Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Challenge Reveal

It is the end of the month, and my challenge with Organizing Junkie is at and end, and it is time for the big reveal.  To see where this room started, click here.  I am so excited to share these pictures with you, and thank you for following and encouraging me along this journey.  Without further delay here are the before and after pictures

When you first walk in our room, it used to look like this:

Now it looks like this:

My "corner of shame" before:
and after:

The wall by the door before:


Our closet before:


The laundry hamper before

and after:

We ended up trashing a ton of junk and ended up with a huge purge pile for our church garage sale next weekend:

Overall this was an AMAZING experience for me.  I actually have a room that is ONLY a bedroom and not a storage space as well.  I really feel like this system is going to work for us, and we are going to be able to keep it up.  I am also excited about the few decorative touches I was able to add, and the fact that I only spent $35 to help contain our chaos.  It is an amazing feeling to finally have control over your own room.  As this was part of a challenge, here are some questions we have been asked to answer as part of it.  I hope that it gives you a better picture of how amazing this journey has been and I hope that it inspires you to tackle something of your own.

Challenge Summary Questions

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?
I chose to organize our master bedroom, because it had become a dumping ground for everything.  We still had boxes that needed to be sorted through from our move, way too much random stuff that we didn't know what to do with and more clothes than fit in our dresser/closet space.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?
I set up a plan from the beginning, and moved around the room step by step.  I tackled the hardest area 1st, so that the rest of the room would feel easy after that.  Even though I didn't stay as strictly to my plan as I would have liked (as life does happen), I had goals for each week and worked hard to meet them or catch up when I was behind.  I also had my amazing hubby help keep me accountable to finish on time.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
I ended up needing to do a bunch of side projects, in order to not carry clutter from our room to the rest of the house and that got me off track many times.  For example, in order to get the luggage out of our closet, we had to re-organize our garage storage.  In order to clear off shelving in the closet, it lead me to re-organize our entire paper system.  I had to pick and choose projects to do now and projects to contain and do later.  For example, my craft box was relocated to our linen closet, but I still need to come up with a system for all my crafty things that will work.  I chose to do the side projects that would help our bedroom in the long run during this month, and left others for another day (even though it was hard).

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
As you would have it, our church is having a garage sale in 2 weeks.  Half of it is currently in the trunk of my hubby's car, and the other half will go out on a second trip this coming weekend when they start collecting everything.  I'm excited that it will be going towards a good cause, and that the timing worked out so that we don't have it just hanging around for a month or two.

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
After I had finished, and I did a few other things around our home, I walked back into our room and couldn't help but smile.  This is the first time in our married life where I have felt like we actually have a master bedroom that isn't a storage room as well!  There is a place for everything and everything is in it's place.  I'm so excited!

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
The biggest boundary we used was our limited space, while I call our bedroom a "master bedroom" it is only 12' x 14'.  We had no money for a new larger dresser, or for elaborate storage systems, so we purged until it fit, and fit well.  I did make 2 small purchases to help us with better boundaries.  We got a new laundry hamper that is hard and not as flexible as our previous one.  Ensuring that things land in the hamper and not on the floor, so far it is working!  I also spent some money on a hanging closet organizer.  It has 6 cubbies and they all have a specific function.  I am the most excited about this, because it puts things that were at the top of my closet, in easier reach, as well as emptied out the top of the closet so we have more room to grow.

7. What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?
Find a way for you to be motivated, and go for it!  Honestly, cleaning out our bedroom has been on my "need to do" list for months.  For me, a contest where I posted updates and was doing it along side of others (even though I have never met any of them) was motivating and encouraging.  Figure out what motivates you, and get going. 



Monday, February 27, 2012

Update #3 for Challenge

This month has been a great one, as I have been accomplishing one of my BIG goals for the month though a challenge found here.  I am finally tackling our master bedroom.  Our room has become a basic dumping ground over the last year.  It is the place where extra boxes end up, where things that we don't have room for find a space on the floor.  No more!  I am so excited about my progress, I don't want to reveal too much, but I will show you all some of the amazing progress I have been making.  Here is my before post, as well as another update I did.  The big reveal will be coming in just a few short days, and I can't wait!

