December 24, 2010

Holiday Message

Another year of getting organized and helping those around me get organized too.

I was very happy to have been invited to speak at various events to share insights on being an organized mother, a Professional Organizer, an organized military spouse and organized children.  

We added a  new four legged creature to the family.  Rico the Labrador/Collie was adopted from the local humane society.  He has been a good incentive to get active and stay healthy.  Dogs like to run...who knew!

We had visits from family members who live very far away.  Thank you for traveling to us so we could feel your love in person.  

We are healthy.  We are happy.  We are growing and learning everyday.

I am grateful for what I have and look forward to seeing what 2011 has in store for us.

Wishing you happiness in the life you have and joy in the small things life has to offer.


December 17, 2010

Guest Post by Beth Piotrowicz Landstrom

Read what Beth has to say about her very busy life....

Organizing a Chaotic Life

Step 1 – The Phone Call

Hubby calls home from work right after the little man heads off to school. Normally this is my 2 hours window to, knit, crochet, craft, throw a load in the laundry, perhaps tackle a bathroom, empty the dishwasher so that I can load the dirty dishes that are waiting on the counter in for the next load…and sadly there are likely just enough dishes on the counter from last night’s dinner preps, this morning’s breakfast, lunchboxes, and my stray tea mugs from around the house to fill the entire thing.

So, the phone rings, and there goes the morning. We are getting posted to the United States! Yay! What an adventure!! I Google schools, neighbourhoods, stores, libraries, etc for the next 2 hours.
I almost end up at the school in PJs for pick up of my rental kid.

Back home, back to the clutter-filled structure that we call home. And the enormity of what I was going to have to do hit me. Half of it was going to have to go.

When you get posted to the USA you need to make a comprehensive list of everything you are packing in that truck and declare it. This is for insurance and also for customs. This sucks. Imagine listing every pair of pants, every winter hat, every pair of shoes!!!

OK, So I switch on my positive frame of mind and think of it as an amazing opportunity. What a great way to determine whether or not something belongs in my home…is it important enough to me to put it on The List…

Now, I would like to be frightfully honest, and as such I must tell you I am a big ‘just in case’ kinda gal. Married to a ‘just in case’ kinda guy. So we have lots of stuff tucked away ‘just in case’ we might need it, might be able to use it, might be good for a craft…I’m sure you know the type.

But, when you start looking at making The List, somehow twenty empty tubes from paper towel kept just in case you got into a paper maché mood with your kid doesn’t seem quite so logical…

And so it begins, looking around the house in a whole new way…and I’m daunted. So each day I try and hit a closet, or cupboard, or corner, or shelf…anything that needs to be addressed that I have said “I’ll get to it later”. There is no later…
Crap, this is going to be a busy few months.

December 10, 2010

Home Based Business

I know many women who work from home. I love the ability to make my own hours so that my family comes first. In order to create a successful balance between family and work you have to carve our an organized space that delegates tasks realistically.  Work is work and home is home.  My top three tips to make a successful home office are:

1. Set your space up as professionally as possible with all the tools and workspace necessary.
2. Have "Hours of Operation" and work them.  Don't do laundry and dishes if you are at work.
3. Get out of the house and network with other business owners.  No one will refer you if they don't know about you.

Those are my favorite ones.  There are many other tips but let's start with those.

I recently helped a lady re-create her work space to be more efficient.  It went from a cluttered space to a clear and simplified spa with room for decorative merchandise shelving.  The area from the front door, down the hall and into the spa needed to be a clean and clear path to set the stage for the treatment the client would receive.

If you have clients in your home, imagine how you would like to see a home based business and create that visual in your space.

If you work from home, do you have clients in your space?  How do you keep it organized?

December 8, 2010


Do you remember this client who was an avid scrapbook lady?  She couldn't walk in her scrapbook room anymore, making her crafting days limited to say the least. 
We have been working hard to give her back her passion and stress release space and now we have an update photo...

We have purged many sheets of paper, organized the accesories, containerized the tools and given her a table to work at. We are going to purge the embelishments next but she is happily working on cards and pages now. She recently had a clearance table at a local show and sold over $350 worth of product.

Congratulations and a fantastic job my friend!  I know it is hard work but also so much worth the effort.

