"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." ~ C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

29 Day Organizing Challenge ~ 3rd Progress Link Up

    I'm not gonna make it. I am so behind. I feel very discouraged now, mainly because I have failed to meet yet another deadline. I thought a month was going to be a great time frame. Honestly, right now it doesn't seem enough. It isn't that the space is super overwhelming, it's everything else.
    I don't want to sound all "woe is me," but it has just been really hard and I have been facing numerous setbacks, and although I am not participating in this challenge for the prizes, I still feel somewhat let down that I haven't finished within the time frame allotted. Positive note: I am still going to continue, and post what I have done on March 1st (whether it's all done or not.)
    Back pain, and crazy kids...those are the set backs, and while my kids are a blessing to have around everyday, it isn't so easy to get much done when I am trying to pull my little climber off the TV stand, or one of the cats. 
    So where am I at with the space? Basically I have gotten rid of so much, I am just waiting to bring the dresser down from my son's room to use as extra storage. I have purged quite a bit (see my purge piles below.) And I need to paint.
     The main difficulty I am having is scraping the wallpaper, and while I know this challenge isn't for designer spaces...the walls are something I have been wanting to do for a while. Another thought is that if my husband and I actually appreciate the aesthetics of the space, then perhaps we may make more of an effort to keep it tidy. The current energy is just "blah," and I don't want the "blah" to continue even after all my hard work. 
   I am still trying to figure out what to do in the corner where the kids' table used to be, I don't want to put another item of furniture there as another dumping ground surface. I'm still thinking of what I want to do, and I am ok with leaving it be for now. I will just move the cat food and water in that space until I make a decision...perhaps a plant that has purifying properties...for looks and health.  Anyhow, much to do not many pictures to post.Until March 1st...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

29 Day Organizing Challenge ~ 2nd Progress Link Up

   Oh Wow! What an ordeal! There were so many set backs to this project recently...getting sick, going out of town, yadda yadda yadda.  So I am a bit late, had to undo the huge mess that accumulated since my last progress link up. *Sigh* This is hard. 
    In my last post I said I should include my hubby on what works for him in this space, and what he would like to see...I made mention of it to him, but of course in the hubby fashion he was vague. Knowing him, and knowing our habits as a family, I think I can break it down to the following:

 1) My hubby always thinks I hide items on him, or make new homes for items without telling him. Not True. My hubby has a habit of putting items back in a location from which he did not take them. Good grief. This doesn't just happen in the dining room. Solution?  Labels, labels, and more labels! I love labels. I actually labeled my daughter's dresser drawers to make it easier for him to find clothes...that helped tremendously. So I will label and educate my hubby on where I would like things to go.
2) Putting items back in their location after we are done with them. Guilty. Yes me, guilty!  Many times I create "piles" of items that go in the same general direction, like a bag to take things upstairs, as I find running up and down a zillion times a day to be a bit annoying. Solution? A basket on the stairs leading to the upper level to collect items, and take them up when I go up, put items in designated spot before I come back down. Yeah right! I will try...I like the idea of a specific basket on the stairs to prevent clutter in our dining room. Same goes for downstairs, often we have dirty kitchen rags, or recycling, or other items that need to go outside or down in the basement...same philosophy applies. I bought two wall mounted waste baskets from the ever so loved IKEA, and plan to use one for rags, and one for recycling and they will just stay in the side hallway until one of us heads out. Done.
3) The biggest issues for us in the room are lazy habits putting coats on chair backs instead of hanging them up, and our built in counter top becomes a dumping ground. Solution?: Hooks in the side entry to hang up coats, purses, as well as any shopping bags (until we have time to put items away).

   OK, now that I know what I need to do, working on the above is part of the process...and then I digress to other things in the room...like wall color. I loved the lime green a while ago, and basically just wanted our new dreary bought home to look bright and cheerful. Now the color annoys me and I want something more neutral, and more calm. My brother was very generous to give the hubby and I a boatload of paint he had left over, and some was never used. 

So before I make too many changes I wanted to paint the walls. Problem: when I painted the walls before I didn't realize the previous owner painted over wall paper until I was half way through, and then I just repeated his mistake. So scraping away I go.
    My son has a dresser/hutch combo that we used in his room first as a changing table, and now a dresser...but his needs have changed, and I want something more of his height, but I don't want to get rid of the dresser/hutch...what to do oh what to do? TA DA! I can repurpose it in the dining room as a china cabinet, to store some linens and other items. Yay me! It is pretty heavy and I don't want to paint after the piece is moved into the room, so this is just one more rationalization of scraping the walls to paint NOW!

