organization · refreshment at home · spring cleaning

Mini Mudroom in the Garage

When your garage is messy a disaster and needs some good organization and then you see that your neighbor is giving away a lovely piece of furniture that would make the perfect mini-mudroom, you slam on the brakes and go get that piece of furniture! That’s exactly what happened to us last weekend!

Garages easily become catch-all’s for everything that you don’t know what to do with or don’t need anymore (can I get a witness?!). Over the winter months, our garage got Out. Of. Hand. Now with this beautiful piece of furniture in tow, I decided to use it to make a mud room of sorts. It will be a place where shoes can be slipped on and off, and also used for some extra storage space for the thing my husband needs more room for – his books. I failed to take a picture before we moved the piece in, but here it is just piled up and not yet organized.

I’m married to a sentimental guy. He likes to hold onto things that were his from long ago, his parents’ possessions and maybe even his grandparents’. That means an old cell phone from his mom, a CD player/Boom Box, a ton of CD’s (you know what those are, right? Ha!), letters, and year books are treasures to him. I wanted to help organize his belongings, not really toss them, so that was part of my task in this garage clean-up job. I made a place for his mom’s CD player (and have it plugged in and accessible) and also found storage for the CD’s. I also made a place for his shoes when he comes in, as well as space for some car accessories, yard games and fire pit tools.

Since we always come in through the garage, I like to make it inviting. A wreath, a cute greeting on the door say, “Welcome Home!” If you’re going to hang art work in your garage, why not hang up a picture of a cool, old truck?! A young man at our church gave that to my husband a few years ago.

I also added a tin for bats, balls and other toys so that my grandsons could easily access them. The aqua cushion on the furniture was one I had already and wasn’t using anymore. Now it’s providing a soft place to sit down and lace up shoes!

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I love that this new space cost me $0, thanks to kind neighbors who needed to unload a piece of furniture. If you have a garage that could use some organization, why not look on Facebook Marketplace? People are often selling pieces like this one for little to nothing, or maybe you’ll be blessed with a free piece like I was!

What could you do to create an inviting space in your garage or car port? Sometimes just adding a wreath and a pretty rug can transform the garage from just a place for the car to a place that welcomes you home!

Refresh your garage with a little spring spruce up!

home · organization · refreshment at home

Organization and Embellishing Stack-able Drawers

I hate clutter in my house. I like everything to be put away, however, I have a hard time keeping the hidden places in my house straightened up.  Places like drawers and closets are just hard for me!  I stepped into my pantry and my bedroom closet this week and decided I didn’t like the way they looked.  I’ve never had a walk-in pantry or walk-in closet before, and I am determined to make these spaces not only function well, but also be pretty!

I have a set of stack-able drawers in my closet for belts, socks, etc.  Because the drawers are clear, it looked messy.  So, I took scrapbook paper and lined the front of each drawer with coordinating patterns and colors to give it a neater look.

I have a small table in my closet to hold my jewelry organizers.  I have two necklace trees to keep chains from getting tangled.  I love my earring picture holder my dad made me.  It keeps the fish hook earrings in perfect view!

 I also have a tackle box for earrings and bracelets.  This box is great for travel!

Now on to the pantry ~  I had one little area that needed attention.  I have quite a collection of aprons and just had them hooked through one of my pantry shelves.  They hung on the floor and looked messy.  Soooo, I found a cute little hook at TJ Maxx for $8.  It is perfect to keep the aprons within reach and looking lovely!

Do you have some hidden spaces that need some organization?  Attack one or two spaces this week. If you’re like me, you’ll be happy about walking into or opening that space after you’ve done some straightening!

Refresh by organizing,

Family life · home · Home making · organization · refreshment at home · Work

Breaking the Habit

“Negative Habits Every Family Should Break”  is the title of the series my husband is preaching on Sunday nights. This past Sunday night he encouraged families to get rid of disorganization. The very evening he was preaching his message, I was reminded of why it’s so important for my home to be organized.

As the service was being started, one of our very own missionaries who was passing through the area, felt led of the Lord to come to Boones Creek Bible Church’s evening service. He was by himself, due to his family being away for a few days, and so he was on no time schedule. After spotting him in the congregation, my husband had him come up and pray during the service. When our missionary guest announced how the Lord directed him to our church, and that he was on no schedule, the Lord prompted my heart that he needed to come and stay with us for the night. It was no surprise that when I talked to my husband after the service, he felt the same way. And so, our missionary friend returned to our home after the service.

