Monday, March 28, 2011

12 Week Decluttering Plan

I was reading Women's Day (don't laugh, it's an awesome magazine, and even if you are in your 20's!), and there was an article in the April 2011 issue about decluttering, and gave a 12 week plan on how to do this.  I have been real good about it lately, but could always use some more help.  So, I'm up for the challenge!
Here is a link to the complete article.

But, here is my recap of it.

  • Week 1: Attack the Obvious.  Connor and the pit of toys for me.
  • Week 2: Bathroom. 
  • Week 3s and 4: Public Rooms.  This will be my living room and sun room.
  • Week 5: Kitchen.
  • Week 6: Clothing
  • Weeks 7 and 8: Bedrooms (I've got 3, mine, con's,and guest)
  • Weeks 9, 10, 11: Attic (don't have one), Basement, Garage, Home Office (AKA room of computer doom)
  • Week 12: Throw Yourself a Party!
So, Week 1 is under attack.

Women's Day says "Begin with the area that's motivated you to declutter in the first place".  That for me is the pile of toys in the basement.  I had made up a wonderful toy room for Connor, and moved all the toys to the basement (except books and a few board games).  You can see the transformation here.

I have come to realize there is just too much stuff down there.  So I am purging.  I am tossing anything that is broken, missing pieces, or generally pisses me off.  This means, McDonald's toys, cars without wheels, and things that make noise.  I have a growing pile of things that he has outgrown and will be put in a garage sale this Spring.  I will work on pictures later.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peanutbutter Banana Chocolate Chip Sammy

  • 2 pieces of bread (whole wheat, of course)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Thinly sliced Banana

Spread peanut butter on two slices of bread, put chocolate chips and banana in between.  Put inside the waffle maker for 3 to five minutes.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sticker Stain

Connor loves this shirt. I don't. Neon yellow/green, it just is not my color.

Anyway, he put one of those big square stickers on his shirt, the kind you get at the bank. I didn't check his clothes carefully enough before tossing it into the washing machine. And then into the dryer. So the sticker left an awful residue.

Fortunately a few months ago I recalled reading about what to do if this happens in a magazine, maybe Good Housekeeping or Real Simple. Get out your Goo Gone, or WD-40, a washcloth and a toothbrush.

First, soak the area with Goo Gone. You will want to put a towel or something in between the layers of fabric, to avoid getting the Goo Gone all over the shirt. The stuff stinks, and can leave an oil mark. Allow the Goo Gone to soak for about five minutes. Then gentle brush it away with the toothbrush. When I did this, all the glue residue came right off.

I wanted to avoid an oil mark, so I sprayed it down with some Tide brand spray-n-wash, and laundered it up right away.
The shirt came out nicely. There is a slight oil mark if you look real close at it, but it's nothing compared to some other stains that are on the bottom of this shirt.  The marks you see in this picture is actually the back side number 6 showing through.  So, soccer jersey lives another day!
The shirt did smell like the Goo Gone, even after laundering it. So, I am going to rewash it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Poop Scoopin'

This is my secret way of poop scooping. I take a five gallon pail with a handle, line it with an dog food bag, and scoop away! The handle stays pretty clean, and makes it easy to move it around the yard. I save all dog and cat food bags, I find they are very sturdy and don't leak. Then I put the food bag directly into the trash can. Be sure and do this the day before garbage day, or else your garage will stink!

I did announce the other day how I love to pick up poop. There is something nice about doing a mindless task. I have some music usually going, and everyone leaves me along while I do it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bedroom Make Over

We finally "finished" the bedroom. When we bought the house, the walls were painted white and there were lace curtains. I couldn't find a picture of, just imagine! This is as close as it gets. ;)

The befores:Blue carpet??? That 13" TV/VCR combo has been returned to its original owner - Jessica.
The quilt hanging up as a make-shift curtain, I never meant for it to be a curtain. I bought it at a yard sale for $4, and I thought it was just beautiful. It is a handmade one, and now it has a home in the living room over a railing so that everyone can enjoy it.

Garbage can was sitting on top of the dresser, so the dogs could not get into it.
Cat bed on top of a dresser, on the right. We just threw that away, as Sammy never used it. Ever.
The carpet was in bad bad bad shape. We painted the room in September 2009, and were going to replace the carpet once the paint dried, so we didn't really cover the carpet much. It was full of white paint drops. Finally, the carpet has been replaced.

The Afters:

We completely re-arrange the furniture, trying to open the tiny room up.
New tan with brown flecks carpet. We changed out the brass colored closet door nobs with some darker metal ones. They match the metal hardware on the rest of the bedroom furniture.
We replaced the white sheer curtains with some brown and gold ones. They are Better Homes and Gardens ones from Walmart for $10 a piece. Now that is a steal. We have just white min-blinds behind them. The one is fine, but one still needs replacing. We need to wait till Spring, when the window plastics come down.
The old 13" TV/VCR was replaced by a flat screen from my parents. Fits much better! In the center towards the door, I put a new-to-the-room laundry hamper. This hamper was in Connor's room, and we just had a plastic laundry basket sitting in ours. I figure, might as well have the nice looking on in our nice looking room. Purple plastic moved the Connor's room!
The blue bedding has been replaced with this lovely brown and gold set. Another Walmart Better Homes and Gardens purchase. I bought just a bed-in-a-bag for $75. The sheets from the bed-in-a-bag are actually decent quality.
Now, I didn't clean up the closet very well. This is how is normally looks. You can see on the bottom right side of the closet, I moved the garbage can into there. There was space there, we don't have to look at it, and the dogs can't get into it now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cream Cheese Cookies

1 box of Butter Cake Mix
1 stick of Butter
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla
1 package of soften Cream Cheese
Powdered Sugar

Mix everything together then refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Form into balls, I used my medium cookie scoop. Roll the ball in powdered sugar. Fit a dozen on a cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork, I like making nice cross hatches.

Bake for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quick Make-over

This lovely old microwave cart. Sigh. You know you have one, or two. We had two, but the one got severely broken. This one did have a 25" TV (don't walk by too quickly or it could collapse). We sold the TV on Craigslist for $25. Then the cart just turned into a dumping ground.

The ice cream pail was always there, it housed my "outdoor" things.

So, I cleaned it off with Murphy's Wood Soap (even though I am sure this is not real wood). I took two baskets that were downstairs, full of crap. But that is another story.

The top basket is full of "pool table" junk. Like chalk, racks, dice, brushes. The lower basket replaced my "outdoor" ice cream pail. This basket has things like sunglasses, bug spray, ear plugs for lawn mowing, animal brushes and sunscreen.

I got rid of that awful fantasy football trophy. And the bird house is headed outside.

I'm not a big fan of the picture frames just chilling on top, but that is a project for another day. Suggestions? I was thinking maybe an over sized serving tray or something. This was a ZERO cost makeover, as I already had the baskets. Gotta love that.