Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sunroom Cleaning Process

Everyday I'm just working inch by inch, gathering and sorting. I've been listing some resources on, picking up trash and putting a few things in the giveway box. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunroom - BEFORE

Last Thursday we got rid of a bunch of stuff...friends came and took it away. This was a blessing. BUT. Now I have stuff all over the floor (mainly in the playroom) because we couldn't get the bookcases we were going to install last weekend. This left me with a heap of stuff with no place to stow it. It also left me with a heavy heart.

I started to realize I was feeling sorry for myself. I was focusing on myself and my problem. I was totally stuck and I was trying to figure it all out in my own strength. As of Monday, these bookcases won't be in stock until mid-FEBRUARY. I felt dejected, derailed, demotivated and depressed! My friend Christi spurred me to examine my AIM (attitudes, intentions and motivations) which I did! That exercise helped me expose and repent of some pretty pathetic stuff. The next day at a real low point, the Lord spoke to me...a beautiful promise, an assurance which gave me great hope, security and encouragement.

Then yesterday my sweet friend Marilyn and I talked. I was really blessed by her as we talked together about many things. Today I heard the Lord direct me to the sunroom. I did "before" pictures a couple weeks ago and I don't need to do WDIS (What Do I See) is all been dumped in here. Most things belong somewhere else. I have already received vision for this room regarding an extendable table. I was motivated by my heart full of worship and trust in what He is doing in my life...inch by inch.

When I'm done cleaning, this room will contain:
-the computers
-extendable table
-nail table

I also have some ideas about how to store the Legos! The table is 41" deep (hooray!) for puzzles, projects and probably the Lego Building Station! We've discussed the possibility of having the children combine their Lego collections and share, but that hasn't been decided yet.

I'm hoping we can get the table this weekend along with some large Lego boxes to tuck and store under the table. John wants to create a central Lego "station" area so both children can reach and build with their Legos.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


You're joking. IKEA is out of stock of the Expedit bookcases in the large size. Last night, I heard the Lord say to me, "check the stock before going". I'm so glad I listened!

Out of stock with NO idea when more will arrive! Huh? IKEA has this amazing inventory system and no one knows when they'll be in? We even joked about driving to the Portland store but they are out of stock as well. Huh, interesting. There's just no information about when they will get to the West Coast warehouse. Rats, our plan was to move forward with these shelves. Well hurry up will ya?

Thankfully, they aren't being discontinued, just out of stock. Did I tell you they are out of stock? We are kinda disappointed that they are OUT OF STOCK!

This did spur some late afternoon discussion about the sunroom, since now everything is in heaps everywhere...I was asking the Lord last night, "what should we do with the sunroom?" and I got an idea I've never had before...a dining room table! YES, that is EXACTLY what it needs!

We want a large table area to do puzzles, projects and Legos...this table has enough room for all 4 of us to sit and do stuff at the same time.
That means we really can let go of these huge 8' countertops because I found a table I really like that (with the two leaves in) measures 115" (which is about 9 1/2' which is exactly the space we want to fill)! We don't want to put these babies back in the garage, so they need to go. I know what to do about that!

Saturday - Playroom

What has my life come to? I seem to "blog" before I "live"! Before I can begin picking up, I have the need to take photos first...for the BLOG! And I felt I wanted to do a post before I started (am I procrastinating!?)

My friend Christi told me I need to take more pictures for the blog. So here we go...

This is what it all looks like after taking out the "built-in" bins (which went to a friend's house on Thursday) and removing all sorts of stuff from the literature sorter which went to Christi.

-husband and son going to IKEA for two Expedit bookcases, actually I think they'll just bring home one and do the other tomorrow...there's not much room to bring four enormous boxes into the living room
-clean floor in playroom

My goal today is to bulldoze...probably dump all the junk into the sunroom so we can paint and get the bookcases up...the sunroom will come soon enough!

Both John and I are DREADING putting those bookcases together because we KNOW what it takes. We already have two that we've put together twice each and they are a BEAR. Sigh. But the payoff is our motivation...a tidy house.

It is a grey, soggy, drippy day (typical December) so I don't feel like we're really missing out on going somewhere since the weather is perfect for a day inside! That makes me sound like a really active person, which I'm so NOT! But when the sun comes out, there's always a tinge of "guilt" for staying inside! Not today! Can't wait to put up some in process photos later on, especially when the paint goes up!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

PP-Playroom Purge and FBB-Friends Bring Blessings!

What a day! I'm exhausted. My sweet friend Christi recently had her 7th child and she received from me a pedicure for her baby shower gift. I really thought I was blessing her, but she blessed me even more! I was looking forward to our time together and when she rang the doorbell all I could see were her legs and this huge box of fresh food! Croissants, super thick sliced black forest ham, cheese, oranges and bananas! What a blessing (especially since I totally forgot about lunch for today)! She came in and the kids immediately commendeered her! We finally got her tootsies in the foot bath and somehow I ended up telling her my life story! I was wanting to hear HERS! (Thanks Christi for a wonderful day with you, too bad it didn't last longer)!


