Posts Tagged ‘Organization’

23

Hospitality – Upcycled Kitchen Island

Hospitality 23 Comments

The kitchen is the heart of the home and by definition should be the most well thought out area of your home.  After all, you spend most a lot of your time in this room and it is where you do some of your most important work nourishing body and soul.  It is a warm gathering place for family and friends.

As we focus on hospitality this month, I thought it would be fun to share with you a recent project completed by my family.  I really wanted some extra storage space in my kitchen and while watching television one evening, hubs and I saw the niftiest idea for creating a kitchen island.  What do you think? Read More

The kitchen is the heart of the home and by definition should be the most well thought out area of your home.  After all, you spend most a lot of your time in this room and it is where you do some of your most important work nourishing body and soul.  It is a warm […]

2

Buying A Freezer

Uncategorized 2 Comments

Last year around this time my rocket scientist hubby helped us out with a great post on on how to buy a generator.  This year we thought we would give you some information on purchasing a freezer.  After all, one of the primary goals we set for ourselves each month is to make a double batch of dinner twice per week for the freezer.  I for one, am quickly running out of freezer space!!  We currently have a chest freezer in the garage.  It is 5.1 cubic feet and for a family of four the storage is getting tight.  Daja has an upright freezer that is 20.6 cubic feet and she has plenty of room even for her soon-to-be family of ten.

Freezer Types:

upright freezerPhoto Credit

Upright freezers are better for organizing your food.  With shelves and drawers all the food is easily seen making it less likely you will lose forget items.  They don’t hold constant temperature as well as chest freezers especially on the door shelves.  Also, it’s important to know whether you are buying a manual or self-defrosting model.  Manual models are quieter and can be packed much more densely because they do not have the fans needed for circulating air like the self-defrosting models.

chest freezerPhoto Credit

Chest freezers are just that, chests, large open compartments where organization is more difficult.  Some do come with baskets to help hold your smaller items.  Chest freezers are generally better at keeping the cold air in because the door opens from the top and will keep your food longer in the event of a power outage.  Also, most reviews agree that chest freezers cause less freezer burn.  Most if not all chest freezers are manual defrost.  (Note:  Don’t be afraid of some frost build up.  As long as there isn’t so much that it’s cutting down on your storage space it’s fine.  And, if there is a power outage the extra ice in there will help keep the food cold longer.)

Things you want to consider when purchasing a freezer.

1.  Freezer capacities come in a wide range; compact (3-5 cubic feet,) small (6-9 cubic feet,) medium (10-18 cubic feet,) and large (19+ cubic feet.)  You will want to choose the best size for your usage and size of your family.  Daja shared that her freezer is full now but large enough for her day-to-day needs.  If she wanted to invest in a side of beef she would need an extra freezer just for storing that.  My compact freezer is very small, probably the same size as my refrigerator freezer so I have to keep more things (flour and various grains) in dry storage than I would like.

2.  Where will it be located?  Either inside your home or in a garage you will want to measure the area.  The location will probably dictate whether you can fit a chest or upright freezer.  Don’t forget to take into account the space required for the door to open.  Also, make sure you measure the door where you will be bringing the freezer into your home.  Nothing like having the freezer delivered and then can’t fit it through the door!

3.   Energy savings!  This is a very important category.  Unfortunately, the information on the “yellow” tag at the store isn’t always very accurate.  I would highly recommend purchasing a consumer report on freezers before you buy.  That being said there are few things you can do to help your freezer be more energy efficient.  First, if it is in the garage try to place it on an interior/shared wall with the inside of the house and farther away from the garage door itself.  This will help decrease temperature fluctuations.  Secondly, an empty freezer takes more energy to run.  If you are slowly building your food stores, try keeping water filled milk jugs inside the freezer until you have more food.  Third, defrost and clean your freezer if there is a large build up of frost.  Unfortunately large amounts of ice build up do decrease the freezers efficiency.

After you have purchased your freezer, make sure you download our helpful organizing tools.  After you go through the effort of cooking and storing food the last thing you want to do is forget about it!

Disclaimer:  I used pictures directly from the Best Buy website and have included the links to the items.  We are not affiliated with Best Buy and do not endorse these particular products specifically.

(Linked to Fight Back FridaySimply Natural Saturdays, Manic Monday and Frugally Sustainable.)

Last year around this time my rocket scientist hubby helped us out with a great post on on how to buy a generator.  This year we thought we would give you some information on purchasing a freezer.  After all, one of the primary goals we set for ourselves each month is to make a double […]

5

Spring Cleaning: Tiny Things That Make a BIG Difference

Blog 5 Comments

The tradition of Spring Cleaning finds its roots in the Jewish tradition of Bedikat Chametz.  This is the deep cleaning a house receives before the observance of Passover.  The house is practically turned upside down to ferret out any leaven.  In a Jewish household every cupboard is emptied, ever cushion checked under, every piece of furniture moved for a thorough cleaning.  Over time this found its way into the greater culture as “Spring Cleaning.”  And what better time for a deep clean anyway?!  We’ve been spending a lot of time indoors over the winter and concentrating on various projects and so many different holidays.  Spring is a perfect time for making all things new and freshening up!  That way you can rest in the knowledge that the house is deeply cleaned and decluttered, freeing you to really enjoy the sunny outdoor months!  More time for gardening, grilling out, taking walks, and all that is lovely about Spring and Summer.

