Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Family Computer Desk Organization

So, I've decided to keep posting about my progress now that my busy time is slowing down.  The next project I'd like to share with you is a quick clean-up of our family computer desk area.

Sooo much clutter!  Yikes!  See the 'birthday cake' on top?  That is for a magic trick I have...and it does NOT belong by the computer!
Clear and de-cluttered!  I'm lovin' it!
Oh, what a tangled web we weave...I mean, cords.

So much better, yet not exactly what I'm looking for.  Any suggestions to keep computer cords untangled?  I'm open for suggestions!

Organizing bit-by-bit,


Summer's coming to an end...

I'm Back!

I have really missed blogging throughout the summer, but it's a break I had to take.  My summer is very busy with my ministry/business (I'm a ventriloquist!), so I will not be doing any posting during summers.

That being said, my busy time is over and I have had time...okay...I've TAKEN time to do a few projects!  Things I've wanted to work on, but hadn't had the time!

I'll start with Kayli's Homeschool Notebook:
Kayli and I did this together...a very nice mom/daughter project.  We started with an old 3-ring notebook no longer being used, but it is her favorite color!

  Then we gathered the other supplies...a glue stick and scrapbook paper...that's it!

A strip of paper to cover
the spine.
Here Kayli is...doing all the work!

Kayli wanted to add
paper to the inside
pockets...I think it's a
great idea!

Here is the finished project!  Simple, yet makes the notebook more 'exciting' for Kayli!  Quick and easy-peasy!

Like I said, I'm just getting back into blogging, so bear with me!  I've missed sharing my heart here, and I have to say, the house did get out of control a few times (okay...maybe a bit more than that!).  However, I am slowly 'perfecting' my techniques...and I'll keep plodding along.  Because, as we know, a Homemaker's work is never done!

Organizing bit-by-bit!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

I've been gone so long...

I am really happy to be back!  It's hard to believe it's been over a month since my last post!  So...what's been going on?

1.  Trying to find that whole 'balance' thing within my life.

2.  My business has picked up, so I've had to spend more time focusing on that.  It's a GOOD thing!

I haven't been doing a whole lot in the way of organizing...just trying to keep up with what I've already accomplished.  God has been showing me a lot of things, and I've really enjoyed reading His Word, soaking in what I can. 

I am also reading a book by Victoria Olsteen, Joel Osteen's wife.  It's called "Love your Life...living Happy, Healthy & Whole".  If you haven't read it, you have to get it!  I found mine at our local thrift store (of course!).  It is so full of yummy nuggets of truth that women of God need to hear in these days!

Well, I will try to be back soon...with a new organizing project accomplished!



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Computer Crashed!

Well, Monday night our computer crashed!  Thankfully, I have my laptop, so I can keep blogging!  LOL!!

So, I thought I'd take a little time to clear and de-clutter the computer desk area.
We have taken out the computer tower and this is what we're left with.  See the mess of cords?  Yikes!  I will be researching ways to keep cords organized...

But, after just a matter of minutes, I was left with this:
I started a book (to the left of the screen) to keep our passwords, popular websites/blogs, etc.  Usually, I just write these on a piece of paper, which only causes clutter!  I placed my Amish file tray on the top shelf by my "Believe" sign.  Now, I have a place for all those papers I print off because "I really need them!"

I'm proving it over and over to myself that I CAN organize and clean an area in just a few minutes!

Organizing bit-by-bit,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letter Art

About a week ago, Kayli and I went to JoAnne's Fabric store, because I need some inspiration for another craft!  Hee-hee!
Well, I spotted some letters made out of various materials and that reminded me of some of the 'letter' crafts I've seen on different blogs.  So...I bought the letter "E"...for "Ellingson", of course!
I painted both sides of the letter with Americana 'antique gold' craft paint.  
It took just 1 coat of paint!

