Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Do you want to do a few things to get a little more organized but don't know where to start? Sometimes it's the little things that can make all the difference. In your linen closet (or wherever you store your sheets) try putting sets of sheets in one of the pillow cases. This will eliminate losing pillow cases. You can see which set you are wanting based on the pillow case they are in. They will stack neatly and won't fall out of the closet on your head, as mine tend to do. And you don't have to worry about them getting all mixed up and unfolded as people dig in the closet. You can also pick one day a week and clean out all the unnecessary papers laying around on counter tops and tables. I am so guilty of coming in and throwing junk mail on the counters and just leaving it there. I take 5 minutes on the weekends and clean it all off though. I am often amazed at how much better that simple act can make my house look. Another thing you can do is make your clean up fun! Turn on some music. Dance around and sing along. Helps the time fly by! Just dont turn on the tv. It's too distracting. I find myself too tempted to watch what's on. Don't answer the phone unless of course it is your hubby! You gotta talk to him! But then when friends stop by, tell them you are cleaning. They are more than welcome to stay and visit as long as they are allowing you to work. Or they are more than welcome to assist you! Also open your windows and curtains or blinds. The fresh air and sunshine will give you added energy and make the day more fun for you! Make a list of what you definitely want to get done. Do your best to stick to the list! Throw things out! If they are possibly usable to another person donate them or have a garage sale! Get the family involved. The chores will go faster and then you can all enjoy some relaxing time together. My family has always had a large family yard sale every year. Our reward for all the cleaning out, decluttering, and then yard selling is going out to a nice dinner together. We spend some of our profits from the sale on dinner and just relax and laugh. It's a great way to end all that work! Have fun and get organized!!!

Written By: Kim

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Dreaded Office Desk

Surely I am not the only person whose desk looks like a hurricane hit it and left behind massive damage. But due to a few small organizational things I have done here, my desk can be clean in under 5 minutes. To the right of my monitor i have folders that contain important papers i need immediate access to often, as well as recent issues of magazines that i read regularly. To the left of my monitor I have my big binder of "army wife" papers. FRG information, POA's, papers i may need to grab at a moments notice. On my shelves to the right of my legs, I have copy paper, legal pads, notebooks, cd's of computer stuff. I have a box of files. A folder for car info, payment info, insurance info, bills that have been paid, recipes i dont want to lose, stuff for kids to do, etc. In the cabinet part of my desk I have my pens, kids school supplies (glue sticks etc), specialty paper (photo paper, decorative paper, business cards, etc.). And just on the desk is my pencil/pen/scissors holder, address book, recordable cd's, stapler, pencil sharpener, stamps, rolodex, and hand lotion. So when the kids pile up the school papers, or I pile up things that should be filed, it only takes minutes for me to get everything back in order.

Written By: Kim

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Refrigerator

By: Patti

We were blessed with a beautiful day today. So beautiful that I could open the windows of the house and really get into a cleaning mode.

I decided to strip the fridge and take all of the shelves out - cleaning not only the shelves but the jars, and bottles that sit on the shelves.

After I was done cleaning, I decided to go to the commissary, where I found wonderful deals. Mini-Wheats were on sale for only $1. That was a bulk size bag... brand name also!

When is the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator?

Do you shop at the commissary or another grocery store most often?

I find the commissary always has much better deals than grocery stores - even better deals than Walmart... so, check it out! :)

Don't forget - you can use coupons at the commissary as well.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Confessions of a Harried House Queen...

By: Colleen
Read Colleens Blog at: Deaf Chicks Shouldn't Sing

Laughably, I have of all things, a degree in Residential Design, and so you would think I am the ultimate in "house proud" with not a thing out of place and all of my knick knacks and decor in place without a spec of dust.HA! I rarely dust and tell people it is o keep my antiques looking authentic; my idea of organizing the pantry is shoving everything in there and closing the door tight and folding laundry sometimes takes me weeks to get to!