Do you have a space you would like to take back or get super organized for a specific hobby or job? 

November 26, 2010

What To Do With Scrap Wood...Tutorial

We built a lovely fence this summer. I am very happy to have some privacy.  Now we have a small pile of wood in the garage that is not small enough to want to throw out but not large enough to do a huge job with.
I was wasting some time on Stumble when I came across a craft I thought I would try.

Here is my attempt at getting rid of wood.

Select wood samples from pile that are clean and fairly even on the bottoms
Paint wood in bright colours.  Have friends, family and children help.
Use your favorite letters to make some inspirational words.
I used Maya Road for these but my Cricut for the signs.
Add snowy features on the edges of the blocks.
Glue letters onto blocks.  Add string, buttons and glitter for details.

Display painted blocks together.

 I may drill a hole in the top of these to put tealights in but for now they look great all by themselves.

The children are working on the signs.  We have picked the words: Naughty, Nice and Friends for our signs.
My friend and neighbor Melissa chose the blue sign and put "Let It Snow" on hers.  I'll show those later when the details are on. 

Other words or sayings we are working on are: I Believe, Dear Santa...I Can Explain, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Reindeer Crossing, and Family.

What do you do with your scrap wood?  What sayings can you add to our list?

November 19, 2010

Five on Friday

Can you tell what this photo is? 

One day my kids borrowed my camera and decided to take photos of "stuff".  Some of them were funny and some of them were a fuzzy mess. 

Today's goal is to go through the digital photos and delete delete delete. 

It helps that I have a scrapbook weekend coming up and I'm looking for inspiration.  I'll probably keep a couple of fuzzy photos but the majority need to go.  I have a file set up for each child so that they can have photos ready for their blogs, facebook and albums.

Do you let the kids use your camera?  
Is this what you get?

November 12, 2010

Five on Friday

Here is my project this morning. Games, dress-up clothes, trains, dish sets and miscellaneous craft items.  The bottom of the basement stairs is where the overflow of toys and such go. When the bedrooms have been purged and the kids are tired of their current play things, I bring them here.  Sometimes they get rotated.  Sometimes the kids play down here and make a mess that I am not so obsessive about cleaning up. 

Today is a purge the purge area day. Mostly the games. Time to make room for new toys coming in less than 60 days.

We have two places to drop off unwanted toys, clothing and dust collecting decorations.  There is also the recycle dump that takes electronics.  I used that earlier this year when we cleaned out the kitchen appliances.

What will you get rid of today?  Where will you take it?

I'll post an updated photo later...

November 5, 2010

Five on Friday

The ghouls and goblins have come and gone but their candy hasn't.  Today we are going to clean it up.  We always give candy the once over when it arrives at the house by the bagful.  Trading and shuffling of piles is done. Bragging rights of the heaviest bag and discussions of the house with the best loot is enjoyed. Once all is said in done you are usually looking at so much candy on the floor that you think you will be picking up wrappers until the Easter chocolate arrives.  Here are some tips to get rid of it all quickly:

1. Take all the chips, nachos and cheezies out of the piles.  Place them aside in a box or tote for "movie night".  On movie night open the bags into big bowls for the whole gang.  Ta da...bags of chips gone.
2. Take the small candies and licorice to put in a freezer bag.  Save this bag for decorating the gingerbread houses at Christmas.  
3. Take another freezer bag and save the hard candies and lollipops.  This candy bag can go in  your vehicle for emergency preparedness.  Nothing like having your car breakdown with a load of kids in it to make you realize that you have nothing to keep them occupied until the tow truck arrives.
4. Let the children pick out any candy that they don't like and some that they do to donate to a local shelter.  Drop it off to make someone feel good on a bad day.
5.  Set a time for the children to have a candy feast.  My rule is that no candy goes to school but for two weeks they can have as much as they want after school.  It usually won't last this long.

Remember that candy is a sticky treat.  Allocate one area that candy should be eaten so the packages and wrappers don't wind up all over the place.  Make them clean up after themselves immediately as well.

In no time the candy will be gone as well as the temptation to eat it all from underneath them.

Do you sort your candy?  Do you have any candy traditions to get rid of it all quickly? 

