Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DSL Problems

I haven't posted anything since last Friday because my DSL has been dying a slow death over the weekend. My provider is sending someone out tomorrow to check on it. Needless to say, I won't be doing much posting until it gets fixed. This dial-up connection just takes entirely too long.

I have been decluttering in the interim time. Our camper needed lots of declutter work and it is now ready for our upcoming vacation. I'll try to post some pictures once all is working again.

I will still host 5 Things I Can Live Without on Thursday (even if I have to go to the library or the neighbor's house). Until then, I'll be working just not on the computer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday

It's Thursday again! One day closer to the weekend!! Of course it is also time for 5 Things I Can Live Without. Since I have been decluttering several areas this week, my list is going to be longer than 5.
  1. Cell phone chargers for phones that we no longer own - how do these things not get removed from our home when the old phones go?
  2. Diaper bag - found one of these in the back closet - my baby is 5 years old
  3. Crochet needles - found several in the back closet - I haven't crocheted in so long that I don't even remember how
  4. Car seat accessories - these were found in the back closet as well - why are they not with the car seat?
  5. Dried up glue and glue sticks - found these in the drawers
  6. Owner's manuals for appliances that we no longer own
  7. Disorganized closets and drawers - it is so much nicer to have areas where can locate your stuff
  8. Out of date fruit juice - found in the camper - I don't think I want to give my child something that expired in 2007
  9. Christmas To-Do pads - found in one of the drawers - I let Boo have these to color on - I didn't use them at Christmas and probably won't use them in July either - why do I waste good money on this crap?
  10. Wooden paper plate holder - this was just taking up space on my counter - since I'm not using paper plates much any more it has been holding several of my trivets - the problem is that it can't hold them all - so I have trivets in several places - I have gotten rid of the holder and put all the trivets together

So what can you live without? Take a look at what you have decluttered this week and share with us. Post your link or just leave a comment. Happy decluttering!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday - Timers

TIMERS! That's what works for me.

I use my timer to
  • keep me focused on the job at hand

  • keep working at a job even when I may want to stop

  • remind me when something else needs to be done (i.e., clothes moved from washer to dryer, 5 more minutes to bedtime, etc.)

  • get us out the door in the morning

  • take shorter showers

  • declutter multiple times a time but not all day

  • challenge me to hurry and not get bogged down

  • remind me to stop working on the computer

What works for you? Visit We Are That Family for more ideas.

Declutter Day 40

Today I have tackled the back closet. Do you hear the horror movie music in the background? I did when I opened the door. SCREAM!!!!!

Now, I'm hearing the birds singing and the crickets chirping and the soft sound of a cool breeze.

Once again, I can't believe all the stuff that was in there that really didn't need to be. Plus, we have some free space available in there now.

I love this hanging organizer. I put items in there such as

  • gloves (which we aren't needing right now but they still need a space)
  • glue that I don't want my 5 year old having access to
  • glue gun
  • bug spray
  • flashlight (again away from the kid - he loves to run down the batteries
  • cleaning cloths
  • summer pool items

I have linked this post to Work on It Wednesday. Visit there for more inspiration.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Declutter Day 39

I have finally gotten all those kitchen drawers finished and am now ready to post my before and after pictures. It always amazes me how much gets tossed into these drawers and forgotten.


and After:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Routines and Schedules Help With Decluttering

Routines and schedules tend to help me with my daily life and decluttering. After some prompting by Joy at Just Organize Yourself in this post, I have decided that I need a summer schedule to be sure that I am getting as much done as possible. I have been feeling overwhelmed lately and have not been spending as much time with Boo as I would like to. I want him to remember the summer months as fun times and not Mama trying to declutter all the closets.

So this week I am making an attempt at creating and using a schedule. I will probably find that I need a couple of schedules (days that I need to work or attend trainings, days at home, days with outings), but for now I am focusing on the days at home.

7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast, dishes and cleanup, 1 load of laundry

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Decluttering and cleaning up the zone area for the week, 1 load of laundry

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Reading and learning time with Boo

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Play time with Boo

11:00 - 12:00 p.m. Lunch, dishes and cleanup

12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Nap time for Boo and individual play time (if shorter nap)
Computer time for Mom (bills, blogs, email, etc.) and more declutter time if needed

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Screen time for Boo (TV, movie, video game, computer)
Mom finishes up any household chores

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Cut and Write time for Boo (can also be science or craft time)

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Dinner, dishes and cleanup
Boo can play outside if not too hot (this Florida heat has been so bad this past week that I haven't let him out in it too much)

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Games and reading time as a family

7:00 - 7:30 p.m. Bath

7:30 - 8:00 p.m. Pickup time around house

8:00 - 8:30 p.m. Family devotion time with Boo, then Boo to bed

8:30 - 10:00 p.m. Adult time for parents

We may have to change around a few things, but we are going to try to stick to this attempt at a schedule this week. The only thing that I didn't slot for a particular time is gardening and taking care of the animals. We'll try to work around the hot weather for these things.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Declutter Day 38

