Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I’m very late posting this. I’ve felt behind all day because the kids are home again because of the weather.

Our week went really wacky last week. (Ha! Say that five times fast!)

I was sick a couple days this past week, and the kids had a day off from school because of the weather, so then I felt like I was playing catch up the rest of the week. Despite all my planning (& even participation in Menu Plan Monday), there were meals that got bumped off last week’s menu.

Monday: order pizza to be picked up

Tuesday: Breakfast for supper

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: Fish

Friday: Pulled pork

Saturday: Homemade soup

Sunday: Fried Rice

Hopefully, we'll be able to stick this menu plan this week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Clutterbug Takes Unintentional Holiday


I just realized my last post about clutter was on Wednesday. Well…I told you I was a procrastinator, didn’t I?

But, I found the perfect giveaway for me. It's an online workshop about...clutter! Giveaway closes Tuesday, January 19th at 2:00 pm PST.

So, I entered...keep your fingers crossed for me. I'll let you know what happens with that.

Okay…now’s the time to make myself adhere to a schedule. I hope to have something put together soon that I will want to follow. (Actually, it would have to be something that makes it seem dumb NOT to follow it – the kind of thing that makes you say, “duh! Why didn’t I do this sooner!”)

Menu Plan Monday

Have I mentioned how much I love planning meals for the week? (Why, oh why, didn’t I do this before?)

I still get a little thrill when I realize that I don’t have to rush around trying to come up with a meal for my family. This week they even got in on the menu planning fun. So, the kids should be less likely to complain about what we’re having for supper.

Another benefit of meal planning is you don’t end up feeding the kids the same thing they ate for lunch at school! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve done that.

Monday: Meatballs

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza

Wednesday: Pulled Pork (pork loin in the crockpot with about ½ cup water & a taco seasoning packet – must be started day before since it cooks on low for 24 hours!)

Thursday: breakfast for supper

Friday: taco salads

Saturday: Chicken fingers

Sunday: Mac & Cheese

Check out Menu Plan Monday; a visit there could inspire your next menu plan!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Great Clutter Debate

Should it stay or should it go?

I wish I could say that I got rid of a huge amount of stuff today. Unfortunately, all I did was try to come up with a final decision regarding the kitchen table. This table is by the fridge and near the back door so it always seems to be the place that everyone puts stuff.

I was trying to decide whether to get rid of that table (as my husband had suggested to me) or if we should just keep it there and try to keep it free of clutter. His reason for moving it was its proximity to the fridge made it more difficult to open the fridge door all the way. My thought is that it seems to attract clutter more than it helps us stay organized.

The spot where the table is would look empty without something else in its place. Not that we have to have something there, but I feel that I’d be losing “counter space” if I got rid of the table.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering what I decided about the kitchen table...

Well…the answer is… I don't have a good solution. I guess for the time being the table will stay where it is. I will try to keep it free of clutter. If that doesn't work then maybe the space could be used for something else. I’m not sure what, yet.

What do you do in situations like this?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

A Routine…a schedule…a plan…whatever you call it…is supposed to keep a person on track. What happens when the “train jumps the track” because of something new added to your day? How do you make those things become a habit?

Check out flylady for a clever way to keep house. She makes it easy to learn new habits using her system.

I follow her system…well, sort of. I have adapted it to suit my needs. I have a support group for those who may be struggling to follow flylady. Please join if you are interested. No pressure. Just wanted you to know about the group.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Last week didn’t go as planned, but let’s face it: who can really plan a blizzard? Things turned out fine, though. We had to come up with a couple meals on the fly (gotta love pizza delivery!) The weather cleared up enough that my folks were able to get here on Saturday so they got to attend our baby's baptism on Sunday.

I really love having my menu planned out for the week. I can't believe how easy it makes writing out a grocery list! Plus, my hubby can start supper for me since he doesn't have to wonder what we're having.

Monday: Meatloaf

Tuesday: Chicken Stir-fry

Wednesday: Homemade pizza

Thursday: Torsk

Friday: Lasagna

Saturday: Mac & Cheese

Sunday: leftover buffet

I’m an Organizing Junkie is home to Menu Plan Monday. She has great organizing ideas, too!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Snow Day

Another snow day today. I love to spend time with the kids, but there is a limit to how much fun stuff (according to the kids) I can find for them to do.

While the kids played a board game together, I sorted through the paper stack on my desk. I found that the majority of the papers on my desk were ones that I hadn't filed, yet. It's such a good feeling to have even that little bit cleared off.