November 1, 2010


Thank you to all our participants in the last few weeks who have left comments or became followers of the blog.

I have put your names in a hat and the winner of the prize pack of organizing products is....

Congratulations Tammy! 

The rest of you don't need to fret...I have more products coming to test out for 2011 and you are all invited to stay tuned to win something cool and organized.

October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun

I don't volunteer very much at the school.  It's just not something that I'm completely comfortable with. I took a little time this week to work in the classroom of my youngest daughter in grade one.  We were doing halloween stations and I got the pumpkin station.  I helped the kids explore pumpkins inside and out.  We dug out the guts and created some spooky faces too.  At the end I had five pumpkins worth of seeds. I hate to see them go to waste so I decided to take them home to bake.  I had to wait a few days to bake so I left the seeds covered in a bowl in the fridge until this morning, so if you want to bake your seeds just put them aside to do later.  I love eating pumpkin seeds, hull and all.  I had enough for four batches but only three turned out.  I was multi tasking and one batch was a little too dark...OK... I burnt it.  But look at these ones!  Two batches of just salty mix and one with salt and Worcestershire.  Yum.  

Today was our family pumpkin carving day so we all took turns creating our funky faces.  My pumpkin was starting to rot so I came up with this idea.  The mouth is actually from the stem.  The kids loved this and are now thinking up ideas for next year to incorporate the candy.

Every once in a while we need to just put down the organizing tools and have fun with the family.  
Happy Halloween everyone!

October 29, 2010

Five on Friday

I like seeing the kids at the dining table doing crafts and other fun stuff.  I try to keep their activity baskets filled with thinks to pull out in case of the boredoms.  Every once in a while I see that the baskets are a tad over flowing and need a good purge.  When I have to tug to get them out from under the buffet, I know it's time. This is a quick job that will help them find what they need to get busy as well as help you to see what is needed as a top up.

One basket holds the recycled items, stickers, paper, notebooks, cards, activity books and such.  The other basket is playdoh land. I regularly rotate the playdoh toys so that we don't usually have this much in the basket, but Paisley had her birthday and some new items arrived.  My playdoh loving child is only six so I don't think it's unreasonable to rotate the toys without her present.  I know what she plays with and what has been in the basket for a while.  If she asks for something particular then I can just ask her what item needs to come out of the basket to make room for her desired item.

Here is the craft basket laid out. I am a hem..."tidy" with my crafty tools.  I like to see crayons in a crayon box, markers and pencil crayons in a box, and tools in a box. Paper and activity books are stacked at the bottom.  Small items are in the folding box.  Cards, stickers and misc. paper items are in a large zipper bag.

Finally I pack it all neatly and do a dry run on the floor.  Yup.  It fits!

Sorry to this guy who didn't make the cut this time.  Maybe we'll see you after the next session of Star Wars movie nights.

So what craft items can you let go of today?  How are you getting them organized? 

Don't forget to leave a comment so your name can go into the draw for the prize pack of organizing products.
Closing date is Sunday October 31st .... that's this Sunday!

October 27, 2010

Guest Blog Day

Today we warmly welcome Candice from Fashionably Organized who will talk to us about her toy cleaning experience.  Oh my...that's not one I tackle often enough.  Don't forget to leave a comment  and follow both Candice and I so that we can enter your name into the draw for a package of organizing products.  Draw ends October 31st 2010! 

The Great Toy Cleaning Experience

I want to thank Kathleen for allowing me to come here and tell you about a wonderful cleaning experience. Yes I did put wonderful and cleaning into the same sentence and believe me that does not happen often. I think that once you read this post you’ll understand why I felt that way. I do recommend you really consider doing the toy purge twice a year. Just for a little clarification I don’t give names so as a little key code J is my first son, he’s 6, E is my second son, he’s almost 5 and A is my daughter she is 20 mo. Thanks for reading this.

I knew I had to clean the boy’s playroom. I was going to take all of these before and after pictures. Fast forward 3 hours, and the playroom is finally clean and organized.

I forgot to take the before pictures. So please forgive me.

When we moved into this house it had this add on that is best described as an enclosed sun room. We were going to tear it down. My mother had a genius idea to leave it up while the boys are small as a playroom. I was so excited to get all of their toys out of my living room.

