Thursday Thoughts

Happy Thursday!

Hope you all have had a good week. Just in case you aren’t from here and didn’t know: WE GOT SNOW!! That doesn’t happen very often, so we get pretty excited. (Most of us, anyway.) The big kids at my house certainly seemed to enjoy playing in the snow – and having “snow days” with no school.

So, February is just a few days away. We’ve been at the de-cluttering, de-stressing, and organizing for almost a month. Here are a couple of questions for you.

1. How are you doing with laundry? Is your laundry under control or is it still controlling you? Whatever schedule you have decided will work for you, I hope you are sticking with it. That’s really what matters. Everyone’s schedule can look different because what works for me might not work for you. The key is to stay AHEAD of the laundry, not BEHIND a big pile of it. (Karen E. – still waiting to see your pictures)

2. Did you take the living room challenge last week? I have rearranged my living room, but still have a few things to “tweak” then I’ll post some pictures. I did get the DVDs organized. I still have some books that need to go. Sadness…sadness. But I am tired of dusting around them, so I might be able to part with some more of them. So if you did take the challenge, don’t you want to share some pictures with us? “After” pictures are motivating for the rest of us.

3. Have you cleared out any closets? I am doing a good job keeping mine straight. I put all my clothes away today, including my Sunday t-shirt…exactly where it’s supposed to be so I wont’ be digging around in there Sunday morning. My pantry is next on my list. That pantry is the bane of my existence. I just can’t seem to get it the way I want it. But I’m going to try, try again.

One of the things I want you to be thinking about is your weekly schedule. Take a look at your calendar. We’re going to be talking about schedules next week. Oh, the busyness that we get caught up in. Think about that.

Y’all have a great night!

Lynne

 

Recipe Share Wednesday: Homemade Hot Chocolate

So…yesterday was crazy as we wait ALL DAY LONG for snow that finally got here after dark! I didn’t post as I was out fighting folks for loaves of bread and milk. Just kidding…just kidding. I let Eric do that.

We get pretty excited about snow around here. Last night the “kids” played in it and I made them some hot chocolate when they came back in. Made another pot (batch?) of it today. Here’s the recipe. Right off the cocoa can! With one modification…I used one cup of half and half in place of one of the cups of milk.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
dash salt
1/3 cup hot water
3 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in saucepan; stir in hot water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils; boil and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in the milk and heat. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows if you like.

My house this morning

My house this morning

Aiken's South Boundary Street...one of the things we're known for

Aiken’s South Boundary Street…one of the things we’re known for

Weekly Challenge # 2: The Living Room/Family Room/Den/Whateveryoucallit

The living room. The family room. The den. Whatever you call it. It’s  probably the room where your family spends the most time…often because the biggest television is there. And living in a room – really living there – leads to messes. I’m sure that’s a scientific fact. Who knows what’s lurking under the piles of junk on the living room floor? Maybe those keys you haven’t been able to find.

It’s easy to figure out how the mess gets there. Things don’t get put away. Shoes and socks wind up under the chair. Remotes get sucked into the underworld of the sofa cushions. Are you aware that we can barely function without the remote? As if there aren’t buttons on the television with which to change the channel, volume, or just turn the thing off? We will instead spend time – lots of time – walking around looking for it…digging under cushions, moving piles of junk around. The we miss our favorite show because we can’t manage to walk two more inches to the television and change the channel with our very own little fingers. At least that’s what I hear. From other people.

Do you have rules about eating or not eating in the living room? Do those rules get followed? Do you break the rule yourself? (I have and I do.)  DVDs, CDs, games, remotes, controllers, plates, cups, glasses, school bags, books…you name it. It’s in there. Probably stuff you forgot you had. And possibly a good amount of change down in the sofa and chairs. (Just so you know, I firmly believe that if you find money while cleaning, you are new owner of the money.) There is enough dust on the ceiling fan that it looks like fur. And the bookshelves, mantle, side tables…well, who knows when they were last dusted? And you wonder why you sneeze when you’re in there.

So where do you start in the living room challenge? You can really start anywhere as long as you end with vacuuming and dusting. And mopping if that applies. Here are my suggestions.

Day # 1: Get everyone in your household in the living room.

