Tackling Closet Clutter

I’ve slowly been chipping away at various places around the house that need some organizational attention. This weekend, I used my extra hours to give some special attention to my clothing. This includes my dresser, my jewelry drawer in my husband’s dresser, another junk drawer, my shoes, and the master closet! It was a huge project that took me all weekend to complete. If you recall, I already got my scarves under control a few weeks ago (read about that here). I think the biggest challenge of this post was organizing all the different aspects of it! So it will go like this: shoes, junk drawers, dressers, and finally the closet. Stick around till the end! My shoes were actually organized to start. I had them neatly arranged on an over-the-door shoe hanger:

Problem solved, right? Unfortunately, that’s not true. The weight of the shoes was actually pulling the door from the hinge. Not good. So, in the name of thrift, I purchased 2 of these floor shoe racks from Target at $3 a pop.

The problem? The closet floor looked like this:

So I cleaned it out and vacuumed. (ooooh so pretty & clean!)

Then I assembled the racks & loaded them up! I tried to organize them by heel height, and I put the ones I wear the most in the middle for a quick grab.

My boots are being stored to the side of the racks, matched into their rightful pairs.

Next, I decided to tackle the dressers. The top drawers of both my and my husband’s dressers were filled with my jewelry & a bunch of random junk (and a few treasures). Here’s what they looked like before:

I cleaned them out, purged, tossed, put things away, and finally combined them both into one (much more) organized drawer. I have a project idea for what to do with my jewelry, but that one will have to wait for a while. Anyway, here’s the after:

We were recently very blessed to receive a matching set of much larger dressers, completely free! The set we have been using is a set we received from my great grandmother, so they’re definitely staying around (just not in our room). Here’s my too-small dresser.

I took everything out and laid it on the bed. I tried on almost every single piece of clothing. Everything that didn’t fit right went into a donation pile.

Then I swapped out the dressers, organized what I had left, and put everything away! Here’s one of the new-to-us, much larger dressers!

Almost finished! Now it’s time for the big reveal – the closet!
Here are some before shots:

I actually reorganized my clothing while I was tackling the dresser. Then I emptied everything off the top shelf and dusted thoroughly.

Again, I purged, tossed, put things away, hung things up, organized, labeled, and put a few things back in the closet. Are you ready?? And here are the final views of the closet!

I already had these rubbermaid drawers, I just relabeled them. I ran out of label tape for the last drawer (boo). The left three are “foreign items” (collectibles from trips), “swimsuits”, and “slips” (which never seem to have the proper place). The top right one is EMPTY! The other two are for belts. We also have some extra towels folded neatly.

I already had these baskets sitting in another room. The left one has my painting clothes in it. The right one is full of extra jeans. The baskets came from Ikea. I’m in love with my closet now! It makes me so happy when I open it in the morning! This is what I’m donating:
(planner cover, toy dog, 3 butterfly hair clips from 4th grade, oinking pig keychain, checkbook cover, pair of child’s gloves, headset for old cell phone, 3 old cell phone chargers)


(large box of clothes that don’t fit)

Cost breakdown:
Shoe racks: $6
Dresser: free Baskets & bins: free (already owned)
Patience & Dedication: priceless
Total cost: $6

Thanks for reading about my seemingly huge project! In reality, it took me two evenings (about 2-3 hours each night).

Okay, so maybe it was huge, but I had a blast doing it! Is that weird?

I’m linking up with:
Anything Related
Organize and Decorate Everything UndertheTableandDreaming504 Main
Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap  up           party!

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enough is enough!

I’ve decided!
So, I’ve been frustrated with the fact that I’ve plateaued since Weight Watchers switched to their new PointsPlus plan in November. Slowly since then, I had kind of given up on my weight loss. I just thought, “This is as good as it will get for me.“Well, Monday I found myself driving home from school eating a Payday bar, where all of a sudden it hit me. WHAT WAS I DOING?!? A candy bar?? Sure, it was just a candy bar. But not to me. To me it was the culmination of a long-overdue smack in the face/kick in the butt.

I got home and weighed myself the next morning. 193.5.