Every month or so I discover a whole new wardrobe! Now, being married to a military man as I was... I knew I had a guy who thrived on structure and order and who would be happiest if that carried over into his home life. So, early in my marriage I discovered I would need some sort of simple system to keep me going since my natural proclivity was toward being a slob!

Then, I must add I also had 3 kids in 4 years and lived in a mad cyclone of activity of volunteering for FRG, Church and PWOC.

To add to that, like all other miltiary wives, I sent my husband off for TDY and field duty and to Korea twice for a year at a time and the first Gulf war so a system became my sanity!

For mothers with little ones, it can seem impossible to get anything done while chasing tiny children through the house but I suggest you put that energy to work for you. Even the smallest hands can safely wipe down walls, cabinets and cupboards with mild safe cleaners (I have always used eco friendly cleaners and mixtures from vinegar and baking soda).

Young children love to crawl into a tub with a sponge and baking soda to scrub it down then rinse it while being supervised by a mother who is cleaning the other fixtures. Sweeping with child size tools (found at wal-mart) is just as effective as a large broom. Chores not only teach children responsibility but also give them a sense of accomplishment and capability. Lastly it teaches a child that it takes work for a family to function and they need to participate in that.

Only work for 15 to 20 minutes in each room doing what needs done imediately then move to another chore. Spending all day on one room should only happen on occasion. In order to keep things orderly allot enough time to do all basics during the morning and one large chore per week day.

A typical weekly schedule may look like this:

8-8:30 Breakfast and dressed
8:30-8:50 straighten kitchen and dishes
8:50-9:10 wipe down bathroom
9:10-9:30 straighten main living area
9:30 - 9:50 run vaccum in main living area
9:50 - 10:10 break (take a few moments to sit)
10:10-10:30 get load of laundry in
10:30 to 10:50 straighten childrens room(Mondays)
1:00 to 1:30 strip sheets and wash
2:00 to 2:30 remake beds
Tuesday1:00 to 1:30 Mop Kitchen floors
1:30 to 2:00 scrub toilets and bath floor

Continue this schedule allowing for one large chore per weekday and always do at least one load of laundry per day! I usually did 2. The point is we don't need House Beautiful but order tends to make our spouses and our children feel more comfortable, not to mention makes it easier to find things.

Striving for a perfect home every day will wear you down but maintaining a neat orderly home can be done with a simple schedule and realistic expectations.

Other tips to save time and maintain order:

A weekly menu and shopping according to it will save about 30% on your shopping trips as well as time. Post it on the fridge so everyone knows what's for dinner,

Hanging clothes in the closet or folding them in drawers in outfits instead of pants, shirts etc saves time. A full outfit can be grabbed by a child without having to pull Mom out of the other room.

Buying snacks in bulk then packaging in baggies for quick snacks for small hands is always worth the effort. Celery, carrots and other veggies can last days in a baggie after being cut. Apples sprinkled with fruit fresh also last a few days. This prep can also be done during breakfast time ro worked into the daily schedule.

Too often as busy moms we forget to enjoy the most important thing in our day....our children! With my son now over 18 and my two girls in their teenage years, I have realized how quickly that time goes by.

Try to find ways to spend every precious moment you can with them. You will never meet a mom who says I wish I would have worked more or cleaned more. They always tell you I wish I would have spent more time with my children!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My New Year Cleaning Mode

Today, I woke up in a cleaning mode. That was a really good thing, and it does not happen too much! LOL!

I have found if I am in the "mood" to clean, to take advantage of that... don't let the moment slip by! LOL

Am I the only one like this?

Have you ever checked out the website, Fly Lady? I read some of her tips and tricks on how to keep a clean house. I loved how she said that you should always make sure your kitchen sink sparkles.

I find this true, if I keep a sparkling kitchen sink, it makes me feel good in a way! Try it out and let me know what you think!