Have them bring their laundry basket with them (or something to tote things in), then – dare I say – have each person take his/her OWN STUFF out of the living room and put all of it in it’s proper place. Dirty laundry to the hamper. Books to the shelves. Toys to the room. (Yes, this includes you. Sorry.) Anything that doesn’t belong IN the living room but in someone else’s room gets taken out and put away. (Put away in the right place, NOT in the wrong place!) I’m pretty sure it will be looking better already. Next, load up a basket with any dirty dishes and take them to the kitchen. Either load them into the dishwasher or wash them, dry them, and put them away. Yes, from start to finish. If you can finagle someone else to do this part, all the better. That’s it for day 1.

Day #2: Gather all the games, DVDs, CDs, etc. together.

Find  yourself a flat surface. Your kitchen table , the coffee table. You will need three piles in which to sort them: “keep”, “donate/sell”, and “move to little Susie/Sammy’s room.” (More kids = more piles. But you get the picture.) Sort through them and place them in the proper piles. When you’re done, leave the “keep” ones and take any that belong somewhere else in the house wherever that somewhere happens to be. And be sure it’s the proper place. Please. For the ones that will remain in your living room, figure out how you need to sort them – and where you’re going to store them now – so that they can be easily found. (We have the guys’ DVDs on one shelf and the girls’ on another. Video games are in a basket on the shelf under the video game console. Controllers are in a basket beside the games basket.) This is pure speculation on my part, but DVDs sitting (standing?) on a shelf  or stacked in a basket being alphabetized might make it easier to find what you’re looking for. (And your spices being alphabetized makes them easier to find…ahem.) I am a big fan of baskets. They serve a purpose and they look pretty. You can get plastic storage containers at dollar stores. Whatever system you come up with just needs to work for you. You are, after all, going to be the one who gets asked, “Where is my princess DVD?” and “Where did you put my favorite video game?” It won’t matter if they are looking right at them. If they aren’t where they were, someone will surely ask. (Including your husband who doesn’t see the TV remote in the basket in the middle of the coffee table. Just so you know.)  Day # 2 is complete!

NOTE: If things need to go on shelves that are currently dusty, dust the shelves before you put the things on there. Then you won’t have to move them again this week to dust.

Day #3: Bookshelves.

This is the hardest one for me. I LOVE books! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. (I think I might live in the library if they’d let me.) It’s very easy for me to gather books and overload my bookshelf. And I have a 9-foot long bookshelf in my living room.  So we’ll go through the same process with books as with the stuff in step #2. Sort into piles. Remove to proper location if not the living room. Return to shelf in some orderly manner. Remember to dust first. This is Day #3 of this challenge.

Day # 4: Cleaning what’s left.

Now that the stuff that doesn’t belong in the room has been removed, it’s time to clean up what does belong. Clean the ceiling fan if you have one. I have a vacuum cleaner attachment for this. You can use a damp cloth. Just get those multiplying dust bunnies off of there. Take the cushions off the couches and chairs. Dig for money! You’ll probably come across some other stuff. Pens. Paper clips. Candy wrappers. A LOT of stuff can live under your sofa cushions. Then vacuum under there. Go deep and get the cookie crumbs and potato chips out of there.  Spray under there with something like Febreeze or an all-natural furniture spray if it’s a little funky in there. It probably is. Return the cushions and give them a good vacuum, too, as well as the backs of the sofa and chairs. Plump up the cushions; replace the pillows.

If you have blankets or throws, throw them in the wash. (Even if it’s not laundry day.) When they’re dry, fold them over the back of the sofa or chair, or keep them in a basket for chilly nights. It’s a good time to clean the curtains or window treatments as well. If they are washable, wash them. If they aren’t, you can usually toss them in the dryer on the “no heat” setting to get the dust out of them. (Disclaimer: Read the cleaning label before you do anything to them.) If nothing else, you can vacuum them. This concludes day #4 of this challenge.

5. Clear off the coffee table and end tables. Dust them, the lamps, the mantle, the TV stand. Dust and vacuum all surfaces that need dusting and vacuuming. This includes UNDER the furniture if possible. Mop if you don’t have carpets.

The top of your coffee table should not be cluttered. It should be pretty. Again, a basket or tray for magazines (3-4 magazines, not 10-12 of them). I sit our TV remote on top of the magazines in my basket. A set of coasters is always a good idea. A little vase of flowers. A candle. A picture. Just a few little things that make you happy. This is Day #5 of this challenge is done – and you’re done with your living room! 🙂 How proud are you?

