Teddy (Bear) Claiming Prime Spots

What does it say about an adult who has a hard time letting go of your child’s precious stuffed toys? I don’t remember having to do that growing up because I didn’t really have any attachments to my animals. I had favorites yes, but then my mom would grab the toys we never played with anymore and send them to the Philippines where our cousins were more in need of them. Of course, how could I be selfish? It would be cruel of me not to share. Yet, with my toddlers, I feel more of a sentimental attachment because it’s the Pooh Bear I never got as a kid, or my husbands hulk hands that were given to him as a joke, but I love them. The start of a collection of dolls that I can totally see getting out of hand.

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So where do I go from here with this collection? My hope is that I will slowly get rid of things that either get dirty,  my child loses interest, or I have multiples of the same type. For example, in the bin of stuffies you can see that I have multiple turtles. This is my personal collection that I started with my then boyfriend (now husband). I just love turtles! I want to swim beside them and visit them in their element. I don’t want to have a pet turtle, mind you. I don’t like pets because I personally didn’t grow up with pets and I have no need for them. But turtles I will visit and it would be great. In the mean time, I have my collection… but I could probably get rid of them. I don’t need ALL of them.

This organization post is starting to look like it needs an intervention, lol. Hello, my name is Sherie and I love turtles! I have a problem. :/ ANYWAY, the simple thing to do is to group like items. All dogs, bears, dolls, turtles, and other categories and only choose one of each group. The hard part is that you usually play with more than one doll as a child… So set a limit like 4 dolls = a tea party. Two dogs = guard dogs during fight play, and so on…

Good luck with your own personal stuffed animal collection and purge. Mine will probably not happen for a while.

 

All my best,

Sherie Signature

Decluttering Disturbs my Sleep

Right before my head hits my pillow and after I’ve put my phone down to sleep it suddenly hits me! I have to get back out of bed and declutter something. This burst of energy increases as I start to think of what else needs to be done around my home. Has this de-cluttering sleep monster ever bothered you? I’ve been yawning all throughout the day, drank two cups of coffee, but somehow this stored up energy comes from within me.

I started by thinking I could unpack my suitcase that has been sitting at the end of our bed for the past 5 days since we came back from WA.  Eh, nah! That is too much work at 11pm for me.  I got out of bed, turned the light on and looked around the room. There was a random sock of my daughters on the floor, more laundry folded in a basket begging to be put away, and then I saw a candle burner I haven’t used in years! I thought, “I could sell that on my FB online swap meet group for like $10, right?! Done!” And then I was on a roll… Taking pictures, wiping down surfaces, grouping things, making a sell pile, bring to new location pile, and trash pile. I cleaned off my husbands dresser surface which in the last month has become a dumping zone for toys, books, new boxers, projects, etc… Hot mess? Heck ya! Then I also tackled my dresser top, sold a bundle of candles & accessories, and removed seasonal items to be put away later.

Now that I’ve finished cleaning, clearing, selling, and putting away I felt satisfied! The clutter bed bug has been scratched until the next night I get attacked at 11pm (took me 3 hours to do all this).

I recommend doing things in smaller portions or time restrictions usually, but I think it’s OK sometimes to go with the flow. As long as I don’t start to feel upset or tired by doing it, then it’s all good. I was actually super motivated to post things for sale and get them uploaded ASAP!! (Money, money, money – Andy voice from Toy Story)

G’nite and sweet dreams

Sherie Signature

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Nail polish that I sorted through that I know I have too many of the same color or won’t/haven’t ever used.

 

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Teething Bling Bangle was used when my daughter was 6 months to 12 months. But it didn’t work well for me, because I still had to remove the bangle and just hand it to her.

