Monday, April 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday (give it a go)

I'm really not the best menu planner, but there were some killer deals this week at the grocery store and I have it all planned out. First of all, I saved 62% off my total bill, and only spent $58. Score! With the rest of the stuff I have at home, it will be a very frugal week for us. Lunches are usually subject to vary, my 3 year old usually gets to pick lunch, so I try to give him some options, usually just swapping days around. I might make a broccoli cheese soup in there somewhere as well. Hoping for a no going out week for food.

Monday-      Lunch- Chicken Nuggets and Waffle Fries
                    Dinner- Linguine Alfredo

Tuesday-      Lunch- Chicken Salad Sandwich
                    Dinner- Tuna Caserole

Wednesday- Lunch- To Be Determined
                    Dinner- Chicken over rice

Thursday-    Lunch- Pigs in a Blanket
                    Dinner- Ham Steaks and Pineapple

Friday-         Lunch- Cheese Quesadillas
                    Dinner- Pierogies

Friday, April 8, 2011

The dreaded baking pantry!

I'm not sure why I was so hesitant to do the above the microwave cupboards that house our baking stuff. It really took less than 40 minutes with the "help" of my 3 year old to take everything out, clean the space, purge, sort and refill.

 Removed from Cabinet

 Empty and ready to be cleaned out!

 The items put back and look, some space!

 The get rid of stuff

After I finished that project, I went and gave the kitchen a nice scrub down. Usually it is something that gets done on Saturday mornings, but tomorrow I can relax with a nice clean kitchen!

 I love a pretty clean sink area!

Looking for an idea to help out this open area!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Decluttering my spam box. I know it seems silly, you can usually just hit select all and delete in a few quick clicks. I am hoping by removing myself from those 150+ unsubscribes in the spam folder that it will reduce the incoming spam. It makes it hard to find something in the spam folder (say, an important reply that got sent to the wrong place on accident) if there are so many messages. So for a a little while, I opened every spam in my box, went to the bottom to unsubscribe and typed in my email address over and over in the hopes that all of those third party spam offers become less frequent. Not exciting in the least, but I am hoping it works!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lots of Jewels, cases that is...

Some people really like the ability to grab a jewel case for a CD. Unfortunately, they take up a large amount of space, and I'm looking to take up less space for these things. What works for me is keeping them in a binder with clear sleeves. I took all the CD's and front and back info sheets and put them in individual clear sheets in my binder. Now I need a new binder because this one is overflowing.

Scary mountain of CD's                                                   Time for a new binder!

Off to freecycle or if they are unclaimed, plastic recycling.

Now I have to go through the rest of the CD's that are in the blank CD holders. I don't know what is blank and what may have something on it, but that will be a project for a later day. I have a trackback to a previous attempt at this project, they are the labeled CD's of pictures or songs that I printed out. Hopefully Part 3 of this project will be the completion of it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo Albums!

Well, you know that big photo organization project I took on a few weeks ago with that beach bag? I have started putting those pictures in photo albums. I got about half of those pictures organized in chronological order and started putting them in the albums. I got two full albums, or 400 pictures organized and put away. I threw away over 100 pictures that were bad quality or things that I just didn't need taking up valuable picture slots in my albums. The best part about the picture put away is that I got 6 albums for under $15 at CVS in the 75%  off clearance section. It feels better to not spend a fortune organizing. 

   Two completed albums!

My reward for a job well done!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On this Saturday...

Well, this week has had all my spare time looking at places to live. We found something we both LOVE, but we are waiting to hear back from the application. We are concerned with the dog being a few lbs over what they accept on the pamphlet. I have already started getting a whirlwind of ideas for our new place. What to put and where, how best to organize the space, etc. It will definitely be a big change. We have been great about the daily maintenance here, but I have yet to cross off new things on my list. I think I will try for a few small tasks this week. I also want to get an idea of what I have that I can use from my dads stuff for the new place.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New beginnings?!

So my boyfriend, Rob, and I went out "house-hunting". Really more like apartment, condo, townhome etc hunting, but you get the idea. When we move in together, I want us to bring only the things that make us truly happy, and not start out our new home with a bunch of junk. Looking at some of the places today, I think I have a bit more purging to do. I won't be moving into a house and combining our things is going to be a lot of stuff. The places are not too small, but there is no room for extras to tag along with us. I'm excited, and back to the 52 weeks of organizing. I fell a bit off track, but have been pretty busy since returning from vacation. I have maintained all of my spaces though and nothing has gotten worse. Sometimes you have to just maintain until you can go full force again, but I am ready. I need to get my list out and start tackling some more projects!

