Friday, January 28, 2011


I have done quite a few organization projects in my home, I wanted a place where my followers can come to find all of them, room by room.
Here is the entire 750 sq ft (not counting the deck, attic, or game room) apartment: The dvd library/game room isnt considered part of our apartment, it is used by both us and my husband's parents. It houses our movie library, game collection and poker table.

BEDROOM: 1: Bedside drawers and my underwear drawer.
2: The bed AKA "desk" and my husband's desk
3: My Husband's drawers.
4: Our makeshift master closet.
5: The Linen Chest
6: Someday I will show you the extra storage I get under the bed.


1: Mail Box, Video Game Storage, Camera Box, Phone Accessory Box, Book Case
2: Ellie's Clothes Dresser (will show you that soon)
3: Ellie's Changing Table (will show you that soon)
4: Storage Ottomans (I might show you these eventually)
5: Dresser the TV sits on (has tons of organizing potential)
6: no more pile of junk in that corner


1: Liquor cabinet (will share soon)
2: glass dish cabinet (will share soon)
3: Paper storage
4: Pots and Pans storage (needs some tweeking, will share soon)
5: Junk Drawer and Junk Drawer revisited
6: Silverware drawer, Ziploc drawer, linen drawer.
7: Tupperware cabinet and drawer
8: Under the Kitchen Sink
9: Lazy Susan Corner shelf, Food Cabinets
10: Spice Cabinet
11: Fridge and Front of Fridge Decluttered
12: Freezer
13: Top of fridge and small party dishes storage
14: Coat and Broom "closets"
15: awkward cabinet that hides fuse box and networking wires. (needs work will share eventually)

THE BATHROOM: 1: Laundry Storage
2: Bathroom Cabinet, Medicine & Vitamin Storage
3: Medicine Cabinet
4: Under Bathroom Sink Cleaning supplies
5: Some day I want shelving or another cabinet above the toilet.

this picture does not show the massive piles of stuff and whatnot currently in the space. Its much easier to design and organize on a software program than in a real room...

1: Pantry Wall begun, Can Rack still not assembled, Pantry wall still unfinished, Beautiful Pantry wall
2: Chest Freezer
3: Coat Rack
4: Pile of stuff which is unfortunately not invisibale in real life
5: Scrapbook Paper rack
6: Scrapbook supply shelf needs work, Scrapbook Sticker Storage
7: "Office" Desk
8: Desk Drawer with Office supplies
9: Hubby's Shelf (still empty, some of the #4 stuff goes on it)
10: New Bookcase (will house photo storage, printer, non craft stuff)
11: Gift Wrap Organization
12: Would like to move the recycling organization center in here, once the room is done.
13: Craft Room Overhaul begins and Craft Room Overhaul Continues and just for fun Earths Coolest Ceiling Fan

I will continue to add links to this list as I complete more organizing projects. In case you are wondering, the floor plans were designed using a reasonably easy program to work with, completely free.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weekly Challenge, Small Things, Photo month, My own list

I love Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons, first she scheduled a daily organizing challenge right when I started getting that late pregnancy "nesting" feeling. And now, she is keeping us going with a new weekly challenge, right when my energy levels are lower and expecting my little bun to come out of the oven in the next few weeks. Worked perfectly.

If you weren't around when she started the challenge, I would like to challenge you to join the new weekly challenge, or go ahead and tackle any of the daily challenges the rest of us worked on throughout January. You wont regret it!

Loving the idea of the daily challenge before Toni's even started, I did some blog searching and came across Home Sanctuary, where Rachel Anne inspires us to do some small thing everyday. I wasn't sure what it was all about and didn't want to commit to 2 daily things, but after following her blog for about a month, and often participating in the small thing, I decided to actually keep track of the small things I do, and rack up some points. I have found that usually the small thing is actually multiple choice of several themed small things (candy inspired, "dispenser inspired and pirate inspired to name a few), so I can chose to do one, or more, small things from a list. I like that because I can personalize it to me. Also, with a new baby, I can pick whatever small thing best fits my energy level, household needs or just fun.

In addition to the weekly challenge and the daily small thing, I have my own to-do list. I wont be stressing over it, as the last few weeks of pregnancy should be stress free and enjoyable, with my amazing husband by my side, the entire pregnancy has been pretty great. But I also want to stay motivated to do what I can, when I can to improve our living quarters both before and after we get our new little roomie.