After it dried, I traced the letter onto this scrapbook paper.
This picture doesn't really show the true colors.  Then, I went to town with Mod-Podge!  After the initial glueing, I added 2 coats to the top.  I let it dry completely, before adding this:

This felt flower is actually two different felt flower designs I put together on a whim!  They were just laying on the table beside the couch!

So, here is the finished product:
The new "letter" art for the "Ellingson" home!

The letter cost was $3.96, I think, at JoAnnes.  The paint was $1.39, but I hardly used any of it.  The scrapbook paper was on sale at JoAnnes for .16!  Yes, that's right!  So...total cost was approximately $4.25!  Not bad for a new decorating touch!

I'll post a picture when I decide exactly where it's going!  (I have an idea, but so do my children!  We'll have to see how wins!  But, not tonight...I'm going to bed...)

Organizing bit-by-bit,


It's cleared off!!

Well, I didn't get it done this past weekend, but I made it my mission today!  Do you remember the embarrassing picture I shared showing my kitchen table?  Just in case you've forgotten (don't know how you could possibly forget!!), here it is:
Yep!  Pretty bad...and we couldn't even eat together as a family.  I still had Valentine's Day decor set out.  Very sad.  BUT...today is a new day!
See for yourself!
Isn't it pretty?  I really wanted something springy looking, but I seriously had nothing to put out!  So, after stopping at Kohl's, I found this pretty candle and cloth napkin.
Sooo pretty!  The pink bowl was an after-Valentine's Day sale.  And, of course, jelly beans are a must!  The little chick and bunny are salt & pepper shakers!

The candle is called "Mango Coconut Smoothie".  I spent a lot of time smelling candles and this is the one that came home with me!
Last fall, Courtney at Good Morning Girls, gave us a mission to light a candle every morning.  The candle is to remind us to pray for our family. 

So, there it is!  A clean, cleared off table for my family to be proud to sit at and eat together!  I'm proud of it, too...and it only took a few minutes.  Remember, I have been trying to see what I can get accomplished when I have only a few minutes!  Have YOU had any success with a few minutes???  I'd love to hear about it!

Organizing bit-by-bit!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Time Management

I have just purchased a book called: 
"Simplify your Time: Stop Running and Start Living!"
by Marcia Ramsland.  
Here are the 3 books she has written. 
I want all 3 of them!
 I haven't even finished reading her book, but have already put into practice some things that I've read.

Here is a tip Marcia gives:
Try and see what you can accomplish in 2 minutes!

Seriously!  So, I put on a pot of water to boil for supper.

...and decided to tackle my utensil holder.
There are a LOT of items that are never used in here.  It may not look bad to you, but it's overflowing!

After dumping everything out, here is what I saw:

All I can say is..."yuck"!  And, no...they're not bugs!  LOL!  Looked like Ramen Noodles to me.

Here is what I have kept, and now everything is handy and easy to get at.  Looks much nicer!

 And, all this before the water boiled!!
So, I decided to keep going and see what else I could accomplish in just a few minutes, or more than a few.

This small area is between our pantry and refrigerator. 

We moved our toaster to this area...it was cluttering up another counter top (but I forgot to take pics of where it had been).  We put the peanut butter containers and cinnamon/sugar mixture in the cupboard above.  The small crock on top of the sugar container is where we keep the butter.

This is the counter where the toaster was kept...between the small crocks.  It always looked so cluttered (for 9 years!).  Oh, and did you see the crockpot?  Yep!  Supper is ready!  (I'm working on better menu planning)

This had been hanging above the sink...what in the world was I thinking?  I have no idea what I was going to do with these things.  So, I took them down.

I thought I had taken a 'before' pic of my island, but couldn't find it.  This is the first pic I took of it cleared off.  Then, I decided I didn't like it.


Anybody ready for SPRING!!
I changed switched out the candy to this green Longaberger crock.  Who doesn't like candy?  Just wish it was chocolate!  The toothpicks had been in a gingerbread votive candleholder.  It was time to change that!  And, I love this little pitcher!

