Monday, January 31, 2011

365 Photos Day 31


Paying bills. And being grateful that we are able to pay everything easily with (some) money left over, unlike when we were first married and having to decide between paying a bill and eating.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

365 Photos Day 30


Today was spent searching for the perfect storage containers for computer software. I haven’t a clue whether or not any of these will work as I completely forgot to measure the size of the CD cases before I set out.

But, at least they look nice.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

365 Photos Day 29


I spent most of my day cleaning my husband’s home office, with the help of the Kid. There’s still a small bookcase to be gone through, and some things that need relocated down to The Basement of Doom, but pretty much, it’s good to go.

I like the challenge of bringing order to chaos; it’s one of my many talents.

But this room almost bested me. Almost.

This was a before picture from earlier this week. This is NOT how it looks now.

365 Photos Day 28


I love these doorknobs and backer plates. They’re on all our first floor interior doors.

When we built this house, we wanted it to look like an old house that’s been updated. Like one of our Grandma’s had left it to us, and we just remodeled it a bit.

I think the attention to the small details is what gives this new house character. I insisted on having push-button lightswitches on the first floor, because we had that in various rooms in the old house (the electrician said, “Can’t find any.” I said, “Give me an afternoon, the Internet, and my Visa.”).

We’ve heard from many people that our house looks like it’s been here for over a hundred years, which is exactly what we were aiming for.

Friday, January 28, 2011

21 Days to Getting Organized Day 21

I'm kind of sad that this challenge has come to an end...but happy that there'll be weekly challenges to keep me going. The house is definitely improved (except for a couple of rooms, to be dealt with soon) and I'm more at peace. I've also enjoyed visiting other people's blogs and seeing how they're doing. :)

Day #21 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (You pick!)

The "you pick" option always momentarily paralyzes me. I have to think about which spot needs it the most, which spot will give me the biggest improvement, which spot will be the PERFECT spot to do. However, I also remember the FLYLady saying of "You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?" which reminds me to just pick a spot and go.

That said, I really was looking forward to cleaning out my husband's office on Thursday night.

Here's what it looks like:

But he had to work on some things for the Knights of Columbus, so couldn't until the weekend. Well, dang.

So, I came back to my office, and looked around. And saw this pile by my desk:

I'd cleaned the rest of my office on Day 9, but had ignored this corner, because well, it was all CONTAINED, right?

But after having a nice clean desktop and office for a couple of weeks, this pile HAD TO GO.

So, with my normal supervisory crew in place, I started:

To start with I had 5 stuffed to the limit magazine holders, 2 binders, a big file folder, 1 big ziploc of house stuff, and a partridge in a pear tree. (OK, no partridge or a pear tree, but not for lack of trying).

I started with the magazine holder I stuff as much as I can into it put house project ideas I've sketched out on post-its, my lovely collection of paint chips, and other relevant house ideas in.

I sorted through it all, piece by piece. And recycled most of it

Here's the after(it's the black holder), with Izzy waking up long enough to come check things out:

Then I moved on to my library book-buying holders, where I put publisher's catalogs, notes to myself about good books, and various library related magazines.

And, recycled most of those as well.

Here's what is left from all I started with:

I decided to put the binders with my other library stuff, so it's all in one place, and put the remaining magazine holders under the table to create less visual clutter for me.

And then I put the pile of recycling in the bins:

Done! Now my whole office is clean! Yay!

While I was sorting things out, the top of my desk was crazy messy. I've become so used to having a cleaned off desk that it was really bothering me. Thank you, Toni, for hosting this awesome challenge. It's exactly what the house (and me) needed. :)

Since I'm done with this challenge, I get to say:

365 Photos Day 27


It’s time to do some collection development…I now have money in the library’s book/materials budget. So now I’m going through all my notes and dog-eared catalogs to see what’s on the must-have list this year.

It’s a grand time of year.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

365 Photos Day 26


Cheerios: Not just for breakfast.

In fact, I’d hazard a guess that I’ve eaten more bowls of Cheerios than actual real meals in my lifetime. They’re definitely an all-purpose food.

