Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hanging Out at {504 Main}

Today I get the great privilage to blog over at
504 Main
Holly is awesome, she's funny, has a great blog style with posts that are never boring! From guests to give aways, Tickled Pink Parties to real life, she's got it all! So come on check her out I promise you will not be disappointed!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Organizing Your Home: Maintaining Organization

{Maintaining Organization!}
 That is the whole key.
Week after week my hubs and I watch the shows Hoarders and Clean House, professionals come in organize the house from top to bottom and then leave it up to the homeowners to keep it that way. What they fail to do however (or at least we dont see it happening) is leave them with the proper instruction and tips to keep it clean and organized. With some help of books, internet and my own practices I have come up with some quick tips to help you maintain your newly organized home minute by minute, day by day, week by week and year by year.

Under a Minute Habits ~
These should be tasks that you can do in under a minute to keep things in order and save time in the long run. Even though they take a little more than a few seconds, the impact is big!

* Put things back where they belong when you are done with them! Ask the rest of your family to do the same. Keeping with daily routines helps this temendously!
* Toss junk mail in the recycling bin or shred pile as soon as it makes it into your house. Or like me, keep your recycle bin in the garage and as you are passing it with your mail, chunk it in their.
* Hang up coats, jackets, bag and put shoes away as soon as they are taken off. Createing some kind of storage system for where ever you enter will help with this!
* Put your keys, and wallet in the same place each time you come home! We enter through the garage and keep the mail/key box by the door, this way as soon as we walk in we can put them up.

Daily Habits ~ 
The focus here should be small, simple tasks with one key: staying organized!

* Set up a time where you walk through the house to pick up and put away anything that has migrated from the place it belongs. Having kids, you know that there will always be something of their's where it is not supposed to be. Shoes, socks, power rangers, hats, just random stuff. Every morning my son has hamper duty, he brings me down their hamper and after I get them off to school I sort laundry then I spend a few minutes picking stuff up, all of their stuff I put in the hamper and leave it at the bottom of the stairs. When they get home they empty it and put the hamper back.

* Wash dishes or load them as you are cooking and after each meal. Even if you have mail or junk on your counters if your sink is clean and the dishes are put away your kitchen looks and feels cleaner.

* When you get undressed at the end of the day, put your dirty clothes in the hamper, hang or fold clean items and put them away also. Have the kids do the same! Even if you have to place hampers where you usually undress to remind yourself, you will cut down on laundry in the long run.

* Get bags and papers, even lunches, ready the night before to avoid rushing in the morning. I make sure the boys bags are packed back up the night before so that they don't forget their school work or books.

* Go through your mail and kids school work, throw away the unnecessary right away and put away what you are keeping. If you keep school work, put it in its "home" immediatly.

Weekly Habits ~
A bit more involved than daily habits, but they make the daily maintenance easier.

* Clean out your fridge and pantry. Get rid of expired items, wipe down the surfaces. Use this time to make your grocery list and plan your meals. Going to the store with a list and  planned meals will cut down on unncessary purchases and save money.

* Set aside time once a week to process bills that have come in. This way you know what you have and when it's due. I pay bills every Friday morning, then I go to the grocery store. By doing this I am aware of what I have to spend of groceries, and also what to expect financially for the week to come. If you live check to check like the majority of America, doing this will be a life saver for you. Don't bounce checks just because you didn't know you needed to spend $200 on food and another $75 on gas plus pay your electricity and mortgage.

* Update your family calendar! I do this daily as things come up, but that may be a bit OCD for some. Make sure that you set time aside weekly to know what your commitments are.

Monthly & Seasonal Habits ~
Things you only need to do a few times a year! Aim to do these organizing activities at the same time you take care of other seasonal tasks, such as spring cleaning.

* Do an intensive clutter-clearing session a few times a year. Do this before gift-giving holidays. I have so many friends and family that pick stuff up throughout the year intending to give it as a gift but then forget they have it. By doing this you will find all those supposed to be gifts to give and will also be making room for the new that is about to come in. When my kids were younger, I would clean out their toys before their birthday because they always received a haul of new toys. This way there was always room for the new and some other kid was enjoying the old!

