Friday, June 29, 2012

Sorry for the long delay in postings. I finished my classes for the year in May. I have continued to try to free my home of clutter and move to a minimalist sustainable future. On April 28 we were hit by a hail storm that has completely turned my world upside down. I have spent most of May and June dealing with a contractor and subcontractors who need to be baby sat every step of the way. We are still waiting for a resolution to the crooked unsealed roof. Guess we are lucky we have not had rain since the beginning of June.

The leaky ceiling and numerous cracks are gone. Since the room is mostly cleared of furniture we decided now is as good a time as any to put the new floor we bought about 10 years ago down. The rest of the furniture will be moved out (Not sure where to go with it yet) and new floating wood floor to go in.

I had to take a break on the cupcakes as we were getting sick of them. But I have a request for this weekend and will once again be scouring my favorite recipes for something new.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 09-12 March 1-31

Back to the 52 Week Organizational Challenge. Oh no, where did the month go! I have to admit I got busy with my two classes and my daughter made the JV high school soccer team, as well as, spring softball practice. Then after visiting a food truck at work and paying $3.00 for a cupcake I thought well I can do that myself thus I completely forgot about organizing. But I got two A's yea me and here are the cupcakes:

Banana Cupcake with Caramel Lime Cupcake with Lime Curd
Meringue Frosting and Caramel and Vanilla Meringue Frosting

Strawberry Cupcake with Chocolate Mint Cupcake with

Strawberry Meringue Frosting. Mint Butter Cream Frosting.

However I did manage to sneak in a complete reorganization of the dreaded Junk Drawer which is supposed to be my tool drawer:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 09 March 1, 2012

29 Day Challenge Final Result

This is it I am done. My room is huge again. I cannot believe how much more open it feels with all the piles gone. And they really are gone or at least will be on March 5 when the donation pick up truck takes away 4 boxes of donations. The trash is gone, recycle items recycled, and things that did not belong there were put in their home not thrown into another room. I cannot believe I accomplished all this while working full time, babysitting part time, and taking 2 college classes. Florica has had a busy soccer tryouts week and it is finals week for school also, therefore, I did not get much done this last 4 days.

The closet is still a little full I did not have time to do a real purge here. However, I can now close the door.

The dressing table and dresser are functional and decluttered.

Finally the stack of boxes going up the wall are now organized and not falling over. I realize I still have a few more things to deal with on the shelf but at least I can get to the items now. I will handle that in one of my self imposed weekly challenges.

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

My Bedroom because of health reasons and it had become the dumping ground. Every time we had family of friends visit we would clean then dump the rest in the bedroom, close the door, and pretend the house was company ready.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?

I planned the space. Designating certain spots I wanted to achieve by the end of the week (the next link up). However, if I did not get everything done I did not beat myself up over it. I would redo my plan if needed and allow myself a regrouping not a failure.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part is starting. When I see those huge piles of items and know that they could fall on me as I started to move things I would give up. This time I took little steps and reminded myself I will be able to breathe easier when I am done.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

5 boxes of donate, 2 kitchen size bags of trash, and putting things in their proper home not just moving them from this room to another room to deal with later. If an item did not have a "home" one was made or it was donated.

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?

After finally calling it finish I decided to dust and vacuum. It was so easy to accomplish this chore that I had not enjoyed for years. And there was nothing on the floor to get caught in the vacuum. Yea ME!

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?

I bought a couple of bins from Dollar Tree and Target to add a little color and make the shelves look a little nicer. For the most part I used cardboard boxes and labeled them. The "closet organizer" next to the closet was a free from the neighbor. The small wooden shelf stacked upon the table in the corner was from another room but it was not being used. The picture frames and cork board for jewelry storage were all from Goodwill taken from an idea I found on the internet. Finally, three 12x 12-3 drawer Sterilite storage containers were perfect to hold make up, crafting papers, and necessities beside my bed (flashlight, batteries, inhaler, a book, change... and there is still room. Most of the other items were already there.

7. What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?

Decluttering and Organization are an ongoing process. I posted my final pictures but I am far from done. There will always be one more thing to move, put away, give away, or rearrange when it stops working. Failure is not a part of organization, Slow and steady wins the race and a peaceful home.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Week 08 February 24, 2012

29 Day Challenge 3 Week Follow Up

This week has been about the details. I followed the advise of Peter Walsh from Clean Sweep and removed everything from the dressers, shelves, and most of the room. Then in a staging area I took 15 minutes a day going through the boxes of clutter to determine what will return to the room, trash, donate, OR belongs somewhere else. Most of the drawers have free space and one of the small drawers is EMPTY. I placed all hair adornments in one drawer, perfume in another, nail care items in one, then watches and misc items, and finally "valuables" (notes and cards from the kids, unused wallets, )
I also googled some ideas for make up and jewelry storage. As a former Avon Rep and Shop for Free crazy couponer I have a ton of these items. The wooden previously unused "end table" turned into a perfect shelf unit for my makeup. I spent another $25.00 on the Sterilite storage drawers from Walmart but everything else was prepurchased on week one or from around the house.

