This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Skout’s Honor. All opinions are 100% mine. I am not a dog person. I never have been. It’s like God just forgot to give me that little piece of my heart that thinks dogs are cute and cuddly no matter what they smell like…
Ok, I feel like the title of this post is slightly dramatic. But. These five simple storage and organization ideas have seriously changed and simplified our home. Whenever we moved into the 70’s Landing Pad, something happened to me. I got bit by the purge and organize bug. This bug bite though, was a welcome…
At some point during my adult lifetime, I feel I’ve become a professional yard saler in both having yard sales and going to them. Of course, I hit up yard sales almost any weekend I can, but I also usually have a yard sale or garage sale at least two times a year if not…
One Sunday a month, we make a pilgrimage to the Costco. It usually ends in me being quite frazzled because there were too many people there, Grunt Labor wanted to buy too much junk and we spent too much money. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Costco, but it can be stressful. One Sunday…
I’m not even gonna lie – I had to google what copper was supposed to look like to make sure I was just cleaning it and not stripping it off this cookie jar.
That’s how bad it was.
Or how pathetic I am.
I picked up this sweet little cookie jar (that has never once housed cookies, only applesauce pouches and fruit snacks) on a Goodwill excursion a few years back. It was actually a half-off Goodwill day and I found it at the end of the day for a whopping $3 so not only was I shocked it was still there, but it was a great deal.
I had originally thought I might spray paint it in order to cover up all the spots on it. I’m not sure what all the “spots” were as it didn’t look like rust, but I figured it was beyond the point of no return. Not wanting to loose the copper feel though, I left it as is on my counter for the past three years.
I’m really glad I never went crazy with the spray paint on it. Because it looks like this now…
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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at the kitchen table or been driving the car having a conversation with one of the part-time children about their day and all of a sudden they say, “So I told him my white mama would do it.”
Hold the phone.
Shut the front door.
You did what? What did you just volunteer me for child?
To buy ad space on a t-shirt.
To help sell peaches.
To makeover the locker room.
While there are countless more events to note in this department, today I would like to talk about the time I was volunteered to makeover a football locker room.
What had happened was…
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Instead of giving moms-to-be sweet cards about how wonderful life with their new baby will be, I often feel like I should instead give them a book of realistic things that will happen.
Not that life isn’t wonderful with a kid, but let’s be real.
There’s a lot of poop.
And spitting up.
And screaming and crying.
There are those times she will stomp her foot…at you.
And wave her finger in your face at the same time.
And it takes every ounce of your being not to smack her to next Tuesday and then kick her butt again on Wednesday.
There’s also the fact that your house no longer becomes yours anymore. Instead, it becomes the property of the kid and her entourage of Mr. Bear, a herd of horses, a dog conveniently named Dog and every known small stuffed animal that can be found at the Target Dollar spot.
And its not just inside of your house.
It extends into your yard.
Pretty soon, you’ll be making way for swing sets, little pink plastic cars, John Deere tricycles, every other mode of toddler transportation known to mankind and even their own little cedar house and car garage.
These are the things I feel each mother-to-be should be warned about.
Especially the stomping of the foot and waving of the finger. I mean, ain’t nobody got time for that.
And I haven’t even begun to talk about how we are supposed to find the time to clean up our houses and all the outdoor paraphernalia that our properties have gained since the arrival of the kid.
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About a month back, I drug the kids out of bed early one Saturday morning to go yard saleing.
Yes, saleing is a word.
That’s when I got the paper sorter that became a rainbow.
Before I found the paper organizer, well before I even got out of the neighborhood, I also found a leopard print rug for $5, a rattan side table for $2, and a mid-century modern chrome chair for $2.
We had to make a pit stop back home before proceeding with yard saleing.
The rug was in great shape, I had to fix a leg on the table, but I was worried that the chair might have been a total waste. It was waaaaaayyyy rusted….
If we’re being honest, and since I’m always honest with you, my house is not clean right now.
Its not clean at all.
May is a whirlwind of events for us and cleaning is not one of those events that tends to take place during the month.
Until there is a mad dash next Friday to clean right before the kid’s birthday party so that our guests don’t turn and run screaming out the door…
I can hear the circus talking to her therapist in ten years, “Everyone showed up for my birthday party that year, but then made a beeline for the door when they saw dust an inch thick and dried crusty milk on the floor. They took all their presents with them. I’ve never been the same since.”
