Archive | January 2011

Decluttering

With the coming of the new year, people tend to take a look at their lives.  Decluttering is one of the most common topics this time of year.  The fact the there are so many books at show on tv about this topic proves that many of us have a problem with clutter.  I am one of those.  Getting my house decluttered is one of my goals for 2011.  This will be a huge challange since I have three young children and no garage, no attic, no basement and only one SMALL spare room.  Sometimes it seems like an impossible task!  Although I am not an expert & haven’t bought any of those organizational books, there are some things I have learned along the way.

1.  Take it one small step at a time.  I start with one area that I want to work on, set my timer for 25 minutes & go at it.  This is enough time to allow me to get something done, but not long enough to burn me out.  I am usually surprised at how much I can get done in that 25 minutes.  Then I am almost always inspired to do more!

2.  Focus on one thing. My bedroom often looks like a tornado hit it.  If I focus only on fabric (clothes, bedding, projects) I find that I can make a huge dent and get the rest of the things later.

3.  Make decluttering a regimen.  If I work on it every day, even for only a few minutes, I can see progress.  I won’t get discouraged or frustrated.  In fact, I am again inspired to do more!

4.  Get rid of it!  If I haven’t used it or worn it in the last 6-12 months, I get rid of it!  Donate it, sell it, or trash it!  With almost no storage space, we have to live in the now.  Can we use it now?  Then it is worth keeping!

These are a few ways I work on getting my house decluttered.  I hope they can help someone else!

Advertisements

Cleaning their rooms

How is it that such little people can make such a big mess in such a short amount of time? Then getting them to pick up is like pulling teeth? We’re trying a new rule at our house this week (gotten from a friend): if it’s on the floor, it’s mine!
So far, this is working. As soon as I remind them that I’m going to collect “my” things off the floor, they start picking up. I guess they don’t want to see their things disappear! Thanks for the idea, Mandy!

Homemade ice cream

Did you know that you can make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker?  There are several methods of doing this and we tried one of the out tonight.  If you have children, you might want to give this a try.  It is quick, easy, and made with only 5 ingredients! 

The recipe we used called for a 3# and a 1# coffee can.   Since I do not drink coffee, we had to improvise.  I use a plastic margarine container (appox. 2 1/2#) & a smaller margarine container (approx 12 oz). 

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

3 TBS sugar

12 TBS rock salt

ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Place first 3 ingredients in smaller container.  Stir well.  Place this in larger container. 
  2. Surround with ice cubes & sprinkle on 6 TBS salt.  Make sure it is well sealed. 
  3. Have kids sit facing each other & roll the container back & forth between them on its side for 1o  minutes. 
  4.  At this point, give the ice cream a quick stir. Drain the water off, refill the ice & repeat steps 2 & 3. 
  5. Once they’re done, open & serve to your little helper!

I tasted great!  The kids loved it.  Next time we are going to make 2 batches at the same time & add some chocolate or chopped chocolate chips!

Getting on track

Well, today is the 2nd day of 2011 & I think it was a pretty good day!  I got a lot done for a Sunday.  I finished my scarf – the 1st item I have to sell!  One down, many to go.  I started a face mask.  I hope it turns out!

I started cleaning out the computer room.  I didn’t make a dent, but at least it is started.  If I do just a little each day, it won’t seem so overwhelming.  I’d like to turn this room into a second pantry. 

I also rode my stationary bike for the first time in over a week (& the first time this year!). I burned 600 calories!  More than I hoped to do when I started.  I am SO proud of myself!  Whoo hoo! 

I think today has been a great start to a new year!  Tomorrow it’s back to work. 

Until next time…