Now it's become this mess of crazy stuff and a room I'm afraid to go into. For 4 weeks that room looked like heck! I told R, I was going to gut that room of trash and toys.

I went in with 3 garbage bags, a 6 year old and a 4.5 year old. I wasn't sure if all 3 of us were going to come out of there alive. I told them that 1 bag was for us to throw away the toys that were broken, all papers and "art work". The other bag was for all of the toys we were donating. (The 3rd was a 2nd trash bag.)

I explained to them that by donating toys they would be donating to their schools for all of the kids to play with. This really excited them both but especially E. He immediately pulled out all of his plastic dump trucks. He was so excited to give all of them for the sandbox at school. He loves the sandbox, and I think he's pretty excited about sharing them with his friends.

I decided we'd do the playroom in corners. We had 3 corners to clean. Left hand picture is a picture of 1 corner after being organized.

We first sorted toys. Star Wars toys together in one clear bin. Matchbox cars went into another clear bin. We wound up with the one with matchbox cars filled to the brim. Then they weedled them down to 1/3 of what they had previously by deciding which ones would get donated.

Clear bins are the great equalizer in our home. I believe in them wholeheartedly when it comes to organizing the kids things. We forget how they are very visual little beings and when they want to play with something letting them see it through the bin is great for them. More importantly it means that you don’t have them opening bin after bin looking for one specific toy.

When we went through all of the puzzles I thought we would give some of those to A's daycare. When I told them my idea, they decided all of the puzzles we were going to donate should go to A's daycare. They told me they felt the kids there would like them.

When we got to the books we made 3 piles. One was to keep, one was to give to E's classroom and one to give to J's classroom. We got rid of about 1/4 of our books. We love books in our house and we are overrun with them. I thought that donating to the schools allowed us room for new books, while helping the schools build up their libraries.

In the end despite having to raise my voice more then I ever thought possible, and 2 kids who couldn't focus, it was a fantastic experience for all 3 of us. I included them in the process of giving to others. Yes, it was their schools, but they felt like they were sharing. I want them to learn the power of sharing and how it can make us feel good about ourselves. Children should feel the giving part first hand. I'm glad to see that joy in them.

one angle of the pile of toys to give away

the toys they are donating

Getting your children in the process of purging is a wonderful bonding experience. I may have lost my mind in that playroom, but I came out happy.

Thank you Candice and now I'm off to attack the toy room.  Come back on Friday to see how I did.

October 25, 2010

Guest Blogging Over Here....

 You can find me over here today Guest Posting for a great blog called Fashionably Organized.

I met Candice during a Sits event.  What's Sits?  A support group of a huge number of bloggers. We just finished a two week challenge to make our blogs better.  It was a great way to learn and meet some fellow bloggers.

Don't forget to leave a comment so you have a chance to win the package of organizing stuff.  Draw ends October 31st 2010.

October 22, 2010

Five on Friday

It's Friday which means it's time to get rid of some clutter.
I had to think about this, but I think I found a good one.  Holiday decorations...specifically...Halloween decorations.  We kinda really love halloween at our house.  What other time of year can you don a costume and morph into a completely different character for a few hours, lurking around the neighborhood begging for candy and treats?  Most of our decorations are for the inside of the house like this cutie.

Or these guys..

Have I mentioned before how I love to walk around the funky section of Winners?

Over the years we pick out the decorations that we think will spook up the place the best.  As we get older we look at our older items and maybe we don't put them out or they don't get the prime spot in the living room.
We also have window decals to deal with that don't stick so well anymore or have faded to ghostly white.
What about the lovely crafty decorations that our children bring home from school or we choose to do with them at home?  Gorgeous as they are (total sarcasm) we may need to do some clutter control on the stack in the box.  When items come home from school, be sure to take a photo of it with your child so that the moment is captured but the item does not need to stay with you forever.

We usually carve our pumpkins the night before halloween, and this year the holiday is on Sunday so we can relax on Saturday night and do them up right.  Sometimes we feel rushed to get it done if it is on a weekday evening and they don't always look their best.  Let's purge the pumpkin tools. How many carving sets do you have?  What about those pumpkin templates?  Oh and let's not forget the collection of bags to collect treats.  I think we have a few damaged pillowcases in with all the reflecting bags and bags that are full after you put one bag of chips in them.