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This is nail accessories like flowers, beads, etc… that I used for my wedding nails and have not touched since (2 years plus)

 

Airplane Sorry Bags & WA Trip

Airplane Sorry Bags & WA Trip

We just returned from a 5 night, 6 day trip to visit my brother and his family in Washington. We had a mini family reunion too, just immediate family. It was exhausting and it was also a lot of firsts for us. It was our first flight with our 2 year old, which if we had gone a week early we would have saved $300+ on flying, etc… Our first time to take a shuttle onto a ferry! Super fun, but I wish we could have taken her around the boat. Too scared though that she would jump overboard. Lol

The one thing I was really excited to make for the trip was the Airplane Sorry bags found here (link). I estimated that if you make about 30 bags total (15 for each way, to and from your destination), it costs about $0.50 per bag with the goodies I put in. I will come back to this at the end of my trip story, or you can scroll to near the end.

So again it was our first trip and although I’m really a big planner, I hate doing research for things! Funny right?! I just hate having to scourge through all the muck of information. I got a general consensus from our normal go to mommies and then also based our needs on my daughter’s personality.

Our trip to WA was horrific (it really felt that way and go ahead, nod your head if you remember that feeling). Let’s just say that it was poor timing on my part as far as turning on the movie, giving her sippy drinks, and since it was a first experience for her, poor thing had a hard time.
On the return trip things went much more smoothly. She still had smaller meltdowns, but since I dealt with them ALL, I say they were much easier coming home. She had her juice cup, Frozen (the movie) was playing on her device and she was happy. She already took her nap in the shuttle and I was surprised that she wasn’t as cranky. Probably because the TO flight was right at nap time. My bad :/. I’m am not gonna be that person that reads every horrible story on the internet and freaks out. I figure I get criticism and scolded when I do research and when I don’t. I just have to learn to shut out the negative and let in the positive.

I’m positive that my husband never wants to go through that again (we’ve been banned from attending a wedding in May for fear of embarrassment). I’m positive that as she gets older it will slowly become easier in ways and other things will be difficult.
I’m positive that I will have the memories from our first flight and the ringing from my ears will eventually subside.
I’m positive that although this was a trying week, my baby girl is the sweetest girl and is my perfect little one. Just like your child fits you.

Happy Child

Happy Child

Back to the Airplane Sorry Bags. So cost is $0.50 for 30 bags total or $15 total estimated.
Included:
Sandwich Baggie with labels – I owned both baggies and labels
Starbursts 6 pieces per bag = $5 (estimated)
Tissue pack (8 pack at dollar tree) = $4
Earplugs (5pk at dollar tree) = $6

Sorry Bags

Sorry Bags

Total $15 and so worth it. Both my husband and I were late on delivering the first set of bags, so we saved them for the return flight. All the comments I heard were “this is new”, “oh cool, earplugs … I may need it for that kid” (another kid 3 rows behind us had a really hard time). The best part was that they ate the candy and I didn’t feel like I was getting dirty looks the whole time like with the first flight.

Now I know more for our maybe next trip to Disneyland. We’ll see how that turns out.

Happy Sunday Recap!

Sherie Signature

Hashtag 40 Bags in 40 Days

It’s about 2:30 am as I’m writing this and I’m still no where sleepy like I should be. I’ve got a million thoughts in my head about projects, ideas, and crafts to do and it doesn’t help that I had a diet coke around 9pm.

So while I’m tossing in bed, checking Facebook (spying), the main thought in my head is decluttering my house. I first saw and heard of #40bagsin40days at whitehouseblackshutters.com

This concept is not new to me and I actually have been slowly doing this throughout my home. Yet having a group of people doing it together as a pact gives me more motivation. Plus I can see other peoples progress, get inspired, and brag about what I got done too! It’s a secret society to get rid of your stuff and I love it!!

I started here at our entrance shoe closet and was motivated to also do the bathroom downstairs.

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Bathroom basket and medicine cabinet:

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It was simple enough. I took out the items I knew I hadn’t used in forever. And I feel mostly I’m at this point in my life where I am ok to let go of things when I really have not used them. My thorns are my crafts and pictures though. I can take 15 pictures of the same pose of my daughter and still not want to delete any of them.