My ever-growing sometimes shrinking list:
THE OFFICE/CRAFT ROOM this is a big one, I have done some work on it but its a big job and I was kinda stuck because I needed some more book cases, my darling husband assembled one of them last night and him and a buddy moved another one up from his old bedroom in his parents house a few days ago, so that should give me some place to put a bunch of stuff. I really need to pull stuff out of the room, to give me room to work in there, and were having company over tomorrow, so that can wait for Monday.

THE PANTRY WALL (within the office/craft room) This gets its own place on the list, because it needs doing just as much as the rest of the room.

other than the paint on the walls, the shower curtain and my little jars on the counter, the bathroom is very plain. It hasn't bothered me because I had some holiday stuff in there for fall, Christmas and now Valentine's day, but my decorations have been limited to the counter top, or hanging from the medicine cabinet door handle. I need stuff up on the walls. I think a few shelves or a closed shelf/cabinet would be great for some additional storage.

I really want to stay on top of scrap booking this year, Its our first year married, Ellie is due in February and of all the scrapbooks I have made over the last few years, NONE have been for me, all were gifts. Its time to focus my paper crafting on my new little family and me.

we throw a lot of parties in our home theater/shop. More than 1 a month on average. Most are low-key, monthly UFC fight showings, various football games. Then there are some bigger ones, including SUPERBOWL(there is a box of decor, someplace that needs located this week), Daytona 500, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. Our wedding was held here last October and there are plans to host my nephew's wedding in a few months as well. We have quite a few party supplies, bowls, trays, extra silverware, table clothes, mass amounts of paper products, condiments, coffee supplies, cups, coolers etc. We need a good system for storing it all so that when party time comes, we can get out trays we need for our food and when someone brings a bag of chips or something, we know right where to go for a bowl for them. We also need to know how we are doing on supplies so we don't buy a new stack of plates for each party, or run out of hot dog boats because we thought we had another package, somewhere. There is a perfect closet in the shop I would like to house a shelving system for everything, but its currently used for other stuff.

our little attic holds all the long term storage for our loft, (there are other storage areas throughout the building for business and collections etc) all of our holiday decor and long term misc stuff is up there. Its KINDA organized but could use a better set up.

this is something that I know would benefit us, both health wise and budget wise. With our new baby, we plan on staying at home more and therefore eating at home more. We are really bad about eating out and take out, fast food and sit-down restaurants. We enjoy eating out and it has been part of our lifestyle for a long time, but it is a habit that is costing us a lot of money and makes it hard to eat healthy. I would like to set up a meal plan, including calorie counts for both of us and cost counts so we can better plan food into our budget. I have been putting off meal planning because my appetite has been so unpredictable during this pregnancy, but I'm motivated to eat healthy for breastfeeding and soon, weight loss.

ORGANIZE ELLIE'S EXTRA STUFF we have been given lots of great hand me downs, and they need sorted so that as she grows, I can easily find the next size up clothing, supplies and toys. I have pulled out all the newborn-3 month stuff, but I have a feeling shes gonna be a big baby and I will need the 3-6 stuff soon enough, currently everything past the 3 month mark is all jumbled together in a few bins. I also want a good organization system for when she grows out of stuff It can be stored for another baby a few years away.

ahh yes, I know that was one of the days of the 21 day challenge this month, but I knew it would be a big job, and that I had higher priority stuff to do getting ready for baby, so I skipped it. Jen at iheart organizing is focusing on photos as her February Challenge so I will ideally, participate in that challenge as well. I really like how she broke up the PAPER storage challenge in January into managable steps. I got most of my mom's photos a few years ago, after we gave her a scrapbook for mothers day, she let me take all the rest of her pictures, so I could organize them, make digital copies and more scrapbooks with them. I would love to finish that project and give the photo boxes back to her.

I am not giving myself a time line for all of the projects, (except Ellie's bigger clothes, and the photo challenge) I will use my blog, and the above challenges to keep me motivated.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Laundry Day! Day 10

I don't have a laundry room. Our loft is located in the top of a building on my in-law's property. I do laundry in the main house.

