52 weeks of Organizing

1.  Let’s talk stuff!  What have you tossed out this week?  Lots of paper and 2 shirts with stains on them.
2.  Have you ever regretted something you’ve gotten rid of?  Why?  Yes actually my first sewing machine… I think I could have had it cleaned and serviced and it could be my backup machine now.
3.  How tempted are you to rush out and pick up pretty organizing containers first?  I have bought some first, but just a few that I knew I could use.

This week was taxes week.  My appointment was yesterday and I always wait until the last minute.  Well this time I gave myself 5 days.  Um…yeah, I was still working on them at the last minute.  Pulling out my tax file from the top drawer of my file cabinet pushed me into starting on the files.  I need to clean out and oganize my 4 drawer filing cabinet.  Here is what the top drawer looked like:

My dining room table looked pretty much like this all week:

Why am I saying “pretty much”.  It did look like that all week.  However, last night was my tax appointment right after my chronic pain group.  My accountant is a very patient man.  His daughter and my youngest daughter went through grade school together, so it is a time of catching up too. 

Finally this morning I was able to put everything leftover away, took off the tablecloth and took this lovely picture of my table with the tulips and wedding reception vase from my neighbor:

  Aaahhh much better!

I spent a lot of time with the shredder this morning!   My top drawer is not finished.  I still need to make labels, which involves changing the batteries in the label maker, which I need to go buy! 

Slowly but surely I am making progress and it feels really good!  Now to go see what everyone else did this week!

52 weeks of Organizing!

I had a crazy week, my get up and go got up and left, but I really felt like I needed to do something, so I decided to work on something small, the junk drawer in the kitchen.  It is not very exciting, but it does look better.  I had fun going to the Dollar Store and getting some organizing containers.  I am trying to decorate/organize in blue and white, inspired by some of those Flickr photos of lovely work spaces.

Here is my drawer before:

And here is the after:

 I used two woven baskets from the Dollar Store, and put my rolling pin in another drawer!

That’s it for this week.  I have a ganglion that is preventing me from doing too much, but I did manage to work on this:

These made really cute pinwheels.  I think i am going to put a wrist brace on and try and work on this little quilt this weekend.  I am going to keep truckin on in the organizing department.  I am anxious to see what everyone else did this week.

Questions to ponder this week:
1.  What did you accomplish this week on your 52 weeks list? Just the drawer.
2.  Have you had a negative conversation check with yourself lately? I have many reasons to break this pattern and learn new positive affirmation for organizing, fibromyalgia and my fear of flying!
3.  Are you beginning to see new habits developing yet? Yes I really am seeing things differently, but the fibro throws me off somedays, today being one of them.

52 Weeks and Happy Birthday Em!

First, Happy Birthday to my middle daughter who turned 30 today!  Here she is with my granddaughter (her niece):

Well I was supposed to be working on DH’s man cave this week.  This is as far as I got:

Yes that is a basket that DH picked out at Michael’s this afternoon when I insisted he choose one!  He has all this crapola for cleaning his guns stuck on that bookshelf and I want it in a basket!!  I have learned something from the hours I spend surfing around finding bloggers who are WAY ahead of me in the organization department.  It was 40% off at Michael’s.  There were some good ones at Joann’s too, but no way was I going to get DH there since we were shopping at Winco a few stores over. 

My studio (I say that tongue in cheek) was looking like a hoarders room, so I jumped in and started working on it after finishing one quilt and getting another top done this week:

I made this one for our next door neighbor who turns 2 on Valentine’s day.  I have never seen the reaction she had to this quilt.  She spread it on the floor, rolled around and finally hid herself in it, smiling the entire time.  I loved it so much and the Bliss line from Bonnie and Camille for Moda, that I purchased a kit and finished this:

I added another row from my leftover Bliss fabric or I should say my new stash of it (need to get more before it is gone, baby, gone!).  It is going to look really cute with giant red rick rack:

Back to organizing, I found this wire basket at Target today on clearance for $2.48.  I think it is perfect for my jelly rolls:

So hopefully next week I will have a little more done!  But then I need to get ready for out tax appointment and DH brought home paperwork for me to do for the 401K at his business….. hopefully I can figure it out since he has been so busy.

So here are my answers to Laura’s questions:

1.  Name ONE reason you want to get organized. 

To make my life easier, to work smarter not harder, which is even more important now that I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have chronic pain.

2.  What did you organize last week & were you happy with the way it turned out?

I worked on my sewing room, I am happy with what I have gotten done, but it is far from finished, but then will it ever be?

