Thursday, March 31, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #3 Kids Clothes

This project wasn't too bad just time consuming because it involved the kids trying clothes and getting rid of some of them that don't fit or they never wore anyway.  SimpleMom is awesome!
This is #3 sons dresser who is 2 1/2.  On the right is all of things for fall.  On the left are the things he can wear now and through the summer.

#2 Sons dresser.  He is 5.  A collector of things, actually they all are!  We sorted and tried on and we even got the bottom drawer to be empty with all of the organizing.  The top drawer is still his "stuff" drawer.

#1 Son dresser.  The top drawer is a mess of stuff still but the clothes are all organized!!  The bottom drawer has the things for fall.

These are the Sunday clothes.  I culled these down to one suit each and two white shirts.  Their other button up shirts are now folded in the drawers with the rest of the shirts.
Daughter's dresses an the school spirit shirts.  We actually cleaned out her things a while back.  Still a lot of dresses but it is more manageable now and she actually wears the things hanging her.
Consignment pile!!  Not sure if it is worth the time but we'll see.

Thrift pile.
Pile made by said 2 year old while I had to attend to something else.  Grr.

Processing the 8 under bed boxes.  One for each kid, one shoe box and three--3!--with baby clothes.  Two of which are mostly girl clothes.  Did I mention that she is now 10!  So, they are culled a bit better and a large box is filled to send to our newest niece.

Coats.  Coats and hats, scarves and mittens galore.  We both come from cold/wet places and we have amassed a pile of coats.  They are now confined to the one big box with hats etc. in the top box.  I may have zipped these a little early.  Spring came but we keep having some chilly days with north wind.

Kids cubbies.  Current shoes and spot for their book bags.  I really need a 4th cubby but this was free and does work wonders with containing school things.

The coats all nicely washed and ready for spring.  This was a jumbled mess.  In between seasons is challenging at best.  They now have a wind breaker and a fleece hanging here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Part of why I don't blog more is technical difficulties.  I know it is user error but it is SO frustrating.  I walk away wondering how did I screw up the formatting on the post so badly!  So, more posts in progress for some future date.  As for now I'll keep working on Hot Spot #4: Pantry and Fridge.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Clean Mama printables giveaway

I received an email today from the How Does She? gals that made me happy.  I have been pondering how to get a home management binder together and have been looking around.

Lo and behold.....Clean Mama is offering a $50 gift certificate to two lucky winners!  There are three ways to win.  Check out the post and enter yourself to win some great home management tools.

Good Luck!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Christmas gifts

I know this post is ridiculously late.  It's been in limbo draft land for weeks.  Here are some of the things I make for my sister and her family and my brother in law and his wife.
A needle book made of felt.  With buttons to fix a suit they have.

Placemats and napkins made with one of favorite fabrics.
Book bag with library card pocket (the owl face.)  It is also reversible.

Here is the bagged stuffed and ready to ship!
I made the monster for my nephew and the hand bag from a favorite shirt whose sleeve were way too tight!  The little flower is a pin.
More placemats, napkins and flower napkin rings and coasters.  I love how these turned out.  The flowers are on clips that can be removed from the black satin rings.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Homemade fun and tastiness


We made homemade paint and playdoh.  But the thing they loved best was the Oomlick (cornstarch and water.)
And then I had the great idea to make a volcano using our newly made playdough and the usual baking soda and vinegar mixture.  That was a lot of good messy fun.  All sorts of things were consumed in the lava floe!
Then to top of the day of play I made mini apple pies.  Oh. My.  Yum.  I am still working on this as this batch came out great but subsequent ones not so much.  I've even tried silicone pans but to no avail. :(

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #2: Paper Clutter

 This here is the catchall in the kitchen.  My action box will go here once I get it off the desk.  Love how it looks and with the little cherry trees made last week at preschool.  It makes me happy.

