Category Archives: Home Management

End of October Update

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Hello Lovelies,

Well, I’m not writing as much as I want too, but I’ve been a busy bee lately!  I’ve been tackling numerous areas at once and doing many different things.  So this post is more of a hodge podge of stuff.  LOL

I’m been using my home management binder more and more, adding categories and really tailoring it to fit ME and my home.  More about my home management binder here.  So far, I think I need a 2.5″ binder instead of the 1″ I have, its busting out! I’ve added another set of tabs for things like church, contracts, passwords, college, work (401k, health insurance, W-2, reviews etc.), and others.  I need to get a three hole punch as I’m using the one from work.  I bring my binder to work with me everyday so as I poke around the internet and browse what others have included in their binders, I can insert the pages.  I often think to myself, WOW! these moms have waaaaaay too much time on their hands. LOL!  but then again, I have NO idea on what being an at home mom entails.  I never had the privilege nor desire to stay home.  I’d shoot someone I think. HAHA!

I began writing To Do lists each week of things I want to accomplish over the upcoming weekend.  Some I actually get done and other’s I don’t.  One thing I’ve been procrastinating on is my walk-in closet.  I want to purge some clothes and donate them to Goodwill.  I notice that 3/4 of what I have, I don’t wear.  I got an idea off Pinterest to utilize old T-shirts, tear then in strips and create rag rugs.  I think that is exactly what I will do and then put on my porch in front of my garden.

I have been re-organizing hitting every cabinet, room, and drawer in the place, going to the Goodwill’s in the area and Dollar Tree, .99 Store, Dollar General just scoping out what they have and where to find the most variety.  Nothing my son enjoys but it makes for an amazing Saturday morning with Dunkin Donuts in hand.  =)

I had painters come to our apartments this past week and they moved all the pots and containers, through my whole porch off.  It irritated me!  I put it all back one night only to have them two days later move everything again!  For some reason my cucumbers aren’t growing and the leaves have all turned a shade of yellow.  My pothos plant I kept inside isn’t doing well, but I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that my windows have been open for almost a month and I’ve kept the AC off.  I don’t know but its on its last few green leaves, the rest have yellowed and fallen off.  My tomato plants are almost hip high now which makes me very excited, little yellow flowers have budded…just waiting on tomatoes.  My snap peas have still not developed but I am hopeful.  I got wired trellis’ from the .99 Store and used them for my tomato and snap pea plants.  They’ve worked well and are super cute! This would be my first season of “trying” to garden and really try at it.  My goal is to accumulate pots and containers over the winter, pre-sprout seeds over the winter inside for planting early Spring.  Then I can be ahead of the game instead of late in the season like this year.

I haven’t been able to touch any debt yet which has been disappointing.  My rent is going up starting in November, I needed an oil change, new front tires, new brakes, renewed my registration and renewed my renter’s insurance.  Half which were not budgeted for.  It seemed once my brakes started grinding the rest followed.  Now my poor car has to be brought to the dealer within the next 2k miles to have the already slipping transmission looked at.  Thank god that my warranty is still active this I have 2k miles to get it in there.  After Christmas I hope to be full speed ahead.  I don’t forsee anything arising but you will never know! Lol

Hopefully shortly, I will be getting rid of Facebook, dwindling down to one email, and will only have my blog and my phone.  Less stress is the name of this game and I WILL WIN!

The Organizing Fool I’ve Become!

So lately I’ve been getting addicted to YouTube.  I watch it almost daily.  I found this woman who is a new  mama, is a teacher, and a thrift store junkie.  Doitonadime is her name on YouTube and she is amazing!  I’ve learned so many tips and tricks from her.  I’ve used a lot of her techniques in my home.  She shops primarily at Dollar Tree and Goodwill using decor, bins, baskets, gadgets, and useful items to organize her home, streamline her home/cleaning/family, and make things just plain easy.  On one of her videos she does a home tour.  Check that out!!  Her home is gorgeous! and almost all is DIY or thrift store bargains.

I’ve copied some of her videos and have done the following this past weekend:

  • Organized under my sink
  • Organized my junk drawer
  • Organized my fridge (including lined my shelves with pretty placemats)
  • Created a Life Station on my kitchen counter like she does on the side of her fridge (bills/home management binder/office essentials)
  • Created a coffee station (im an addict so this makes sense for me)
  • Purged my closets
  • Organized my bathroom cabinets
  • Added decor to my home from Goodwill
  • Use a lot of products she did reviews for from Dollar Tree

I also search on Pinterest too for neat ideas.  I want to try covering the front doors of my fridge with pretty patterned contact paper.  I’ll post pics of that when I find paper I like.

Clutter in our lives creates unnecessary chaos and makes you feel overwhelmed when you look around your home.  By organizing and spending as little money as possible doing it, makes me feel I’ve basically got my shit together!  and that my friend……is GOLD as a single mama! =)

***pictures of what I’ve done so far -coming soon!

Just My Thoughts…

Good Morning Fellow Mama’s,

I did a lot of thinking last night.  While I often, almost always, think way too much, I did reflect on the past year for quite a while.  When I started my journey last summer, it was because I finally had closure.  My divorce, while in the end was an amicable one, wasn’t the case last June.  After 5 months of separation, we decided that we wanted to try again and see if we couldn’t make it work.  My son was in Boston for summer vacation and this was our perfect opportunity.  To my surprise, we ended it late June with a physical bout of just anger.  We were done!  Too much anger, resentment, and too much emotion for us to ever work healthily.  That day, we became ugly people.  It was the closure I needed desperately.  My misery and oh woe is me attitude lasted about two weeks.  Mid July, I woke up one day and said ENOUGH!

