We have a new member in our family this week. Let me introduce you to Mr. Buttons. He left the Texas vineyard where he was living to come and be an inside kitty at my house. His previous owner loved him so much but was unable to bring another kitty inside so he gets to live with us. We have really enjoyed him and he seems to be really enjoying the high life inside.
I have nearly all our Christmas stowed away for the year and so now it is time for my annual deep cleaning of the house. This is my favorite time to really clean everything. I spend hours vacuuming every corner and scrubbing every surface. I take all my decorative items down and clean them. Running them through the dishwasher is not an option because it just doesn't cut the greasy grime that gets on them through the year if they are in the kitchen. I have found that good old fashioned dish soap and washing them by hand is the very best way to get them back to their shiny clean condition. I also like to use soapy dishwater with some lemon scented ammonia added on all my kitchen pantry shelves. I really soak them well with this because it gets down into the crevices and helps to kill any little critters that might like to sneak into my flour or other food items. I keep my flour in a sealed storage container with 1 large bay leaf this keeps my flour critter free.
This is the time of year when I am looking at reorganizing things as well as redecorating. I have a huge set of storage cabinets in my dining room stocked full of beautiful things that I "go shopping" in every time I want a change in my home. It makes me feel like I have all new things when I change things all around. I find really cool bargains at garage sales, estate sales, junk stores and even at regular stores through the year and as long as I have a place I can store it as well as an idea of how I will use it then it can be purchased. I try to keep it within those confines unless there is something I am willing to give up to make room. That helps me to keep my stuff from taking over too much. From time to time it does takes me over anyway so that usually leads to a donation clean out or a garage sale. I prefer the donation because it is easier for me to part with it if I am giving it away. Weird, I know but it's true. There is just something about giving that I truly enjoy as well as knowing someone is really going to appreciate it and enjoy it.
With all this going on it takes me a bit of time to get everything back in order. I am working hard to get finished. I am motivated because I have a large dresser and some counter tops I want to re do and I can not start any new projects till the house is back to smooth and clean.
I will give you a hint of which direction I am going in the living room this time around. Usually I like to keep more white and get my light green things out for January but this year I think I am headed toward pink. I am feeling the need for romance. . .
Before I go let me share a tip for storing items that I learned from an excellent little book called More Hours In The Day by Emily Barnes.
If you use this system, I can promise that you will never forget where you put things again and it is a great way to stay organized even in a move. First I number every storage container with huge numbers on every side, top and bottom. Then I list every item in that container on an index card. (yes it takes more time but it saves you hours of looking for things later) I keep that index card in a file that is accessible at all times. If you don't like index cards use a journal or notebook or even a file on your computer. Then I note on the card the exact place the container is stored. An example would be: Shed, Box #1, or Dining Room Cabinet # 1, Shelf 2, (this requires that you assign a number to each cabinet and shelf (you can even label them inside if you really want to be organized.) When I need an item I go to my file find which card it is on then locate the container and voila. This system has been used for years at my house and carried me through a move too. I never had to wonder where in the world did I put it unless I got lazy about listing them on my cards. Years ago I tried the system of just writing the items on the box in a move and discovered that it just isn't too fun climbing over box after box trying to read the list on each one. It is much easier to spot a huge number that has been put on a box even in the midst of a move. If you want to use the pretty baskets on your shelves then just add a label with the number to adapt it. I am the kind of person who doesn't mind organizing it but has trouble keeping it that way and I can testify that this system works great for me I can even send my teenager after it. If you are looking to get organized this just might be a system that will help you too. The little book I got the idea from is a very worthwhile read. It has lots of little tips for living frugally and organized.
Until next time.