Saturday, February 15, 2014

Your Organizing Questions!

This post is dedicated to YOUR organizing questions! 

Comment below with your top organizing question(s) and I will compile them and answer them as best I can! Pinterest and a number of organizing blogs will be my source for answers, as well as my own personal experience! I will link you to the blog (or pin) and you will find lots of inspiration!

Comment/ask away!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Quick Kitchen Cleanup

Recently, I took a few minutes to organize the pantry part of my certainly needed it!

Here are some pictures to show before and afters:

I have my "pantry" scattered throughout a few shelves and it was getting hard to find anything without everything avalanche-ing down on you! So, I cleaned off the shelves and got to work!
The microwave also got a thorough cleaning inside and out!

It is now much easier to find items when its time to use them! And the lower shelves all have "baby safe" items on them so that my little one can play "store"!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to Add a "Follow me on Pinterest" Button to Your Blog

Here is how to add a "Follow me on Pinterest" button to your blog!!

  1. Log into your Pinterest account.
  2. Click the "About" drop down menu.
  3. Click "Pin It Buttons".
  4. Scroll down to "Follow Buttons". Click on the one you like.
  5. Copy the HTML.
  6. Go to your blog dashboard.
  7. Click on Layout.
  8. Click Add a Gadget.
  9. Scroll down to HTML/JAVASCRIPT.
  10. Paste HTML.
  11. Click Save. 
From there, as you may already know, you can move the gadget around your blog for the perfect position. (Don't forget to save every time you move!) Go view your blog and smile at the newest thing you've learned! 

These directions are credited to the blog, Sew Many Ways (! Go show some love!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kitchen in Progress

I have been working on cleaning out and reorganizing our very small kitchen. Here you can see before and after pictures of just what is visible to the eye without opening up all the cupboards. This is just after one evening of cleaning up. With the lack of space, we have to be creative with our storage options. 

The lower cupboards seen in the far right pictures above make up our pantry space. It is about as deep as three veggie cans. It's very frustrating space to use. We like to stock up for emergencies and such, which is nearly impossible with this space. This is also where I have to keep our spices and such. The orange tub is cat food and the Tupperware box on the floor has treats in it. I keep my vinegar and extra bottles of juice between the wall and fridge.

Top of fridge... Lock and lock dishes are in the basket; Ziploc  plastic wrap, etc are in the green basket, and our super sharp knives and good silverware are slid under the cabinet. That cabinet above fridge holds coffee pot, jars, extra Ziplocs,  etc, wine, and my mini crock pot.  Side note....we don't drink coffee but when company comes, it has been nice to have the coffee pot.

The lower cabinet to the left of the refrigerator is flour, sugar,etc. The tiny cupboard to the left of the stove is the awkward cabinet. It extends the entire length of that counter, but is practically impossible to get into due to the size of the door. The drawers are a mess because they are small and only two of them. We have some of our cooking utensils on the counter, but that doesn't alleviate much of the mess. 

The top cabinet to the left of the stove contains plates, bowls, glass baking pans, Pyrex, some plastic ware and my Christmas dishes. It is also the random place to put the glass measuring cups and the colander. 

Like most homes, under the sink holds most of the cleaners for our house and the fire extinguisher. I do keep cleaners upstairs with the laundry detergent so I don't have to haul them up and down the stairs all the time. We also keep our cookie sheets/wire racks to one side of the cupboard. It is the only cupboard tall enough. I make sure to keep the cleaners on the other side of it so they don't touch.

All in all, there is a lot of wasted space, such as the "awkward cupboard" and the wall space. Since we rent, we didn't want to put a lot of work into putting holes in the wall so no shelves on the walls. I hope to straighten everything up and reorganize it to the best of my ability with what I have to work with! 

More kitchen updates to come!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crafts & Preserving Memories

I just found the most amazing tutorial for cutting apart men's shirts to use for fabric/sewing!!!

Bonnie Hunter's blog can be found here: and what an amazing array of patterns, tips, and so much more she has to offer!!