Some halloween items are just meant to last one season.  Which items have you been holding onto too long?
Tell me what you got rid of to lighten the holiday tote. 

Don't forget to read last weeks Friday Findings here to enter into the draw for a package of organizing goodies.  Draw closes October 31st 2010

October 20, 2010

Crafting without Chaos

 I am swapping guest posts with another avid craft lady named Jennifer who I met here.  When you are finished reading Jennifer's post please go check out her blog here and leave a comment to be entered to win a prize.

Take it away Jennifer...

There seems to be some strange, undeniable force that brings crafting and clutter together. All I need to do is look around my office/craft room (affectionately known as the Abyss) to see that it's so. While my creative space isn't magazine-perfect, it's what I like to call organized chaos—it's a system that works for me.

When I'm in the middle of a project, though, things can take on a decidedly different look. That's why I've developed certain a certain system that keeps my crafting days more organized that chaotic:

The first step, as always, is to start with organized supplies.

Everyone works differently, everyone has different needs, but for multi-discipline crafters it's good to keep the supplies for each hobby separate. So, in the Abyss, I have 2 shelving units for paper and paper crafting items, 1 for beading and fine art and a fourth for yarn and fabric. Tools that get used across the crafts (scissors, adhesives, ribbons, stencils, etc.) have their own tower.

But don't stop there! For me the driving force of a project (besides it's purpose) is color, so each type of supply is also separated out into a general color spectrum (a variation on the ROY G BIV rainbow). This allows me to see what I have, what I might need more of the next time I head to the craft store with a coupon and no specific purchase in mind and what I have way more than I need of (and could stand to pare down).

The next thing to address is my workspace, which invariably needs clearing.

For those of us lucky to have a dedicated craft space, it doesn't mean we always treat it as precious as it is. Between projects it's every horizontal surface for itself and my table gets covered with whatever might have come into the room—mail, purchases, materials for a future project, whatever. So, if I want to craft, first I have to clean.

A funny thing happens, though, when I'm tidying up: I get energized. Moving around, putting things away, is instant gratification as my desk clears. Not only do I end up with a clean space, the crafting to come feels like a reward for a good deed. And cleaning up with a purpose in mind is always easier than a chore done out of obligation.

Now we get to the fun part, now we shop. Not in a store, we're going to shop our supplies.

By organizing what we have, picking what we need is like a shopping spree in our very own boutique! To enhance the feeling of our spend-free spree, I have a few baskets and bins picked up at the local dollar store that I can collect my supplies in before I go to the table with them. These baskets come in handy later when I've finished with a tool or have leftover materials, I can just put them right back in the bin and they keep the rest of my workspace clear.

Finally, while you're working, resist the urge to multitask.

Oh, this pains me to say, but it's true. We crafters can be easily distracted by the next shiny idea or a tangent a happy accident sends us off on. Multitasking leads to stacks and totes full of UFOs (Unfinished Objects). If you value the life of your project, see it through to it's end before chasing the next pretty thing. There are always exceptions, of course. When paint needs to dry or a sealant needs several days to cure, that's different. There's also a difference between a table project and the knitting you keep by your living room chair.

Bottom line: whichever way you choose, having your own systems and routines for crafting makes it easier to create whenever and whatever you want.

Thanks Jennifer!  Come by any time and let us know how the craft life is treating you.  Everyone can go here to enter into my draw for organizing supplies until October 31st 2010. 

Guest Blog

You can find me over here today!  We are talking about getting our purses organized, something we all need to take a few minutes to do.  There is a prize too so go on over, read and get that purse organized!

October 15, 2010

Friday Findings

When is the last time you took a few minutes to organize your facebook account?  Have you set your security settings, especially those that announce your game scores to everyone?  Have you had a delete party to get rid of old posts and updates.  Today's your lucky day.  It's delete day!  For the next five minutes, and five minutes only, go to facebook and delete as much as you can.  Whittle down the photos, groups and applications. 

When you are done come back enter into a draw for a prize.  Yes, a prize for those who delete.

Go ahead.  I'll wait.    

