Saturday, January 15, 2011

Next stop ---

Day 13 DONE!


I'm gonna backtrack a couple of days because I've been able to get a lot done and my house is starting to come back together.

Thursday was Freezer day -----

That morning I spent 2 hours at the elementary school helping in two of my kids classes. I came home and did the freezer, did my preschool carpool duty, then I organized the fridge, the spice cabinet, upper corner cabinet (stores mixing bowls & such), 2 cup cupboards, took care of kids, helped with homework, read scriptures, said prayers, and tucked the kiddos in because hubby had to work late. Not bad for a days work!

I was glad Toni gave us a hint that the spice cabinet was Friday's task because it gave me a chance to get caught up on a few things.

Yesterday Dan let three of the kids miss school and he took them skiing. It was Hailey's first time and she LOVED it & did great! I'm typing this on my phone so I'll post pictures later.

While half the crew was on the mountain the little ones & I put away Christmas. FINALLY! I had been waiting until the kids went back to school and then came across the 21 day challenge and it didn't happen. As mentioned in an earlier post my preschooler cried when I told her I was putting away the Christmas decorations. I kept them up another week and then yesterday while we were taking down she asked if we could at least keep the tree up until the snow melts. That might not be for another 3 months! But I can at least give her another few days. I finally figured out why. The kids missed the last day of school because we were gone over Christmas so she didn't give me the ornament she made at school until the beginning of January and she told me she wants us to be able to see her present. So sweet and pulls at the heartstrings just a bit. So there you have it. I'm leaving up the tree just a little bit longer.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spice it Up

Day 12 - Spice cabinet

I got a head start on Friday and already did the Spice cabinet so that I can finally take down Christmas. I was waiting until school started and then I came across this organizing challenge and haven't had a spare minute since. Besides that my 4 year old cried and asked if we could please leave it up longer so I told her one more week.

It's not quite done because I am ordering one of these for all of my little spices.

Clean Freezer

Day 11 - Freezer

I took everything out and sorted it. And gave the freezer a deep scrubbing.
I really liked the idea that Toni from "A Bowl Full of Lemon's" had of using bins in the freezer and creating more drawers. So I implemented it and now Dan says he feels like he's living with Monk. We'll see if it works.

I also cleaned the refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Still plugging away... - days 8,9,10

I know your sitting on the edge of your seat wondering if I've failed the challenge & quit because I haven't been posting. WRONG! We're still at it. You wouldn't be able to tell if you walked in my door anytime this week or maybe the entire month or at least during the 21 day challenge.

I feel like we're doing major renovations and all we're doing is organizing. Why does cleaning make such a mess? I've never figured that one out or maybe it's just me. We've got organizing containers, give away piles, and stuff that got moved and still needs a new home piles. Just remember I gave you fair warning if you decide to stop by.

Seriously, I'm glad that we're doing this. It was VERY much needed at my house. I go along feeling like I'm caught up with a lot of stuff and then I get behind on a few things and it snowballs to utter chaos and then there is just too much to do.

DAY 8 - Coat Closet

Mine wasn't too bad until the first snow and then all of the sudden it was madness. The kids pulled the tub that I had in the top of the closet out to find gloves, hats, etc. The tub didn't get put back and stuff has been falling off the shelf ever since. I was too busy in December to care much.


Best Find -
We've been looking for this step ladder for at least 6 months. I ask if anyone knows where it is all of the time. Especially over the last week as I've been completing these tasks. It was just tucked neatly away on the side of the closet - in plain sight.

Looking for a mate. It is unbelievable that we have this many single gloves and most of them are for the right hand.
This bag was hanging on a hangar in between coats. All brand new painting supplies for who knows what project (that didn't get done). It looks like I was planning on a faux finish for something.
After shots:

Day 9 - Toys or Craft cupboard

Been there done that with the toys and decided many kids ago that by being super organized I was actually creating more work for myself. It took twice as long to clean up because of all the sorting involved. My kids are older now so maybe I'll give it another try but not this month. I chose the craft cabinet.

I didn't get a before shot but it was already pretty organized. Only problem was I had most things in big tubs so whenever anyone got anything out it would create a mess.

I have been loving the shoe boxes from Costco so I filled the cabinet with them. The ones they have now are actually bigger than the standard width. They worked great.

Day 10 - Laundry Room

I was glad this was on the list because just yesterday before I knew that this would be my challenge for the day I was thinking that I needed to move a cabinet into the laundry room from my office.