My next areas to tackle this weekend are:

How do you think we eat at this table?  We don't.  And, that is something else I am working at changing!  Bad habits are hard to break.

Oooohh...do you see the countertop on the left side of the picture?  I knew I had taken a BEFORE picture!  At least you can get a glimpse of it.

Here is the area I had decluttered a few weeks ago.  It so easily becomes a "hot spot".  I just need to add this area to my daily routine.

So, the next time I feel that I don't have 'time' to clean/organize/declutter, I will remind myself: 
I can do ANYTHING in 2 minutes, or any small amount of time!    
  • Swish and swipe toilet
  • wipe down toilet, sink and bathroom countertop
  • put dishes in dishwasher
  • throw a load of wash in washer
  • change clothes from washer to dryer
  • make bed (this takes LESS than 2 minutes!)
  • spot wash the kitchen floor
  • fill ice cube trays
  • read my Bible
  • Pray
  • so many more things!
So, what can YOU accomplish in just a few minutes?  Feel free to share your pictures and ideas.

Organizing bit-by-bit,


Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Simpler Life

Tonight, I am not home.  No...I am relaxing in my very own room at The Lamp Post Inn and Gallery Bed & Breakfast!  It is located in a quaint town along the Mississippi River in McGregor, IA.  My hosts are Ramona and Dorrance.  This is my 2nd year staying with them, as they have graciously opened their home to me while I am here in town to perform for a Chamber of Commerce event.

I am soooo enjoying the peace and tranquility here.  There is no TV...although they do have wireless internet access, obviously! 

Here is a picture of the room I am staying in:
This is the 'Butler's Quarters'.

As I look around the room, I am thinking about the simplicity it has to offer.  No clutter...PEACE!!  There is a simple order in this room.  Everything I need is at my fingertips.  This shows me that I can certainly survive without all the 'things' I think I must have.

I am asking myself, "Why...why do I seem to feel more secure with all the 'stuff' I have and cannot seem to let it go?"  And, yet, I know I do not feel security.  I feel overwhelmed helplessness, disorder, discontent, and the list goes on!  Now, I realize I have quite a bit more of the unusual things...such as PUPPETS!!!  Puppets, props and more puppets do seem to take over my house at times!  More on that later...

Back to 'stuff'...and the 'why'.  I don't know the answer, but I am praying about it.  I truly believe that when I discover the 'why' of hanging onto the 'stuff', I will discover the freedom in letting go of the 'stuff'!  I am also praying that I will continue to work on discipline...discipline to create peace, just as I'm feeling here at this Bed & Breakfast! 

And, speaking of 'breakfast'...I am going to go to sleep, now!  Breakfast is fantastic at this place!  I'll let you know what we have...I do know we're having some type of breakfast bread, because Ramona was baking it when I arrived this afternoon...mmmm...the smells in the air were wonderful!

Until breakfast....I mean, later...



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spiritual Clutter vs. Balance

I haven't posted for the past few days for a number of reasons.

1)  I am trying to be more disciplined in different areas and found I was spending way too much time on the computer.

2)  Remember Good Morning Girls I wrote about in an earlier post?  I am re-committing myself to being disciplined to have my daily time with the Lord. 

We are studying the book of James right now...verse by verse.  This week was the beginning of James chapter 3, which covers the topic of our 'tongue'.  It's such a small, untamed part of our body...but it can be oh, so destructive!  We are expected to tame our tongue, or it will be like fire kindling that can set a whole forest afire!  Just a spark is all it takes to set something on fire.

I have been challenged to look at how I am using my tongue!  How do my words affect my husband?  Are they uplifting, encouraging, motivating, loving?  Or am I tearing down my husband?  Are my words 'biting'?  Are they judgemental?  I am asking myself the same questions regarding my children.