It doesn't take that long to file a bunch of papers into the right files. The stack of filing I had to do was done in probably two minutes. I guess I don't always have a good idea of how long it takes to do things.

We are experiencing very cold temperatures in our little corner of Iowa. I thought this was very appropriate for today. Hope you enjoy it!


65 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Iowa plant gardens.

60 above zero:
Texans shiver uncontrollably.
People in Iowa sunbathe.

50 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Iowa drive with the windows down.

40 above zero:
North Carolinians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Iowa throw on a flannel shirt.

35 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Iowa have the last cookout before it gets cold.

20 above Zero:
People in Miami all die.
Iowans close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Iowa get out their winter coats.

10 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Iowa are selling cookies door to door.

20 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Iowa let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Iowans get upset because they can't start the Snow-mobile.

40 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Iowa start saying...'Cold enough fer ya?'

50 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Iowa public schools will open 2 hours late.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Motivation Takes a Snow Day

The kids didn't have school today. So, I decided it was time to pamper my family by making some banana bread. The recipe makes two loaves and we practically devoured a whole loaf in just one sitting! Plus, supper is cooking away in the crock pot. Life is good.

I've been trying to get motivated to take care of more clutter in the house. I made a resolution to clear out the clutter this year so I feel it's important that I do a little something every day in order to meet that goal. However, I don't want to push myself to the point that I feel guilty about not working on it or try to avoid it entirely.

Trouble sticking with the project? Try one of the following:
*Break a huge project into smaller pieces
*Take frequent breaks
*Work on a different part of the project

So, do these things help you stick with a big project? Have you found something that works better for you? Please share your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow Day

They let out school at noon because of the weather. It has been snowing here. It's really light stuff so it will probably start blowing around and drifting if hasn't started to already. I'm hoping that my parents will still be able to get here for the weekend. They are supposed to be here for the baby's baptism on Sunday.

I went to the grocery store to be sure that I have enough milk, food, and diapers in the house. We aren't going to be going anywhere and it will be nice spending some time playing games with the kids.

What kinds of things do you do on snow days? I'd love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clutter vs Company -- Which Would You Prefer To Have Visit Your Home?

Whoosh! That was quite the first day of my clutter journey!

I wish I could have posted the after pictures earlier in the day than I did, but all in all it turned out all right.

The next item is to get the house ready for visitors. Our sweet baby boy is going to be baptized on Sunday (January 10). So, I want the house to be just as tidy as it was (or better if I could!) for our family Christmas party.

I will start by the back door which opens into the kitchen and then move to the dining room/living room and the bathroom. I'm just going to concentrate first on clearing off the surfaces in those rooms since that should help give the illusion of a tidy home. Sneaky, huh!

Here are the before pictures of the surface clutter in those rooms.

It doesn't look too bad, does it? Having the kids pick up after themselves seems to work pretty well. Also, doing some picking up as part of my morning routine helps.


Well, I goofed. I didn't start in the kitchen like I said I was going to, but was in the living room/dining room first. Oh well, not a big deal. Anyway, it was really deceiving to me how much time I needed to spend on sorting the stuff on the kitchen table when the other areas cleaned up so quickly.

One thing I couldn't believe that we let build up like that was the 82 cans of Coke Zero! They are waiting in the garage for when I go to the grocery store. The suitcase still had some clothes left in it from our New Year's trip to my folks. The clean ones are back in the drawers and the dirty ones went into the laundry room.

All I needed to do in the living room was to recycle some paper and put the books away. The empty bottle in the bathroom got tossed into the recycling bin. I didn't take any after shots of the living room or bathroom because it was easy to see the finished result there. The set of dishes on the counter in the kitchen are the holiday ones. They were used during Christmas and were waiting for me to put them in their storage container in the basement.

So, I'm not completely finished with this since I still need to clean up/put away the stuff around the kitchen table. But that's okay because I could see some progress.

Now, I'd love to hear from you. Is your house company-ready at all times or do you struggle with getting (or keeping!) it that way?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Un-decorating The House

My clutter journey has begun! Today's project is un-decorating the house with boughs of holly. Fa,La,la,la,la,la,la,la,la!

I was raring to get going on this, but kids sure have a way of throwing a monkey wrench in the plans. My five-year old boy is sick today: he has a cough and a fever, but says nothing else is bothering him. I can tell it in his eyes that he doesn’t feel well.

Because this project is being done in whatever spare time I have for it, I needed to make sure I did my usual morning chores so the family or the rest of the housework doesn't suffer. I also made sure that my sick boy wasn't needing anything and the baby was happy (meaning that I fed, changed, & loved on him).

