Whelmed, Over

I sort of accidentally sold my house.

See, the grand plan was to live here until it was time for KB to head to kindergarten, then we’d move to a better school district. We wouldn’t really need to move until high school time, but if we know it’d need to happen now, we might as well start in the right track.

Then some city-wide construction plans were released, and while they’ll be great for the area when they’re finished, they’d be happening right when we were trying to move and selling a house amidst construction sounded like a terrible idea.

So I casually put the word out we were going to put our house on the market soon and before I knew it we were signing a contract. Fast-forward all the things.

house sale contract

We’re fortunate things worked out so quickly, but holy wow. Even before it sold I was completely and utterly overwhelmed with the prospect of moving. I know we won’t end up really far away or in a completely new city, but we will be farther away than we ever have been from our life as we know it and the prospect is terrifying, overwhelming, and anxiety-inducing. We won’t be near our friends, our activities, our favorite spots.

hiking with toddler

I know things will work out fine. I know being in a good school district is more important {to us} than other more frivolous things, but it’s still hard to swallow. I know I will adapt once things actually happen, but right now, we have a closing date with no good prospects of a new house or even what part of town. The not knowing and the what-if’s and the I-don’t-know’s are killing me. Let’s not even talk about the fact that we’ll be leaving our first home, the one we put blood, sweat, and tears into, the one we brought our baby home to. Cue all the tears. I know, I’m being dramatic. I’m allowed.

There’s really no point to this post except eep yikes. That’s what’s happening right now…

{and in the middle of the chaos a certain little someone turned 3!}

Smart Thinking Lifestyle Tips: Get Organized!

Thanks to Tervis for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website http://www.tervis.com to learn more about the world’s first smart cup.

While the husband was off on a 3-day, 3-rounds-of-golf boys weekend for a friend’s 30th birthday, I got to stay home and do really fun things like switch the contents of all the closets in the house to make room for baby things. {Who came up with this deal?}

I have this weird thing where nice, clean, organized spaces literally calm and soothe me. Even looking at a picture of an obsessively organized space puts a smile on my face. Of course this meant I couldn’t just toss stuff in the new closet; I had to have it meticulously organized.

organized office space

So why is this a problem? No matter how much I love organized spaces, and no matter how happy they make me, I just can’t keep up with them. Somehow every room in my house eventually ends up a disaster zone. I blame the husband- mostly because he’s not here to defend himself. Winking smile

Since we already don’t like keeping things clean and tidy, I can’t imagine what will happen when we add a newborn to the mix. I can guess that picking up and cleaning won’t be high up on the priority list. It’s time to implement some new strategies- an all out preemptive strike against the mess.

Here’s a few organizing strategies I already use that actually work {most of the time}. Now I just need to figure out some for the rest of the house.

My top three strategies to keep an organized home:

1. Figure out what makes the biggest messes in your house. For us, it’s mail. {More like junk that comes into the house that we don’t want.} I had a nice little mail station set up in the kitchen as soon as we moved in, only it didn’t work. Our mail either never made it that far in the house, or it didn’t fit.

Solution? Build an all out command center as close the front door as possible. I cut down magazine boxes to create individual removable file sections.

mail center for organizing paper clutter

“Act” for things that need something done to them, like bills, “read” for magazines, “file” for things we need to save, and “taxes” because I set this up around tax season last year and needed somewhere to put all the important papers coming in. Winking smile

The rack below has baskets for coupons and samples. The grocery list is hanging on the door, so the grocery list and coupons are right in the same place when I’m walking out the door.

command center

There’s also all the supplies we need to mail things: stamps, envelopes, address labels, pens, and an address book.

And the most important part of the mail center? The recycle bin. Most of the mail gets directly tossed, so it only made sense to make it easy to get rid of.


The same strategy works for any room. In my bathroom, the culprit was my jewelry. Now my necklaces have their own space hanging on a bulletin board in my closet where I get dressed.

home organization tips

jewlery organization

organizing tips


2. Keep like things together. Every extra step you have to take is an opportunity for something not to happen or get put away. One of the first things I do every morning is make coffee. Having the coffee pot, coffee, filters, sweeteners and mugs all within arms reach makes it easier to put everything back where it belongs. Plus, it saves a few precious minutes when you don’t have to walk back and forth around the kitchen opening cabinets.

kitchen organization tips


3. Bins and baskets. A great rule of thumb to keep your house organized is to put everything away as soon as you walk in the door. Sounds great, but what are the chances of that actually happening every time? Not good in our house. Instead, we have baskets or bins of some sort for all of the things that tend to accumulate.

Labeled boxes for the pantry to keep haphazardly tossed-in food in check.

SoS1 (500x333)

Baskets for the travel coffee mug lids we always seem to lose otherwise and for food samples like nut butters and greens powders that would otherwise litter the counter.

get organized

There’s a basket as soon as you walk in the door for all the things you tend to drop when you walk in exhausted, like purses, shoes and umbrellas.

I won’t keep listing them, but there’s really baskets and bins everywhere- even in closets and bathrooms.


What are some strategies you use? Help me stay organized!


I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Tervis, visit their website http://www.tervis.com.

And Then There Was a Porch

One of my favorite ways to spend a spring morning is sitting outside on the deck with a mug of coffee, maybe a bowl of oatmeal or stack of pancakes, and read in the early morning quiet.

Only for the last 6 weeks, prime spring-time, our deck has been out of commission. {And our neighbors look at me funny if I sit on the front steps in my PJs.} I’ve been missing those few minutes of solitude before the day starts, but it’s been for a good reason.

We’re building a screen porch!

Sort of. We’re screening in our deck and calling it a screened in porch. That’s pretty much the same thing, right?

It’s been a long process. Though we’re not quite finished, the end is in sight!

deck building supplies


old deck


Demo was by far the best part of the project.

deck demo

Walls and rafters going up.

building walls and rafters

Lots of measuring, re-measuring, and cutting. {We only cut one board upside down. And by we I don’t mean me.}

wood cutting saw

We worked hard getting the ceiling up, and almost as hard pulling it down when we realized it was indoor only material. But ceiling v2 {the wood looking one} was far better than ceiling v1 {the white one}.

installing porch ceiling

Finally it was time for painting. And the best part…screening!

screening in prochIMG_2554

After {so far}:

screened in porch progress

We’ve trimmed the outside of the screen since this picture, but still need to put up a new door {it broke during painting}, work on the patio at the bottom of the stairs, and finish the flooring. I vote keeping it wood and putting down a rug. The husband wants indoor/outdoor carpet. Any guesses whose gonna win that battle?

{Hint: it likely won’t be me. I already lost the “paint the house yellow battle” and “paint the ceiling blue like Charleston porches battle”.