Proverbs 18:21 says "death and life are in the power of the tongue".  Is my tongue bringing LIFE to people I am around?  Or is it bringing DEATH?

Another thought that has been brought to my attention is this:

How do I speak or act when I'm away from my home?  In other words, do I act the same outside my home as I am when I'm at home with my family? 

The enemy, the devil, would like nothing better than to have us tear one another down, especially those we love the most!  Getting caught up in the spirit of gossipping, backbiting...all with the excuse of "this way I will know how to pray"...or maybe we share what doesn't need to be shared because, if we're honest with ourselves, it makes us feel good to 'know' something someone else doesn't know!  Maybe we've been hurt by someone...we may feel that we 'deserve' to talk to others...it's going to help us to feel better!  Not true!  I've been there!  I KNOW the lies the devil tries to get us to believe!  Talking about the one who hurt you, what happened, etc., only 'feeds' the spirits of unforgiveness and bitterness.  What happens is that the root of bitterness begins to grow and to take hold, which will ultimately lead to a spiritual death if not pulled out!  Our tongue can be sooo deadly!

Oh, I so want to create a Women's Ministry Program where I can share this message with ladies all across the nation!  I am praying about this...I have so many ideas of how I can use my ventriloquism to reach ladies with this message!

Maybe you're wondering what in the world this has to do with organizing?  Well, to me, it has everything to do with it!  You see, having a  personal spiritual life that is cluttered with ungodly attitudes, words, and thoughts, is as wrong as having a cluttered, dis-organized home.  We must have our spiritual life in order! 

Let's take all of the spiritual clutter to God in prayer, asking Him to help us to discipline and tame our tongue...and move onto the next level in our walk with Him!

Do you have anything to share on this topic?  I'd love to hear from you!

Organizing bit-by-bit!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Working on balance!

Today has been a busy day, as I've been preparing to go to a nearby town tomorrow morning to minister with puppets.  When I was winding down for the evening, I was tempted to just sit down on the couch to watch a movie...veggin' out, ya know!  Well, something inside of me said "NO!  You have to balance out the day!"  So...I thought about what one thing really bothered me a lot about my house, and my fridge came to mind!  Every time I opened the door of the fridge or freezer, this is what greeted me:

I made this picture larger so you could see how gross the shelf is!  It's been like this for about a week...why is it that something this easy to clean takes so long to actually get to?

Oh, yeah...we are guilty of being pop-a-holics!  I've thought about starting Pop-a-holics Anonymous!  Seriously...

There it is!  The dreaded refrigerator!

But, after about 1/2 hour, this is the make-over:

I found 2 unused plastic shoebox containers to try to...um...contain...like items.  I do think I will look for other containers that are not quite as tall, though...and I still need to label them.  It's a start...

See the clean shelf!!  It was VERRRYYY sticky!

I think it's time to do a little grocery shopping now.  It's much easier when you can see what you have!

I do have to show one thing that my daughter thought quite disgusting...see if you can figure out what it is:

If you guessed 'cilantro', you are right!  At least in it's 1st lifetime!  LOL!  This was the worst food item found in the fridge, though...

For the little time it took, I am very pleased!  Thank you, Lord, for reminding me to keep balance in my day!  If I can keep this going on a daily basis, balance, order, and peace will be a constant in my home!

I'd love to hear how you organize YOUR fridge and freezer!

Organizing bit-by-bit,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finding Balance without...God?

After posting my previous message, I got up, took my shower, got dressed, all the while thinking about my 'to-do' list I had written.  When it dawned on me...I hadn't even added "spend time with God" on it.  Anywhere.  Na-da.  It's not there! 
So, how am I expected to 'find balance' in my life if I don't let God be a part of it on a daily basis?  Oh, wonderful...another area I am lacking discipline.  This reminds me that I need to get back with goodmorninggirls.org.  I have been using the excuse that I'm out of ink so I can't print our S.O.A.P. missions for the week...also out of paper.  But, umm...I do have notebooks, right?  I even have one started that I keep in a basket next to where I like to read my Bible and do my studying.  Okay!  Enough with the excuses!  Add this one to the previous list:
And, put it at the top!