NOTE: Also, do not overcrowd the top of the bookshelves, the mantle, the TV stand…anything that looks crowded looks messy even if it’s dust-free. In other words, I don’t need 20 pictures on top of my bookshelf. Be selective. Use things that you like, but maybe not EVERYTHING that you like. (If I could do that, I’d just move the books overcrowding the bookshelf into neat stacks on the coffee table.) In my living room, I have baskets of varying sizes for the following things: gardening books; magazines; game “stuff”; kids’ books, and blankets. (Did I mention that I love baskets?) They sit beside my chair, beside the sofa, in the reading nook, and on shelves where needed. They keep things rounded up and tidy.

It’s time…Pull out your “before” picture and take a look at it. Look at your living room now. Are you amazed? Are you happy? Take an “after” picture. Send it to me or post it on Facebook. Make me proud. Invite someone over to look at your pretty and clean room.

You might consider some new rules about your room. If you do, be sure to enforce them, otherwise you’ll end up at the “before” stage again. Then EVERY day after it’s clean, spend a few minutes just picking up. Get everyone’s own stuff to their own rooms. Every night before bed, I walk through the downstairs and put the remote in place (because no one else can possibly put it in the basket on the coffee table), put the coasters where they belong, and straighten the pillows and the throw over the back of the couch. When I get up in the morning, it’s all straight and I can sit in my chair and have my cup of coffee and do my devotional. Without sitting on a pencil, or tripping over someone’s shoes, or having to search for a coaster to sit my coffee mug on. It’s very nice. It’s not stressful.

Now light that candle on the coffee table, grab a cup of coffee, and sit in your newly-cleaned living room and just enjoy for a few minutes. Ahhh….now isn’t that nice.

I’m know that I’m going to have to work on my bookshelf this week. Again. It’s a constant issue. If you hear wailing and gnashing of teeth, it’s probably me. I  could be me parting with some of my books. Just saying.

Have a blessed Monday!

Lynne

Recipe Share Wednesday: Baked Potato Soup

Thank you to my friend Emily for sharing this yummy recipe! (Originally from the allrecipes.com site)

Yummy! I don’t add bacon to soup. I cook and serve as topping along with additional cheese. And I do 8 slices, not 12. The original recipe called for margarine which I don’t use, so I substitute real butter just using 1/2 stick instead of 2/3 cup. And I use real natural sour cream, whole milk, and block cheese that I shred/grate myself. (Did you know the pre-shredded cheese has something in it to keep it from sticking together? Ew.)

Ingredients

  • 12 slices bacon
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 cups milk
  • 4 large baked potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Serve as topping along with additional shredded cheese.

In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the margarine over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Mix in cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.

Weekly Challenge # 2: The Pesky Laundry Monster Rears His Head

Happy Monday, everyone!

If you were following this blog at the beginning of last year, you may recognize much that is in this post. I tweaked it a little, but mostly I just left it alone. Why reinvent the wheel, right? Anyway, laundry is one of those things that has a way of overwhelming lots of people.

So we’re just going to jump right in and start paving the way to an organized, well-run household. Having talked to many women over the past few years about what household chore most often overwhelms them, I have learned that laundry is a problem for many people. In fact, there are people whose laundry pile could be measured and it would be taller than they are. They could get lost in the laundry pile and not be found for days. Did you know that there are people who don’t do their laundry for weeks at a time? That spend entire weekends “catching up” with the laundry monster and not enjoying their days off? Well, I am here to help you not only catch up with him (the laundry monster has to be male, after all), but to kick him in his rear end to the curb. You will not miss him! At all.

Now, I have had a laundry schedule for many years. When I was working and then homeschooling, I did one type (not necessarily one load) of laundry each day. It was whites  on Mondays; towels  and underwear on Tuesdays; darks (jeans, t-shirts, sweats) on Wednesday, delicates (generally, things that don’t go in the dryer) on Thursday, and sheets on Friday. I also usually do another load dark clothes sometime during the week because my husband and now my son have “work clothes” that their coworkers probably appreciate being washed before they wear them again. Just saying that their work clothes tend to be a little stinky. Speaking of stinky clothes, I also do two small loads of exercise clothes a week, maybe Tuesdays and Fridays. After last week’s closet clear out challenge, I may now actually own more exercise clothes than regular clothes. I tried doing laundry only twice a week, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I’d rather do my one type a day thing. It is just what works best for me.

NOTE: I do everyone’s laundry in my house. My kids are certainly old enough to do theirs and they do know how. If not, there are instructions printed and laminated and taped on top of the washer. In case I am unable to fulfill my task as laundry goddess, someone else can do it. I don’t do all the laundry because I’m oh so nice, but because I don’t want to run the washer and dryer for small loads if everyone does their own. I also use a clothesline instead of dryer whenever weather permits. I know people who’d rather have their kids do their own laundry and that is perfectly fine. Just stick to a schedule of some sort.

