Just One Thing

Remember my Spring Cleaning “series”? You don’t? This is so ridiculous but neither did I. I always get embarrassed when I creep back through old blog posts of mine. Oh, the dumb stuff I’ve written (and continue to) during the life of this blog! And the pictures too! Makes my ears feel hot. I try not to think about it.

Anyway, I searched “spring cleaning” to reference in this post, and lo and behold – there was an entire series dedicated to it! I could write those same posts again: Clean out the purse! Clean out the car! Clean out the fridge! That’s the thing with spring cleaning. It needs to happen over and over again.

In the past few months, I’ve declared a new spring cleaning mission. I set a goal to get rid of “Just One Thing” Per Week. It doesn’t matter what – big or small – and it doesn’t matter if it’s trashed, sold, donated, or composted. I was going to write “or consumed” but upon further thought, that didn’t seem like the healthiest option.

A few weeks ago, I worked feverishly to clean up the Play Area. And even though I took four car loads of trash to the dump, I counted that as my “Just One Thing” in an effort to keep momentum.

My focus is diffused; sometimes I’m working in the office, sometimes I’m trying to tackle the kid’s clothes but mainly, I’ve been working in our garage. I think it might be a stretch, but I’m really hoping to clear enough out so we can park BOTH cars in there by winter time. It’s my pet peeve to have so much stuff stored in your garage that you can’t do the one thing garages are designed to do – “store” your car! Now, I’m one of those people. Doh.

Other things on my list:

  • kid’s clothes
  • kid’s toys
  • paper work
  • wedding dress
  • breast pump
  • craft bin

So it’s sort of spring cleaning-esque, but with an emphasis on moving stuff OUT without worrying too much about cleaning or organizing just yet. I’d like to do that too but I also recognize that my organizing efforts have been in vain because I have too much stuff. I’ve been shuffling items from one room to the next, getting nowhere.

This week I’m working to get rid of all of the scalloped edging since we replaced it with metal. I’ll be so happy when this is all gone!

edging

Has anyone read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo? I have it reserved at the library and I’m hoping to find lots of inspiration and tactics I can manage as a busy Mom. It really is hard to stay on top of the stuff with kids – the churn is massive and the time to manage it is minute!

Spring Cleaning: Baby Clothes Storage

Amelie is almost a year old. ONE. I can’t believe it. All along, I’ve been stashing the clothes she’s outgrown in a plastic bin from Target. Her stuff was tossed in there haphazardly so the other day I got to organizing. I bought half gallon zip bags and bagged the clothes by sizes now that I know how each of the brands actually fit since baby clothes can be nutty/confusing.

Admittedly, the bag system is flawed. The bags take up more room than if I were to just store everything loose. But if another little baby girl comes into our life, I figured I’d be grateful that it’s all labeled and organized. It took longer than I anticipated even though I had lots of “help”.

I also took this time to really look at Amelie’s clothes and keep only the ones that were free from stains (her spitty days ruined quite a few pieces) as well as the outfits I really loved or found extremely useful. I left room for my beloved newborn diapers which I’m currently lending to a friend but other than those, it’s pretty packed in there. She’s a spoiled lady. We store the bin under her crib. It doesn’t fit perfectly now that we lowered the mattress but it’s not something I’ll be accessing often so it’ll do.

 I was hoping to get the entire first year’s worth of clothes in here but with her bulkier winter items, it’s not going to fit. Considering just how hard it was for me to resist buying loads of baby clothes, I think I did a pretty good job of containing the madness for the first 9 months!

Yeah, that’s it for today. Sorry.

Update: I changed the title from “Baby Storage” to “Baby Clothes Storage” because storing babies is creepy.

 

Spring Cleaning: The Dresser

I cleaned out my dresser. Are you asking yourself, is this really what she’s decided to blog about today?

Yes, in fact, I am. This is my life, people.

Hubs and I each have a dresser. Mine was a fantastic mess; it was a wild combination of maternity clothes, winter stuff, workout clothes and everything in between. It was not working for me. I pulled everything out in a fury during nap time and after sorting, donating and reassigning to the closet here is what we have now:

A closer look at the pants section:My skinnies are all fairly new (mostly Old Navy’s Rockstar) but the “other jeans” category need some attention this fall/winter. I just ordered two new pairs (yay for school sales!) so I’ll have to sift through this pile when the weather gets cooler. For now, at least they are all in one place and folded. A small victory.

The rest of the drawers look similar. I did take pictures of all of them but I thought it’d be a ridiculous waste of your time to look at my sock drawer. Plus, you might judge me for having many of those socks for going on 10 years now.