For a busy household like ours we are often in maintenance mode.  We get the bathrooms cleaned, sheets changed, floors mopped weekly, right?  But there are those other jobs we hardly ever find time for.  They are little things, but they make a huge difference!

This doesn’t need to be a burden on the homemaker.  Everyone can get in on the Spring Cleaning action–from the oldest to the youngest!  Here are a collection of jobs appropriate for even the little members of your household!

1. Clean out the silverware drawer.  It’s amazing where crumbs hide!

2. Dust (and clear off if that ends up being a place you stash stuff) the top of the refrigerator.

3. Disinfect door knobs and light switches.

4. Carry all the houseplants outside and fertilize them with some fish emulsions.  (You really do want to do this job OUTSIDE.)

5. Organize the cupboard or drawer where you keep the reusable plastic containers (aka Tupperware).  How does that place get disorganized so quickly?!

6. When the kids aren’t looking sort through all their “art work” and school papers.  Keep what’s sentimental and toss the rest.  Just don’t let them see you do it!

How Daja keeps her seven kids' masterpieces contained.

How Daja keeps her seven kids’ masterpieces contained.

7. Deodorize all the drains (bathtubs and sinks).  Here’s how I do it:

  1. Put one cup of baking soda in the drain.
  2. Add one cup vinegar.  Let set for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour boiling water in the sink until it is all rinsed away!

8. Match all the unmatched socks.  Am I the only one who has tons of socks in a basket “to be matched”?  Match all of them.  Any left over?  THROW THEM AWAY or add them to the rag bin.  (Save the cute ones so the little kids can make sock puppets.)

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Daja and her endless supply of socks. Nine people times two feet times seven days in a week. You do the math. That’s a lot of socks in the week’s laundry!

9. Empty the crumb tray in the toaster.  Let your little kids feed the crumbs to the birds!

10. Dust the baseboards.  Good job for little people who don’t have to bed down quite so far.

11. Go through the spice cabinet and toss everything that is expired or has sat there so long it no longer has flavor.

12. Vacuum under the couch cushions.  Whatever lose change you find is yours!  Finders keepers!

13. Change everyone’s toothbrushes.

14. Clean all the brushes and combs.  Fill a sink with hot soapy water and a few drops of tea tree oil.  Let them soak for about 30 minutes.  Then, using a comb, scrape them all clean of fuzz and hair.  Dry on a towel.

15. Clean out under everyone’s bed.  Might find some long-lost treasures.  At the very least you can sweep or vacuum up all those dust bunnies!

16. If your house is anything like ours DVDs and CDs are chronically in the wrong case or worse in no case at all.  This is a good job for a child.  Return all the discs to the correct cases.  Then place neatly back on their shelf or drawer.

17. Clean out your purse, wallet and make-up bag.

18. Launder and put away all the winter blankets, coats, hats, etc.  (Assuming Spring has actually come to your neck of the woods!  If not, review our tips for staying warm!)

Picture 186

19. Launder all the bed pillows.  Or if it can be worked into the budget, it may be time to replace them with fresh pillows.

20. Sort through the children’s books.  Consider donating the books they have outgrown to the local library or another family with young children.

HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!!!

HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!!!

(Linked to Wise Woman Link-UpHope In Every Season Link-Up, Natural Living Link-Up)

HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!!!

The tradition of Spring Cleaning finds its roots in the Jewish tradition of Bedikat Chametz.  This is the deep cleaning a house receives before the observance of Passover.  The house is practically turned upside down to ferret out any leaven.  In a Jewish household every cupboard is emptied, ever cushion checked under, every piece of […]

16

“Radiant! Inside & Out” an ebook for your children!

Books & Resources 16 Comments

(Get the ebook here!)

Easter and Passover are just around the corner!  Are you ready?

Parents, are you constantly looking for ways to make holidays more meaningful for your family?  Things that lift the spirit from just bunnies, eggs, and chocolate to the glory and beauty at the root of our Holy Days?  Things that plant our focus on the Lord and His Redemptive plan for the whole world?

We have a resource for you! Read More

(Get the ebook here!) Easter and Passover are just around the corner!  Are you ready? Parents, are you constantly looking for ways to make holidays more meaningful for your family?  Things that lift the spirit from just bunnies, eggs, and chocolate to the glory and beauty at the root of our Holy Days?  Things that […]

9

72-Hour Kit Challenge

Goals | Preparedness 9 Comments

Welcome back to our Big Girl 72-Hour Kit Challenge!