3.  Have you had any breakthroughs or a-ha moments yet? 

I have moments all the time when I thump my head, mostly when I see what other people have done and think “why didn’t I think of that”.  Luckily I can copy people!!  My biggest moment has been to accept that the home is now my “job” and having it clean and organized is honoring the hard work my DH puts in at his business. 
Thank goodness my sister, who has been a stay-at-home wife longer than me,  has clued me in on the racing around half an hour before DH gets home to make him think I have been slaving all day!  HAHA!

Friday’s Accomplishments!

Another week, another project….. or two…. 

Being home after 32 years working outside the home brings on many new challenges, like shopping and cooking!  I have done a lot of coupon shopping in the past few months and did not have it organized.  So I kept buying some of the same items.  I knew I needed to inventory it and get it organized. 

Then the other night DH requested that the TV room become his man cave.  What???  Well I guess I did have my own room and have for several years.  Yes he needs his own space (luckily I can still use the treadmill and watch TV).  So he requested I start getting rid of anything that is mine out of the room.  I have to admit he did spend time last Sunday hanging up these pegboards for me, enabling me to get started on my disaster of a sewing/craft/office room:

So DH hung these:

Which helped me to accomplish this:

My other accomplishment today was to take this:

and this:

add in this:

and this:

and you get this:

Okay not that exciting, but at least I know where everything is and I have an inventory list.   I have 4 sets of queen sized sheets, put into matching pillowcase!  Oh and I definitely need new towels!  I bought the white ones when Mervyn’s closed, 2 years ago?  I like white towels and will keep buying more of them, getting rid of the old colored ones as I go.  While not as pretty as a lot of contributors, it is keeping me going on this very needed challenge.

I made breakfast and lunch every day this week for DH (except Monday when I woke with a migraine) and sewed the quilt top for my almost 2-year-old neighbor.  I have decided to add another border of 2-1/2 inch squares of white alternating with 2-1/2 inch squares from this fabric line Moda Bliss by Bonnie and Camille.

I did much better this week with pain, pacing myself, until Wednesday’s shopping excursion to town.  I am going to have to stop trying to cram in all my errands in one day, it is just too much.  But live and learn!  I am looking forward to seeing what everyone accomplished this week and tackling this:

This is the new man cave, taken from the doorway.  Specifically I need to work on this:

Okay I am lying.  I am not looking forward to it.  But it needs to be done.  Hopefully by next week it will be all done!

52 Weeks Organizing Challenge-January 21, 2011

What a great week.  I am still concentrating on the kitchen/pantry.  However, since I am a stay-at-home wife now I wanted to do something each day that my husband would notice.  What better place to do that than the entryway table, which of course is a catch-all for eveything!  Here are my before pictures:

Random bag, my back brace, mail, basket with zip lock of change, a flashlight and some other stuff.

Why is that huge flashlight under there.  Are we obscessed with flashlights?   That huge binder is my husband’s work stuff, it should be at work!  Then there are my roomba thingees in front and that litte recipe file that is actually my SHE files that I never completed!

First I emptied everything onto the floor, dusted it well, moved and swept the cobwebs away and stepped on a big spider.  Then I moved the cabinet back and started to sort.

I retrieved a empty banker’s box from the garage and tossed all of DH’s work stuff into it including the daily cash register receipts that were still back on the table in the TV room, where he worked on his excel spreadsheets last weekend.  I moved the stuff in the basket to more appropriate rooms (notice I did not say put away), where I will deal with them when I get to that room (eek piles)!

Aha, I remembered all my recipe books sitting on a folding table in the garage where they have been sitting since our new refrigerator arrived, and we had to take the shelf out above the frig area to accomodate our new beautiful stainless steel model.  I went and picked the ones I actually use, along with my two older recipe binders (a future project) and stuck them in the bottom along with the empty white binders that hopefully become my organized recipe binders!

Finally from Tuesday’s garden party, I remembered the first of the season Calla Lilies that were starting to bloom.  I went and picked a few, put them in a vase along with some of those colored marbles and put on the table, along with the picture of my youngest daughter and her husband at the Marine Ball 2007.  YD is wearing her older sister’s bridesmade dress from her own wedding in 2006.  See bridesmaid dresses do sometimes get worn again!

I used the basket to put our mail so that when desk time comes I can go scoop up the mail and go through it, instead of losing bills and other important paperwork, or spend my time searching all the usual spots that I pile things!

It looked so nice, when my husband got home, he asked if I was taking the flowers next door to our neighbors, and he was dead serious! Hopefully he will get used to the house looking a little nicer.

 Yes the SHE box is there, hopefully I will complete and use it eventually.  Also on the far right bottom, you can see my dog’s head.  He was very interesed in what I was doing, and possibly was there any food involved??

