Posts Tagged ‘organization’

My Week(333) in iPhone Photos

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Not that 333 actually represents anything especially meaningful, but it does seem like a ridiculously high number of weeks to have been doing this. When I started I only had ONE KID.

Sunday:

LAND SHARK

Just a few more sink baths before he’s big enough for the real tub

Adjusting my camera, my Sigma Art is still on point

Monday:

And THIS is the grocery store I just finished terrorizing!

Make-up storage

I am officially just an armrest

Tuesday:

Snow Day waffle assistants

Doing some journaling

My husband thinks he’s funny or something

Wednesday:

Not quite spring yet

Library visit

She would have just stayed until they threw her out

Thursday:

Adorable

Linc pretending he’s a big kid

Ignoring the mess because sometimes you just have to

Friday:

Find the hidden toddler

Babies love babies

Linc took 800 photos just like this one

Saturday:

My spring banner is missing it’s flowers. Because children.

Sittin’ baby sits now

Cards and taco dip

Since today is only Friday, I’m now caught up on my weeks. I’ve started putting together stuff about our Disney trip already (the one we aren’t even going on for several more months) because I don’t want to forget all the sites I’ve found super helpful while we’re planning. But reading other people’s vacation recaps is my new favorite thing, so if you have any – or follow someone who has been to Disney and written about it – drop me a link. I could seriously read about standing in line to meet Anna and Elsa all day.

 

 

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Freeeeeeeeeee*

Adulting: Housework

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Ever since Christmas, I’ve been on a mission to have a clean house. I read the Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up. I joined some organization groups on Facebook and revived my Pinterest boards dedicated to improving my home. I read lots of blog posts. I looked at dozens of house cleaning schedules and charts. And then I threw myself into it.

It’s been going pretty well. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Cleaned and organized the coat closet
  • Bought a shoe rack to solve the pile of shoes by the back door problem
  • Cleaned out most of the kitchen cabinets and got rid of TONS of things I didn’t use or love
  • Cleaned out the banquette storage
  • Cleaned and organized the file cabinet
  • Moved the cereal/snacks/crackers/misc food stuff to a cabinet so my countertop is mostly clean
  • Cleaned and organized the fridge
  • Bought new pillows for all the beds
  • Created a laundry system* with multiple baskets
  • Started emptying the sink every night before bed
  • Started unloading the dishwasher every morning after the kids go to school
  • Prioritized an evening clean up every night before bed
  • Started making my bed, complete with throw pillows

Now, weeks later, I wouldn’t be ashamed to have surprise company show up at my door. (I mean, I will probably be in pajamas and no bra, but my house will be in pretty good shape.) I’m not saying things are spotless or that you could eat off my floors – I have a dog, a cat, and four kids – but if you wanted to come in for coffee I wouldn’t be mad. I still don’t live in a Pottery Barn catalog or a blank white box, so those toys on the coffee table are actually supposed to be there, as is the downstairs laundry basket, the art supplies on the dining room table and the bins of small plastic things. The look I am going for is “well-loved and lived-in family home not occupied by hoarders”.

Are you dying to know the secret to my success? Do you want the link to my eBook on how to solve your messy house once and for all? Am I so smug you can’t wait to poke holes in my system? Let me tell you how I have accomplished this 180 turn around from trash heap to nice home. Here it is, my secret to a clean house:

You just have to f**king do it.

There aren’t any tricks. There isn’t a magic organizational chart or schedule or Pinterest board that made my house clean. I have to do all those stupid, repetitive chores every single day to stay on top of the mess. Even my laundry system boils down to “Oh you put away three loads of laundry yesterday? DO IT AGAIN.” I sit down less. I see something that needs put away and I get up and put it away. I don’t let things “soak” in the sink for five days. I pick up the same toys five times a day and then one more time after the kids go to bed…then I do the same thing the next day. It is never-ending. It is stupid. It is necessary.

It sucks.

The peaceful sleep of a child who isn’t living in chaos, made possible by the fact that I made my bed. And then I had to make it again because he slept in it.

But it is starting to get easier. It’s become a habit to clean the sink and clear off surfaces as soon as I can. Same thing with the laundry – I finally remember to throw in a load/switch to the dryer/empty the dryer several times a day. I’m learning to value how 20 minutes of work can help me stay on top of the housework instead of constantly playing catch up. I mean, I am ALWAYS playing catch up. Always. I have four children. I am very tired. But by constantly climbing towards the top of housework mountain I don’t end up buried under it.

It would be foolish of me to say this is a permanent change. I doubt I will ever be someone who finds it easy to stay organized. But by changing my attitude from “I need a strategy” to “Just f**king do it” I’ve made definite progress. You too can have a sort of clean home if you sleep fewer hours, relax less often, and follow your children around cleaning up their messes as they make them.

*I ordered medium sized laundry baskets for every member of the family at the advice of a friend. That way when I’m throwing clean clothes out of the dryer I can throw them into the baskets and putting away each person’s laundry takes a lot less time than sorting from one giant pile. These baskets are the perfect size: http://amzn.to/2mO0gmx.

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My Week(325) in iPhone Photos

Monday, January 30th, 2017

My wrist hurts a little less so hopefully I can get through this before any children need to be fed. Based on a very scientific method called “I told my friends my wrist hurt and they suggested it might be the same thing they once had” I have diagnosed myself with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Basically, yes, your wrist hurts, you’re a woman, you’ve recently been pregnant and you do a lot of baby care. That seems like a pretty definite diagnosis, even though the treatment is “take some ibuprofen and stop lifting so many babies”.

