Spring cleaning: Getting organized

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

Spring cleaning and getting organized is all the rage as we move into a season of warmer weather and open windows!  We’ve gathered information and inspiration from around the web to help you declutter and organize your home and make it sparkly clean for spring time.

cleaning supplies       organize your supplies

organize recipes        bag storage

Gather information on supplies you need to do a proper cleaning job, and how to store them for easy access. Get ideas and inspiration to organize everything from your family recipes to your garbage bags. Clean and organize everything from your bedroom closet to your bathroom closet.

Molly Saves in the closet       organize the bathroom

Get these tips and so much more from our Home Organization Pinterest board HERE. 

In an archived article from last year,   Organization- Friend or Foe , “Stuff can weigh a person down.”  In March, we introduced you to The FlyLady  who teaches us to break down our home cleaning into zones. You can read more about that HERE.

We learned about Decluttering- Creating a Peaceful Environment HERE

Bullet Points to Jump in and Begin Your Spring Cleaning

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house
linking with Works for Me Wed

De-cluttering Your Home – Creating a Peaceful Environment

De-cluttering Your Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*affiliate links may be present

De-cluttering your home – one step at a time, one room at a time, one day at a time – is the first step to creating a more peaceful environment.

Getting rid of clutter helps you find clarity in mind and emotions. It ultimately relieves anxiety and guilt!

It can be easy to put it off when you are looking at clutter that has built up over time. You can become overwhelmed and end up putting it off even longer.

De-cluttering doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have a plan to help you jump in and get started, and then finish the race like a champ!

Getting Started:

Make a list of the major rooms you want to tackle. Then, break down each room with a list of the most important goals you have for that room, down to the least important.

Make a list for each goal in the rooms. For instance, I have a child’s bedroom that has been used for storage and now needs to be turned into a room suitable for a pre-teen boy. It is a mess.

The biggest problems in the room are clothes that the family has outgrown, and all the toys that they no longer use. Of course, that would be easy enough, but there are clothes in the mix that we need to save for other children, and toys that need to be kept for others.

It has been overwhelming because things have been piling up in that room for a long time – making it most uninviting  – not even a little bit of de-cluttering going on in there.  I have avoided it at all cost!

FlyLady.net

Step number one is to get a bin for clothes that need to be stored and a bin for those to give away, a bin for toys to keep and a bin for toys to give away. It is also important to have a trash can on hand to throw away anything that is broken or clothes that are not worth mending. Turn on your favorite music and jump right in!

Set a timer for 30 minutes at a time and work against the clock to get through the first pile. It is okay  if you don’t make it on time, just reset the clock and keep on going! Take a break in between or at least every hour or so, move on to the next area on your list until all the clutter in room one has been removed.

Pull out your cleaning list until everything sparkles and shines!

Bullet Points

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house

One of the best ways to stay on top of clutter is to educate yourself with great homemaking wisdom from The Fly Lady – who happens to be one of the fabulous Molly Green Magazine writers. She’ll help you make a flight plan and divide your home into zones that will keep you from getting behind ever again.

Visit FlyLady.net to learn tips and tricks from a real pro! 

linking with Works for me Wednesday

 

5 a day: household chore planner

free printable chore chart The beginning of a new year is often the perfect time to reflect, plan, and set goals, to organize the household.  While that may sound like a terrific plan, the truth is, it can be a bit overwhelming.

One of the best tips I’ve ever received on the subject is to break things down into smaller pieces – to schedule the  daily routine into chunks of time.  When you look at the big picture, it can feel as though it is too difficult to conquer. But, when you break it down, suddenly, the unattainable becomes much more feasible.

In order to conquer my own clutter and get my household in good order for 2014 – I designed a little printable sheet to help me keep my chores and household schedule organized. I am determined to make the most of my time each day and to make the changes in my home that are needed. Download your own Free Printable here. 

daily planner chore chart

To use your free printable, download and print. Follow the sample, and choose a suggested daily chore (or add your own), then run through your daily list of smaller chores.

There is a space to do some meal planning and food prep – which will not only help you be more organized at meal time, but will also save money.

Choose from the list of suggested 15 minute jobs each day, and also schedule a quick run-through the house to freshen and pick up. Some like to schedule several 15 minute fresheners – you can just write in various times in that 15 minute slot if you need more.

Most of all, use it as a guide, and make it work for your family.