Go check out what others are accomplishing at http://orgjunkie.com/2011/01/52-weeks-3-identifyg-the-piles.html 

This week’s challenge….. piles… now where to start??

My First Week of Organizing

The test starts now.  The girls are home in Beaufort, SC waiting for DSIL’s return from Afghanistan.  I decided to start with kitchen organization since I was all ready to go get more Lipton Decaf Iced Tea at Walgreens since it is 2/$5.00.  I drink at least a pint a day so it seems like I go through a package quickly.  I went out to the garage where our “pantry” is and found this:

Each box has 2 more boxes behind the, for a total of 6 boxes of Lipton Decaf tea!  I started with this cupboard:

This actually includes the space above the cabinet, since it is an eyesore!  DH asked me the other day what I was going to do with all the cereal.  Eat it I said!!  He does not eat cereal and since the girls are gone, it’s just me… unless I give Landon some!  I am sure he is going to miss standing under Ally’s chair waiting for any and all tidbits to fly off the highchair tray!  I sure hope I got a picture of that before they left.

Borrowing from Peter Walsh (http://www.oprah.com/own-enough-already-peter-walsh/enough-already-peter-walsh.html) I emptied the cabinet.  What is that random empty Coke bottle doing in there? 

Well if I was really with it, I would paint and repaper, but I’m not.  A good wipedown with a rag and Clorox Green Works is going to have to do the job.  Here is what was in the cabinet:

We don’t eat grits, but have 2 boxes leftover from our granddaughter’s first birthday party we threw for about 50 people. 

 Since she was born in the south, DH had a great time smoking brisket and making grits along with some other wonderful food.  Two weeks later he did it again with a slightly different menu for my mother’s 80th birthday party… what a guy!  I gotta remember to make some of that Jack Daniel’s lemonade again some time!  Ooops getting sidetracked, back to the job!

I threw away 2 open boxes of Special K red berries cereal that probably had one bowl out of each, the rest of a box of Chex Rice Cereal, gorganzola crackers (who bought those, yuck!) and some Vivant vegetable crackers (another yuck!).  Did I mention DH has done virtually all the grocery shopping and cooking before I quit my job??   I also threw away some very dubious looking dried tomatoes (what were we thinking? and where did those tomatoes come from since we certainly didn’t grow them here in Northern Coastal California).  I also gave away the rest of a box of Kix to our neighbors, combined two open boxes of instant garlic potatoes and moved a few other things, taking the rest of the MuliGrain Cherrios out of the box since I may eat the rest as a snack today (must count points first since this is my second day of Weight Watchers). 

Then I decided to get really smart and write the date so it is more readable when looking in the cabinet with a sharpie on the sides of the products:


The potatoes and brownie mix are getting moved to other cabinets…. brownie mixes, I have a bunch… did I mention I just started Weight Watchers??

Finally thanks to perseverence and the 70s channel 804 on Direct TV that kept me going:

Nothing like music from my teenage years to make me feel young and energetic!  The Quaker oatmeal box is empty, but I buy in bulk and put the bulk oats in the box.  The steel cut box is filled with bulk too!  I wonder how many WW points a tablespoon of Nutella has?  It is delicious on sliced apples and fruit is free now!

Whew I did it.  Hopefull I will get lots more done before next Friday now that I am home alone and not working anymore.  I think I will go check out the other posts at http://orgjunkie.com/ and get inspired!

52 weeks of organization, or in my case….50 weeks


Laura over at orgjunkie.com has posted a 52 week challenge.  Well I’m in, no really…. I’m in!  If I cannot follow through this year, there is no hope.  Yes I am chronically disorganized and yes I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but on the plus side, I am hoping to not go back to work for a while, if ever, depending on my pain and with 50 weeks to work using baby steps, I am hoping I finally going to make real progress. 

Since this was already one of my resolutions….. I have made progress.  We recently bought a new refrigerator and stainless steel does not work with magnets.  I have had one of those Daytimer refrigerator things for about 10 years and 6 days into the New Year I flashed on those commercials of 3-M and the hanging dillidads.  Sorry at my age I just cannot think of names for items like I used to, apparently “fibrofog” is contributing too.

So while DH and I were at Michael’s we picked up a couple of hooks.  DH actually consented to glue on the frig!  It looks great and I am relieved.  I use that calendar for everything and to make notes if I am on the phone and cannot find something to write on….mmmm something to add to my list, an organized phone area!

I am still working on my 50 things.  Since Katie and Ally leave this Thursday to go home to South Carolina, I cannot really get started until they are gone.  I am spending as much time as possible with Ally and am making good progress on her Busy Book for the plane ride home.  I realized I don’t have to do everything, it will be good when they fly back here to California in June to have a few pages to add to it to keep it interesting for her.