* Rotate you clothes with each season. As you do this weed out the clothes you no longer want, that dont fit or that are damaged. When I am pulling out my clothes again, if I am not excited to see each piece and ready to wear it I get rid of it. Chances are if I didnt miss it when it was in a box I wont miss it when it's been donated.

* This one is for all the holiday junkies out there...when you are putting away your holiday decor take the time to organize it properly for safe keeping and easy planning next year. Nothing worse than having the perfect Christmas mantel in mind, but then you can't find half the stuff you need to make it, or worse, it's broken!

* Replace any burnt out lightbulbs or dirty air filters.

* Do a spring cleaning and a fall cleaning!  Take a week or a weekend to knock out the stuff you never touch, pull your appliances away from the walls and clean behind and under them, clean your ceiling fans and blinds, hire a carpet cleaning compamy to clean your carpets. Wash your ALL the linens in your house! Fix up the yard, replace flowers or wood chips, spray down the exterior of your house and wash your windows. Begin each season with a squeaky clean house and you will feel so much better! 

There you go gals! I know this series was very quick, believe me I could ramble on for a month about how to organize every crevis of your home, but with the recent trend of home organization posts I didn't feel like that was necessary. I wanted to talk about the "problem areas" that I have seen my friends and family struggle with and that are a problem in my home too. You can apply all of these techniques to all areas of your home with some tweeks, use your imagination, make a list and get going! You don't have to buy a bunch of new stuff to use to get organized, pull out what you already have, reused and repurpose and most of all HAVE FUN!

If you missed a series post check them out here!
Organizing Your Home: Intro
Organizing Your Home: Clearing the Clutter
Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 1 Kitchens & Bathrooms}
Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems (Part 2 The Closets}
Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 3 Papers}

Has this series inspired anyone to Organize their Home? If so, please share I would love to know what you have done or are working on!!


I linked up to:


Organize and Decorate Everything

I've Got Mail

I love it when the post man comes to my door! Mainly because when he does he is bringing me goodies!
As you can see, not the goodies that I get to eat, but the goodies that I, or in this case my totally awesome hubby ordered from Ebay. By the way I LOVE EBAY!

Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents BBQed and then the whole family ate outside...and do you remember the cool wicker plate holders you used? Well... I now OWN 12 of those vintage wicker plate holders!
We love to BBQ and eat outside during the summer and now the mess will be less!
I wonder if he would notice if I re purposed a few of them??? Nothing is this house is safe.....

Not only did I get that totally great present but I also got my new  Restoration Hardware {baby & child} catalogue. I have gotten so many ideas from this catalogue for the boys rooms redo I am going to do this summer.

Ideas like:
Art work on clip boards, and flash card word art

Framed ribbons from field days and sports, and simple, classic furniture

I have big plans coming up and its all thanks to Restoration Hardware! Yay, today!!!!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 3 ~ Papers}

Day {4} of Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems
{Part 3 ~ Papers}
Today's topic is one of my FAVORITE because I really feel like I have this perfected! Maybe it's because I stay at home, or because there are only 4 of us, or because I am the ONLY one who ever messes with any of it, but either way I am so thrilled to share with you today what my tips and tricks on everything paper!
Let's jump right in!

{School Work}
 UUUGGG, does anyone else think the schools are single handedly taking out the rain forests. Every day the schools are sending home something for me to look at and every day they go right in to the recycle bin! Really though, the system I implemented for my kids and myself takes self discipline, the kids come in through the garage and they immediately see this
then they grab their folder out of their wall pocket, get their school folder out put it on the counter, put their lunch boxes away and put their backpacks up. I then make sure they were good little Campbell's sign their folder and get out any papers that were sent home. I first look at the graded work, nod for approval then set in my toss pile, then I begin skimming the other massive amounts of notifications they send home. If it requires my signature I set in a pile, if it needs my further attention I set it in another pile and for everything else it goes in my toss pile. I IMMEDIATELY toss my toss pile in to the recycle bin YAY. Then I go back and sign the papers that need my signature and have the boys put them in their folders RIGHT AWAY! Over the next few minutes the boys are reading or doing homework and I take that time to go through the other pile and determine what it is, do I need to volunteer, do I need to bring/send something to school, is it a PTO meeting or something else that needs to go on my calender??? I get out my calender and fill in where and what I need to be doing on the specific days and then toss those papers too. I spend about 15 minutes every day doing this. There is no sense keeping all that paperwork. I have tried, I pinned it on the cork board, put it in a folder for my self and no matter what I always forget about it. Now if it's things like Valentines Day lists or something like that I do put it on my cork board in the mud room.

