissors. 

 My favorite part of this was that what was left in this 'empty' bottle completely covered two adults!   I did this again with another bottle, and that one had even more left inside.

Use this trick with any toiletries you have in soft bottles, especially the expensive ones! 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Starting on the Dining Room

So, in the Organization Challenge group, people are posting pictures of their completed spaces.  Along with fancy house envy, it's a great way to get ideas for your own house.  So today, when I took the kids out of the house to get some steps, we went to Walmart and Costco, and picked up a table runner for the dining room table from Walmart, and I bought some bright flowers from Costco to brighten up the room, and hopefully help me keep it tidy.  I also finally hung up my family established Wall Art from Thirty-One Gifts

I haven't done under the tables, and there are some boxes still on the floor, but so far I'm pleased, and can spend this week putting stuff away.  I also finally want to get the rest of the Christmas decorations organized/purged and put away.  So here are the surfaces so far.  Hope you like it!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Working away on the kitchen

Well, I'm starting the kitchen and feeling really good!

It started with the pantry.  A few good friends have gotten me hooked on the look of Tupperware Modular Mates in the pantry, so I invested.  But never really had time to go through and do it all.  Until today.  This was getting done!  And I used my brand new (bought yesterday) label maker to help.  I labeled the items, and added expiry dates for those I knew!  How smart!  My few Thirty-One Gifts Your Way Rectangles hold items that are prepackaged.  I have one for my Epicure spices, one for dinner sides and one for snacks.  Now I need a few more (and they're on SALE in January) for the bottom shelf that has pasta and cans like veggies and soup.  But so far, I love it!

Then, it was onto the two corner cupboards.  One has always been sort of a mish mash of stuff, and the other, mostly bowls, baking dishes, and some other random items.  Oh, and I should mention that we don't use our dishwasher.  When we moved, the realtor said it was better to hand wash and put away instead of having dishes in the dishwasher when showing.  So we got used to hand washing, and never stopped when we moved in here.  We briefly started using the dishwasher again, but the it broke, so we stopped, and used it for storing pots and pans.  But, if I want to renovate the kitchen at some point, and maybe replace the dishwasher, then we need to find a better place for the pots and pans than in the dishwasher.  So I decided that the corner cupboard next to the stove is where the pots and pans should be, on the bottom shelf because they're heavy.  And the top shelf will be for food preparation items.  The other corner shelf will be for food storage items, because there's a bigger counter on that side and would probably be where we would pack up food, and do meal prep stuff after grocery shopping.  So, here's what I have so far. 

All of my food storage is Tupperware, of course.  And yes, I had to label it so my family would know which containers are for what.
 And yes, most of my food prep and cooking stuff is pampered chef or epicure.  Being in Direct Sales, I have to support my Direct Sales peeps!  Plus the stuff is amazing!

And of course the part not normally shown during an organization challenge, the mess. 

Yes, it's time to say goodbye to the deep fryer.  And the three extra glass baking dishes, and the 6 extra class bowls, and all the other random stuff that has no match or lid or hasn't been used in a few years, if it's been used at all. 

So, now comes the part of cleaning up the mess, and getting rid of the stuff we're not keeping.  I should have kept all those huge Thirty-One boxes from the crazy holiday season.  Time to get the business up again and collect more boxes so I can package this stuff up and take it to the thrift store! 

Then, onto the cupboards with the dishes, glasses/mugs, and (eeek) spices.  Then drawers, then I'm DONE the kitchen!

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New Challenge

If 2017 taught me anything it is to embrace my past so that I can properly move forward. One thing I have to embrace is that I have a clutter problem, and that's ok. At the beginning of 2017, I found a Home Organization Challenge, printed it out, but didn't do ANYTHING with it. Ooops.

I've also started reading the book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Marie Kondo. I went through clothes, and maybe another area or two but also didn't finish. I do, however, follow Marie's suggested way of folding and storing clothes. So, I've made some progress.

A few days ago, I took the kids into their bathroom and told them to clean it up. But instead of just putting away toothbrushes and hair elastics, I decided that we were going to CLEAN IT OUT! I grabbed a garbage bags and threw out old toothpaste and brushes, and MORE, yes, believe it or not. Old soaps, and cleaners. It felt AWESOME!

So I decided to join the 2018 Home Organization Challenge by fellow blogger, A Bowl Full Of Lemons. I downloaded the guide, printed it out and told the family. They were not excited. But, after the holidays, we needed to go shopping. And in an effort to save money, I thought we should do some meal planning. So I went through the upstairs freezer, and CLEANED IT OUT! Another garbage bag filled. And while I was at it, I might as well do the downstairs deep freezer. ANOTHER garbage bag filled. Phewf, that felt good. And when we got home, I did part of the pantry. Checked expiry dates, tossed food, and organized.

The official schedule for the challenge is to start the week of January 6, but I'm starting now, mostly to keep my momentum going, and to get ahead because of some upcoming trips we have this year. Please join the challenge, and the Facebook group. Let's do this together! I might even post some pictures! We start with the kitchen. Here we go!!