Here are the pictures of the Christmas decorations. It really should be easy to take everything down because I kept things very simple.

I only have to put away the wreath, the garland on the door, and the Christmas tree. Once I get the stuff back in the storage containers, I'll take them to the place in the basement where they are stored.

I will update this post later today with the after pictures.


My method for un-decorating the house in previous years was taking the decorations from wherever they were displayed and then piling it all in one place to put away later. Not a very good method – a pain in the behind, actually. It took me a lot of time and caused a lot of frustration when I was ready to put it away.

However, this year I was smart about it. As I took the garland off the door, I wound it around a piece of cardboard and put it in the storage container along with the tree skirt and the tree topper. The decorations went into their storage container as they came off the tree. I carefully took off the tree lights and put them away, as well.

I decided, during one of my previous attempts at de-cluttering, that I would limit my Christmas decorations to three containers. These storage containers hold all the Christmas decorations I use.

The tree itself (it's an artificial one) comes apart quickly and stores fairly well (all except the stand & base) in the two big storage totes I bought for it last year. The wreath hangs from a nail on the basement wall when its not on display.

You can see the spot where the tree stood is pretty bare right now, except for the baby's bassinet. The kids' computer desk was moved from this spot to make room for the Christmas tree. I'm not sure if I should put it back there because the kids' computer isn't working.

In reviewing my day, I am pleased that I managed to get all this done. If all my days' project are this much work on top of my usual day to day stuff then I may have to break them down even further to avoid being overwhelmed.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Today seems to be the day for beginnings: my clutter journey and my first time posting my menu plan online…or anywhere else for that matter.
Menu Plan Monday at has taught me that just looking into the fridge or freezer (mere minutes before you want to eat) hoping for inspiration to hit is NOT the best way to plan meals.

This week my husband and I have two Christmas parties to attend so the kids will be eating with my parents. The kids have some Christmas money to spend so Wednesday’s meal will have to be a quick/easy one so we can get out to the stores before they close.

Here is what my family and I will be having for our suppers this week. Any supper leftovers typically become the next day’s lunch.

Monday: Potato bar -- baked potatoes with toppings (shredded cheese, bacon pieces, chopped ham, sautéed onions, mushrooms, etc.)

Tuesday: Homemade beef & vegetable soup

Wednesday: Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches

Thursday: Beef roast with potatoes & carrots (in the crock-pot)

Friday: attend Christmas party (my parents will feed the kids)

Saturday: attend Christmas party (my parents will feed the kids)

Sunday: Tacos

Gearing Up For Clutter Removal

Well, it took forever!

But I now have a master list of the areas in my home that need to be decluttered. Obviously it would have been easier (and faster!) to list the areas that were tidy!

Next to each area on the list, I made a note of what things should be stored there. I also made sure to list what I was going to do with the piles of stuff leaving that area. Yeah, overkill, I know. But I don't want lose a great organizational idea!

With the priority of keeping the house looking company-ready, I marked (on my list) the areas or piles of stuff that should be tackled first.

The first project of this journey is taking down and putting away the Christmas tree and decorations. I will make sure I complete my morning routine and see that the baby is satisfied before I work on the tree.

Can you believe it? My clutter journey starts tomorrow!

I would like to know what you think: Do you have a good spot to store your Christmas decorations? Are they overflowing their containers? Is it time to let go of some decorations?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Watch Out for Flying Clutter

The clutter starts to fly on Monday!

There are so many areas that I wish I could get decluttered all at once. I need to hold back my enthusiasm so I don't get carried away and do too much the first day.

As I thought about what to tackle first, the thought that stood out and what I felt was most important to me was having the public areas of my home (living room/dining room, kitchen & bathroom) company-ready at all times...well, close to it, anyway.

But this project is doomed to failure without a plan of attack. My post tomorrow will explain a little bit more about how I will proceed.

So, where would you start your declutter project? I'd love to hear your comments.

Sorry for the short post. We are visiting my folks & don't want to hog the computer.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year from Super Clutter Bug!

We love to get together with family to celebrate. It doesn't matter what it is, but just as long as there is food we are happy.

I am making decluttering my whole house my new year's resolution this year. This project will start January 4 because the kids go back to school then. It will be easier to work on portions of this project when they are there.

I will be excited to see my house after a whole year's worth of decluttering. I can hardly wait for that New Year's celebration!

What is your New Year's resolution?