Ah, my nemesis!  I was so hoping for a different task to do this past week.  When I saw this challenge I thought, huh.  I have paper everywhere and then there are those 10 boxes in the basement and the file cabinet...Overwhelmed much?  YES.
My mother wrote a short story where the main character was in charge of teaching  the babies what they would need to know in life.  Only instead of teaching line upon line he tried to show them all the water they would ever drink etc.  Which confused and overwhelmed the babies.  I am like Zebulon, I see a task and everything it will take to do it and then become frustrated because there is no perceived progress.  I couldn't just do the loose papers around the house.  I had to do ALL of the paperwork that is lurking in all its various locations!
It wasn't until yesterday, after dragging everything out earlier in the week, that I finally had a plan to deal with the chaos of paper.  I made piles. LOTS of piles with categories: Action, recycle, shred.  Those were the given ones.  Then I had to add: to be filed (or recycled/shredded), gardening, emergency preparedness, church, school, art, manuals and warranties, medical, craftiness, household, keepsakes (photos, certificates and the like) and one for Scott to deal with.  Seriously?  Yes.  So, I now have manageable piles (boxes actually) to finish sorting as time permits (this summer most likely!) 

Like so many of us the computer area is a dumping ground of sorts for everything and anything.  I have bills, class work, files, stationary, plus all the usual computer (x2), printer and the scanner I am borrowing for a bit to scan the artwork.  It may not look tons better but I can find things and the kids aren't knocking paper of the back of the couch.  My file box is newly empty.  I have no idea how long it has been since that happened....probably 4 years ago when we moved in!

This is my magazine dumping ground.  Church on the right and others on the left.  I cleaned and dusted the book case behind, though I didn't sort through that.  The books are a whole month long sorting!  Now there are only the current month of magazines out.  I find that if I sit a skim through my magazines as they come in and sticky note any articles or recipes etc. that I want to come back to I am more likely to use them.  We also use them for collage projects and making gift bows.
As I was cleaning out a box of "current" paper work I found this article!  The irony was not lost on me.
This is still a huge work in progress but in spite of my biting of way more than I could realistically do in one week (and still shower and feed the family) I've made progress.  I would love to have one box per child but the size of said box has yet to be determined!

I would love the hot spot next week to be the pantry and food storage.  Could that be arranged?! Please?

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Art Time

We did these after I saw this post and this post by That Artist Woman.  She has some amazing projects to do with kids.  This first photo is of Elizabeth's (she did spring), then mine and then Ian (we did fall).  The last one is of William's. 

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Hot Spot #1: Before and After

Behind the door is our closet.  It's size lends itself to MUCH clutter and accumulation.  So I tackled my half this week and was amazed at how many clothes I have.
11 Dresses, 3 Blazers, 17 skirts, 48 shirts, 11 pants, 17 sweaters and cardigans and two totes of socks and other random clothes.  Whoa.  I had no idea how much I had stashed away.
Here is my half before.
Here is what I pulled out.  A bed full of clothes and two totes and a bunch of stuff that doesn't belong but got there by space default.  It is still stacked in our entryway (kids clothes both too big and too small, picture frames, tripods, bedding, hammock, empty shoe boxes, books and birthday gifts.) 
I really like how the empty closet looks though maybe a little bare.
Here is all the the clothes back in and re-folded.  There is still a bit much but some of the pieces will probably go in the next round but I wasn't quite ready to part with them yet!
After count:
8 dresses, 1 blazer, 7 skirts, 35 shirts, 4 pants, 15 sweaters and cardigans.
This was used for baby blankets and and the like.  It now houses my sweaters, cardigans and running and gardening clothes.  I love how tidy and contained they are now.
Here is what I purged out.  Three boxes of clothes and three pair of shoes.
Here is another after picture with everything back in.  I  got down to one tote.  The kids clothes are on the right and some seasonal jackets.  My husbands newly folded t-shirts, gardening clothes and sweaters (you're welcome!) are on the top right.
Here is the final stack.  Some random toys, linens (selling on ebay) and a box of kids books that I purged last week.
Overall I would say this was a success.  I am moving on to the linen closet but I am taking pictures as I go!! It all has to fit back in there.  I hope it only takes one day and not three like the wardrobe did.
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Project: Simplify Begins Hot Spot #1

This is going to be a rough few weeks but Tsh at SimpleMom has picked the perfect starting place....

Our own wardrobe!

Behind this door lays a LOT of stuff and soon it will be a whole bunch cleaner.  Come back Friday to see my before and after pictures!  I may even be able to get Scott involved!!

Come and join the party of organizing and decluttering our lives at Project: Simplify.  

Here's to a simpler life!

Oh, and you will see these Project: Simplify on both blogs.