Organized

Holiday Housekeeping

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

“Happy Holidays!”

Doesn’t that sound weird? And a little premature? It does to me, but I was reminded yesterday that Thanksgiving is four weeks away, and Christmas is eight weeks away, which is just a little frightening. 

Isn’t it crazy how the time between Halloween and New Years Eve goes by in the blink of an eye. Cah-ray-zee! I love this season more than any other but it always seems so rushed unless I make serious efforts to plan ahead. I wrote an article on holiday housekeeping last year as a reminder that I need to start pacing myself in October and get to planning.  I revisited the topic again over coffee this morning and thought I’d share.  Here is a condensed version of last year’s article with a few tips for holiday housekeeping:  

I was at Michaels today and noticed already Halloween is on clearance and the flashy Christmas decorations are all on display. And it’s still October. This is no surprise, it happens earlier every year, but there’s still that moment of “O.M.GEE, it’s almost Christmas!" that makes my head spin. I’ll look on the bright side and interpret all those sparkly ornaments as a nudging reminder that the holiday season is about to descend with all of its magic and mayhem.   

In the last few years, I’ve learned (the hard way) that this season is far more joyous the better prepared I am, so I’m taking some steps in the next two weeks to brace prepare myself for the frenzy:  

1. Swap out the Wardrobe.  I still need to put all the summer attire away in baskets and clear out the shelves of any summer footwear (me thinks it’s this weekend’s project…)  I find having a closet consisting of only cold weather clothing helps me keep it cleaner and more organized.  As the temperatures drop, the entire family will be needing to keep their toes warm.  Matching up all the lonely socks is a laborious task that I would gladly trade with anyone who needs something painted.  Any takers?  :Dwinter sweaters country living

 

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All That Paper (and How I Organize It)

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Hey busy ladies and gents, I know I’m not alone in the constant barrage of papers that enter the house on a daily basis.  From mail to magazines to school notices, paper clutter piles up so darn quick you could drown in it.  Despite my best efforts to go paperless, I find there is still a constant stream of paper, paper, and more paper coming through the door.

It used to pile up in my house until I thought it would eat me alive.  It used to give me such anxiety, but I finally developed a system that really works for me.  The real key for me was eliminating as much as I could, and then finding a place for what was leftover.  I think that’s the key for keeping just about anything organized: purge often, and have a place for what remains, then you’ll stay sane.

My method for paper organization isn’t sexy and I’m no organizational pro.   I was asked about a month ago by a reader how I keep it all organized, so here are a few of the tricks I use to control my paper clutter.

1.  Identify It.  It took me years to figure this out, but now in hindsight it seems so simple.  The very best trick I ever came up with was sitting down with my piles of paper clutter and making a list of exactly each type of paper that was coming into my house, then creating a solution for each one.

types of paper

 

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DIY Bracket Bookshelves

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Hey there, hope you all had a great weekend!  We spent most of Sunday helping my parents move their things onto a moving truck, and since they’re downsizing, they graciously donated some bookcases to our Alma Project.  I’ve been scouring Craigslist for weeks without any luck, so how fortunate to score some sturdy freebies from my folks!  Now we can build that entertainment center we’ve been planning for so long.    

I also managed to squeeze in an hour to put the finishing coat of paint on a simple project I started last week.  My little girl is at that age where improving her reading ability is priority number one, so I wanted to build her something that would keep books front and center in her world.  These inexpensive bookshelves are made from basic wood brackets and dowel rods found at a home improvement store, and they cost me about $15 each. 

cg bracket bookshelves 1

 

If you want to replicate the project, here’s what you’ll need for each shelf:  2 basic 6” x 8” wood shelf brackets (I found these at Home Depot), ½” thick wood base cut to chosen length; 2 dowel rods; wood filler; wood screws; power screwdriver and drill bits; wood glue; primer and paint.  Decorative appliqués are optional.

 

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