Throw Out 50 Things

Have you ever had a day when you finally notice how cluttered your house is? You open your closet and a couple of shoe boxes fall on you. Or you struggle to open the junk drawer in your kitchen. Maybe you’re looking for stamps in your desk and come across what feels like a billion pens.

Clutter is so frustrating!

It makes you wonder why you have so much stuff to begin with. For a second you may ponder ditching it all and taking up the minimalist lifestyle. Never fear, there is a sweet spot between too much stuff and owning next to nothing.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite books:

Throw Out 50 Things

If you’re looking for a book with a detailed guide on how to organize, move along because this isn’t the book for you. However, if you want to de-clutter by means of letting things go, then BINGO, this book will help you do it.

The premise of the book is right there in the title, and that might sound easy until you get right down to it and realize all the rooms in your house to go through.

Bedroom – Bathroom – Kitchen – Living Room – Dining Room – Attic – Garage

Since I live in an apartment, I don’t have that many rooms, but let me share with you a space that I worked on. The linen closet. I don’t have that many linens, it’s just me and my husband, so we also store medicine, bath and beauty products in there.

BEFORE:

2017-04-06 Linen Closet Before

Ouch, that hurts to look at. The sad part is that it looked even worse in person. There were so many lotions and unused/expired bath products. I couldn’t find the Aleve even though it was right up front, it was cluttered with the rest of the medicines. My favorite part was my hotel stash, I had four freezer bags full of them! Shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and body wash. If that wasn’t a cry for help, then surely saving a bunch of prescription bottles was.

Are you ready to see the results of the purge?

AFTER:

2017-04-06 Linen Closet After

Unbelievable, am I right? Where did everything go? Short answer, the trash. I took nearly everything out, looked it over, and decided if I’d use it in the next year, could I donate it, or was it better to be trashed? The answer was almost always trash. I had to confer with my husband on a few things, but he was surprised how quickly I slashed through this project. Also, there were two heavy trash bags to take out.

Let’s look at a smaller project.

I recently set up a vanity for myself. I don’t use much make-up (Google vanity and look and the images that come up, they can get HUGE), and the small space works perfectly. Except that it took no time at all to get cluttered.

BEFORE:

2017-05-08 Vanity Before

Ugh, I don’t even want to talk about this mess. Seriously though, those socks were there for more than a few days. Gross, I know.

AFTER:

2017-05-09 Vanity After

Now this is something I can talk about! The mirrored base was free from a friend and sitting in the back of a shelf in the kitchen, it looks glam on the vanity. My favorite cereal bowl is chipped, so instead of tossing it, I’m using it as a catch-all. Only my daily necessities are on the vanity and the rest are in the closet.

The best part of clearing all that clutter is that you find what you really need, what matters, and discover that without extra stuff, there’s more room for life.

Throw Out 50 Things is written by Gail Blanke. Every time I read this book it inspires me to clear out a different part of my house. My advice is to start small. Instead of the whole kitchen, just tackle the refrigerator. That could mean getting the rotten and expired food out. Or you could even throw out old magnets for restaurants that went out of business.

Get cracking! You don’t have to wait until the weekend to start getting rid of that clutter.

-Kristina Wise

Five Things Friday: Refreshing Drinks

This weeks list is sponsored by my mother. I can always come crying to her with my silly problems: “Mom, it’s almost Saturday and I still don’t have a topic for this weeks Five Things Friday. Help me!” Thanks to her, I now have enough topics to get me through the summer. She’s awesome!

Five Favorite Refreshing Drinks

1. Iced Coffee

1icedcoffee

Sweet, creamy, delightfully cold and energizing. This is the best way to start off a hot day.

2. A&W Root Beer in a Frosted Mug

2rootbeer

I have fond memories of my dad taking me out to A&W in the summer. He’d get us hot dogs and Root Beer in Frosted Mugs. Nothing quite compares to it. Except maybe an A&W Root Beer Float.

3. Frosted Lemonade

3chick-fil-a-frosted-lemonade-01

For picky eaters everywhere, this thing rocks my socks off. Even when my Grandma didn’t have much of an appetite, she’d request a Frosted Lemonade. Chick-fil-A also makes a Frosted Coffee that makes my heart go pitter-patter.

4. Mint Concrete Mixer

4web-concrete-mixer-oreo-mint.jpg

I just got some of the best news ever, a Culver’s restaurant is coming to town! Oh sweet, juicy butter burgers! My taste buds can’t wait. If I’m good and stick to my diet, a concrete mixer from Culver’s will be a great reward.

5. Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

2015-08-23 18.36.58

My favorite: homemade. It’s healthy and delicious.

Of course I would love a massive 44oz Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper, but I know there are better options. Iced water though, that’s pushing it.

-Kristina Wise

Five Things Friday: Morning Energizer

The shadow of working a long weekend in retail is upon me. There is no escape. My only hope is that through the powers of caffeine and polite customers I can come through it unscathed.

Yes, I realize I’m being dramatic. If you’ve ever worked retail, you understand.

