SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{February 9, 2013}   Organizing Spaces: the Bedrooms

Nightstand 469710772

So first of all, let me mention that it was a long and exhausting week.  We’ve (finally) started the novel unit in my classes, squeezing in additional test prep here and there, and all of this was interrupted by a Mardi Gras celebration for the 8th graders (which went off without a hitch, thanks to the amazingly organized and efficient 8th grade team leaders) and I am WHOOPED.  I stayed after school Thursday to help decorate the gym for the dance, only to arrive at PaPaw and MaMaw’s to find Monkey 1 had checked out sick and we would be putting karate off till Friday.  And did I mention I had not touched lesson plans all week?  Except to cover them in red ink because I had so totally over-planned.  So last night, I tried not to fall asleep as I wrote lessons for the upcoming week.

I’ve been a little busy.

But I woke today feeling fresh and rejuvenated with a big idea in my head (not really – more like a ton of sinus pressure!).  It was too early to call Jeepnmom and organize a kitchen drawer, but I wanted today to be productive around the house in some way.

And I looked at my bedroom.

Last summer, Grizzly and I bought our first-ever non-hand-me-down bedroom suite.  I’d been drooling over one in particular for almost a year and decided I didn’t love it after all, but we found another we absolutely loved.  With new furniture comes a new desire for cleanliness and organization and my room was gorgeous for quite a while.  Grizzly went to Vegas (some big APA tournament or something) for a week and a half right after school started in August and my room was immaculate.  The bed was made every day.  No junk on surfaces.  Laundry neatly contained in the hamper.

Somewhere along the way it’s gotten off-track.  There is junk all over his nightstand, a pile of dirty socks on his side of the bed.  All kinds of mail and miscellaneous foo-fah lines the top of my dresser.  The only time the bed is made is when I change the sheets and on my side of the bed is a basket of ironing, school books, and the leftovers of various craft projects.

On the bright side, my closet is still amazing and fabulous.

I think Grizzly needs to go back to Vegas.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

So feeling productive as I am, I decided today is “Bedroom Cleaning Day.”  I’ve sent to monkeys to their respective trees and declared “No TV” in the House of Cheaptitude today.  Grizzly headed to work and so, in my way, did I.

I’ve not gotten far.

I cleared the top of my nightstand and you would not believe what I’ve found.

  • A red pen (I grade papers in bed – so sue me)
  • A broken calculator (Monkey 1)
  • A credit card bill (I pay online, thank goodness)
  • A small blank canvas (because I paint in my room?? not!)
  • A copy of Freak the Mighty (Monkey 1 read it last semester for class)
  • Monkey 2’s iPOD (ok, I’m addicted to Dream Heights)
  • Some odd-sized pieces of felt and tulle (Monkey 2’s Halloween costume – I just knew I’d use those scraps)

Obviously, these items will return to their homes or go in the trash.

Once I got the top of the stand cleared, I went to the kitchen for my handy-dandy homemade dust spray and it’s not where it’s supposed to be.  Which sent me on a slight treasure hunt and then inspired me to blog for a minute.  Yes, I can be easily distracted.

I’m really excited about my plans for my nightstand, though.  Our laptop lives in our bedroom and I usually shove it under the bed when I’m not using it, but now it’s going to live on my nightstand by my alarm clock.  The drawer is going to have my paper grading junk, whatever book I’m reading, and I think that’s it.  I can use small baskets in the drawer to separate the junk.  What really has me excited though is the under-cabinet.  For years it has housed books that I used in college, some of Grizzly’s business crap papers, and so forth.  All of that is going elsewhere.  Some of my craft stuff that is sharing real estate with my repurposed linen closet will be moving in.  I want to keep a tv tray under my side of the bed for when I’m feeling crafty (that way it’s not a permanent fixture) and get a small lamp for my night stand.

And I still want another of those awesome chairs to put in my hidey-hole corner, but that is going to wait.  I need to find my dusting spray!

What project will you tackle this weekend?