I’m learning a lot by visiting the Fly Lady. She has organizing and cleaning down to a science. I love the way she breaks down the home into weekly zones. You can follow her on her website, and learn a great deal from the brand new Fly Lady column in the all new Molly Green Magazine

Do you have any big cleaning and organizing goals this year? 

Linking with Works for Me Wednesday 

The Frugal Magic Blackboard~ Works for Me

Guest post by Jennifer Scheffel:

Ever asked the question, “How do I get organized?” When it comes to certain projects, it can be daunting to figure out just where to start.

This is a story of the magical blackboard that helps me get things done, stay organized, and remember to do all the little things that make up my day.

I’ve always kept to-do lists. There’s a cosmic relationship between identifying projects, and writing them down. Writing down goals, wishes and chores gives them importance. Seeing important goals reminds you to simply take the steps to complete them. And, OH, the joy in marking items off the to-do list is remarkable.

But about two weeks ago, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with organizing my home projects and to-do lists. Everyday new items are added, and some remained from the day before.

My husband, who seems to be an expert at getting things done, suggested that I rethink the way I create my to-do lists.

I reacted bluntly to my husband’s suggestion: “I’ve been writing down household projects and to-do lists for ages.”

After thinking it through, I admitted that sometimes the items on these lists fizzled. My lists, with all my good intentions, used to get shoved under a stack of papers, bills, and post-it notes containing even more to-do list items.

This is where the blackboard comes in. After admitting my hubby might be on to something, I knew I needed a radical change to creating to-do lists. And, I needed a trick for making sure my goals never ended up under piles of paperwork again!

Like a vision, it came to me. I would make a magic blackboard. If goals go on the blackboard, they will happen … and that’s magic. In order for the blackboard to possess such a trick, it would have to be placed in a spot I’d see everyday.

Your blackboard’s placement is key to its magic. The back door entrance to my home was the perfect choice for me. Each time I enter, I’m greeted with my weekly goals.

But, the walls are tricky; a standard chalkboard wouldn’t do. I’d need to paint one on the walls.

Frugal Tips for How to Paint a Blackboard

Frugal Tip #1:

Chalkboard paint isn’t cheap, it costs about $20 for a quart can. I’m a frugal girl and I wanted to accomplish the entire project for less than $5 (or free, if I could).

I have lots of left over cans of paint around my house, and I felt that my crafty friends might as well. As a shot in the dark, I placed a post on my Facebook Page asking if anyone had left-over chalkboard paint. A neighbor replied within 20 minutes that she had a can of chalkboard paint she’d love to dispose of. Lucky me!

One you have your paint and supplies, choose the perfect spot for your to-do list blackboard. Tape off the shape of your chalkboard with painter’s tape. A sponge roller works best with chalkboard paint.

Paint three or four coats and allow 2 to 4 hours of dry time between each. Wait at least three days before writing on your chalkboard. Use a quality chalk. It’s easier to write with and easier to wash off and worth the few extra pennies.

Frugal Tip #2:

You can save the cost of creating a frame for your blackboard with a little creative painting.

For my blackboard, I used a stencil that mimicked the pattern of fabric I had in the room. The stencil was purchased at a yard sale for $1 a year ago. I’ve used the stencil for several projects. Maintenance of such stencils is important if you want them to last for more projects.

If you use a stencil as a border to your blackboard, wash it between every use. You can use denatured alcohol or even hot soapy water if you don’t allow the paint to dry. This step will save you the heartache of paint running underneath the stencil and ruining your design.

For the best results, use repositionable spray adhesive on your stencil. This allows you to position the stencil perfectly. As extra assurance, use painter’s tape to secure it to the wall. Finally, a sponge roller works best for painting with a stencil. Roll the paint on very thinly and in several coats.

How Do I Get Organized Using the Magic Blackboard?

I get organized by washing the chalkboard every Sunday. A clean chalkboard doesn’t stay clean long.

I add new items to the blackboard everyday. But, I don’t erase any old ones! I cross through them. This gives me a sense of accomplishment by the end of the week. Anything not accomplished by Sunday goes on the top of the list for next week.

After using the magic blackboard for two weeks, I can truly say it makes organizing my home projects a lot easier. My husband is even in on the action. However, I did discovered one drawback. One chalkboard just isn’t enough!

I quickly learned that placing list items for work-related chores on the back-door blackboard isn’t effective. Only household related chores are placed on this board.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution: paint another blackboard! The first item on my project list: create a magical work blackboard for my office. I can’t wait to see what changes my work projects undergo by using this simple organization technique!

