Thursday, October 28, 2010

31 Days to a Less Messy Cottage- Day 6
Todays topic will be............
   drum roll..............


We have talked about the first room that people see and how great it is to start there because inevitably......someone will end up stopping by and seeing the messy part of the house you haven't gotten to yet.   What I am talking about is a drop off station near the door that you use most often.  That could be the back door,  side door or front.  No matter how small your space is you can create a welcoming place to put your family's belongings for leaving and coming.

We use our front door most often.  I used to have an old dresser in back of the door so that we could have a place to put our things.  But it was so bulky and not very welcoming!
So I sold it and was determined to put a bench there!
I am all about doing things for free or very little so I came up with the idea to build a bench out of an old table that was too small for us to use.  I had the table dismantled when my husband came to my rescue.  I think he felt sorry for me because he told me to go in the house and to let the boys take care of it :)
So my husband and three of my boys built me a bench in one afternoon.....and to boot a work bench for my little boys to build on.  (They have an obsession with hammers, nails, screws, and screwdrivers.)

My bench has been sitting there with junk piled on it for a couple of months now while I am STILL doing the front room re-do.  So I decided to paint it today and hang up the nifty hooks from IKEA that we bought over two months ago.  I also wanted a place for shoes, boots, hats, coats, and gloves.  So I had in my mind some cute metal buckets with numbers on them for each of my kids.  I couldn't find the buckets I liked for almost free so I came up with the idea to use empty food storage containers.
I knew one day they would be good for something so I hung onto them!
Can you say FREE!!......
                 My favorite word!!!
I also shopped my house and found a basket not really being utilized that happened to FIT RIGHT UNDER MY BENCH...YAY!  So that is where we put our shoes when we walk in the house.  I also have a place for homework or papers that need to be signed by me.  Once the kids walk in the door those papers end up in nowhere land when we need them.  This has proven to keep me mostly out of trouble with the kids teachers :)

Another thing that we need a place for is our KEYS!  Anyone who knows me can vouch for me when I say I have "lost" my keys a million times either locking myself out of the house because I thought they were in my purse or in the car?   Nevermind.
We also have room for an entry table with drawers that I stash my keys in now.
Here are some simple ideas for a "mudroom" by the door.
Here is the link to build this if you are feeling adventurous!

Those are dishracks from IKEA.  Love it!

Stay tuned today for a picture of my finished "mudroom"!  It's about time!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

31 Days to a Less Messy Cottage- Day 5

One of my favorite topics happens to be what we are talking about today.
The Garbage...Your Best Friend

Before you think I have lost it let me explain!

 There is always one room in our house that contains the odds and ends that don't fit anywhere in our house.
My bedroom at its worst!  Just kidding......kind of.  There are no tires in our bedroom!

 I can have a really clean house everywhere else...but absolute chaos in that ONE room.  It drives me nuts because we happen

So every three months or so I weed out what ends up in that room.  I go on a chucking spree and either throw the extra stuff in the garbage....or I put it on the curb for some lucky soul.
 Remember one woman's junk is another woman's treasure!

 Today's tip is to find what you absolutely don't use or love and goodwill it or throw it'll be able to breathe easier!
When my house has less thought process feels less jumbled up!  Aaah...peace!  Completely worth the sacrifice!

Are toys taking over your house?  How many toys could each kid possibly play with or maintain interest in?

 I know someone who had surgery and told her kids that they could keep 100 toys between ALL of them!  She said she wasn't able to clean while she was recouping post surgery....but her house stayed pretty much put together with very little clutter!  How would that be??

Start with the room where the junk ends up. That one would be my bedroom!
               Clean up will be so much faster with less stuff!

When trying to figure out what to get rid of remember the 80% rule.  Whatever container being filled for organization should be no more than 80% full.  It may sound dorky but it works!

By the way.....I used to be OCD about cleaning now I am trying to find a happy medium by dejunking every so often.  If you really are good about getting rid of stuff on a regular basis you can get a large garbage can and label good will.  Put it in a place where it is easy to access.  Every time you come across something that doesn't get used put it in the "Good Will" can and when it's full haul it to the DI or put the stuff on the curb for someone to take.  Who doesn't like free stuff?
For extra inspiration read the post from The Nester!

Off to put my money where my mouth is!  Stay tuned for a brilliant clean bedroom picture tomorrow!

What room in your house collects the clutter?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

31 Days To A Less Messy Cottage- Day 4

Are you ready to move onto day four challenge?
..............I'm not because I already fell off the wagon.......BUT.......if at first you don't succeed try try again!!

Here is a picture of my latest mayhem in the front room........
This is what people see when they come in the front room.
Please excuse the terrible picture of the ugly mess!  I have been using photo booth on my mac for pictures recently because my camera is lacking the cord to load wonderful pictures on the computer!
I have to say that even though I work from gets really hard to clean sometimes so I have two tips for you today that help me.....when I do them!

Day 4-  Clean the First Room People See When They Come to the Door!
             Clean the House at the Same Time Everyday!

