Week Six: Master Bedroom

It’s another week on A Bowl Full of Lemons Weekly Organization Challenge.  This week was the Master Bedroom.  For some reason, my bedroom seems to be the catch all during the week.  But I always try and get it clean before I go to bed.  Here’s what I do!

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I always make my bed every morning.  In fact, I can’t go to sleep unless I crawl into a made bed.  There is something about getting into a bed that is wrinkle free.  It helps me sleep better and faster. 

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I also try to wash my sheets every other week and my duvet once a month.  Once again, there is nothing like crawling into a bed with fresh crisp sheets (yes, sometimes I do iron my sheets to get out all the wrinkles.)

While we are on the subject about washing, this was a great time to wash and iron your drapes. 

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I love the trunk at the end of my bed, it is where we house all of our extra blankets and sheets. 

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The one thing I try to do, (it’s really bad since I have black furniture) is to dust at least once a week as well as vacuum the bedroom. 

Also, don’t forget to clean the ceiling fan or light.  You will be surprised how dirty this gets!

This was an easy week for me due to I try to clean my room every day.  I don’t keep any laundry in my bedroom and I try to keep the clutter to a minium.  Good luck and see you next week!

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Week 5: The Living Room

Well we are officially in week five of A Bowl Full of Lemon’s 14 week Challenge.  This week we are working on the living room.  I love my living room, it was one of the reasons I bought my house years ago.  It is a large open space with vaulted ceilings.  I love that it has an entry way and french doors leading out to the patio.

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I love my entry way.  When I was looking at houses, I wanted an entry way and not just a front door the opened up right into a room.  I keep my entry way real simple and uncluttered.  Right next to the door is rack, where I can hang up my purse or coat so I can grab it and go.

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 I love that my living room is warm and inviting.  I love yellows, reds, and turquoise and defently display those colors in my living room. 

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Baskets are a great way to place your blankets.  I like to roll mine up so they look more inviting than just folding them.

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I always love my sitting area, it’s actually the area my family fights over the most.  The wicker baskets in the cubbies hide my candles, wall plug scents, dog leashes and outdoor items (in the winter its stocking hats and gloves and the summer bug spray, baseball caps and sunscreen).  I also keep my keys in the basket on top so I can grab and go.

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Storage is sometimes a valuable item, this trunk helps with the random Christmas dishes and breakable items.  That way I don’t have to worry about them getting broken.

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Last I don’t want to forget about Little Fella.  Most of his toys stay in his room, but he does have a little area in the Living Room that he keeps his toys.  Baskets are a great way to keep all the toys nice and neat. 

Good Luck with your organization this week and I hope you found some inspiration for your own space!

 

 

Weekly Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping

I have tried and read so many ways to menu plan and grocery shop.  I started doing the monthly thing, (I read so many great things about this), but I felt like by the end of the month, the meals I had planned for I just really didn’t want and I had found new recipes I wanted to try.  I also found that I would run out of stuff such as eggs, milk, and produce so I had to go to the store anyway.  Also, I couldn’t see paying a huge amount in one trip (even though I could spend $500 in groceries in a month, doing this over a month’s time seemed to me a little easier to do).  Don’t get me wrong, if this works for you that’s awesome.

Next I tried every other week.  This was great for me for D and I until Little Fella came along.  Also, I like that grocery shopping gives me something to do to get out of the house each week.

So I went to a weekly menu and grocery shopping.  Here is what I do:

First I grab my homemade recipe book.  This is a three-ring binder that I made of my families favorite recipes.  (Most of the recipes I have found on the internet, printed them off and put them in plastic sleeves and some are recipes that I have made myself or are handed down from family and friends.)  I love my recipe book, because it is easy to pick recipes that I know my family will love.  I will choose about five or six recipes from this book for my lunch and suppers.  Next, I will add some meals that aren’t found in recipes books ie. grilled chicken, steaks, hamburgers.  I try to grill out a few times a week, unless it is a really cold week, then its to the oven we go.  I do, always try to add a new recipe or two to my menu.  This helps with not getting into a slump and making the same things each week.

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After I have picked out all my recipes I write them down on my homemade Menu.  I don’t do a daily menu (just because I might change my mind or not have enough time to make one meal) but I do choose seven or eight meals to make for supper and about four or five meals to make for lunch.

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Next, I go through each recipe and look at all the ingredients in the recipe.  I write down any ingredient I don’t have on my shopping list.  This makes it easy when you go to the store not to over buy.

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In my pantry, I have a huge chalkboard.  The soul purpose for this is for my family and me to write down things we are out of.  I write down anything that is one the chalk board and then I erase it so I don’t purchase the same thing, two weeks in a row.

Next I go through my store sales flyer.  Mine comes out on Wednesday’s so I try to go get my menu planned Wednesday so I can go grocery shopping on Thursday.  I look through each page and write down anything that is on sale that we use.  Once I have gone through the sale ads, I go through my coupon book and see if I have any coupons that I need to use, or on my list. 

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My coupon book is a flexible three-ring binder that has baseball card sleeves.  I use each page as a new day, (instead of by category) so I know exactly when a coupon expires.  After I have pulled them, I just paperclip them together, write which store I’m going to use them at, and stick them in the front of the binder in a zippered pouch.  I do take my binder with me, just in case I find something that is on sale that I missed or not advertised I can use my coupon to help save even more money.

