Friday, March 25, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #3: Kid's Clothes and/or Toys Results

Project: Simplify's Hot Spot #3 dealt with the kid's clothes and toys this week. I have three children and thankfully I had done some work in both areas not too long ago. There was no way I was going to be able to get through three kid's rooms in one week had I not done something ahead of time. I decided to focus on the clothes instead of the toys since we'd gone through the toys before Christmas.

I started in the baby's room because her dresser drawers were absolutely stuffed full! Too many baby blankets, sheets, onesies, etc.

The drawers practically sighed a sigh of relief when I got rid of half of those blankets, organized the sheets, and rolled the onesies instead of folding them (no pictures of them but I love this method!). It's hard to believe by looking at these pictures that I removed things from these drawers but believe it or not, I took tons of stuff out. They still look so full but I am able to close them much easier now.

I was able to get rid of the dresses she has outgrown and also make some room on the shelf above.

This was the result of my efforts in that room. Two bags for consignment and one basket full of items to be donated.

Then I headed to my son's room (before and after pictures to follow). He keeps telling me he has too many clothes and I don't need to buy him any more. After this week, I think he is right! This is only some of them spread out from one end of the room to the other. I like to save the clothes that are getting small to use as play clothes. This means that I am dealing with several sizes at a time and creates LOTS of clothes. It was finally time to retire the items that were ridiculously small and organize everything else. My son is also a child that likes to wear shorts around the house in the winter so I am dealing with clothes for warm and cold seasons throughout the entire year instead of storing one set like I do with the girls.

My 4 year old daughter entertaining herself with the "mini claw" game in his room while I cleaned.

So here is what the closet looked like before I started. Curtains falling, clothes sliding out of the shelves, laundry overflowing from the basket, and toys everywhere.

He is my after picture with everything sorted, organized, curtains fixed, and so on.

Two boxes for donation and one bag for consignment. Not bad but I probably could have done better. He wasn't home and I wasn't able to hold things up to see if they were really too small and I was afraid to get rid of clothes he could still wear. I may revisit this room and try to quickly go through some stuff again to see if there is anything else that can go.

What I don't have pictures of is my middle child's room. I didn't want to bore everyone with more dresser and closet pictures. I did the same in her room except I don't get rid of her clothes because they go into storage for when the baby is old enough to wear them. We were able to clear out two boxes worth of dresses and some other stray items to put into the attic.

This project has been tough but so worth it! It's really starting to make a difference. I'm glad it's the weekend and I have time to rest before next's week assignment but at the same time, I am anxious to see what we will be tackling next week.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #2: Paper Clutter Results

If I thought last week's hot spot was tough, I was wrong! Paper clutter (Hot Spot #2) is probably my biggest problem. I do not do a good job of purging things. I always think I will go back and look at magazines or I need to hang on to certain papers in case I need them again. They end up just piling up all over the house. After looking at these pictures, it made me sick to see how bad the piles got! While I did not get to dedicate as much time to this as I would have liked to, I did make a huge dent in it. My 9 month old daughter is now mobile and making it tough to turn my head in the other direction for any length of time. She was also very clingy this week and I just don't work as fast with a baby attached to my hip. So I had to go with the flow and do what I could, when I could, and still feel pretty good about the results.

This is my makeshift office. It's in the living room at the end of the couch. All my business and some school papers tend to gather here. In fact, my little table got so full I had to put a TV tray up in front of the couch for my laptop to fit. It use to be on the little pink table!

Now everything is back in it's place. I'm hoping to keep it there.

Behind the pink table in the corner is a nice basket intended for "current" magazines. As you can see, I haven't purged anything in quite a while. I went with the rule of anything older than three months needs to go!

Much better! My plan is to try to read a little of one magazine each day during lunch and as I get through them, copy any recipes, etc. that I want to keep and then recycle the magazine. Sadly these were kept in a really nice Longaberger basket that now has a broken handle because the basket was too full.

Here's my Take Action box. It was filled to the brim with things that needed to be sorted and put where they belong.

In front of the pink table (told you this area was bad!), is a wire basket I tried to contain things in. It too piled up over time.

Now I can actually see what is in there to use it.