     My good friend and I have always joked around about the front room of our homes being the cleanest because that gives people the impression that the rest of your house is just as sparkly clean.   So if you are going to clean do the first room people will see first!  I cannot tell you how many times people have decided to randomly come to my door when I decided to start in the back of the house!!!!
     Yesterday I had a lot of sewing to do on some samples and errands to run so I told myself I could clean the house later.  When later came I was still working.  Now I usually clean the house in the morning time because that is when I feel the most motivated.  If I get off schedule it throws off EVERYTHING.  CLEAN WHILE YOU ARE MOTIVATED!  So today I will try to deep clean my one room AGAIN.....and do my five minute clean sweep and THEN go work!  STICK WITH THAT'll thank me later!  I will post my CLEAN pictures tomorrow!!!

Don't be like me.....and GOOD LUCK!

Monday, October 25, 2010

31 Days To a Less Messy Cottage- Day 3

Day 3-  Get the Laundry Under Control
This is not my laundry room!  Wish it was!.......swoon!

      When my house is in an uproar it is usually because the laundry needs to be washed or put away.  If you are great at laundry and keep up every day I look up to you.  I usually try to do a load or two a day.  I have never at any time had every single piece of laundry clean. (Other than what I and my family are wearing:) )
      Cutting down on clothing is a tremendous help when wanting to spend less time doing laundry.  Ideally I like to have no less than a weeks worth a clothing for each person in the family.  At the most it helps to only have ten days worth of clothing for each person.
     To be honest we have been out of whack with our laundry routine lately because we have kind of been in between seasons until recently.   So on my to-do list is to thin out the clothing again and put the out of season clothing away in bins.  In my house most of our storage goes out in the storage shed.  If you are lucky to have enough space for an extra dresser it is wise to put your out of season clothing in the drawers for easy access.(and put away:) )
I have also been told that it is easier to hang up all of your clothes so that you can spend less time folding.    A good rule of thumb when organizing or filling a container is to only fill 80% or less.  I got this piece of advice from a professional organizer.
      Sometimes I like to have my children sort the clean laundry into piles and then they fold their own clothes and put them away.  This doesn't always happen, but when it does it works like a charm.
     Some people like to do all of their laundry at once and get it over with.  I am one who most of the time procrastinates and then I get into the laundry mood and do it for a couple of days straight.  Sometimes it's okay to let the kids hang out in their pj's (ones who aren't in school of course.)  and hang around the house while I get on top of things.  There will always be those days!

I have had a lot of fun reading from The Nester's laundry post....she has the cutest laundry room with baskets to put her laundry in.  If you are going to have laundry you might as well do it in style.
Read her post!

In the future to motivate myself I will have a beautiful laundry room!  That is another project and post for another week (or life.)!

Do you have things that you do to help with laundry around your house?
I would love to know!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

31 Days to A Less Messy Cottage- Day 2

.......drum roll please......

Day 2-  Five Minute Clean Sweep

To clarify it is five minutes per room except for the kitchen.....unless it is just you making the dishes for one.
At night I like to go through at least half the house (because I am tired at the end of the day!) and spend five minutes picking up things and putting them in a box.  You can use a laundry basket or whatever  you want to deposit your random items.  Ideally.... in the morning I just put the random things away.

If you only get to half the house the night before you can do the rest of the rooms with a five minute clean sweep in the morning.  When I do this I feel more energetic about starting the day instead of dreading having to get up and spend hours cleaning.

I realize that for many of us where children are pulling things out constantly...five minutes is only the tip of the iceberg!  Having your children help during the five minutes makes it like a game to see how clean they can get the room.  I tell my older two boys that for every chore they do they have a certain amount of time on the computer to play games.  This is a great incentive for them!!

I am going to try to do this EVERY night!!  Try it and you will realize what a big difference this will make in addition to deep cleaning one room a day!!!

Leave me a comment and let me know how it is helping you!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

31 Days To A Less Messy Cottage

The nester a favorite among my bloggers has been hosting 31 Days To A Less Messy I decided to do my own version here.
If you are anything like me cleaning the house has to be like a game.  You can check in on my blog every day and improve your cottage one day at a time.....and so can I!!!!!

Deep cleaning one room a day consists of dusting, mopping, organizing, windexing, cleaning carpets and the like.  The room doesn't have to be perfect just a deeper cleaning than your regular quick sweep.
I like to do one room a day so that I have way less cleaning to do on Saturday.  That is the day I like to do my home projects and play with my family.
Once you do this you will find that it takes less time to clean your house on a daily basis!  Let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dining Room Inspiration

I have been looking for ideas for my dining room when I came across this awe inspiring picture!
I love the idea of the dark and light together.
   Not to mention I ADORE chair covers!  of course with kids that might be a whole other talk show :)
The picture is from
I am also looking for a pretty chandelier for the front room as well.  I can't wait to get everything together in the entry/dining room/ front room.
Here are some more of my favorites.