Last week we challenged you to plan out your 72-Hour Food Kits.  These are the kits we all should have neatly stored away for the first three days of an emergency.  If you have been following along with Daja and me, we have spent the last year increasing our food stores through freezing extra meals, buying in bulk and putting up foods by canning.  These are all great, and perfect for the unexpected job loss, illness or food shortage, but what if you suddenly had an earthquake and your house was no longer stable, or God-forbid there was another attack on American soil but this time in your city and you had to evacuate immediately?  This is when these little kits would be absolutely priceless!  We want to be like the sons of Isachaar who were credited as men who understood the  signs of the times and knew what to do.  (1 Chronicles 12:32)  Simply, we want to be prepared for anything. Read More

72-hour food kit

Welcome back to our Big Girl 72-Hour Kit Challenge! Last week we challenged you to plan out your 72-Hour Food Kits.  These are the kits we all should have neatly stored away for the first three days of an emergency.  If you have been following along with Daja and me, we have spent the last […]

0

Emergency Preparedness Checklist & A Reader Challenge

Blog | Preparedness No Comments

Here in Southern California we are in windy season.  The Santa Ana winds blow offshore and usually bring much warmer weather since they blow from the direction of the Mojave Dessert.  I actually really like them as I feel something sort of magical in them.  They can be extremely destructive as was the case last December when most of our area lost power for a week due to downed trees and power lines.  We had many friends with a lot of damage to their homes.  It was at this point Daja and I felt like it was time to get organized about preparing for “life’s happenings.”  Over the past 11 months we have diligently been putting away our stores for those unexpected events that are inevitable in this life.  This month in particular we thought it would be good to give you a simple checklist of items we all should have around.  The list also will help you track where these items are located so there is no panic in an emergency. Read More

Emergency Checklist

Here in Southern California we are in windy season.  The Santa Ana winds blow offshore and usually bring much warmer weather since they blow from the direction of the Mojave Dessert.  I actually really like them as I feel something sort of magical in them.  They can be extremely destructive as was the case last […]

0

Help For Your New Year’s Resolutions!

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Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Better question: do you KEEP New Year’s Resolutions?

Here’s some past posts we thought might be helpful in helping you accomplish your goals for 2013!!! Read More

Impossible

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Better question: do you KEEP New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s some past posts we thought might be helpful in helping you accomplish your goals for 2013!!!

0

10 Day Give: DAY EIGHT!

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Who gets the beautiful felt flower with vintage-style button?

CHELSEA WIPF!!

CONGRATULATIONS!

Now on to today’s give away.

This one is for EVERYONE of you our dear readers and friends!

We all can us a little art to brighten our day so we’ve put this free printable together as way to say thank you for all the love and support you send our way.  All we ask is before you download and print, please  become a follower or subscriber of our blog and like us on Facebook.  Easy-peasy!

Download your free printable here, for your personal use and enjoyment.

(Linked to Motivational Mondays)

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Who gets the beautiful felt flower with vintage-style button? CHELSEA WIPF!! CONGRATULATIONS! Now on to today’s give away. This one is for EVERYONE of you our dear readers and friends! We all can us a little art to brighten our day so we’ve put this free printable together as way to say thank you for […]

7

Get Organized!

Blog 7 Comments

One of our goals for August is to look ahead to the Fall and make some organizational plans.  This is the perfect time of year to make sure the school room is tidy and appealing, the herbal medicine cabinet is fully stocked and ready for cold and flu season, the pantry is ready for the upcoming Fall and Winter holidays, and so much more!  Certainly we aren’t going to get it all accomplished in August, but we at least have to make a plan for tackling each area when those lazy days of summer come to a close!  To inspire you, we would like to introduce you to Janet of Do It–Downsize, Organize, It’s Time!  What does she do you ask?  She’s a professional organizer!  She takes other people’s messy places and makes them places of beauty and peace.  In other words, you might call her a miracle worker. Read More

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One of our goals for August is to look ahead to the Fall and make some organizational plans.  This is the perfect time of year to make sure the school room is tidy and appealing, the herbal medicine cabinet is fully stocked and ready for cold and flu season, the pantry is ready for the […]

0

Making a Safe Decision

Blog | Preparedness No Comments

(Written by Daja’s husband!)

My wife’s goal for April was to make copies of all our important documents and to store them in the safe.  (The safe I purchased for the family with LAST YEAR’S tax refund, but was still empty this year.  Yeah, that one.)  It’s a worthy goal.

I thought I would share a little about the process of choosing and purchasing a safe for your home. Read More

Image source.

(Written by Daja’s husband!) My wife’s goal for April was to make copies of all our important documents and to store them in the safe.  (The safe I purchased for the family with LAST YEAR’S tax refund, but was still empty this year.  Yeah, that one.)  It’s a worthy goal. I thought I would share […]