I WISH I could re-do that laundry room, (you would love the before picture) but I am certain that would offend and upset my mother-in-law(both the photo on the internet and cleaning it. I have visions of beautifying the space, dusting, decluttering, containerizing and organizing everything. I have considered braving the project when she is out of town as a welcome home surprise. Then I remember when we first lived together and my then-boyfriend said I could have a cabinet in the bathroom, so I organized under the sink, to have space to clear out said cabinet and she was very upset, not at me, at him. She was just offended and said she would have cleaned it out.
So I cannot re-do the laundry area. Only in my dreams.

Instead, I will share with you
My Laundry Routine:
I almost NEVER have piles of laundry, unfolded or folded around my house. Im not saying I keep up with the laundry, Im just saying I usually put it away right away. And I have a decent system for dirty laundry.

I carry a basket down and start/switch the laundry. If there was anything in the dryer, I fold it after starting the next load. If there was something in the washer, I move it to the dryer. Our dryer needs usually 20 extra minutes, and rather than going back up to the loft just to come back down, I waste some time in the house. I play with Annie, go through my mail, read a magazine, talk to the in-laws etc. To keep me in the laundry mood, I usually fold whatever came out of the dryer, or if there are any of my in-law's unfolded clean baskets (this doesnt seem to offend her, she will sometimes take out our laundry and fold it if I dont get to it in time) I put away what I folded if it belongs in the house, normally towels, (my MIL usually gets her clothes out right away to prevent wrinkles) I dont put away their clothes.

After about 15-20 minutes, I add time to the dryer, set an alarm on my phone and go up to the loft. As soon as I walk in, I put away any of my laundry. If Im on my last load, or if I found other things to do for 20 minutes, I will need to fold my laundry first. I DONT SIT ON THE COUCH. If I were to sit on the couch, I would probably fold the basket into piles, and then stay sitting on the couch while the piles sit around. I would lose my momentum and decide to deal with the clothes later. The stacks would get messed up, clothes would get unfolded. Instead, I take the basket directly into the room where it goes (either bathroom or bedroom). When the alarm tells me, I go switch the laundry. Sometimes we have dinner and watch TV with the in-laws on laundry day, so I switch the laundry, but dont have to go back and forth to the apartment, I simply put all the laundry away before bed that night.
In the bathroom:
Clean, unfolded laundry in basket -> folded and placed directly in towel cabinet (socks were also in this load, they got a stack on the counter)->Empty basket! The kitchen towels are also often mixed with the bathroom towels, so I make a stack for them on the bathroom counter too.
Since we roll the bath towels (makes it easy to grab one and supposedly they take up less space), its much easier to put them away after rolling than have a stack of rolled up towels that like to roll over and fall of the stack.

In the bedroom: I open the drawers, shove t-shirts, socks and underwear to the back of the drawer (straightening any that need it), to leave space up front for newly folded items, and leave the drawers partway open. I fold and hang everything, putting each item away as I go, (with the exception of my underthings, which are across the room from the rest of the clothes storage, and hoodies which hang in the coat racks, I make a pile for them on the bed, and put them away as soon as everything is folded and away).


I don't fold my sheets when I wash them. I just wash them early in the day and leave the bed naked until they're dry and make the bed with them (I get to enjoy that fresh laundry smell better this way). I do have an extra set of sheets in my linen chest, in case something comes up and I cannot finish the laundry, or whatever.

How I store dirty laundry:
I used to have mis-matched tall hampers and short baskets in both the bedroom and bathroom. When we had company over, I would hide a basket of dirty laundry in either the bathtub, the office or the bedroom. That got annoying and didnt look nice when company wasnt coming. So early this month, I had some fun money in my budget (is it sad or awesome that I bought laundry baskets with "fun" money?) and bought 2 hampers that matched one I already had. They have lids and the handles are much easier for carrying down the stairs than any of the others. They're tall, so they don't take up much real estate in my bathroom.

Feeling like I aught to do SOMETHING for Day 10's challenge, I finally made labels for the basket lids. I don't worry about keeping the baskets straight, just the lids, and they stay in the bathroom when I take the laundry down to the house. I went to and made labels (I wrote a tutorial here)
A peel and a stick and ta-da:
I also have a hamper in the bedroom, it gets sorted into the bathroom hampers whenever its full, or on laundry day. Another small basket in our bedroom holds the clothes that we have worn but will wear again, usually just jeans, hoodies and bras.

No big awesome transformations, I wish I could give you a glimpse into my brain and all the beautiful ways I would re-do the in-laws laundry room, you would love it.

For some real life awesome Before and Afters, check out DAY 10 at A Bowl Full of Lemons

Master Closet ~ Day 19

I will again tell you how we don't have any closets. At all. It was all part of the plan. Sometimes I question the plan.

To give you an idea about the layout of the loft here is a floor plan:
A close up of the bedroom:

When we planned the loft, we intended on getting some IKEA PAX wardrobe units to go along the bottom wall, from the corner to almost the door. Then perpendicular to that, an IKEA Expedit shelf to separate the bedroom from the rest of the apartment, about where the current armoirs are now. Money changed the plans a bit. The armoirs we have are actually book cases, with the shelves removed and tension shower rods in for hanging clothes. It works pretty well actually.

This challenge was easy peasy, because I purged some clothes before I moved in with Mikey about a year ago. I purged again when we moved in. Also, we really don't have more clothes than we need. Mikey is a bigger guy, so its expensive to buy clothes for him, and I just don't have the desire to own more clothes than I can wear. Having a minimalist attitude toward clothes helps me avoid hugemungous piles of dirty laundry, I HAVE to do laundry weekly, or we both run out, it works very well. It also helps that any clothes that don't fit my pregnant belly are packed in the attic.

BEFORE: I put away a load of laundry between the before and after, I purged a t-shirt that had some stubborn stains and didn't fit well anyway. I straighted up some Roy G Biv errors and moved empty hangers to the end of the rod. White Grey Black Brown came before Red in the rainbow.

Years and years ago, Oprah had some organizing pro on her show and she mentioned a really simple/big impact thing one can do in their closet to visually declutter, is to have all matching hangers. I think this is so very true. not wanting to spend any money on hangers at the time, I traded hangers with my roommate, who didn't care about visual clutter. I had started with more white green and black hangers than any others. At that time, my clothes went on black, my boyfriend's were on white and rarely worn clothes were on green. They were separated in the closet which made it really easy to see where my clothes ended and his began, and at the most buried corner, the rarely worn clothes. Since then, we broke up, he got the green and white and I bought a few more packages of black hangers.

When I moved in with my now husband, his hangers were all mismatched too, but there were bunches of white, so we traded with his parents so we could have all black and white, I liked how we could separate them in our big closet. The clothes are still on different colored hangers even though we have our own cabinets for them. I do have a few of those huggable hangers, (at the end of the rod on the right) leftover from my personalised monogrammed wedding party hangers project. I accidentally packed away too many black plastic ones when I packed away my summer/non maternity clothes, so they are being used until I get that box out.

And AFTER: Under my clothes I have a few shelves, which I quite prefer over drawers.

BEFORE and AFTER: I moved a few things around, stretchy pants were stacked with warm-up pants and sweat pants. I needed another stack for pj pants (Im pregnant, remember). I really only have 2 pair of jeans that fit(currently), one is maternity, they other is just a baggy, low-cut pair. (the rest are packed away for now) I simply take the jeans off when I am home and they drape over a laundry basket or hang in the bathroom to air out a bit, and after a few times wearing them, I do laundry. T-Shirts for around the house are on the shelf, and a sweater that I love but dont want to hang is there too. (The rest of my hoodies hang in my "coat closet") My more commonly worn shoes live on the bottom shelf. I have an under bed shoe organizer under my bed for out of season/rarely worn shoes also. I sadly had to purge about 10 pairs of heels when the Dr said I had permanent damage to my ankle and prescribed physical therapy last year. I couldnt risk messing it up worse, so now, Im stuck with flats and very low heels, wedges.

In case youre curious, the back of the "armouirs" is covered to make it more pleasant for the living room side. You can kind of see it in this old picture from my fall decor post The book cases were slightly different heights, I took the shelves and made them seem the same height from the living room side. The blue fabric is a flat sheet that used to be a curtain in a previous life. I used a command hook and leftover chain from our hanging potrack to hang a daisy poster (I got at a yardsale for free) I fully intended on this being a temporary set up, but we have realised we can live with this for as long as we need to in order to pay down debt before making the big IKEA purchases.

So nothing mind boggling here, just a simple solution to not having closets.

