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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Reach Out And Organize Something

I have a dream…it is a dream of a spotless house that stays spotless. When dirt is dragged in, it is immediately swept up, when dishes are dirtied they are immediately put in the dishwasher or hand washed. Everything is neat and tidy and organized.

Then I wake up.

Reality can be a bummer sometimes, but when it comes to the practical things in life it is best to start with reality. My first bit of advice for those searching for some organizational help is to be practical. Don’t try to attain your dream in one day. Start with small tasks that you can accomplish and go from there.

When I am trying to decide which areas to organize next I usually try to think of which area frustrates me the most. Where is it that when I have to get something out of that area, put something away, or simply look at it, that I am instantly stressed out and annoyed? Whatever area you thought of while reading that last sentence might be where you should start next. If you have more than one, pick the one that you frequent the most.

Oftentimes I will ponder a problem area for a while prior to tackling it. This helps me come up with solutions. I don’t always think of the solutions prior to organizing but if my brain has been working on it I know one will eventually come. Sometimes I have to get in there and just do the best I can organizing in spite of the problem areas. Then, a week later, it comes to me. Sometimes I do a search online to see if others have found a solution.

For example, I like to dry herbs and when I am in the process of drying them my kitchen is quite cluttered. Why? Because I would tie the herbs into bundles and hang them on the kitchen cabinet knobs to dry. My solution? A simple shower rod (I had an extra one in the garage). I put it in a shallow closet (it was set up the short way, not the length of the closet but the depth). Then I could hang my herbs in the closet out of the way.

Basically what I am trying to say is to simply get in there and work on the areas and frustrate you most. Work towards solutions to areas that are problems. Take things a little at a time. You rarely hear someone say they are organized. Usually its a work in progress. So get in there and make some progress on that work!

Personal goals this week:
Keep up the daily maintenance I started last week
Organizing the following areas:
Monday: Bathroom cabinet
Tuesday: Under the bathroom sink
Wednesday: Night off
Thursday: Coffee table storage baskets
Friday: Footstool storage area
Saturday: Under the kitchen sink and the TV entertainment center

Related Posts:
Shedding Disorganization

Wednesday Web Siting

Goals + Five Minutes = Organized Success!

Quick Tip

I See Crazy People

I thought I had seen everything. I thought that working at a church for 9 years had presented me with every random insane situation possible.

I was wrong.

I only wish I had pictures to prove what I am about to tell you.

I was at the church waiting for the leader of a group that was meeting that night to come so that I could let her in and then leave for the day. While I waited I finished up a few tasks and was walking around various parts of the church. As I passed the front doors to the church and a car caught my eye. I stopped to see if it was one of the ladies for the group that evening.

The first thing I noticed was that the car was an SUV style vehicle, very high end. I am not big on cars so I do not know what make or model but it reminded me of the newer Lincoln SUV’s that a friend of mine had test drove recently. Thats how I knew it was high end. The car pulled into the far end of the parking lot, stopped briefly, then drove in a large loop before parking in one of the stalls. Now we occasionally have cars pull in to the parking lot to turn around or sometimes parents bringing new drivers to practice driving. This being the case I kept watching because I was trying to figure out if it was a new driver, practicing, or someone who needed something. They were parked so far out though that it was intriguing.

At that point a woman got out of the SUV and walked to the back and opened the back door. I could not see her, since she was behind the car, but I could tell she was moving things around. I figured she had groceries that she needed to rearrange or something so I continued with my various tasks.

I was busy for about 5 minutes before I walked passed the front doors again. That was when I noticed her car pulling out of the parking lot. So far, nothing really terribly strange.

A few minutes later I headed back past the front doors and this time I noticed something unusual when I glanced at the parking lot. In the spot that she had been parked was a small white object. I could not tell what it was. I immediately started thinking of all of my crime shows and wondered if it was safe for me to go out and look. Silly I am sure but who knows, maybe it was a bomb or something. I was half nervous and half laughing at myself thinking it was probably nothing.

The lady I was waiting for pulled in and I headed out to leave, but not before checking out that object. When I got closer I could see it was a plastic grocery bag with the handles tying off the top. The handles were sticking straight up like someone had carefully set it there. I still didn’t touch it.

