Thursday, April 30, 2009

Declutter Day 18

Well, I have made up for lost time today. I have been cleaning out the spare bedroom where our exchange student will be living next school term. Since we are getting new furniture in a week or so, we need to move the old furniture to the spare room. I have a couple of dressers in there that are mostly holding things that I just haven't taken the time to find a place for. This afternoon I have cleared one of the dressers out and an old cedar chest.

Most of the items were things that I have of my grandmother's and I don't want to get rid of them. I found a set of beautiful his and hers embroidered pillowcases that I didn't even know we had (I think my husband's grandmother did them). I found several crocheted doilies that I had forgotten about and some material to use for making grocery bags.

I organized my sewing items and went through Boo's school papers. I also found some old bills and statements from 1998-2003. I got rid of all of that as well. I located some insurance information that I hadn't been able to find and went through some of Boo's medical records that I needed to organize and save.

Next, I went through some of Boo's clothes that are in the dresser that will be moving to the spare room. We threw out some holy (I mean, holey) under pants, old socks and a few t-shirts that needed to be rags.

All in all, it has been a long afternoon. I don't generally try to declutter so much at one time, but I was feeling a little behind so I kept at it.

You may be wondering how I got all this done with it being a t-ball night. Well, since my little one was in the principal's office this afternoon after repeated, unsuccessful time-outs, he was not allowed to play tonight. He had gotten into trouble on Monday and was forewarned about losing t-ball privileges if there were any more behavior problems. I'm wondering if the moon is full or something. He's generally very good, but in the last few days he has been a handful. Here's hoping tomorrow will be better.

Declutter Day 17

About the only decluttering I got done today (Wednesday) was clearing the car of all the items that we purchased at Target. As soon as school was out, we drove back to the furniture store (about 1 1/2 hours away) to order our new furniture. This is what we have picked from Ashley Furniture Homestore. It is the Cross Island and we ordered the king bed, night stand, media chest, dresser and mirror.

I didn't even get all the stuff put away as it was nearly midnight when we got home. Hopefully, tomorrow I can declutter another space and get some things caught up. Of course, we do have t-ball again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Declutter Day 16

I didn't get anything decluttered today. This is what we were doing (and I have to say it was much more fun that cleaning and decluttering). He thinks he was won the championship every game.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Declutter Day 15

Yeah! Today I got back to some decluttering!!

If you have read my post from Sunday on my grocery savings blog, you already know that we weren't home on Sunday and stocked up on toothpaste from CVS and Walgreens. I try not to spend too much on toothpaste. In fact, my little one and I use the samples from the dentist, but my hubby - that's another story. He wants a FULL size tube of toothpaste, so we granted that wish on Sunday over and over and over again.

Well today (Monday) when I decided to put up the toothpaste, this is what greeted me...

After about 15 minutes, it looked so much better...

Now on to the next thing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Declutter Day 14 or Not

Well, once again, I didn't get any decluttering done on Sunday. I think I may have to mark Sunday as a No Declutter Day (my day to rest from decluttering).

As you know if you've been reading my posts, we are getting an exchange student next school year. We don't have any bedroom furniture for our spare bedroom yet except for this toddler bed and some old dressers from my grandparents' home. Of course, we aren't going to expect her to use this, so we decided to move our bedroom furniture (queen size) to this room and buy a king size set for our room.

Sunday after church we decided to check out some furniture sales at Ashley Furniture. I had found several things online that I liked but they are only on sale this week. Since the store is 1 1/2 hours away we decided we'd probably have more time to browse on Sunday that one afternoon. We didn't get home until bed time. So until Monday!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Declutter Day 13

Day 13 was Saturday, April 25th. I finally got the baby chicks moved outside. They have created such a mess in my laundry room that I don't know when I'll ever get it all straigtened out. I've been promising pictures once we got the pen done and them moved so here it is...

aren't they sooo cute? Especially now that they are outside!!

I also spent time on Saturday repurposing an old dog pen into a nesting box for the laying hens. I cut the pen in half and attached part of it to the top to cover the nexts. We have to get some concrete blocks and then we'll be ready to move it into the pen for the older chickens.

Here it is...