 This article was written by Jennifer Scheffel of www.best-grocery-coupon-websites.com. Her site reviews the topgrocery coupon websites and provides tips on saving money. They have a printable grocery list, coupon organizer and plenty of online printable coupons.

The Frugal Magic Blackboard works for me. To see more Works for Me Wednesday tips visit We Are That Family. Linked to Made by You Monday and Feature Yourself Friday and Frugal Fridays.

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Molly Green Magazine: Molly the Bookworm & Molly the Good Steward

Molly puts on her bookworm and good steward hats this issue!

Learn to save while pursuing your passions!

TOS-Molly-9-13-Bookworm273

$4.95


You may have noticed that we combined the September and October issues of Molly Green magazine. We’ve packed this combo issue with great, frugal tips and information just for you, covering two themes- Molly the Bookworm and Molly the Good Steward! Fall is here, and with it comes back to school time. Let Molly show you how to approach this time of year inexpensively and creatively!

  • Patricia Hunter shares how she keeps her love of books under control. This is an area where many people struggle. After all, a love of reading is something to be desired! Patricia’s 11 tips are sure to help your book-buying budget.
  • Now that you’ve figured out how to keep those books under control, how do you store them? How about using them as decorating focal points in your home? Jennifer Zuri will show you how to do just that!
  • Working from home is becoming more and more popular. While this is a great way to earn an income and still be at home, it also opens up some new challenges. Let Molly help you find the balance needed for work at home sanity.
  • In Molly the Frugal Foodie, April Schroader shares her top 6 cookbooks picks for healthy, cheap, and simple cooking.
  • Molly decided to tackle her personal bookshelf in this month’s installment of Frugality 101. She takes you along on her journey to simplify.
  • Do you use an e-Reader or have a family member that does? If so, you’ll want to be sure to check out Sharon White’s easy, step-by-step tutorial on making an e-Reader pillow!
  • Are you looking for a new way to teach the subject of science to your children? Rhonda Barfield shares how she used handmade nature journals to teach biology. These are fun, creative, inventive ways to teach what can be mundane ideas.
  • Back to School time should be marked with a special day! Inger Koppenhaver has some great ideas to make that first day of school extra exciting!
  • Menu planning is a very popular way to get your food budget under control. This month, Molly walks you through the steps to begin saving money by planning your meals in advance.
  • Another great cost-saving meal system is once a month cooking. If you haven’t tried this yet, be sure to read Molly’s tips to getting started!
  • Do you have child that loves to write? Don’t miss this very informative article from Amanda van der Gulik, Could Your Child Be a Published Author?
  • E-Books are certainly all the rage these days! Let Pat Fender show you how to create your own E-Books for fun and profit!
  • Rhonda Barfield has published 5 books. She shares boldly and plainly about this process. If you have an interest in writing, you won’t want to miss her article this month!
  • Looking for a quick dessert? How about Cocoa Pink Cuplets? Jennifer Zuri describes them as a chocolate chip cookie in the form of a muffin. They sure sound yummy!
  • One money-saving tip is to utilize the public library. Rhonda Barfield calls it the homeschooler’s best friend. Be sure to read her book selections from her years of home education! You might find some of your own favorites along with some new titles to check out!

See why homemakers love Molly Green Magazine—see what’s inside!

Molly-9-13-BookwormSpread

Click here to view a sample.

Molly makes it fun and easier to be frugal! Think about it—with so much to learn and save, if you apply just one money-saving idea, you’ll recoup the cost of this E-Book right away!

Project Manager: Becky Schnepf- Gustafson
Contributing Writers: Rhonda Barfield, Alayna Cann, Pat Fenner, Patricia Hunter, Inger Koppenhaver, April Schroader, Amanda van der Gulik, Sharon White, Jennifer Zuri
Publication: 2013
Pages: 44
File Size: 8.4 MB

Need to economize? Subscribe to a Molly Membership!

For only $3.85 a month (cancel any time!) you receive not only the monthly Molly Green Magazine, but also much more!

Purchase NOW!

Every month, Molly has a wealth of information and support to share in one easy-to-read, handy resource! Discover for yourself all of the exciting and imaginative ideas Molly has to offer—ideas that could save you big money and needless headaches!

You’ll glean some of the best inexpensive ideas and projects for everyday living that you can find and be inspired to be self-confident, creative, and resourceful too.

For just $4.95, download this Molly Green Magazine now!

Or become a monthly Molly Member and subscribe for only $3.85 per month!

Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

Is your home looking dignified and grand? How impressive are your organization skills? Start now, and strategize to organize with this motivating issue of . . . ORGANIZATION FOR BUSY FAMILIES!

Learn how to organize a dozen different aspects of your life and home. From cleaning closets and sorting school papers to making meal planning a breeze, your home will soon be running more smoothly.

CLICK HERE (OR THE GRAPHIC BELOW) TO SEE A SAMPLE OF WHAT’S IN THIS MAGAZINE.

There are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out August 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!

Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

What kind of vacation can you look forward to on a frugal budget? You’d be surprised!

Rest, relaxation, and adventure don’t have to cost a bundle! Explore summer fun and vacation ideas plus innovative ways to save, in this edition of . . . Molly’s Money-Saving Magazine -Frugal Family Vacations.

Do your plans for the coming months include some time for rest and relaxation? Even in these days of uncertainty and change, it’s possible for nearly every family to enjoy a vacation, “stay-cation,” or “day-cation.” Discover great vacation ideas –even for those that can’t afford a vacation right now!

This issue is loaded with ideas, tips, recipes, checklists, and more to help you plan for those special family outings –all within your budget! Here’s a little more of what’s inside:

  • Keeping it All together –Budget Your Vacation: There are oodles of economical vacation ideas plus money-saving tips on: transportation, lodging, entertainment, food, and souvenirs. And don’t miss this! Two special forms –Budgeting for Your Vacation and the Vacation Checklist!
  • Feather Your Nest –Frugally –A Painting Makeover Project: An old curb side chair from someone’s trash transforms into a beautiful treasure! The cost? $0.00. Check out the photos!
  • Pull Up a Chair –Reasons to Celebrate in June and July: You’ll have plenty of reasons to pull out the picnic basket and fire up the backyard barbecue grill! Try these favorite wrap ideas and recipes for Caesar, Mexican, Chicken Salad, and Hummus and Veggie fillings. Plus more!
  • Parenting That Pays –Honoring Our Fathers and/or Husbands: Wonderful, heart-felt tributes to some special dads are shared by many, highlighting something learned from their fathers –there’s much you’ll admire and appreciate from every one of these responses!
  • Something Old, Something New –An Old Baking Table Turned Beverage Station: Fixing a cup of coffee or cocoa is a snap in Eleanor’s kitchen now –with her all-in-one station spot for hot beverage preparation and serving. See the photos!
  • Goal-Getter Spotlight: Elizabeth shared a life-long dream of her husband’s, but farmland without a house takes some creativity! You’ll want to read her story.
  • Readers Write In: How did one reader’s family spend their “stay-cation”? What do you pack for a 3,000+ mile trip with kids? You’ll want to pack and take along this travel tote bag! Monica tells you how and shares some terrific must-read tips!

With over 40 pages, there are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine today for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out June 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!

My Cupboards are a Mess!

Midge copyGuest Blog by: Midge

It is amazing the flurry of activity which occurs just before you host some house guests. You begin to look, REALLY look, around at your house and notice the trouble areas right away. It is as if you have been living your life in an airplane with a bird’s eye view of your surroundings but then you start to clean before a friend visits and KAPOW! How did I not notice all of this accumulated dirt and disorganization?

Before Pic ~ A small peek into my crazy cupboard!

Before Pic ~ A small peek into my crazy cupboard!

One of our main issues has been our pantry. We actually are blessed with a very large pantry but this pantry has also become a “catch-all” for the appliances we don’t use on a regular basis, odds and ends from the kitchen, craft supplies, and even storage (on the floor) for my little one’s Play-Doh toys. I went to double check our food storage for my friend’s visit and all of a sudden noticed how incredibly disorganized this area had become!

Everything came out of the pantry so the shelves could be thoroughly scrubbed...

Everything came out of the pantry so the shelves could be thoroughly scrubbed…

So, this is the first BIG project of the summer/spring . . . Pantry Organization! First, everything came out of the pantry and the shelves were given a thorough washing. Next, I had to decide what went back in the pantry out of the “mishmash” of oddities which had made their way into the hallowed halls of my food storage. Many things were re-sorted and placed into our craft closet, which is next on the list of organizing! Finally, I organized the items based on loosely thought-out categories and made a thorough list (in my head!) for the grocery store.

And where would you store the candy eyeballs?  LOL

And where would you store the candy eyeballs? LOL

It ended up taking a lot longer than I thought and I also sought out help from those who happened to be online when I mentioned my cleaning frenzy on MOLLY GREEN FACEBOOK.