Today I decluttered at school. When we got out, I left my room just as it was. I'd had enough that week and knew that I would be back to clean and straighten up. Boo went with me this afternoon and here is what we got accomplished:
  • textbooks put on cart to be moved to book storage room
  • new computer table put together and part of the computers moved to it - this table has a back tray to hide the cables so everything looks more organized - I have one more to put together and organize but there wasn't enough room to get both of them done without moving some other furniture
  • moved extra desk over to my teacher desk to make an L-shaped workspace (added more storage and work area)
  • organized differentiated instruction materials for easy access
  • decluttered printer areas and reorganized
  • decluttered magazines and reorganized
  • old computer monitors moved out from under computer tables - these need to be gone through to determine what still works but now they have been moved to a place where I can check them out
  • moved unassembled computer carts for the lab out of my classroom and into the lab - they just got put there when they were delivered and we haven't had a chance to get them assembled yet - there's more room in the lab than in my room

My classroom looks like a whirlwind has gone through it, but at least the decluttering and reorganizing has begun. We'll probably go back on Monday and do a bit more. Needless to say, no decluttering got done at home today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Declutter Day 37

Today I have worked on Boo's clothes drawers. He had quite a few things that he had outgrown or that were really worn. We are also thinking about vacation and what will need to go with us then. We've gotten the shorts and shirts gone through and the drawers look much more organized. (He was having trouble putting away his clothes, because there just wasn't any space.)

When I was going through my Google Reader this afternoon, I ran across a post at Small Notebook with a wonderful idea for packing kids clothes for camp or vacation. I love this idea for the camper since we have such limited space. I'll post my pictures a little later today.

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday

Today is Thursday once more which means it is time for 5 Things I Can Live Without. This week I have gotten rid of several items that I can definitely live without. Those list of items include:
  1. sofa pillows - we got rid of these several days ago and it is great - no more moving pillows to sit down and no more picking up pillows that have been strewn all over the floor
  2. dining chair cushions - since getting rid of the sofa pillows has been so liberating, I'm going to send out those dining chair cushions as well
  3. flip flops that hurt my feet - doesn't everyone have a pair of these - you know the ones - they were so cute but you can't wear them more than 2 minutes
  4. old purses - I hold onto these for way too long - if it is torn or something is broken, just let it go
  5. heavy curtains - I have removed the roman shade type curtains that I had in my bedroom from the windows - I left the valance - it is so much "cooler" looking
  6. I know there are only supposed to be 5, but I can really live without this 100 degree heat that we are having in Florida. Anything that helps us feel cool is wonderful right now.

Join in and tell us what you can live without. I'm trying Mr. Linky again, but if it doesn't work or if you don't have a blog, leave a comment either directing us to your post or sharing your 5.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Declutter Day 36

At Making Your Home A Haven, this week's challenge is to clean out or organize a drawer or closet. My kitchen drawers need lots of TLC. So that's what I'll be working on. Before and after pictures to be added soon!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Declutter Day 35

Today has been a fairly good day for decluttering. I have several meetings this week (inservice training for teachers), so I have someone coming to my home to sit with my little one. I've decided instead of dusting so many things that it is time to get rid of some of those items. Here is what I've decluttered today:
  • small basket that I really didn't like
  • baby photo albums with no pictures (I got several of these and never used most of them - sending out to someone else to enjoy)
  • books that we no longer read or enjoy
  • decorative pillows that seem to be thrown on the floor all the time - we tend to just move them out of our way to sit down - who ever thought a couch needs 4 pillows? - where do you sit??
  • sugar container that doesn't match our kitchen
  • clothes that no longer fit (I didn't have to dust around these but I'm sending them out anyway)
  • kids table and chairs set - we bought our 5 year old a real desk a few weeks ago and he loves it - he'll be starting kindergarten this fall and needed a "big boy" desk

So I think I'm getting back on track. These items will be taken to our local church thrift store tomorrow and be out of here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Declutter Days 32, 33 and 34

This week we have been camping out at our old place because my son loves to go to Vacation Bible School at his grandmother's church. We are also planning a vacation for July. So I combined these two activities and have been decluttering the camper. I worked on it for three days (just in the afternoons). Here is the progress that I was able to make:

Day 32 (Tuesday, June 9):
  • went through all the bed linens and organized by size
  • pulled out all beach towels to be laundered
  • removed heavy blankets (we won't be needing those at the beach in July)
  • removed trash from under the main bedroom bed (these were items that had been used and we were saving the packaging for some reason??)

Day 33 (Wednesday, June 10):

  • trashed old food and drink items from storage areas in the eating area (closed in benches provide storage) - these were out of date for too long
  • organized bathroom storage cabinet (this is a small area and has to be kept neat and tidy or nothing fits - which is where it had gotten)
  • decluttered toys from top bunk bed and under the bottom bunk bed
  • organized toys that would be staying in the camper into bins
  • replaced folding chairs (we had these in the car for t-ball games) and folding table under bottom bunk bed

Day 34 (Friday, June 12):

  • decluttered kitchen cabinets
  • trashed more old items that were out of date
  • started a list of items that will be needed for trip in July

I didn't take any pictures because most of these areas are small and you wouldn't have been able to tell much about them. I did find a picture of the camper that we had taken earlier so I put it in.