Sweet Nancy B, Tara and Jeri came and TOOK STUFF AWAY! I have been posting my junk on a secret Facebook group and these lovely ladies wanted a few things-I'M SO HAPPY! Thank you all for spending time with me today, I'm so glad you are blessed by these things, but I consider YOU the blessing for taking it all AWAY! :) Mostly, though, I want to thank each of you for your unconditional love and support and encouragement, that means a lot to me.

You can see the "before" and "after" of the work area table-which is now gone. It wouldn't have happened without Christi! She (and Sarah!) took off the 2nd shelf off the wall because I didn't get it done before Tara arrived. (THANK YOU so much for seeing what needed to be done and doing it for me)! Now I REALLY have stuff all over the floor as I had to empty all the bins and work area onto the floor.

I'm really much of what was left on the work area was stuff I couldn't part with two months ago, but now that I've cleared out and given away a lot of supplies, I'm finding it much easier to toss what really needed to be tossed then. We took out an enormous "leaf bag" last night of old perfumes and ingredients that I'll never I need to go through the mounds of stacks of blank labels! I started a giveaway box for all the empty glass perfume bottles I'll never use and I will have to come to grips with throwing away about $500 worth of custom printed perfume labels that will NEVER get used again. They belong in the trash and I have to just do it. It is time now for that.

Even in all of that, I realize we are really starting to make headway! In one of Vicki Norris' books, she describes a tunnel...I feel like maybe I'm in the latter half of the tunnel...maybe. That is encouraging. Now I have A LOT of work to do...clean up the pedicure stuff, attend to the kitchen which received lots of attention and no clean up this afternoon AND start dealing with stuff heaped on the floor.

Surprisingly, my husband is suggesting we put up the new bookshelves THIS WEEKEND. That means I need to buy paint tomorrow because that has to be done first! And it is Thursday night! Stay tuned, things are rockin' around here!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tidy LEGOs!

There are many different ways Lego fans organize and catalog their Legos, in fact Flickr has some great photos of massive collections. I've been encouraging Daniel to organize his Legos into some kind of system but he hasn't initiated anything in that direction (one huge box would work for me). I've come to realize, he doesn't know where to start or how to tackle such a monumental task (sound familiar)?! But something very interesting has been going on in our home each evening for a couple days now...John has been standing at Daniel's countertop over the past week SORTING through his Legos...just on his own, quietly collecting plastic containers and putting all the "like" bricks together...all the 2x1s together, all the 2x6s together, all the 2x2s, etc. I kept thinking Dan should organize his bricks by color...and when John said to organize them by shape, I thought that would be too many containers...but it is WORKING!

What is working is DANIEL! He has been drawn to this "tidy" area and because he can see the pieces, he's been BUILDING! And then the lightning bolt idea...

WHY NOT put Sarah's and Daniel's Legos TOGETHER and have one big LEGO play station!?

See Daniel standing there with the little containers? He's able to see them AND he has an area to build...this countertop is 8' long


it would be PERFECT in the SUNROOM!!!!!!!!

(I think John suggested this not too long ago but I nixed the idea).

Combining Legos would be a great idea for many reasons, one is that they would probably start to collaborate on designs and building and if not, that's ok. The reason we want the wrap around desk which I talked about on Monday (here) is mainly a place to store and play with Legos. The countertop has the benefit of being FREE! And it is only 10 feet from where I would need to move it AND it is already proven to be used in this way. I like the backsplash which would keep the containers from falling off the back of the flat surface.

I think I'm going to see if it will work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunroom Plans

The idea for the sunroom is wrap around countertops with the center of the room open for play and projects with room for the nail table to come out when necessary. We already have one of these but need a few more as supports for the counters. We might just do the back wall or go all the way around. I think the back wall is the most simple way to get what I want...a large JUNK FREE horizontal surface (eh-hum) and a place for the Legos.

The photo below gives an idea of what we want to do. Since the wall we want to "build across" is all windows, I think we'll have to secure the counter TO the bookshelves (we have these uber-stick glue dots that SERIOUSLY work) along with a few L-brackets between the window casings (that would be three spots). I really like the KNIPSA baskets and I'm not a basket girl! It looks like they painted their Expedits can see it here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Playroom - BEFORE

I posted Friday on the first plans for the playroom, you can read that here.

I want to do the official before photos and WDIS. This room has become the dumping ground (as if the living room wasn't, too!) of the house (as you can see).

