Friday, January 31, 2014

Clutter Busting Challenge January 2014

I am working on downsizing our things so my husband and I can get a smaller home in a few years. Our kids are almost grown at 24, 22, 21, and 17. I don't want to wait to purge and organize things I know we can live without. I've been working on purging, reorganizing, and redecorating my home on a small budget for over 3 year now. It takes time but I'm enjoying the journey. I have been purging 100-200 items a month since May. My home has always been clean and organized but we have still found a ton of stuff to purge. I not sure I have much else left to donate. LOL

I found a few things to get rid of in the basement such as crackers, a Christmas tree, cloths, plastic containers, drawer handles, pancake mix, gift bag, and a wine rack. I organized my holiday totes while I was working in the basement and I may look through each one to see what I can purge next month.

I'm purging picture frames, a toy, and oatmeal. I put together a wall photo collage for my dad. He had many frames on his dressers in his room and now he is down to 3. He has Alzheimer's and I want him to see his memories without taking up all his flat space.

I went thru all the kids writing utensils and found a good amount of things almost dried up. I'm also donating the books and magazine that I finished reading this month.

I clean my basement again and found food, shoes my husband no long wanted, and Halloween decoration.

I found undergarments, we updated our phone and therefore donating the old one, gloves, I updated my a memory stick drive, shower rings, instant coffee packets. We bought a bag of bird toys at the Thrift Store and I'm keeping the ones we wanted and donating the extras.

I found a basket worth of old craft paint. I bought 3 packages of cards for $1.50 at the Thrift Store because I needed the envelopes for a Valentine project and now I am donating the cards.

The books that I finished reading this month.

I found oatmeal, lotion, mini marshmallows, calcium tablets, pasta, coffee packets, and comic books.

Coffee, a drawer pull, a fragrance bag, and some confectioners sugar.

Musical instruments.

Metal, cross-stitch hoops, pillow cases, and a chalk board.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 2014 Reading List

I am continuing my challenge to read the books that I own and donating them when I finish. That is 5 books off my bookshelves for this month.

Frontier by Colleen L. Reece

Miriam's Journal Series by Carrie Bender
A Fruitful Vine
A Winding Path
A Joyous Heart
A Treasured Friendship

 Submitted to: 2014 Booking It @ Life As Mom

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Valentine's Cards

This past week I worked on making my Valentine cards. I bought 12 cards for $2.00 at a Thrift Store the weekend before. I bought the paint at Wal-Mart for $10 but it will last for a lot of projects.

I laid them out on my desk and worked on them for two days.  I did one color at a time so they could slightly dry between each color. It takes 24 hours to completely dry because it is a fabric paint.

My finished stack of card. I decided to paint the practice pages that came with them and to use in another project.

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Coupons

I bought a small accordion folder to store my coupons in for $2.00 on clearance at Wal-Mart. I have used a larger file box to store my coupons for several years but I have gotten out of the habit of using coupons. My file box didn't close very well and it was bulky. I don't need. I'm storing a mini calculator, notepad, and pen in the back. I don't buy many convenience foods so most coupons available. I mostly watch the sales and buy several of each item that I want until the next sale for that item.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Quilting Fabrics

I learned a couple things about my sewing and fabrics and then organized them based on what I wanted to spend my time and effort making. I don't care to sew clothing since I can buy them cheap at the thrift stores. I want to make Quilts. I donated any fabrics that I would not use for a Quilt. I mostly like monochromatic Quilts so I grouped my fabrics in color families. If I had fabrics that had multiple colors, I added it to the color stack that I would use it with.  I divided my fabrics between two totes and labeled the outside of each. Tote 1: blue, red and black fabrics. Tote 2: pink, purple, yellow, green, white, and brown fabrics. I made a guess of how big each color stack would need to be to make a King size Quilt and when each stack is big enough I don’t collect that color. When I go to buy fabrics I only pick fabrics that would complement the fabric I already have and pass on the others.

You can visit my blog post to see how I set up My Sewing Space.

 You can also read about My Quilting Plans.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Organized Purse

I cleaned out my purse and it feels much more organized. I buy from thrift stores and don't really know or follow the styles. I just see a bag and buy cause I like the look. I usually find Vera in the display cases in my area. Yep, I like Vera Bradley but if it wasn't for thrift stores I wouldn't have any. 

My Vera Bradley purse that I got from the thrift store for $10 a year ago. I have been told that the pattern is Piccadilly Plum.  My purse isn't that big. I do change it with other Vera Bradley bags of a similar size or smaller occasionally.

How I have everything arranged in my purse. It makes everything easy to find.