{Mail & Bills}
Who gets more junk mail than me? Please tell me no one! I get so much junk, junk that looks like junk, junk that looks serious and fools you into opening it and then of coarse the junk that you have to pay...oops I mean bills. Our mailman is like clock work every day at 3pm he is putting my mail in the box so every day at 3:05 I am going through the mail. The junk goes to the recycle bin before I even walk back in to the house, the bills get opened, the trash and envelope it was mailed in goes to the recycle bin and the bill gets placed in the envelope and put in our bill box which is hanging on the kitchen wall. Our bill box has a slot for this week and next week. Everything I get for that week goes into the next week slot. I pay all bills every Friday, so every Friday the next week goes into this week and next week is empty waiting for new bills. Make sense??? The only thing I do keep besides the bills is the circulars from the local grocery stores, I like to price compare so I put the current adds in my wall folder in the mud room. All in all this takes me about 5 minutes.
After I pay my bills I immediately throw any old receipts away or extra pieces of bills that are not relevant, then I keep the bill stub and file it in my desk drawer. We have slots for everything. They get put in their proper slot and the bills to to the mailbox. If you don't have a desk you can use a portable file storage system which come in a wide variety of decorative colors and styles or even a wall-mounted storage system.

{Family Calenders}
I shared with you in the first post that we don't have a family calender hanging on the wall, we are to active to keep something that everyone can see. I keep a day planner that anyone can look at but because my job is SUPER MOM I am the only one who ever does. The day planner keeps activities for each of us, I look at it several times a day just as a reminder and carry it in my purse so that I always know what we are doing. But if that doesn't work for you there are so many options! You can make the oh so popular chalkboard wall and put all your activities on there, purchase and install a dry-erase calender, download an electronic calendar that the whole family can access on the Internet. Gmail, Yahoo, MSN and most programs have calendars that the whole family can link up to. Or as many do use their Iphone or Ipod or other PDA. By using some kind of family calendar you will definantly stay more organized and keep the papers at bay!

Short, sweet and to the point! That is what I like. I hope that you find this helpful, get a grip in those papers. We tend to see the amount of papers that come home and get overwhelmed, but if you deal with each separately you will find the job is big or time consuming.
What do you do? Please share your system with me!!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 2 ~ The Closets}

Welcome to Day {3} of Organizing Your Home!
I hope that you are finding some useful tips and please don't forget I want to hear from you! If you have a system that works for you let us all know about it!
 Today is Part {2} of Developing Systems, yesterday post was about Kitchens and Bathrooms.  Keeping these areas organinzed will help your task to be quick, easy and efficent.
Now on to today's topic!

Developing Systems: In the Closets
Let's look at the Linen Closet first, depending on the size, location and number of linen closets in your house greatly depends on what they are used for. The easiest way to begin is by determining what your linen closet will be home to, once you know begin placing like items in baskets and label your baskets. When dealing with bedding, I only keep two sets of sheets per bed. Crazy I know! I love new sheets so I don't have a ton of them, once they begin to pill I get a new set and donate the old set. My system is that every month I alternate the sheets. I wash the sheets every week so dont freak, I wash the bedding then I put it back on when it is done. The next month when I wash the bedding I put new bedding on and fold what comes out of the dryer. This way I don't wear through them to quickly and also don't have to deal with sheet folding or tons of bedding to store. I keep my sets together and place them in a basket, this way I can grab a whole set and don't have to dig around for the right pillow case or flat sheet. When it comes to towels, the main problem many of us have is there are just to many! Again I only keep on hand what we really need, I have 8 towels for us and 6 for the boys. I do a towel audit a couple times a year, get rid of the ones that are wearing thin, fraying, or torn. After that store them together according to their purpose just like at the stores. Put face and hand towels in a basket next to the bath towels. I have found the good ol triple fold towel is the best way to go, then I stack them with the neat side facing me so that I can grab quickly. I also circulate our towels, meaning I usually do laundry before all our towels are dirty so I put the clean ones at the bottom so that they are all being used and washed.

