Friday, September 25, 2015

Checking In

Hi friends,

Happy Friday to you all. I hope your week went well and that you have some rest or relaxation planned for the weekend.

Today I'm linking up with


I don't have a lot of exciting things to share today (I have some photos to share at the end of the post). That's because I've been busy the whole week long still trying to get my little home organized.

My organizing tasks mushroomed from doing my dresser drawers (only half way completed) and 3 closet shelves to organizing things in the entire condo.  Yes!

I've been bouncing from here to there. Doing this and then doing that. In between is a little shopping to try and find the right aids to getting things organized. I'm not obsessive about organizing or I would have already been organized. I just like to have a place for everything and everything in it's place. I also don't like clutter but have plenty of it. It is easy to end up with clutter if you don't keep up to purging on a daily or weekly basis. With my fluctuating energy levels, busy schedule and role as a caregiver  my time for taking care of more than the daily tasks is somewhat limited.  I do the best I can and every now and then, energy permitting, I am able to do more. That's why right now, my organizing and cleaning is priority. Not blogging, not taking photos, not reading or doing crafts or even socializing. I am taking advantage of the rare motivation to get some of the big tasks out of the way while I am up to it and before the cold weather arrives. Truth be told, I'm only half way through the things I want to get done and my energy levels are beginning to wane a bit.

Anyway I am happy to report that I'm making good progress.  This kind of most may not be all that interesting to many of you but it helps me to write down what I've done so I can remember later where I've spent my time!

Bedroom:  I have organized about half of my closet space and half of the dresser drawers.  There are far too many t-shirts, shoes and miscellaneous so a purge is underway. I put together 2 large bags of clothing and miscellaneous linens for giveaway.  I've also sorted through about 5 bags of mom's clothing and discarded some.  There is still a large bag of nice items for giveaway.

It was tricky to find the right size of plastic transparent containers for my closet shelves.  The photo shows one I found at Jysk. They are a bit smaller than I would like but they will do since the next size up is too large.The plastic covers will be stored under the tubs until they are needed as I'm leaving the tubs open on my closet shelves for easier access.

Out of season shoes have been stored under the bed but the fabric boxes are not the right size. I need to find an inexpensive shoe container and have been looking in the stores each time I visit them. Oddly enough I usually see a lot of this item in the stores but right now it seems they only have the ones that hang in the closet. There is no room to hang shoes or handbags in my closet.

Living Room:  I keep yarns for multiple projects in beautiful woven baskets in my living room.  I've emptied some of the yarns I've been keeping in them as they were looking a bit too full.  The overflow yarn has been placed in  rubber baskets from Dollarama and stored in the closet space formerly occupied by shoes. Some formerly too small storage containers in a storage cabinet in the living room have been replaced with larger ones that fit perfectly into the space and the space (2 interior shelves) is being reorganized for maximum storage use.  Many craft and sewing items are stored in this cabinet as well as things like heating pads and other items that are needed on a regular basis in the living area.  A large number of reusable shopping bags were also stored in there to get them out of the way but they will now be moved or given away so the best use can be made of this precious space.

Bathroom:  The main objective in the bathroom is to corral the clutter on the counter top and to have easy access to products.  If products are visible it is easier to see what is there and use it up rather than buy duplicate items because you can't see what is there.  The other objective is to find a way to store all bathroom related items, in the bathroom.

A chrome toilet paper holder, a few small, wooden spice racks from IKEA, and a towel shelf have been purchased.  These items will help free up counter space and make everything a look more tidy. It will also mean towels can come out of the master closet and be stored in the bathroom. 

The IKEA spice rack idea came from the internet.  There are many photos on the internet showing how people have creatively used these spice racks in a variety of ways.  Here is just one example. In this case, the homeowner turned the spice rack upside down and made a towel holder too.

Photo Credit: Photo from Wedding Bee

Kitchen:  I've cleared out the shelf above the microwave where the cookbooks were stored.  In it's place are all linens and dishcloths in baskets.  Half of the cookbooks have been purged and are being given away.  The ones I want to keep have been placed into magazine holders because there are a lot of small, unique cookbooks I have. Really they are more like pamphlets and they need to be contained.

I've also reorganized the kitchen counter space. My kitchen is very small and storage is very limited. I have no pantry and it is always a challenge to keep the counter functioning as it should. That means I reorganize my kitchen counter tops at least once or twice a year. Since I now have a powerful Vitamix Blender, the blender I used before will be given away. It is still a good blender but I know it will give out long before the Vitamix does. It also doesn't grind grains into flour.

Paperwork:  All old mail has been opened and excess paper recycled.  I always get behind in this task though the bill payments are automated to ensure timely payments are made. I am a visual and tactile person so I like to handle the papers as opposed to have everything on line.  I just find it easier to review information in a paper format and to have it handy when I need to follow up on items by phone. I also make notes directly on the bills when I need too so I can keep track of who I spoke to and what was agreed upon.  This week I also caught up to organizing the bills by bill type (Hydro power, telephone, credit cards, etc.) in reverse chronological order. I like to keep them this way until I'm ready to discard them. I save discarding for when I have a lot of time because each paper needs to be shredded or burned to ensure no personal information is mislaid.  I also save all paper  receipts until I've had a chance to compare them with bank and credit card statements. This week I got rid of numerous receipts but have a few more to go through. Any receipts that are needed for warranty purposes are kept in a special file folder in the file cabinet.