Inside of closet – I realized as I was going through my shoes that I really only wear two pairs of shoes. My jogging shoes and flip-flops (my favorite brand is Cobian). I used to love wearing heels but that was in my single days. Now I can’t stand how my toes and heels hurt.

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Find a start point that won’t take too much time but will still motivate you to continue. My start point was the shoe closet because I wasn’t attached too deeply to anything. Plus we rarely use our closet, other than to pull out shoes for the day. It also stores some outdoor games equipment. We were really into tennis years back and would go once a week. But its slowed down and I still want to get back into it eventually. I did keep our rackets because I do see us playing this sport again. Whereas, we’ve never opened the Smashball in the 6 years we’ve owned it and the yoga mat I know I haven’t used since about almost 10 years back when I used it for a college class.

I made sure to try on the shoes just so I could confirm that I didn’t want them. I paid good money for a lot of them and I’d rather use them if I know I will. Here is my giveaway, sell pile:

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While it’s important to get rid of unused and an over abundance of things, I also feel like something things just need to find new homes. Or if they are seasonal, need to be stored until next season. Here is my keep but move to new location pile:

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Next week I’ll hopefully have tackled more of my kitchen and living room. Fingers crossed!!

Check out the whitehouseblackshutters.com for more tips and to start your decluttering journey!!

Sherie Signature

Cozi and my Goals in March 2014

Have I shared with you my goals in March? One of them was in my Organization post about Just Doing It! I wanted to make the first of the month important and so I said I would change our bed sheets. That’s totally important! And I accomplished it about near the end of the first week, but I still count it as an accomplished goal!

Besides my millions of to-do lists, shopping lists, and calendar schedules, I try to have goals as well. For this March, my goals have mostly surrounded my daughters 2nd birthday, other relatives birthdays, and a trip to Seattle. The system I have used for the past two years is an app called Cozi. But it is also accessible through my PC and tablet. It truly keeps my life and the things I need to do in order. The other great feature and what even sold my husband on this was that it can be accessed by all family members. That way we both are aware of our schedules, changes made, and can add things to our shopping list with instant notification. There are many other applications that are similar to the Cozi, but out of them all, this is the one that seemed easiest for me to use. Although I grew up with computer technology, I can sometimes get stumped and frustrated with things. I really need something easy for dummies to use!

Cozi Bar

Cozi Bar

This is what the Cozi bar looks like from its online perspective. It’s different on the iPhone and tablet too. I mainly use the Calendar, To Do, and Shopping lists. Contacts I leave blank because I already have all my contacts in my address book and it would be a pain to have to re enter it all in. Meals is a new feature to me and I may start using this more often. Messages and Journal features I’ve tried using in the past but I’m not consistent with them and it doesn’t bother me not to use it. In fact I feel like my To-do list and Calendar are pretty much a journal of my life.

Calendar

Calendar

This is a weekly view of my calendar but it can also switch to a month view, print out, and enter new appointments. It feels very clean and contained which makes my life feel more calm.

To-do lists

To-do lists

I am always checking, editting, adding, deleting, rearranging my to do list. As you can see from the drop-down menu I have several categories of To-do lists. Daily is everything I do on a daily basis. I love how this functions for me. On my Daily I have several sub-categories that are in bold and act as headings. At the top of my Daily is my TO BE DONE list, which is basically goals I have for the month, week, etc. Next heading is WORK IN PROGRESS which is very functional because many times I have large projects or tasks that have a million steps and I’m never complete, but I want to make sure I don’t forget about that task. For example, my daughters birthday invitations that I’m working on is a WORK IN PROGRESS. But I will still list out specific steps that need to be done. See below.

