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Category Archives: Random, Non-organization Thoughts


Such as it Is

Decorating has never been my strong suit. I will never have a home featured in a magazine layout. My home decor style can be described as “Stuff I Like and Stuff People Have Given Me that I Don’t Hate”.  It’s very eclectic, which is fancy for (shout out to all those Fancy Nancy fans), “completely random, serving no cohesive purpose”.  So, here goes.  I have completed (mostly) my decorating goals.  Don’t judge.

Area one: The kitchen corner shelf, aka, “the place I shove stuff I don’t know what to do with” (Yes, I know, don’t end with a preposition, but “stuff with which I don’t know what to do” sounded a bit pretentious).

I tried to keep it clean and simple with a few pieces I like.  The big yellow bowl just makes me happy (Thanks Eunie!), and the “Gentle” tile always needs to be on display where I can see it as a constant reminder for how I need to interact with my children.

Area two: The shelf, aka, “the hand-me-down from my sister I love, but haven’t decided what I should use it for”

Not only are my decorating skills lacking, but so are my photography skills. My apologies for the poor photos. Here I merely added a few things I like, framed pictures with sentimental value, and a basket at the bottom for function (I’ll probably look for a taller one, but this works for now).

Area three: The bathroom wall, aka, “the bathroom wall”.

Before – blank, after – not blank.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Area four: Another blank wall, aka, “yup, it’s empty”.

I’ve always wanted a photo collage wall, so I did one.  It’s not Pinterest worthy, but I like it. My favorite people star here along with a few pieces that just seem right.

I have one more room to go, so I didn’t quite get it all done. This next week (and I mean “week” quite loosely), my project is to complete that one final room, our living room. It is the one room in our house that has a fresh coat of paint, so I would like to spend some time getting it right.


Return to Order

This past year has been a year of great internal struggle. Most of my struggle has focused around whether I am in the place I am supposed to be, doing what it is I am supposed to do, and making the decisions I am supposed to be making regarding my children. I believe that God has a correct path for each of us, and I am struggling with whether or not I am on that path. I have not yet figured it out. I still do not have complete peace. Yet, as I prayer through this, I feel there is one concrete thing I need to do to bring a little bit of steadiness to my seemingly uncertain situation — I need to get organized.

It has been three years since we have moved to this home, and three years where I really haven’t focused on getting things organized. I still feel like I am living in my “new” home, when I should be fully occupying it at this point.  To my shame, I have boxes of decor stuffed away in the closet – my walls and shelves remain mostly bare, save what is needed to function on a daily basis. My poor excuse is that it is the perfectionist in me. I don’t want to do something until I can do it “right”. I have visions of the perfect paint job, flooring, light-fixtures . . . But, it is time I start making this “new” home our true home.

As I enter a new year, I want to enter it with faith “. . . that He who has begun a good work in (me) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6); I am not yet completed, and my answers will come in His time. I want to enter it with joy and contentment in my current circumstances, but with the willingness to change if that is what is required of me. And finally, I want to enter it with the resolve to organize (or re-organize) that with which I have been entrusted, and to complete what I have left undone for so long in order to create a place of comfort for my family.

I am returning to this blog to once more chronicle my journey to a place of order, and to provide myself with some accountability as I record my weekly progress. This week, I will be unpacking those forgotten boxes shoved under the staircase closet for far too long, and finally putting some holes in my walls, whether or not I like the paint job.

Fall Frenzy and a BIG Blessing

Fall is in the air, here in Idaho. The leaves have yet to start turning, but you can feel it. Everything feels a little more urgent, frantic even, as fall creeps nearer. The air is cooler, and yet the sun is more intense, as though it is giving us one last “what for” while our side of the earth slips away. The garden is slowly ceasing to flower, but vegetables are ripening daily and I am frantically trying to pick and can and freeze in every spare moment. The kids seem to know their days of sunshine are coming to an end and are outside every waking moment, along with the steady stream of neighborhood children that seem to make their way into our back yard each day. And to top it all off, school has started along with all the fall sports and activities that keep us running from place to place.

We are trying something new with our oldest son, who is now in 6th grade. While we continue to homeschool, he is attending the local middle school for band each day, then he heads back over there after school to run with the cross country team. I am suddenly seeing this young, confident, independent young man emerge. On his first day, I was so nervous I didn’t sleep the night before and thought I might throw up when I walked him in to complete his registration; he was completely calm. Now he is riding his bike to and from each day, taking care of all the little details I thought I would have to help him with, and of course immediately finding friends. He said to me yesterday, “Mom, I love homeschooling, but I kind of like going to ‘real’ school too because I got to talk to another boy about Jesus.” I almost cried. This is what it is all about!

Unofficial Projects

I haven’t posted for a couple weeks, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. Since I haven’t officially been doing any organizing projects, I thought I would give a quick re-cap of some of what I have been doing and share my very limited knowledge or the resources I’ve used.

Project #1 – I started my garden. Well, the seedlings for my garden. Though our sunny weather has been tempting me to get out and plant in the ground, I’m resisting because March in Idaho still freezes pretty hard at night. We are starting to see a little bit of green popping up!