Dining Room:  My dining room table is usually where all the sewing and organizing of things takes place. I have no other place to do the sewing but it is easy to get in the habit of leaving the sewing machine and other items out on the table.  I don't like all the visual clutter so I found a trolley that I will use to store everything but have it all to hand.  The trolley is from IKEA and I purchased 2 of them in black though they also come in turquoise and beige.

One trolley will be for my sewing machine and current projects.  The other trolley will be used to store books and office supplies near my desk, canned goods in the kitchen or possibly will be loaned to my mom so she can store her CD player and music on it.  The trolley is very compact so doesn't take much space.  Again, there are countless photos on the internet as to how creative people have used these trolleys. It will be so nice to have my dining room table back.  The only downside is that if you live in the USA these trolleys only cost $29.99, whereas in Canada they are $69.99 each. That is a huge difference and much more than the difference in currency exchange would rationalize. (If you are a Canadian and would like these trolleys but don't mind them in black/gray, you can buy them at Home Depot for $39.99. That is a much better price than IKEA).

Other:  In addition to all my shopping, cleaning and organizing I've been turning my mind to Christmas which will be here soon enough. While I was out shopping for my needs, I was also looking for what I could find for gift ideas for family and friends. I've purchased some small items like tea towels, calendars and different items specific to each friend or family member. So I've got a good start on what I need for Christmas though of course there is more to be done to be thoroughly ready.

After all my hard work, I realize I am only really half way through this project. I thought I was farther along but each time I do something I think of another thing to do.

Some of these  organizing ideas and tasks have been on my mind for years so I am glad to finally be doing them.

It should take another week or two to get the household in good order and as organized as I am likely to get it before Christmas.  Eliminating all excess paperwork and paring my books back to bare essentials will be another major project which will take more time. I likely won't be posting about much of this for various reasons.

I only wanted to capture some of my organizing efforts here on the blog so I can look back and have something to reference later.  It is also for those of you who are used to reading a post from me on a regular basis.  That way you will know I haven't dropped off the face of the earth and I haven't forgotten about blogging.  I've just been occupied.

In a few weeks I should have more interesting things to post about.

I already feel so much better after clearing out  bags of giveaways and more bags of trash.

Tomorrow the utility carts can be put together.  After that the bathroom items will be put up on the wall and things can be nicely put away. It will be wonderful when things are contained.

 I leave you now with some pretty photos.

Poppy Macro

Sky watch in Vancouver

Vase of  long stemmed blooms

Rocky Mountains, Alberta Canada

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. Hello, sounds like you found some great ideas to use for organizing the bathroom, kitchen and sewing supplies. Pretty sky capture and I love the view of the mountains! Gorgeous scenes! Pretty collection of birds! Have a happy weekend!

  2. Gorgeous photos! Enjoy your weekend.

  3. Hi Joyful, looks like you are doing a great job in organizing your house. I like the idea of using trolleys. Lovely sky and mountain pictures. My favourite critter is the parrot, so cute!

  4. Hi Joyful, All I can say is, Wow! Once again you are being an inspiration with all the organizing you are accomplishing. As you will know, after my move, getting things organized has been one of my biggest priorities and, surprisingly, one might not realize how much work can be involved. As you often do, you gave me some ideas here that I can use. Especially the containers and the trolleys. Using the spice racks in the bathroom, and the way they become towel racks by flipping over is just genius. As always, I enjoyed the photos you included with this post. A nice variety for sure! Those are some neat macros ... the poppy is amazing! My favorite of the photos is the scene of the Rockies in Alberta. The sky photo is a close second! Wishing you a fine weekend ahead.

  5. Wow! You are super organized. I have those under the bed drawers that are see through. I love your Ikea trolleys. I must look those up online. I know where I could use those, most likely in my studio. Wonderful ideas! Beautiful images especially of the Rockies. Have a great weekend!

  6. You are a busy bee Penny you have organised so much and have inspired me to get my finger out. You have taken beautifully photos, love the poppy x

  7. Your photos are gorgeous and I love how organized your home is! :)

  8. Hello, Beautiful post. I love the sky shot, the pretty poppy and all the birds. The last bird is my favorite, so cute! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  9. i like the treetop egret. lovely poppy macro, too!

  10. Hello joyful,
    Thanks for leaving a kind comment on my blog :)
    The Moluccan cockatoo is what strikes me the most here, having had several breeding pairs in my aviaries !!!
    The very best parrot once hand raised!!

  11. I'm for anything that helps organize things! The egret is amazing among your wonderful photos.

  12. Hi Joyful! I love the idea of the spice rack in the bathroom, that's just inspired! It would give so much more room on the vanity!
    My favorite photo is of the Rocky Mountains. So majestic!
    You are inspiring me to do some organizing of my own. Thank you!

  13. Love the mountains, and the poppy macro! Sounds like you're doing a great job with your organizing!

  14. Wow!! Amazing!! I've been trying to clean out closets and organize also-- but your efforts put mine to shame!! It feels so good to clean out stuff and give it away to charity!! You are really on a roll!

    I love those ikea trolley carts-- they are awesome. I could use one in every room! I love the one that holds your sewing projects!!



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