Now lets take a look at the bedroom closets. I am kinda a freak when it comes to closets, I can't help it, I blame the OCD. You can look in my closet and you will never ever ever find a wire hanger. When dry cleaning comes home it goes immediatly on the plastic hanger! This means less hanger madness and no silly plastic wrap on the floor. I also (and I realize this is a little much for some) keep my cloths in order according to style and then color. All my dress shirts together, tshirts together, dress tank tops together, you get the idea. And the same with my pants. Jeans, skirts, dresses, slacks and so on and such.  I, like most circulate my summer and winter cloths, I don't completely remove and store everything just the summer items that I can't layer or the winter items that are NOT going to be worn. Every time I get them out again I go through my cloths and do a purge. By keeping only the things I love in my closet and having them in order it makes dressing even in a hurry a cinch! And yes I do the same for my hubbies side. I also keep all like shoes together. I have a built in shoe shelf and break it down the same way, style and color. We have a walk in closet and I got tired of having to walk into my bedroom to get my bras and panties and socks then walk into the closet to get dressed, so when I found a 4 drawer plastic bin on the side of the road in perfectly FAB condition I snatched it up, cleaned it up and put it in the closet for my girly needs. Now I go from the bath to the closet and walk out of the closet fully dressed! This is one of the best systems I implemented for myself! I keep my shorts and tank tops in baskets also, I don't feel the need to hang them, but I like them in the closet. As for the kids closets, they are the same as my closet. My yougest is ADD and not medicated so we do what we can to help him stay focused and by keeping his closet organized I have found he is able to get ready faster because the distraction of flipping through his cloths is less.

And now on to the infamous Hall Closet! Sometimes the dreaded hall closet! The main thing in this area is to maximize your space! We only have two hall closets, the down stairs holds all our jackets no matter the season they are all in there. However, there is order to them, the current season of jacket is front and center and each family member has his/her jackets together. Just like I puge my cloths we purge jackets too. If they are not worn during the season away they go to be donated to someone who will wear them. By keeping a limited number of jackets I am able to keep this closet clean and organized with out having to store coats from season to season in another location. We don't store shoes in here because it is no where near where we enter, but if you do a shoe rack is a great system to get to store shoes. If your hall closet is home to scarves, gloves and other misc accessories you should think about investing in over the door shoe pockets. You can use these pockets for all your other accessories that tend to get lost. Assign each member his/her own row. To maxamize the shelf space coral like items in decorative boxes or baskets and use the high shelves for item you don't use often. There are so many closet systems you can get these days, simple and complex, there is something for us all. The main thing to remember when dealing with the closet space is because it is so limited it needs to be kept organized, no matter what you keep in them. If it's games or home decor items, purging IS necessary! The more tidy and organized you keep the small spaces the easier it will be to access!

So there we go that's it for the closets today! If you would like some more detail on how I keep my closets clean check out this post, it was one of the first I ever did and it has some helpful ideas!

Fun Find: Very Jane

While blog hopping this week I found the coolest link to a new website
Very Jane - Boutique Deals
let me say this is one of
 the coolest sights I have found yet! Very Jane is simple and easy, you go to
and sign up to receive email notifications of new products. Every day you will wake up to find a new email promoting a new products, and the best part is that EVERYTHING is discounted!!! HUGH discounts!! So far I have received emails for handmade feather earrings for $6 each pair (50% off), a set of 14 vinyl labels for your kitchen (50% off), poppy flower headband $6 (50% off) and today the best off all so far the Keep Calm and Carry On sign measures 7.25" x 10" for $15 a whoppig 40% off! I am buying this baby! Seriously the coolest website ever! The products they sell are only available for a certain amount of time so if you see something you like you have to get it fast, I guess thats why they can offer such steep discounts.
 Anywhoo, I love Jane, thank you Jane!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

We Have a New Friend in the House!

Say hello to Bob.
 I did not name him, my son did. Its kinda creepy really.
Bob is the newest member of our home, and I love him most because he does not eat, potty, shed, need a bath, roll his eyes or require me to care for him in anyway but an occasional dusting.

We were at baseball practice over the weekend and my son Robert yells out "DEER"! Immediately we all start looking around for a live deer, and see a truck with several mounted deer heads in the bed. So we go over to take a gander (my husband imagining HE shot one of them), and get to talking to this nice complete stranger. As we are walking off he tells my son, "I will make you a deal, I will give this to you for free...but if you shoot one bigger you have to give yours to a stranger too." So of coarse my boys and husband were jumping with joy and got to take home Bob as a trophy. So cool!