~ Katie

Today’s To-Do’s

  • Clear surfaces in bedroom
  • Dust surfaces in bedroom
  • vacuum
  • Iron
  • Change bedding
  • Re-purpose night stand
  • Fix Grizzly’s broken dresser drawer (ARGH!)
  • Sort & wash all dirty clothes in bedroom
  • Clear out under the bed – Ok, this one is not happening the way I had planned.  I did pull everything out, but I found it to be a good space to stash the text books I use for lesson planning!

2 PM – Making Progress:

The top of my nightstand, post de-clutter session!

The top of my nightstand, post de-clutter session!

I used some leftover dollar store baskets to sort teacher tools from lotion, gum, etc.

I used some leftover dollar store baskets to sort teacher tools from lotion, gum, etc.

My husband doesn't keep his dresser neat like I like...

My husband doesn’t keep his dresser neat like I like…

My jewelry case, right by the bathroom door, usually collects all kinds of hair bobs and stuff...I like to see the top of it!

My jewelry case, right by the bathroom door, usually collects all kinds of hair bobs and stuff…I like to see the top of it!

Grizzly's nightstand, free of the usual trash!

Grizzly’s nightstand, free of the usual trash!

I can find everything and the open spaces make me happy happy happy :)

I can find everything and the open spaces make me happy happy happy 🙂

I have yet to change bedding due to the fact that all of my decluttering ended up on the bed for a few minutes….I’m getting there, though.  When my room is clean, I feel so much better!  How about you?

~ K

5 PM

Bedding is changed.  And the Cheaptastic chick is pooped again!  The vacuum and laundry may wait till tomorrow.  I’m ready for a pleasant crafting project!

I really want to buy new bed linens but the frugalista inside won't let me right now.  Missing the quilt my mom made - it's in the wash!  So pretty though, maybe I'll post a pic later.

I really want to buy new bed linens but the frugalista inside won’t let me right now. Missing the quilt my mom made – it’s in the wash! So pretty though, maybe I’ll post a pic later.



preciouskidsquilts says:

I find it interesting that you listed fixing hubby’s drawer on your to-do list instead of his. I find that in my house, the hubby never fixes things because he takes for granted that I CAN do it, so he doesn’t need to. I’ve been working on taking back control of my femininity in this area of life. Not because I can’t do those things, but because it overloads me even further to add them to my to-do list, and it isn’t a fair workload. So… Those are just some things that belong on the honey-do list! 😀

katiebman says:

I agree, I should not have to fix his dresser drawer, but Grizzly works so much (manual labor) and it’s hard to get him to do honey-do’s, especially if it doesn’t bug him 🙂 It bugs the fire out of me, so I’ll end up doing it probably.

preciouskidsquilts says:

Totally true about the hard-working man. I give in to the things that drive me nuts, too. Lol. Sometimes, I think a few things on his list might not kill him, though. 😉 It appears you are reaching your goal. Congratulations! 🙂

katiebman says:

Thanks! He does help with some of the kid-taxi and cooks dinner a few times each week. But when it comes to cleaning, I can forget it 🙂

preciouskidsquilts says:

I got a book about organization via the Christian bookstore once. It was truly helpful for awhile. Until I lost focus.. In reality, though, it was very helpful when I implemented the ideas. There were some hugely valid points that helped me along the way. Like, we all have a pet-peeve area in our house. One place that drives us more crazy than anything else to have dirty. I think that’s pretty true for most of us. Starting the process, included pictures. You are doing that. Then, pick one area at a time. Before/after pics. With a journal. One of the other things I found interesting was that we learned to clean from our parents. A question that was presented was whether your parent made you do it with an explanation, or without. Or whether they simply did it for you.IIt was something that made me reflect on my own actions for sure!

katiebman says:

I would love to get a copy of the book! What is the name of it? I explain how and why to clean to the kiddos but lose patience and do it myself. My mom wasn’t the most organized individual, but my dad’s second wife was a neat freak and I’ve picked up some things from her. Not that everything had to be spotless, but everything had a place and should be put away. Of course, she also kept me bedroom door closed all the time….

preciouskidsquilts says:

I just shipped pretty much an entire binder full of expired coupons to Japan. I clipped all of my stacks of awaiting coupons, but didn’t organize them yet. I used up some of the almost expired coupons, but didn’t take the time to price match because I don’t feel like I have time for ANYTHING these days. I still saved forty dollars between sales and coupons, but only fifteen was coupons. 😦 My dishsoap failed. I think it was because of the ‘bodywash’ aspect. So, I ran out of bar soap and started using the bodywash. I realized the perm smell is totally the bodywash! But, I do feel clean when I’m done. My hubby has a rash all over, and I’m not sure which aspect to look at. The laundry soap, or the dryer bar? I used two different kinds of soap in different batches. Since he often rewears his work clothes, I’m just not certain if it lies with the soap or the dryer bar. The concept of spending money on laundry soap after finding such a treasure of savings makes me ill! Not quite sure where to start with that change..? You mentioned you prefer powdered soaps. Do you also make powdered dishsoap?

katiebman says:

I’ve not made powdered dish soap yet. Granny-at-the-Farm does and SWEARS by it now.

Laundry soap – try ivory as your bar soap. Very gentle! And it doesn’t have the strong smell of the Fels Naptha. Not sure about the dryer bar, as I use (and re-use) dryer sheets still. The price is too good to pass up. When I remember to throw one in.

For softening, try some vinegar in your wash. I use/re-use the dryer sheets for static control.

preciouskidsquilts says:

I like the idea of the dryer bar. Stick it in and forget it until its gone. It’s cheap enough, I think, to justify the expense. I tried a bar called zoto that is supposed to be very gentle and used by our local Amish. It didn’t grind up as easily, but I think it cleaned better. I’ve been thinking of trying ivory ever since you mentioned it, but my mind has an adversity I must overcome. It’s body soap. Lol. I want to switch the dryer bar first. I think he’s wearing clothes from both batches. I only have two options for dryer bars, so… The zoto has a good price on it. Better than ivory or Fels and its twice the size of the Fels. The dryer bar has done well, except the other day when I came home between shifts and found my son’s boots flopping around in my dryer! Turd. 🙂 Sunday paper recycle job.. not my dryer!

katiebman says:

Try running the Zoto through the blender. Ivory, with a coupon, I can get 3 bars under a dollar. Good job on using some coupons, btw, and for passing on the ones you couldn’t use! Pay it forward 🙂

preciouskidsquilts says:

I’ll find it. That corner is on my list today. Lol.

katiebman says:

Awesome! My family cracks up laughing about all of the organization books I read and consult and purchase. But I get ideas from everywhere, obviously, since there is no one method to any of my madness 🙂

katiebman says:

OMG, I just realized who is commenting lol! How are your money-saving changes going??

preciouskidsquilts says:

The House That Cleans Itself- Mindy Starns Clark

katiebman says:

Thanks! I have a Barnes & Noble gift card. I’m going to see if they have it!

preciouskidsquilts says:

I also got a book called When You Live With A Messie- Sandra Felton. But, truthfully, that book made me feel like I was the messie, and made me feel bad… I didn’t like it. But it was an eye opener to anyone who watches Hoarders to inspire themselves.

katiebman says:

Sandra Felton is not my favorite. And I can’t watch Hoarders! It kind of grosses me out. That’s how my garage was for a long time. Now I love having empty spaces in the house!

preciouskidsquilts says:

Truthfully, I’ve never seen Hoarders. I think I shall YouTube that today. Just because. I picked up the messie book and flipped through it a bit just now. I just feel so bad after reading her book. She somehow missed the ability to be inspiring, I think. If nothing else, though, I keep the book around because when I see it, I know who and what I don’t want to be. 🙂

preciouskidsquilts says:

It is a Christian based book, so it also talks about God’s desires for your life a lot. I love God and have no prob with it. It helps to bring me closer to God and a peaceful heart when I use books like these. One of the focal points of the book is creating a quiet space for worship each day. The peaceful heart helps so much to accomplish the most frustrating things in life. Like cleaning and organizing!

katiebman says:

Sounds like a great book!

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