Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Punch It, Margaret! A Sunday-Tuesday Update

I have to put it in high gear today. Not exactly what I wanted to happen, but it was bound to happen. We were asked to show the house tomorrow. I have exactly 26 hours and 15 minutes to…well, I'm not sure.

I was doing things once section at a time, but so much for "no pressure" when it comes to showing the house. We could tell them they can't come, but I always feel awful about that since we are TRYING to sell the house, we should at least let them come. I will say, I've only had ONE showing where they came 45 minutes early, so I welcomed them in, despite the mess that was left.

When it comes to showings, I normally just throw all the odds and ends and cluttered areas into a laundry basket and throw it in the van. That was an idea given me by a friend, but we can't keep throwing our stuff in the vehicles…that's just turning into another bad habit. So, I'm not EXACTLY sure how it's going down tonight.

I do know it was providential that my 3 year old isn't feeling so well, so we decided she and I would stay home from church. So, that gives me a little extra time…I'm just going to set my mind on one section at a time and hope not to get too distracted (my biggest enemy).

Here goes.

3:30 PM - Clear off the Peninsula (my "workspace" which is currently where 6 bottles of nail polish reside, as well as all the stuff that was on it at the beginning of the week…I hadn't gotten that far yet).


It's now 8 PM and I got that peninsula cleared off…and the desk drawers emptied/organized. I kind of wish I hadn't done THAT because there isn't much visual impact (for a showing) with the INSIDE of the desk drawers…but, I will say, there IS room in there now to store things I actually need or want to keep. ;)


Oh, man…it's 8:45. I'm achey and tired and so not motivated! Must. Drink. Caffeine! ;)


^^^^ all of that above ^^^^ was from Sunday afternoon/night. So, Monday was a whirlwind and we got the house looking fine, but I didn't really get to go through things and really purge, organize, but at least I now have a not-as-messy workspace for future purgings!

I did focus on two purging areas yesterday, as well as my non-negotiables of dishes and laundry.

I went through my baby boy's clothes and finally put the too-small ones in a tote and the ones that he will wear in the DRAWER! Imagine that!? ;) I still have to go through them and decide which ones to give/sell.

I also (kind of) purged the bathroom counter/cupboard, tossing hair products that I don't/won't use in the garbage. Still a lot to do with the cupboard itself, but the countertop is looking rather nice!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Little By Little

No pictures today, but I did take some (but didn't get them onto my computer) and got yet another section of the kitchen done today.

My big issue is/was that I felt I needed to get it all done in one fell swoop. I used to have the energy to do that. This tired, busy Mama doesn't have that kind of stamina now. All-nighters to clean the house? No, thank you!

So, I'm totally giving myself a no-pressure rule…get ONE section reorganized, purged, cleaned a day. Do the dishes (which I'm finally caught up on and actually staying caught up on) and the laundry (which I am also caught up on).

My dishes method is to EMPTY the dishwasher in the morning so I can fill it up through the day, as things get dirtied and then run it when it's full, which on a normal day, will be when we go to bed at night. Saturdays, with everyone home all day, we will go through more dishes. Now that we have downsized our dishes significantly, it's so much easier to keep them clean! The kids drink from ONE cup a day and they have enough plates/bowls to get through the day without having to stop and wash btwn meals. So, loading is all we have to do! YAY! I'm fairly excited about this method!

As far as laundry…blow outs and wet beds make it so that I can't pick a DAY to do laundry. I just wash as necessary…so far, that works…I just have to remember to throw things in/switch them over and NOT leave anything to get all stinky in the wash. Which reminds me… (I'd better go switch that load over now!)

Today's purge and clean area was the other corner of the kitchen…where all the vitamins and meds are packed…we had so, so, so many unused and useless things! I actually cleared out an entire shelf so I have a place to store my Advocare products! YAY! And the awesome thing about these purge and cleans is that they really don't take that long at all!!! I just had to FINALLY get up the courage to attack them!

Oh, and I did a little extra something…I cleaned out my makeup bag. I know, right?! Those things get dirty, overfilled and cakey really fast. That felt good to take care of.

Also, on another random, but productive and exciting note, I signed up to be a Jamberry consultant! So, now I have something else to vie for my time, so I need to be careful about that…whilst signing up I actually burnt lunch. That was a sign to me that I have to watch my time commitment to that, ha! ;) Anyway…if you like/want/need/have to have adorable, awesome, amazing nail wraps, go to and shop to your heart's content!

All in all…great day. I'm achey and tired, but it's a good tired. We had THREE meals together AT THE TABLE, cleaning up after each one. Played a board game as a family, built snowmen, snuggled with the kids and had a really great day at HOME together… :)
Friday, January 16, 2015

Losing Steam

Woke up later and was hurting, so I scheduled a chiro appointment  and feel much better, but the day was half spent and I have a little who isn't feel the hottest. Got the dishes put away and another load in. Dishes are my non-negotiable this week and the goal is to do at least one load a day.  But, I'm looking around me again and feeling overwhelmed, which means I'm losing momentum. I need more motivation again!

