Saturday, April 17, 2010

De-Stress the Everyday Clutter

We all have it. Areas of clutter that prevent us from feeling like we live in the house that we want to live in. We also have those people who are so organized they make us sick - sick with envy. I'm jealous of my mother-in-law, which is totally unfair since she is probably borderline OCD (but, boy, is her house clean)! And even though I know she loves me, I can't imagine what she thinks of my house!

There has to be a happy medium though, a place between OCD and hoarder. After all, I have kids and aspirations beyond human vacuum.

So here's the plan. I'm making a list of all the areas in my life that need a thorough de-clutter and organization. And we're working through them. This week it's my fridge (see post below) and below I've identified other hotspots, or areas that get me all worked up and stressed out. There's one catch though. I'm taking my sweet time. I'm doing this right by creating a workable plan. It's unrealistic to devote 8 hours a day to a project right now. These projects have to fit into my everyday chores not overwhelm them. I mean what good is it to get something organized if the rest of your house is in shambles?

My Hotspots

the hall closet
kitchen cabinets
laundry room
office (bill system)
the kids' closet
Syd's changing table

any other organization would be gravy

Clean your fridge plan

You know the reason your fridge gets out of control and you avoid cleaning it out? Because somewhere we got the stupid idea to do it all once...yucky and time-consuming. Why not take one week a month and do it day by day? Or for the ambitious, do each task everyday (I bet it would take 5 minutes tops that way)!

1. the Door- remove all expired products, reorganize keepers and wipe down (15-20 minutes)
2. the Freezer - trash freezer burnt items, organize (meat, veggies, sweets, etc) and wipe down (15-30 minutes)
3. Shelf 1 - trash spoiled items, empty and wash out left-overs, wipe down
4. Shelf 2 - trash spoiled items, empty and wash out left-overs, wipe down
5. Shelf 3 - trash spoiled items, empty and wash out left-overs, wipe down
6. Bins - throw out bad produce and wipe down
7. Quick Inventory and meal plan for next week! (Do every week)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Been a long time

So before anyone asks - yes, it is hard to have a second baby. Really, really hard. My house is a wreck, nesting instinct is still there, and my overly-helpful toddler is anything but helpful. But it's time to get back to my to-do lists and decluttering plans before I go nuts!

Oh and the link to the birth story is on the left side of my blog if you are interested in that sort of thing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Turkey and Black Bean Chili

Chicken Stroganoff

Turkey Meatloaf
Sweet Potatoes

Grilled Burgers (lettuce wrapped)
cole slaw

Friday (hubby works)
Leftover meatloaf

Chicken patties with homemade creamed peas

Wild Card :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting back to square one

What is square one? It's a mythical time of clean and organized that probably never existed in any home. As a homemaker, we fondly recall when we first moved into our home and how fresh and new everything seemed. The carpet was cleaner, the walls were freshly painted, the tiles pristine, right? Hmmm, probably not. We forget the dirt the movers traipsed in and the dozens of boxes piled all over the house. The weeks of not being able to find what we needed, and how long it really took to unpack. But still we long for those early days or the possibility of getting back to square one, of having a home that is totally neat and organized. Why? Because we theorize that if we could get back to square one, we could keep it at square one. Clearly, we are glass half full people.

Recently, I've been obsessed with getting back to square one. My poor husband has heard, "If I could just get back to square one, I (would stay on top of the laundry, keep the bedrooms clean, keep my sewing area organized)." You get the idea. I'm sure he is sick of it. The thing is that getting back to square one is easier said than done. So I've been creating a strategy based on the idea that not all homemakers are created equal and we need to employ different methods to meet our personal cleaning and organizational needs.

The Square One Plan

1. Determine what type of homemaker you are
2. Begin the square one plan for your type
3. Share your strategy - let your family know your plan so they can help or, at least, not hinder
4. Reevaluate your needs - done with your square one plan, maybe you want to kick it up a notch to the next level

Stay tuned as I post each step over the next few days!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Frugal find: Easy loose leaf tea brewing

I've been enjoying Earth Mama Angel Baby Heartburn Relief Tea the last few weeks. The only problem? It's a loose leaf tea and my muslin tea bag has disappeared. My guess? Josh tossed it and I can't really blame him. I had a hard time getting all the bits of tea of it myself. We use to have a tea ball. You know one of those metal balls that you can fill with tea and steep in your cup. Not sure what happened to it. All in all, I didn't get much use out of the muslin bag and I don't feel like spending the extra money to go buy a new tea ball.

The solution? Coffee filters! A simple paper filter can be set down in the cup and filled with loose leaf tea. Pour hot water over it and let steep for 2 minutes. Then simply pick up the filter at the top and all the tea will come with it. I keep a small bowl on the counter and put my filter and tea in it for an additional steeping. If you are buying high quality tea, you should be able to get 2-3 steepings.

I think of this as a frugal find because it serves two purposes. We use the filters for coffee and tea, and it's something almost everyone already has in their house!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drum Roll Please!

I am a woman with many interests. I definitely fall into the category "Jack of all trades, Master of none!" As such balancing what this blog is about versus some of my other passions has been daunting at times. So I've made a decision. EcoMomics will continue to a great place to come for couponing, cleaning, and home decor/organization tutorials. However, with the upcoming arrival of Sydney in March, I know I've been a little baby crazy. I've also been wanting to spend more time writing about parenting philosophies, products, and theories but I haven't wanted to overwhelm EcoMomics with it. So I've created a second blog which will now house my baby/child project tutorials, articles on birth and parenting issues as well as reviews of various products. You can expect it to be super crunchy and very AP-friendly. So if you are as interested in cloth diapering and co-sleeping as you are cleaning, come over and check it out (warning: it's a big work in progress!):