Household Management

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This one is for real day 5. The last decluttering post says day 5 but it’s actually day 4 and for some reason WordPress will not listen to me and let me change the title. WordPress and I still do not have what I would call an amicable relationship. Sigh.

On Real Day 5 we tackled the rest of the hall closet and finally got rid of the VHS tapes. Then we got started on the bathroom. We had 47 things to toss, 40 to donate, and 0 to sell. Our total items decluttered is now 526.

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First, our updated totals (drumroll, please!)

Today we
trashed 49 items
donated or gave away 174 items (I finally let go of the cassette tapes)
will sell 2 items

That makes the total for the day 225 items, and the total for the challenge 428. That means we’re all out of the running except for Daddy and Nicholas.

The kitchen is finished! All the cabinets have been cleaned out and organized. I’ll post a few pictures of our kitchen, but want to preface it by saying how much I hate it. The faux brick linoleum is awful and we tried to paint, but the color was all wrong, and ended up never adding the trim. Sigh. Maybe this summer.

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First things first, here’s the above the stove cabinet we’ve turned into the birthday cabinet. Ignore the horrible wall. We removed the old paint but never painted over, probably because the cabinet was so unaccessible.

On Day 3 we had our second day of kitchen cleaning. I tackled the area we call “the gnome’s nook”. It’s our breakfast nook, but there are really too many of us to eat comfortably in there, so instead it houses the buffet/hutch, art shelf, and microwave and stand. You can fit a lot of junk in a breakfast nook.

Yesterday was Day 2 of spring cleaning! We’re tackling the kitchen, and I’m not sure if I’m ashamed or proud to say that it’s turning out to be a three day job. The kids have been absolutely wonderful, pitching in to make the house beautiful. Michael scrubbed the outside of stove and Katie Grace scrubbed the area behind it, which was just gross. We cleaned out the baking cupboard, the cupboard full of storage containers, the cupboard with glasses and bowls, the pots and pans cupboard, the cupboard with the little kids’ cups, and the cupboard that holds our baking stuff. We also finally found a way to finally utilize the cabinet above the stove– it’s now the birthday/cake decorating cupboard! It has our cupcake liners, food coloring, sprinkles and other cake decorations, as well as our birthday ring and candles. I’d show you a picture, but apparently the camera has been “cleaned up” as well and I can’t find it right now. Maybe tomorrow…

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Sigh. WordPress ate my post.

We started the first day of our two week spring break/spring clean. I’m also planning on helping Daniel learn to use the potty over these next two weeks. I’m just a crazy multitasker.

We’re challenging ourselves to see how much we can throw out, donate, or sell over the next two weeks. The guestimates are as follows:

Daddy: 1600

Mom: 250

Michael: 175

Katie Grace: 200

Nicholas: 550

The totals so far? 23 items thrown out (I counted one area, like the computer desk, as one item), 59 items to give away, and 6 items to sell.

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Way back in the day, when I had just one child, I remember people asking “Is he on a schedule yet?” And I giggled to myself, picturing a baby with a briefcase and a pocket planner, busily making his way from one meeting to another. But out loud, I simply said, “No, we just play it by ear.”

Soon enough, playing it by ear wasn’t enough. Juggling a baby, housework, cooking, playdates, my husband’s schedule, social engagements– we needed a plan! And that was just with one child. Now, with four, I find that our rhythms and routines are the foundation that hold up our day.

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I got a little restless this weekend and rearranged our “multipurpose room”. You see, it’s getting a little noisy and chaotic to have all five of us around the table all the time, and this leads to cranky children who can’t get their work done. So I was left with the challenge– how, in a small house with four little ones, can we make this work? So I did what I could to give everyone their own space.
I’d like to find somewhere else to put the trash can but, alas, we are fresh out of room. The gray box on the floor holds the stuff I’m saving for portfolios. The red file thingie on the wall holds reading logs, spelling test papers, papers to file, and a folder with each child’s lesson planner and other papers for the week. Next to that, we have the paper storage– from the top down it holds paper ruled for early elementary school, lined paper, graph paper, construction paper, and scrap paper. On top of that sits the finished work box.

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I inventoried my deep freeze the other day and this is what I found. Got any meal ideas for me?

13 loaves of whole wheat bread (we can get it for 89 cents a loaf at the Amish surplus outlet 45 minutes away, so we stock up every once in a while)

4 packs of whole wheat tortillas

3 packs of hot dog rolls

3 packs of rolls

8 “Flatouts” wraps (also from the Amish store)

5 rolls of Pillsbury cookie dough

9 bags of whole wheat flour

9 bags of unbleached white flour

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Remember this post? The one with the killer squirrels and renegade clothespins? Well, I whipped out my trusty sewing machine and one of Katie Grace’s baby dresses, and I made this! I added the step of tacking the dress to the hanger. The best part? I keep catching Katie Grace staring at it, as if in amazement that she was ever that little.