I Miss Writing

If you haven’t noticed, its been pretty quiet around here lately and I don’t like it. I miss writing. A lot. Between working full-time, wrangling a preschooler, attempting to have a decent conversation with my husband, and kicking butt being sick, there are not many hours left in the day. Typically I have always waited until the evening to write but it hasn’t been working for me recently. I want to put my heart and soul into my post but it seems that Temple Run: Brave is the extent of my thinking capabilities after 7pm.

I will be the first to admit that I would rather not blog at all then to throw up a half-thought out, second-rate post. I tried putting one together yesterday and as I read back over it, it went in the trash. Quality over quantity is not just a cliché. It’s a truth in my book.

To help resolve this problem, I am working on two changes.

The first is to begin packing my lunch at work and spend that hour in a quiet location on campus writing at least three days a week. My current office is next to our student center which happens to have an amazing patio area overlooking the lake and fountain which I hope will help facilitate the writing process. I am honestly not sure why I haven’t done this sooner!

Second, we are working on finally setting up an office area where I can write and keep all of my blogging information organized!

This is the area I currently refer to as The Hole:

Office and Laundry Organization Mission

The previous owners built in the car port of the house and this space was a part of the outdoor laundry room. It is my guess when they completed the addition, they were not quite sure what to do with the extra space so they decided to throw in some mismatched cabinets and call it a day.

We had to do quite a bit of work in the laundry area upon moving in (although it’s still not quite where I want it) but everything else has pretty much stayed the same and we’ve had enough. It is basically a junk-catcher.

Everything from my purse to laundry to mail get thrown on the counter and my husband and I have finally gotten to the point where we cannot deal with it anymore plus we both want a place where we can sit down to pay our bills, work on our laptops, and get organized in general.

This will be a great location for a couple of reasons. First, the cabinets and counter provide a good foundation to start with. The fact that none of the four cabinets are the same size presents a challenge but I like knowing we can have designated spaces for things such as camera accessories and art supplies. Secondly, this space is right off the dining/living area so either of us can work while keeping an eye on the wild child.

Some of the things we plan on doing in the renovation include:

  • New flooring! I cannot wait to get rid of that ugly and disgusting floor. If you look closely the linoleum in the laundry room and office space do not match. Why they chose to put down two different patterns is beyond me. We’ve tried our best to cover the floor with area rugs but it just doesn’t work. We are putting down a new tile floor and I cannot wait!
  • New paint! It is a pretty small space so I’m looking forward to adding some fun color! We used gray as a neutral throughout the house so we are thinking of using an aqua to add a pop (we’ve got in narrowed down to Sea Air or Aqua Ocean by Valspar!).
  • New paint for the cabinets! Sanding and painting the cabinets white is also on the agenda to flow with the white cabinets in the kitchen and provide some crisp, clean lines.
  • Organization, organization, organization! Hooks on the wall to hold my purse and Abby’s bag. Baskets, bins, and binders in the drawers and cabinets to organization office supplies, important files, and other items to make the space functional and easy on the eyes! Blogs like I Heart Organizing and A Bowl Full of Lemons have been bookmarked to get ideas on finding proper homes for everything that needs to be housed in this space! Pinterest is also on the list of frequent browsing naturally!

While neither of these is a “cure” for my writing challenges, I’m really hoping that they will each be a step in the right direction!

Do you have struggle with time management and/or organization? What are your favorite tips (or blogs/posts) to help you get on top of things?

 

Home Organization 101: The Kitchen

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Our first week’s assignment for Home Organization 101 was to attack the kitchen. The assignment tasks included:

1. Clear off the kitchen table. This is your dumping grounds.
2. Empty out all cabinets, drawers, and clutter! Place ALL items into “categories” on the table.
3. Wipe down the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. Add new liners if necessary.
4. Discard (trash) old, expired, and no longer used items & food. Check the dates.
5. Place all items that are able to fit, into baskets.
6. Place everything back into the cabinets & drawers (in categories).
7. Take everything off the kitchen counters and place onto the table.
8. Wipe down the counters & backsplash with a good natural cleaner.
9. Wipe down ALL small appliances & large ones too!
10. Put back items you use on a daily basis, onto the counter top.
11. Mop the floors and wipe down the table & chairs.
12. Empty fridge/freezer. Wipe out. Put back in an organized manner.13. You may clean and organize under the kitchen sink.
It definitely looks like a long list but I broke it up over the course of the week tackling two or three cabinets a night and covering other tasks as I made my way around the kitchen. Attacking my cabinets was a task that was WAY overdue (especially since we’ve been battling an invador – the beady-eyed kind – bonus of living in the country).
Here are some before & after shots:
Kitchen Cabinet Before & After

This cabinet held glasses, travel cups/mugs, and storage containers. First step was to move storage containers completely and sorting through travel cups. Anything without a lid was pitched immediately. Anything that wasn’t used regularly but in good condition was put into the donate basket. Mugs were moved to the second shelf and less frequently used travel cups and sport bottles were put on the top shelf. The picture is of a another cabinet (forgot the before pics – oops). The bottom shelf now contains Abby’s “big girl” cups – mismatched or otherwise gross sippy cups were tossed. The second shelf is now organized and matching storage containers and top shelf is my trusty crock pot.

Kitchen Cabinet Before & After

The first picture is all of the crap that was in the cabinets above the stove that have all of my baking supplies. I emptied everything out. After discarding anything that was expired (which was more items than I care to admit), I organized everything in baskets which makes everything so much easier. I baked donuts this morning for breakfast and finding the ingredients I needed was twice as quick and easy. Love the new layout!

We don’t have a huge kitchen and cabinet space is at a minimum so this weeks task was really helpful in getting everything not only clean and organized but more accessible. Here is a full shot of the kitchen (when I had the countertops cleared):

Kitchen Organization Layout

 

Now that it is more organized, the things on our kitchen to-do list include touching up cabinet paint, touching up countertops, and replacing the horrendous fluorescent light fixture. Anyone have any recommendations on kitchen lighting?

Next on the to-do list – the garage!

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