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Filing, Filing, Purging, Organizing…

February 1st, 2018

I developed a great filing system years ago, it works well for me. However, I have about 15 years worth of personal and business files that I need to purge. Tax returns and a few other important documents will be saved, all else will be shredded.

I’ve been going through boxes little by little, with this I resolved to be ruthless about what I save and file, only the essential items. I also need to make a master list, in case something happens to me, it will make life much easier for those that have to deal with all the finances.

After dealing with my mom’s death last summer, I realize the importance of streamlining filing systems, purging frequently, and having a master list of all important accounts. My mom didn’t do this, and unfortunately the responsibility has landed on me to figure it all out. Going through 50 boxes of files to make sure nothing of importance is in them take countless hours. Not having a master list of retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other important things makes it frustrating to try to find out what’s current and what’s not. If you haven’t done this, please consider doing it. Exchange lists with a trusted friend or family member. Have someone that knows exactly where things can be found.

How’s your filing system? Do you keep a master list of all important accounts and information?

A Clean Pantry

January 6th, 2016

Cleaning the pantry was yesterday’s item on The Cure. For me, that essential means half the kitchen. The pantry is about the same size as the kitchen and houses a ton of stuff. There are big glass containers full of bulk items like salt, popcorn, dried fruit, grains, etc. There are also glass storage containers, food stuffs, and pretty much everything I use for cooking besides dishes and pots & pans.
pantry cleaning 1
There were nails here and there and hooks that were only put in with one screw (from previous owners) that I have just never gotten around the removing. Those came down, all the rough sawn wooden shelves got a really good vacuuming, which removed the cobwebs that invariable accumulate.
pantry cleaning 2
pantry cleaning 3
Everything came off of every shelf and they were each vacuumed, there’s no washing them since they are rough sawn lumber, but at least there’s no more dust or mouse droppings. This is an old not very well sealed up house so we get mice in the pantry all the time. Now you know why everything is sealed up tightly in glass jars. The cats catch the mice, but not before they scurry around leaving a bit of a mess here and there.
pantry cleaning 4
I’m always amassing eggs for my various egg customers, one of which picks up five dozen every couple weeks.
pantry cleaning 5
Last week I got these containers to organize my various caps for glass jars. They used to be in one large basket on the floor, but it always took time to find the size I was looking for. Now they’re organized into the three different sizes that I have and it’s perfect. It’s also nice that they’re up off the floor. After being asked a few time about these containers, they’re Koziol Organizer , made in Germany from BPA free plastic.
pantry cleaning 6
pantry cleaning 7
The shelves look much neater & tidier after a good cleaning. I didn’t purge much, I tend to do that throughout the year as I’m cooking. Every single jar/bottle was wiped down to get rid of any dust that had accumulated, which is quite a lot in an old dusty house. I’m not 100% finished yet, I still have to finish taking out everything that’s on the floor and giving the floor a good cleaning. It’s nice to have this very involved chore out of the way for the year.

What spring cleaning chores do you need to tackle before the garden gets going again?

The January Cure

January 5th, 2016

A friend recently challenged me to take part in the January Cure from Apartment Therapy. While I tend to stay on top of cleaning and have pretty much found my groove when it comes to cleaning/decluttering, I figured I’d join with her to encourage her and to get to a few things I’ve been putting off (i.e. reorganize the office after Mr Chiots went to work away from the home).
Brians Desk
This past weekend the big job was to sweep & mop all the floors in the house, something I’m a bit crazy about and do every week, so I was able to take the weekend off. Yesterday, the task was to go through the house and list all the jobs that need done, little and big things. Now this is something I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while. Cleaning off this desk so I can use it was first on the list in the office, along with things like: adjust curtain that covers closet, instal new doorknob, hang cabinet for essential oils…

If you’ve been needing a bit of encouragement to spring clean your house and get a few things checked off your to-do lists, join this challenge.

How are you about house cleaning/organization? Are you laid back or a bit too overzealous?

Napkin Ring Cord Keeper

December 8th, 2015

I purchased two pineapple napkin ring holders over 15 years ago simply because I loved them. I don’t really use napkin rings and two isn’t enough if you’re having a party. They’re super cute and I’ve been trying to think of a place to use them. After cleaning out a drawer in the living room, I realized they’d make great cord keepers!
napkin ring cord keeper
Low and behold, they’re PERFECT!!! The sturdy ring makes getting the cord in and out quick and easy, unlike the velcro cord keepers I’ve used in the past. Now, I might have to buy a few more for other cords I have knocking around the house. I love coming up with useful ideas for things I love and for finding a beautiful way to accomplish necessary things.

Have you come up with any great ideas recently?

So Long

July 7th, 2015

I’m constantly trying to get rid of things and not acquire more. With moving we definitely trimmed down, but then with chickens and other farm things we acquired a few things. As my lifestyle changes I try to get rid of things I used to use and no longer do.  I’m constantly downsizing and trimming down. Thankfully, I really notice that I have very few things I don’t use on a regular basis. As I was cleaning out the root cellar this week I came across tons of old canning jars.
old canning jars 1
I have some of my own, that came from my grandma and the previous owners left a bunch that they didn’t want. The result is that I probably have 75 or 100 old canning jars. I used to use them for canning, but I don’t do much canning any more. There are a few I’ll keep, mainly the ones form my grandma, but I’m going to get rid of them.
old canning jars 2
I’ve been trying to decide what to do with them, I could probably sell them for a few dollars a piece. The Goodwill probably isn’t the best spot for them, I’d love them to go to places that they’ll be loved and appreciated. There are so many old, interesting things in the garage I was thinking about setting up at Etsy store to list them all. I have a few really neat vintage lanterns and other really neat things. Now I’m just trying to decide if I want to deal with the responsibility of an Etsy store or if I can find a local place to sell everything to.

How often do you go through things to reduce the level of stuff you have in your home & garage? 

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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