How did that feel?  I love a good delete-fest.   How many other applications on your computer could you delete?  Many I can guess, but facebook is a great start.  Let's look at the bookmarks another day.  Mine are off the page.

The prize.  Oh yes!  I have a prize pack of lovely items for my deleting friends.  
You can get a ballot into the box by doing each of the following:

1.  Leave me a comment to tell me that you deleted stuff and how it felt.
2. Follow me and leave me a comment saying you are following me.  
3. Tell me if you have a blog, leave your blog address so I can check you out!
4. Mention my blog on your site with a link so your friends can win and tell me that you did so.

Have a great weekend and keep on deleting!

October 8, 2010

Friday Findings

I have seen the writing on the wall.  Actually, I have seen the frost on the lawn. I know that I need to get into the garage and get the summer things tidied before the big flakes arrive. 

As you can see, I have a bit of an obsession.  How many containers can  you count?  I see seven and I know that there are more lurking.  I have to defend my container love.  Kitty litter containers are heavy duty and have a great handle.  I use them everywhere.  Bubble blowing toys, beach toys, knee/elbow protectors for three children, gardening stuff...and every other grouping that needs a home of their own.  I have been known to stack a few in the corner for those "just in case" moments. 

I think I've explained before that my garage is an old garage. Over 54 years old.  It does not hold our van.  So the garage is more like a huge shed for all our seasonal items.  Yippee for me.  I like storage.

After tidying, purging and rearranging all the summer fun, we had room to pull out the tires (in the white at the back), and get at the lawn mover one last time.  I even got rid of four containers.  Sadly at first but then remembering that the cat is old but not gone yet. 

Get out there and dig into your garages this weekend.  Pull all the stuff out.  Sort it.  Containerize it.  Sweep.  Put it all back nicely so that you can easily get to it in the spring.

How do you keep your garage organized and is it your job or your partners to take care of this zone?

October 1, 2010

Friday Findings

My vehicle does not fit in my garage.  Not because it's so cluttered. It's just an old old garage and my van is too wide to comfortably get inside.  So the garage is the home to all our outdoor paraphernalia.  Gardening gear, sports equipment, Barbecue, Smoker, Tools and all the toys of the season. 

Oh...and the recycling.

We have to take our recycling to a recycling centre in town or you can sort it and put it on the curb every other garbage day. I like recycling but I'd rather drop it off than blue bag it all.  So sometimes the garage is overwhelmed with boxes and papers.  Two of my children have paper routes and we always have a pile or two leftover as well.  Needless to say I need to fill the van and get it done rather than have it take over the garage one more day. 

I don't want my children to ever tell me that they can't get to their bikes or toys because of my recycling mess.  When I tell them to go out and play I never want them to use me as an excuse of why they couldn't.

How is your recycling?  Is it working for you?  Do you need new containers like these ones?  Sometimes the right containers really do help. 

September 26, 2010

Birthday Party Success

Sometimes when I know a birthday party is coming up I get a little stressed.  How many kids should we invite? What is the theme? Should we have it at home or go rent a space? This "celebration" should not be causing so much turmoil. This year we went with an easy solution.  We hosted a movie night for a select number of friends for our daughter.  Invitees were people that she plays with at school or home.  No more than the age she was turning.  Six in this case. If she doesn't play with them, then they couldn't come.  I didn't want the whole class here just to say that I did it.  The movie theme fits all the hoopla and food involved and keeps them busy while each stage of the party goes on.  The older kids helped out by working the concession stands and taking tickets.

Lastly we let the kids run all over the backyard before the parents arrived.  It was the best party yet.  The kids had fun and the adults just went with the flow. 

I don't think that the kids noticed that it wasn't a 5-star event.  They were happy to be together to eat junk food and play.  Maybe parties need to be less stressful and more fun.  Oh....and cost under $50.  I love that!

September 24, 2010

Friday Findings

This is Paisley's bedside table.  I chose a tall bookcase from Walmart but it was perfectly rectangle and so I put it on it's side as a table. If she had the nine cubicle style she would try to climb it for sure.  It works great for her size and for her stuff too.  She has had many books handed down to her and I'm a sucker for Scholastic at school. This week we did a little purge of the books and moved some toys around that she had stuffed away, so she could play a little easier. 

