Category Archives: Home Organization

Junk Drawers

I’ve slowly been trying to clear out the junk in my house. There is so much clutter (albeit better) that the house just doesn’t feel comfortable to me. After seeing how much stuff my Dad, Aunt, and Uncles had to clear out of Grandma’s house (and she didn’t have a lot by most standards) it made me think even more. Would I want someone to have to clear out all the junk in my house if I passed suddenly? No, I wouldn’t want them to have to concern themselves with all of it.

I’ve decided to get back to trying to minimalize my house. I don’t regret getting rid of some of my sentimental items but it was definitely bittersweet. It’s tough because it’s not just my stuff, but “our” stuff. Some things I may want to get rid of Mike may not want to. However, I’m going to do my best! I am going to go through my DVDs and get rid of any I haven’t watched in the last year or two (which is quite a bit!), donate more clothes, get rid of my excess dishes, clear out the nicknacks, get rid of the CDs I’ve uploaded to my computer, and just get rid of stuff I’ve held on to for so long but haven’t utilized for any reason. My wedding dress is still hanging in my closet, but I’m going to eventually cut it up and make a quilt out of it!

My biggest hurdle will be going through the stuff Dad gave me that was Grandma’s. She left me all of her crocheting items. I don’t really crochet, but I have tried. However, I know how important it was to her and I’m honored she wanted me to have it. I also have my Mom’s wedding china. She gave it to me and I’d like to keep one place setting to put on display instead of leaving it all in a big Tupperware box. I can give the rest to my Brother, but I’m not sure how Mom would feel about that!

Speaking of nostalgia, I’ll sign off with the best Star Wars picture…evah!


If You Want it Done Right, Do it Yourself!

I am a self confessed Organizer/Planner junkie. I love all things office supplies and am especially drawn to planners. However, I have a little confession to make. I haven’t been able to find a planner that I can stick with (AKA Planner Fail). Either the planner doesn’t have enough room for me to write what I want, or it’s not designed well (in my mind). So, I decided to try to make my own. Right now, my primary focus is my health and fitness, so I wanted planner pages that took that in to account.

Keep in mind, I designed about 3 different types of pages (weekly without health, health’s own info on a weekly format, daily with health) and used them all for a day or two to ferret out what I want.

A few months ago, I found the Arc notebook system at Staples and fell in love! I believe it’s made by the same folks as Levenger’s Circa system, but at a fraction of the cost. And…it’s GREEN!!

What makes this binder unique is the fact that it acts like a spiral notebook in that you can fold the cover around to the back, but you can remove pages and add them back anywhere just as easily as if it were a 3 ring binder. In fact, even easier than that!

Knowing that I was going to use this binder, I had to figure out how to set up the pages to be 8.5 x 5.5, double-sided, and have room to punch the holes (yes, they even have a hole punch so you can put any paper you want in here!). It took me a lot of trial and error to get it right as I have never tried to set forms up like this before. At first my spacing was off and pages were printing upside down on the back. However, I think I’m pretty close to having it where I want it…for now.

At the front, I have a clear folder where I can put stuff to be punched and added later, or small things like stamps. You can see a picture of my nephews in there right now. Aren’t they cute?! Every time I see them I feel older! hahaha….

Moving on…I included the typical personal pages with my emergency contact info and commonly needed numbers (Dr’s, services, etc.) but I don’t want to show a picture of that for obvious reasons! Next up, is my perpetual calendar where it’s not dated by year, just month and day so I can see all important dates for the entire year and carry it over from year to year in my planner.

Behind that is my year in review for 2012 and 2013. This is a full 8.5 x 11 sheet that I folded so I didn’t have to break up the year.

I tried to make all of my pages so they weren’t year specific and could print these out every year instead of having to redo them. My months were no different. I just printed out a blank calendar with the month heading and wrote the dates in. On the front side of the month page is my monthly goal plan for Health, Projects, Home, Etc.

I tried out a couple of different weekly pages but decided all I really wanted to see from a weekly vantage point were the “hard coded” or planned appointments. I will also put in anything that absolutely has to be done that week as well, but that’s about all the detail I’m going in on that level.

You’ll have to excuse the horrible handwriting! Now we get to my favorite part of this planner….the daily pages! I spent a lot of time deciding how much space to give to each field.

I included a “Projects” field which will have my work items as well as any projects I’m working on at home. Then I have a “Home” section where I’ll write down anything I need to do or remember for the home. In the “Health” section I have my calories consumed, burned, net cals, weight, Dr.’s appts, and my workout data. I love having all of that info available available in one view. There’s an “Etc” section for…etcetera items (haha) and a section titled “Things of Interest”. This is an area where I can write down something that catches my attention that I’ll want to look in to more later (e.g. books, songs, movies, news items).

One thing I love most about how I’ve broken out the daily pages is knowing where to look for specific data instead of going through one list to find it all. Need to see what’s coming up for work? Just look in the top left section! I’ve been using these pages for a few days now and so far I’m very happy. That’s not to say I may not tweak some things as time goes by!

Since I’m focusing on my health, I also added a yearly view of my weight loss and inches lost by month. This is again an 8.5 x 11 page that’s folded because I didn’t want to split the year up.

Last, but not least, on the back of the measurements page is a listing for my PRs on different lifts as well as a place to enter the competitions or races I’ve participated in this year along with the results. It’s always nice to be able to look back and see where you’ve come from!