No decluttering was done on this day with all the activity going on at the chicken pen. There's always tomorrow to attack something else.
Til then.

7 Quick Takes Friday

We got the house straightened up this week for our home visit from the agency that will be helping us host an exchange student next year. Talk about decluttering and in a hurry, but we did it and all is still is wonderful order.

Boo has continued to keep up his room and to put away things as he gets them out. He even had a visit from the House Fairy and was left a nice search and find book with Wall-E. Not only is the House Fairy extremely proud of him, but Mama and Daddy are, too.

We got the baby chicks pen finished and will be moving them today. We have to go to the local hardware store for some pine straw for their bed. I promise to follow up with a picture shortly.

I want to declutter my closet this week coming up (starting today) as well as go through our winter clothes.

Another decluttering project this week will be the dressers in our master bedroom. I have got to find some space for linens since our exchange student will be using the closet in the spare bedroom where these are currently located.

I was able to use the drying racks quite a bit last week for the laundry. I think I only had to actually dry one load. Since last week was Earth Day, we tried really hard to do lots of things that were more earth friendly. We want to keep that habit going until it actually becomes a habit.

And finally, this week I want to go through our home and get rid of dust catchers, clutter mongers and any thing that is just there because we are blind to it. I only want to surround us with things we truly love and admire. Everything else is just stuff (that requires more upkeep and cleaning). I'd rather be spending time with my family and not running myself ragged trying to clean STUFF!

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, visit here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Family Fun Friday

I am so excited about this Family Fun Friday today. We are going to finally get the baby chicks moved from inside the house to a corner of the big chicken pen. It has warmed up nicely here and they are not staying the big appliance box. The Americauna (spelling is questionable here) rooster was out on the floor of my laundry room last night just squawking away. He has gotten out of the box and couldn't find any of his friends. Of course, this didn't prohibit him from leaving me a "squishy" present on the floor. So needless to say, they have to go.

Boo, my 5 year old, loves all the chickens. He pets the big ones every day. So I know that this will be a family fun activity for all of us. Of course, it may be some work for the parents, but Boo will be ecstatic to "help" and play with the animals.

What are you planning to do this Friday for family fun? If you need some ideas or are just plain curious about what others are doing, see Moms by Heart. Don't forget to link up so others can see what you'll be up to. I'll post the AFTER pictures as soon as we get it done.

Declutter Day 12

I didn't get anything decluttered per se on Thursday. We had a T-ball game and with fixing dinner and cleaning up, there just wasn't enough time. I did clean out the baby chicks bedding. They are being moved outside this weekend and I had hoped that I could just keep adding some more newspaper until then. BUT when we walked in from the game, the smell was overwhelming and I knew this was going to have to be done. Not really a decluttering job, but a necessary one.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get two declutter jobs done on Friday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three Things This Thursday

For my Three Things This Thursday, I thought I would list some things that I have accomplished this week. I'm so proud of our family for all that we have gotten done.

1. We were able to get our house in order this week for our home visit (see 2).

2. We are getting an exchange student next school year and have completed this process. We are currently awaiting the background check and then should be corresponding with her soon thereafter. My little one is so excited about "his big sister."

3. My little one has kept his own room straight this entire week. I am going to have to find some reward for that. I am sooo proud of you, Boo (his nickname)!

To check out more Three Things This Thursday, visit Psalms 104:24 (not the scripture which of course you could reference - but the website).

Declutter Day 11

I'm catching up from the last few days of decluttering. I have been working so hard to keep everything straightened up that I haven't had much time for blogging. Yesterday (Wednesday), I had to declutter our medicine cabinet in the kitchen. Since my little one had been sick, I was very frustrated trying to find all of his medicines (breathing treatments, fever reducer, cough meds, expectorant, etc.) in such a disaster. So for Wednesday, I took the time to go through the medicine shelf and organize everything again.

I use plastic containers (like those for leftovers but without the lids) to put meds in for each person in our family. My husband has daily meds that he has to take and those go out in front for easy access in one container. I have another container for our little one and then yet another for me. My container is pushed furthest back in the shelf. I tend to be the less sickly one of the bunch (or at least the one who takes the least medicine). These containers make it so easy to just grab up what you need.

