On Wednesday I usually write about whatever craft project I have completed this week, but not today. Today I am going to talk about something a bit different. Why, you ask? Well, because I haven’t actually finished this week’s project yet. I was so overwhelmed and distracted by the Spring Cleaning task I took on this week, that between it and work there just wasn’t enough time for much else. What kind of Spring Cleaning project could possibly be that overwhelming? Going through, pairing down, and reorganizing my entire wardrobe!
What on Earth would make me want to tackle that monumental of a task? We recently moved from Long Island, NY to Akron, OH. We also went from living in extremely tight quarters (we’re talking less than a studio apartment small) to a 3 bedroom house. I’ve changed jobs and lost 2 full sizes worth of weight; however, the biggest factor in this project was the design of the master closet. The master is the last room we need to tackle, in order to get our house to place we want it to be. The room became closetless when we remodeled the bathroom, so I get to design my closet from scratch. In order to do that I needed to know exactly what I’m going to have to stuff into the new and improved closet space. That’s what brought me to taking on this project now… An influx of universal indicators that screamed at me to get off my ass and go through all of the boxes, tubs and suitcases.
I literally touched every piece of clothing, every single shoe, every boot, and every purse, hat or glove I own in the last 48 hours. I started the project with great enthusiasm and optimism, but as I continued the process, it became harder and harder. I evaluated whether each piece was something I liked, if it fit, and if it was something I couldn’t’ live without replacing if it didn’t meet the 2 previous criteria. I literally touched it all. It was an amazing amount of stuff.
I’ve come to several conclusions during this process…
- I had approximately a metric ton of clothing
- I have officially left the “Plus Size” category of Women’s Clothing (and NEVER intend to return)
- I probably kept more than I should’ve
- I still need to replace some items with better fitting substitutions
- A woman can NEVER have too many shoes!
- I’m going to get a minor windfall of cash when I bring the “NO Pile” to Clothes Mentor!
I’ll keep you posted about the continued progress on the closet, but now that this is mostly finished (I still need to put away the clean clothes, wash some more laundry, bring the toss pile to the consignment shop, … oh it really is a never ending project!), I should be able to get back to my regularly scheduled craft projects.
This week’s Pinterest project is not exactly like the example, but I did try and follow the general intentions of the project. I really used it as a jumping off point to design the project I really wanted…
I found this pin for a Disney Stache Jar,
and liked the idea, but I’m not crazy about the whole mustache thing, so I decided to change things up…
I went with something that would fit better with my home decor, so I chose a square jar and simple black glass paint.
I also modified the words that I used on the jar. I made it say “Vacation Fund” in the Walter font (which is the free version of the Disney font). I chose to do this, because while we are probably going to use the savings for our next trip to Disney, you never know where we may end up going next…
Once I had my words laid out, I cut them out and taped the stencil to the inside of the jar, so I could trace the words in paint.
Then I traced the letters with a skinny round brush and my black glass paint.
I let it dry, removed the stencil and filled in any voids in the paint.
This is my end result with the beginnings of next year’s vacation fund already growing inside…
This week’s Pinterest project is actually an ongoing kitchen experiment… A while back, in my Tasty Tuesday – Tacos post I mentioned that we use a homemade taco seasoning instead of the store bought packets. I promised you all that I would share the recipe that I use to make this seasoning mix and this is the week I’m going to hold up my end of that bargain. Now, I’ve found dozens of different recipes on Pinterest for all types of kitchen seasonings and while I absolutely love to play around in the kitchen, I really don’t like to use anything prepackaged if I can avoid it. I’m also in the middle of a huge move, so my time is very limited, but we do have to eat and while in circumstances like these take out is easier it is also stupid expensive and not very healthy. That being said, I couldn’t just make the Taco Seasoning when we ran out, I had to try 4 other recipes while I was playing mad kitchen scientist.