I focused on the closet this week.  My hubby and I don't have a walk in closet, or even a large closet.  We share a normal, standard size closet.  This is what it looked like before:
Then I emptied my hubby's side and sorted all of the items onto the bed:
 I had him go through it to decide what he wanted to keep, and what he wanted to get rid of.  I did the same thing with my side of the closet.  Though I will admit to purging less, only because I am pregnant and before I got pregnant this time, I still hadn't lost all of the baby weight from the first (they will be 18 months apart).  So I'm keeping the majority of my clothing until I return to normal size.  I did get rid of several pices

I also spent a little money to replace our laundry hamper.  This thing had 2-3 tears in it, and was being held together with zip ties.  I will hand it to my hubby for the creativity of helping the hamper last as long as it did, but i am so happy to replace it with a $10 one from Target that matches our room and style a bit better.  I'm not really counting this as spending money, because lets face it, we were going to have to replace it anyways, well see for your self.
Please tell me you notice that the bottom rim is no longer connected to the rest of the hamper... ya, it was time.  Now it looks much nicer (and less "college-y")

The best part is, the inside liner comes out with handles, which is a fantastic thing when you have to transport your laundry weekly to another location.

Another touch we added this week, I am SOOO excited about, I wasn't going to share it until the end, but honestly I am too excited.  I will just give you a small taste of it, because for me, this is a BIG deal.
Our bed has never had a head board.  We just have rails and a box spring, very boring I know.  Well several months ago (like September) two of my dear friends moved and were selling much of their stuff.  Because I was not in the financial state to purchase anything, and I was going to be seeing them the day they moved out, I offered to take some items off their hands, if they had not been sold.  I ended up with a folding screen.  I LOVE and have always LOVED folding screens.  I think it comes from my love of old movies when they changed behind them.  Well I decided that we could use this as a head board.  It has been sitting in the "corner of shame" for several months waiting for its home... well it has finally happened.  Here is the result...

It's not a perfect match I know, but it makes the room feel SOOOO much better.  I feel like I have a grown up bed finally!!!

This would not be a true update if I were not to share a step backwards that happened this week.  I did have my "corner of shame" looking SOOO much better, it was almost completely cleared out.  Just needed to find a spot for hubby's extra drawers (which will most likely end up in the closet once we finish getting rid of it.

I came home the other day, to find out that that corer had grown, it now looks like this...
I told hubby that all of his clothes needed to fit either in his drawers or the closet.  He agrees and is trying to "figure it out".  I also gently reminded him of my deadline and how I have Tuesday night blocked out to decorate and put the finishing touches on the room.  All I can say is if they aren't neatly in a drawer or hanging up by Tuesday night, hubby may be searching through the bags in the garage that are going to our church garage sale, which is conveniently in 2 weeks.

Well that is my current progress, I still have a few items to find storage solutions for that WORK for us.  But we took 3-5 steps forward and only a baby step back, so overall I feel successful!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Toddler Trouble

 You would never know that this little one had pneumonia last week.  

He also must have grown a few inches, because all of the sudden, things are in his reach that were not before.  I needed to use the restroom, I was gone less than 2 minutes.  I come back to this...

And this....

The joy's of being a mom of a toddler.  Guess its time to move things up higher, or back further to keep them out of his reach.  :)


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Org Junkie’s 29 Day Organizing Challenge: Update

So this month I am completing a challenge, you can see more details about the my start here (please don't judge the before pictures to harshly), and my lack of progress here.

This is a REAL progress report.  I am actually really excited to share, because there has been PROGRESS!  I actually recruited my hubby to help clean out his dresser, to make more room for some of the stuff that was just lying around.  The results, while incomplete leave me excited to finish this project.  Here is a quick reminder of one corner of the before.

The process was messy, as I had my hubby literally empty his entire dresser onto our bed as we sorted and purged.

There were some interesting discoveries, such as this Texas shirt:
 When my hubby and I first started dating, I went to visit my high school friend who was attending UT.  This was 6 years ago come April, and being the good girlfriend, I returned to my boyfriend with a gift, the UT shirt.  As you can see, the tags are still attached.  This shirt has been sitting in his dresser, been through 3 moves and NEVER BEEN WORN.  We had a good laugh, and placed it in the purge pile.  We also found some fun memories, that I snapped a picture of, and placed in the purge pile.  The shirt below was one that we had in college, good times, good memories.

The purge plie continued to grow on our couch, which made me one happy lady!

And my "corner of shame" as I have called it, began to shrink...

 and shrink some more...