I texted a friend of mine who is a Sheriff and asked him what to do. He told me he would be by in a little while and would check it out. So I went home. I completely forgot about it, in spite of my curiosity, until the next morning. That was when I read that my friend, who works the night shift, didn’t see the bag (being dark when he got there) and thought it had been moved. It hadn’t. I had simply neglected to tell him it was on the far end of the parking lot.

When I pulled in to the church there sat my little mystery package exactly as I had seen it the day before. This time I decided to throw caution to the wind and see for myself what it was. I went into the church and grabbed a pair of scissors. Back at the package I held the handles with one hand (the only part of the bag I ever touched) and cut part of the bag open at the top. I used the scissors to spread the opening moved the contents around and verified that what I was seeing was all that was in the bag. It was a wet paper towel soaked with and sitting in some sort of liquid…yellow liquid.

I see only one explanation.

We Have A Web Siting!

Contrary to the title, this isn’t about cobwebs but about websites. Cleaning websites at least. So, if you follow some of the advice found on the following websites, you should have less web sites…forgive the punniness of this post, I am quite sleepy at this time and I always think I am so clever when I am sleepy.

Daily Chores is a site that lists the authors daily chores and how she keeps her home maintained. There are quite a few links on this site (check out the post about prevention) and therefore it is a great resource beyond the simple daily chores list.

Laurel Plum Online has a whole host of resources and just looking it over has helped me realize I need to do a week focus on organization. However, in the meantime, check out this series she did called “Climbing Out Of The Mess” which should help those of us who have gotten to that overwhelmed feeling of never catching up. You can do it! Just take it one step at a time and make sure you Eat Your Frog!

Housework on WordPress! WordPress allows WordPress users to follow the topic of housework so that if anyone posts and uses the tag of housework it will show up in your reader. So there is a never ending supply of new and fresh ideas!

Housework Blues is an ebook that you can order through the link. But there are sample chapters available prior to purchasing (I love the ability to check out a purchase prior to spending my hard earned cash). You simply put in a name and an email and you will be emailed a sample of 8 chapters! I read the first two pages of the first sample and have already decided I will be purchasing the book.

There are multitudes of websites out there. The sites listed above were from a simple google search of terms like “housework” or “daily maintenance housework”. You can always do a search such as this when that oh too familiar feeling of “there’s just too much to do” comes along. Its encouraging and helps us to get that motivation back. You can do it!

Related Posts:
This Old Maid Doesn’t Clean

Clean Up Your App

96 All Time Views

At what point does one consider oneself a writer? When one structures sentences in formal generic format? I don’t think so. I think it’s when you hit 100 views of your blog. Which means if four people read this particular post then I am officially a writer.

Publishing is for writers who have so much to say it won’t fit in a single post. Yes, that is the purpose of publishing. It is a venue for one really long post.

This is what I am telling myself today because I feel something spectacular should happen when I hit 100 views. It really doesn’t matter if the 100 views are my mom reading every post I write 12 times a day (does it work like that?) or if I only have 10 readers and I have posted 10 posts. I still feel that at 100 views I should get something. Maybe WordPress can hook up with Game Center on my iPhone and give me random points that tell me I am in the bottom 5% of the rankings.

How shall I celebrate this milestone? I should hold some sort of comment raffle and if you comment then you get a prize, but I don’t have anything to give anyone. Besides, I haven’t a clue how to hold an online raffle. Besides, I did the writing, which was half the work, maybe I should hold a raffle and the winner gets to send me something. Yeah I like that. I wonder how many comments that would generate.

Perhaps I should have a candy bar or something. Maybe I will buy a 100 Grand bar. That fits right?

After this rambly post perhaps I will have no readers.

Please don’t stop reading. I promise I will only write a post like this after every milestone. I can’t tell you how often those milestones are because I tend to celebrate when I feel like it. Hitting 101 might be a big deal. Perhaps it won’t be until 250. Or perhaps I will suddenly be used to the fact that people actually want to read this nonsense and never be surprised again.

And on that note, “I must go, in order to return.”

Keeping Short Accounts


…(Love) is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…
1 Corinthians 13:5

This verse rang in my head as I typed my letter. “I am trying to do that by using this letter to work through the hurt feelings. I can’t move on without addressing it right?” so I typed on.