Organizing the jewelry was fun after finding some great ideas. I stopped at Goodwill and found 2 one inch deep picture frames and a cork board to use. I had the cup hooks, stain, and screen material already making this a functional, cheap $7.00 display. I still need to add the screen for the hanging earrings.
I would like to eventually get the white plastic shelving unit out of the room. It mainly holds crafting supplies, Old photos, and various other projects. When I get to the craft area I will move this shelf there after another round of purging. For now I just purged and categorized the items.
Next I tackled some of the various paper work in the room. I had a number of packets from our Disney trips with duplicate information, receipts (because I wanted to track price increases), and fun stuff for scrap booking some day. Purging and grouping these items helped form an organized system with only what I truly need for future trips.

: Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. Check local listings to see if there are any Earth Day Fairs in your area. We have a big Fair in Forest Park in St. Louis, MO. They have a number of companies collecting old appliances, bikes, paint, computers, costume jewelry... I have a number of items that I just could not throw away but now I can get rid of them and keep them out of the land fill. I also received a call from American Kidney Services they will pick up from my home March 5. All the donate items are ready for pick up!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Week 07 February 17, 2012

29 Day Challenge Follow Up

I finally made it to the closet and thanks once again to Laura's system:

Clothes Purging ~ How To Let Them Go
I did two loads of laundry, purged what I could, and organized the rest. I cannot remember where I saw this method for storing t shirts but I really like being able to see everything so easily. Previously, the ones on top were the only ones worn over and over again. Pulling a shirt from the bottom made a mess that usually just stayed where it was until the next week. I plan to color match the shirts for even easier identification at some point but right now the point was just to purge and organize.
The closet had been organized somewhat about a year ago making it easier this time. The biggest problem as I eluded to before I began was getting to the closet. I had magazines, a number of shoes, luggage, a rocking chair piled high withjunk clothes.
I now have a functioning closet no matter how small it is. I was also fortunate to have a neighbor throwing away his closet organizer. I have always wanted one but cost was a concern along with the size of my closet. I have 2 nice rows of shelves on top along with 2 and 1 1/2 on the bottom for shoes. This one fits perfectly next to the closet. It holds all of the shoe boxes I had lined up in the closet, all the shoes that had been on the floor, and the drawers are currently empty. The hanging shoe bag and over the door purse rack were from the shopping trip my first week.

The clothes in the highboy were folded, placed in categories, and returned using this new method I found on pinterest.
I was able to add all the clean clothes that had been sitting in the laundry baskets into the drawers by folding and placing them up right. It is also easier to see what I have. I probably need to purge more but since everything fit into the drawers now I will save the second round of purging for the last week after the surfaces are cleared of all the clutter.

Finally, everything on the dressing table was removed. The poor magnifying mirror broke over 25 years ago but I have not been able to find another one quiet like it and I love it (when you reach your 40's you will understand, LOL). The drawers were cleaned out, once again they had piles of clothes in front of them making them pretty much useless and half empty. I am looking for any and all SUGGESTIONS for this corner space. This room has either a door, window, or closet on every wall. There is not one solid wall. In order to fit the dressing table and highboy I need to place them on adjacent walls leaving either an empty corner or this table from my Great Aunt. If anyone has any ideas on a better placement or organizational idea I would love to hear it.

"Get yourself a limiting container so you know when enough is enough" Laura, Organizing Junkie

Friday, February 10, 2012

29 Day Challenge Follow Up

I started with Laura's PROCESS steps:
Plan of attack:
Plan your project before
you start.
Remove items:
Empty the space completely
so you can start from a
clean slate.
Organize into piles:
One each to donate/toss/
Sort like with like.
Containers and other
storage solutions establish
limits and boundaries.
Evaluate your plan:
How is your system
working for you? What
needs to be modified?
Solve and simplify: Address anything that isn’t working for you and revise accordingly.
Smile, relax and enjoy your hard work!