Last January, I spent a week NOT doing laundry –  I “took one for the team,” so to speak. Then on a  Saturday, I dumped my hamper into the middle of my bedroom floor. I had both my kids dump their hampers onto the pile. Oh. My. Gosh. The pile was HUGE! And there are only four of us in this house. I can’t imagine if there were more. It overwhelmed me and I was only doing it for the experiment. So that I could help you. You’re welcome. :)

So. I looked at this laundry pile. I took pictures of it. I stood in awe (and fear) of it. I saw the laundry monster lurking in there and I said, “Oh, no. I don’t think so. You’re going down!” But it was completely overwhelming. I can only imagine how you feel if you face that every single Saturday. Or any other day.

If this is you…if the laundry monster lives in your house…please serve him his eviction notice. He can (and should) be out by this coming Saturday. If you are not on a schedule for your laundry and there is a huge pile of it just waiting on you, let me show you how to show him the door. (If you are on a laundry schedule, God bless you and keep up the good work!)

There are several ways to conquer your laundry pile, but the first step for any of them is to put all your laundry in one place…one pile. One big giant – possibly stinky – pile. Gather the laundry from wherever it may be in your house and bring it all together in one place. Everyone throw it all on there. Then look at it. How do you feel? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Anxious? Don’t be. Like everything else we’ll do this year, we’ll take it one step at a time. I know you’ll see it and want to get the whole thing out of the way. Today. But then you’ll be so tired that you won’t be good for anything else. The key here is to establish a workable schedule and then stick to it. If not, the laundry monster will move back in when you aren’t looking. He’s very, very sneaky. And quick!

Here’s what I want you to do. Trust me on this one. It really will work.

Monday: Put all your laundry in the pile in a place where it can hang out for the week. Take a picture of it. We will not judge. We’ll just applaud your awesomeness at the end of the week when there is no pile. Then sort the laundry into smaller piles – however your mama taught you to sort. We all have things we wash together and things we don’t; my sorting may not be the same as yours. Then pick a pile, any pile. Start with the smallest pile so you can get through today and feel a sense of accomplishment. (Unless there’s a pile you NEED. Then do that pile.)  Take that pile, walk to the washer and get to washing. You may have more than one load from your pile but only wash one pile per day. Yes, that’s right. One pile per day. Ignore the other piles. Step around them if you must. You are going to wash, dry, fold and put away one pile today. That’s why I suggested the smallest one.

Tuesday – Friday (or Saturday) – Wash, dry, fold and put away another pile. One pile per day. You may want to document your diminishing piles with photos. And share them with us at the end of the week. Please. We love before and after pictures. Love.

ANOTHER NOTE: If you are not home during the day, you can start a load of laundry before you leave for the day and finish it after you return (don’t do this if there are things that will fade on to other things), or you can run the washer at night and throw the load in the dryer (or on the line) first thing in the morning and let it dry while you are getting ready to head out. Do NOT leave your dryer going if no one is going to be home. The goal is to completely finish one pile per day. Any “new’ dirty laundry goes to the hamper if you’ve already washed the pile it would go in. (On? Whatever.)

When the last pile is gone, take a picture of the spot where it all started. Wow! Don’t you feel a great sense of accomplishment? Do you feel the urge to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus”? Go right ahead. We’ll sing with you.

Then…take pen and paper in hand. On the top of the paper write “Laundry Schedule.” Write down what type/load of laundry you are going to do on each day. Post it where you can see it. (You can get all fancy like me and type up a laundry schedule.) Then – and here’s the kicker – do what it says. It will do you no good if you don’t stick with it. But if you do, you will not have a giant pile of laundry waiting for you on Saturday mornings. So you can sleep in without feeling guilty! Post your “before” picture from this week beside it. That should keep you motivated! You don’t want to go there again.

At our house, there is a laundry hamper in each bedroom. Also, I have a small laundry basket for everyone in the house. When the kids were younger, when the  laundry was done and folded, I handed each family member his or her basket and had them put their laundry away. Then they could put whatever is needed for the next day’s laundry in the basket and return it to the laundry room (or laundry closet, if you’re like me). This worked well then.

Now my children are 22 and nearly 20…they don’t always return the baskets that the clean clothes were in. I now text them what I need (whites, darks, towels, etc.) and they bring them down. If they don’t – and my son is prone to NOT doing it – it doesn’t get done by me. Then he does his own laundry. Which isn’t a bad thing for me as he apparently has more clothes than the rest of us combined and wears every single thing he owns every single week. Weird.