I didn't do any purging today, but I posted my things from yesterday on the local swap page. No takers yet. I will give it a week and then just gift or Goodwill things. I can't keep them in my house much longer, or I'll start having second thoughts…like, about these plates. I LOVE these plates, but I really, really don't need them. And the bumpy texture kind of bothers me (another rule from Nony…get rid of things you hate, even a little) when I eat salads or something with a cream because you can't really scrape the cream or dressing off with all those grooves. You get that "nails on a chalkboard" effect. Eeeeeew.


Day 2: Progress

I need to start posting the DAY of, but for today, I'm sharing about yesterday's progress.

Remember that sink full of dishes? 2 loads yesterday, 1 in progress today, plus another to go. Catching up on dishes (while you also use them) is no easy/fast task, so I'm definitely seeing the need to wash as I go. And, I also see that the more I have, the more I have to do. So, I'm simplifying. The reality of this urge hit as I was putting the silverware away…and so, began the first transformation. I started purging immediately, using "Nony's" (from A Slob Comes Clean) two questions directly from her post.

"If I needed this item, where would I look for it? (take it there)

If I needed this item, would it ever occur to me that I already have one? (If not, get rid of it because I’d just buy a new one if I needed it.)"

I also applied another question, "Do I need THIS many?" ;) From that…3 grocery bags full of things to sell/give/ and 2 kitchen garbage bags full of GARBAGE.

The Before of the Silverware Drawer: It doesn't look BAD, but we have MORE than enough baby spoons…one thing we are using and throwing in the sink, not to be washed because, well, we have more! Also, I've never used those cool mustache straws…or the push up molds… And once I started emptying the drawer out, I starting finding things I forgot were there! Like that adorable little people silverware tray! And expired coupons. And can you believe how many spoons we have?! And most of them appeared from UNDER the silverware tray. I never would have thought to look here for these, if I would even NEED them! THIS is much better! I also attacked one set of cupboards. With the help of "Dino Hunter." We are not a candy family. But, when we are given some or have been to a bajillion 4th of July parades, we save it, just in case. And that "case" often never comes about. I picked a small sandwich baggie of favorites… and tossed the rest. My give/sell bags…this felt so good!!! And now I have EMPTY and ORGANIZED cupboards (forgot to take a "before" picture)… I also ACTUALLY cooked dinner, because I wasn't so overwhelmed with everything else and was feeling quite accomplished. I took a SUPER easy crock pot recipe from Nony's blog. She uses chicken, but I used pork. :) It was so, so, so good. And cooking a meal actually made me want to clean the table off… :)

It's nice to actually USE that crock pot! :) and I also made these YUMMY oven fries!
Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 1 - Before "Well Begun"

I planned to get up early today to really attack this…and I started off on the right foot by being up till 1:45am (insert eye roll here)…I'm a night owl and I need to change this. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise! Must. Have. Set. Bedtime. I know I'll be all the better for it, but it's a struggle. I got up at 6:30 with my little man and he snuggled right back in and so did I. 7:30 rolled around and then 7:45 and I finally just decide to get up, search my mountain of unfolded laundry for something non-pajama to put on so I feel a little bit ready for the day and sneak out to the kitchen…and totally procrastinate in various ways (most of which I cannot remember) for…hummm, let's see now…1 hour and 15 minutes.

I did the same during nap time yesterday when I had the opportunity to get my rear in gear…searched the internets for this blog template so my "getting rid of clutter" blog could look cool. For serious. Like, 2 hours…wasted. But, this IS a cute template, no? I do feel like I can ACTUALLY start this blog if it's pretty. Isn't that strange? I'm super picky about certain things being "just so" but not so much about my sink FULL (and I MEAN full) of dishes now…not a plate to be used for breakfast.

I promised my next post would include pictures. So…I need to at least stick to ONE thing I planned. So, I will upload said pictures right now as I unload the dishwasher and load it again. Doing dishes is one of the things I tend to overlook for WAY too long. It's a big deal when I actually DECLARE that I'm going to do them. ;)

…. 1 hour later….

So, here are the before photos I promised: Bear with me…I'm a photographer and I love documenting things via photos. And I do believe this post will contain the MOST photos because it's the beginning…we shall see, though. No promises. ;)

This was yesterday MORNING. I didn't touch these dishes and I did end up taking a picture of what the sink looked like by the end of the day. It ain't pretty, folks.
(And yes, that chalk art is strategically placed.)

My kids have a little kitchen of their own. Looks like they are following mommy's example. *sigh*

My vitamin/random vintage crockpot/Advocare counter. Not a little cluttered. 

This is decent and I'm impressed.

This is my laptop workspace, where I edit pictures and waste precious time on the internets. 
It's actually not so bad at this point. It's been worse, sadly.

I keep thinking I may use these to ship things
…aaaand the pile has been here for at least 3 months. Not kidding.