Also, please keep me in your thoughts as I am interviewing for a new job this week. I will keep you updated on that. Lots of new beginnings, just in time for Spring~!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Garage Cleanout

So Rob and I cleaned out the garage today. His garage, not mine. It is essentially the place that houses our adventurous sporting gear- scuba and snowboarding take up a bit of space. I helped because half of the stuff is mine, and his parents have been asking us to get something in order for our gear. It feels good to have all of our stuff in a nice orderly fashion and out of the way in the garage. In addition to creating homes for our gear, we gave the garage a good sweep out and used the shop vac to get all the crap out from what we track in during the winter. Feels good that it is nice and clean!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm back!!

What a wonderful vacation! Key West was absolutely beautiful. We got back on Friday night, and I had everything unpacked, washed, folded and put away by 8:30am on Saturday morning. That is a record for me considering my bags usually sit in my room a lot longer than I care to admit. It was so wonderful coming home to a clean space, and I'm glad I took the time to get things ready before I left so that my return was that much smoother. I guess it should be back to organizing some more, but I think I will start back on that tomorrow. We are cleaning the scuba gear and letting it dry, so maybe I will re-invent our scuba storage. That's all for now!

Inspiring others

Looks like I am not the only one who has caught the clutter cleanout bug! While I was on vacation, Kim did a good bit of decluttering as well! We now have a nice organized tupper-wear cupboard and the basement is completely cleared out of additional junk that was just hanging out without a purpose. I know that she is probably anticipating me moving out and getting her home back to the way it was before she was +2, but I think the reason she is decluttering is because she has watched me do a great transformation of my own stuff. I haven't looked in the attic, but I am hoping to go through my stuff up there, and hopefully it isn't buried and mixed too bad with her stuff. Who knows, maybe the attic can be out project together!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Errands and Swim suits

I did a ton of running around today. I was able to accomplish a few things that I needed to do before I leave for vacation on Monday. I am also trying (key word) to save some of my bathing suits. You know the padding that they just stick in there and eventually it gets mangled, or falls out  and the top never looks just as good again? I am going to start tacking those suckers into place as soon as I buy a new suit. I have 5 bathing suits with tops without the inserts. I feel I am a modest mommy, I don't need my nipples (yea I said it) viewable through my suit. I went to the craft store and bought some new ones in the hope of getting some more use out of my suits. I have to go to work before I could fool around with them, but I'll let you know how they turn out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Great Basement Transformation!

As you may know from reading my blog, I had a PO come over and help me with the stuff that was in my little corner of the basement. We did great unloading and making sure this stuff was out the door. I gave myself a timeline of one month to get rid of everything in that second picture. Well 4 weeks is up on Friday and I am happy to report that after a donation made to Goodwill on Sunday, and getting the rest of the baby clothes off to friends, my basement is empty! Not a thing from the laundry area went back into my storage in the basement. I'm pretty sure I announced the day I broke even with what I paid for the PO and how much I sold on Craigslist and elsewhere. I am happy to announce that I made back an additional $300, and everything is gone. I am celebrating and doing the happy dance now! HUNDREDS of lbs have been shed, and I don't miss a thing!
 Before: (one month ago)
 Today: (25 days later)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Scuba Gear

I had a meeting at the Dive Shop I go to tonight about how to pack scuba equipment for my trip next week. Of course, that meant that I needed all of my scuba gear together to take there and fit in a suitcase. So my boyfriend and I rounded up the stuff to take. We need better storage for our scuba stuff. I want to be able to have it for a long time, so we will decide on the best storage for that after our trip. Right now it resides in big plastic bins, which is ok, but we need to find out a better way to do it than just throwing everything in. I would love to get the scuba travel suitcase, everything fits in and is nice and protected. We shall see. For now my mind is swimming with ways to make our scuba gear work (nice pun, right?!)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Under the Kitchen Sink

Under the sink had become a disgusting collection of garbage bags, vases, and various cleaning products. I also say disgusting because it needed a good old fashioned scrub down with heavy amounts of elbow grease. If it were my house, I would have painted it too, but it is not my house, so I left it at, "I know that stain is a clean stain". I took everything out from underneath the sink and scrubbed it out. No wonder I can never quite get the kitchen smelling fresh, the dirty water stunk! But there was never really an odor coming from under the sink, nothing that you would notice upon opening the door. I must say after scrubbing out the underneath of the sink, the kitchen doesn't hold any odor at all now. Once I dried out the cabinet and put everything back where it belonged, I found the rest of the supplies that hid in another cabinet because they had lost their home under the sink. Nothing is homeless now, and although I would never expect a guest to say, "My what a organized under the sink cabinet you have", I feel a little better if I ever have to tell them where the trash can is and they open the right door instead of the left!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Physical Photo Organization