Im Linking to Day 19 Master Closets at A Bowl Full of Lemons

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Freezer ~ Day 11

I went grocery shopping the other day, and like i usually do, I bought a big bulk package of ground turkey, to divide up into meal sizes. I cooked it up and portioned it tonight and decided enough was enough I needed to finally organize my freezers. I will try to blog this but my fingers are awfully cold!

My kitchen freezer wasn't really that bad. Because I am good at Tetris. It was packed to the brim. The chest freezer was maybe 1/4 full. Because I am good at piling stuff on top of it.

I will remain good at Tetris, thanks to my PS2, not my freezer.
I will probably always put stuff on top my chest freezer. I'm human.

Let me tell you a story about the top of a lovely chest freezer.

Once upon a time, it was covered in stuff and pantry foods. Then I needed inside, so I moved the stuff off, and put the pantry foods in a laundry basket while I got inside, the laundry basket went back on top. Then I needed to return the laundry basket to the laundry room. So everything went back on top the lovely freezer. Then I created my temporary pantry and the food was relocated. Then I was organizing the craft room and needed a surface. So it held my "OUT" box (donations and stuff that doesn't belong to me) and my "HOUSE" box (stuff that belongs at my in-law's house). Then one lovely day, I decided to finally do day 11 of the freezer challenge and had to get inside again.
The End.

Chest freezer BEFORE:
No need for organization, because it was so bare. I organized it anyway:
Meats went into baskets, one for chicken, one for pork and turkey. Another basket for veggies. Misc stuff on the edges.
Now I could add to it, since my fridge freezer was so full BEFORE:
I pulled everything out, sorting onto the kitchen counter:

I put a lot of it back, except duplicates of items, rarely used items, and less convenient food items.

The top drawer holds fruit and vegetables, and a few of the 12 cans of juice: In the front of the freezer is a great little tray, used to be full of juice concentrate, now holds items that don't want to be buried: yes those are hot sauce packets, I read somewhere, a blog probably (let me know if that was yours I'll credit you) to freeze ketchup packets as tiny ice packs for kitchen burns or little boo boos. I'm pretty clumsy and will likely need a tiny ice pack at some point in the future.

Also in the tray, a bigger ice pack, margarine, frozen waffles, (both homemade and Eggo), and shredded cheese (we bought a hugemungous bag when we bought our wedding food, and didn't want the leftovers to go bad, so we froze it in smaller packages), we add it to chili, or casseroles. Freezing cheese does kinda mess with the texture, but really not too bad, especially when mixed with other foods.

Next, ice cream and Popsicles were divided off:

Only one of those are my husbands. I must be pregnant.

The left of the bottom drawer now holds dinner food: We eat a lot of convenience-y foods, the bag dinners are actually not too bad for you, have bunches of veggies and lean meats, they are easy to cook, just add a little water in a skillet for like 13 minutes. The TV dinners are eaten much less often, we bought them when I had barely any appetite and was feeling sick often, easy for either of us to eat when the other wasn't hungry, or not home. Or when we were feeling very lazy.

The cheese tub is leftovers from tonight's dinner, Hamburger Helper stroganoff, we ate about 2/3s (and big salads) and froze the rest for another easy dinner. We used to be bad at portions and would have eaten the entire thing in one sitting, even with a side veggie. We are working at paying closer attention to portions, not just for health reasons, but for budget. The Hamburger Helper was on sale and I had a coupon so was $0.80 + 1 can of mushrooms, 1/2 lb of ground turkey (bought in bulk) and 3 cups of milk. About $2 for 3 dinner portions, and it was soooo yummy.

The rest of the food was organized into the black plastic bins I already had, (had bunches of them from my old apartment, they lived on top my cabinets to add storage to that small kitchen) and added to the chest freezer.

I divided the veggies into 2 baskets: Everyday veggies on the left and party veggies on the right. I only use frozen spinach in spinach dip, and like the cheese, that is a bunch of chopped onions leftover from the wedding. We throw a lot of parties with chili, hot dogs and nachos, we just put about half a bag of onions out in a bowl each time. Much cheaper than buying a small thing of chopped onions each time (like we used to). Much more convenient than chopping a fresh onion each time. There is also half a can of diced chilies frozen in a baggie, from when I make a small batch of artichoke dip.