It’s been a rough week, my husband was on a business trip, I burned most of my meals, and I’ve had some difficult choices to make. Sim City has helped with some of the stress, but I find that my days are just better if I start them out right.

Five Favorite Morning Energizers

1. Coffee

coffee_morning_the_giantvermin_flickr

Obvious, but always a great way to start the morning. Coffee with a little cream to sweeten it.

2. Breakfast

That's_life_(3140446824)

I enjoy a warmed-up chocolate pop-tart but my digestive system likes to remind me that I’m an adult now and need to make healthier choices. So, LIFE cereal is sufficient for a fast breakfast.

3. Light Exercise

Morning-Stretch

Sweating is not what I enjoy before my coffee or breakfast. Sure, it’s important to get the blood flowing, so I do some stretches and a little walking. It’s amazing how many steps you can get in just by picking up the house a little.

4. Time with Pets

IMG_7435

Time with my husband would be better, but he gets up earlier than I do. Next best thing, giving the pets attention before my day gets going.

5. My Mom

2017-04-25 15.24.17

My mother is like a triple shot of espresso the moment her feet hit the ground. Since I am not a morning person, my energizer bunny with bouncy springs of my mother scares the crap out of me. How does she do it? I’m a night owl, I do not understand the ways of the morning person or their mysterious perkiness.

There are so many ways in which my mother inspires me. Both my mothers! My mother-in-law is a nurse and I can never complain about my job to her because she probably works 10x harder than I do! Plus, she wakes up at 5am everyday, I don’t think I can ever do that. I’m blessed with two wonderful mothers who are great role models for me to grow into a better woman.

I love you Mom K. and Mom W.

Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday.

-Kristina

Five Things Friday, Favorite Chores

Somewhere in the back of my mind is this little place that likes to clean. I don’t always feel it, but when I’m in the mood, oh boy do things get done. As per usual, I start out with a to-do list. If there’s too many things to do or I just don’t want to list, I make a DONE list by writing down all that I did. Sometimes that’s easier.

Five Favorite Chores

1. Vacuuming

thevacuumgurus

When you have pets, fur gets everywhere. It’s amazing how much you can vacuum up every week.

2. Dusting

superthumb

I absolutely hate the sight of dust! On my books, on my desk, and cat litter dust too!

3. Dishes

content_Protect_Your_Manicure_While_Washing_Dishes

I call my dishwasher Shawn, because that’s the name of my husband. He just LOVES doing the dishes. *Sarcasm.* So, I let him.

4. Laundry

fold-clothes-drop-off-wash-and-fold-laundry-KSQRVe-clipart

Walking up and down three flights of stairs isn’t super awesome, but I love that moment when two matched socks find each other again.

5. Organizing

mesh-baskets

There is nothing I love more than to open my desk drawers to find everything where it belongs. I’ll let you know when that happens. In the meantime, I’m always getting better at organizing and making my space work right for me.

-Kristina

Five Things Friday Post-Easter Discoveries

This week has been a lot less eventful than I’m about to make it sound. For instance, #3 SimCity has taken over a large chunk of my free-time. I did manage to keep the house in tip-top shape. The vacuum suction indicator has been at half capacity for a while, so I took it apart. There was no clog to be found but I did find out how disgusting it is to take compressed air to the crevices of a vacuum. After a harsh hour the indicator still didn’t budge, but the vacuum looks brand new. Or at least it did until I cleaned again.

Five Favorite Post-Easter Discoveries

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer

Last weekend was Star Wars Celebration. To those of you who don’t know, it’s basically Comic-Con, but just Star Wars, so much Star Wars! I caught a few panels and my favorite part was the teaser trailer for the upcoming movie, The Last Jedi.

I’ll just leave the trailer here. It would take another whole blog post to dissect and try to interpret the different parts.

2. Flamingo Solar Dancer

251939

This is the solar dancer that tipped the scales from my loathing solar dancers, to loving them. Call me crazy, but there’s just something about a pink flamingo in a hat, sunglasses, boxer shorts and sandals that makes me smile.

3. SimCity

sixteenNine.img

I re-discovered the wonderful world of SimCity this week and as previously stated, I play it a lot. Sure, I still like my hamster app, and the Eggs app, and Tetris. But SimCity, it melts away time.

4. $1 Any Sized Drinks at McDonald’s

McDonalds-1-Soft-Drinks

Nothing destroys my diet quite like McDonald’s. I’m doing great, a week without soda pop and I’m feeling pretty good and almost okay about drinking water. Then, the jerks at McDonald’s dangle this good deal in front of me. Thanks a lot! *Sarcasm.*

5. Last Minute Easter Shopping

2017-04-16 11.26.04 fav - Copy

Unlike most people frantically shopping for Easter eggs and candy at the last minute, I unfortunately dug into the back of my wardrobe and couldn’t find a thing to wear on Easter Sunday. My husband was quick to rush me to the store and stick by my side while I tried on dress after dress. I’m more of a jeans and a nice shirt gal, so dress shopping was a potentially hazardous task. Thankfully we found a sale, a coupon, and a dress I can wear to numerous events.

Have a great weekend!

-Kristina