Therapy is going to cost me a fortune.
So next week, to hopefully cut down on therapy costs, these are my best cleaning tips that I will actually do…well at least everywhere that guests will be… 😉
Typically, I leave the outdoor arena to Grunt Labor.
He is amazing at growing flowers.
He loves to keep the grass looking good.
He puts his heart and soul into our garden.
He’s currently working on building a new patio.
However, cleaning outdoors isn’t necessarily his thing.
That’s usually left to me – and that’s ok – especially when its as easy as it was to clean these concrete blocks.
Let me be the first to say that I am not a great house cleaner.
If you’ve been around here long enough, I’m sure you could have easily guessed that one.
Its not that I’m a bad house house cleaner, its just that I don’t do it often enough.
We don’t have week old food laying out on the kitchen counter or anything, but most days its questionable as to what the sticky substance on the countertop might be.
I’m just keeping it real, y’all.
However, when I do get around to cleaning – like I did yesterday so that I could take photos for an upcoming house tour that didn’t include gross sticky unknown substances – I clean my kitchen with one single thing. I call it my little mouse.
I am all about a pretty space.
I’m also all about a real life space.
The problem is that pretty + real life don’t always work together.
And real life tends to trump pretty everyday of the week.
I always struggle with finding that happy balance between pretty and real life in the kitchen.
Prime example: the chips will always live on top of the fridge. No, its not pretty, but that’s where we expect them to be, so that’s where they will always be come hell or high water unless we magically get more pantry or cabinet space…which I won’t hold my breath for.
That being said, these are my best kitchen ideas for merging real life and pretty.
Doritos bag on the refrigerator not included.
I am not a dog person.
I’m not really a pet person at all.
Some of you may have just decided to unsubscribe from my blog. I fully understand that not being very fond of pets, especially dogs, is considered to most very un-American.
You see, I was always skiddish around them when I was a kid – like even a small kid when you are supposed to love all cute and cuddly things. I’m past the skiddish part, but I cannot stand to be licked by a dog or have it up in my face.
And they smell. They totally have the smelliest farts in the history of the universe.
You know I’m right.
And then Grunt and I got together.
And he had two dogs.
That stayed inside the house most of the time.
And one that slept with him.
And I seriously considered whether or not I could marry a man who slept with a dog.
But then all those chocolate milks just won me over and I had to learn to deal, ok and love, the dogs.
I couldn’t deal with the dog sleeping with us though – that had to end. I have my limits.
And then the circus entered the picture.
And she was sharing her bottle with the dogs at six months old.
And crawling on their bed, wallowing around in it.
And I cringed.
And then for a solid year all she wanted to play with was her stuffed dogs and the real dogs.
My friend Ashley even mocked me for having a child that loved dogs when I detested them so much.
They aren’t kidding when they say God has a sense of humor.
I have come to somewhat love the dogs. Well, I love them because Grunt Labor and the kid love the dogs.
So the other night after dinner as I was straightening up the kid’s room and asking myself why a two year old just can’t pick up after herself, I stepped in something. Wet.
And I said, please sweet Lord Jesus, don’t let this be dog pee.
I got down on the floor and sniffed.
Remember how I said God has a sense of humor?
After a string of not-so-nice words, I decided to try something new on the pet accidents.
Let’s get one thing clear.
I am not an organization guru.
Heck, I’m not really a guru of any sorts. I just fly my freak flag and do what works.
I have my own weird methods for organizing and storing stuff.
For example, the kid has three different boxes in her room for small toys.
One holds things that could potentially be living: plastic dinosaurs, My Little Ponies, Smurf figurines, Little People, California Raisin figurines, etc.
I don’t know where I come up with this stuff either.
Or why I consider Smurfs and California Raisins to be potentially living things.
Another box holds non-potential living things: wooden blocks and plastic easter eggs.
I know, it makes no sense.
And the last box holds paper items: stickers and things to write on.
Shocking. One box actually makes sense.
See what I mean when I say that I do what works for me?
I knew you would get me – you’re my people.
This is my latest “what works for me” organizing method:
Color Coded Organization
And shockingly, this may actually make sense to more people than myself.
Every year, usually a day or two after Christmas, something very liberating happens at our house.
No bra burning.
No marches on the courthouse lawn.
I go through every nook and cranny of this house and I get rid of stuff.
Lots of stuff.
And it feels so good.
And then after I’ve went through every nook and cranny, I start selling all that stuff.