WORK IN PROGRESS
– 2nd Birthday invites

MONDAY
– Cut out Invitation information
– Glue onto card base
– Finish details

After WORK IN PROGRESS, my next header is WEEKLY TASKS, followed by the days of the week. Here though I have them backwards because when you list a new task it enters from the bottom of the list. So Monday would be at the bottom of the list and Sunday at the top. The other great feature of the Cozi is that you can rearrange tasks and headers simply by moving it with your mouse or your finger on your phone up or down the list. At the end of my day, I check the remaining tasks of my list or move them to another day. I know this isn’t ideal, but I seems to always list too many things and there isn’t enough time in the day to do it all. Then I move up the day like MONDAY above SUNDAY. For the next day I will list how I’d like to see my day go but I always know things are able to change and it makes my life easier knowing that if something comes up, its not permanent.

TUESDAY
– Breakfast
– Walk in park
– Vacuum
– Fold Laundry
– Read new book

This list above is just an example. Honestly, I haven’t read a new book in forever it seems. There is just too much social media, pinning, and blogging to be done. I also do write down the obvious things like Breakfast. I am the type of person that likes to see things checked off. I will even list out the steps for doing laundry like sort, start, dry, and fold. I feel like seeing every step helps keep me motivated to keep doing things and to check things off my list. I know, its a bit much. But the good thing is that this is my system and you can do whatever you’d like with yours.

Shopping Lists

Shopping Lists

My shopping list is similar to my to do in that I’ve got a category for each store that I frequent. This makes shopping easy for me at least.

The funny thing is that I sometimes will still take out a scrap piece of paper and write down what I’m doing. I started out planning in a regular planner type all throughout junior and High school. The simple task of writing out to do lists makes me feel like I’m back in school. I’m such a nerd, I know!

Anyway, hope you are inspired to set your monthly goals, check out the Cozi, and get some things checked off your list. If you use a different application, please comment below on why you like your system. Or if you are old fashioned and like the planners, which brand do you like? I’ve been looking at the Erin Condren line, but its still too much for me to justify.

All my Best,

Sherie Signature

Just Do It Organization Method

Good Monday morning! Hope you all had a relaxing weekend! Friday was my monthly freezer meal prep with my friend, Charlotte. We haven’t done one of these since before Christmas and it was both tiring (like usual) but much faster. Saturday I had a massage in the evening which was nice and helped especially after a long Friday cook. I was thinking about what my Monday Organizational post should be about and I was inspired by my massage. They always tell you to drink plenty of water after a massage to help replenish, etc… I usually ignore that because I’m a stubborn water drinker. I’ll have coffee for breakfast, soda for lunch if we have any, or nothing at all. I just don’t tend think of water first. Bad habit and I used to drink it all the time. So as I was getting ready for bed my body suddenly told me that I needed water. I felt the urge and at first pushed it aside. Then my next thought was “Just do it”! So I did. It wasn’t out of my way or complicated, I was just lazy and being stubborn.

This is very similar to how most of my organizing takes place. I’ll see a pile of stuff that needs to be worked on for days and I will ignore it stubbornly. Most likely it would take me 15 minutes to an hour to take care if it. The nights that I have the energy to do something about it, the voice in my head pushes me forward and says “Just do it!” And then I do. I take that pile or section and attack with full force. The picture below of my “Drop Zone” is what you can see in my bedroom. We have a room attached to the master bedroom that I use for my craft space and everything that I buy or bring upstairs to be put away for later gets dropped here. I try to make a habit of bringing up things only to put them away as soon as possible. But in reality that happens about 10% of the time.

Area where everything piles up, endlessly

Area where everything piles up, endlessly

Whether it takes you a couple weeks or minutes to figure what to just do, do that something pile and you will feel so much better. I’ve had times where I try to attack my drop zone pile all at once. I’ll move everything from the floor to my bed because I use my bed as a work space to group things into like piles. Lately with my schedule though, by the end of the night the pile is still on the bed and my poor husband has to begrudgingly move it off the bed again for me. Now, I’ll take one bin at a time and that seems to work slowly but surely.

