chronic illness

Getting Organized for Spring

I am so excited to introduce you to our guest blogger today! Meet Jen from IHeartOrganizing! She is a mom to three beautiful boys and is an organization extraordinaire! Her blog is completely inspiring and has tons of spoon-friendly ways to stay organized! So definitely pay her a visit when you get the chance! Today she is sharing some easy organization tips just in time to get Spring cleaning underway!

IHeart Organizing

We all know that sometimes creating a more simplistic and streamlined lifestyle may mean saying goodbye to the clutter.  Clutter and extra items lingering around the home can slow you down, yet it can also grow at incredible speeds!  Here is my easy organizing equation , “Less Stuff = A More Fulfilling Life”.  Simple as that, and giving true meaning to the saying, “Less is More”.

So where to begin?  Tricky question right?

I would recommend to start small.  Learning to let go of things is definitely not easy for many.  There is absolutely no need to start out by saying goodbye to Aunt Edna’s floral vase, maybe focus on an old magazine that has never been opened instead.  Once you see the benefit and great feeling that comes with the “Less is More” purging, it will become easier to let go of more substantial items that aren’t benefiting you or your family.

Here are a couple of quick and easy places to start in each room.


Kitchen:
  • Donate outdated or unused cookbooks
  • Purge down duplicate cookware pieces
  • Place all kitchen utensils into a box, and as you use them place them back into your drawer.  After a month, whatever wasn’t used, can be shipped away
  • Toss out expired food items from your fridge and cupboards

Living/Family Room:

  • Sell old CD’s or DVD’s on eBay if they haven’t been used within the last year
  • Cancel magazine subscriptions that you no longer read and recycle the giant stack on the coffee table
  • Pair down living room accessories by picking one or more items that were purchased on an impulse that never really worked in the space


Bathroom:

  • Toss out expired makeup
  • Combine Shampoos, Conditioners and Lotions and recycle the extra bottles
  • Say goodbye to that hair crimper circa 1986
  • Donate old towels to an animal shelter


Bedroom:

  • Donate clothing that no longer fits or isn’t being worn unless you have no other options
  • Toss orphaned or torn socks
  • In kid’s rooms, toss out old games/toys/puzzles that are missing all their pieces


Office:

  • Recycle that stack of statements and go online and switch to paperless statements
  • Take pictures of your kid’s artwork {even with them in the picture holding it} and after it’s been on display, toss it out {it really is ok, only keep your absolute favorites!}
  • Toss dried up pens, stretched out rubber bands, crumbling erasers and other non-functioning desk supplies
  • Donate old books to your local library

When it comes down to deciding what to Throw, Sell or Keep, it’s all really about personal preference, however, here are a couple things I keep in mind:

Throw: Anything completely outdated, expired, unusable, broken or missing any necessary pieces

Sell: Aside from knowing the quality and condition of the item you are considering selling, make sure that you are only listing anything that will actually be worth your time.  Selling on eBay or Craigslist or having a garage sale are all time investments.  Group smaller like items together and sell them together as a “lot”.  Bigger ticket items such as electronics, furniture or higher valued items, are worth the extra time to list individually.  

Donate: Everything else.  Don’t be afraid to kick furniture to the curb with a “FREE” sign.  Anything that may be taking up your precious space still may hold value to another, and handing things off also creates less waste.  Load up the back of your car and drop it off at your local donation center.  Just make sure to snap a picture and itemize your donations for tax purposes.

Thanks again for having me today!

Having a spoon-saving idea you would like to share? I would love to have you guest post! Topics can range from organization, home decor, fashion/beauty, and quick meals! Just shoot me an email!

holidays

Saving Spoons – Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tacos

I am about to share the most delicious and the easiest recipe known to mankind. We all know this time of year gets crazy busy and its hard to find time in the kitchen. Never fear! This recipe is a lifesaver! And takes seriously less than 5 minutes to throw together!

I originally found this recipe over a Prudence Pennywise over a year ago and ever since it has become a regular meal at our house!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breast

1/3 c brown sugar

1 can petite diced tomatoes (14oz)

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Throw everything into the crockpot after coating pot with nonstick cooking spray. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken shortly before serving. Variations include adding black beans or rice. My parents don’t like it quite as sweet as I do so adding the black beans helps even that out. You can also use tomatoes with added chilies if you want to kick the spice up a notch.

Serve with taco shells and the fixings. What makes this a great meal is that it is also gluten-free if you serve with corn shells! Woo-hoo!

It is a tradition in our family to have Mexican food on Christmas Eve (I have no idea how the tradition started but its one of our favorites!) so this will be added to our table this Christmas Eve!

Do you have a recipe you would like to share for Saving Spoons? Shoot me an email! I would love to feature it!

family

Saving Spoons – Laundry Room Organization

Welcome to the inaugural Saving Spoons post!  So excited to finally get this series off the ground!  Since everyone loves laundry, I figured why not start in the laundry room!

Laundry is inevitable (unless you are a full-time nudist) so why not make a space that is function and attractive as well.

So after a lot of work and sweat and more work by professionals, we turned this scary hole into a laundry room!

newlaundry

It wasn’t a large space to begin with so we tried to make the most of what we had!  We love our front load washer & dryer.  Worth every penny! I wasn’t sure if I thought it would be a pain getting the clothes out of the drier since I am short but I have no trouble reaching at all!

Behind the lovely curtain (that I made out of a table-cloth that I loved but hated using on the table) is a shelf that holds things like bulk paper towels, light bulbs, etc.  Who wants to look at all of that?

The laundry sorter cart also helps make the most out of the space!  I usually have a few hangers there so when I’m moving clothes from the washer to the dryer, if there is anything that doesn’t need to go in the dryer I can hang it up to dry right away. The mesh bag you see hanging up was on the side but I moved it to the bar so its easier to reach.  It holds unmatched socks. Once a week or so I go through the bag and match up socks (you’d be surprised how many matches you find after you cycle through several loads of laundry).  It definitely helps take out some of the frustration! I also like that the sorter bags aren’t huge so I can’t let laundry pile up which makes it easier to keep with!

We hung the ironing board and iron on the wall so that its out-of-the-way but still easy to get to. This picture makes me think that I really need a new ironing board cover.  Something fun and funky.  Any suggestions?

So now you’ve seen some of my ideas on how I save spoons in the laundry room but I also wanted to give some link love to these awesome posts that I have come across about making your laundry room a beautiful and organized space!

Laundry Room Makeover

12 Ways to Beautify Your Laundry Room – Tip Junkie

What are your best tips for keeping your laundry room organized and making the laundry as painless as possible?