Can’t decide what to eat? No problem. Have some Cheerios. Pressed for time? No problem. Have some Cheerios. Don’t want to have to do lots of dishes afterward? No problem. Have some Cheerios.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

21 Days to Getting Organized Day 20

Day #20 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (Photos)

I almost skipped this one but I thought, "You know what? I've come this far, and she hasn't led me wrong yet. I'll do it. It's been on my list for a couple of years."

And so began the Great Photo Organizing of 2011.

First I got out the boxes and loose albums with our photos:

Then I brought them all downstairs to my office:

And started sorting them into piles, with a little help from Dart:

Once I got a system going, things went much smoother. I concentrated on getting the photos out of the (approximately 1.5 million) sandwich bags and into the photo albums. This was also where I started mentally smacking myself for not writing down the dates on the backs of the pictures:

Finally, that was (mostly) done, with the exception of pictures from my childhood. Some of those are already in the albums, so I just need to sort through and see which ones are duplicates. I also was able to set aside some to send my aunt, who lost many of her family pictures in a house fire a few years ago.

This is where I ended for the night:

My childhood pictures are contained in the photo box, waiting to be sorted through and I went from 2 boxes & loose albums to everything fitting into one box. I'll be looking for a better storage container for the albums...the cardboard mailing box just isn't really doing much for me. :) I also need to go through all the digital pictures saved on my hard drive. I have a feeling I'll be able to delete some.

365 Photos Day 25


This is a combination of me dreaming of warmer weather (so I can paint again) and making an actual plan for my home office (on my list of this year’s projects).

Right now my home office is red. Which is great…and not so great. Great because it sets off the bookcases (red oak & oak) really nicely. Not so great because the painter used a muddy brown primer underneath and red doesn’t have the same pop I’d envisioned it would. I’ve been really drawn to the color combination of red and a light turquoise and had thought I’d be re-doing my office along those lines.

Until this past week when I found 2 different things (a gift bag and a vase) in a purple-y fuschia-y color that I LOVE. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

So I’m currently going through my very substantial paint swatch collection to see if I can find something in that shade.

365 Photos Day 24


A trip down memory lane…

More specifically, trying to remember what order these pictures go in because I didn’t write anything on the backs of them.

I can tell right when I started school, though (Fall 2003) because there aren’t any/many pictures between then and when we got our first digital camera.

Monday, January 24, 2011

365 Photos Day 23


I saw this sign in the St Boni Kwik Trip this morning on the way to the Kid’s domeball games. Since the Cowboys didn’t make it past the regular season, I don’t much care about the games, but this was pretty funny.

The last line is awesome: You are not required to watch the football game to eat the pizza.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

21 Days to Getting Organized Day 19

Day #19 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (Master Closet)

I painted this closet this past summer, so I'd already sorted through everything. When I put the closet back together, I only put up one hanging bar to help keep everything under control (there were hanging bars with overhead shelves on all 3 sides, which really got to be a HUGE mess). Most of the clothes are my husband's work clothes, plus some of his at-home clothes. All my clothes fit into my half of the dresser, mainly because I only keep the clothes for the current season out (winter clothes are out now...turtlenecks & long pants; summer clothes are packed away: t-shirts and shorts in the box that's visible at the back of the closet).

Close up of the off-season clothes box (complete with Christmas doo-dads I forgot to pack up with the other Christmas stuff):

We don't have anything on the shelf, but that's mainly because I like the clean uncluttered look.

The one thing I meant to get last summer after I finished the closet overhaul was a shoe rack. It's not that we have a gazillion pairs of shoes but rather that everytime I vacuum in there, I have to move all the shoes. With a shoe rack, I can just move them all at once. Some of our shoes are down by the entry door, but that's a whole 'nother problem area.

So, tonight I went to Target and looked at shoe racks. I found one for $2.99 that'll do the trick.

Much better:

With a little help from Kit Kat, I cleared off the top of the dresser:

And went to my Room of Requirement (formerly known as The Closet of Doom) to find a basket that my husband can put the things he takes out of his pockets:

This is the other part of our Master Closet, but I disassembled it last summer when I was painting because 1) we didn't use it, and 2) it was actually supposed to be a linen closet, but the house plans weren't changed and I didn't catch it. I have plans for it this upcoming building/painting season though. :) It's right across from the main Master Closet. The hallway leads toward the Master Bathroom.

All in all...not too bad!