Next I turn to my Ibotta account. Ibotta is a coupon app that you  earn money back from selected items that you have purchased in the store.  I love this app, and check it daily.  In over a year, I have received over $500.00 back from Ibotta.  To sign up, click here.

I know this system sounds tedious, but I have found that I waste less food and eat at home more often.  I have really enjoyed keeping up this method and it has helped me save money in the long run. 

 

Week 3: Organizing the Dining Room

Week 3: Organizing the Dining Room

Well we are offically in week three of A Bowl Full of Lemons 14 week challenge.  This week is the Dining Room.  My dining room is in my kitchen, so sometimes I feel it gets to be the dumping ground for all my kitchen clutter.  But once a day, I try to clean off the table (preferably before supper) and pick up the kitchen.  Here is what I did:

I cleared off the table and buffet.  I put items back where they belong (mostly stuff that needed to go into the pantry).  I dusted the table and buffet. 

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 I love my buffet, it houses all of my nice dishes and my large platters, baking dishes, and pretty dishes.

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IMG_7566.JPGOn top of the buffet, I like to display my family heirlooms and flowers from my wedding.  I feel like in the dining room, just keep it really simple. 

 

Week 2: Organizing the Pantry

Whether you have a large walk-in pantry, a small pantry, or you have just cabinets, I feel like getting your pantry under control is a must.  In all honestesty, this is the room that I struggle with the most.  I feel like it is my catch-all, my crazy mess, and honesty, I just don’t want to spend too much time in there.  But this week in A Bowl Full of Lemons 14 week challenge was the Pantry, so I went head on!

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It was nice to go through all the food, toss the expired food, wipe everything down, and just get a fresh start.

I love my spice rack.  I actually saw a picture of one similar to the one I have on Pinterest and begged my husband to make me one.  Thank goodness I married such a crafty man.  I bought the spice jars from Anchor Hocking (find them here) and he made  me this spice rack just by looking at the picture and the jars.  I actually went through many spice jars until I settled on these.  They are a larger spice jar, but what I love about them is that they have a large opening for you to get a Tablespoon in.

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I love baskets, and these baskets are perfect for my bottom shelf (the floor).  They are tall enough that things can’t get pulled out and they hide the items I don’t really want to be seen.  I found these baskets at Target.

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Turn tables are a great way to have a select group of bottles (or jars) on one shelf and not get lost.  They are also great for the corners so nothing gets lost in the very back.  I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond.

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Large jars are a great way to house your packages that come in boxes such as popcorn, oatmeal, seasoning packets, etc.  These glass jars are from Anchor Hocking.

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Don’t forget your bread box!  Mine is vintage that came from D’s grandma.

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I like to have a space for Little Fella’s snacks (mostly so D or anybody else watching him knows where his snacks are) but eventually he will be old enough to know exactly what are approved snacks for him.

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I am obsessed with all of my labels on my cans and jars to face outward.  But it does make it look a lot nicer (kinda like a little store!)

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I hope this has inspired you to get organized.  One thing that I have seen with people seeing my pantry is that they say, “well if i had a pantry that size, mine would be organized.”  The truth is, you can be organized no matter what size of pantry you have.  Yes, mine is large, but for the longest time, I had a small pantry that was in a corner and it was very deep you would lose everything!  Keeping items in baskets and in categories really helps to keep you on the right track!

 

Organizing the Kitchen

On any given day, my house might not be clean, but I know that my kitchen will be organized.  I love to keep it organized so I know exactly where everything is at.  Right now I am taking the A Bowl Full of Lemons 14 week challenge.  And the first week is the Kitchen, so I wanted to share with everybody my Kitchen and how I keep it tidy!

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Every morning when Little Fella is having his breakfast I try to unload this dishwasher from the night before and I tidy up the counters and wipe them down.  This will help with keeping the kitchen clean for the rest of the day.

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In the evenings, after supper, I will wash the dishes and start the dishwasher.  It takes a few minutes to do, but it is so nice to know that you have a clean kitchen and you have the rest of the evening to just sit and relax.

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Keeping your utensils in a utensils container (I like these crocks.  I found mine at a flea market) helps free up space in a drawer.  I found that when I kept my utensils in a drawer, the drawer always was the first to become a mess.  I also like to keep all my knives in a knife block right on the counter so they are handy to grab.

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Coffee stations are really hot right now, but they are super handy to have a coffee station and keep everything in a central location.  The cabinet above my coffee machine is where I keep all of my coffee cups, as well as my other glasses.  This cabinet is right next to the sink so it is handy when you need to grab a glass.

Keeping all small utensils such as can opener, measuring spoons, measuring cups, and other items can be daunting.  But these small little bins can be a perfect way to keep everything organized and each item (I sometimes have multiple items of the same thing).  You can find them here.

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I love these baskets and have them all through my kitchen.  They are so handy to store your lids to your plastic containers, the kids snacks, etc.  They also stack.  To find them click here.

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Keeping your dish soap, hand soap, and counter spray on this tray makes it not only handy but cute.  You can find the tray here and it comes in many different colors.

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The last thing in my kitchen is my command center.  This is an area that sometimes is a mess due to this is where I keep/pay bills, cut my coupons, make my to do list, my grocery list, and my menu for the week.  I spend a lot of time at this station, but it is where all of my organization starts.   I keep everything in three ring binders and place them in a basket to keep it all organized.

I hope this helps you become more inspired get organized and if you want start the 14 week challenge you can head over to A Bowl Full of Lemons website.  You can also find her new book online here which has some amazing helpful tips on getting organized.