She found her tidied room right after school and I didn't see her until supper time.  I guess it worked! 

Children get bored easily with what is in front of them. Sometimes we need to circulate the toys so that they really see them. I like to have a couple of bins in the closet to bring out every few months.

This goes for the playdoh toys and cutters too. I put them in zip-lock bags and bring them out seasonally. Playdoh is always a favourite at our house. I even find the older kids poking their fingers in it when it comes out.

So go tidy up the toys and move them around.  Let's see who plays with what after you do.

September 22, 2010

Stressed Out Girls

If one person in your family is out of sync then everyone is affected. Sometimes (always) I worry about my girls and how they are coping. What can I do to help and am I part of the problem? Here is a great book that deals with young girls and the stress they are dealing with in our goal driven world. A great gauge on how we as parents can guide and love our children into a healthy future.  I'm never going to stop worrying but I can get some expert help along the way.  Ask your local library to buy this book or if you already own it, share it with those other mothers who may want to hear the message.  I borrowed my copy from the Military Family Resource Center here in Cold Lake.  Let's help our girls and help ourselves at the same time.

September 17, 2010

Friday Findings

So, you know that time of day when your kids are up in bed (sorta) and you are ready to relax?  What do you do?  Do you retreat to the computer or television or are you energetic and go exercise or crafting?  Maybe you have some studying to do or like a good book?

At our house the television reigns.  At least it did until we cut the cable.  Yes.  This week we got rid of the television in an effort to get back into a relationship with each other and things that are truly important to us.  This is going to be  a little hard as some of us (me) had a clicker problem and would sit for hours with nothing to watch.  Others (the kids) will be sorely disappointed on Saturday morning when the endless hours of cartoons will not be available. 

The plan.  Well, I have many dvd's and am happy to trade with my neighbors. The library hasn't seen us in a while.  We will add that to the list of possibilities.  Games will be dusted off as well as the running shoes. 

What amount of television is ok for you and your family?  Could you cut some out or cut it out altogether?

Let me know what you do to keep busy in the evening.  Oh... and wish us luck.  I may need some dark chocolate to get through this first weekend.

September 11, 2010

Crafts out of Control

At one point in time or another I have had a craft I was working on.  I become passionate about what is new and interesting until it becomes a check mark on a list of things I wanted to try.  Usually these craft items stay stored in the home until such time that I am ready to say "OK, I'm never going to do this ever again". 

At my clients homes I frequently come across piles of craft items that were at one point loved dearly but have become a dusty reminder of what they can't get to or want to get to.  Then there are the people who love to collect items for future projects.  Scrapbooking can be an addictive and endless source of supplies and wish lists.  If you are not careful your floors and shelves can easily be overtaken by your shopping expenses. 

There is a solution, but you're not going to like it at first.  You have to stop shopping.  You have to do an inventory of what you have.  You have to purge your inventory.  You have to decide how much stock is reasonable for the number of projects and time that you have available to complete them.

If your crafts are creeping into the other spaces of your home, maybe you need to look at what you have and how far it has gotten out of control.  Shop til you drop is no longer an option.  Purge til you can walk comfortable around the house sounds like a better plan.

What craft items could you say good bye to today?  Knitting?  Cross stitch?  Scrapbook supplies?  Let me know what you get rid of and where you send it if it can be re-purposed.

September 4, 2010

Friday Findings

Look what I found to throw out this week! This is a story of two chairs who outstayed their welcome at my dining table.  One chair has been broken for no less than four years but had a repair to keep it together.  The other chair was too broken to fix but still faithfully remained seating until today.  Good bye wiggly and sharp nail sticking out of the saddle chairs.  I will not miss you.  Thank you for your service over the years.  Your replacements will be along shortly.

What furniture is ready to ride the garbage truck in your home?  Does an item give you "the face" when you look at it?  Get rid of it and see how you smile.  Let me know what goes and why. 

August 30, 2010

Reach Out

Sometimes as we walk around in our own little worlds we can forget about the troubles that others are dealing with.  It can make us harsh and judgmental when don't open ourselves up.  I felt a little guilty this week when someone close to me reached out full of pain.  I didn't see that she needed help until it was almost too late.
I am glad that I took the time to hold her in my mind for a while to give her some needed attention and love.  She is far away and we can only do it over the phone but I can do that.