    I'm becoming long winded, I know...but a lot has happened so bear with me.  I made some fixes to broken chairs so they could function, all that was required was some wood glue. I took everything out of our microwave cart and sorted and started a purge pile, including the cart itself. Then I tackled the built in which was already somewhat organized, but I knew many of the items in there I could part with. Victims: A multi-colored set of wine glasses, some Crate & Barrel mirrored coasters, vases, an old plastic dish, a trivet, more coasters, some napkins...and the others I couldn't decide on went into the sort box. So this is my progress:

   My goal is to have the walls scraped by the end of the week...I am determined. I am still having difficulty thinking about what to do with the diapers we want to have available on our lower level, I want to keep them out of sight and I like the idea of an over the door shoe storage for our entry closet, but I want to have some larger pockets, so I came across the following here. Ideas Ideas Ideas...will this project ever be finished? I'm glad we at least have a month! ;-) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

29 Day Organizing Challenge ~ 1st Progress Link Up

   Ok, so here I am, a little over a week since starting this challenge, and I feel like I haven't made much of a dent. It has been pretty difficult trying to focus, let alone get things done, with many annoyances in the way. Kudos to you moms who have kids AND a clean house!  My little munchkins have been consuming so much of my time, and my 3 year old is going through a phase where he wants to be by my side at ALL times! So, hence the difficulty getting this project under way. My 18 month old? Well, that's a different story. She's my climber. Enough said.  With time being an issue, as well as recent back pain, there is a cloud of doom lurking over this space... I am impatiently waiting excited for that light of happiness and hope to swallow up that nasty cloud!   OK, enough about above mentioned woes...time to kick some booty! To my dining room and foyer: I will take control of you. Muahahahahaha! (sneering) 
    So like I said, just over a week into this challenge...I got the space cleaned up a bit, and put the diaper boxes to use as my sorting boxes. I labeled them: 'donate, keep, sort, toss' and then I added a bag for 'relocate.'  I couldn't limit my items to keep, toss, donate...because my goal was to just start tackling the items and if I hesitated I didn't want to make a rash decision. (I have done that way to many times and ended up wishing I never got rid of the item in the first place.) So my keep and sort are pretty similar. The 'keep' box is for items I want to keep in the dining room/foyer, the 'sort' box is for items that I am unsure if I want to keep, donate, toss, and if I should keep it then where should I designate as its home? The 'relocate' bag is for items that do not belong in the room and already have a home. There. Sounds complicated, but once I relocate everything and sort through everything I will go through the boxes again and really challenge myself with what I should keep or donate.
    Since this first week found me in a time crunch, I tried spending as much time possible figuring out what I wanted to do with this space and problem solve. I asked myself many questions... How did I want this room to function?  What were the problem spots?  What habits needed to change in order for the room to function properly? What can I part with? Other than organize the space, what else can be done to make it visually pleasing? What can I bring to this room that I already have? My mind flooded with ideas, color schemes, furniture, DIY projects...and then I had to take a deep breath and bring myself back to the task at hand. All the DIY, painting, etc could be done at a later time. I really needed to concentrate on purging, and sorting and really trying to make our system work this time around effectively for myself and hubby (and the kids too).
    As I sit here typing this, a brilliant thought just came to my mind. I really need to ask my hubby what he envisions with this space, and what areas he finds problematic etc. If habits are going to change, I can't expect others to conform to my idea of what works if it drives them nuts doesn't make sense in their eyes. DUH Denice! Below are my progress pictures, and it doesn't seem like much has changed. On the contrary...it has. The boxes are empty, some of the space cleared, and of course don't forget that brainstorming! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Org Junkie's 29 Day Challenge (Day 1)

   Well...it's here, finally, my blog.  I have been wanting to do this for some time, and eventually this blog will be AWESOME, but what got me to finally start was the challenge to get organized from Org Junkie's Blog. http://orgjunkie.com/challenge which is a 29 day challenge to organize one room. Well, I have my work cut out for me, and although it was difficult to decide on which room to work on, I chose the dining room/foyer combo.
   I mainly chose this room because it has become a dumping ground for EVERYTHING, whether it be from coming in the house with bags from the store, cleaning and making "piles" to take to the basement, Goodwill, friends, but never seem to get to their destination quickly, and last but not least, has become our coat closet...this last part is pretty sad because our coat closet is around the corner, but it is also difficult to get to due to kitty clutter. *Sigh* hopefully I can accomplish this, and I am not in it for the prizes, but I want to get my butt in gear.
   I used to be a pretty organized gal, but marriage took that all out of me. It was so difficult to assimilate my routine with my husband's, and our styles and ideas of "order" were different, so I just gave up. This just trickled down further to the birth of my two kids...enter more items, therefore more clutter...  While I pride myself in being orderly, one wouldn't know it if stepping foot in my home. All that is about to change. See my heinous before pics of the challenge area.Oh I am so ashamed. Behold, my mess: