For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
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More Organizational Tips: De-clutter With Flyladies '27 Fling Boogie', Dining Room and Closets and Yummy Pasta with Veggies!

Personally I don't mind a bit of 'organized' clutter... now Flylady says there is no such thing but I disagree!  I like a homey look with a row of neat and dusted antique clay pitchers that top my bookshelf in my family room... I like the floral's and old blue mason jars that adorn the top of my kitchen cabinets and I like the three bowls that set as center pieces on my dining room table. I like 'details' in my decorating!  I can honestly say that 99% of my friends as well as acquaintances have told me over & over again that they have seen something or picked me up this or that because, in their words, "It looked just like you Jean!"  My friends know what I like because my home & gardens are a reflection of me. Now don't get me wrong... as I mentioned in a few blogs ago, my upstairs hallway is NOT ME!  It is dark paneling and really old, ugly carpet... it is my boys play space.  I realize that my home is not just a reflection of me, but also my family, I just like certain things and I like things to look a certain way... and that way just happens to  say "me"! My goal is to make our home both cozy & welcoming while allowing our children to be children. My challenge to you in all this is to do the same.  Don't decorate your home to 'please' others or even the latest & greatest trends... make you home yours & your families~ and have fun doing it!
 
Now on to the topic at hand~ Clutter and how to conquer it and organize it! (Be sure to keep watch, next time we will focus on tips How To De-clutter using the tools we've learned today!)
Clutter can take the best of us down... even the most organized person can start to accumulate 'stuff', especially when you have several other people living in the same house as you!  It gets worse when they are not as interested in organization as you are, but there is a way and the Flylady refers to as the 27 Fling Boogie in her book, "Sink Reflections".

The Following excerpt was taken from notes given at a class on organization focusing on this book:

De-clutter 15 Minutes a Day
- here are 4 great tools that make it super easy for anyone- they have been adapted from "Sink Reflections", by Marla Cilley.

1. The 27 Fling Boogie~
*We do this assignment as fast as we can. Take a garbage bag and walk through your home and throw away 27 items.  Do not stop until you have collected all 27 items.  Do not stop until you have collected all 27 items.  Then close the bag and pitch it! DO NOT LOOK IN IT! Just do it!
*Next, take an empty box and go through your home collecting 27 items to give away. As soon as you finish filling the box, take it to the car. You are less tempted to rescue the items.
*Rule of thumb: if you have two of any item and you only need one, get rid of the least desirable.
2. The Hot Spot Fire Drill~
*Here is a problem that we all have and continue to struggle with- Hot Spots! I mentioned this term a few posts ago, but here it is again.
*A Hot Spot is an area, when left unattended will gradually take over.  Like a hot spot in a forest fire, if left alone, will eventually get out of hand and burn up the whole forest.  This is what happens in our homes.  If left unattended, the hot spot will grow and take over the whole room as well as making the house look awful.  When you walk into a room, this is the first thing you see.
*CLUTTER ATTRACTS CLUTTER!  Do you have areas like this that continue to grow if left alone? Does the rest of the family see this as a place to put things when they do not want to put them where they belong? It is our job to nip this in the bud.  Get rid of the pile, find the surface underneath and stop this hot spot from becoming a raging clutter inferno.
*Do a few of these a day. Take five minutes per 'drill' and see if it doesn't help immensely.
3. The 5 Minute Room Rescue~
This is a reminder to spend just 5 minutes clearing a path in your worst room.  You know this area of your home; the place you would never allow anyone to see. Just 5 minutes a day for the next 27 days and you will have a place that you can be proud to take anyone!
4. Work In Your Zones~
*Each week we will be in a different Zone.  After a full month, you will have worked your way around the majority of living areas of your home.  do not worry if you have not gotten to every room in your house the first month.  As one area gets cleaned, it will become easier to do and you will have more time to face those areas that don't seem to fit in any zone.

~Tips To De-clutter: 
Once again the Flylady uses some specific techniques in her book to help de-clutter and one of those tools is a timer... see how! Taking 15 minutes each day to declutter an areas or zone , using the 27 fling and clearing your hot spots are some of the most powerful tools you can use to create a more peaceful home.
*When To De-clutter:  Decide how often you are going to de-clutter a zone.  do a little every day- use a timer- Only try to do a small amount at a time.  the house didn't get to be a mess overnight and it won't get perfect that fast either. Set the timer to do only two sessions at a time.
*De-cluttering Equipment: You will need garbage bags, boxes, magic markets, and a dust rag.  If you need to label the boxes- give away, throw away and put away.  Line the throw away box with the garbage bag.
*Set your timer:  Decide on the length of time you feel comfortable starting with- 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes.  Do the job as fast as you can and do not pull out more stuff then you can put away in that length of time.  this means just one drawer, one closet, one magazine rack!  Not all of them at once.
*Start at the entrance to the room:  Then, work your way around the room clockwise.  Do not skip a spot. Whatever happens to be next, just do it.
*De-clutter Away:  With boxes at your feet and dust rag in your waistband, start off by cleaning out and getting rid of the things that do not belong in this room.  Don't worry if you don't have a place for everything right away.  By the time you finish you will.
*What to De-clutter?:  Things to ask yourself as you get rid of your clutter:
~do I love this item?
~Have I used it in the past year? 6 months?
~Is it really garbage?
~Do I have another one that is better?
~Should I really keep tow?
~Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it?
~Or does it give me guilt and make me sad when I see the item?
Cleanse this room of everything that does not make you smile!
*Get rid of the garbage:  When the throw away box gets full, pull out the bag, close it, and put it in the trash can or wherever you keep your garbage. Put a new bag in the box and keep going until the timer goes off.
*Donations:  When this box gets full, put it in the trunk of your car and next time you are in town, drop it off.  Grab another box and keep going till the timer goes off.
*Put Away Stuff:  When this box is full, take the box in your arms and put everything in the box away where it belongs.  If you don't have a spot for them , then put them in a logical spot.  By the time you have finished you will have a place for everything and everything will be in it's place.
*Timer Goes off:  when the timer goes off, you have to put away all the boxes, but first you have to empty them all.  Do it quickly!

Here are my Zone Cleaning check lists for:
~The Dining Room:
*Always start with a walk through.
*Dust: ceiling lines and corners of walls; all pictures/wall hangings/curtains; furniture- tables, chairs; Light fixture
*Wash windows; wash down window ledges; wash all glass on pictures, cabinets, etc.
*Wipe down cook stove; clean out ashes of cook stove during cool season months.
*Purge old papers from baskets/ newspaper crock/ cabinet drawer- children's stuff.
*Sweep & wash floor.
~Monthly chores:
*Take curtains down and wash
~Spring & Fall Cleaning chores:
*Wash down ceiling & walls plus all weekly & monthly chores.

~Closets:
...can be one of those Hot Spots we discussed yesterday! Here are a few ways to conquer the closets.
*Have 3 Baskets or boxes ready when you start your closet clean up:
1 for things that you are keeping and need to be put in their proper place.
1 for things that go to the resale shop
1 for things to be thrown away
... now go to it following the 27 fling boogie system... And don't look back!
*Pick up any clothes/coats that may have fallen down and rehang- straighten any clothing that is out of order
*Straighten shoes/boots-
*Straighten what is on the shelves and organize what is in there.
*Be sure to dust the corners
*Sweep or vacuum the floor
... couple tips...
*If you have a lot of shoes, invest in one of those shoe bags that hang on the back of any door and keep them in order.
*If you are fortunate enough to have a walk in closet, use shelves and racks along with totes to keep things in order.
 
*I love pasta and I love the bounty that comes out of our gardens... here is a wonderful combo of the two!

Linguini & Market Veggie Plate

8 ounce package Linguini Noodles- 
2 medium zucchini, halved & sliced
1/3 c chopped onion
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp each salt & pepper
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 c shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

 
1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the veggies, fresh herbs, & spices in butter & oil for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add garlic & cook 1 minute longer.
3. Add tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with cheeses; cover & simmer for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
4. Drain spaghetti; serve with vegetable mixture. 

Happy Day,
Jean
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