I have had a box of my grandpa's shirts sitting around just waiting on the right time to cut them apart and make something out of them. I have been scared and intimidated to cut them apart for fear of ruining them/not cutting them properly! I do not have the sewing skills that some of my favorite people do, but I am learning as I go. Most of what I do know, my sweet Nana taught me over the years!

I am thankful to have found this tutorial and will be putting it to good use!! Now I can't wait to tear/cut apart these shirts and get a pattern rolling for blankets, pillowcases, or something else!!

One more step to getting rid of a box of stuff, but preserving a lifetime of memories!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Random Sunday Projects

First project of the day..replacing the bathroom light switch cover. (Sorry for the yellow pictures!)
Super easy!! Took off the existing cover...

...had the new one ready to go....

...and TA-DA! Bathroom makeover in about ten minutes!

 Next up...randomly felt like putting pictures on the blank walls upstairs....
Before...bathroom side...

....before...laundry side....

...had to finagle a couple pics...Dad's was too small for the frame so...

...I grabbed a piece of scrapbook paper & my handy Fiskar cutting board and cut a backing piece....

...hung nearly everything with Monkey Hooks... favorite saying on a glass piece..Dance, Sing, Live, Laugh, Love.

Finished bathroom side wall....

Finished laundry side wall...

Have plans for a "children's" wall (pics of all my kids), and a wall for Hubby & I downstairs. 

Things that Don't Have a Home

What do you do with things in your house that don't have a home? Or things that you've had for years but have no place for them? Things that maybe have accumulated because someone gave them to you and you've hung on to them for the "perfect" time to use them.

I have a ton of these things. We don't have much room in our little place so a lot of it has just stayed in boxes for over a year now. All my fragile items (kitchen items, crystal, & a few knick knacks) are in boxes. I have three cats and no shelf space anywhere. The cats would knock the items off if I put them on the counters or such. The boxes are frustrating but I don't know what else to do. I know that one day I will either be able to purchase a small china cabinet or will have a bigger house (or both), but for now the boxes are taking up room and keeping us from using what little space we have.

I have a bunch of board games that I've had since childhood but since its just the two of us we never play them. We don't have many friends in the area so it's not like we could have "game night" or such. But I'm torn between keeping them for our kids or getting rid of them for now and replacing them later??

Believe it or not, pillows, blankets, and towels make this list. I have a ton of each...we always did growing up too. They come in handy on a cold winter night, or when laundry hasn't been done (or something spills), or you have company coming over. In the meantime...they are stuffed into nooks and crannies all over the place.

My husband doesn't understand my attachment to "things". I come from generations of "packrats". I come by it mom, my grandma, and my great-grandma have all influenced this "syndrome" as we've kept things through the years "just in case", or "this was so-and-so's", or "we might be able to use this one day", or "we can't afford to replace it, might as well keep it", or....and the list goes on.

I have stuffed animals from my childhood that I'm saving for our kids; I have scrapbook stuff I haven't really touched in a few years ( I don't scrapbook too much these days); I have two boxes of scrap fabric/tshirts, etc that I am hanging onto so that when and if I ever get a sewing machine I can make blankets out of them.

I have a box that contains a coin "collection", a portion of a train set from my Mom's Dad, an album of pictures from my first wedding/marriage, a box of cassette tapes, and a few miscellaneous items. I'm still not sure about keeping the pics from my first wedding. Most people say I should because it was a part of my life, but I just don't know. I've kept the portion of a train set to put on a shelf for my kids one day. It's really the only thing that Grandpa ever gave me and I figured its best to pass it on down. The coin collection is where I'm currently stumped...I still have at least one of almost every state quarter that was issued and some other random coins. I don't really know if I should hang on to all of them in case they have any value one day  (and even if they did, would I really get rid of them then?), or hang on to them because it's something neat to have, or if I should go put them in the bank into savings or such?? The cassette tapes I'd love to find on CD or just download my favorite songs from each album, but that costs money and money isn't something we have any of right now, so I just keep hanging on to them hoping one day I can replace them with the "current" type of music.