I am so excited about this progress.  I was feeling so far behind because of my son having pneumonia last week, but I am not feeling like we are right back on track.  We still have a HUGE ways to go, but we have made a big dent, and that brings a smile to my face.  We are reclaiming our bedroom from clutter!!!

For those of you doing the challenge, stick with it!  It is totally worth it!  Also, feel free to follow my blog and let me know that you are.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Smores in the oven

Last Friday my dear friend Alexa came over, we enjoyed lunch, a trip to Michael's and just some fun girl hang out time.  We decided that smores sounded like a good afternoon snack.

We placed the oven and on 400 and put them in for 8 minutes.  All I can say is the marshmallows were perfection, the chocolate, got slightly burnt, so DON'T do what we did and put it in the oven, wait until afterwards.


If that is not golden perfection for marshmallows, I don't know what is.  Again, the marshmallows were perfect, the chocolate, was not.  So DO NOT put the chocolate in the oven, JUST THE MARSHMALLOWS (unlike the picture).

Enjoy this quick and easy yummy treat!


PS I love to PARTY!  Blog link party that is, check out where I party by clicking here and join the fun.  Also, if you know of another great party, please share it with me so I can join the fun there too!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wow what a crazy month!

I'm back (sorta) blogging world.  My poor 14 month old son woke up from his morning nap on 2/5 with 102.8 degree fever.  The poor kid was miserable, then the coughing started.  By Sunday morning we took him to the ER only to discover that he had RSV and pneumonia.  The didn't keep him, but gave him a shoot of antibiotics and a prescription for oral ones and told us to follow up with our Pediatrician on Monday.  I have to say that I LOVE his doctor.  She saw him EVERY day this last week with the goal being keeping him out of the hospital.  5 shots and 5 days later, his fever finally broke, and you wouldn't even know the kid was sick  I am so thankful that he is better because this week basically did not exist in my world.  Not to mention I had a HUGE presentation/training I ran yesterday, that I had to plan/prep for while he was sick. It was an absolutely crazy week, so now, I have come up for air I can't believe this month is nearly half over.

Lets do a mid-way month check on my 3 goals for this month:

#1 Cook 6 meals from scratch for my family
 Umm ya, 0/6 done so far.  We have been using our typical freezer and box meals this month and been eating out far to much. YIKES!

#2 Complete one creative project
I was going to make this cute book for my hubby for V-day, but seeing as how that is tomorrow and I have yet to start, I think I will need to come up with another plan.  YIKES!

#3 Re-organize/de-cluter one space in my home (see this challenge)
My master bedroom de-clutter has yet to start. I am in SOOOO over my head on this one, basically I have 12 days to de-clutter and 3 to decorate.  YIKES!

So lets see if I can make what at first seemed like 3 simple goals happen in the next two weeks.  I hope that your month is going better than mine.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Take 5 Thursday #6

I make my own frosting for all of my baked goods.  Honestly, its because my mom did, and I can't stand the taste of caned frosting. 

So when you finish making your cake you always have that little bit of frosting left over, and you hate to waste it, so here is the best way to make your bowl look empty.

 Meet my favorite sweet treat, Frosting Graham crackers.  That's right, you make a frosting sandwich out of graham crackers, put them in the fridge, and you have an amazing sugary snack that is soooooo good!

Its a quick 5 min fix to use up all of your frosting, and maybe a way to make someone an extra sweet treat!


Monday, February 6, 2012

No Superbowl party for us.

Today's post was going to be pictures and recipes from our Super Bowl party.  However, the party didn't happen.  My little man woke up Saturday from his morning nap with a 102.8 degree fever.  He developed a cough that got progressively worse throughout the day and by Sunday morning, my hubby took him to the ER.  He has pneumonia and RSV.  He got a strong shot of antibiotics at the hospital and was sent home with bed rest and being required to stay home for the week from day care.  We had to cancel our Superbowl party last minute.  I'm not sure how my week is going to go this week.  Obviously taking care of my son is going to be the priority, plus this week at work is an insane week for me.  While I love you all, my presence may not be that strong the next few days, I hope that you will all understand and have a fantastic week!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Inspirational Sunday

Food For Thought

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

What are you dong to bring excellence into your home?


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Confessions

I love being the mom of an active amazing toddler.  However, my living room can go from decent to disaster in about .5 minutes.  Here is what it looked like after just one morning of my rambunctious toddler playing around our home.