My maternity clothes got folded and put in a cloth bin in the closet. My sweaters and sweatshirts got moved to the closet as well. I’m still not happy with “the efficiency” of my closet as far as the clothes themselves are concerned (mentioned in depth in this post). On top of it all, the structure of my closet still needs a major overhaul including paint, shelving, fixing and organizing. That’s for another day a long time from now.

Hopefully my next post will be much more entertaining? *crosses fingers*

 

Spring Cleaning: PAPER

Ohmergerd, another boring post for you. Sorry.

Our paperwork piles up like nobody’s business. It’s my least favorite task because it’s never ending, you know?

I spent a long nap of Amelie’s sorting, filing, shredding and trashing. WE HAD SO MUCH PAPER.

We had taxes from over 10 years ago, old manuals to phones we don’t own anymore and loads of medical paperwork from my pregnancy and Amelie’s birth (which I filed in those black bins). It was nutty.

Our city composts shredded paper. I put an astounding four bags worth of shredded paper in there this week! Our house feels so much “lighter” now that the paper monster has been tamed momentarily.

I wasn’t going to write this post until I had a better and prettier “system” – but that project begets a hundred more…including redoing our office with shelves, nice filing cabinets and possibly a built-in-desk one day.

That one day is a long time from now so this will have to do, ugly file folders and all.

Doing any organizing or are you enjoying the summertime instead?

Spring Cleaning: my INBOX

Another spring cleaning post. How fun for you!

Last time I chatted, it was all about my desk. Surprisingly that’s still looking pretty good after moving to the new house… Only because I don’t actually use the desk. I spread out my crap on our kitchen bar. Where we eat. Because we don’t have a kitchen table.

(I find it insanely ironic that I’m blogging about spring cleaning when I should be doing real cleaning. Our house is so dirty. But, I’ve got a baby to snuggle and Instagram to peruse so it’ll have to wait, you know?)

I’ve been working on my dreadful inbox for a LONG TIME with this post in mind. Like, long before 2013 showed up to the party. I started out with 243 emails (no lie) which I felt needed some sort of addressing and I’ve been slowly whittling it down.

I’m down to only 16 in my inbox currently! *pats head* This is a big deal, yo. Of course, it’s constantly in flux but I’m trying my best to keep this manageable from here on out.

My goal is to get to “inbox zero” but my computer time is limited and it’s truly hard to stay on top of it. Usually I’m checking my email during night time feeds but am too uninspired to respond anything.

My tactics:

  • Unsubscribe. I was getting emails from Express, JCPennys, Kohls, Old Navy, Gap, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Sierra Trading Company…the list goes on and on. Each morning I’d have to go through and delete 20 emails before I get to anything important! You can always unsubscribe from those at the bottom of their email (it may take a few passes to work). I feel so much better starting my day without being inundated with sales pitches. As a bonus, I’m not suckered into wasting time on their websites. My free time is so scarce as it is – it’s a shame to spend it like that.
  • Archive, delete or file. This helps clear out my inbox but still allows me to hang onto any note I may need later. Wow, aren’t you glad I put that in separate bullet?
  • Respond right away. Admittedly, I’m still pretty awful at this. My biggest problem is putting off long replies until eventually the initial email gets stale. I know it’s best to respond right away, even if only quickly. I’m working on that.

So, yeah, that’s it. Because showing you a picture of my inbox would be the most boring cap to a truly snoozer-rific post, I’ll end with a super self indulgent picture of my “Lil Bit” (as my MIL coined her).

Go on, you can tell me she’s delicious. I don’t mind.

Spring Cleaning: My desk

I’m still spring cleaning, even though it’s the dead of winter. Remember when I was last motivated and cleaned out my hair accessories? Wait until we get moved into the new house, these post will come in mobs!

Although I’ll be moving “my office” shortly, I figured my desk was way overdue for reorganization and a some scrubbing. Plus, I tackled this on New Year’s Day and it feels good to start the new year off with a clean work space.

Ta Da, my office in the corner of our living room:

We bought the desk (Ikea) and the office chair (Target) the summer of 2011 when we moved into this apartment. I wiped everything down and cleared off what little tabletop space this puny desk offers. You can roll your eyes if you want, but I also cleaned the keyboard keys (a hand-me-down from Hubs) with a qtip and now they sparkle! The griminess was making me itch.

The mousepad is from HIGH SCHOOL. You know I’m 33 years old, right? I’d like to update it with a more modern fabric but meh, that’s for another day (probably never).

Inside that one drawer was an utter disaster. I wish I had a before picture but I went nuts on it and couldn’t waste time with picture taking. Now, it’s so pretty!