Both baskets were stacked in the chest freezer: The rest of the juice cans, some Italian sausage rolls and leftover hot dogs went in the basket that came with the freezer:
A few misc items were put on the bottom, between the baskets. Including our bride and groom wedding cake topper cupcakes. We cut the top tier of our "wedding cake"... we are saving these for our 1 year anniversary instead:

I really think these baskets will help utilize the freezer. It was so bare before because I knew if I didn't use baskets or something, I would never see whatever items were on the bottom. Now, I don't need to worry. Which is great because before Ellie is born, we are stocking up on food more, so we always have something. Also, our income might be cut drastically in the near future, and we want to get in the habit of eating at home more and shopping smarter.

I am really glad to have gotten this done, and thanks to this blogging, my fingers are finally warmed up!

Im linking to Freezer, Day 11 ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons Organizing Challenge

Mail Station? Paper Storage ~ Day 17

I dont have a mail station, but I NEED some kind of system for organizing papers. This has been on my mind since Jen at iheartorganizing decided January was the perfect month to get papers organized, to start the year off right. She has some great tips and aweswome examples, iheart her, check her out!

I have paperless statements for all my bills/statements, so I dont get much mail that needs filing. I do get junk mail/coupons, magazines, invitations etc. Also we bring home lots of paperwork from the midwives about the baby/pregnancy, and Im sure there is going to be even more paperwork when Ellie is born.

This is my mail routine:
~Mother-In-Law gets the mail from the box (we live on the same property, so we have the same address)
~She pulls out our stuff and makes a little pile on her kitchen table.
~Every day or so, when im in the house for something, I go through it.
~I open everything and make a stack of recycle (junk, envelopes etc) and a stack of "deal with it"
~Both stacks go up to our loft.
~I put it someplace, usually either the entryway dresser or the kitchen counter.
~When I am cleaning the area, I put the recycling in the recycling bin and deal with the rest.
~The "deal with" stuff usually stays a pile, until I need something in the pile, then I get it out.
~Very rarely do I "deal with it"

Its NOT a perfect routine.

I used to be very organized, had a folder for everything in my file box, a little coupon holder, a recipe book, a spot for owners manuals and receipts, previous years bills and papers were filed away, sorted in cronological order, stapled together etc. Mail was immediately divided (i had roomates) recycling was recycled, personal stuff was shredded, the rest was filed.

Then I moved out of my apartment, in with my husband at his parents' house. We lived with them for about 8 months during construction. I didnt have a good file system in place during that time. All of our new papers were mixed together in a big bin. When we moved in to our loft, my file boxes were somehow buried in storage. The bin got fuller, and it became harder to find what we were looking for at any given time.

Awhile back, I did some purging and sorting, but, not having a file box, the organization stopped at piles, in 2 bins.

Not having any designated place for new stuff only added to the issue. I kinda had a system. Coupons/receipts/recipes went into a drawer(with other misc catch all stuff), the few statements that come by mail went into either the catch all drawer or the bins, magazines and baby paperwork went into a storage ottoman.

I do NOT like how things are (not) working currently.

I got a couple of Target $1 zone accordian file folders the other day (the 1st purchase for the 21 day organizing challenge). My nice file box is still buried in storage. I couldnt justify buying another fancy one, the one buried matches my other office stuff and is plenty big enough, and mobile, like it want. These $1 ones will suffice for now.

I started to gather all the paperstuff from around the house.

The bin and catch all drawer BEFORE: I sorted everything into piles, purging any obviously not needed stuff (expired coupons, old shopping lists, junk mail, etc).

(There is another bin of paperwork that is all sorted, waiting for the long term file box that is lost in storage, its not included today, because its already sorted.)

Most of the piles: There are piles for: keepsakes, wallet stuff, coupons, magazines, notebooks, receipts, all things baby, recipes, recycle, and file-away stuff.

The drawer is destined for a better life, as is the under bed tote:
Coupons, receipts, and a couple other sorted piles went into dividers in one accordian file.

All the baby stuff went into the other, unsorted, yet.

My collection of piles shrank:Above you see the 2 $1 accordian files, and a stack of blank notebooks. The magazines moved to a storage ottoman, recipes to a recipe book, keepsakes to the keepsake box in my craft room, and I need to start a binder for owner manuals. The blank notepads will find a home in the craft room/office.