I have oodles of VHS tapes (mostly Disney kids) and CDs, and then I have homemade copies of VHS tapes too. While having all of these VHS on DVD would reduce the amount of storage needed drastically, they would still take up space and I would still need to find a way to organize them/find a home for them. The homemade VHS tapes I'm thinking I'm probably stuck with unless I can find and afford them on DVD. Really, I have no clue about these things.

I have a box of papers that need to be shredded, but I can't shred them because I don't have a shredder. And I don't know anyone up here who has one that I could borrow. I've tried freecycle and craigslist with no success, so it just sits there taking up space.

If I could afford to buy some shelves for the wall, and figure out how to put them up without them falling down, then some things could go up onto a shelf (like the pictures sitting in a box because they can't hang on the wall and I have no where to display them). But since we have been strapped for money for over a year and a half, I don't foresee that happening anytime soon.

I'd love to get some baskets and bins for the closets to organize winter items, hats, my scrubs for work, shirts & pants that don't fit into the dressers, and of course all the baby things we're accumulating, but again, we hit that lack-of-money wall.

I am a pack-rat; I come by it honestly. I am here admitting an issue before you. I can't get rid of stuff because what if? Or "one day I'll wear it/fit into it/use that"; or "one day I'll have the space to put it"; or "I can't get rid of that because I'll never have the money to replace it." I feel guilty for not being able to get rid of stuff and I feel guilty for hanging on to it.

Sigh. I really do hate having so much clutter. I love looking through all these organizing blogs and finding amazing ideas, but get very discouraged because I don't have the resources to put most of those ideas into use. Most people don't understand me because of this "syndrome". Most people I know don't need to hang on to things forever and a day. I'm not one of those people, although I've been working on it. It's a change in progress that will probably take the rest of my life to perfect, if it ever gets to that point. In the meantime, I'm frustrated, discouraged, and tired of the never-ending "spin" cycle. It causes friction between my sweet hubby and hubby who can't understand why I have so much "useless junk" and is really tired of living with it. My sweet husband who can pack his entire life into his Grand Prix and drive off and not leave anything behind. Compared to me whom it takes two trips with a 16 foot moving truck to move across town (that includes all the furniture though!).

This is some of my chaos that I just don't know how to manage on my own. I would love to hire one of my favorite bloggers to come in and give me a hand! Comment please with your tips and tricks, especially if you are a like-minded individual. Forgive my pack-rat-ed-ness as I continue to find ways to eliminate and deal with my issue.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Little Bit of Catching Up!

Time has slipped away once again!! We've had a busy month of June so far! We've enjoyed time with family & friends, and our girls! And....we found out that we are going to be having our first baby in November and it's a GIRL!! :) We are super excited!

With all that busy-ness, I haven't done a whole lot of organizing but I did accomplish a few things. Of course, I failed to take good pictures, but I am continuing on with scanning that box of papers into the computer. I'm almost done! I re-organized the bathroom drawers and under the sink and purged all the items I didn't need. I finished emptying boxes of books, and while they are only stacked against the wall in my room, at least they aren't taking up so much space!!

When we found out I was pregnant, I dug through all my boxes and pulled out all the baby blankets and such that I've held on to for years. Most of those blankets were mine as a baby. I repacked them into a storage tub so that they would all be in one place.

We also went on the hunt for bunk beds for the second bedroom so that my step-daughters would have a place to sleep (currently they sleep on our camping cots when they visit). We've got one lined up we just have to go get it now! Thanks to a couple friends, the mattresses for it are covered too!! That will help with organizing the second bedroom as that will not only be their room, but the nursery & guest room too!

While our 4 & 5 year old have been here with us this week, we've gone through all their clothes and pulled out all the too-small clothes. Those will be passed on to a friends little girl & the rest of the clothes will be put into the dresser that their Daddy finished sanding & staining for them.

I have utilized my local FreeCycle to get rid of books, clothes, kitchen items, and games that have just been sitting around waiting. I tried to sell them on Amazon and finally decided that those things that hadn't sold in a long time were not worth holding on to "just in case". I also took boxes of books to the local trade-book store and traded in what I could for store credit. I do have one small box of books waiting for a return trip in hopes that they will be able to take them at a later time.