Here's my list of "What Do I See":
-travel maps
-empty plastic shoeboxes & lids
-cardboard boxes
-shipping boxes
-october/halloween decoration storage box
-tons of supplies, jugs, packaging
-2 boxes of newly printed business cards
-empty laundry bin
-bin of clean packing peanuts for shipping
-tote bags
-broken sewing machine
-plastic storage bin
-purse for play
-package of screws for pegboard
-flat cardboard boxes for projects
-more legos
-cd player
-trash that didn't make it into the recycle bin
-soap supplies for giveaway
-new fabric for projects
-bubble wrap
-tower of boxes of handmade soap
-"fitness" chair for giveaway
-business inventory
-empty lego set boxes
-cardboard box for giveaway
-counters covered with toys and legos

This room was tidy in July(!)

We tend to put things on the floor so we can see them...I am very visual and have come to the realization that I put things on the floor so I can see and keep track of my stuff. Is this helpful? NO! We can't walk around our house! This explains why I am totally attached to the Expedit bookshelves...I can move all that horizontal mess into a vertical mess and still see it all! THIS gives us more carpet space! THIS is a GOOD thing! Daniel seems to like his stuff spread out like me while Sarah likes her things put away. Everyone benefits from using the Expedit!

I know what I want to do in this room...this is a passageway to the sunroom as well as the garage, so from a functional standpoint, those walkways need to always be clear and accessible (which is not always the case right now)! I want a place for the kids to play on the floor...they both enjoying spreading out for play together and alone. I was thinking about a large rug to define this open space (even though we have carpet). When we have guests over (that would be amazing!) there would be a place to be and play.

I want the kids to have a place to store things downstairs that they use on a daily basis. They would each have 25 cubbies for storage, books and legos, easy to access for play AND easy to put away.

In the past 10 years, I've purchased two old Singer sewing machines in hopes of actually sewing. Neither machine has worked out for me. We bought a Janome Sew Mini for Sarah and it works! I want to do several projects, but the machine isn't heavy duty enough. AND I don't have a place to keep one. Until Now. :) Part of my plan is to move the table in the sunroom into the playroom so I have a craft area and a permanent home for my new sewing machine (to be announced). I have a coupon good through December...wouldn't that be an awesome reward for cleaning the main floor!? Since we got Sarah a starter machine, we've been hanging out with our coupons at Joann Fabric store...and we're already starting our own fabric stash (gotta have materials to work with)! This fabric doesn't have a home and I think a few cubbies would be just the ticket!

I am having trouble visualizing this room WITHOUT all my business inventory, supplies and assorted packing boxes, etc. THAT will be really exciting when that is all gone! I am going to put my final things ON SALE to move them out. I really want them all gone by Christmas.

Out with the mess, in with the...bookshelves, yea!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crochet Binder

I LOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEE spending time online searching for beautiful images. Do you have a Pinterest account? That's the idea, I've had my own personal boards for years and years stored on my computer. This is a constant source of inspiration for graphic design ideas, color combinations and just plain neat-o stuff that I like. I just save images in folders in my main Pictures folder. I usually name them with the source so I can go back and view it if I need to and I've had to do this on several occasions.

When I started crocheting in January 2011, I started a virtual folder for "crochet pics" of my favorite colors and designs. This folder of images stimulates my creative juices! All this to say, I like WAY more than I can produce so having those images in my computer is GOOD because it doesn't take up any physical space only virtual space.

Once I started actually producing a few projects (afghans), I wanted a way to document my process and "ingredients"...what yarn did I use for my first afghan? Did I use a typical double-crochet on my sister's afghan? Can my friend wash and dry her blanket on high heat? So of course, I started a blog! I love that I can keep this information online so it is easy to access from anywhere! I include photos and price of yarn and hook used along with care instructions for easy reference. I don't share this blog with anyone because I have GIFT information there, so for now, it's just for me.

But I found I also needed a hard copy of my current and planned projects because I needed to refer to patterns while sitting on the sofa. I prefer to be able to sketch and make notes, so enter-The Crochet Binder. Only patterns that I REALLY want to do make it into the binder. This also helps me be realistic about my time and financial resources. I purchase yarn when it goes on sale and store it in plastic bags in my bedroom until it is ready to be used.

Right now, my goal is to make a few gifts (just finished a catghan for my sister to match their anniversary afghan) and cozy afghan for each family member using a pattern designed by me. I let them choose their own colors and stripe pattern, giving them each a few parameters. Now I feel confident buying yarn when it goes on sale at and since I'm using my own pattern, I know EXACTLY how much yarn I REALLY need.