I have struggled back and forth with this issue for months now. I hadn’t said anything to others because I knew much of it was emotional exaggeration. I was trying to get past that. Feeling that I was finally at a place where I could see the issue more logically I decided to write the letter.

This morning I was reading Oswald Chambers My Utmost For His Highest and I came across this line:

“Jesus Christ demands that there be not the slightest trace of resentment even suppressed in the heart of a disciple when he meets with tyranny and injustice.”

And that was when I knew I needed to shred the letter. It didn’t matter if I was wrong or right. Those who had hurt me had not done so intentionally and I was definitely keeping a record of wrongs. While I thought I was trying to move on I realized that I had actually been reminding myself of everything that had happened so that when I did address the issue with them I would be able to remember and talk it through.

So how do I now, after all this time, stop keeping record? How do I let go of resentment? By taking my thoughts captive. When those thoughts come I will remind myself of love. I will love them into forgiveness in my heart.

Disclaimer: this solution is not for every situation. The Scriptures will always apply but the way I applied them in this case was from personal conviction. It is not a black-and-white-never-confront-anyone message. Simply a message of keeping short accounts. This will look different for each person for each situation.

Clean Up Your App

Apps seem to be a weekly theme for me. I have an app for everything! Yes, even for housework. There are several that I like. The first is called Home Routine.


The pros of this app are that you can set up a very custom cleaning schedule, or use the built in schedules they already have. I like that you can add deep cleaning areas and have it remind you of those. It can be based on a daily, weekly, or monthly rotation of areas. For example, if you prefer to focus on one area and get all your deep cleaning done in that area you would work better with a monthly rotation. If you prefer to work on all the areas more often the weekly or daily rotation is probably better for you. It has endless possibilities.

The cons of this app are that its not free and you have to purchase a different app for your iPhone and for your iPad. So if you plan on switching between the two (which can be synced through iCloud) you will have to pay double. It is not one of the cheaper apps either, but it does have a lite version.

The other app that I use is a standard app that comes with your phone, Reminders.


This is a simple to do list. It works great for those days that you are wanting to get some specific things done. It is true that you could create daily, weekly, and monthly to do lists, but I personally don’t use it like that. I simply sit down and think of what I want to accomplish that day and put that on my list.

I will focus more on websites in a later post but a simple search will give you many resources. The most difficult part of all of these apps and websites for me is that I will get excited and use it for a while and then taper off. So tonight, after I finish writing this, I am going to start fresh with my Home Routine app and begin to create good habits.

Related Posts:
This Old Maid Doesn’t Clean

We Have A Web Siting!

This Old Maid Doesn’t Clean

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

We have already explored the second half of this verse by looking at time management ideas. This week we will focus on the first half of this verse, specifically in the area of housework.

I realize that at this point I have probably lost at least half of my readers but for the rest of you, hear me out, my goal is not to create guilt trips but to just share tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not live in a spotless house, I am by no means considered a clean freak and I am never accused of being neat and organized. And yet I probably have more resources on cleaning and organization than anyone I know. Why? Because I struggle with it. I am constantly on the lookout for anything that will help.

My first tip and my own personal first step is to make a plan. I always work better if I tackle things in little pieces and when I make a plan. So here is my cleaning schedule for the week:

Monday: Pick up Living, Dining, and Kitchen areas
Tuesday: Sweep floors
Wednesday: Night off
Thursday: Pick up Bedroom
Friday: Clean Bathroom
Saturday: Vacuum rugs and furniture

You have to think realistically when making these types of lists. What days are you busier or more tired? What days do you have more time or energy? And make the list attainable. What is the minimum that would make you feel comfortable if someone dropped by? If you are a clean freak change that question to what is the minimum that would make you feel comfortable so that when you have relax time you actually relax. I am not saying to only do the minimum, but make your plan accordingly so that if you are able to do more its even better, but if you aren’t at least you accomplished that much.

Too often we plan for our ideal. We strive for our end result in the beginning, give it some time. Make up a plan once a week and get to where you are following it before you start to add more to your plate. You will find the encouragement you get from accomplishing your goals will give you motivation to keep adding to them to start seeing even more results.

Related Posts:
Clean Up Your App

We Have A Web Siting!