Sunday:

The plan is to turn this into a playroom that is sometimes a guest room

Lashes

My children are as good at ignoring me as I am at ignoring them

Monday:

Today’s task: clean the toys that were on the front porch

Shopping helper

The other baby needs cuddly naps too

Tuesday:

Everyone wants to help

Salt is important

More lashes

Wednesday:

This is not Linc’s bed, but don’t tell him that

The waiting room at my OB’s office has an actual working fireplace

No more pile of shoes by the back door!!!!

Thursday:

Help, I can’t find my body!

 

Remember: not being on Jeopardy makes you a failure

 

Belleh

Friday:

Good humans stand on tables, I guess

I give this a B+, will drink again

Saturday:

Caroline’s first protest

Good job, Hartford

Finn is still skeptical that anyone would be against equal rights

If my baby would agree to take a nap I could officially get caught up on blogging for the rest of the week, but as of right now he thinks biting me and laughing is more fun that sleep. It’s not my favorite. I’d much prefer crossing stuff off my to-do list, because I am on a roll and the chances that I might actually get ALL THE LAUNDRY IN THE HOUSE put away are pretty good. Miracles do happen.

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My Week(336) in iPhone Photos

Great Christmas Gift Idea: Personalized Activity Bags

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Holiday Gift Idea - Personalized Activity Bags

We’ve finally started winding down, but this fall was the fall I signed the kids up for ALL THE ACTIVITIES. Evan has Judo, Caroline has ballet, both big kids had soccer (two different days, two different games on Saturdays), and all three kids have swim (on two different days). I felt like a big reason we had such a great summer was that we were never home. Busy kids don’t whine about the iPad. Tired kids go right to sleep. It seemed like a good idea to keep us out of the house as much as possible. The problem with a full-time after school schedule on top of both full-time schools kids and a full-time baby is you run out of time to keep track of all the accoutrements that go with four different activities. My car was a disaster of shoes, cleats, tights, hair clips, soccer balls, belts, snack cups, water bottles and goggles. I would go to the store to buy groceries and realize every reusable bag contained wet towels from swim. We would get to ballet and I’d realize we were missing a shoe. I couldn’t tell the kids “grab your stuff, let’s go!” because no one ever remembered where their stuff was.

Then I had a GREAT idea: activity bags specifically for each activity. And even better,  personalized photo activity bags so they wouldn’t get mixed up. Luckily, Walmart Photo has the perfect bag as part of their home decor collection – the canvas tote bag. I decided for the Judo and ballet bags I’d really love new pictures, so I took the kids out for a fun photo shoot. For the swim bag, I used photos from my 365 project, both at swim class and from the beach. It was impossible to pick just one, so I made a template in Photoshop for a 4-square collage. If you want to use it, you can download it here (just click, it should download). It’s a PSD Photoshop file, so you’ll need Photoshop to use it. If you don’t have PS or PSE, Picasa makes a quick and easy 4-square collage – and it’s free!

Here are some of the photos from our photo shoot: canvas activity bags-4
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I didn’t tell them what the photos were for, so when the box came and I told them it had presents in it they were really excited. walmart photo canvas tote bags-2
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Really pleased with himself for putting all his Judo stuff in the bag.

walmart photo canvas tote bags-13

The bags are a nice sturdy canvas with a wide bottom, so they stand up when I fill them with stuff. I can fit 2 towels and changes of clothes in them.

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All three bags hanging up on the hooks in the hallway, ready to go!

We’ve been carrying these all week and they’re working GREAT. Now when I shout “Caroline! Ballet!” she knows exactly which bag to grab (although the fact that I’m pretty sure we left a ballet shoe at the Christmas tree farm is a problem that can’t be solved with organization). There are 3,500 Walmart Photo locations nationwide or you can order online without leaving your couch. Many of their photo gifts are available for free same day pickup in store, so last minute isn’t a problem (and you know grandparents love photo gifts). Right now Walmart.com is offering free shipping on all holiday cards and gifts through the end of the year (12/30/15) so that makes things like their photo ornaments and mugs even more affordable. A huge thanks to Walmart Photo and BlogHer for making these bags possible!    

 

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Be sure to visit Walmart Photo’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts.

 

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Home Tour – June 2012

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Oh hai, want to see where I live? I’m wicked nosy when it comes to houses (I became a real estate agent for a while pretty much just so I could see the insides of more homes) and I figure some of you guys are too. I was going to make this a linky hop party but I’m not organized enough to get one set up – but if you have a home or room tour (old or new) PLEASE leave me a link in the comments!!

I lot has changed since my last home tour in April 2010, and although I’ve documented most of our renovations step by step I thought it would be fun to show you the whole house at once. (Although the original tour has a lot more good pictures of my collections and furniture.) I’ll try to include links to the updates so you can see some of the “before” type pictures, or check out my Home & Garden category for a whole roundup. For the record, I’d like to state that although I love my house I am not an interior designer, professional painter, a home photographer or even a very good DIY-er so don’t judge me too harshly, OK?

Tiny bit of history: the house was built in 1913 by Mr. Church, who ran a funeral home here in town. His funeral home business actually still exists, and is just a couple streets over. My house is turning 100 next year and I think I’m going to throw it a birthday party.

Our property goes from that hedge on the left to the driveway on the right, although technically the lines fall closer to half-way through the house on the left and 3 feet into our yard on the right. I suspect we’ll have to have a survey done if (when) we sell.

Front steps

Flowers

More Flowers

Front door

This is going to be a REALLY long, REALLY picture heavy post, so if you’re on the home page you can click though to see the rest… (more…)

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