While I haven't blogged I have been making a list of all the projects I want to work on and blog about. There are tons!! Some of them I won't be able to complete properly until finances are better but there are tons that I will be able to work on .

I have three projects I'd like to complete before the baby comes. I need/want to finish that scanning!! Then I'd like to finish putting all my "keepsake" papers & such into my scrapbooks. And purchase new books to put all the pages into. At some point, if I can get my hands on a simple sewing machine, I want to cut up and sew the two tubs of fabric/t-shirts, etc I have into quilts/blankets. Those projects in themselves will empty out approximately two tubs (big tubs) , a milk crate, and at least one big box of junk!!!

While at work yesterday, my co-worker and I decided that our drawers needed some help! I took on the project with great joy!! Something to put my organizational skills to work and pass the time, too!! Again, I failed to take before pictures but take my word that they were a MESS!! This picture is the after of our "singles" drawer where we keep our heartworm and flea medicines and the envelopes single doses go into.

This second picture is the after of our top drawer. We keep our cat flea/heartworm medicines here and during the day we put all of our receipts also. This drawer is also home to an extra stapler and staples..just in case. I love how these drawers look now!!! 

And that mostly brings us to today. There is a lot to do in the next few months to prepare for our baby girl and I'm sure there will be a lot of organizing going on!! Now, if I can just remember to take before pictures!!!

Happy Organizing!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eliminating Paper Clutter

Paper clutter is one of my worst nightmares! I have it everywhere! I'm one of those people that keeps everything "just in case"!! Thankfully, over the years I have been able to decrease the amount of papers I have in my file cabinet/house. Now, I am working on a seemingly never ending project of scanning in "keep papers" to my computer.

Years ago I had stacks and stacks of magazines to keep. Yes, stacks. One day I started going through them and pulling out articles that I wanted to keep for one reason or another. I organized those into categories (organizing tips, dream home ideas, gardening, etc) and they lived in a file cabinet for a couple years. After moving twice, I finally decided to start scanning those papers into my computer, creating a virtual file cabinet of everything I wanted to keep.

Here's one stack of papers to scan! Imagine a large box full of this!
I started by going through each folder and tossing out the pages I didn't feel I needed or wanted anymore. Then I organized them into better categories and started scanning. Each category has its own named folder and the file name of the document corresponds with the folder.

I use an HP printer & simply used the scanning option on the HP Solution Center.

My trusty HP. It's a little time consuming putting one page at a time in, but will be so worth it!!

I am more than halfway done with this project and will be so glad to get one more box out of the house when it's completely done!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Mess of Today

(This blog post was originally written in May! We have since rearranged--again--and I'll post those pictures soon enough! Again, some images have been blurred for privacy!!)

Ok, here goes. This is the mess of today!! Hidden within this mess though, are several little things we have done to organize & put things in their place. I will be taking some snapshots and showing you those in the near future. For now, though, you hopefully have a good idea of the kind of space we have to work with and what kind of stuff we need to find a place for. Many of the boxes you see in the following pictures contain fragile items, pictures, and books. All of which will be able to be completely unpacked when we purchase some shelving of some sort. Also, this is just pictures of the downstairs living areas. I have not taken any of the upstairs but that will come, too!!

As my readers & greatest supporters, your feedback is important!! Tell me what you would do if this was your place! Tell me what you have done in your own home! Show me your organizing secrets! We learn from each other and I am by no means an expert! I would love to see your awesome ideas!!

This is what our dining room looked like...not much of a place to eat!

Media Area

 Here's our "media area"! (Images have been blurred for privacy!)
View of Living Room
 This is another view of the media area with the small couch and back door in the background. Tons of junk!!
View of Living Room
This is the other couch, the back door, mini coffee table, bookcase in the corner, and more boxes of fragile items!  It is a mess!

And that, my dear friends, is an honest glimpse into part of our house. One will all have a home!!
Side note--we are considering swapping the TV and large couch and mimicking the layout we had in our one bedroom apartment back home. It seemed to work well for us and I think we may benefit from the same layout here. Still talking it over with the hubby!

We're on this dance together so I look forward to hearing your stories too!!