Monday, September 20, 2010

Update on the clutter

I felt much better after writing that post the other day about the clutter in our house. Putting it out there kept it on the forefront of my mind (where it had already been for several days, but now I have a plan). Yesterday I woke up early to start decluttering and, again, became almost too overwhelmed to even start.

To get things I don't use very often out of the kitchen, I needed to make room in the laundry room closet to put them. That meant I needed to spend time in the laundry room first. I opened the closet and there was just so much STUFF. I can't even tell you half of what was in there.

Some of it was food that never fit in our kitchen pantry (how blessed are we that we have too much food to fit into a pantry?!) and had expired (see mom! it happens to me too :) ). I needed to throw it out, but our trash can in the garage was already overflowing with garbage.

I almost quit before I ever got started. I knew I was about to make at least 3-4 more bags of trash and knowing I couldn't put it in the trash can nearly prevented me from even trying.

I literally had to talk myself into JUST DOING IT. Just start. "Pick up something and go" is what I told myself.

And so I did.

I got the closet mostly organized. Although it wasn't a complete cleaning out (I didn't go through the box of scarves/gloves/winter accessories and I didn't move the boxes of unopened appliances that we received at our wedding and haven't yet used (the clothes iron, the waffle iron and the electric carving knife)), I rearranged things to make room for the incoming appliances from the kitchen.

I did get rid of some recipe books. I put them into a box that had been cluttering the laundry room floor for months (which contained books from upstairs, including more cookbooks, that I had set aside to donate to Goodwill).

That box is full and I WILL get rid of it TODAY!

I also cleaned off about 3/4 of the counter tops in the kitchen!! I moved appliances that only get used a few times into the cabinets underneath.

Now I have more counter space near the sink so more dirty dishes can pile up :)

Although I know I accomplished quite a bit, I don't feel like it SHOWS. It was one of those days where you work, work, work but you don't feel like you got much accomplished. I guess thats because I know I have much more ahead of me to do.

But, I AM getting there. I'm not usually a "slowly but surely" kinda gal, but I need to be when it comes to decluttering.

Side note: At one point I stopped to take pics for a before-and-after post, but then ditched that idea b/c I viewed it as yet another procrastination attempt!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My world of excess

With a 7 week old baby at home (SEVEN WEEKS! Unbelievable), our house looks very different than it did pre-baby.

The reality is that the clutter is not really due to the baby gear. I've just noticed our existing clutter more now that we have baby stuff here and there.

I'm an organized person. My day is often organized. My purse is organized. Most important things in our house have a home.

I'm running out of places to put things, though. Which leads me to a very important conclusion: we have waaaay to much stuff.

I've spent the better part of this evening being thoroughly annoyed with STUFF. There isn't a flat surface in our house that doesn't have a pile (and, much to my dismay, the piles have piles).

I'm living in a world of excess and it needs to stop.

I've really struggled this past week or so with how much time I should be spending cleaning b/c I have this precious baby at home and I don't want to waste even one minute of time I could be spending with him. But the reality is that he sleeps. A lot. And he's sleeping really well at night, which means I'm also sleeping really well at night. Which means I don't need to sleep during the day when he's sleeping. Which ultimately means I should have some time I could be spending make our house a home and not a pile of piles.

My on-going plan is to declutter (I don't think it's an end goal b/c there will always be stuff).
Here is my plan:

1) Start in the kitchen. We spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen so if we start there, I should feel better about our efforts b/c I'll notice it more (as opposed to, like our master bathroom closet, which we use, but not necessarily on a daily basis).

2) Move onto the bedroom.

3) Repeat steps 1 & 2 :)

Interestingly, I stood up tonight, walked into the kitchen to start my project and just got completely overwhelmed so I came back to the couch and decided to blog about it instead :)

Before I start, I have to have a mental game plan. I need to know generally what my plan of attack is before I start chipping away.

For example, before I start cleaning out cabinets, I need boxes ready to accept things I plan on donating to Goodwill. So I really need to locate couple of good boxes.

I feel like I can't start one project without first doing something else. This faulty thinking prevents me from actually doing any decluttering. It's a procrastination technique.

But that ends today.