…………………………………………………….

That’s a 7-lb gain from where I was. That’s 7 lbs in the wrong direction. Not good.

I want to nip this in the bud! I NEVER want to go back to the old habits, the old me. The old me was unhappy, self-conscious, and always brought down by comparing herself to others. The old me never felt worthy or good enough for anyone. By the grace of Jesus am I now a woman who is happy, confident, worthy, and good enough.

I’m pumped and motivated again!

Here are my NEW before pictures!
(my face is red in the first set because I just finished a workout… haha!)


(ugh…. that swimsuit back shot is NOT attractive!!!)

I’m trying to set up as many avenues for success as I can. I’ve written down some goals and a workout schedule for the next three months, which will be my 1-year anniversary (June 25).
I’ve also switched to WW etools for the next three months, so that’s a big change for me – not having my meeting there to help me.

I’ve applied to be a contestant on Win, Lose, or Blog, which is a 7-week weight loss competition through blogging. They’ll announce the contestants on March 28th, and their 4th season of this competition will start on April 1st. I hope I get chosen, but even if I don’t, I’m in this till the end!

I just wanted to share a few inspiring quotes from one of my favorite shows – The Biggest Loser.

The first one comes from Courtney. I love her drive and her enthusiasm!

“What I want to say to all those average women of America is that I’ve lost almost 200 lbs and you can do this. You can lose this weight just like I have. Just one step, one day at a time, one choice at a time – and you will get there.” – Courtney (Biggest Loser, season 11, week 11)

This next one comes from Olivia and her encouraging husband.

“You know sometimes you approach a wall and you know this is the point for me where I usually give up. You know, in the past when I’ve plateaued before, I’ve just kinda given up… it’s the time where, ‘This is as good as it gets for me.’” – Olivia (Biggest Loser, season 11, week 12)

“Well, I just know how strong you are… Be strong for you. Be strong! You are strong! When you see the wall, just look at that wall! You don’t turn away from it! And keep going and you say, ‘You are not going to win over me! I am going to win!’ That is who you are! Because I know the end of the story, and I know that you make it. I know you better than anyone else.” – Olivia’s husband

Amen, right? Those words from Olivia’s husband sound like they could have come from the mouth of Jesus. I hope you are encouraged by this as much as I am!

Thanks for reading!

My new anthem!

I just heard Mandisa’s new single on the radio driving home tonight. It’s called “Stronger”. I’m downloading it on my iTunes as I type!
Image from here.

I just wanted to share the lyrics. This song is going to become my new workout music!! I love it!!! The words are so powerful… especially the chorus!

Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain’t right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you’re asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don’t hang your head
It’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even if it’s hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

(Chorus)
When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer

He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger

The pain ain’t gonna last forever

And things can only get better

Believe me, this is gonna make you stronger

Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger

Believe me, this is gonna make you …

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even when you just can’t feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

Chorus

‘Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it

If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I’m sure that He’s gonna help you get through this

Chorus

I love it! I hope this blesses you and inspires you as much as it did me!

Last one standing

Just a quick post today… it was an interesting day! I got to work and discovered that someone had broken our back door during the weekend. Nothing was stolen, and everyone is okay. It just made for a longer and packed-in day.
Last week I posted about reorganizing the kitchen drawers. You can read about that here.
Well, I organized the last kitchen drawer today. Hooray!Here’s the before:

And here’s the after:

The organizing trays come from Target.

Thanks for reading!

I’m linking up with:
Anything Related

Organize and Decorate Everything http://www.thethriftyhome.com

Bits of my Weekend – pedicure, garage saling, and baking

This weekend was a blast!

On Friday, I got to meet up with some of my best friends (both were bridesmaids)!!
This is my very dear (goofy) friend Kelsey

And this is another very dear friend Janelle:

We were all friends in high school, and have continued our friendship since then. And now we’re all married! I’m so blessed to have these women in my life!
We love to hang out together, so since Janelle was visiting from out of town, we went to our favorite nail salon to get our nails done. Janelle got a mani for the Celtic festival, and Kelsey and I got pedis!
Here are my spring flowers:

After getting our nails dolled up, we went out with our husbands (minus one) to Fuddruckers for some awesome burgers!