I’m not even close to being a gardening expert, but this is what I do to get my seedlings started:

First, I determine what to start and when to start it.  Most plants shouldn’t be planted outside until the danger of frost has passed, which is around the beginning of May in my area. A quick look at the back of your seed packets will determine when and where you should start your seeds.  Many seeds will instruct direct sowing, which means planting them directly into your outside soil.  I wait on most of these until May. I might plant some cooler weather plants (peas, broccoli, lettuce, beats . . .) a bit earlier. Other packets suggest beginning indoors 6 – 8 weeks prior to planting.  Typically, I stick with my tomatoes, my peppers, and sometimes my cucumbers to begin indoors. This year I also started a few grasses and flowers for fun. My friend over at Kate’s Kitchen Garden begins a lot more than I do a lot earlier because she likes to get a jump on her garden (for serious gardening advice check out her blog). It all depends upon how much work you want to put into it. If you start indoors early, you will have to do a lot more transplanting into larger pots before taking them outside.  I will transplant, especially the tomatoes because in my experience they really need to be larger than the planter allows in order to have a better chance of survival in the garden. But I don’t mind a later harvest, so I don’t plant but what is absolutely necessary indoors.

Next, I find what I will plant in.  This year I bought a seedling planter.  It’s convenient and easy to use and not terribly expensive.  In the past I have used egg cartons as starters. I also buy a bag of planting soil. I will dump it in a bowl, then slowly add water until the soil is damp but not saturated. Then I put the soil into the planters and make a small depression in each partition for seeds.  I will place 3 of 4 seeds in each partition just for a better chance, then thin each down to one sturdy plant later.  Finally, I cover the seeds with a little more soil and add just a little more water.  It is important to keep the soil damp at this stage, so if I have the store-bought planter I will use the lid on top as a sort of green-house and to keep in moisture while the seedlings are getting started.  I find a nice sunny place (usually by my kitchen window) and check daily to ensure the soil stays damp.

Project #2 – I started Dante Alighieri’s Inferno with my homeschool co-op literature class.


It was the class request (homeschool kids – sheesh), but we are having so much fun with this one.  I’m not sure if there is much of a market for resources for this text, but if needed, here is a link to one I have found particularly helpful (and free!) as I prepare.

Project #3 – We (and by we, I mean me – the hubby was on-board long ago) finally broke down and got the kids a puppy.  They have been wanting a dog for years. So after a little research and a lot of looking on Craigslist and in the paper we found a little labradoodle we’ve name Daisy.


She’s awfully cute, but puppies really are a lot of work. We’ve been reading every article we can find and wading through all kinds of opposing views on how to and how not to train your puppy. We are new to puppies, so it can be confusing.  I’m still not sure if we are doing it right (check back with me in about a year or so), but click here for a link to an article on puppy training that seemed to present the least confusing method.

Project #4 – This is not really a project, but something to check off the to-do list.  We finally took the kids to the zoo!

 Kids at Zoo

There you have it . . . a sampling of what has kept me busy the past couple weeks.

I’m Back

After a month off from blogging, I’m back.  I took some time to work, vacation, and spend much needed time with family. . . lots and lots of family! 🙂 For my back-to-organizing project I’ve decided to start with the school-room closet.  It’s the beginning of July, which means it’s time for me to start thinking about our school year.  As a homeschooling mom, I usually take June to zone out and just have fun with the kids.  Then July I begin planning for our year.  This year, I not only want to be well-planned, but well-organized, starting with the school-room closet which is . . . well, chaotic.  This week I will be sorting through curriculum, getting rid of what we no longer need, deciding on what I need to order, organizing school supplies, and setting up an organized storage method we can easily maintain.  I will post throughout the week to update on our progress.  

I’ll Be Taking a Break (Again)

For the next few weeks I need to focus on my work schedule and enjoy some vacation time with family.  I will be taking a break from blogging and be back in July!  Enjoy your summer vacations!

I’m Back!

In case you had noticed I haven’t been posting, I decided to take some time off from blogging and organizing so I could concentrate on my work schedule. I’m happy to say that as of this morning the work project is complete and it is time for me to get back to organizing that pantry.


It’s been a week since I’ve last posted . . . life was busy last week. I’m back and I’m assigning myself a new project. In the past weeks of posting I’ve worked on “30 minutes or less” projects, many of which took me to my pantry. This week, it’s time to finish what I’ve started and get the pantry in order. I admit, I’ve been avoiding this one, but it’s time. Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted!

30 minutes or Less – 3 more “stuff” baskets

I don’t even know what to call these baskets I attacked today. . . three very messy “stuff” baskets in my pantry. At one time they had specific purposes, but things just kept getting thrown in there. Another embarrassing photo alert!


I had to get rid of a lot here. Why did I need an empty tape dispenser, an empty light-bulb box, an empty bottle of glue and an old birthday party hat? There were also things in there that had places elsewhere (seed packets to go in the gardening supplies, a few decorating items, some school supplies – good grief!). I finally was able to find three categories that made sense, sorted, labeled and placed them back on the shelf. This job took about 25 minutes. Done and I feel much happier when I look at that corner of my pantry.



Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Maureen of My Color-Coded Life! She was the winner of the Marcia Ramsland book giveaway, selected by