And I make a little money.
And that feels damn good.
This year, I wanted you to get in on the excitement of purging and finding money, so I whipped up this little printable to share what I do.
I am kicking myself, y’all.
I’ve spray painted and Rub ‘N Buffed so many pulls and knobs over the years – I had no idea how to clean them.
Don’t get me wrong – there are sometimes when you want a bold colored knob, but sometimes I just want that hardware restored to its former glory.
I had no clue how to restore hardware to its former glory though.
Until a few weeks ago.
Apparently, I have no shame.
None. At. All.
Because first I showed you just how dusty, dirty, and messy my house was and now I’m showing you just how disgusting Grunt Labor’s shower is was.
To be honest, we had both lost all hope for this shower. Since we moved into the beloved foreclosure, its always been in pretty rough shape. I have scrubbed it with every cleaner and scrub brush known to man and it would remove the surface gunk, but not much else. I thought it was just permanently gross.
I was wrong.
It took one single tool to clean this disgusting shower up.
I am almost ashamed to show you just how gross my sidewalk was.
But I know that you guys understand the concept of real life.
Real life that involves neglecting things such as the sidewalk while focusing on much more important and fun things such as a kitchen makeover or just chasing around the circus at the park.
When we bought the beloved foreclosure, the exterior was the last thing on our minds. It may not have been that pretty, but there was nothing wrong with it and we would have rather had a functional kitchen and bathroom rather than a pretty exterior.
So we didn’t really touch the exterior except for some painting on the porch and a semi-makeover on the screened-in porch.
This summer I kicked the screened-in porch up quite a few notches with a complete (and super colorful) makeover.
And then I looked at our sidewalk.
And realized just how disgustingly gross it was.
Let me be honest with you for a moment.
I am not a “Granola Mom”.
I am not the mom that is worrying about her child getting too dirty or even eating dirt for that matter. Yea, it happened once.
I don’t worry too much about scheduling playdates – she has the dog.
Yes, I let my child eat frozen foods and things that have all sorts of preservatives and all those other big words people say are bad for you all the time. I figure I turned out ok, so what harm is it going to do? I don’t let her veg out on cookies all day, but if she wants a frozen waffle for dinner, who am I to say no? She doesn’t want me to heat it up first? Whatever. I mean Nick ate frozen french fries as a child. He’s ok. Kind of.
And if all we have time for on the way to preschool is a Nutri-Grain bar that she’s eating as we walk out the door, so be it. In my defense, this kid loves fruit and she eats the heck out of it all the time. That has to count for something.
Furthermore, I am not usually a “Granola Cleaner.” Y’all, I’m from the South. Buying Ammonia by the case for spring cleaning was is commonplace. They just check your id to make sure you aren’t a Meth maker. I’m pretty sure the 80 year old lady with perfectly coifed hair driving a Cadillac isn’t a meth maker, but hey, who am I to say? Those Cadys are pretty big – it could be a mobile Meth lab. I personally haven’t ever used ammonia – can’t stand the smell – but I’ve seen multiple women walking out of the Dollar General loaded down with Ammonia in their buggies.
Let me be clear for a second, I am not hatin’ on the Granola Moms. In fact, I commend you. I bow down in your presence. You are a far better mom and homemaker than I ever will be. I’m just lazy. Its much easier to reach for the Spic ‘N Span than whip up some organic concoction.
I am happy to say that I am now a chemical-free floor cleanin’ fool.
Of course, I’m not whipping up any organic concoctions (I wouldn’t even know how to go about that), but I am using one chemical-free ingredient while cleaning my floors now.
Maybe you’ve figured out one of my dirty little secrets…
Ya know how when you see my dining room, you’ve never really seen the cushions on the chairs?
You may have seen a shot of the side of the chair seat, but not the whole thing.
They were gross. Way gross and way past their makeover due date.
But I have a two year old, so I didn’t really want to re-upholster them and have her destroy them again in 2.0 seconds.
I looked longingly at fabric swatches, impatiently waiting for the day when my dining room chairs could shine once more.
One day, I happened upon the tool that would make them shine – without worrying about stains. I discovered how to waterproof and repel stains on fabric.
It’s the new year, (Happy New Year by the way!) and everyone is ready to get their home (and life) organized! Around here, we have been purging like crazy and organizing as well! Here are 12 ideas for Organizing Your Home: You know you don’t wanna miss any of this crazy. Sign up to get…