On Saturday, I spent the entire morning with Kelsey at garage sales. She just moved in to her first home, so we wanted to find some things for her new house. I also just had fun looking for stuff as well.


6 tank tops, 1 t-shirt, 1 jacket, 1 scarf, and 2 skirts for about $7.


1 decorative tray, 2 vintage necklaces, and 1 game of Scrabble for $6.
(I already have a Scrabble game, but I wanted to use these letters for crafts.)


1 beach tote, 3 paperback books, and 2 vintage books for $3.50.

One of the vintage books was called “Housekeeping in Old Virginia”. It’s copyright 1879 and in great condition!


This beautiful turquoise vase was originally $8, but I went back later and it still hadn’t sold, so I scooped it up for $4.

Steals of the day: 2 free bags of lemons

I also scored 2 expansion packs of the Heroscape game for my husband (valued at about $65 retail). There were a few of the “guys” missing, but the game is still playable! I bought it for $4, but there was a penny in the box, so $3.99 it is!

Total spent: $24.49!

And yes, I am in a sundress. It was beautiful, sunny, and almost 70 degrees all morning!

Sunday was a lot of fun. I got to sing with the choir in both services, and our Sunday School group had a potluck. I brought peanut butter dip with apples and pretzel sticks, my favorite spinach artichoke dip with pita chips (yuummmm), and the world’s best banana bread muffins. I went to Target to get a few organizing things, and got a housewarming gift for our friends who just moved into their first home! Our friends inherited some unneeded dressers when they moved into their new house, so they passed those to us. We spent a few hours hauling those across town in my mom’s van to our house. And they had a potted Japanese maple that they didn’t want!!! So that came to us as well! =D

I also baked my very first from-scratch apple pie! It wasn’t the most delicious apple pie I’ve ever tasted, but it was definitely good.

I was ready to go to bed at 8, but I made myself do something else productive. I organized my scarves in our closet. It’s not much, but at least I can close the door now without scarves blocking the doorway. I can also see all of them a lot better now.

Before:

After:

Yes, I do have a “CAUTION DO NOT CROSS” scarf. It was from my uncle. Be jealous.

Thanks for reading!

I’m linking up with:
 http://www.thethriftyhome.com

Scrumptious Saturday {No. 2} – Fluffy Speckled Peanut Butter Dip

Sorry this post is coming so late in the day. I couldn’t find my camera for a while! But it’s found now, so away we go! =)Fluffy Speckled Peanut Butter Dip
Recipe from: Hungry Girl 200 Under 200

This dip is great for strawberries, bananas, apple slices, pretzel sticks, or even celery sticks (according to Hungry Girl). It’s pretty delicious, and very “fluffy” as the title describes.

I’m making this for my Sunday school group tomorrow, so I decided to quadruple the batch. The original recipe is below.

Ingredients:
1 Jell-O Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding Snack
3/4 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed
1/4 cup Reese’s Puffs cereal (original)
1 Tablespoon reduced-fat creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 no-calorie sweetner pack (like Splenda or Truvia)

Directions:

Place cereal in a sealable plastic bag.

Using a rolling pin or can, crush cereal completely by rolling it firmly over the bag on a flat surface. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine pudding and peanut butter, stirring until completely mixed.

Add Cool Whip, vanilla extract, and sweetner, stirring until mixed well. You don’t want to do this in an automatic mixer – it will cause the Cool Whip to go flat. I folded mine in till it was smooth.