Organizing bit-by-bit...with God by my side,


Finding Balance...

This morning, I was laying in bed trying to summon the courage to get up so I could begin my day...have you ever been there?  Laying in bed, I thought of all the things that needed to be done, and I just wanted to roll back over and cover my head with the blanket!  It seemed my mind never stopped thinking...
  • clear off the island in kitchen (wish I could go to an island!)
  • clear off kitchen table
  • sweep kitchen floor
  • clear off counter by phone
  • vacuum family room floor
  • begin washing clothing
  • work on programming for tomorrow night
  • work on programming for tomorrow afternoon
  • work on programming for tonight!
  • work on programming for Sunday morning at a church
  • return a phone call
  • make bed
  • pick up living room
  • have Kayli scoop kitty litter
  • what's for supper?
  • what's for breakfast?
  • and the list goes on...
This is what was going on in my head as I laid in bed.  One of my biggest struggles is...finding balance between my business and my home.  This is what I mean:  it's either all about my business/ministry or it's all about my home and family.  I have struggled for years with this.  How do I find balance in my chaotic times?  I've worked on routines (remember my wonderful Home Management Guide?)  Sticking to a routine if very hard for me...but, I think this is part of the answer.  I need to quit making excuses why I 'can't' find balance and work at bringing balance to my life. 

My business is starting to pick up for a while, meaning more planning time and practice time is needed.  In the past, my home became so terribly neglected.  I really believe we could have been on that "Hoarders" show.  How embarrassing!  

I cannot let all the work I've done in the past 2 months become 'un-done'.  It just cannot happen!  So...I'll ask again: how do I find balance in my chaotic times?  I know...get the family more involved...I have tried, but have been very unsuccessful.  I have never been a disciplined person...whatever comes our way, go with it.  "It's easier if I just do it".  "I've asked them 3 times, and they don't even 'remember'".   But, today, I am declaring WAR against the distractions of the enemy!  I will NOT be distracted from making, and sticking to, my routines...I will NOT be distracted from getting my family more involved!  I can and will find balance and have more peace in my spirit!

Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed."  This is a promise from GOD and I know He keeps His promises!

So, today, amidst planning for tonights' program, cleaning up what has become 'un-done', working on routines for the whole family, and more...I commit all these plans to the Lord...and the WILL succeed...and I WILL finally...find balance!

Please share with me how YOU find balance in your life.  Do you work with routines?  A Home Management Guide type book?  What works for you?  I am a willing learner!  Thanks for reading this long post, but it's been on  my heart for months...

Organizing bit-by-bit,


Friday, February 11, 2011

Living Room clean-up

Well, with all the crazy-ness that's going on in our house and with family, it seems that all my work de-cluttering and organzing is falling by the way-side.  So...I decided not to focus on the kitchen (dirty dishes piling up, etc.) and tackle the leftover mess from working in the Master Bedroom.

Most of the 'stuff' around this room is what came out of our bedroom as I was painting and de-cluttering it.  The biggest challenge is knowing what to do with it all! 

I went to work and this is how it all looked about an hour later:
This is also our 'music' room!  Jordan plays drums, piano, guitar(s), and harmonica.  Kayli is taking violin lessons.  Our home is filled with music throughout the day! 

This sectional is huge and has a hide-a-bed that gets used when we have a houseful of cousins overnight!

There you have it!  It's amazing what a person can get done in an hour!  Of course, there's a pile of 'thrift store' stuff you can't see, but that's going out soon!  Yeah!

Organizing bit-by-bit,


P.S.  Guess what!  I was ready to publish this post when I heard...wait for it...RUNNING WATER!!!  We really don't know how blessed we are until something is taken away from us!  Thank you, Jesus!