Don’t take on everything though unless you have the time and energy. It’s all pretty common sense, but so is drinking water and sometimes I really need a push to do it.

Below are my piles I hope to tackle this week. Just so you know this organization thing is a journey that I struggle with everyday too.

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Even though its not a pile of dishes, I try to keep the sink cleared.

JDI_Playhouse

My daughters playhouse usually gets reset at the end of the night. Generally though as long as all the pieces are inside the playhouse and I can’t see it, its good enough for me!

JDI_Dining Table

Our dinning table also is a drop zone for both my hubby and I. This is a project I’m going to get to this week though, I promise!

Hope you all have been inspired to Just Do It (I know it Nike’s saying, but it applies to life also) and if you have piles of drop zones that you also get to this week, please share your comments, frustrations, etc with me!

All my best,

Sherie Signature

First of the Month

February 24, 2014

First of the Month

Good Afternoon! Welcome to my take on Organizing, Playing, and Creating. My goal for this blog is to share my organizing journey.  As a mother to an almost two year old and homemaker, I have increased the amount of my time spent trying to organize our home and create a welcoming atmosphere. The playing aspect is all the learning and developing tools that occur with my growing family.  I hope to create a naturally curious place for my child through indoor and outdoor activities. Lastly, my creative side is inspired by my friends and family, Pinterest, and many other social media. I enjoy almost all crafts including sewing, woodwork, scrapbooking & journaling, and much more.

I honestly don’t remember what happened to January and February of 2014. With the first of March approaching quickly, I have decided to dedicate some certain activities to the first of each month. What do you do the first of the month? Whether it’s paying your mortgage, restarting your exercise goals, or grocery shopping for the month, the first of the month is really important in my book.

I declared to myself for a 2014 New Year’s resolution to change our bed sheets on the first of the month. This is a big declaration…to me at least. Before, I probably would remember to do it every 2-3 months. And I don’t know why it never occurred to me to have a set routine for it. My husband sets a reminder to change out our air filters (every 3 months). And he does an excellent job following it.

Yet there are some reminders and declarations that I set for myself or my family and they get pushed aside. I tried doing a monthly review of our financial budget. The first time the reminder pops up on my phone calendar, I ignore it and head over to Facebook or Pinterest. What I realize now that I should have done was have a trial period or probation period to test how well my reminder system works and if it’s not, readjust the setting.

So instead of a monthly financial budget review with hubby, it should be a quarterly (every 4 months) to make sure we are following our goals. Now that I look back, I was already doing a quarterly system. But because I also kept a log of our spending, the longest part of budget review was the journaling. That got annoying fast! Finding a system that works on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis is tiresome. For the most part all our bills are on auto pay. There are a select few that I have to remember to go in to pay.

Financial Budget Review Outline:
– Budget Review (Quarterly, every 4 months January, May, & September)
– Log Journaling (Biweekly)
– Other Bill Pay (Biweekly or  the 1st & 15th of the month)

The execution of the new financial budget review can only be accomplished if I have an office space set up to its specifications.  Setting up my office to pay bills and address certain items is important. My goal for the next couple of months is to have a working system and review if it works well with you.

What is your first of the month routine? Here are a few ideas and suggestions of what your first of the month can be. Also, include family members in your first of the month concept and find a special duty they can fulfill each time.

–          Refrigerator & pantry sweep of foods expired

–          Deep clean the showers

–          Sterilize the washing machine

–          Have your child wipe all the blinds of dust.

–          Wipe down baseboards and sterilize doorknobs.

–          Clean fans and lamps of dust

–          Sterilize garbage can

–          Attack handyman tasks that have piled up for months like tightening screws on loose items, painting unfinished areas, putting up curtains, etc…

All these and any others you can think of would be great ways to start the next month in a productive and fulfilling manner. Hope you get inspired to find your first of the month tasks!

Sherie

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