I store my things in little Vera Bradley bags along with the pockets in my purse. My wallet, makeup bag, gum, hand lotions, body spray, deodorant, hairspray, brush, phone, keys, iPod, camera, sunglasses, notebook, and calendar. I paid $5-10 for each little Vera bag at thrift stores over the last year.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Surprise Gift

I woke up to a gift of toilet paper and laundry soap this morning on my kitchen table from my 21 yrs. old son Shawn Jr. & his girlfriend Sarah. Sarah has been using coupons the last couple weeks. My son is a Manager for a grocery store and brought home all the coupons from the papers that didn't sell.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My On-The-Go Planner

My On-The-Go Planner is a small calendar that I got at BigLots for $3. I need appointment info when I am out and about to make sure I don't schedule something on a day I am already busy. I use a colored paperclip on the current month to make it easier to find. I wrote a bible verse in the notes along with my appointments on the dates. I use a sticky notepad to list my errands and magnetic notepad to  list my grocery and tuck the lists into my calendar before I leave home. I have a notebook from Wal-Mart $3 that I use to keep temporary notes about community events, phone numbers, and booklists. I use the notebooks band to hold my calendar with it along with a cheap pen in the spiral binding. I also keep an envelope in the notebook for my receipts and money that I set aside for specific purchases. I have a DaySpring Planner that I use everyday at home that I keep on my desk. I have several notebooks that I've been weeding as I update my systems.

My On-The-Go planner, notebook, and pens.

The current month in my On-The-Go planner that I carry in my purse. Romans 8:28 is my verse for the month of January that I'm working on.

My shopping list and errand list that I tuck into my mini planner.

My receipts envelope.

My receipts envelope in my notebook pocket.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our Entertainment Center

I'm updating our living room and started with the Entertainment Center.

Our Entertainment Center before the update. My husband had speakers in the empty spots at one point and we never got around to putting the extra selves back.

The inside before.

Our Entertainment Center after the update. I moved and added all the shelves. My fitness books and DVDs on the top left. My granddaughters toys in the totes. I plan to put Project Life Albums on the right shelves as I finish them. I'll remove the Christmas Decorations soon and add my everyday decor.

The inside After.

The entertainment center after Christmas was put away and I arranged my everyday decor. 

This was a no cost project because I already owned the totes. I will be buying a piece of paneling to recover the back. I plan to store Project Life type albums on the top left when I get that project finished.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

China Hutch for Books

My husband bought me a China Hutch for Christmas to store my books. My projects last week was to unload my bookshelves, set up the Hutch, and fill it up. It took me a couple hours. I have my nighties in the drawers along with more books in ...the cabinets on both side. I didn't have room for my fitness books and DVDs so I had to move them to our Entertainment Center in the Living Room. I put my nighties in the drawers which freed up three totes for the Entertainment Center. As you can guess this project lead to a reorganization project in the Living Room. LOL

The bookshelves in my room in July.

I stacked the books by shelf so that I could keep them in order to put them back later. My husband thought it was funny and had me take the picture.

 My China Hutch with my nighties in the drawers. I have books in the cabinets on both side too.

I love real books and magazines but I do have a Kindle app for nonfiction books. I buy all my books from yard sales, thrift stores, and Half Price Books. I read about 2-10 books per month so I don't pay much per book usually under $3. I donate my books after I finish reading them to my public library. I put my initials in each books before I donate them and enjoy seeing the ones the library keeps. I did keep my favorites until 3 years ago when I realized that I don't like to reread books.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cleaning Zone 4: Bedrooms & Closets

Cleaning Zones

Cleaning Zone 1: Porches & Storage Areas
Cleaning Zone 2: Kitchen/Dining Room & Laundry Room
Cleaning Zone 3: Bathroom & Offices
Cleaning Zone 4: Bedrooms & Closets
Cleaning Zone 5: Living Room & Family Room

Cleaning Zone 4

Master Bedroom Detail Cleaning List

1.      Clean Furniture
2.      Clean cobwebs
3.      Wash mattress pad/ Flip mattress
4.      Wash bedding/dust ruffle/make bed
5.      Empty trash/ clean trash can/disinfect
6.      Wash windows
7.      Clean bookcase
8.      Cull some books from bookcase
9.      Clean dresser
10.  Straighten drawers
11.  Clean under the bed
12.  Straighten couch
13.  Put dirty clothes in hamper
14.  Clean mini fridge
15.  Dust & Vacuum
16.  Clean TV/DVD player

 Closet Detailed Cleaning List

1.      Straighten the top shelves and baskets
2.      Dust shoe storage/Arrange the shoes
3.      Cull some clothes from the rack
Extra Bedroom: Detailed Cleaning List

1.      Polish furniture
2.      Straighten drawers/closet
3.      Clean cobwebs
4.      Wash mattress pad/dust rug
5.      Flip mattress
6.      Wash curtains
7.      Wash windows
8.      Clean window
9.      Clean bath tub
10.  Clean top of sewing machine
11.  Straighten bookcase
12.  Straighten computer desk
13.  Clean out the closet
14.  Put away stray items
15.  Fertilize plants