Tackling a Trouble Zone: Kitchen Pantry

It’s time for me to tackle another trouble zone in our house! Do you have a spot where clutter builds up or the way you put stuff away just isn’t working? We have several of them and I’m taking the time to show you how I’m attempting to clean out and reorganize these areas to make them functional for our family of seven. A few weeks ago I spent a couple hours tackling our front hall closet and so far it’s still working for us!

This time I decided the pantry was in dire need of an overhaul. It’s far too easy to keep buying new food and shoving it in wherever it will fit instead of where it makes sense. Not to mention as we buy things the older food gets pushed to the back and forgotten about. Our pantry isn’t huge by any means but it still has spots where little things go hiding. 

Tackling a Trouble Zone: Front Hall Closet

The front hall closet often becomes a drop and run zone. Without decluttering and organizing on a regular basis it can become overwhelming – like it did for us. See how I got it back to a more manageable state and find some tricks and tools that can help your front closet stay organized as well! #coatclosetorganization #shoestorage #closet #decluttering #organization

Why you need a daily schedule – and how to create one

Do you have a general idea of what you are going to do each day or do you simply wing it and hope things go well? 

I like to think of myself as a “fly by the seat of my pants” type of person but in actuality I’m very much a planner. I’m the type of person that looks at a menu for the restaurant we are going to a week in advance so I can see what my options are and possibly decide what I’m going to order. I love menu planning and creating our weekly grocery lists. I had notebooks filled with planned out ideas for 5, 10, and 20 year reunions with my core group of childhood friends (none of those events happened but they were fun to think about!) and don’t even get me started on vacation planning! So while I can easily change plans and do things spontaneously I find having a plan and idea of what’s to come very comforting. 

Hour by Hour – A picture post through my day

Ever wondered what typical my day looks like? No? Too bad, ha! But seriously, I thought it would be super fun to take a picture every hour, on the hour, to show what I do all day. I started at 6am and finished at 9pm. I was up later than that but by 10pm I was lying in bed and figured it was good enough. 

I realized after taking these pictures that this isn’t a super accurate representation of my day. Nearly every picture features me cleaning – that is SOOO not what I spend my days doing! But I did this the first day after our house was returning to normal post-strep. Micah was back at work, the kids were at school, and I was no longer feeling like total crap. So I went a little nuts trying to get the house put back together after nearly a week of not being able to do anything more than the absolute BARE minimum. 

With that said, let’s take a look at what I was doing at the top of every hour in my day!

8 tips for having a successful morning (even with young kids)

Now that the school year is winding down I’m pretty proud of the morning routine we’ve established. It took a few hiccups and some trial and error during the beginning of the school year to make sure things fell into place but we seem to have found a routine that works for us. 

I really believe the key to a successful morning begins the night before. In fact, ours starts as early as the afternoon before!

1. Pack lunches the day before (the kids can probably do this!)

Once the big boys get home from school they unpack their lunch bags and repack them almost immediately. They are in charge of their own lunches and have been all year. As a kindergartner and first grader we saw no reason why they shouldn’t be making their own simple lunches. We have a basket in the pantry filled with snacks they are allowed to take (fruit snacks, granola bars, crackers, etc), a basket on the counter filled with fruit, often there are cheese sticks and yogurt tubes in the fridge, and sandwich supplies are always available. They know how to layer some ham and cheese on bread and put it in bags, Then they grab two healthy choices and one treat, throw them in their lunch bags, and put the bags in the fridge. Done. One less thing to think about in the morning. 

2. Set up any clothes/diapers/bags/etc.

Three of our kids pick out their own clothes but the little boys obviously don’t. Plus we use cloth diapers. I try and have any outfits needed, and their diapers set up, before I put them down for the night. This way I’m not trying to assemble a diaper while a kid is on the changing table or trying to decide what to dress them in when I need to be loading them into the car.

This also includes backpacks, shoes, sweatshirts, diaper bags, what have you. We have hooks for the backpacks down by the boys’ room and each kid has a cube cubby in the closet by the front door for sweatshirts and shoes. There are many that find homes elsewhere but it’s slowly clicking that the cubes are where those items belong. If it’s not there it’s a good chance to remind the child where things belong and why they have a home. 

16 Best Buys at Sam’s Club

There is a constant battle between Sam’s Club vs. Costco in the online (and maybe real) world. Many people seem very passionate about which company they choose to be a part of and why their club is the better choice. Us? We are Sam’s Club members because when we got married MIcah was already a member. At that point there wasn’t a Costco in the area so we didn’t have a choice. 

Sometime in the last five years(?) a Costco got built and we’ve still yet to check it out. Maybe someday. But for now? We love our Sam’s membership (hello seven person household!) and we have our staple items that we never, or at least very rarely, buy anywhere else. What are they?