Category Archives: Cleaning and Organization

Finally Organized the Homeschool Cabinet

Remember last summer when I said I was going to get all organized, starting with the homeschool cabinet? Well, as I posted later, that never happened. Why? Writing. Once you get serious, it takes over your life. In a good way. Sort of. Not in a we-eat-homemade-food-every-night way, and not in a the-house-is-usually-clean-way. More in a oh-my-goodness-I-actually-wrote-a-book way.

But yesterday. Oh, yesterday. Our school stuff was taking over my kitchen table. Taking over.

You see, the homeschool cabinet was so full, that I quite literally couldn’t jam everything in there. So where did that stuff stay? On the table. I would try to stack in neatly and shove it to the side when we ate meals, but that doesn’t really work. I was going crazy.

I’m happy to say that yesterday a new school storage area was created. It’s a roll-top cabinet my father made, and right now it’s in the dining area. There was all kinds of stuff in it, but somehow I managed to find new homes for all that stuff (sort of–as long as no one opens the doors underneath…) and make room for our supplies.

It took me about ten minutes. Honestly, I don’t know why I put things off so long. So everything has a home, and I’m happy.

The Day After Christmas Mess

I don’t know about you, but my house looks like a Christmas tornado has blown through it. There’s boxes and toys everywhere, and this morning, before I did a quick sweep, there were still bits of discarded wrapping paper here and there. We have a lot of family to visit during the holidays, and our house becomes nothing more than a quick stop to pick up baked goods, stash our new gifts, and grab the ones that need to go out. By the time we get home on Christmas evening, the place is a wreck.

It’s not a lot of fun coming home to it, if I’m honest. The house is in desperate need of a deep cleaning, and all I want to do today is read a new book and maybe make a pot of soup so I can use my new soup mugs from my mother-in-law. I can’t even think about making soup until I can uncover my kitchen. I’m really thinking about doing all my cleaning today and then taking down my Christmas decorations early. I usually wait until New Years, but this year I think I might be done with it all.

One problem is that I don’t know what to do with all our new stuff. I don’t come by organizing naturally (except lists–I love lists), and I’m not sure what the best approach would be. I’m going to be combing Pinterest for organization ideas, and I just borrowed Organize Now! from Kindle Unlimited. Toys need tamed, sewing stuff needs a better home, and I won’t even go into my school cabinet. I was supposed to work on that cabinet way back last summer, but then I started working on my novel, and it never happened.

I want to get all this started so I can enjoy my very favorite month of the year–January. That beautiful month where it’s too cold do much outside, so you are forced to cuddle up and read and sew and write. Don’t get me wrong–I love being out and about in summer, but I really loved the forced calm of the winter months.

If you have any great organizational tips, be sure to let me know in the comments!

Planning, Procrastinating, and What I Want to Accomplish this Summer

I wish you could all meet my mother.  She is a woman who knows how to get things done. She recently moved to the lovely little mountain community of Eckert, Colorado.  The yard was big and beautiful…but needed a whole lot of work.  I don’t get up there as often as I would like, but she sends me pictures. You should see it now. Every time I speak with her she’s finished another little project.  New fences, painting, planting, weeding,  transplanting, she’s tackled them all. She’s a wonder. They’re putting in a green house soon. Seriously.

I, her daughter, am nothing like her in that respect. Nope, not me. I have projects all right, and I’m pretty handy with Pinterest, if I do say so myself, but I’m not so great with the action part of getting things done.

SummerChecklist

 

I’m sort of stuck in the planning stage. I love to plan. Oh, it just makes me so happy to sit down with my planner and dream of all the lovely things I’m going to accomplish. And after you plan it, you must highlight it with all kinds of colors according to category and importance. After that, you must make a list of everything you need, and that list has to be organized and categorized and amended fifty-billion times!

It’s the step after the list-making stage where I get stuck. It’s the doing.  I don’t know why, but sometimes it’s scary to start. Overwhelming, even. Maybe I take it too far, make the task too big. We’re not talking about remodeling a house here, people–we’re talking about small things like organizing a closet or cleaning out the fridge.

Once I start, if I ever start, I’m fine.  In fact, I usually enjoy whatever it is I’m doing. It’s like writing. Sometimes you stare at your computer screen, and you wonder, how am I going to turn this blank document into a story…a chapter…80,000 words? But then you’re clicking away at your keyboard, and you have no idea what you were so worried about.

We’re starting school again the third week in August. I have just two months to tackle my to-do list. The most important thing on that list is reorganizing our school area.  We have a fairly simple set up–a kitchen table and a bookcase–but toward the end of last year I came to the conclusion that wasn’t going to cut it for much longer.  My other big project is a book I’m writing. I’m at 50,000 words, and I would like to be finished around 80,000. As long as I don’t get distracted, I should have plenty of time.

There’s a few more little things I want to accomplish before the summer is over, like building a new bed for Weston, keeping up with the vegetable garden, and canning lots of summer produce.  I need to do quite a bit of freezer cooking, and I have a lot of sewing and soaping I want to get done.

I’m starting my lists and plans today, because frankly, I can’t live without them. This time I will progress past the planning to the doing stage. I’m thinking of starting with something really, really easy today–like organizing one shelf of the school bookshelf–just so I can check it off my list.  I figure that once several small items are checked off, I’ll have some real momentum to tackle the big stuff!

What are your summer projects or goals? How are you going to accomplish them?

Tips to Defeat the Laundry Monster

Laundry is my nemesis. Kind of like Dr. Doofenschmirtz and Perry the Platypus. What’s that? You don’t have children under the age of ten and have no idea who Dr. Doofenschmirtz is? Or you are an awesome mom and don’t let your children watch tv? Cool, good for you. Let’s move on.WheretheLaundry

Laundry – Three tips from the ultimate laundry procrastinator. If I can do it, you can do it.

1. You know how everyone says you should do one load a day and it will make your laundry life a breeze? It’s a great idea. It doesn’t work for me. I simply will not remember to start/move/fold/put away a load of laundry every single day. What usually happens? I start a load right before lunch time when I remember that I should have done it that morning, and then I completely forget about it until that night when my husband asks where every single pair of his pajama pants are. Um, wet and stale smelling in the washing machine…So this is what I do instead. Pick two or three days you will be home all day and do two or three loads (how many will depend on the size of your family, of course). You must do this more than once a week or the laundry will pile up in intimidating, scary piles. Note – This obviously won’t work as well if you aren’t a stay at home mom. If you don’t have two or three days you can devote to laundry, I suggest you try a load a day. May the force be with you.

2. Fold ’em up straight from the dryer. Do not toss them in a laundry basket to fold later. This almost always ends in disaster. Plus, they are so nice and cuddly to fold when they are warm. The other plus side? Less wrinkles! Which means less ironing – ha, I say that like I actually iron clothes…ha ha.

3. PUT THEM AWAY. Yes, I am yelling. I mean it. You do not want to go to all that work just to have your children/husband go rummaging through your nice, neat piles to find something. Because you know what happens? That’s right, they all fall over and suddenly it’s a big heap of mess that will never, ever find its way to a drawer.

Also, be sure to sort through your children’s clothes on a regular basis. Do not keep washing clean clothes that get thrown on the floor just because they are too small.

So there ya go. It’ s what’s been working for me, I hope it works for you. And remember, if you fall off the wagon (out of the laundry basket?), just get caught up and try again!