Home Manager. Momma. Hairstylist. Artist. Lover. Fighter. Everything and anything.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Simple Mom "Project Simplify" week 2 challenge - Kitchen

Week two, and I found there wasn't a whole lot for me to do. Being that we just moved, we haven't really had much time to mess up the place - not that that's a bad thing...

Our kitchen is very lacking in storage and size, so we have things kind of everywhere. We had to put our red IKEA locker thing (I think it originally was a tv stand) in the dining room for extra storage and put our microwave, coffee maker, and toaster on top of it. I store almost all my baking things inside. Our counter is only big enough for a dish rack on one side, and a small cook space on the other, so we've got things in some pretty creative spots. We also took one of our IKEA shelves and use it as a pantry.

IKEA locker

IKEA shelving as pantry

My only area that needed a bit of attention was our one food cupboard. I recently bought some club size staples and hadn't gotten around to putting them in their canisters, so I took this week to do that. I didn't realize how many containers we were up to, and when I started switching over to them I just used some painters tape to label. Wasn't pretty, but it did the job. Well now that it's en vogue to do this, I went on Etsy and found this cute shop, and purchased some reusable chalkboard labels and a chalk marker (as well as a bunch of things for Pinxit's upcoming birthday). Unfortunately they're not here yet, but at least you can see how I tidied up the cupboard.


I also cleaned up our spices. I found this idea a while ago (I think possibly on Simple Mom), where you put spice jars on a tray or in a container. In my case, I went with cake pans. I also ordered labels for these.

I'm most excited for the next two weeks - closets, counter tops, and drawers because we really need to do something about our bedroom closets, and the last is our pick. I've decided to do my art space. It never gets fully unpacked and organized, which makes it hard for crafting.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Simple Mom "Project Simplify" week 1 challenge - Kid's Stuff

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been hard at work trying to do some decluttering and purging in Pinxit's room. Pre and post move we always go through everything and try to get rid of everything we can. We really hate how much stuff we have.

At least this time we've made a huge dent in things.

Pinxit's closet was packed to the gills with boxes of clothing; hers (outgrown and to grow into), mine, Eman's, boy clothes (you know, for that baby we don't have), baby blankets and bedding, etc. On Monday morning I pulled out something like 10-15 boxes and as a family we all sat down and went through everything. It was really hard on me to go through her baby clothes - there was one and a half large boxes (3x3x1 in size) jam packed of her stuff, and I was able to get rid of half.

girl clothes we kept
girl clothes we donated (before folding)
Eman got rid of almost everything he had in storage and that same day we had a friend come by and take nearly all of it, and all the baby girl clothes we gave to a friend the next day for her sister who is expecting. 7 boxes of stuff in total (4 of them clothing), and we still have 4 to get dropped off.

all the donated clothes
When it came to the rest of her room we didn't have much left to donate, so it was just a bunch of cleaning, organizing, and rearranging.



And of course, what we've all been waiting for, the after photos.


The easiest way I could organize without spending anything, was to use Ziploc bags to sort and store all of her little toys. The funny thing, the prize for this challenge, are these really cool Lay-n-Go activity mats which have a draw string on them, allowing you to lay out the toys, then scoop them up as a fast way to tidy up toys! I showed these to my husband and he said when we're able to, we're going to buy her a few. The baggies are only a temporary solution, and I know with time they're going to tear apart, so I can't wait till we can get ours.

each house has a baggie inside with its parts
various toys separated by type
large dolls on top
large loose items on the bottom
various toys separated by type
everything in the closet

I used the smaller bins we had to put all her dress-up clothes, and her pretend food in. There was also a tiny bin, which now houses her dolls. Again, with all the loose pieces in a baggie.

under the bed

kitchen toys

dress-up clothes 


accessories in a baggie

 I didn't really want to get rid of any of her movies, but more importantly I wanted all her books in her bookshelf (in one of the before shots you can see a ton of books in a green milk crate and all around it). The compromise, I went through her books, got rid of anything I didn't enjoy reading, or enjoy the wording or subject matter (for example, books that use the word 'fat' or make fun of anyone, or "Hooper Humperdink...? Not him!" by Dr. Seuss - because I'm sorry, though at the end he finally does include him, I feel it's a horrible book; you can't at the last moment include the child and think it's ok...), I did not read every book though, so there may be more to weed out at a later date now that she's not so obsessed with reading the same 5 books. I also took out exercise books and put them aside for when we start homeschooling. I then put all the movies that were not Disney into the milk crate and tucked them up on her closet shelf - that way she still has them, but they're not cluttering up her space. She now even has a spot for her shoe collection.

bookshelf all redone

All in all, things turned out great. I unpacked and went through every box, unpacked all her wall decor and even put some of it up, and have plans to get rid of one of her large activity toys that she never plays with. Next step will be to paint and get her a big girl bed (as we had to leave her last one in Ottawa for my sister who moved in as soon as we moved out) and bedding, work on some art for her walls, and to finish decorating.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Same old song and dance...

Quite a bit has happened since I last posted; most predominant, the fact that my father kicked us out. I really don't want to get into the details, but the main point is that my father was linked to this blog - most likely by my sister - and because I spoke ill of him, he told us after we returned from our trip to Wallaceburg and Sarnia (a 9 hour drive away) that we had a week to move. We were able to resolve several things before we left, but we did not feel secure staying there, and decided to leave as soon as possible. I haven't heard from my father since we left, even though I've made contact twice. I've given up. Like I promised myself with the resolutions, I have let go of the past, and I am weeding out 'the bad'. I don't need the heartache.


Fast forward almost two months; we moved into an acceptable apartment that's not in the best condition or the best neighbourhood about 4 weeks ago (after sleeping on people's couches since just after New Years), and we're still trying to get settled. There's a ton of things just lying around waiting to be purged or find a place to stay in our home. We had to borrow $1,200 from a friend as well as all the money I had saved for Eman's schooling to afford the move, so we really don't have anything to play with to help organize or beautify the space.

I have gained employment, we sort of... There is a salon and spa that is in need of stylists, but it is commission based only. Being that I have no clientele, this could be a problem. I do however, get to choose my own hours. I'm trying to stay optimistic about it all, but when there's no extra funds for advertising or to upgrade some of my tools I've given away or that have broken over time, it kind of puts a damper on things. I do however, have a few really great ideas on how to bring in some clients, so hopefully they work out.

Pinxit's 3rd birthday is in a month, and I have slowly begun the party planning procedure. She has asked for a Toy Story birthday party. I've pretty much got everything figured out with the help of Pinterest, it's just a matter of waiting for funds to come in to purchase items needed. It's going to be really amazing I think. Also, she is now fully self-led potty trained, and only needs protection at night. She has even successfully gone on an outing without an accident. I'm happy we no longer have to keep her naked (the only way she would sense she needed to go), and people will feel comfortable around her again.

I will soon be posting photos of our apartment, starting with our 'spring cleaning' inspired by Simple Mom - I have been a follower of this site for the last two years, but this is the first year I'll be actually participating. This week the target zone is kids rooms. I can't wait to post at the end of the week what we have been able to do so far! I even have Eman on board helping (which normally I wouldn't allow). Please, feel free to head over to the site and join in! It's more exciting when you have someone to share your hard work with I find.