I sorted, recycled and used all old basket I had lying around to corral pens, cords, sticky notes and a few other items that were floating around without a home. I’m still planning to send out “holiday cards” but I’m postponing that project until after I am moved and settled into the new place. I bound all of the Christmas cards we received so I can update my addresses when the time comes. Hopefully I get around to it?

In a perfect world, I’d like my monitor and mouse to be white to match my keyboard and laptop (that I plug in behind) but these are all hand-me-downs from Hubs office, so I have to work with what I’ve got. I plan to have an updated post once we get my new office set up, but we’ll see if it’s even worth the bandwidth, ok?

I also picked up this daily planner (from Target) to start the new year off right. It’s pretty dinky because I planned to carry it in my purse but now I really have to write small…

I hope it keeps me somewhat organized because I do best when I write things down. Also, I apologize because I know this post might be snore-inducing for some. I get all weird and giddy reading about other people organizing and I figured a few of you might feel the same. In fact, this blog is dedicated to organization deliciousness if you want inspiration and didn’t find it here.

Anyone else start off 2013 with cleaning/sorting/organizing?

Spring Cleaning: Hair accessories

Hooray, I’m still spring cleaning.  I’m so sorry if you were waiting for an interesting post to pop up on this blog because today is not the day.

I decided to tackle a super small but nagging Spring Cleaning To Do: organizing my hair accessories.  Mind you, I have hardly any so the fact I’ve slapped this into it’s own blog post shows just how boring my life is.

I have one of those plastic 3-drawer thingys from Target, that I bought a few years back.  I pulled out the drawers and took a gander at what I was storing in there.

It’s not much, but it was annoying me.  Especially this one, that housed all of my hair ties and such.

I dumped everything out and wiped out the drawers (eeewww, they were nasty).  Then, I grouped like items…(did you just doze off or was that just me?) and put them back.

I snagged the clear plastic bags from my button collection, since they always come in those and I’m too lazy to toss them.  The striped bag (which was a freebie from American Eagle years ago) now corrals my assortment of bobby pins. Finally,  I found a carabiner on an old set of keys and snapped together my massive collection of hair ties.

Side note: Last summer, I bought new hair ties with the rubber backing on the inside.  You should too, they are NICE.

Anyway, on to the next drawer:

Lame, I know.  I got rid of my soft headbands (since I haven’t worn them in years) and now this drawer only holds two headbands.  But, at least they are easy to find and harder to snap in half.

The last drawer is for my earring collection, which obviously doesn’t fall under hair accessories but oh well, I had to move on.  My collection is teeny tiny, I have 12 pair.  I like it that way.  I’ve gotten in the habit of saving the little cards the earrings come on so I can stash them more neatly.  And just in case you are wondering, no, the cards don’t match where the earrings are purchased from.  They are just the ones I remembered to hold onto and they rotate around.  My sterling silver hoops got plopped in another button bag with random earring backs that were rolling around in the drawer before.

ANOTHER side note: I’m planning to get a few more every day studs or hoops that are more sturdy than the cheapo ones from Forever21 (ie: the adorable anchor pairs, which turn my ears green after one shower!).  I’ve never been one to change out my earrings daily and with my coaching each afternoon, it’s most unlikely that I’ll wear anything dangly on a day to day basis.  So, I’m on the hunt for a few more pairs – I’m thinking Kohls would be good/cheap place for some?

A THIRD side note: If I were psycho, I would have considered making my own cute matching/coordinating cards with fun scrap paper and card stock.  I’m still thinking about it but haven’t done anything because I’m ridiculously lazy.

I stashed the drawers back in their home and called it a day.  I have a second little 3-drawer thingy that holds all of my bracelets and necklaces in an abhorrent tangled mess.  I’m avoiding it for now.

Cheers to progess, eh?  Any tips for organizing your goods?  For some reason, I’m insanely interested in how people stash their stuff, so please share.

Spring Cleaning: The Car

Still spring cleaning.  The end for these types of posts is not near, hang in there with me.

We took a rowdy Saturday to tackle cleaning the car.  It looked like crap.  Literally, because hundreds of birds had shat on it this spring since we park outside.

I drove around for months with it looking like this.

We paid 7 bucks for a worthless car wash and had to rinse the sunbaked poo off ourselves when we got back to our apartment.  The inside wasn’t nearly as bad but it needed a thorough vacuuming and wipe down, as well as just cleaning out Stuff.  To my surprise, I found two bungie cords perfect for bundling up the massive tarp that I had been hauling everywhere for track meets.  I was *just* going to buy new ones from of our tiny budget so I am glad to have come across them!

Anyway, you can’t really tell but our car is actually clean again.