The next thing I want to do is make a night nurse kit. I read about this from an email newsletter and thought it was a wonderful idea. In this kit you put everything that you would need in the middle of the night for your kids (thermometer, fever reducer, breathing meds for us, etc.). It is so hard to find a thermometer in the middle of the night and the idea is to have it all together in one place so anyone can grab it without much thought or searching. I think I will try to work on this next.

Declutter Day 10

I can't believe it. I have been doing this for 10 days!! Go me (well, us)!!!

One note of improvement for Tuesday of this week (Day 10) is now that we have gotten the entire house straightened up, my 5 year old knows what his room is supposed to look like and is working hard to keep it that way. He has only been pulling out one thing at the time and putting it back. He stayed home sick with my hubby (on Tuesday) and when I returned home everything was still in great order. Was I ever surprised? I only had a few dishes to wash up.

We had a T-ball game on Tuesday afternoon so the only decluttering that I was able to do was a little bit in the pantry. I had to run to the grocery store during my lunch to bring the guys a few snacks for the day so I straightened up the snack shelf in the pantry after I got home. I didn't snap a picture since it was only one part of a shelf.

Declutter Day 9

I didn't do much decluttering work on Monday since we had the home visit for our exchange student. I just kept up what work we had already done. It looks so nice. I hope we can keep it looking so great.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Decluttering for Day 8

I also worked on the porch some more on Sunday. I decided to push the dining table into the back corner and use the metal table from my grandmother's as a buffet. This way we could easily put the food to be served on the porch with us and not have to go back into the house for items. I'll try to get a picture up in the next day or so. We've still got quite a bit to do (paperwork wise) for the exchange student so I may not get any decluttering done for a day or so.

Declutter Day 8

Today was a major declutter day. I received a call from the representative that we have been working with in order to host an exchange student next school year. She will be coming by tomorrow for a home visit.

I had to declutter the spare bedroom (AKA the junk room, the boxes of stuff that we never put away after moving room, the excess baby stuff room, the scrapbook room, etc.). This was a job. Just going through things in there took so much time.

Here's a breakdown of some of what had to be done:
* closet cleaned out and straightened up
* bed linens put on shelf (they had been folded and put in the room but not put up)
* baby stuff sent to charity store
* books and movies (had previously been gone through and just being stored there) sent to
charity store
* camper stuff taken out to camper (bowls, toilet cleaner, dish cloths, tire covers, exterior rug) -
we had purchased some items that never made it to the RV
* air mattress disposal (won't hold air any longer)
* puzzles, scrapbook items, school papers put away
* vacuum (our cat had shredded a newspaper page in there)
* pictures put away
* old picture frames gone through and sent to charity store
* school supplies put away

We made it through this room and had to do some cleaning in several others, but we are now ready for our home visit. We are very much looking forward to hosting a student. What better incentive to get this room under control?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Declutter Day 7

I didn't get any decluttering done on Friday so I'm going with Day 7 today.

Our screened in porch is a catch-all. We use it for outside games and toys, recycling bins, an outside eating area, wood storage for fireplace and lots of junk that just gets accumulated there. I wish I had taken a BEFORE picture. We worked on this area for about 1 1/2 hours this evening. This is as far as we have gotten.

If you have any ideas about how this area might work better for us, please leave a comment. The area is narrow and the outside dining table that I have is round with 4 chairs. We have a large tote that houses most of the outside toys and games except for the t-ball equipment. There are three recycle bins that are stackable as well as the curbside container. I also have a metal table that belonged to my grandmother in the back corner that is currently not being used for anything at all. It mostly just makes a place for more stuff to accumulate. The wind from southernly storms causes the porch to get wet so I need to place some things all the way against the wall. We have moved the wood to our wood rack outside so there isn't a place needed for that at this time of year. Please, please, please give me your ideas. I do intend to use some decorative items in this space once I get things where I want them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Declutter Day 6

I am a day behind in my posts but I have decluttered an area every day even if I haven't posted about it yet. This decluttering was actually done yesterday (Wednesday). I took time to finish up my couponing project. All the coupons have been numbered and entered into the spreadsheet for future reference. I really love this way of organizing the coupons. Before I could never find what I needed or it would be expired. The other issue that I had would be trying to dig back through all the coupons to throw out the old ones. That's not necessary with this system. And the best part is that now it's done.