Stir in the cereal crumbs and place bowl in fridge. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Stats:
Serving size: 2 heaping tablespoons
Makes: 6 servings
Calories: 49
Fat: 1.5 g
Sodium: 64 mg
Carbs: 7.5 g
Fiber: <0.5 g Protein: 0.5 g

I’m linking up with:

UndertheTableandDreaming
504 Main
Anything Related

Linen Closet Organization

Have you ever tried to fall asleep while your mind is still planning, planning, planning? This never works. My general rule of thumb in these cases is that if I lay in bed wide awake for 30 minutes or more, it’s time to get up and do something, anything to calm my mind. Usually I’ll get up and write down what’s on my mind or journal. I don’t ever get back up just to waste time – I have to be productive if I’m going to stay up!
So last night was one of these nights. I had so much on my mind last night after trying to plan out all my spring cleaning. I tried to go to sleep with my mind still in planning mode. After 30 minutes, I got back out of bed to do a few things. So I ended up doing 2 loads of laundry, cutting up some fruit for a snack, and then decided to organize my linen cabinet. Yes, I’m weird. I know. But it’s been bugging me a lot lately mostly because the doors wouldn’t completely shut! Ugh! How annoying.Well, my friends, my linen closet is messy no more! I spent a little under an hour on it. I emptied everything out, sprayed it down with my new Basic H All Purpose Cleaner, relocated a few items (tablecloths & extra blankets), and put everything back nice and neat!

Here’s the before:

The top shelves held an assortment of beach towels, a few tablecloths, and lots of towels. The bottom shelves held spare sheets, more towels, another beach towel, and some spare blankets. That was waaaay too much to try to cram into that tiny closet.

Here’s the after!

Yes, I know we have a million towels, but that was “the thing to get” at my bridal showers. I got tons of towels – and I love them all, even if we don’t use some of them very often. This linen cabinet is not very deep or notably large, so our spare blankets will be stored in the guest bedroom or office closet eventually. The tablecloths got moved to the buffet in the dining room.

So that’s how I calmed myself back down to go to sleep. I’m weird, I know.

Thanks for reading!

I’m linking up with:

Transformation Thursday


UndertheTableandDreaming
504 Main
Organize and Decorate Everything
 http://www.thethriftyhome.com

Spring Cleaning

Do you participate in spring cleaning? I’ve always liked the idea of spring cleaning – getting a fresh start to everything, being organized, and the feeling of having it done. Ahhhhhhhhh. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?I’m definitely a purger. I love getting rid of stuff, organizing, decluttering…. it just feels good to be organized!

So I decided for my first official spring season of being married, I’d kick things off right. I am going to do my best to tackle the spring cleaning this month. I say “this month” because let’s be real – I’m a newlywed, a full time student, a part time employee, and an aspiring housewife!

I read a great post about how to plan your spring cleaning today! It was written by Toni from A bowl full of lemons as a guest post on Hawkerswife, who is hosting a spring cleaning event – the Hawkerswife Spring Cleaningpalooza 2011! She’s also giving away a gift card to the container store! Go here to read about it.

Here’s how I’m hoping my spring cleaning schedule will work out. However, spring is three months, so I’ll finish it in however long it takes me to finish!

Week 1 – Organization
Week 2 – Interior Spring Cleaning
Week 3 – Exterior Spring Cleaning
Week 4 – “Problem Rooms” (basement & guest bedroom)

I will be posting more of a schedule once I get an idea of how much time I have to work with each day!

Thanks for reading!

Photo source.

Kitchen Challenge Step 5: Final Touches!

To read about this challenge, click here.
Step 1: Pantry
Step 2: Under the Sink
Step 3: The Buffet
Step 4: Kitchen DrawersI finally finished last week’s challenge from A bowl full of lemons! This was a challenge to simply organize the kitchen. You could modify this challenge for whatever needed organizing in your kitchen.

I spent the majority of my time organizing in the first 4 steps listed above. In addition to those, MY challenge included…………………….

The spice rack (which I posted about here):

The tupperware cabinet – which was easy for me with my rubbermaid stackables:

Spice packets:

Coffee & tea items:

Cookbooks & recipes (which I posted some about here):

Paper plates, napkins & plasticware – I keep in this picnic caddy we received as a wedding gift:

Beside my fridge (which was a mess but I forgot a before picture) & aprons:

Aprons before:

Aprons & beside the fridge after:

This was a HUGE project, and I’m so glad that my kitchen is so much more organized!

Thanks for reading! If you like what you see, become a follower!

I’m linked up to:

Anything Related


Transformation Thursday