Friday, October 4, 2013

Figuring Things Out

I can't believe I haven't blogged since April! But, to be fair, I have vlogged quite a few times since then. Usually I would come to the computer , start writing a blog, and then decide to vlog instead, haha.

In the last few months we've had all three of the girls' birthdays! I now have a one year old, three year old, and a five year old!

Over the past few months things have been so-so. I sort of feel like I've been treading water. I keep having to have catch up days where I do most of the cleaning, and then everything gets out of hand and I keep having to start from square one, it's exhausting. Over the last week or so, I've decided to completely abstain from alcohol and it has made an incredible difference. I do a lot more cleaning, but don't feel like I'm doing more cleaning. It's like it is just automatic to pick up and do certain chores, whereas before I really had to push myself to get things done. So for the forseeable future I'm not going to be drinking at all.

I don't have much else to say, I woke up earlier than usual today and think I need a nap, or a cup of coffee, lol.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Finally a routine that works for me!

If you know me at all or have been reading my sporadic posts over the last few years, you will know that I have tried and failed many times to start a good housekeeping routine. I have always loved making plans, but have never been able to stick to them. I think a big part of this has been my depression, which was untreated until last September. Everytime there would be a little hangup I would fall hopelessly into a rut and abandon whatever plan I had made earlier.

Anti-depressants have completely changed my life and now those little obstacles do not stop me in my tracks anymore. I find it so much easier to keep on going, in spite of all of the things that life still throws at me. My life itself hasn't gotten an easier, I just feel much better equipped to deal with it! For the first time in my life, I feel like I have things together, and it's a great feeling.

Awhile back there was an e-book bundle special for spring cleaning. I found it through one of the blogs I read, Clean Mama. One of the e-books was written by her and was all about her basic cleaning routine. I have been doing it for a month now with great success! I don't always do everything and it doesn't always go perfectly, but I have stuck with it and my house is looking better than ever!

Another big reason for this success is the smartphone app Astrid. I use it to keep track of my daily and weekly chores and enter anything I need to remember in my to do lists. It's like my own digital personal assistant and it has made a huge difference! I'm really glad I found this routine and this app:).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Organizing Revolution 2013: The Kitchen

Yay for another week of organizing! Last week I placed 4th! Just a few votes short of winning a prize. Let's see if I can break into the top three this week.

Once again I have to take into consideration the fact that I am moving soon. I didn't want to buy too many items specific to my current kitchen layout, when the next kitchen could be totally different. The things I did purchase were all pretty basic, so I should be able to adapt them to any kitchen space.

My favorite part of this project is set out on the counter, so it should definitely work in any kitchen. That would be my new drink station! It's made up of my coffee maker, a carousel for k-cups, and a little tray with some other drink items on it. The tray is something I purchased last summer. It came in a set of four with little cups and I'm so excited to finally have something to use it for! I think whenever you have small items that you want to keep out in the open, a tray is an easy way to make it look neater. The tray shows that the items are supposed to be on the counter, and you didn't just forget to put them away!

I also consolidated all of my other drink related items. The coffee cups were in the cabinet to the left, the extra k-cups were in the cabinet to the right, so now they are all in this one section right above the coffee maker. I love having it all together!

I did a few other things as well. I got some baskets to try and help tame the corner pantry cabinet. It is far from perfect, but it's a huge improvement over the mess that it was before.

I bought a tiered rack to sort out my chaotic cupboard of spices.

I bought this little basket thing to make this dedicated baking space. A lot of this stuff had been sitting on the counter or had been in the top section of our snack cabinets.

I bought this little shelf, not knowing exactly what I was going to do with it. I ended up using it to give the bread a home, since it usually just sits out on the counter.

I also decided to test out prepackaging snacks for the girls! I put carrots and cheese cubes in some small rubbermaid containers, and divied up all of the cheese its into Ziploc containers. It's nice to pre-package it all when I have time, so then when the girls want a snack and I'm busy, they just have to grab the container and are all set! I think I'll be buying some more so that I can do this with all of our snacks! I just got a few to start out with in case I ended up not liking them. So far it's working well. I'd take a picture but the snacks don't last long, haha. They seem to really like it.

Overall I love the changes I've made. This didn't take very much time, I did it one day during naptime! I can't wait to start fresh with my next kitchen and organize everything from top to bottom!

To vote for me, go to this link and scroll down to hit the vote button on #98 Tara of FD Home Organizing. Thanks!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Resolutions in action

To attempt to keep things straight I'm going to post about my resolutions, what I've done so far and try to make some plans to get things done.

Seasonal goals: I have to sort through clothes and examine spending. We have a trip to the science center planned for this month. I already bought a new outfit for winter. And my fitness focus for this season is going to be my core and yoga.

Monthly goals: Instead of focusing on one room, I'm focusing on the Organizing Revolution Challenge.  I still have to find a special activity to do in town. Haven't blogged about fitness or health, but I think I will save that for closer to the end of the month. I'm planning on journaling tonight, once I get Matilda to sleep. And I've been keeping up with the budget, but need to take another look at it.

Weekly goals: McKaleigh and I spent New Years Eve together, just the two of us; we also went to Office Max together. I updated the schedule in my home management binder today. I did not plan out meals or workouts this past week, but I have time set aside to do it tomorrow night, for next week. I haven't hooped, and I haven't talked to my husband about finances.