You will be amazed at how great you feel with a schedule or routine. Amazed. I promise. And that’s just the laundry.  Who knew having your laundry under control could feel so good? I did! 🙂 Now…get to washing and have a great day!

Blessings,

Lynne

The giant laundry pile - yikes!

The giant laundry pile – yikes!

Closet Clear Out Success…Closet 1

Hey, everyone!

Sorry I missed posting yesterday. I don’t even know what I did yesterday…that’s sad. But today has just worn me “slap out.” I had to shop for and get a new phone. Shop for groceries – which I really despise, by the way; thought I did come in a few dollars under budget. Yay! Then I came home and cooked dinner: chili for the meat-eaters; broccoli and cheese soup for the non-meat-eaters. (I’m pretty sure that non-meat-eaters isn’t actually a word, but WordPress isn’t correcting me, so…

AND I got my closet finished.

Here is the “before” picture. I am ashamed of the closet. Yikes!

My Closet "Before"

Before…notice all the items shoved in there when I was in a hurry. Sigh.

I got all the clothes out and tried all the tops on for my soon-to-be 20-year-old daughter. This is the “discard” pile.

“You can NOT wear that!” ~ Kayla

And now, my closet after. A much slim-downed version of its original self. Note: I kept one pair of jeans that I can wear freely and one pair that I can wear if absolutely necessary, so apparently I’ll be buying jeans this week. Also, my shoes were scoffed at and I have to look for more of those also. (Did I mention that I really dislike shopping?) On a positive note, I have plenty of exercise wear so I don’t have to look for that.

After...exercise pants on top of wire rack; then undies and socks below; bottom drawer is exercise tops. Because you needed to know all that.

After…exercise pants on top of wire rack; then undies and socks below; bottom drawer is exercise tops. Because you needed to know all that.

 

DSC_0529

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Purses on shelf (Vera Bradley, anyone? All thrift store finds.) Three sweatshirts. A lonely pair of jeans.

 

That hanging rack contains t-shirts (from work and races), then camis, then tanks, then shorts. Because I know you were just dying to know that, too. 🙂

My husband cleared out his closet last week. We have an outside storage closet that really needs some clearing out, but it’s too darn cold for me right now. Maybe I’ll hit the pantry next. I want to paint it and add new shelves.

Have a great night! Enjoy your Sunday!

Lynne

P.S. Just for fun, I was picture taking today with the new camera my honey got me for Christmas. Here’s a bluebird for your enjoyment. 🙂

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Happy Thursday!

Happy Thursday!

I hope everyone is having a good week! It is cold here once again…sigh.

Our internet issues seem to be resolved so I’ll be back on track with posting next week. This week has been an “off” one for me and I apologize for sporadic posting! 🙂

Have you cleared out any closet clutter this week? I plan to work on mine tomorrow. I told my daughter Kayla that I was going to take a picture of her tossing all my clothes and post it to the blog. Between things I “shouldn’t” wear and things that are now too big (yay!), I may have to go shopping. This does not excite me. I really, really dislike shopping for clothes. (Except for exercise clothes…but that’s a new, weird thing for me.) So I’ll post a “before” picture of my stuffed closet and an “after” picture of the jacket or blouse that I’m allowed to keep. 🙂

If you’ve cleared out a closet, I sure hope you’ll share some pictures with the rest of us!

Have a good night!

Lynne

New Recipe! Hope everyone enjoys!

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Recipe By: Lynn Cole
Yield: 8

Ingredients:

– 8  ounces cream cheese
– 8 ounces pepper jack cheese
– 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
– 1 pound cooked chicken
– 8 flour tortillas
– cooking spray
– shredded Cheddar cheese
– green onions, for garnish
– sour cream
– salsa

Directions:

1. Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.

2. Fold in chicken.

3. Divide among flour tortillas.

4. Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.

5. Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9×13″ baking dish.

6. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

7. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

8. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

9. Turn chimi’s over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.

10. Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

Weekly Challenge # 1: Clearing Closet Clutter

Warning: I am on day 1 of the Daniel Plan detox. I have not had coffee. The words that follow may or may not make sense. I apologize in advance. ~ Lynne

Well, it’s time for the weekly challenges to begin. Clearing out the closet clutter was requested, so here goes. 🙂

First, let me just say that I do not enjoy cleaning out closets. I have stuck to the general principle that no one is going to look in there, so what’s the big deal? But then I have to look in there. And try to find my Kidz Creek t-shirt that I HAVE to wear on Sundays and it’s nowhere to be seen. It’s NOT in the t-shirt spot. What? Who put it in the closet and didn’t take the time to put it in the t-shirt spot? Well, that would be me. And how much longer would it have taken to put it in its spot rather than another one? Not one second more. And so on a Sunday morning while I’m trying to let my husband sleep in, I frantically shine my cell phone light around in there searching for the shirt, eventually finding it in my sock drawer. But only after I’ve gotten aggravated, thrown clothes everywhere, woken my husband, and gained an attitude desperately in need of church.

When I think “closets,” I usually think clothes closets. But we have linen closets, storage closets, broom closets, and the pantry is even a closet of sorts. So how do you go about clearing one out? Here is what I do. (Note: This is not fun. Sorry.)

1. Get three containers (bins, clothes baskets, etc.): one for donating/selling; one for trashing; and one for keeping. If you’re working on a clothes closet with hanging things involved, you’d make three piles but use the same categories.

2. Removing an item at a time, put it in the appropriate container or pile. Continue in this manner until every, single item has been removed from the closet. As this point you’ll notice that the walls could use painting, the dust bunnies have vacation homes here, and – wow! – there’s a lot more space here than I thought. (Maybe not the last one, but one can hope.)

3. Then, take the items in the “trash” container, place them in a trash bag, and put them IN THE TRASH! Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 (unless someone offers you $200 for your trash as you take it to the trash bin).

4. Take the items in the “donate” container and – either in the container or in a bag – place them in your vehicle so that you can drop them off at a donation center the next time you are out and about.

5. Vacuum out the closet; wipe down any shelves.

6. Place the items in the “keep” container back in the closet, but in an orderly fashion. I personally like to have all my clothes in some sort of order (though at the moment, my closet is in need of a clearing out as evidenced by the Sunday t-shirt incident), so I have short-sleeved shirts together, then long-sleeved, then skirts and dresses, the jackets, etc. I have a four-drawer stand for socks, undies, and the like. And I have a hanging rack that contains (allegedly) t-shirts, exercises clothes…things that can be folded neatly into squares. Jeans are folded and sit on the shelf next to the purses. Shoes are lined up in the floor (in the dust bunnies’ vacation land).

For any closet – whether it’s clothes, linens, towels – the goal is to get everything out, sorted and distributed appropriately. Here are some other things to consider when clearing out closets, in no particular order.

  • If the towel has more holes in it than Swiss cheese, please throw it away – or at least move it to your cleaning closet. I mean, really…you might as well air dry. 🙂
  • If the sheets are worn so thin that you can see through them, it may be time for them to go. (No, it really is.)
  • If you have not worn that sweater since 1992, please: Let. It. Go.

I’m pretty sure the rule is that if you haven’t used/worn something in the last six months (unless your seasons are long), then you probably won’t wear it again and you can let it go. I read somewhere that you should hang all the hangers in your closet backwards. The ones that are still backwards after six months (or your chosen time frame) are the ones that need to go.

If you have any doubts about your clothes, ask your teenage daughter. She can certainly clear it up for you. Trust me. If you don’t have one, borrow one. You may end up with one pair of shoes and a blouse, but she’ll clear up any questions pretty darn quickly. 🙂

Let’s not consider the pantry in this challenge. The pantry is a challenge all its own. But you can use this challenge for any other closet, I believe. I will be tackling my clothes closet this week…if I live through the “no coffee” detox thing. If I don’t, I won’t care. 🙂

Y’all have a good week! Take “before” and “after” pictures and share with the rest of us! Pretty please! Seeing those pictures is very motivating for the rest of us.

Lynne

 

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday, y’all!

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday! When I finally had time to do it, I was tired and went to bed. 🙂 We (the hubby and I) spent yesterday and today cleaning and rearranging furniture. His most favorite things to do. Ha! So the living room has been completely turned around and the television is in its new place which makes me happy. I got a new mop that I like, which makes me happy. I guess I should be giddy by now. Ha!

We will have a weekly challenge next week that involves cleaning and decluttering a room in your house. If you followed Simplify 2013, this will be a repeat – though updated. If you’re like me, it’s time to hit that room again anyway. I haven’t decided which room yet, so if you have a preference, leave me a comment. We’ll get to all of them, but we have to start somewhere. 🙂

I hope you have a blessed Sunday tomorrow! Be sure to get yourself a nap. I know I will!

Lynne