I still have several areas to go through, but at least this has been started and won't require so much time right before we go on vacation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday

Is it Thursday already? With Vacation Bible School and swimming lessons this week, we have been on the move (literally). Of course, the two are 40 miles apart and we have been commuting back and forth. It's been a great week, just busy.

This Thursday's 5 Things I Can Live Without is centered around cleaning out my car (since that is what I have been concentrating on lately). Over at Organized Junkie, this month's task is the organize those vehicles.

Here are the 5:

  1. toys, toys and more toys (who ever came up with the idea that toys in the car was a good idea??)


  3. junk mail - yes, I have been housing it in the car to keep it out of the house.

  4. shoes, shoes, and more shoes (these, just like the toys, seem to multiply in the car).

  5. jackets and sweaters (I don't even remember the last time we wore these this year. Why are they still in the car?)

Join in and list your 5 Things. Since Mr. Linky doesn't appear to be cooperating today, just leave a comment with your link.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

5 Things I Can Live Without Thursday

I have been so busy this week with the end of school that I almost forget about my new meme. Join me today for 5 Things I Can Live Without.
  1. All the packing materials that seem to come with just about everything (especially toys). I hate having to throw out so much stuff just because I bought something. I have really started looking at how much packaging and excess materials something has before I buy it.
  2. Sand - we have had a good bit of rain the last few days (which I'm not complaining about). My complaint is all the sand that damp feet bring in that has to be gotten rid of on my laminate floors. Some days I feel like all I do is vacuum.
  3. Ants!! They came in when it was dry and now they are coming in when it is raining. We haven't left any food items out, but they are still everywhere. I even have those tiny, sugar ants in the bathroom. What could they possibly find in there with sugar? The toothpaste?
  4. Using my dryer everyday. I have found that I can do this by using the drying racks and clotheslines. Even on rainy days, I can dry clothes inside and not have to use the dryer. Yippee!! This will be good when that electric bill for all the extra air conditioning comes in.
  5. Dusting! I know, I know! You really can't live without this, but it was a nice thought. You know to never have to dust again - heavenly!!

Now link up and join in. Share your 5. (Hopefully, Mr. Linky is happy today!)

Declutter Day 31

Tonight I was able to go through several stacks of junk mail, bills, statements, etc. and get some filing done. I worked on getting the master bedroom finished as well. We've finally gotten all the furniture in and set up. So I spent some time lining the drawers and putting away laundry. I also hung a clock that I had bought and never really decided where it should go. It was just taking up residence in the spare bedroom, but now it is hung in the master bedroom and I love it! Hopefully, tomorrow I can post my master bedroom pictures.

Earlier in the day I had a meeting at which I arrived about 15 minutes early. It was raining really hard, so I didn't want to get out of my car until the rain slowed down or stopped. I decided to use that time and a plastic bag that we all seem to have too many of to gather up the trash. When I got back to my work, I threw the bag away. My car isn't completely decluttered, but all the trash is gone.
All in all, today has been a good day for decluttering!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Work On It Wednesday - Do It Now List

Sometimes decluttering and keeping things organized and straight can be very overwhelming. I tend to forget how a short period of time can change an area. So I made what I call a Do It Now List. This list is just a list of tasks (that continually need to be done and take less than 10 minutes). It hangs on my refrigerator. It includes things like:
  1. Pay a bill
  2. File something
  3. Put shoes away
  4. Declutter a section of a drawer, cabinet, etc.
  5. Play with child (fun things need to be on the list, too)
  6. Put away some laundry
  7. Fold some laundry
  8. Put a load of laundry in washer
  9. Wipe one counter
  10. etc., etc., etc.

I don't get hung up trying to clean an entire area. I just do the next thing on the list. You can create your own list with checkboxes (or if you email me I'll be glad to send you mine). I've found that breaking it down into smaller chunks makes it more doable for me. I don't spend time procrastinating about everything that needs to be done. Instead, I'm actually doing something. Plus looking at all those items that I have checked off gives me a real sense of accomplishment. When the list is completed, I put up another one and start all over again.

This really works for our home. To see more Work on It Wednesday, visit Organized Junkie. There are some great ideas there.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Declutter Day 30

Tonight was the last t-ball game of the season and we've almost reached the end of our school year, so I'm hoping to get more decluttering done. I need to make a list of all the places that still need some major decluttering and pick one place per day.

Today I was able to go through the stack of papers that Boo brought home from school (it was more than a stack - it was actually a paper sack full). We pulled out the items that we wanted to save and put the others aside to go to grandparents for their refrigerators or walls or whatever.

I also got my purse and wallet decluttered. It didn't take much time, but it was past due so to speak. Now I know where my library card is and where my movie rental card can be found. I thought I had lost those two items.

See why it's important to declutter? You never know what you may find. Personally, I'm hoping to find money stashed somewhere that I have forgotten. A $20 bill would be nice to find tucked away somewhere. I think I'll go check my wallet and the side pocket of my purse once more just to be sure that all the spaces have been decluttered and clean.