I've learned that there are several key items that I have an excess reserve of and as such, those items are consuming valuable cabinet and pantry space. I need to decide what to keep of the following items and what to donate:

1) Glasses/cups/mugs- I have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many glasses (cups). We have two shelves of glasses that we've almost never touched since moving in back in November 2006. I keep them "just in case." Just in case what? We host 102 people at our home and I insist on using actual glasses instead of the standard red Dixie party cups? YEAH RIGHT!

Even knowing we have too many glasses, I still insist on purchasing the $0.99 Coke glasses from McDonalds every time they're sold. WTH? ENOUGH already! Seriously, I need a glasses intervention STAT.

2) Cook books- Let's admit a reality: I cook, like, once a week. And, it's usually hot dogs and beans. Last I checked, I didn't learn how to cook up a weiner from Good Housekeepings Top 100 Recipes of 2007. I'm pretty sure I haven't made a new recipe out of a cookbook in at least a year. Despite this fact, I've acquired at least 4 cookbooks in the last 365 days.

Another reality: there is only one cookbook I use- it's a homemade one that my Aunt Sher compiled for us as a wedding gift. It's a book of recipes that she gathered from our closest family and friends. I LOVE it. I use it all of the time. In the rare instance than I find a recipe out of another cookbook that we like, I put it into Shennie's cookbook.

I need to keep a few cookbooks that I think we'll like and purge the rest of them AND agree to not acquire any more until we're cooking more homemade meals.

3) George Foreman grills- I'm totally serious. I'm pretty sure we have THREE Foreman grills. Well, maybe we have two. Regardless, I use it (the small one) maybe twice/year. So why is it taking up precious space in our kitchen island? And the other one (the BIG one) is taking up valuable space in the pantry (it takes up about 1/2 of the shelf it resides on). Unacceptable.

4) Glass baking wear- I rarely cook, yet I own no less than 4 9x13 glass dishes in addition to my CorningWear. Again, in what situation would I have the need to use FOUR glass casserole dishes? It's a similiar situation with glass mixing bowls. I have TWO sets of glass mixing bowls that I NEVER use. When I need mixing bowls, I exclusively use my THREE sets of Pampered Chef bowls AND my TWO sets of Oxo rubber-soled bowls. You read that correctly. I own THREE of the same set of Pampered Chef bowls (side note: I LOVE those bowls and when I do bake or cook, I use them quite a bit, so those were a good investment).

If I declutter the aforementioned items, then I'll have more cabinet and pantry space in which to store the stuff that is currently cluttering the counters (blender, toaster, toaster oven, bowls, etc).

It would be really nice to walk into the kitchen and have visible countertops.

When my house is clean, my life is in order and I tend to eat better, sleep better, exercise and generally be in a fantastic mood. (Side note: let's not assume that once my kitchen is decluttered that I'll drop 20 lbs...but it's a possibility ;)- or maybe that is my procrastination method for nothing having lost more weight!)

I'm hoping that with this plan, my world of excess will shrink. I know I don't NEED this stuff and I'd like to do without it.

Here's to trying!


Monday, July 13, 2009

I can't seem to find much to blog about these days. Work and fun consume my time, so that doesn't leave time for much else. Having said that, I'm contemplating starting a health care blog. A blog where I can express my thoughts on health care, especially considering all of the attention and urgency that seems to surround that topic these days.

I've even gone so far as to design a banner for my not-yet established blog (nothing too fancy-schmancy). I don't want to reveal it b/c I don't want someone stealing it before I actually put the blog together.

The reason I'm contemplating another blog is because 1) I barely keep up with this one, am I delusional thinking I could have yet another blog? and 2) everything you do online is traceable and I'd hate to say or do something that someone could construe as me representing my company, rather than just giving my opinion. If I did have one, it would likely be anonymous (except that I would email you the link if you really wanted to follow me....). So, email me if you want to follow my not-yet established health care blog. If/When I start it, I'll let you in on the secret.

OK, onto the real blog for today. Another edition of Friend Makin' Monday:

List 5-10 of your favorite things!

These can be things you think everyone must have, a collection of things you have, or some product or miracle invention that has changed your life's YOUR list of favorite things...HERE are a SOME of mine!