Is there someone in your heart that you need to speak to today?  Turn off the computer. Put down the laundry. Go sit quietly in a chair or on your bed and take a few minutes to talk to someone who may need you more than you think.  After it just may feel like the best thing you've done all day. 

August 27, 2010

Friday Findings

You know you want to!  The container cupboard can be a daunting task but I know you're up for it.  Lids, lids and more lids, but where are the bottoms? When I purged my containers I made a big discovery...I hate circle containers.  They never fit where I want them and the lids drive me crazy.  So, from now on I will only buy square or rectangle containers.  I have purged all circles.  Gone are the lidless containers and the extra lids.  A package of four containers is only about $3.00 on sale so why fret over a lost lid.  Don't forget to get rid of any old containers that would not meet up to today's health standards.  Water bottles can add up quickly, so purge those too.  We usually use our favourite cup anyways and the other ones are in the back of the cupboard.  You know the ones.

How many containers can you throw out today?  Let me know how you do.  Moms...enjoy the last weekend before the kids go back to school.

August 20, 2010

Friday Findings

Yes it's time to purge the summer shoes!  Nowadays you can get a pair of shoes or sandals at the closest Walmart for $2.50 in the clearance bin. These shoes are not meant to last more than a season. That being said we always try to push the limit with their expiry date and wear them into the fall and maybe into the following spring and summer.  I did a preliminary shoe chucking just before I went shopping for school shoes. Each child needs a pair for indoors at school, (luckily this pair stays at school) but they also need an outdoor pair as well as some winter boots.  That one pair of black shoes has been in my closet for about 5 years and I have always found a nicer pair in my foot repertoire to wear. Time to go black shoes!  My son decided that he didn't like sandals this year so his summer pair, worn twice, will now be mailed to our nephew who still is too young to make those decisions. All the other shoes were dead.  My closet is a little lighter for a few weeks until we move into heavier footwear and the light stuff goes to the basement for cleaning and storage until I see the blossoms of crocuses and daffodils again. 

Go clean out the shoe closet and let me know how many pairs you purged today.

August 13, 2010

Friday Findings

This week we dive into my tall chest of drawers.  Most drawers are very organized and are dedicated to specific items.  Every item has it's own home!  Over the summer people who shall remain nameless like to drop items into my top drawer and mess up my system.  Today we purge the top drawer and bring calm to the chaos.

After relocating items and purging we are left with only a few summer objects that I need when I need them.

What drawer will you tackle today?  Tell me what you got rid of.

August 6, 2010

Friday Findings

Happy Friday! I'm sitting at my desk and realize that my in/out box has gotten over it's limit. I know it's time to clean it out when the papers flow over the side of my basket. Time to sort it out on the floor and see what's in there.

After general sorting into six piles I realize that I have a few types of groupings for my papers:

1. Garbage
2. My NSGCD (National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization) school papers that need to be filed
3. POC (Professional Organizers in Canada) business
4. Bills/Info that needs to be filed (Including a pile of receipts and one piece of Canadian Tire money)
5. Childrens information that needs to be filed
6. Stuff I really need to do immediately

My desk is much less claustrophobic now.  I feel like getting some work done but not before a good dusting.
Who's been eating at my desk?

What can you get rid of from your desk today?  Leave a comment and let me know how many piles you made!

July 30, 2010

Friday Findings

Every Friday I am going to find something that I can get rid of.  Sometimes it will belong to me.  Sometimes it will belong to someone else. 

Today I found these books that were crowding my shelves.  Some books were mine that I hadn't read in a long time and have no interest in reading again.  Some books were my husbands cookbooks. He graciously let me purge his three shelf collection down to two shelves. He likes to cook and tends to get a lot of cookbooks as gifts. He is happy to get them.  He reads them when he receives them but he doesn't necessarily use them after that. More often he uses the internet for recipes. 

These books will find a new home at the second hand shop. Sometimes you can donate books to the library.  Ours has shelves in the hall for selling older books. If the books are in good condition and fairly new, you can sell them online too.

Today's questions:  What do you do with your old books?  What are you reading right now?