365 Photos Day 22


A Saturday evening well spent. Well, anytime at a bookstore is time well spent. I do like the randomness at Half Price Books, though. I never know what I’m going to find when I go there, which just adds to the fun.

21 Days to Getting Organized Day 18

Day #18 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (Keepsakes)

I had to think about where exactly our keepsake-y things are first, and then how we have them stored. The containers could definitely be niftier, but they work for now.

Here's the Kid's keepsake boxes on the top shelf of her closet:

The paper ream box has some baby stuff and some school stuff.

When she was in grade school, at the beginning of each year she'd get a folder with school information in it. I'd keep some of her projects, most of her awards, and some report cards and then stick them all in the folder, which then was put into the box.

When we were looking through it as I was taking the pictures, it was fun to see her reactions to some of it. I also noticed that I hadn't really saved much after 3rd grade, but I think that's because I went back to school myself when she started 4th grade and was overwhelmed by too much constant clutter and papers and so just tossed a bunch of stuff I'dve normally gone through and sorted out.

The blue box has some of the things she's collected over the years that she's not ready to part with yet. She has all of her medals from various softball tournaments, a container of shells, and who knows what else in there. As long as it's corralled, I don't care what's in there.

As for my husband's keepsakes, some are in his office and some are in a storage tote down in the basement, which I am not going to go looking for because the basement is alarmingly in need of organizing right now thankyouverymuch (this weekend's project, maybe).

My keepsakes are mostly photos, which are in boxes in my Closet of Doom (which isn't so Doom-y now).

For the "thing" keepsakes, some are in the cedar chest (the double-wedding ring quilt) and a hand-crocheted tablecloth, some are in storage containers in the basement (the family Bibles), but most I either use or display around the house. Yes, it'd be a Bad Thing if they got broken, but I'd rather have things that I USE than things that just take up space (One of my favorite sayings is, "Make yourself useful, not just decorative." The Kid rolls her eyes when she hears it.).

Friday, January 21, 2011

365 Photos Day 21


It's Friday, and that means it's delivery day at the library. We get deliveries twice weekly: Tuesdays & Fridays. Fridays are usually the BIG (4 or more completely full crates) delivery day, but today's wasn't so bad. That's probably because Tuesday's delivery came on Wednesday because we were closed on Monday, which messed up the normal delivery schedule by moving all of Monday's deliveries to Tuesday, and ours, which usually is on Tuesday to Wednesday. Yep.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

365 Photos Day 20


Eating an Oreo Brownie Earthquake Blizzard on one of the coldest days this year. You know, because eating ice cream when I’m already cold is such a good idea.

21 Days to Getting Organized Day 17

Day #17 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (The mail station)

I used to have a more centralized mail station until I rearranged the kitchen and repurposed the cabinet as the Tupperware cabinet. But that's OK because the way we sort mail doesn't need to be location specific. Most of our bills are set up as online billing & payment, so that cuts down on the amount of mail we have coming in every month. Also, we sort the mail as soon as it comes in, even if it's just a quick go-through.

Here's how it works:

The mail gets brought home from the post office:

It gets sorted out into 3 piles: 1 is recycling, 1 is garbage, and the last 1 is to-do something with.

Recycling goes into the recycling, garbage goes into the garbage, and then the to do something with pile is gone through, and sorted by whose mail it is.

Bills go here:

And people-specific mail gets put on his or her desk. (No pictures for desk is clean. Nobody else's is. Yet.)

For items that need filing, I get out the portable file:

When I was setting it up, I came across Toni's post about how she did her filing system, which was very helpful.

I have different categories (Auto, Cats, Insurance, Investments, Taxes), and we each have our own file folder. Within each category, there's a specific file folder for a specific thing, such as in the Auto folder, there are 2 file folders--one for the van, and one for the car.

I also have my family color coded for the big family calendar. It saves me having to write who's going where, and we can see at a glance who has what going on everyday. I've been known to get a little cranky when something gets sprung on me that SHOULD HAVE BEEN written on the calendar. ;) (I get the calendar from the Dollar aisle at Target, and keep the previous year's for reference so I can be forewarned about things that tend to come up every year.)

It's not fancy, but it works. Now if I could just get a good launch pad system going, we'd be set!