I still need to do some work on this, and hopefully get into the storage garage and try to find those file boxes, but it is much better now.

Seriously, my husband just got home and said "you've got mail" and set it down on the counter right as I was typing this.

ETA: So I realized that other bloggers are including the outgoing mail stuff, and although I dont have a "mail station" persay, I do have a system. Remember, I organized my "MAIL" box on Toy storage day. My front door is metal, so when I have outgoing mail, it gets clipped to the door with a magnetic clip. I pay bills online, so other than mass mail (Christmas cards, party invites, thank you notes, etc) Its pretty rare to have outgoing mail.

I'm linking to A Bowl Full of Lemons Day 17 ~ Mail Station

Medicine and Vitamin Organization~ Day 15

I really didn't need to DO anything for this challenge, besides blog it, which is why I'm a few days late, blogging has been lower on my priority list as we've been preparing for Ellie everyday.

I store some vitamins and more common meds in a basket on top of the fridge:
You already saw my daily vitamin organization when I touched up my junk drawer:

This basket holds my daily vitamins(prenatals, magnesium and iron) and Tylenol, Zantac and Advil, and my pill splitter, (my tummy can only handle 1/2 a magnesium at a time) I love the weekly pill case, I fill it up weekly, or whenever I feel like it before its empty, it helps me remember when to take which vitamins.

Hubby and I take chewy gummybear vitamins, you may remember that they live in the spice cabinet: We take out a handful of each kind, (calcium, daily, C, and fish oil) and put them in a little Pyrex bowl with a airtight lid. Each of the chewys are different shapes/flavors so we just take 2 of each one(except me, I don't take the daily, since I take prenatals), gets him a little bit of "candy" for his sweet tooth. (the fish oil ones have a unpleasant after taste, so we take them first, so the others cover that up) The bowl lives on either the counter or hubby's desk or night stand, wherever he is when I remind him to take them.

I had already gone through my meds when I organized my bathroom cabinet, tossing any expired or icky stuff. I did come across a Tylenol bottle the other day though that was half full of 2 different pills that weren't Tylenol and 1 Tylenal pill, I took the Tylenol and tossed the others. I'm pretty sure they were Advil and acai supplements, and that it came from when my sister lived with me, she used to take acai and kept that mixed bottle in her purse, but that was over a year ago, so I tossed it. The bathroom cabinet is still organized 7 weeks later. The OTC meds are under the shelf. The Rx stuff (mostly, inhalers, migraine meds and allergy meds) are in that bottom right hand stacking container.
A close up of the OTC meds: the one on the left is all the less commonly used OTC meds, on the right is the bigger packages, cough drops, Costco size NyQuil and Airborne. The one on the left could be more organized, but for everything to fit, I didn't want any extra containers or whatever, so its fine.

Im linking to Vitamin/Medicine StorageDay 15 at A Bowl Full of Lemon's 21 Day Organizing Challenge

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

pantry wall, unfinished day 7

So the pantry wall isn't done yet, but I made some progress, kinda felt forced to after we went grocery shopping and even the best Tetris skills couldn't get everything to fit in the Kitchen Cabinets.

I didn't take a before picture of the cabinets, because i wasn't really planning on blogging it, i was just putting groceries away, but it ended up being pretty organized, for now.

I ended up relocating some of the food from the kitchen cabinets to boxes for the pantry for now, all the less often used stuff, and the duplicate stuff.

I did take a BEFORE picture of the "pantry wall" corner

I had previously worked on starting this wall here

I did a bunch of work in the rest of the room, which I will share more in another blog post. I needed to make space in the room to move some things around so we can assemble our can rack: I moved all the food stuff off of the chest freezer, (yes i know i haven't completed that day's challenge yet, the craft room is more pressing) and over to a stack of boxes that are waiting for a book case to be assembled also. This is my temporary "pantry" It isn't really in any of an organized fashion, that can wait until it finds a new home.

We will get that darn rack assembled, eventually and it will go between the metal shelving unit and the corner.
That pantry wall corner AFTER Until I get that corner looking good, I will show you the food cabinets in the kitchen: above the microwave/hood are all the canned foods, they will eventually move to the pantry wall, but not until i get my can rack assembled. The cabinet to the right of that holds cereal and boxed dinner foods. The extra cereal on top the cabinets will also move to the pantry (there is more in a basket, that you cannot see)

I love that we have a lazy Susan (how sad would it be to be so lazy someone would name a rotating shelf after you? poor Susan) in the lower corner cabinet, it helps keep things from being hidden in the back.
Notice the pink measuring cups Command hooked to the cabinet door?