But now the dilemma is, where do we put him? So this is where you blog buddies come in! I really need your help. Here are the 3 places that Bob could potentially reside, what do you think the BEST place is? I am leaning toward over the stairs, he really looks good there I think...Then I could put other rustic stuff there to and it would be AWESOME! Seriously though, what do you think, opinions welcome please...unless you are totally against killing deer and are gonna go PITA on me, then I really don't want to know what you think about my new friend.

Should he go above my stairs?

Or...above my TV?

Or...on that blank wall above the kitchen entry?


Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 1 ~ Kitchens & Bathrooms}

Organizational systems, phone systems, computer systems, alarm systems, the world just doesn't work with out systems! They are everywhere, they are not a trend or hobby, they are a part of life. So why is our house any different? It's NOT!!! Systems in our home are just as important as any other system that is used out there, systems include not only where we store our stuff but also how we store it and how it helps us access it in the best manner. It can be as simple as a recipe box or as complex as a new storage plan for your kitchen cabinets and drawers. I have implemented systems all over my home to help us keep our clutter and schedules organized.
First off, start by reading yesterdays post about clearing your clutter. After you have done that then you are ready to begin developing systems through out your home. It is important to remember that whatever system you create in your home needs to be flexible! Any time you create a system it should be on a trial and error basis. Feel free to change your system 10 times if that is what it takes to make it work for you. Just because one house has a family command center complete with bill storage, calender and chalkboard all in one spot does not mean that will work for you!

For example: In our laundry room/mudroom I have this family command center,
we enter in this way so it makes sense to keep the kids stuff right where they see it first! For our bills and family info we keep it in our kitchen. If I put our bills in the mudroom I would never look at them. We have our "office" in our master bedroom so I keep it as aesthetically pleasing as possible, so again if I kept the bills there out of sight they would probably NEVER get paid! We don't have a big giant family calender because we are SO busy ALL the time that there is no calender that can properly hold all our stuff and still look pretty, so I keep a day planner and look at that several times a day. Our families are different, our seasons are different and so are our systems.

What I want to do is give you some ideas and tips to implement that I have used/do use. Hopefully this will get you started!
Tip #1
What you store in each room should reflect what goes on in that room! You don't store your dishes in the bathroom right?? things as close as possible to where you will use them. I keep the sheets for the kids beds in their bathroom linen closet because it is closest to their rooms. I keep the sheets to our bed in our bathroom linen closet.

Tip #2
Look for ways to keep like items together! If you are an avid tupperware user get a big basket and put all your tupperware in there!
I keep all my flip flops in a basket and all my scarves in a basket. It keeps them rounded up and easy to access!
Tip #3
Label, Label, Label! Read this post for more labeling tips and ideas!

System #1 The Kitchen and Bathroom
Lets start in the has taken me years to perfect my kitchen cabinet functionality. If you built your house and designed your kitchen it is probably not a big problem, but for those of you who did not here are some solutions and ideas!
1. Keep your cups and mugs by the sink and all in one place, even little kid cups! I know when our kids are little it is so tempting to give them a cabinet of their own, but I think if its a cup big or small put them all in the same place. It will ultimately open up your cabinet space for other items.
2. Store your everyday cookware in one spot closest to the stove. The cabinets by my stove are dedicated to the daily cookware, pots, pans, bowls, baking dishes, cooking utensils and spices. That way everything is in arms reach
3. Store items you don't use daily on the top shelves or in the cabinets above your fridge. Most of us have to break out the stools to get to those shelves so it makes sense to use that space to store the stuff you don't use often. I keep our blender, bread maker, china, and stuff like that up there.
3. If your kids do their homework in the kitchen set aside a cabinet for their school supplies! Make sure this is a cabinet out of your way. Nothing worse than the kids under your feet trying to get pencils out when your cooking.
4. Invest in utensil dividers and sorters! Disorganized drawers are annoying and inefficient! Store your cooking utensils near the stove and your eating utensils near your plates and bowls. If you need to have a junk drawer just make sure you organize it too! I have a desk organizer in mine (walmart $4) and it keeps it very tidy!
5. Use baskets for under the sink area. They can store your cleaning supplies, dish supplies, trash bags, dog treats, whatever you keep under there. The baskets keep all your stuff nice and tidy and make getting in to and out of very easy.
6. Keep your pantry organized! Read here for tips on your pantry organization!
7. Keep your fridge organized. I keep my fridge super organized and clean. With two boys who are always in it I want them to see what is in there and what they can eat. If you stock same items, sort them by expiration date. Example: Sour cream...I usually keep 2 to 3 sour creams at a time, they are in a stack with the oldest on top and newest on bottom that way I am always using them by the expiration date. Put the stuff your kids can eat in their reach! If you keep your leftovers, put them in clear containers and  keep a list of when it was made so that you know when it needs to be dumped. Nothing worse than 6 month old leftovers at eye level. YUCK!