That sure feels good, man.

Spring Cleaning: Operation Bathroom

Pay no mind that it’s mid summer and I am still spring cleaning.  A few weeks ago, I tackled our pantries.  This past weekend was Operation Bathroom.  It was in *dire* need of some spring cleaning.  Just look at this fine display of disgusting:

My bathroom never quite recovered from my hasty flight home back from MN.  So, it’s been looking like this for a while.

I dragged EVERYTHING out.  Everything got wiped down, vacuumed out, scrubbed and sorted.  It took me forever!  But now I have order and it makes me feel so much better.

The lone drawer filled with products that I’m trying to use up before purchasing more:

Yay, I can see the counter again!

Also, I cleaned all of my makeup brushes using a water and vinegar recipe found on Pinterest and plopped them in a candle holder I got as a gift ages ago.

Underneath the sink got an overhaul too:

Hopefully I can stay on a cleaning schedule so this isn’t such a huge undertaking next time.  It feels good to take stock so I’m reminded of how much I have before I go wishing for more.

Anyone still spring cleaning or are you running around instead, enjoying the summer sunshine?

Spring Cleaning: The Pantry!

I started small with my Spring Cleaning efforts, but had secret high hopes I’d actually continue organizing bit by bit, making this some sort of series.  And about a week ago and a half ago, I tackled the pantry!

Actually, *two* pantries.  They are side by side.  I’m so sorry if this bores you.  You’ve been warned.

Although outdated, one of Emily Griffith’s fancy calendars hangs on the door.  Awww.

Anyway, back to the reorg.  This thing was a mess.

I had crammed those pantries full when we first moved in and after living with it awhile, we realized it was NOT working for us.  The tupperware was driving us mad, the kitchen linens were stacked in a precariously leaning tower, the extra dishes (that we use often) were waaaaaay too high, there was a weird assortment of food/baking items on one shelf and lastly, every time we opened the damn thing, a water bottle would come flying out like an escaped bat.

You know the story.  I pulled *everything* out and wiped down the shelves.

(Isn’t my hair abhorrent??)

Then I snooped around our house to find *free* storage to fix my problems.  I found a plastic shoe box to corral the tupperware lids and an old basket to house the linens.  It’s not perfect but it was FREE.

Now the dishes are much easier to grab and put away, the not-as-often-used items are on the top shelf (admittedly the waffle maker is used too often so I’m hoping the high shelf will act as some sort of deterrent) and I decided to put the food stuff in the other pantry.  Speaking of the other pantry…

For those of you wondering, the bottom laundry basket houses all of Hubs coffee roasted supplies.  This pantry may not be the worst but it was slyly out of control.  The napkins were tucked way too deep in the corners, the wire bin with our canned goods never made sense and our tea bin was chaos.

Random: both wire bins I found dumpster diving last August – see?

Like before, I pulled everything out and wiped down the shelves.  How do those things get so gross so fast?

I organized our tea bin and stacked the overflow on the side.  Normally we don’t have this much, but it was recently on sale, so Hubs stocked us up!

I used the other wire rack for small baking supplies, so I can just grab the whole thing out when I get the yearning for baked goods (which, btw, is continuously).

Our alphabetized spice rack.  *drool*

Certainly I wish I could buy all new jars – the cute ones from Ikea – so they’d all be uniform – but remember, this mission was intended to be free.  Pretty-fying it will have to come another time, maybe when I have a house again someday?  I am in love with all of the beautiful painted and wallpapered pantries on Pinterest!  One day.  Maybe.

Picture courtesy of House of Smiths.

Weird coincidence.  Sherry, over at Young House Love (one of my favorite blogs) declared a Spring Cleaning boot camp this week and she’s tackling an organizing project PER DAY. That encouraged me to at least get this post up (since I did this almost two weeks ago) and hopefully be inspired by her awesomeness to keep on keepin’ on with my spring cleaning efforts.

Here’s my big scary list:

  • our outside storage closet
  • clothes storage – also, swap out winter for summer wear
  • Old CDs that I need to rip the music off & put in one place
  • digital photos (TERRIFYING AMOUNT OF WORK)
  • digital files (gah!)
  • actual photos that I’d like to scan in as digital files (could take decades)
  • craft bin (again!) because I have stuff everywhere
  • our car! *shudder*
  • file paperwork (the worst, even worse than yeast infections)
  • laundry area
  • under the sink drama in both bathrooms
  • the office.
  • my god, there’s so much more.  I’m tired already.

Anyone else caught the Spring Cleaning Bug?  Or did you fall into the Pinterest rabbit hole, never to be seen or heard from again?