NFL Football (especially The Colts)
I love watching football! Sunday afternoons in the fall are probably my favorite thing in the world. Football with chili and a fire in the fireplace...I'm in Heaven!

Cruises are my escape. In this day and age of cell phones, texting, and non-stop emailing, being out in the middle of the ocean surrounded by beautiful Caribbean blue water with the sun shining down on me is the best get-away I can imagine. If we vacation to Florida or Seattle or New England, as much as I try, I have a difficult time "cutting the cord" from my mobile device. I check work email, personal email, and I text all week. On a cruise is the only time I truly allow myself to be untouchable. It's fantastic and truly a mental break for me. On a cruise, my favorite thing is lying in bed at night with the balcony door open, listening to the waves crash against the ship, and falling asleep to the gentle rocking of the ship.

Several people have tried talking us into an all-inclusive resort (instead of a cruise), but the things I love about a cruise are unique to cruising. We'll try a resort...someday.

My Laptop
Despite my aforementioned desire to escape from technology, I really do love my laptop! It's not a Mac (I've never even see a Mac in real life!), but I love it anyway! I love reading blogs and finding new friends online. I used to read up on politics and the news more, but when I committed to simplifying my life, those two were the first things to go. I'd rather find a new, interesting blog than read about what idiotic policies some brain dead politician is trying to force through Congress.


I love, love, love our dog, Cooper. I actually feel sorry for people that have a dog that isn't Cooper. He is such a good dog! He's well trained, fun loving, laid back, engaging, loveable little guy. I'm trying to think about anyone that has stayed the weekend with us that hasn't asked us if they could steal him. At Camp Bow Wow, he is dubbed the Wal-Mart greeter since he is known for welcoming the new dogs into the pack. When a dog is dropped off at Camp, he walks over to them, sniffs them up and down, walks them over to the crowd, introduces the dog, then walks away once they are settled in. He is also used as an interview dog since he's such a good dog. Even though he's a good size, he is anything but intimidating.
He doesn't bark except when we're in the basement and someone rings the door bell. Thats the ONLY time he barks.

I love shoes, purses and jewelry. I actually have a very plain wardrobe because I dress outfits up with accessories. Thats the biggest challenge when I travel. I tend to pack 5-7 pair of shoes and 1-2 purses.

One of my other favorite things to do besides cruising is to go to a local bookstore, find a few interesting books, grab a latte or fruit smoothie and read parts of each book while sitting in the big comfy chairs. I usually pick up books that I wouldn't normally purchase. Or, I'll read a book that teaches me about something. It's quiet and relaxing.

Organizing Things
I love most things related to organization. Bins, totes, sorters, boards, anything that is used to keep me organized. I could spend my whole life at The Container Store and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. *confession time* Even during a "quick" run into Target for something, I'll take a small detour through the organization section on my way to the check out lane! I go out of my way to see whats new!

I just realized that most things on my list aren't really "things" tangible things. It's more things I like doing. Thats OK, right??! Hubs says I'm too practical to have "things" that I love :) He's right! I'd rather spend my money making memories rather than buying things.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Came across this on another blog and I'm playing along!


1) I love watching The Disney Channel. Because of Hubs profession (psychologist), we don't watch the news (which is what I used to watch to put me to sleep before we got married) so we decided we needed something light and fun, so we usually either fall asleep to Hanna Montana or Wizards of Waverly Place.

2) We TiVo the aforementioned shows and sometimes I watch them while shoving clothes into drawers folding laundry.

3) As a child, I would pretend that the boy I was crushing on could see me all the time. This helped me watch what I eat, sit up straighter in class, and smile more often.

4) I cash my reimbursement checks from work and keep the money to buy $1 ice cream cones so Hubs doesn't know I eat them when he's not around.

5) Through someone else's Facebook account, I was able to see pictures of an ex-boyfriend (OK, I only have 2 serious exes so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out who that is) and he has a beautiful family and he hasn't gained one damn pound. I mean really, who goes 13 years without gaining ANY weight. Bastard.

6) Occassionally I throw away some of Hubs clothes without his knowledge.

7) I don't go to the lady doctor like I should. It's been...well, years.