You know those sewing projects you get ready for…and never do them. Yeah.
That is why my machine is out. STILL on the table because I think I just may get 
to said project(s) IF I leave it out. Not the case, friends.

Pick a chair, any chair! If you sit in the one on the left, 
that pile of new-on-super-clearance clothes will fall on your head. 
In my oldest daughter's words just yesterday as she sat on that very chair talking
to daddy on the phone, "Of course, a pile of clothes just fell on my head." 
Is it bad that she prefaced that with "Of course?" 

Coats/Gloves tub I got out to get the kids winter gear…last month…now has become a catch-all. 
The toy box isn't accessible, either
…not with that empty, not-used-much-anymore diaper bag on top of it. 

The kids' play area.

Under my laptop case and other such things. Yes, that is where I put my baby boy's clothes for storage.
The drawer is too full of clothes that are too small for him. Procrastination is fun for a season. ;)

Diaper storage. The box, pull-ups that won't be used because my 3-year-old is finally potty trained, and a blanket to put baby boy on when it's time for a changing. Seriously? I can hardly believe myself.

Another "view" of the changing station…toys strewn, which makes diaper changing time seem
a lot more burdensome when I have to clear toys away to do it.

Boxes of books that have no home (except for the boxes, but I hardly think that counts as a home for a book), Christmas tree still up (yes, ours was a 4 foot purple tree this year) and very cluttered and disorganized toy shelf.

Craft tubs…of "urgent to-do projects." Stacks of towels that are supposed to be made into hooded towels as baby gifts. And where "puppy" found a place in the meantime, since there is nowhere else to put him at the time. I never get these projects done because I feel so overwhelmed by my house. And it's a vicious cycle, friends. Very vicious. 

More undone crafts.

Little Man's crib…in the living room. Not because I don't clean up, but mainly because we don't have room elsewhere, so this has become his sleeping space at night.

Laundry room. Not sure how long that box has been there.

An attempt at storage in an efficient way. Didn't stay that way long, and I fear if I do clean it up, with ALL the stuff I have, it won't stay that way very long later. Hey, at least the folded  towels look decent.

This floor has been COVERED with dirty laundry before. The only reason it's not now is because we returned from a trip and did a bunch of laundry, some of which you saw on the chair in the living room.  It's still there.

That storage bag for my Silhouette has been there forever. I have been storing it in the box instead. Nice.

Hey, look! More boxes of books! We need a bookshelf.

Top of the dryer...

This is amazingly orderly!

We've had this shelf forever…we use it because we have it, but it's not really ideal for the space. But, it's what what we have and it hardly seems like we'll find anything better. So, we make do.

Aaaaand….the table. Where we are SUPPOSED to eat. Clearing things off the table to eat gets annoying…fast. But, apparently, I work around it, even when the thought of clearing the table off totally turns me off from cooking most of the time and hubby saves the day, bless his heart. When it's like this, I can manage to clear off enough space for the girls, while the little guy sits in his high chair and hubby and I go to the peninsula. Not ideal family time, I'm sorely ashamed to admit.

Not too bad, but not good. We looked all over the house yesterday for my daughter's Kids 4 Truth book and we ended up finding it there in front of the black "E" on top of her sister's Kids 4 Truth book and under that Bible. In a perfectly logical pile, yet we missed it completely.

The bathroom is always in disarray…normally there is a pile of clothes on the left there…but, again…since we have traveled, I needed to wash and pack them. Sad that it has to be out of absolute necessity that I clean up a little, instead of to relieve stress and live more simply and comfortably.

So much for bathroom countertop space...

…despite this convenient (and cluttered) shelving.

Back to the living room. Piles and piles of STUFF.

A Christmas project that went wrong…I just shoved it under the chair…
Totally what a normal person would do in that instance… *sigh*

More Under Chair Shoving.

Oh, dear. Our bedroom. I sleep in there and THAT is it. 
Those are piles and piles of clothes that don't fit in our closet (we have no room for a dresser).
Hubby built our bed on a platform so we would have drawers under it and we use those for unders and socks and such. But, pants/shirt and other things drawer-y end up in a pile on the floor, in a suitcase or a tub. Hardly conducive to actually getting out of your clothes what you paid for them. As in…wear it and lose it. Right?! Blegh.

(I'm nervous that there may have been a pair of unders in one of those piles…don't go back and look!)

The girls' room. Actually not to bad. This is the VISIBLE clothes pile.

The bookshelf is always in dire need of straightening up. Always. When I do, it lasts about 24 hours.

And here are the piles of clothes, my attempt at organizing with those drawers. My problem is that I hate swapping out clothes for seasons. I justify it by saying the girls can wear sweaters over their short sleeved shirts and dresses…and they can, and they do, so I keep it all out, all year long because I want to get the most wear out of them before they grow out of them the way kids do so fast. I need to live somewhere like Florida where you can pretty much wear the same types of clothes all year long.

And the sink at the end of the day.