Works for Me Wednesday

I wanted to share my works for me but didn't get it done in time for the post the We Are That Family website. But here it is anyway:

I have a large cast iron decorative floor grate that I purchased from a floral/gift shop. It's original purpose was an outside door mat. When I saw it, I knew instantly that it would serve as a wonderful large size trivet (18 x 30). I have it beside my stove so that I can sit pots on it without burning the counter or looking for a hot pad or trivet. The best thing is that not only is it functional, it is also decorative and looks like it belongs right there. It keeps me from adding more clutter to this area because of its beauty.

Repurposing items works for me and keeps me somewhat clutter free.

I found a picture online of a similar product. Mine doesn't have the rooster - only scroll work.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Declutter Day 5

I didn't get this post done on Tuesday. Our little one is playing T-ball so we didn't get in until late. I did get a little decluttering done, though, even with our busy schedule. I decluttered the top of the freezer in my laundry room. There was some laundry there as well as other things that just didn't belong. We have eight chicks in this room, too. I'm posting a picture of them instead of the freezer. They are much cuter!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Declutter Day 4

This afternoon I have been working on the other side of the kitchen. The countertops were cleaned on Saturday, so today I decluttered items on the counters. I looked at what could be stored elsewhere and what items could be removed entirely.

I also worked on one of the cabinets below the countertop. It took less than 15 minutes to do all of this. I am always very amazed at the power of 15 minutes.

To see other Immaculate Monday activities, visit here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

No Decluttering Today (Easter)

I have decided that I'm not going to bother with any decluttering projects today. We have had a full day with church this morning and having our parents over for lunch. I am more interested in just kicking back and spending the time with family and my 5 year old.

I've got to go hide one last batch of eggs! Enjoy today and do something you enjoy! Most of all, take some time to think about the importance of the day.

Declutter Day 3

On Saturday evening after our church's Easter celebration, I was able to finish the last of the countertops in the kitchen. Now all of the countertops are neat, organized and best of all - clean.

All of the groceries and purchases from our Wal-Mart trip have been put away and are not waiting on the dining table or the top of the bar. What was I thinking when I put in a bar? It just seems to be a magnet for anything without a place to go.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Declutter Day 2

I didn't get a chance to post this on Friday, but I did declutter my coupon stash. I found a really great idea for keeping coupons here and worked on them. I worked on this for nearly 30 minutes. The job is not finished, but I have gotten a really good start and it will probably only take another 30 minutes to finish it. I'll take a picture once I'm done.

We had to go to Wal-Mart today and I was able to save $9 with coupons for items that I would have purchased anyway. So the coupon system is already working.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blitz - It Friday

Grab My Blog Button!

For Blitz-It Friday, I worked this week on my kitchen and dining area. I want to finish up the kitchen on Friday including scrubbing the grout on the floor. It is awful. My tiles are beautiful but very intricate. I thought when we bought these that they would be wonderful to look at, but now I'm looking at all that dirt in those grooves and cringing. I'll update with pictures as I go. You can see the other declutter activities that I have done this week at my blog.

To see what everyone else has done this week, go and visit Blitz It Friday at Organized Everyday.

Declutter Day 1

Here is what I was able to do today. I'm hoping that working on this blog will help to encourage me to do something each day. My home is not a candidate for Clean House or Clean Sweep or any of those kinds of shows, but it can definitely use a good daily declutter mission.

I am currently subscribed to Flylady and she tries to encourage each of us to declutter just 15 minutes a day. What can you do in 15 minutes?

This is what I did. It took me 2 - 15 minute sessions.



Starting Today

Starting today, I am going to try to declutter a little each day in my home. This blog will be my trek through that adventure. Come join me and let's see what happens.

This idea was not my own. I visited a site by a wonderful mom at 365 Days of Decluttering and Angie is Flying. It inspired me to start my own blog about my decluttering and organizing experience. Thanks, Angie!!