Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Move

Here's an update on how I'm doing with "decrapifying":

This has been a crazy week! We found out on Wednesday that we are moving. MOVING! I'm so excited, that I've actually been getting up early (and I'm not a morning person) to pack & declutter each morning. But, I also work outside the home, teach a Bible study on Wednesday nights & Thursday was our 15th wedding anniversary, so to say this week has been a whirlwind is to put it lightly.

But the good news for you is that I'll have TONS more stuff to post about on here now that I get to completely start from scratch at organizing a new place! And maybe, if I have time, I can share some moving tips that have or haven't worked for us. I've found a lot of ideas on Pinterest that I'm excited to try!

How have your organizing efforts been going?

Monday, March 10, 2014

With Purpose

So just a few posts into my blog and I'm already annoyed with the whole "She Organizes:" bit in every title. If I am, then I'm sure you are, too...LOL Okay, so I'm just going to stop now. I assume you know that "she organizes"...sort of like when you start a sentence with a verb, right? "Go to the store, please." The "You" at the beginning is assumed. So, let's just assume my post title begins with She Organizes and move on.

*deep breath*

I feel better already--look at that, I decluttered my post titles. Proof you can declutter anything! With that out of the way, let's move on to my next project.

My sister Kelly (who is way better at blogging than I am) told me about this on Facebook.

I'm super busy but I'm always looking for ways to declutter and organize (obviously), so the reason I'm excited about this challenge is simply *because* it's only one bag a day! Yes, I can carve out some hours to do a whole room, but I probably won't. I am a procrastinator by I've mentioned before. But doing one bag a day is a reachable goal. I started late (signed up Saturday, 3/8), but I did 2 bags of trash that had been put out on my deck (old paper bags, newspapers, etc.). I took Sunday off. I'm not going to get crazy and try to do as much as possible and then burn out in the first week (a pattern I'm all too familiar with)...I'm focusing on one bag at a time

Half the fun of this challenge is the social media aspect, but in all my excitement, I forgot to take pictures of my first two bags. So today I found some more papers (junk mail, receipts, school papers, used dryer sheets, etc.) and filled another bag! Here's Bag 3:

You should join me in this challenge! Click on the first picture above or go to this website to sign up. She also has tons of printables and exciting things to help motivate you.

Let me know in the comments if you're going to do it, too!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

She Organizes the Food Pantry

Okay, so it's been about 6 weeks since my last blog...

Shame on me! In my defense, February is always a busy time of year for me because of an annual retreat that I help coordinate at my church. But now that's it's past, I figured I should get back to kitchen organization. And I promised I'd talk to you about the pantry & how I store my food, so here you go!

I've compiled a video (about 8 minutes long) that gives you all my tips & tricks, plus a tour of my pantry, so check it out:

If you can't watch it for whatever reason, let me summarize it for you. Basically, my pantry is really just a couple of over-sized cupboards. I had a hard time keeping things organized because it is so deep & wide that boxes & cans would get buried and I'd never find what I was looking for, so I would either buy more or I'd finally find it and it was past the expiration date. Frustrating! Oh, and my favorite thing was reaching in to get a snack only to find the box is completely empty--no one wanted to throw the box away after they grabbed the last item. ;)

So, I decided to categorize everything. And get rid of as many packages & boxes as possible! My solution? Baskets! I went to Target and bought a wire shelf that fits inside my cupboard. It basically splits the space in half so I can neatly stack things on top of one another and still be able to find things. For just a few bucks, I doubled my pantry space!

Then I went to the dollar store and bought some simple black plastic baskets. I made some labels out of blank business cards (you can pick some up at the office supply store), laminated them and tied them to the baskets. I have a basket for things like breakfast, snacks, lunch, coffee & tea, canned goods, rice & pasta, sauces & marinades, etc. In a separate cabinet near my stove, I also have a basket for sweet spices & savory spices.

When I get home from the grocery store, I immediately empty boxes (and the kids help)--anything that is individually wrapped, like cereal bars, instant oatmeal packets, etc., get dumped into the baskets and I toss the boxes (or re-purpose them). It saves so much space! Also, if there is something like pasta or tortillas that I plan to use for a meal later in the week, I split up the package (or buy multiples) and put some in the lunch/snack basket for the kids to eat free-reign, and I put some in another basket that way they know not to eat those because I need them.

It's not the perfect system, I'll admit. But, it work so much better than if I were just to throw everything in there like I did before! You can also do this for your cold food, although it doesn't work well for us because of the size of our refrigerator/freezer.

Someday I long to have a walk-in pantry...but until then, I'm happy with my over-sized & organized cupboard! (And I'm blessed & grateful each day that it has food in it...)

How do you organize your pantry? Leave your tips in the comments below, or link to your blog so I can see what you've done!