The stack of magazines in front of the closet were from early 2010. If I haven't read them by now I doubt that I will, besides the information is 2 years old already. Out they went. Tax papers and medical bills were also included those were relocated to my desk to be sorted later. Back in the 90's when they were supposed to be cool, I bought one of the round bed side tables with a glass top. Normally, it should have a cloth matching the bedding but I think I took it off a few years ago to wash it and never put it back. It never really fit beside my bed because it was so big, I could not even open the first two drawers under the bed fully. However, I have a very nice "telephone stand" that belonged to my Grandmother that I love and it fits perfectly. I switched them out and added storage drawers to keep the dogs from getting into my treasures and medication.
I used to have a shelf system against the wall at the end of the bed, however my son needed it for a while, eventually it ended up in another room. After much deliberation I decided to purchase a new one. It used to work well for organizing my stock pile of medications, toothpaste, travel size freebies, scrapbooking supplies, and such. The current system is not working the top is a mess and I cannot get to the lower boxes without having to move every thing.
Finally, I started to work my way through the piles in and around the opening of the closet. I can not work on something I can not get into. I found old purses that I would never use again and were not in adequate shape to even give away, a box of sock, a partially filled box of give away items, a bridesmaid dress from last July I am trying to sell, sewing projects, and luggage.

Thanks to Walmart and Target gift cards I had received at Christmas everything I purchased only cost me $50.00 out of pocket. I also bought a few other things that may will be used for compartmentalization later. I am actually surprised at how well I have done so far. Classes are going well and since I was trying to work ahead I was able to accomplish all my class work including 5 papers along with my clean up. Next week I will be tackling the closet, dresser, and dressing table.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

29 day challenge.

I started my 29 day challenge yesterday. Here are the before pictures. I am embarrassed to post these but it always seems to look worse in pictures so maybe it will help me get motivated. Normally I would use the start at the top method of organizing however in this case I cannot get to the top. I will have to start on the floor cleaning up enough to be able to get to the dresser and closet before the end of the month.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Feb - Daily Challange

This is the website that inspired me to "clean up" my life for good. I have gotten off to a great start but one area certainly lacking a fresh start has been my bedroom. It has become the place where I hide all the junk I clean up but don't want to part with yet. Truthfully it has become a small pathway around my bed with the walls and floor closing in on me. It is time for a small diversion 15 minutes at a time for one short month to bring peace, harmony, and health back to my bedroom.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Week 04

I am still attempting to finish last week's closet organization. I have a pile of recycle still sitting, a number of old phones to drop off at the police station, and a box of light bulbs to relocate among other various odds and ends. I also have a number of coffee cups from dish sets. We use the dishes but I don't think we ever used the cups, likewise, I doubt we ever will, those will be packed and wrapped for the next donation pick up. School began last week and I am taking 2 classes for the next 8 weeks leaving little time for anything much less organizing. While cooking eggs for breakfast one morning I started to quickly sift through the cabinet over the stove. No time for a before picture. But here is the after:
I added the adjustable wire shelf. Before, everything was stacked on top of each other making opening the doors a hazard from falling food. It turned out to be a great time to tackle this area because I found bugs in the whole wheat pasta. Even they are eating healthy these days. Five or Six boxes of pasta went into the trash and all new boxes will be placed in plastic bags or sealed glass containers immediately.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 03

Watch out Belle there may be an avalanche. That closet is stacked up to the point it is dangerous. You cannot tell by this picture but there is a 38" x 19" floor in there. The closet is over the basement stairwell, therefore it gets increasingly deeper with each shelf. The middle shelf is 2.5 feet deep and the top one is just over 3 feet deep.
We had most of the plastic containers in the closet but could never find a lid no matter how hard I tried to keep them together. We also had some in a deep drawer in the kitchen. Rani cannot believe the drawer it now empty. "Where did it go, Rani?" It is all now matched and neatly stacked in the closet thanks to Florica.

I can even step into the closet. I realized I had way to many paper plates so we will be bringing a number of those down to the camper we keep in the country for weekend getaways. Those pink tubs are full of plates and cups. Paper bowls are stacked up on the center shelf and more packages of plates are on top of a new wire shelf I had purchased years ago but could not get DH to hang. The brace can be seen in the upper right hand corner. I now have some place to hang my guest's coats.
Classes begin this week and I have chosen 2 classes this quarter. The History class looks like it will require an extreme amount of work and writing assignments. I anticipate smaller challenges for the next eight weeks.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 2 began with a look at my daughters room. She just moved into her brother's old room in Aug when he moved out. One would think her room would not need purging or organizing in such a short time but it did. Here is the before. First was her dresser. The book shelf was a mess and vertical space was not used effectively.
Dresser before
The second area was her closet. We had run out of boxes and nothing was where it was supposed to be, shirts mixed with shorts, long sleeve and camis all together...
Closet Before
After a complete purging of her clothes we have 2 boxes of give-aways. Then during a quick run to Walmart for organizational supplies we found these great pink sterilite boxes on clearance for $3.00. We bought all they had (16). I would have liked to have gotten clear boxes to make it easier to determine what was inside but for the price I went with the pink and they match her black and pink room. Once I find my label maker I will be able to label all the boxes for easier identification.
It is much easier now for her to find what she wants and as a bonus she personally cleaned up her desk before I could even get pictures. I had planed to tackle that area my next round in her room. Hopefully she can keep this up for a while.