That makes up the bulk of the pages I have so far. I have plans to make pages for other general lists and things I want to track. Now, to see how it holds up in the long run. I feel much better knowing that I didn’t spend any money on this planner (except for the paper @ $5) so if I need to redo the pages and throw out the old, it won’t hurt too much!

What pages would you absolutely have to have in your planner?

Evernote, How I Love The

I’ve used Evernote for the past few years as a way to keep track of random thoughts, notes, writing ideas, etc. Just recently I figured out that I could use Evernote to keep track of my fabric stash! How awesome is that? If you’re anything like me, your fabric stash is large and steadily growing. Since I’m somewhat lazy I haven’t broken out the rubber totes/bins and separated out all of my fabric by color, genre, pattern… Instead, it looks like this:



The biggest problem is trying to find the fabric I’m looking for or to see if I have fabric that will fit my needs. This is where Evernote has really evolved for me. Now, I’m taking photos of all of my fabric and adding any pertinent information (Name, Maker, Artist).


I’m also able to use the tags to mark the main color, content (novelty, animals, etc), and how much yardage I have.



Many of my fabrics are fat quarters or cut so I don’t have all of the information I would like, but now I’ll be able to enter that information on my phone while I’m at the quilt store. Plus, I can geotag the location so I remember which store I bought it from!

The other cool thing with Evernote, I can look strictly at the photos on my phone if I don’t want to search. This will come in handy when I’m at the store:


Now, back to it! One stack down, 50 more to go…


I am so sore today. This is the most sore I’ve been after a CrossFit workout since I think my first or second week. I blame it on the kettlebell swings! My arms are killing me. My knuckle on my left hand was bothering me too and I couldn’t figure out what I had done. Well, come to find out I had bruised it. In fact, I had three bruises on that part of my hand from hitting the dumbbell. I know I hit the dumbbell against my leg a couple of times so I think that caused it. What can I say…I’m a wuss!

As most of you know, I’ve been having to take my showers/baths like this for the past two days.

Thankfully, we almost have our new hot water heater in place. The company we called to come out and fix it said it was irreparable and they’d be happy to replace it for us for $1509.00. That was awfully sweet of them, but I declined the offer. Mike has been working all morning on installing the new on. Yesterday it took both of us to get it out of the truck, get the old one down and replace it with the new one. Now, all that stands between me and a hot shower is a pipe for the hot water. The other one was stripped which caused Mike to make his 3rd run to Lowe’s. We live about 30-40 minutes from it. I am so excited to have it back up and running again! Ruby, on the other hand, was not impressed with our home repair skills.

WOD’s Goin’ On?

You know…the hardest thing about blogging is coming up with the damn titles! Sometimes I just choose random titles but usually I try to make it relevant to the post itself. Take this one for instance…WOD…Workout of the Day. Since it was a CrossFit day, it fits. Clever huh? huh? yeah, ok, so it was a bad play on words. Anyway….moving on!

We started today’s CrossFit a tabata round of weighted sit-ups. Toward the end I was only able to go 1/2 way up. Shane asked us if we wanted to do abs before or after the WOD. He didn’t care, we were going to do them either way! Michelle and I both agreed it would be best to do them first because afterward we’d be too gassed to do them properly. Have I mentioned how much I don’t like sit-ups? Well…I don’t but they do work your core.

The WOD was 3 rounds of running 400 meters, 30 OH squats (I used the 35# bar), and 21 pull ups. Since I can’t do a pull up yet I just do jumping pull ups, which is still work. I’m a very slow runner. In fact, I’m more of a walker than a runner. Shane felt we should be able to finish in 15-16 minutes. Pppffftttt…right! The first run wasn’t too bad. The OH squats right after the run was a little tough because I was breathing so hard, which affected my hold on the bar overhead. The second run was quite a bit slower. It was a bit drizzly but felt pretty good because it was cool. When I was coming in from my second run Shane told me that I could modify the run if I needed to because he just wanted me to be able to finish the entire WOD. I just nodded my ok while thinking “Like hell I’m going to modify the run. I will finish the WOD. I will finish the WOD.” That became my mantra for the last round. I think I was more waddling than running that last round, but I finished the run and the entire WOD in 21:53. Needless to say I wasn’t close to his 15-16 minute estimate! None of us finished in less than 19 minutes. However, I’m proud of all of us. I think we have all improved. I know my first workout put me out of commission for a week. I was so tired afterward that I would have been happy for someone to carry me to my car and was sore for days! AND….that was only 5 rounds of 15 OH squats (I used a dow…so no weight) and a 100 meter run. It’s amazing what a different a month can make.

On the de-cluttering front, I am getting rid of an address book my old boss brought me back from her trip to Paris. I have all my contacts on my phone, which is backed up to my computer, so I don’t think I need it anymore. In the trash it went!

Update on my Grandfather: They moved him to an acute longterm hospital tonight. The nurse attached an EKG machine to him, then proceeded to push the cart away while he was still hooked up to it. I’m hoping that was just a mistake and not a sign of the care he’ll be getting. They are keeping him sedated because he isn’t “doing well” when he’s off sedation. Whatever that means. They told my Dad and Grandma that they will be trying to get him off the respirator over the next 5 days; However if they are not able to get him off the respirator then the family will need to make a decision on what to do. His kidneys are still only functioning at 40% as well. It has been such a roller coaster. I thought he might actually pull through this, being the stubborn old goat he is, but now I’m not sure. So, we play the waiting game again.