Here were three main ideas I followed while sorting and cleaning the pantry:

  1. If it doesn’t belong there, remove it!
    (Exception to my rule: the Play-Doh toys.  This is because it is actually the best place for them!)
  2. Canned food, boxed items, etc.  need to be in organized rows.
    Seriously, maybe this is obvious to you but usually mine just get shoved into a great mosh pit of unorganized cans with labels   facing whatever and whichever ways. My goal is to have all of my cans and other boxes face to the front so I can REALLY see what I have in my pantry!
  3. If you start it, keep it.
    My method of organization is not perfect, but the most important thing I have found is that no matter what method I select, keeping it consistent is the key to making it work. So, if all of my spaghetti products go into a clever little box, I should keep them there!

After organizing the pantry, I went out and bought all of the necessary groceries and odds and ends to serve to my upcoming house guests. Before I started, I had no idea where I was going to put anything! But then when I was done, I had plenty of room for those groceries plus more. I also cleaned out my refrigerator on the same day. It feels good to have relieved some stress which disorganization causes and not to have to deal with the mess while trying to prepare meals.

Next on my list, I need to conquer the freezers. Oh, and I did mention my crazily disorganized craft closet, didn’t I? Oh no . . .

What do you need to organize this summer? Any tips for our readers about your hints on organizing your household and cupboards?

 

Have you ever gotten lost in your pantry . . . not able to find what you need right now?  Maybe it was on the wrong shelf, or worse, it wasn’t there at all! You want to try a new recipe and a basic ingredient that you thought you replenished but didn’t is blocking your plans for a surprise dinner menu. Ever discover an expired canned good or boxed staple? Is the problem disorganization, a tight budget, or lack of creative ideas for making your pantry fun and purposeful? If this is you, check out this MOLLY GREEN MAGAZINE ~ The Well Prepped Pantry

Have you ever wondered what to keep stocked in your pantry?  Check out this past Molly Green blog:  WELL STOCKED PANTRY

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Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE~ Making a Frugal Fresh Start

This back issue is FULL of handy tips to help you along. Making a Frugal Fresh Start is on sale NOW for only $2.50 (this price will be good until Sunday night 6/23). Have you ever seen inside one of my magazines? Take a SNEAK PEEK HERE to see some of the frugal goodness we packed into this issue!

Here’s a little more of what’s inside:

Don’t you love a good yard sale? Learn to shop yard sales like a pro! The goal of this month’s feature is to suggest ideas to use in three major areas—cleaning, organizing, and food (feeding your family). Start taking incremental steps toward lasting change . . .

Organize without Spending: You could spend a lot of money on organizational stuff—but you don’t have to!

  • Don’t throw it away! What can you do with oatmeal containers? Cylinder-shaped chip containers? Cereal boxes? Coffee cans? Caps from aerosol spray cans? An unused photo album? And there’s more . . . organize!
  • How are you using those plastic milk jugs?
  • Great ways to upcycle those 2-liter plastic soda bottles!
  • Kimberly, from Kimberly’s Cup, shows you how she repurposes glass jars for pantry storage. You may never throw out another jar!

Beyond Coupons—Seven Ways to Save Money While Eating Well: You’ll find practical suggestions to re-think ways of getting food on the table and enjoy healthy, creative meals without over-spending.

  • Watch your waist, and your waste! Re-think portion control!
  • Are you menu planning yet? Get a free E-Book download link that’ll make it so easy to get started!
  • Practice recipe substitutions. Get this handy chart to help!
  • Plan a cooking party or start a brunch club!
  • Consider bartering and gleaning. You’ll want to hear what Molly has to say about it.

Over 35 pages of information & support for an incredibly low price! A small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this E-Book! Buy this E-Magazine today for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out April 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!

HALF OFF SALE~Making Money From Home

It’s time for happy hearts, big smiles, and my Making Money from Home magazine! This edition of Molly’s Money-Saving Digest is full of creative ways to provide for your family’s needs while remaining within your budget! In this issue you’ll find lots of fresh inspiration and information, so don’t miss it!

This 2009 back issue is on sale only this week for $2.50. Have you ever seen inside one of my magazines? Take a SNEAK PEEK HERE to see some of the frugal goodness we packed into this issue! Over 35 pages of information & support for an incredibly low price! A small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this E-Book! Buy this E-Book today for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out March 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!