So if you are not a regular follower of my blog, or missed the entry, I did a huge part of my photo project when I scanned my negatives and saved them to CD's. I have also found a way to organize my photo CD's  in a binder that I made for quick and easy access and also for backup protection. What I could not do, however, was find the motivation to go through the beach bag (yes, you heard right) of photos that were loose, in envelopes and a complete mess. At least they were all in the same place, right?! So this afternoon, I set out to get as much of this beach bag done as I could. Suprisingly, I got the whole thing emptied, and a majority of the photos sorted! I went on a major purge of photos that just didn't make the cut. Photos of places/scenery that I didn't care about, photo's of ex's (who wants a reminder of that?), any blurry photos or pixelated ones and finally the ones that shouldn't have been printed in the first place! Now all of my photos are in a photo box, organized by sections. Some include- high school, college, pregnancy, birth, baby's first year, baby's first birthday, Easter and Christmas of various years, and various months or seasons Summer 09 or October 2010. Now that they have all been put in their various sections or categories, I can pick out a section at a time to chronologically put them in order. Eventually I would like them to all make it into photo albums, but I want everything sorted and saved first. I spent about 2 hours and about 20 minutes cleaning up on this project. Something I was dreading taking hours longer. So any ideas what I should do with the beach bag? :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cord Calm

I saw another person in the 52 week challenge who tackled the cords in her space. While I was at the TV project, I took a quick intermission to move the stand and clean behind it and saw the mess of unnecessary cords behind there. 5 minutes was all it took to go from chaotic to cord calm.
I also re-programed the universal remote in my room so that I can watch TV, switch the channels or pause a movie. :::Sigh:::: Sometimes it is the little things.

Bedroom TV stand

I have a TV in my room which I barely use. The area is so cluttered, and I don't watch any regularly programed TV, unless you count Disney Junior every morning! I never watch my DVDs  in my own room because it is usually cluttered, messy, and overwhelming. Which leads me to falling asleep in the living room and waking up with a neck ache. I took everything off the stand, gave it and the tv a nice scrubbing, and organized books and DVDs. Photos and CDs don't belong here so they were put in their own homes. My DVD player is once again hooked up to the TV, and I enjoyed an afternoon nap to the sounds of RENT, waking up pain free and refreshed and accomplished!

"Keep" Box

So I'm going a bit crazy this weekend! I have a snow day today so I decided to go full force with some of the projects on my list. I had a rubbermaid tub just sitting in the basement. It was full of stuff from when I lived with my dad (ie, hasn't been gone through since before college?!). I emptied it out, most of the stuff was old/garbage. The rubbermaid tub is so old it is yellowed. I gave it a good scrub down. The things that I kept from my "keep" box are a few pendants, jewelry, and trinkets that made the cut, THIS TIME. If I feel I can part with these items the next time I do this tub, they will be gone. I'm sure I don't need them, but I do still love them, and they may be transfered to my permanent keep box at my moms house.
The Before's:
 Cleaned out and After Picture:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Card Collection

First off I would like all of my friends and family to know that I love my birthday, Christmas, baby, graduation cards etc. but I finally went through the gift bag full of them and only chose to save a few. Mostly ones written by my mom or dad, or grandparents that had a message that I wanted to save. I don't know why I have kept them, except for the guilt of throwing them away. Cards are expensive, but it doesn't mean I have to save them.  I am happy to have saved some very special cards, but adios to the other ones taking up space. I know how much you all love me, I don't need a card to remember that!

Photos to put away, cards to keep, cards to pitch!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shower Solution

I finally found the shower organizer I wanted! I went to Big Lots and searched and searched hoping they had one but to no avail. Bed Bath and Beyond had one but it was more expensive that I wanted to spend. Went the next day because my boyfriend liked the hanger caddy I got and saw it in the same section I was looking for over half an hour. It is the kind that goes in the corner with four shelves and a tension pole. I hate when my shampoo and shave gel and everything else falls in the tub, and sometimes on my toe (OUCH). This also allows us all to have our own shelf and keep the tub free of product. It is amazing how something so simple makes our space so much happier.

Closet Storage Makeover

I am so proud to post that Monday my boyfriend and I completely made over my closet. We went to Home Depot and bought a Closet Maid storage solution and put in in my closet last night. Of course, it couldn't be quite that simple. We first had to take out the stuff on the walls with a crowbar. I say we, but I just watched. I know that I plan on moving in a few months, so why would I do something that includes a fixed unit that I won't take with me? Well, one reason is that I just don't have enough room, even for the few remaining months I am here. I also wanted to see how well my boyfriend and I could work together on a home project. Not that I was testing him, but I could never have done it by myself. Also, to see if I liked the idea of different closet storage solutions. Well, I'm hooked! I love the way it turned out, and I am sure whoever uses the closet after me will love it too. I have an extra 4 feet of hanging space and lots of room for storage on top. We still need to go through and patch up the holes from the crowbar and ripping the old wood off the walls, and it needs a fresh coat of paint, but we will do that when we have a weekend to let the things dry.                                                       The Before's:

 Over stuffed and overflowing

That is not my creepy monkey!

Boxes of junk in the bottom

Really, when is the last time I needed 2 pairs of character shoes and tap shoes?

All emptied out, have to pry to wood off...

So in doing this, I have another project to do, fill in the holes and paint the closet. I also want a light in there.

Job well done!