Back to work

Sorry for being MIA for awhile.  The illness that had been spreading through my home finally caught up with me.  I had only enough energy to keep up with the daily grind – taking kids to school and activities, feeding them and getting them dressed.  I am now feeling better and slowly getting things back to normal.  Starting next week I will be back to my organizing, but not necessarily on a daily basis.  I will post what I am working on, but I will not stress about getting something to post every. single. day.

 

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Sick days

Illness has hit our household.  At least one person has been sick everyday for a couple weeks.  Thankfully it has been mainly colds and coughs and the occasional fever.  I decided that since we have been sick it is time to go through our downstairs “medicine cabinet”.

A while ago I gathered all of the medicines that were scattered around our main level and designate a spot for them in an upper cabinet in our kitchen.  I liked having a majority of our medicines where we spend most of our time.  Instead of having to run upstairs all the time we just have to go to the kitchen.  I utilized a small cabinet that is between our refrigerator and the wall to the dining room.  It isn’t very wide and wasn’t being used very well.  Two plastic bins fit on the bottom shelf nicely.  One bin hold the liquid medicines and the other holds the pills.

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Here is how it looked this morning.

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It’s not too bad but a little cluttered.  I knew that I hadn’t gone through the medicines in a while and there were probably some that had expired.  The other thing that was bothering me was that the dosing cups, spoons and syringes were always getting lost at the bottom of the bin.  We also had several tubes of lip balm that wound up rolling around in the cabinet.

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Here is the after shot.  I got rid of a few expired items freeing up some space.  To corral the dosing instruments and the lip balms I just used paper cups.  Now I can find those small items when I need them.

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I haven’t posted in a couple of days.  I was tired and my projects weren’t really something needing photos or documentation :).  I just did some purging of papers.  I also sorted through the giveaway piles.  Well they weren’t really piles.  I had a bin filled with toys from a recent toy purge.  I wanted to go through the bin and pick out some things to see to Once Upon A Child, a children’s clothing and toy resale shop.  I picked out the “popular” toys and gear that I figured would sell well.  The rest was going to Goodwill along with some clothes.  

I guess I picked out the “good” stuff because the store bought everything I brought in (they rejected some of the toys I brought a few weeks ago).  I made $24 and cleared out some space in my house.  Not bad for an afternoon.

Today I’m going through my countertop files and getting rid of some paper.  That is the most I’m up for today since a nice cold has knocked me out.  

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Completing the task

Yesterday my husband came home, took one look in the refrigerator and said “uh oh”, looking at all the new and yet to be labeled bins,”I’m going to mess this up and put things in the wrong place”.  He was teasing me about my affinity for labels.  He once said that he expected to come home one day and I would slap a label saying “husband” onto his forehead.  While the way I have things grouped makes perfect sense to me, others may not “see” it the same way.  To make it easier for everyone to find what they are looking for (and be able to put things away) I like to label containers.  That way everyone is on the same page.

Today I finished up my refrigerator project by labeling the bins I added.  I found these cute gift tags that I thought would make nice labels.  I found them again in the dollar section of Target (really I’m not a paid spokesperson for Target, but that sure would be nice).

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Since there is no where to tie the tags I removed the string, wrote the contents, and just taped them on.

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Now each bin has the contents labeled on the front and everyone should be able to find what they are looking for :)

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Refrigerator redo

On Friday I mentioned reorganizing my refrigerator. I already purged the outdated items last week. Step one done.
Here is what the inside of my fridge looked like

Inside before

Inside before

Door before

Door before

It isn’t too bad but being on the short side (as in under 5 feet) I can’t reach items in the back on the top two shelves. I wanted to incorporate bins that I could pull out to be able to get to those things that disappear in the back.
I found some deep plastic Itso brand bins at Target. They fit nicely and by pulling it out I can reach everything.
I started by taking everything out of the refrigerator and grouping like items together. Next I cleaned the shelves and adjusted them so the bins would fit. Finally I put everything back in with like items together in the bins. For example one bin has the gluten free sandwich bread and buns, another bin has berries and yogurt.
I didn’t do anything with the “deli” “vegetable” and “meat” drawers as they work well as is.  I also left the colored baskets under the deli drawer alone.  Those hold kid friendly snacks like baby carrots, grapes and cheese sticks.

Inside after

Inside after

Now I just need to label the bins so everyone else (hubby) knows where everything is.

Door after

Door after

I didn’t change a whole lot for the shelves on the door, I just got rid of a few items that weren’t really necessary to keep (the sun-dried tomatoes that I used for one recipe months ago). Each shelf has its own grouping. The top shelf is for Sunbutter and jellies. The second shelf is condiments. The third is salad dressings and the bottom is for gluten free flour mix and larger items.

We’ll live with this set up for a while and then reassess how well it is working. Some times things need to be adjusted to make it more user friendly or to really fit the function.

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One step at a time

I don’t feel motivated today.  I’m cold, tired and just want to curl up on the couch.  But since I committed to this little project I’m not doing that (at least not right now).  Sometimes projects can be big and overwhelming.  That is when you need to break them down into smaller pieces.  I had planned on rearranging the contents of my fridge.  Instead of doing the whole project at once I focused on the first step – purging.  I just took a few minutes and cleaned out the out of date items and practically empty containers.  Thankfully there were no science projects hiding in the back :).  One step at a time.

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Routines

Purging, sorting and maintenance are all important organizational steps.  Establishing a routine also helps tremendously.  Today I started a homework routine.  Now my oldest is only in Kindergarten so there really isn’t a whole lot of homework just yet.  I wanted to have something in place so that when they do start having homework they will be able to conquer it with little prodding from me.  Make it a routine now so that it won’t be a fight (or as big a fight) later on.

Homework bins

Homework bins

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I got these bins last summer at Target in the “dollar” spot (I think they were actually $2).  Each bin is labeled with a day of the week.  Inside there are two folders, one for each child (the 2 year old doesn’t do “homework” yet, he gets other things to work on/play with during homework time).  My kindergartener has a monthly packet that has an activity for each day of the week.  That packet goes into his folder and is moved to the next day when he completes each day’s work.  To supplement that activity I also pull some worksheets for practice.  My preschool daughter really likes “homework” so she gets worksheets too.

When my oldest gets home from school, the routine is now to hang up coats and backpacks then get their folder from the day’s bin.  They also get their supply caddy and get to work.

Supply caddy

Supply caddy

The supply caddy is another Target purchase.  It contains pencils, eraser, sharpener, crayons and a glue stick.  Everything they need for their work.

Completed work

Completed work

Today I picked up this paper tray.  When worksheets are completed they go in the tray for my review.

I’m sure this routine will be tweaked as afterschool activities start up and again in summer time (I still plan on having some sort of daily activity to complete when school is out). For now it seems to work and the kids enjoyed their first day of this routine.

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