This week I put together our regular Taco Seasoning, tried out an alternative Taco Seasoning, made Outback style steak seasoning, whipped up a variation of Onion Soup mix (that I’m not so sure about – the recipe called for sugar, so I’m a bit put off and may have to play with it next time around) and finally after hunting down dried buttermilk mixed up some Ranch Seasoning. I got each of these recipes from Pinterest, and can’t wait to use them and figure out how I can tweak them to become more my own, because we all know how well I do at following directions and measuring exactly.
The recipes are usually very straight forward. Take some of these different spices and put them in an empty, clean, dry jar (I use small mason jars). Once everything is in the jar seal it and shake the jar to combine the spices.
First I washed all my mason jars, and gathered my ingredients…
Ranch Dippy Mix
Onion Soup Mix
Taco Seasoning – Experimental Version
Outback Steak Seasoning
Taco Seasoning – Our Standard Version
Once I had everything all sorted out, I started measuring each of the ingredients into the corresponding jars. Like I said this is a ridiculously easy project and so much better for you than all the prepackaged chemicals and preservatives.
Then I shook the jars to mix it all up and stored the new made mixes in my pantry. I had an alterior motive to doing this project this week, I needed to make sure that we had enough Taco Seasoning for next week’s Tasty Tuesday Recipe!
I am admittedly a bit OCD. That being said I am slightly compulsive about organizing things. It calms me down to have an orderly space and streamlined schedule. I have learned overtime, that you cannot be to rigid in your own constraints, because the rest of the world does not usually operate in the same orderly manner that you do…
Because of a huge kerfuffle in my life almost all of my possessions are currently in storage, which makes my organizational systems harder to use. However, it also gives me the opportunity to work my way through everything and make sure that it is all in the appropriate box, bin, bag or tub so that unpacking it once we get to our new destination will be a breeze. Now of course, that’s assuming we get exactly the space I am looking for (or dreaming of really) in our new home.
Which brings me to today’s blog topic… Squeezing everything into one small space. The only way I have found to do this is to organize everything into sections in the confined space. I have spent the last several days doing just that. I have the storage area separated into categories. Along one wall I have all of the clothing (including bags, shoes, and suitcases) grouped together, then the books, followed by the arts & crafts stuff, then the DVDs, board games & puzzles. The next section is the tools, kitchen stuff, and decorations. On the opposite wall all of the furniture is lined, stacked, and piled together. The electronics (with a few minor exceptions – can’t live without the iPad or laptop) are piled on any and all available flat surfaces.
Now you may think I’m off my rocker, but I swear it really does make life easier. Especially when you need to find that one specific book for your final presentation for a Graduate Class in literacy, or the piece of fabric to reupholster the antique settee that your grandmother gave you, or even the 3rd season of Nurse Jackie because there’s no cable where you are staying right now and your brain might explode from all the quiet.
Next on the organizational horizon: a house hunting checklist! I’m totally open to suggestions, as this is not something I’m overly familiar with.
No matter how crazy my world seems to get one of the things that keeps me balanced and somewhat grounded are my daily checklists. I know it’s geeky and OCD and all that, but the structure of having a set list of tasks to accomplish one after the other makes my seemingly unmanageable life more manageable.
I use an app on my iPhone and iPad called Paperless to make and organize my list, well lists. I use multiple lists: a daily list for each day of the week, a list (actually 3 separate lists) of my bills, a list of calls I have to make, a list of the stuff I need to do on the computer, a list of the errands I need to run, a list of the projects I’m working on, a list of the school stuff I have coming due, and a catchall list for at the other stuff I have to take care of.
I keep standard items that occur everyday on the daily lists, as well as items tied to a scheduled day of the week (my dad’s dialysis treatments are every Monday, Wednesday & Friday so they are always listed on those days). I flesh out the rest of my daily schedule each night before bed from the other lists. It usually takes me about 10 minutes to reset the list I used that day and set up my list for tomorrow.
I know this system won’t work for everyone, but it certainly helps me. It took me a long time to get to the place where not getting to everything on my list doesn’t mess with my head, but because the list system I use has a counting function when I look at the number of things I managed to get done it somehow makes not finishing everything easier to take in stride. I also have to make sure I include time to decompress in my day to day life, so I always include at least one item from my projects list and some reading time.