Let me spin that Susan for you:

Top shelf has peanut butter, a little basket of Kool-Aid and misc packets, granola bars, and salad toppers (bacos, sunflower seeds, croutons and french fried onions). Bottom shelf has canned and dried fruit together, a container of nuts/raisins, and a bunch of drink mixes. My modular mates for sugar and flower fit beautifully under the bottom shelf, so even though the rest of the baking stuff in modular was relocated to the pantry, these stayed, I plan to get some more though, for some misc items instead, since I so rarely use flour, and I keep a smaller sugar container in my spice cabinet I might just have a Tupperware party this month to get some more Modular Mates, since theyre on sale, or some other container that will fit down there.

Having a small-ish kitchen, and no pantry (yet) I opted to put baskets on top the cabinets (review the can cabinet picture above) for added storage. They hold rarely used items: Frostings, food colorings, extracts and sprinkles. Cookie cutters and silicone baking cups. Corn on the cob holders and deviled egg trays. Cupcake liners. (all of my holiday specific sprinkles, cookie cutters and other accessories are stored in the holiday's decorations boxes that only come out for the season. I don't want to look for a plain cupcake liner and find some holly-berry lead ones, or jack-o-lantern ones.)

I also have baskets on top the cupboards for excess cereal, Magic Bullet blender/attachments, misc rarely used glass stuff (shot glasses and sugar/creamer containers). Also, one for the saved-from-recycling lidded containers (like from sour cream and stuff) that I pull down when we have a party and want to send leftovers home with people, it doesn't clutter up my Tupperware cabinet this way, and lots of our parties are in our home theater/shop, so I just take the entire bin down there.

Ok, so Im finally posting my "Pantry"

check out some actual pantries at A Bowl Full of Lemon's Pantry link party, day 7

Monday, January 17, 2011

already did day 14 on day 5

I already posted about my bathroom sink here on day 5, so I will be using today to work on my pantry wall, its a big project.... Its a good thing Im "nesting" and feel like getting things done, or I would probably just skip today.

I do still need to get the last black basket out of storage for the rest of the cleaning supplies, along with a bunch of his buddies for my pantry storage, maybe I will post a more accurate AFTER pic...

for even more Under Bathroom Sink organization, check out Day 14 @ A Bowl Full Of Lemons

Friday, January 14, 2011

Medicine Cabinet (touch up) Day 13

I'm so glad I finally have a legitimate reason to share this story with blogland.

My husband is in the bathroom getting ready to go when I hear him start laughing, I ask "whats up?" He chuckled "come here". Curious, I come see. He had mistaken his black can of Edge shaving cream with his black can of Axe deodorant. He had shaving cream in his arm pit! I laughed so hard!

(would it be mean to make a label that says "NOT DEODORANT" for his shaving cream?)

Anyways, this did NOT happen due to a cluttered mess, the medicine cabinet was still organized from when I did it and my bathroom cabinet here.

See the AFTER from almost 7 weeks ago next to the BEFORE from today:
(apparently I use a jug of mouthwash each month, that's a new one)

There was one tiny aspect of the medicine cabinet that needed a little tweaking though.
The winter weather made me bring out my lip treatment stuff, and the medicine cabinet seemed like the perfect place for it. This wonderful little dish wasn't working any more.
When I first realized this could be improved, I got the idea to attach some magnets to the wall, above the dish, on the inside of the cabinet, to stick the nail clippers and tweezers to, but I don't have any magnets strong enough (I tested all the ones I had on hand) and Ive decided not to buy anything unnecessarily for this challenge, or until February when I can spend some more "fun money".

So I came up with plan B: Rather than putting the clippers and tweezers inside, I hung them off the side of the votive holder, so they'd be easy to grab. Also, my husband sanitizes his nail tools after use, he can just fill the little cup with alcohol rather than getting a different cup and leaving it out on the counter like he did last time.

The lip stuff went into a different candle holder, (I'm glad I'm getting to use some of my candle holders, Ive given up candles due to my husband's sensitivity to smells and smoke, the toothbrushes are in one too)