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By September, I wrote my post on minimizing.  I needed to make my entire life different.  I needed to start over and start over MY WAY!  Though the next few months, I read blogs, read articles, websites, watched You Tube videos and learned a lot.  I started implementing things little by little, perfecting them as I go.  Most all I still have set in place and much more I want to do.

But sitting on my porch last night I was thinking how all these changes have impacted me and my life.  By cooking from scratch and going back to basics, I’ve learned control.  It’s not as easy to snack and binge if the food isn’t made!  It’s not easy leaving the house to get a burger if there is no money left in the budget.  And by making things myself I learned portion control because ultimately I’m making enough for a few meals.  By the time I’m done cooking, I’m tired, I haven’t sat down yet after a long work day, I just don’t have that IM STARVING appetite.  I enjoy sitting with my son discussing our day and rarely finish my plate.  To date, I’ve lost 13lbs in the past two months. No beer, no fast food, no eating out, no soda, nothing pre-packaged, nothing frozen except what I made.

I am also more organized.  My house runs like clock work.  We are on time for the most part, things have their place, I now have my home management binder, my grocery plan, cooking plan, cabinets are organized for finding things easily.  I LOVE coming home after work now where as before I dreaded it. I couldn’t be alone…ever!  Now, I stay occupied and busy.  A lot of what was adding to my insanity was my house was a mess.  Not a mess as far as clutter and crap lying everywhere, I had piles in corners, closet full of clothes that didn’t fit, the trunk of my car was full of useless crap I could throw away, my son still had a toy box LOL at 11 years old full of toys, my home just needed an overhaul.  I kept a lot of things because it was the only thing during my marriage I could control.  It made me happy to know I “chose” to hold on to things and they stayed.  Letting go of these things gave me a sense of relief.  A huge weight lifted on my shoulders and I could finally breathe.  I highly recommend doing this every few months.  You won’t be disappointed and it will revamp your life and give you the boost you need if you fall off the frugal wagon a bit.  It was my turning point.

I’m also genuinely happy!  My organization, money-saving, and budget skills are doing a number on my happiness meter!  I’m not running ragged.  I’m ONE mama, who has ONE kid, on ONE income, and I’m only ONE person.  It’s hard as hell.  But maintaining a schedule by way of my binder, Cozi app on my phone, and my pocket calendar, I can stay on top of things, plan them out, create a routine and get everything done.  It’s been a lifesaver.  I’m no longer absolutely exhausted.

In closing, a happy mama is a happy kid.  Our attitude rubs off on our children.  If we are happy, they are happy as they feed off our energy.  By my organizing my life and my home, developing strategies that make being mom doable, I can have a calmer demeanor for my son.  He is less agitated and less anxious.  With his ADHD this is a huge accomplishment for both him and I.  He is picking up some skills along the way too and is finding that my homemade food tastes a thousand times better than the grocery store equivalent.

So far so good, but we are becoming ONE HAPPY HOME =)

Just my thoughts…

Home Management Binder

I’ve watched a TON of videos regarding a home management binder, a home brain, kitchen bible, you name it!  I decided finally that I would try it.  Who knows if it will work, but it’s worth a shot.  I’ve printed a lot online and just Googled “free printable xxxxx” and whatever I was looking for in place of the xxxxx.

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I have a 1″ binder with sheet protectors, 5 tabs, and 2 folders. I have the following inside my binder.

  • 1 Subject Notebook
  • Auto/Vehicle history – so I can keep track of when I put new tires on, maintenance, oil changes, warranty info etc.
  • Goal Sheet – To write down my short-term and long-term goals
  • Financial Section – I wrote down my budget for everything!  I use this in conjunction with MINT an app on my phone that maintains my budget.
    • Copies of my bank statement and Social Security Statement
    • Monthly budget worksheet
    • Copy of Dave Ramsies SnowBall Method (brief overview)
  • Emergency Contact Sheet
  • In Case of Emergency Sheet – I put all emergency info such as police, fire, hospital name, poison control etc.
  • Medical Info Sheet – Doctor contact info, medication my son is on
  • Birthday Sheet – Sheet with 12 months so I can keep track of birthday’s
  • Laundry Stain Guide – Natural remedies for common stains
  • Kitchen Measurement Guide
  • Ingredient Substitutions Guide
  • Pantry Inventory – Listing out all the basics I should have on hand and how many
  • Freezer/Fridge Storage Guide – Tells me how long I can safely keep things
  • Weekly Cleaning Schedule – So I can space out my cleaning and keep it more manageable
  • Passwords Sheet – To write down my passwords/sites for everything
  • School Section – To keep all the paper’s my son brings home organized so I can keep track plus his school calendar, shot record, IEP Plan
  • Seed Schedule – When I start my seeds for my herbs and veggies I can log them with a start date, sprout date, etc to help me keep track.
  • Recipe Section – My favorite household staples like detergent, bread, butter etc.
  • Envelope for receipts until I can log them in MINT and properly categorize them
  • Contracts – For my sons band rental, car insurance, renters insurance

The inside pouch on the inside cover I labeled “Take Care of Me First” with a sharpie.  I put all upcoming bills here.

I’m going to try this for a few months, add things, take out things, and really make this my own.  I also have a $1 planner I got from the Dollar Store to keep in my purse and I have Cozi on my phone linked to my son’s phone to stay on track of our calendar.

Review to come shortly…..gimme a few months!