Now that your head is spinning, lets move on to the bathrooms!
1. Assign each person their OWN space! My husband and I each have our own 3 drawers. Same for my kids, they each have a drawer and towel hanger just for them!
2. If you buy your toilet paper in bulk, store some in each bathroom so that you are not running from room to room or doing the famous "HONEY, CAN YOU BRING ME SOME TOILET PAPER!" yell from across the house when your grandparents just so happen to be in town.
3. Just like you keep your toilet paper by the toilet, keep your extra towels by the tub! Or as close as possible at least!
4. If you have a pedestal sink baskets will be your best friend! Use large open basket and place your rolled towels in it buy the tub, get baskets with lids to put all your other stuff in.
5. Pipes! We all hate them, (not smoking pipes, but water pipes....) They are always a challenge to work around but we all have them. Use an adjustable shelf unit, or baskets that are long and thin.
6. For families with many kids, its always fun to color code your kids towels! My friend did this because she couldn't figure out which kid was using all the towels each week. My kids have hooks with their initials on it so that they use only their towel and they each have a wash cloth, my oldest uses the solids my youngest uses the stripes.
7. If you have the wall space and need more storage space install a multifunctional rack! We put one in our master. It keeps the hand towels, and decorative jars for our qtips and cotton balls. I also use the decorative jars in the kids bathroom for the same things. It adds a decorative punch and frees up space!
8. Just because your bathtub is hidden by a curtain does not mean it's OK to leave it a hot mess all the time. Install ledges, shower head storage, or tub racks. Which ever works for you, but I firmly believe there needs to be some sort of storage system in the tub! If you keep all your stuff on the tub ledges than not only is it a place for fungus to grow but it makes cleaning your tub harder because your having to move ALL the stuff.

So there you go, now get to organizing your kitchen and bathroom, implement some systems and get control! And PLEASE let me know how it works for you, or what you do!!! Is there something that works in your space that I didn't mention?


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Girls Nite & Antique Store Finds ~ Can't Be Better Than This!

My bestie and I took a little trip this weekend to the small town of Granbury, and in this small town are LOADS of my favorite thing...antique stores. My bestie and I
decided we needed a serious girls night, you know what I'm talkin about! The get out of dodge from my hubby and stinky boys, not even a Starbucks can help us now kinda girls night! We had sooo much fun, we splurged and stayed at the Hilton right on the lake,

walked the square hitting up all the chic girly stores and antique stores, watched the Twilight movies (still love the first one the most) stayed up until 3 talking like we were 15 again, then slept in, ate oreos for breakfast, more girl talk, and finally at 11am got up and hit the shops again!
I was in hog heaven when I found this Kentucky Derby hat....
I am totally diggin the big floppy brimmed hats!
I have no idea where I will ever wear it to but I LOVE IT! Just when I thought my elation couldnt get better I found these...

I know that neither item is exactly "antique store" material, but they are great finds to me! The ceramic balls scream expensive store catalogue at me and I even have the perfect place for them.
Now I just have to find the perfect vase to put these nifty ceramic balls in and convince my hubby we NEED to go to the Kentucky Derby!
What is you favorite antique store find? Do you have a bestie you can be totally stupid with? As women we need to have fun, so I encourage you ~ get your bestie and plan a girls night were ya'll can be 15 again too!