This summer, I decided that I wouldn't bother trying to buy in the store for large projects because they never have enough skeins in the same dye lot. I've decided there are really only a few yarns I really enjoy working with (worsted weight is NOT for me) so I can watch for sales. Usually I can get a free shipping coupon and often has 25%, 30% and after Christmas 40% off my favorite yarns (Lion Brand). Michael's brand Loops & Threads offers a wonderful boucle that I LOVE called Country Loom so I watch for sales on that, too. Sadly (super sadly) they don't offer online ordering so I don't do many projects with their yarn because I can never get enough skeins in the same dye lot at the same store. Though I do admit, I'm pretty fortunate/spoiled because there are four Michael's stores within 30 minutes of me! I supposed the next afghan, I could visit all four stores and use coupons to try to collect what I need...just a whole lot of time wasted running around in my opinion!

Just last week I added a new first page to my binder...six little pockets (which I found while cleaning!) to hold the six projects I can have going at any one time. Yes, my husband asked me to limit my endeavors (otherwise we'd be buried under yarn in our bedroom-oops, too late)! I really like this little sheet! I can see what's in process and make sure I don't over buy on yarn (who doesn't LOVE to buy yarn!?!) or over commit myself to too many gifts. In a word, it keeps me in reality!

The next sheets are my patterns for those family afghans. I print them out with vital info like how many skeins of yarn and what size hook to use. I have almost all the yarn collected for the projects for John and Daniel. I'll do theirs first and Sarah's last (since I already have an unfinished blanket for her that needs to be whipstitched) so I won't order yarn for Sarah's until after Christmas when I can get a rockin' deal.

I also want to experiment with a prayer shawl and/or lapghan pattern...smaller than afghans and how many afghans do I really need to make anyways!? So this post is a little chatty, thanks for following along!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Building Character In Me

This is painful and slow.

I confess...I spent way too much time today playing with my blog because I didn't want to face ANOTHER day of the seemingly endless task of cleaning up. And I LOVE arranging the photos and text on the blog (love) and enjoy seeing the timeline develop. But I knew I needed to at least spend some time today in the playroom (which is officially the family room, but we use it as a playroom). This room is interesting because it doesn't have any windows...there are french doors that lead to the sunroom (which at one time was a porch) and there are LOTS of windows out there!

As the living room is receiving more Christmas decor, my focus has moved toward the playroom these past couple of days...I thought the sunroom would be next but the playroom has grasped my immediate attention and I had an idea I've never had before regarding how to use the space. The upper map photo shows the two gigantic countertops which take up most of the room. This split the room in half, giving each child their own area. We thought the kids would use these counters for projects, but they, too are covered with stuff. The floor is also covered with stuff-legos (ouch), boxes of my stuff, etc. We need some storage space, not countertops. That's when it occurred...why not get two more IKEA Expedit bookshelves!? All that STUFF can go VERTICAL! I haven't done an official WDIS on this room, but I can certainly move ahead as we want to EMPTY the space near the garage door and bring in the new bookshelves ASAP. Don't need a lot of planning for that...move it out (whistle blows)!

I am motivated to make more space for my children to live and play and we all need more space to be able to move around safely. I am also motivated by the completion of small tasks...the smaller the better which brings me to this afternoon.

I've sold handmade soy candles, bath & body and perfumes online for almost 6 years. I made all these products in my home. Various equipment, furniture and supplies are no longer vital to my everyday life. I have so much stuff and I have gradually culled through ingredients, supplies, product packaging and remaining inventory over the past year. So what I went through today is just another layer of getting rid of the stuff.

My goal? Clean off the top of the cart. That seemed even more than I could muster today. I sent the timer for 20 minutes and ended up spending the hour it took. I did a little bit of cheating (moving a few items over to another counter) but mostly BULLDOZED through it! Hooray! I did it! I'm grateful for a few friends who are wanting some of my supplies for homeschool activities...knowing that someone is going to put this stuff to good use eases my pain in giving it or throwing it away.

So looking back, I've actually made some serious headway! We now have a plan for the playroom AND a plan for the sunroom. Yesterday I found a photo showing exactly what we want to do with wrap around counters in the sunroom! I'm excited! That means over the next few weeks I can move toward those goals! Oh, yes, and decorate for Christmas, too.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

BONUS! Update Dining Room Bookshelf

This is a surprise to me! I had to clear out a few cubbies when we cleaned the living room (still in process). Please notice (angels siiiinnnnggginng) that the stack of books in front of the bookshelf (first photo) is now GONE! I wasn't intending to clear any cubbies, but it just happened. I aborted purging the bookshelf back in August and you can read about it here.

So this is a status update on the dining room bookshelf. Being the visual person I am, I couldn't resist a grid representing the cubbies that are ORGANIZED! So the colored boxes are done and my focus is keeping them tidy. Not sure when I'll get back to the rest, but for now all this stuff is NOT ON THE FLOOR so I'm HAPPY!

Ten down, now ony 15 cubbies to go!

Color palette credit to DESIGNJUNKEE at for Ocean Five
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