We don't have much of a laundry room. It is more like an extension on the guest bathroom. With 9 people in the house I do a lot of laundry! Just before Christmas we purchased a new washer/dryer set. I've been wanting these forever so that I could have extra large capacity and be able to stack them so that eventually I could put two sets side by side.

Purchasing another set is not an option right now and after using this one set I don't think it's necessary anymore. This larger capacity has made laundry time go much more quickly. I LOVE it.

Anyway, here's before:

I bought this a couple of years ago and couldn't get it to the top of my hubby's to do list but today he was home and voila!
Hey! Don't touch! Those are Mom's Laundry Treasure! If you don't empty your pockets too bad.

Tomorrow FREEZER!

Monday, January 10, 2011

"La Madre de Las Salsas"

For Christmas Dan got me an electric pressure cooker from Costco. I know super practical right? ... but I LOVE it! We have been using it almost every day for some sort of meal.

Last night (while we were organizing the pantry) I put a roast in it so I could have some shredded taco meat. I looked up a couple of recipe ideas but didn't find one that sounded great so I just started putting some things in the pressure cooker. After sauteing onions and garlic I added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of green chilies. But the real trick was a can of Chipotle peppers that I had Dan buy a couple of days ago for a different recipe. I only put a couple in and then realized that I was using a fork that I had been using on the raw meat so I dumped the entire can in. Anyway this is how I came up with what my husband calls "La Madre de Las Salsas"

I wasn't sure how long to cook the meat so I set the pressure cooker for 75 minutes. When we opened it up it was VERY hot, spicy hot. Dan was instantly in love but I knew that wouldn't do for the average Joe much less my kids. So we took the meat out and he bottled & labeled his new favorite sauce. I put the roast back in with another can of tomatoes & a few spoonfuls of the sauce and set the cooker for another 60 minutes.

It was perfect! This was my lunch today for only 6 points.

Did I mention I joined Weight Watcher's last week? Last year my body decided that yes, I was closer to 40 than 30 and that it had carried 7 children. It was a reality check and no I don't have an enormous amount to lose but I would like to feel like I want to get dressed everyday because things fit. So I took the plunge and joined. So far so good....

Label Maker, Organizing & Sick!

The weekend was great but I'm still not completely caught up with the organizing challenge.

Day 6 was the dresser! My room is the last place I clean because I never have enough time to get to everything so when I saw this assignment I trembled slightly. I usually keep the drawers fairly organized but with Christmas and packing for a trip they got extra messy.

Three of my dresser drawers are devoted to my baby and the last time I set out to organize I was taking out clothes that no longer fit and stacking them in piles on the dresser but never finished. Further I seem incapable of doing the simple assignment of just organizing the dresser. I also did the nightstands, and drawers and cubbies in the closet so the assignment took me Friday & Saturday. It didn't help that I've been sick and several of my kids as well.

Anyway - - - yadayada - here's the goods:

I didn't get a before picture but here's the after...
Sock Drawer - I actually thought - there is no way I'm organizing my sock drawer. That's plain silliness. Who care's?!? Right?
But then I had an idea when I saw these triple storage bin. I stacked two on top of each other with the bottom one having my nylon's & tights. It actually is my favorite drawer! Ha ha!
Here's one of my husband's drawers.
Its' just short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts and a bin with Biking stuff.

On to the pantry ... when I saw that this was the challenge, I thought perfect because my husband just barely did this so it will give me more time to work in my room. Anyway I saved it until last night and of course I couldn't just leave the pantry the way my husband had organized it. No that would be to easy. Instead we (yes he helped & happily) took EVERYTHING out and put together his "cansolidator" he'd gotten for Christmas. Oh and I got a new label maker to solve my label maker dilemma and we had a lot of fun with that. We thought we were hilarious but I'm sure that was just because it was 2 AM before we finished.

I didn't get a before but here are some pictures in the middle of the process.
Our little helper until it got too late.

After shots:

Lunch Station - we've been using this system for a few years. It's works wonder's when 5 kids are making lunches in the morning before school. My 1st grader always asks how come they have to make their own lunches because everyone else's mom's make theirs. I told her it's because she can do hard things as her preschool teacher taught her & we've made it pretty easy. All they have to do is grab one thing out of each lunch bin. Last night we added a "sandwich fixin" bin and labeled them all. Our dessert bin is empty right now so I added a HAHA! label on the bottom of the bin (this is where we thought we were hilarious!).

Anyway we had a very productive weekend and enjoyed labeling everything in past and present organizing jobs. Now on to today's challenge - the coat closet! Watch out this might be scary!