Organizing Your Home: Clearing the Clutter

I am so excited about today's post! One of my favorite things about getting organized is clearing out the clutter, there is something very freeing about getting rid of old stuff. I think its knowing that soon I will have a space that is much simpler that makes me smile. I hope your here because you read yesterdays post and you are intrigued to begin the task of getting organized, but maybe you just ran into this post and are thinking "hummm..." If that is the case click here for yesterdays intro into what will be the next few days of topics!

Clearing the Clutter!
 You may be looking around your house thinking it will never be clean and clear of clutter, or maybe you just need some help organizing, either way this is the spot! Clutter is overwhelming and is a great cause for anxiety and I know I personally don't need any more anxiety in my life! But what do you do about it? How do you make it go away? The task seems so great...the easiest thing is to break it down into rooms. In order to keep a successful pace you will need some instant gratification. So for the first room, chose one that you can get through in a day. Yes you read right 1 DAY. So this means if your living room is in utter chaos you should NOT start there as tempting as it is. Start in your bathroom or kitchen, or even a closet.
Once you have the area decided, you want to make sure you have boxes or bags (just like in Clean House) one box for keep, one for trash and one for donate. Donate what you can I promise ones trash is anothers treasure! Go through everything and I mean EVERYTHING! If you are clearing out your kitchen go through your cabinets, your drawers, all of it! Just because it has a home doesn't mean you still need to house it! This will take time and can be hard to do, so here are some questions you can and should ask your self as you are weeding out your stuff. 
1. Do I need this thing? If yes, when was the last time I used it/wore it?
If it's an article of clothing the general rule I live by is if you haven't worn it in 6 months get rid of it.
2. Do I love this thing? Does it make me happy when I use/ wear it?
Again, if this is clothing, if you don't love it don't keep it. It is so much easier to dress in the morning when you are choosing from this you only love!
3. Is there a legal or financial reason I am keeping this?
Don't keep something just because it was expensive! If you don't use it get rid of it.
4. Do I have more than one of this item? If yes, do I need them both?
Things like blenders or toasters, NO house needs more than 1!

The goal here to to keep things you truly need, love, and use on a regular basis. If it doesn't make you happy why keep it?! Letting go of unwanted things gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation and this is what you will need to keep going!

But what if you still have clutter after asking your self those above questions...what then? Here are some more questions you can ask that can help to cut your stuff back even more.
5. Is this in good condition or is it broken, stained or damaged in some way?
If it is not in good condition and you don't want to fix it then get rid of it. Don't keep it thinking I will fix it someday....someday is a very dangerous word! I often think when I am at stores "oh I can make that craft myself and save money..."but I never do. It's the same thing.
6. Am I keeping this thing because someone gave it to me?
Even Nate Berkus agrees, just because it was a gift doesn't mean you have to keep it. When my mom and dad passed away I kept everything, seriously empty Bath and Body works bottles that my mom bought me, old sweaters....but you know didn't bring them back! They are still gone. Gifts are nice and items from deceased family members are nice to have but you DON'T HAVE TO KEEP THEM IF YOU DON'T WANT TO!
7. Am I keeping this because I may use it SOMEDAY? If I did need it again, could I buy it at that time?
Obviously your not going to get rid of your $500 bread maker because you only use it at Christmas, but there are things that are pointless to keep and cheap to replace if ever used again.
8. MOST IMPORTANT! Is this thing worth the space, time and effort it takes ME to store it and keep it clean?
If no, then you know the answer!

After you have cleared the clutter, take your donate box to the charity of your choice IMMEDIATELY! If you keep this stuff in your house you have done NO good. Put the trash box by the curb and get ready to organize your keep stuff!

I hope you found these tips and self questions helpful and be sure to come back tomorrow for the first part of Developing Systems. This will be broken down into several different posts, there are so many systems you can implement in different spaces!!!
And please keep me posted on your success, I want to hear from you! If you have anything you would like to add or share with me and others please leave a comment!!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Organizing Your Home: Intro

