Wednesday, December 25, 2013

just do one thing

“Don’t plan your whole life out; just do the next thing.”

I can’t find exactly where this came from, but I’ve seen it floating around the internet for awhile. It really struck me because although I am a natural planner, sometimes I get so wrapped up in the “big picture”, that it is detrimental to “now”.

It kind of goes hand in hand with the saying “Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” 

Everyone has at least one "project" they keep putting off. It could be the basement, a spare bedroom, or your closet. It seems like such a giant task, that you keep putting it off until you “have time”.

If you just did ONE thing right now, it might not seem significant. But each time you find yourself with a spare moment, dedicate it to the giant task you have in front of you, and either A) you will get it done, eventually or B) you will find that it really isn't as time consuming as you imagined.

We moved last month, and in the process I found sooo many papers that I needed to just do something with. I kept putting them in a file box haphazardly, and I couldn’t find anything when I needed it. I thought to myself “I really need to get a filing system to keep this paper clutter under control” and I told myself I would just wait until I found what I wanted and then I’d deal with the paper.

I got really frustrated the other day when I couldn’t find a coupon I wanted, so I said to myself, “I have to find this coupon, so I’m just going to kill two birds with one stone and sort through this paper!!” Half of it was garbage, and my current filing system was able to handle the rest.

I will keep looking for a new filing system, but I can take my time and find exactly what I want at a good price. (check out this post on one of my favorite blogs, i Dream of Clean)

CHALLENGE: Think of the project you have been putting off the most, and find ONE thing that you can do right now. Set a timer if you have to, but JUST DO THE NEXT THING. J
Monday, December 23, 2013

a simply organized kitchen

Out of all the rooms in our house, I feel like the kitchen is definitely the easiest and fastest room to get out of control. I do my best to go to bed with a spotless kitchen, but in less than 24 hours it can look like I haven't cleaned in a week!!

After moving in four weeks ago, I think I have determined the best "place" for everything, and have everything in it's place :)

I thought I would share my process to help you get your kitchen organized and simplified.

1. Start with a completely clean kitchen (or as clean as you can get it).

2. Empty all cabinets and drawers and categorize everything. Here are my categories:
  • cleaning supplies
  • medicine & first aid
  • junk drawer
  • towels
  • utensils
  • baggies, foil, and plastic wrap
  • baking
  • dishes
  • glasses & cups
  • spices
  • pots & pans
  • small appliances
  • breakfast & beverage cabinet
  • food storage cabinet
  • kids cups & plates

3. Place each category in the most logical place. Think about which area you use the items in, then which space makes the most sense. Use post it notes to "place" the items first if you need to.

4. Containerize your items as much as possible to prevent "avalanches" when you open a cabinet, and make it easier to put things back where they belong. Dollar Tree and the Target Dollar Spot are the best places to find a variety of containers and bins.

5. Try to keep your counter as empty as possible. Only keep the items out that you use on a daily basis, such as your coffee pot. 

I'm hoping to score some after Christmas deals to get my kitchen and dining room decorated. I am thinking red & turquoise!!

Linked up:
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Monday Funday

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

have you heard of minimalism?

About a year and a half ago I heard the term “minimalism” for the first time. Wait a minute, there are people in the western world who actually TRY to live with as little “stuff” as possible?! This sounded very intriguing to me for quite a few reasons.

1.       Less stuff, means less money spent
2.       Less stuff, means less to clean
3.       Less stuff, means more enjoyment out of the things we do own

I began reading an eBook that I got for free on my Kindle about living with less, and I have to say it was very eye opening. I actually TOOK NOTES for the first time since college.

There were so many concepts that I didn’t realize I had already been floating around in my head, I just hadn’t put them to use in my life and home.

The first place I started was in my kitchen. I think this is probably the most common room for excess “stuff” in people’s homes. Think about it. How many mixing bowls do you ever use at one time? The answer is not the same for everyone. The answer for me is 3, and only a few times in a year. For my mom, it could be 6 or maybe even more sometimes. She bakes often, and in large quantities.

How many items do you have that can complete the same task? Do you need a quesadilla maker when you already have frying pans? Do you need a food processor when you have a set of knives? Again, the answer is not the same for everyone. I do not need a large food processor. I have a small two cup food processor that works just fine for the rare occasion that I need it. I could actually probably go without it completely, but it doesn’t take up much room so I am okay with keeping it.

Some people might say, “Why have a microwave or a toaster when you have an oven?”

This is taking it a little too far for my family, I think my husband would flip out if I got rid of the microwave!!

I had already done a pretty good purge of our kitchen, but during our recent move I decided to really ask myself if we TRULY needed each item I was packing and unpacking in our kitchen. I found that it was easier to purge when I was unpacking, and could see how much space these things were taking up in our new home.

One unexpected perk of minimalism in the kitchen is that there are less dishes to do, even though I may have to wash some items more often. I don’t have an extra mixing bowl to dirty, so I have to wash a dirty one first. Writing this out it doesn’t seem to make much sense, but I am finding that I have less LARGE loads for my dishwasher.

Challenge: next time you are unloading your dishwasher, look at each item and ask yourself if you have any duplicates that you do not need. Once you fill a box, take it to your car and drop it off at Goodwill next time you are out. 

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