Need to get something off your chest? Play along!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I'm camped out poolside at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. It's perfect.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We did it!

For many months I've been wanting to make these cupcake pops from Bakerella. With the rainy weekend we had, I knew this weekend would be the perfect time to try them. Hubs helped out and he deserves just as much credit for their success.

They are quite a bit of work, but well worth it!

I think they turned out cute, don't you?

We also made just a few regular cupcake bites and here's our pre-consumption cheers!

It definitely seemed like a two person job. I'm not sure how Bakerella does it by herself.

We will for sure make these again. In fact, I hope to be known for them within our family. Craig's Aunt Carol makes these awesomely decorated sugar cookies and everyone looks forward to holidays because they know they'll get to eat some of her cookies. Maybe as I practice making these cupcake bites and become good at them, they'll make me popular at family functions, too :)


Monday, April 6, 2009

Disney gear

I'm currently in Orlando at the second largest meeting of Family Physicians in the country. We presented this morning and it was a big success! We got great feedback from those who attended our talk.

This afternoon, we headed over to Disney World to hit up the Disney Store. We had hoped to visit the park (Magic Kingdom) but the weather wasn't cooperating.

I snagged this really cute and funny mug at the Disney Store. I got an even funnier one, but I think I'll give it as a gift to my older sister.

Isn't this too cute?

Notice the donut in Minnie's right hand and all of the pink in her outfit? Thats totally me....Minnie me ;)

Orlando is really fun. Craig and I should trip back here sometime. Alright, time to head out for a seafood dinner with the folks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Starting over

This is how my day started. My coffee cup split in half. I hadn't even taken a sip from it.

I'm going home and will return to start my day over.

(Notice the bottle of Vitamin D on my PC stand... Good thing it sought higher ground during the Great Coffee Spill of 2009.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

What I'm doing right now....

Trying to jump my car!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

St Pattys festivities

This is the greencolada I'm currently enjoying. Yum!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

She's headache free!

This is what a headache free mom looks like!

If you've been following my moms surgery story on facebook, then you know the surgery went well but she's had a monster, non-stop headache ever since.

Late this afternoon, anesthesiology came by and confirmed it was likely a spinal headache (from the anesthesia yesterday). About 30 minutes ago they took her downstairs where she got a blood patch.

And now... She's headache free!

She's like a whole new person! She has said that she could handle the hip pain OR the headache, but not both. Now that shes headache free, shes energetic, smiling and HUNGRY!

We're so thankful shes back to being Mom :)

Thanks to all for the happy thoughts and prayers!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's in the bag baby!

Connie wants to see what in my bag. She thinks I'm organized or something.

I own a Butler bag, as seen on Oprah (don't hold that against me).

Here's my purse and all of its contents (read the list, even I can't believe some of the stuff in my purse- click for larger images). I enjoyed doing this because it gave me the chance to clean it out:

  1. Pink Wallet
  2. Animal Print Wallet
  3. Business Card for Lisa from Budgetude
  4. My Planner
  5. Packaged Pens (different colors since I color coordinate my planner)
  6. Advil
  7. Visine
  8. Chapstick
  9. 3 bags of my daily pills (half empty- see my Facebook "25 Things" to learn how I tend to not finish things- this includes my pills!)
  10. Sunglasses
  11. Stack of mail
  12. My high school report card (long story about why this is in my purse)
  13. A reimbursement check from work
  14. My Sirius Stiletto
  15. Two containers of hand sanitizer
  16. Package of emery boards
  17. Nametag for the Chamber of Commerce
  18. A frog pin that a friend gave me
  19. Contact case
  20. Cell phone
  21. Vera Bradley makeup bag
  22. AZO pills (for my used-to-be-frequent UTIs...have only had ONE in the past 2 years, but I still carry the pills with me "just in case")
  23. Hair clip
  24. 3 sets of keys
  25. A funny birthday complete with a stamped envelope (I carry it around so I can drop a card in the mail at the last minute if need be)
  26. Checkbook with the "Checking" account label (I LOVE labels!)

The last pic is the "after" picture-- I got to put everything back in and its a little more organized now. Thanks Connie!