A Confession

Even the organizer get disorganized!

As evidenced by the photos below, I allowed the storage area of our basement to get out of hand. I generally try to keep up, but living with 3 other people and by convincing myself that I was too busy (really unmotivated), this is what happened over the summer:

Boxes piled up, some empty, some filled with legitimately stored items, no access to the shelves. What a mess!

Well, now things have calmed down a bit in my work schedule and I took advantage of some time off from substituting in our school district. I sorted, I threw out, I decided to recycle a lot of corrugated cardboard and I purchased two small, clear, storage bins ( I will touch more on that later) and now have back a clean, easily accessible storage area:

I store all of my seasonal decorations in the colored bins. And yes, even those bins are organized on the inside! Each is labeled, and in the case of multiple bins for one holiday or season, they are very specifically labeled with their contents. For example, when I begin decorating for Christmas, I start with the outdoor lights and garland. I know exactly which bins contain the lights, another has the garland. They are also stacked in the order I will take them down. Otherwise, with as many bins as I have, I would be constantly moving bins around in order to get to the one I want.

The clear bins I purchased to replace a couple of cardboard boxes were a deliberate purchase. I have consumables in each bin. I can take a quick peek to see if anything needs to be replaced. A small one contains bows for packages; a larger one for tissue paper, gift bags, ribbon, etc.

On the lower shelves, I have a clear bin and an orange bin. Each of these (one for each daughter) contains the projects and some schoolwork that our girls have done since they first picked up a crayon or a gluestick. I have sorted through them in the past, but the next time I do so, I intend to create a scrapbook (or scrapbooks) of some of the smaller projects and take photos of some of the larger, bulkier ones. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Not counting the time I took to drive to the recycling center with the cardboard and the store for the bins, total time for this reorganization project was approximately 3.5 hours.

Blog updates

Thanks to those of you who participated in my first poll. 1 person claimed to be totally organized, all the way down to color coding socks. 3 people feel mostly organized and 1 person feels somewhat organized.

As you can see, I have added links to the blogs I am following. They are 2 of my sisters, my younger brother and my aunt. If you are offended by anything you might read on those blogs, keep in mind, I am only related to them! However, I believe you will not find anything offensive. My older sister is a knitter. I encourage those of you who like to knit to give her blog a look. She keeps busy with her projects!

An Official End to Summer (sigh)

First: Happy Birthday dear Maggie, happy birthday to you!!!

With a low in the 40s last night and an expected high around 70 degrees and Back to School Nights this past week, it's with a heavy sigh of disappointment that I bid the summer of 2008 a fond farewell. Ah, summer of 2008, how good you were and yet you leave me feeling empty. You gave me a couple of fun-filled and satisfying trips, but you left me wanting more. You came into my life in June, all hot and heavy and you abandon me now with an air of unexpected coolness. What happened? I had such high hopes for you and you have now dashed them all to the ground like so many falling leaves! Go ahead, leave me all alone and shivering as the cool winds of Autumn blow in, urging me into long pants and sweatshirts. Ohhh how I despise you now! With open arms, I must welcome Autumn in my life, not to replace you (how can your naturally warm caresses and liberal spontaneity be replaced?), but merely to take your place. Goodbye Summer of 2008. With fondness, I will always remember you!

Rain Barrel

Just a quick update on my rain barrel. I didn't have a proper seal on my "spigot" at the bottom of the barrel in time for the passing of Hurricane Hanna's leftovers last weekend. However, after running into a friend while at Lowe's, she passed on a tidbit of information from another, mutual friend. You know those commercials you see on t.v. where the guy is shouting at the camera about some amazing green putty? Well, he wasn't lying! It wasn't green putty, but blue, and it is amazing. I sealed my "spigot" and have a full rain barrel! Due to the barrel being made of plastic and the pressure of a full barrel of water on the "spigot," I was doubting it would work. But it did! Now I have a late winter project-a second barrel for the other corner on the back of the house. I'll be happy to share my plans with anyone. Even a little bit of rain will fill up a 32 gallon barrel with all of the water collected off of your roof, saving your water bill (or your groundwater if you are on a well) and your plants when summer rains dry up!

Seasonal Decorating

Most people do a bit of decorating based on the seasons. It's nice to usher in the new season with a few things that are kept in storage for most of the year. Sometimes, just a few little items can give a room a new look and feel. Soon, I will be putting away all of the bright summery decorations and bringing out the Fall and Halloween decorations.

I am one who does not really enjoy cleaning, especially dusting. My daughter will dust for me and she does do a pretty good job, but sometimes, everything needs to be cleared off the surfaces and thoroughly dusted and cleaned. The best time to do that is when I change seasonal decorations. The decorations themselves get a good cleaning before they are put back into storage and all surfaces are shined and ready for the next season. Depending on how much I have (every year it seems like I put away a little more than the year before. Somehow, end-of-season sale items end up in my shopping cart!) and how many family members help, it may take a day or two for the whole process to be completed. The rooms look and smell (citrusy) fresh as a result. It makes me feel good to have accomplished this task.

I go through this process with every season change. I know I should dust thoroughly more often (some of us have asthma and allergies), but, except for summer, it does get done about every month and a half. Below is a list of most decorating seasons. Maybe you have more holidays to add to the list. Just leave them in the comment section. I could add them to my list and dust my house more often!

  • Winter
  • Valentine's Day
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Easter/Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall/Halloween
  • Fall/Thanksgiving
  • Christmas