For the Love of Music, and the Love of a Friend

He wanted so badly to play the guitar. I could see it in his face. I knew immediately when he requested to move from the recliner to a chair without arms that he was going to try. It took a good 10 minutes to get him moved. His left side was just not cooperating. Tom helped had his arm over his shoulders and Eric moved his dragging left foot to help stabilize him.

Once settled he let everyone know, he wanted to try to play. We got the guitar over to him, Tom holding the neck of the guitar so he could use his right hand solely for strumming, his glasses perched on his nose so he could see the music, and he tried…he strummed a little, his trembling hand only allowing some halting sounds to come out of the guitar. Then he decided he wanted to get his left hand up to the neck of the guitar to make the chords. Tom situated him and got his hand up there but he just couldn’t do it. That was when he broke down and cried.

It was heart breaking. This man who was once a musician, who led worship every week for his church, who had five guitars and knew every detail on each and every one of them. He couldn’t even hold the guitar without help. That’s when Tom suggested he make the chords so Randy could focus on strumming.

So Randy counted off, “one, two three four…” his toe started tapping, and he started to strum, and we sang. This was the most beautiful rendition of the song Amazing Love that I have ever heard. To see this beautiful man sitting there strumming with his trembling hand, Tom making the chords, and the rest of us singing. I will never forget that moment, when, with tears in my eyes I sang of God’s amazing love, listened to the halting guitar, heard Randy’s raspy voice, and thanked God for the honor of coming to visit Randy.

Dear Blog

My Dear Blog,
You have invaded all my thoughts and every minute of my life. The moments we share are so precious to me. Every morning begins when I wake up trying to think of something witty to tell you to make you laugh. In the afternoon I have lunch with a friend and I, in the back of my mind, am thinking of how I will tell you about the conversation we had. In the evening I have an idea for a sweet story that will warm your heart. Oh blog I have tried to write other blogs but you are my one true blog. You are the only blog for me. I knew the moment I hit “create blog” and saw your beautiful being come into existence. It has been confirmed by 9 others that we are a wonderful pair. These 9 who choose to continue to watch our relationship flourish and grow. I love you blog. Don’t ever leave me.

What Do You Need?

The first step in DIY projects is to decide what you want to try. I started with making Laundry Soap because I had heard several friends mention that they had made their own and it intrigued me. After my first batch, and discovering just how inexpensive it is to make, I gave away jars of it at Christmas. Now, 9 months later, I still have people asking me for the recipe. Your first batch is the most expensive, it is about $10 for a 5 gallon bucket. 5 GALLONS! After that its about $1 to refill your bucket.

From there I decided to try other soaps and cleaning products and ended up stumbling across this wonderful resource: DIY Natural. This site has everything! I love it!

I have also tried toothpaste (though I do not recommend making this before purchasing xylitol, it is quite unpleasant without it), all purpose cleaner(from their book), shampoo and conditioner, and dishwashing detergent.

When I am looking for a project I use several sources. I use Pinterest, You Tube, or a general internet search. The important thing is when something breaks to start with the thought of, “Can I fix this myself?” When doing any project it is important to get advice from those who are more experienced than yourself. When my garage door broke I spoke with several people I know about it and then did a search on the internet for a similar problem. When I am knitting and come across a mistake I will email my sister in law. For making homemade soaps and such I ask several friends who also make their own soaps.

I do need to slip a disclaimer in here though, if you are trying to fix something there are two things that can happen if you make a mistake, you can make it worse, or you can end up spending more money than it would have cost to have a professional do it. Keep these things in mind when assessing projects. Also, if you are dealing with anything dangerous (like fixing your electrical wiring) it is best to leave it to a professional.

Update on 10-14-12: Over the past two weeks I have run out of conditioner and toothpaste. Both of these items were things I have attempted to make in the past and not terribly happy with them. They were also the two items I kept forgetting at the store. So as an emergency substitution I made them to hold me over until the next grocery trip. In the end I liked them after all. The conditioner I thought didn’t work, but it does. The toothpaste I didn’t like without the xylitol but I hadn’t given it much chance after I had xylitol. So now I like it. Sometimes necessity isn’t committing to making your own for the rest of your life, simply ass a substitute for a time. Who knows, in the end you may like it and end up never switching back.

Related Posts:
How To Shut Your Garage

DIY Week

Today’s Harvest

What Started It All

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