As my husband was preaching, and I had been given the prompt to invite this dear man to stay with us, I thought, “I’m thankful that everything is in order at the house. I’m not going to have to go home and apologize for the messy kitchen, dirty dishes or laundry piled up on the couch. Whew!” Oh, not that my house couldn’t have used a dust rag or mop in places, but overall, it was ready for a guest to drop in.

Being organized and tidy isn’t only about teaching your children good habits and responsibility, it’s also about being prepared to be used of the Lord when He prompts your heart. There have been times that I would have resisted having a guest enter my home, trust me! But on this night I was thankful that I was prepared – not so I wouldn’t be embarrassed, but because my lack of organization would have caused my husband and me to miss the blessing of serving this servant of the Lord! It was a delight to have him in our home, and to be able to quickly obey the Lord’s leading.

So, if you look at your lack of organization and say, “It’s just my family, and they don’t care!” You’re missing the whole point. First, we’re stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us (that includes our belongings, as well as the training of our children), and secondly it will free us up to serve others.
Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. I realize that he’s referring to legalism, but disorganization can also be a type of bondage that keeps us from being free.

Look around your home right now and ask yourself if you’d be good with guests stopping in. If the answer is “No way!” why not start on a path to orderliness? Perhaps you could free yourself from the bondage of disorganization by:
FlyLady cartoon

  • Check out Fly Lady’s “Getting Started” Tips
  • Determine to get rid of 7 things every single day. Put the unused items in a black bag and when it gets full discard it – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Consignment – something!
  • Read Emilie Barnes Books on organization, such as “Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-ordered Home and Life

If this negative habit has been a part of your life, it’s not impossible to get rid of it! Start today and make a little progress at a time. It will be so freeing, and you’ll be ready to serve at a moment’s notice!

Would you be ready and willing to serve others today? What would it take to get you there?

 

Traveling

Staying Organized On a Trip

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Digging through a suitcase looking for a belt, or your facial wipes, or your contact case is not the way to end a long day of travel!  When I began packing for Israel, I carefully loaded my carry-on and my one large suitcase so that I would be able to find everything easily and so that everything would be ready to use and wear.  I never had to search or dig for one thing the whole time I was gone!  Here’s how I did it:

 

  1. I packed minimally.  Not that I didn’t have a full suitcase – I did, but I had clothes that would coordinate and I could wear the tops and pants interchangeably.
  2. Before I packed, I laid the outfits on my bed and took pictures of them so I could get dressed quickly each day.  All I had to do was look at my photos and I knew what I needed to pull out of the suitcase.
  3. After packing, I made an inventory list of each item and exactly where it was located. For example, Front Zipper of Large suitcase – Leopard shoes, Face wipes.

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Then to stay organized on the plane ride, I had a medium sized drawstring bag in my carry-on.  After going through security, I filled that bag with what I needed for the night flight.  I put in these items:

  1. Glasses
  2. Contact Solution and case
  3. Makeup bag with a little makeup and some meds
  4. Comb
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Hair spray
  7. Ear buds and Ipod
  8. Flannel Scarf (used as a blanket)
  9. Small flashlight
  10. Snacks

This bag was tucked into the pocket of the plane seat, right in front of me.  It made getting to those items very simple.

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Extra Packing Tips:

  • To keep clothes fresh in the suitcase, put a couple of dryer sheets in-between the clothes.  During the second week when I reached that part of my clothing, they smelled sooooo good!  This was a really great tip!
  • If you have room, tuck in a small blanket from home.  Being in another country for 12 days can make you feel a bit homesick, but having a comfort from home like a soft blanket, is a blessing!  Sometimes the heavy comforters on the bed was too much, and my blanket was just what I needed, both in weight and for the touch of comfort from home!
  • Packing cubes are great, but I didn’t want to make that investment.  Instead, I put all my tops into a canvas bag, then put that bag in the suitcase.  When I needed  a top, it was easy to just pull out that bag and get one out without disturbing the whole suitcase.
  • Put everything back where it goes when you are finished with it.  Don’t assume you’ll remember where you put it!  Take the time to follow your inventory and return it where it came from!

I haven’t always been able to say that I never lost an item or couldn’t find something I needed while on my trip…until this time!  I did lots of researching and reading before we left, so I could enjoy the trip without the frustration of tearing the suitcase apart looking for something!

I hope this helps you to be more organized the next time you travel!

Tell me what you do to keep yourself sane on a trip!

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