If I have heard it once I have heard it a million times...."Your house is so looks like a do you keep your house so organized..." And this last week a friend of mine came over to find my house in less than perfect form, which it actually looks like alot, and said "I feel so much better that it is noon and your bed is not made yet! I have never seen your house messed up".
 To be quite honest my house is messy alot, right now it is 8:41 am, the bed is not made, and the breakfast dishes are on the counter still. Damage from a weekend indoors due to rain is still very evident around here.
Even though she was trying to pay me a compliment I actually felt bad. To make it worse, while laughing about it with another friend of mine, my friend told me I make people feel inadequate when they come to my house because it is always so clean. Talk about deflation! I have always been proud to have a clean house, although as you have seen through my How Often Do You Clean It series my house is far from squeaky clean. I do my best to maintain a clean and organized house. The only thing I can say to my friends and those of you out there who look at blogs and judge your house based on someone elses is this....
I think this is the single most important thing for us to remember especially when we fill our time comparing our lives and house to someone elses. Just as you usually only see the clean side of my house, you cant judge who I am and how I live on that alone. What we see in blogs and magazines is what that person wants to show us, we cant go through life believing that everyone has it together all the time, yes one wall may be absolutely amazing and well put together, but who knows what the other side looks like.
We live in a world where ALL of our photos are photoshoped and beautified in some way or another.
For example I have acne, I have said it before. In any picture I post of myself on here or facebook I always photoshop my acne right off my face. I am insecure about being 30 with the face of a 14 year old boy going through pubertyy. I show you what I want you to see. And it is the same for every single blog out there.

 I am very blessed to be in the season of life that I am in right now. I have two boys who are in school from 8-3 every day and a husband who works full time, while my job is being a stay at home wife and mom. My JOB is not to be the constant caregiver to my kids as it once was, but it is to care for my home and family. My job is the laundry, yard work, cleaning and organizing, grocery shopping and meal prep, school volunteering, and much more. And because that is my job and I dedicate 8 hours a day to it I am able to maintain MY comfortable level of cleanliness and organization.
Most of my friends and most of you out there in blogland are still the full time caregivers for your kids or working full or part time. Expectation levels can not be the same! I am able to dedicate so much time to my home because I am not taking away from anything else. And at 3:15 when my kids are home that is my time for the kids. What I don't get done waits till the next day.
Going back to the key comfort level means that not only are we all in different seasons of life but we also all have different comfort levels in our home. Some like that magazine cover feel in their house and some don't. For me, I am able to be more calm when my house is ALL in order. Yes I let my hair down and let it get dirty, when we have friends and kids over I am not freaking out about the dirt...I can clean it tomorrow! So if you are comfortable with a little dirt on the floor and dishes in the sink more power to you! Don't be someone else, that effort will make you more tired and frustrated. Grab hold of who you are and love it.

If you are living in an unorganized home that is difficult to clean and maintain and do not like but perhaps you don't know where to start then be excited! Over the next few days I will be giving some tips on how to get clean and organized and how to maintain it. The key is MAINTAIN! Once we can rummage through all the nonsense we fill our lives and homes with, and clear it out, maintaining it really isn't that hard.

I wrote this post for a few reasons, the first is I want people to know it is OK to live in a house that is not completely finished, decorated, clean or organized. Don't judge the book by its cover. Second, for us to remember we are all in different seasons of life, no two are exactly the same.
Strive to be the BEST YOU, not the BEST HER!
God gave us all different talents, some are good decorators, some are not. We all have something we are good at. And third, because I want to help those who are stuck in a rut and don't know where to start. I want to outline some key things I have learned through the years and have implemented myself. I don't do these things all the time, but I try to so that I can maintain what I enjoy.
So please, I encourage you to come back tomorrow for Clearing the Clutter! These posts will be full of tips, tricks and questions to ask your self.
And if you want to see that my house does get dirty check out the How Often series.

Outline of posts in this series:
Clearing the Clutter
Developing Systems (a series in a series)
Maintaining Organization

I am linking this series up to:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easiest Flowers to grow indoors

I dont know about you but I LOOOVEEE real flowers. Any chance I get I am using real flowers in my house, the problem is they die SO FAST! I have been on a search this spring for flowers that I can pot and grow in my house, after several unsecessful tries I found that Impatients are by far the best and fastest growing to use! I have this big wire basket on my kitchen counter that holds three pots of these pretty pink Impatients.
 I put them outside for a few hours in the moring so that they can get their sun (we all need a little sun to make us happy), water them daily and this is the reward I get! It's a little happy, light, bright and fun for my kitchen!

So if your wanting some flowers to grow indoors try these! Or if you have had success with another kind please share, I am loving growing flowers indoors!

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