Bills! Insurance EOB's! Car registration forms! It never ends! The basket to the right of the pile of envelops practically falling off the desk is supposed to organize all of these. But somehow there is never time to write things on my calendar before they are sorted. So they get stuck in this pile until I have the time to go through them and separate them into the basket. I'm thinking of going "paperless billing" as was suggested for a way to stop a lot of this mail from coming into the house.
Notice the pile behind the clock as well. I will find a place to put paper no matter what!

Not perfect but a definite improvement from what was there before.

Oh the island!! I didn't even take a picture of the whole thing because it was awful!

This tray was put there to keep the clutter down but it didn't work. I ended up filling it and then there were other separate piles all over the island. Again, getting rid of the unnecessary mail before it comes into the house is key!

We can actually use it again!

There were many suggestion made about how to keep the paper clutter under control now that it has been cleaned. I am going to try my best to do them and keep these areas clear. Now to relax and wait for next week's assignment. It's not too late to join Project: Simplify by Simple Mom.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review for SLAVE

I have put off writing this review for as long as I could.
I like to write positive reviews. I like to see the good side of things and find value
in everything I come across.
I am a fan of this man's work. He sharpens my thinking skills.
I don't always agree with him, yet he gets me studying as to WHY I don't agree.
But I do agree and enjoy a lot of his written works.
This one blew me away.
I wasn't prepared for my angst towards this work.
BACK COVER: A Cover Up of Biblical Proportions
The cover up MacArthur is revealing is that everywhere in the Bible the word
"servant" should have been slave.
This cover up is what is keeping most of us from having the correct relationship with Christ.
I would argue that our sin is what keeps us from
standing as near to Christ as we could be.
In order to back up his claims, I was sad to see
the discrediting of Scripture.
While I believed his point to be worthy, there is enough Scripture given that refers to bondage, slavery to SIN, etc...that there was no need to
disparage God's choice of the word
"servant" in many places.
His comparison of slaves to servants is interesting.
His reasoning as to why the word should be slave instead of servant is thought provoking and elicited great conversation between my oldest son and me.
Slaves aren't paid.
MacArthur's first flaw.
I am urged in Scriptures to endure, to keep going, to work for rewards, for crowns,
for His praising words of "well done", for crying out loud- He gave me a mansion!
Slave- it doesn't feel like it.
Maybe the big difference between SLAVE and SERVANT is
the way the Master treats the person.
What WAS good about this book is it led me to studying the Bible.
To "see if these things be".
For that alone, it is a worthy tool to have on the bookshelf.
It is never wrong to be reminded that preachers are mere mortals,
men whose own worldview must be filtered through Scripture and sometimes
even good men get it wrong.
It is up to us to find out what we believe and why we believe it.
And if there is a problem, it is not with the Word of God.
My belief that the word "servant" was not an error, nor a conspiracy
is made stronger now.
Thanks, John.
I believe God has the power to not lose control of what He wanted us to have
as the Word of God.
~Shannon- Fortunately For You Books

Friday, March 11, 2011

Project: Simplify Hot Spot #1: Closet Results

I have been dreaming about purging things and organizing my house since I knew I was pregnant with my third child. She is now 9 months old and it was time to start. Simple Mom organized Project: Simplify. It's a 5 week project that anyone can join to help get 5 different areas of your home in order. This was the motivation I needed to get going!

Hot Spot #1 started this week and it dealt with your closet/drawers/wardrobe. Boy was this a tough place to start! Years of holding on to clothes that really needed to go made this a BIG job! Our goal was to have it finished by Friday. While I still have some clothes in my son's closet, I did manage to get through my left half of the closet (going to let hubby do his side himself if he wants) and dresser drawers.

This is a before picture of the hanging clothes jammed in there. They were so packed that it was hard to separate anything to see what I even own.

This is the after picture. I didn't get a closeup of the hangers, but I put everything back in with the hangers backwards so that at the end of the year, I will know if something wasn't worn because it will not have been turned around and I can purge. This is great to do with items you are unsure of.

Notice the little shelves on the left with clothes seeping over the edges and filled to the top?

Now they are all organized and I even have three shelves empty!

My helper during the process.

Drawers before. Again jammed and hard to open. Never was able to see what was at the bottom of those drawers!

I used the rolling method and grouped my shirts by colors. So much easier to find stuff now.

I did my PJ drawer the same as well.

So after all is said and done, I was able to donate 4 boxes and consign one bag. That's pretty good for 5 days work! Can't wait to see what next week's hot spot will be. Why don't you join us?