Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh, the irony!

What's a Disorganized Person to Do (317 Ideas, Tips, Products, and Lists to Unclutter Your Home and Streamline Your Life) is now one day overdue and I owe $0.25 in library fines.

Have I read this book? No!

But at least I was able to locate it so it can be returned to the library. I should get credit for that, right? :)

Not so organized!

Oh my poor, sad little blog and my completely disorganized life.

I think that the more children one has, the less organized one least that is the case if you're not particularly organized in the first place.

It's funny, because when I approach my work and projects in general, I'm incredibly organized. Not sure why I can't apply that to my home and life in general...but I think it's perhaps because I'm interested in so many different things and have a hard time focusing. I get easily distracted.

Just musings. I will be back one of these days, when I have the energy to recommit to this project!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Now for fantasy time: unclutter your life in one week!

I just reviewed an organizing book on my book blog. Although I found it lacking (especially the one-week idea!), it did give me some continued inspiration.

It also helped me kick up my brutality a notch. Last night I was decluttering in our family/play room, which is inevitably getting trashed. Nicholas (4) had gotten into the games closet again and dumped a lot of games on the floor. Many of these got recycled or dumped into a "donate" bag. So did many toys. An acquaintance recently gave us a child's work bench and a basket of wood pieces, thinking our boys would like it. Last night I suggested to my husband that we donate it to Nicholas' preschool because our kids have hardly touched it since it first arrived...and the wood pieces end up getting scattered around the floor. I'm determined to conquer the "SMALL PIECES PROBLEM"! Well, at least tame the monster a little bit.

And yes, I realize if I were a better mother, I would engage my children in giving away these toys and games, and I would find a way to convince them that this is going to result in a simpler, saner home. But anyone who suggests that either has children who are saints or does not have children. I'm taking the easy way out. Out of sight, out of mind.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Feeling brutal!

It's one of those days when I feel like throwing out (or donating) tons of stuff. I wish I had the kinds of kids who willingly gave stuff away. It's not that they never do that--in fact, Kieran agreed to give away a robot he got for Christmas a few years ago--but if they knew what I got rid of, they wouldn't be very happy with me.

Mike peeked into my Goodwill and garbage bags this morning, and pulled out a Santa costume a friend made for Nicholas a year ago last Christmas. It's getting too small for him, full of pills, but he still does wear it when he comes across it. My theory is: out of sight, out of mind. But he will probably go looking for it.

My dishonest parenting methods go like this:

Kid: "Where did _____________ go?"
Me: "I don't know." (which is, honestly, the truth, even though it's just shades of the truth)

This approach came back to bite me I think I got rid of a "High School Musical" CD last year sometime. Chris and Kieran were both into HSM when it came out, and we had the CD and DVD. But when I came across it, I figured that it was definitely OUT (it's not as cool to like HSM as it was when they were younger), so OUT it went.

Wouldn't you know? The middle school spring play is "High School Musical" and Chris has to learn a song from the soundtrack for the audition. I am not absolutely positive I got rid of it, but it rings a bell. "I don't know, honey."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Words of wisdom from my mother-in-law

After reading my recent post, she sent me this helpful list of shelf life for herbs and spices:

Spices, ground: 2-3 years
Spices,whole: 3-4 years
Seasoning blends: 1-2 years
Herbs: l-3 years
Extracts:  4 years (except vanilla, which lasts indefinitely)

Good to know! She also informed me that dried-up prunes can be soaked in boiling water overnight... "they swell up and you can make a compote from them. Good at breakfast with yogurt. However it is probably late as I note that you have thrown them out..."

Yes indeed, I do not plan on fishing through the garbage for them! Oh well--next time I will try the soaking-overnight method for dried-up fruits.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The skeletons in my cupboard (expiration dates and rancid nuts)

Last night I purged and reorganized our microwave cabinet, the spice/canned goods/oil and vinegar cupboard, and the dishes cupboard.

I found a Costco-sized bag of raw almonds hidden away behind other stuff, rancid. When will we learn? Almonds seem to go rancid easily. What a waste of money!

I also got rid of some kind of Trader Joe's sauce (pecadillo?) that had an expiration date of 2005!!! How did I miss that last year? (Guess I didn't look at the date and still thought I would use it.)

I also found some kind of Indian marinade without a date on it, but I know we've had it in the cupboard for years. Out it went. I don't think it would have harmed us if we had used it (my oldest son is very concerned about expiration dates, though!), but it was time to go. We tend to keep our herbs and spices past their best times...and I know they lose their potency, but I don't think they do us any harm. I'm too thrifty to throw everything away.

I have a bag of culinary lavendar I bought a few years ago at the Farmer's Market. I used it once to make raspberry-lavendar muffins, but they were disappointing. Wondering what I will do with this lavendar or if I should dispose of it.

Maybe I will really get my kitchen organized in January after all!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's lurking in the cupboards...

I still haven't completely given up on my focus on the kitchen in January. It's still January, right?

Last night I tackled one of the kitchen cupboards. I didn't take before-and-after photos because I thought I had done that last year...but it appears that I didn't. :) Oh well. It was the cupboard containing baking staples, rice and pasta, Japanese foodstuffs, lentils, dried fruits and nuts, etc.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pancake Mix, 22-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)I found FOUR unopened packages of this: Bob's Red Mill gluten-free pancake mix. I combined them all into a ziploc bag and will store it in the freezer. Just goes to show what gets hidden in jumbled cupboards. I got rid of a variety of other items too--prunes that were too dried out to be edible, wild rice that had never been eaten, root beer extract that we've had for years and have never used, etc.