I think I need to come up with some sort of checklist to make this easier to keep track of!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Organizing Revolution 2013: The Home Office

I recently just started reading the blog Clean Mama, thanks to pinterest:). And it seems that I started just in time! The Top Organizing Bloggers are having a month long challenge and it includes prizes!

This first week the challenge is to organize your home office. Since I am starting my home organizing business, (Fort Dodge Home Organizing,) this seemed like a great thing for me to do!

First let's start with my challenges.

#1: Moving soon! I'm hoping to purchase a house in the next month, so anything I do for the organizing challenge this month has to be completely adaptable to the new house.

#2: My desk. It was originally purchased for my husband to use, so it's not very functional as an office desk. There are zero drawers and no decent spot for my printer. This left my printer on the floor and my office supplies in a box in the closet.

#3: Paper clutter. I had my filing system halfway done, but until it was totally complete and I had created a home for everything, the papers just kept getting piled up.

My solution to the first two problems was to buy a cart with drawers! It gives me more than enough room for all of my office supplies and it's the perfect home for my printer! And it's a good home for my home management binder, because the easier it is to access, the more likely I am to use it. The bonus of course is that I can most likely make this work in my home office area in any home, because it's not too big and is easy to move around.

Inside the top drawers I used some little baskets to keep the drawers extra organized! I just love it:). Opening the drawers makes me happy!

For more storage, I bought the two pretty bins on top of the desk! They're cardboard and were $5 for the pair at Wal-Mart! I totally love them. The print is so pretty and you can't beat that price. I hung some pictures of my girls just to have something nice to look at, and the clock and calendar are a must in any home office space.

To tackle the paper clutter I finally finished sorting through everything and created a plan for taking care of paper work in the future.

 This is pretty much my whole system. The file folder on the desk is for paper that needs to be looked through, or that needs to be acted on. The box below is for things I need to file and keep long term. The black basket is where I toss my recycling.

Here is the whole space! I really love it. It was pretty budget friendly, especially since I bought most of this stuff over the course of a whole year. Taking little steps and buying what I could, when I could. I will definitely get a lot of work done here!

PS: I think the desk may have a makeover in its future, this spring when it's not so cold and the snow has melted. I want to keep it for the sake of saving money, but it is definitely not pretty and I think I could fix that, at least a little bit. So be on the lookout for that in the future!

PPS: Remember to vote for me! I'm #122! (But the number may change, so look for Tara at FD Home Organizing.)

Organizing Homelife

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resolutions for 2013

I love making resolutions, because I love making plans and goals. My trouble is always the follow through. This year is the first year that I am starting off on anti-depressants, so hopefully that will help me stick to at least some of my resolutions.

Resolution #1: Spend more quality time with my daughters.
Every season- Take a trip to the science center and zoo.
Every month- Do a special activity in town.
Every week- Spend one on one time with one of the girls, even if it's just grocery shopping.

Resolution #2: Make my house clean and organized.
Every season- Sort through clothes.
Every month- Choose a room to focus on.
Every week- Update home management binder with the week's schedule.

Resolution #3: Improve fitness and health.
Every season- Choose a specific activity to focus on.
Every month- Blog about fitness and health.
Every week- Plan out meals and workouts.

Resolution #4: Do things that make me happy.
Every season- Buy a new outfit.
Every month- Journal about how I'm feeling.
Every week- Hoop at least once.

Resolution #5: Improve finances.
Every season: Examine our spending and what can be changed or cut.
Every month: Set spending goals in our budget and figure out which areas need working on.
Every week: Talk to my husband about our finances, so that we're on the same page.

So there they are. These are my resolutions for this year. All pretty basic, but with specific tasks added in, to hopefully make them happen! What resolutions have you made for this year? Have they worked for you in the past? How do you hold yourself accountable?

I'm thinking about turning my resolutions into a printable that I can hang in my room.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The year in review

It's been quite the year. It's really hard to believe all that's happened in the last twelve months!

In January, we moved from Georgia to Iowa, and Michael moved to Korea. McKaleigh was sick starting on the 1st and was hospitalized by the end of the month. Michael came back on emergency leave in February for McKaleigh's liver surgery. In March, I continued classes for my associates degree. I had two internships in the spring and summer, so between that and being pregnant, I didn't have much time for anything else.

In July, Michael came home on leave, so that he could be present for our third daughter's birth. On August 6th Matilda was born and a few days later Michael returned to Korea. Later that month McKaleigh started preschool. Adelaide's 2nd birthday was in September, followed by McKaleigh's 4th birthday in October. I finished my last class in October and that was followed by all of the typical holiday celebrations.

This year we started some new Winter Solstice/Yule traditions. I started the morning at sunrise, reflecting on all of the regrets and negative things from the past year and "letting go" of it all into the darkness as the sun rose. The girls each opened a present, they also played in the snow and fed the birds. We made a Yule log, a Yule log cake, and a special meal. After supper we took our Wassail (a hot beverage) and went outside to burn the Yule log, with our wishes for the year written down and slipped under the ribbon of the log. We came back in and warmed up, while looking at a photo album full of pictures from this year.

It was a year full of lots of ups and downs, definitely a memorable one!