He pulled nearly all of his toys out of of his toy box, emptied his snack and ground them into the carpet.  it took not very long for my living room to turn into this.  It really doesn't take that long to pick up, but it always happens, and it seems that every time I get it picked up, he decides he liked it better the other way.  That's ok though, I still love him, and it's all part of being the mommy of an amazing toddler.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take 5 Thursday #4

Take 5 Thursday #4

My husband is a beef/bacon man.  He loves his beef.  I have switched him over to ground turkey for most of our meals, which is the healthier choice.  However, all these meats have something in common when you cook with them.  They leave grease.  Our original solution was to use plastic cups.  Which isn't a horrible idea, until they melt with the hot grease and it creates a horrid mess.  Not to mention it is wasteful.  I decided that there had to be an easier solution.  I took an old coffee can, and commandeered it to use as a grease container.  The best part?  It can sit in plain sight on my counter for easy access, or under my sink and no one is the wiser.   Take a quick look:

It takes less than 5 minutes to make this simple change and saves you time and waste in the long run.

Hope you enjoyed today's Take 5 Thursday, where we are becoming less homemaking challenged 5 minutes at a time.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Org Junkie’s 29 Day Organizing Challenge: Before

To help me get motivated, (and lets face it, I really need some extra help in the motivation department) I have decided to join my first blog challenge.  You can join the fun here:

The challenge is to re-organize one room/space in your home.  For me I am in desperate need of some more organization for our master bedroom.  Here are my before pictures, please don't judge me to harshly.

When you first open the door, this is what you see.  Our bed, and the storage under our bed trying to escape.

Immediately to your left is our closet, and my night stand.  Our closet as you can see is small and in some SERIOUS need of help.

The worst part is the corner of shame.  It has boxes stacked, plastic storage tubs, and piles of things we use and just rummage through.  Most of it should be in the closet, but as you just saw, there is no room.

 Here is the rest of that wall, the corner of shame is in the far left, and there are boxes stacked that we have yet to unpack from moving 8 months ago.  They are just sitting in our room.  Oh ya, and that TV. It isn't even plugged in.  It is just sitting there, being clutter.

So there you have it.  Along with my February goals, I will be taking the next 29 days tackling this project.

Here are some answers to a few questions the Org Junkie posts on her site here:

1. What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be?
This is the master bedroom, a place that I want to be a retreat for my husband and I after a long day.  I want it to be a place where we can relax, and not be a place we throw stuff from the living spaces right before guest show up.  I want to wake up and open my eyes and feel empowered, like we can tackle anything that comes our way.

2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose?
The clutter has to go!  Everything needs a place, not just a place to lay around.  I would also like to find some creative solutions to "hide" things that we need everyday, so they are easy to grab and use but still out of sight.

3. What can I remove from the room?
The boxes, the TV and I'm sure many of the things that are being stored under our bed.

4. What problems do I see with the room?

The room is small, and is maxed out on storage space, we can not add new containers or furniture to the room

5. What organizational tools might solve those problems?

De-cluttering current closet, and drawer space to make room of other things that we still need.  Creative space solutions for the limited closet space.   Perhaps moving boxes to the garage, (but that we would have to clean out 1st).

6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems?

The biggest one is being lazy.  Not just throwing things down when we walk in, having a place to put things that are easy, so that we will do it.

7. What kind of a budget do I have to create the organized room of my dreams?

I will discuss this further with my hubby, but I know that I will not have more than $50, most likely less.

8. What kind of a timeline is necessary to organize the room?
I have 29 days from today to finish this project!

9. What is my plan of action?

Week 1 - De -clutter and get rid of unnecessary things
Week 2 - Re organize, find places for things, that work
Week 3 - Create solutions for storage, that are functional and non-distracting
Week 4 - Beautify!  Make it prettier (though I may start somethings sooner depending on what projects I can or can't do)

February Goals

A new month has arrived and it is actually my favorite month of the year.  I love pink, hearts and fast things.  For some reason, having 1-2 less days in a month makes it fly by.  I am going to be starting a new monthly post on my blog.  Goals for the month.  Each month I always make some personal goals, but I never share them with anyone, so this month and the ones to follow, I am going to share them with you.  Then I can look back and see what I accomplished.

This month I will dare to...

...  Cook 6 meals from scratch for my family, 2 of which will be new recipes. (spaghetti doesn't count)
... Complete one creative project
... Re-organize/de-cluter one space in my home (see this challenge)

What will you dare to do this month?