Monday, October 3, 2011

Making Your Home a Haven - Week 1

Women Living Well

A year ago, Courtney over at Women Living Well hosted a series called "Making Your Home a Haven.  It was such a big success that she is hosting it again this year.  Of the few series that I participate in anymore, this one is a favorite so I wanted to link up again.  She gives some pretty practical ideas and great truths to implement into your daily routine each week. 

The first challenge in this series, as stated by Courtney is:
Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home. I will be starting mine in the morning! But you can start yours at dinner time. Do what makes sense for your family. I will be placing mine in the kitchen – the main hub of my home. Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home

Isn't that easy?  I love lighting candles this time of year anyway - it is cool and crisp outside and the candle just warms up the room.  I light a candle in my living room every day since that is the room we spend the most time in currently.  I have a Yankee Candle - Autumn Harvest - that my mom picked up for me that is my current candle of choice :-)  I love that this particular spot in my home is one that walk by several times .. an hour . . so it is an easy reminder to pray.  (If you are not a candle lover - pick something else to make your focus  . . maybe get a frosted glass and put a battery operated tea light in it so it looks like a candle!) 

What really makes your home a haven?   Very simply, it is not the things we have or do not have but rather, it is YOU!  You are the key to making the home a haven. 

I would like to urge you to click HERE and read the fantastic post that was written about two types of home - which one do you fall into?  The distant or engaged home.  Like Courtney, I strive to be in Home #2 (the engaged home) but many times a week . .. a day, even, I find myself in home #1!  So this week, I'm going to be praying that I can work towards being a Proverbs 14:1 woman:  "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down". 

If you choose to participate, you can leave a comment here or over on Women Living Well (but I would love to know too!)  and/or you can write a post about what you are doing and link up with Courtney on Wednesday!

Simplify Update before a new Simplify Post!

I've listed each of my Simplify Topics below and given an update in red.  I'm happy to say I was able to mark several off the list over the past few months.

Simplify # 1- I accomplished everything on this list already so there is nothing to add :-)
Simplify # 2

Organizing Books, Games, DVD's and CD's

1. Devise a storage system in the truck for the kids DVD's - I just need to find the perfect basket for this - I haven't found anything at home so I just need to start searching places when we are out and about.  This was sitting right in front of my face!  I just used one of my green baskets that I had purchased last summer for $1.00.  It holds the DVD's perfectly plus, it will be easy to carry into the house to change out what videos we want in the car (right now . . it's just Nemo!)

2. Hang up Gutter Shelves in the boys rooms for books - I have the gutters; I just have to pick up some spray paint to paint them the color I want. Once the painting is done, we'll hang them up and fill them with books! I've kinda put this one on hold.  I found another idea I like better using fabric and pvc pipe but haven't had a chance to make them yet.  Plus, I'm thinking I need to wait until we switch my oldest to a regular bed and see where we have a place to hang them.  Or, we may get him the headboard that has shelves in it and we can use those instead.  I think I'll move this idea to my "craft wish list" at this point.

The Bathroom

1. Do all touch up painting - I have had the paint for months, it is just a matter of doing this and it will be done. In the midst of cleaning out the basement I found (or re-found) the paint I kept putting some place and never being able to find again!  The touch up is all done and it looks so much better now! 

2. Finishing Touches: Put on a new door knob, the strip to finish the floors, put up a couple pieces of trim, add stripping around the top of the shower, clean off the hinges.
I had figured this would be done but we ran into an unexpected and unwanted project in our basement so other house projects were put on hold.

The Kitchen

I'm going to alter the original list and only list the first few things we want done. I will get back to the full list but this needs to come down in chunks first I think!

1. Finish cabinets - hang the cabinets, fill all gaps and cracks, do all touch up painting.
We finally have the cabinets hung up and I'm working slowly on filling in the gaps and cracks.  After that I will tape and prime so we can use our gift card and get the paint.  I REALLY want to have the kitchen painted by year end!  Again, the work in the basement has really put a halt to many other projects while we work on that.

2. Paint the trim that needs to be finished.

3. Prime and paint the walls.

So . .once we get all of that completed, we'll move on to the next few projects.

Simplify # 3

Vacation Planning

1. Create a binder of vacation ideas, fliers, packing lists ect I did create a document for packing - I'm not printing off tons of copies (or even one) because, depending on when, where, and what we do for vacation, the list will always need to be tweaked.  Right now, I have a binder but it is empty.  We don't have any fliers or idea sheets for future vacations.  I'm finding this may  be a little over kill since most of what I do have I just save in a folder on my PC.  

2. Write a master packing list - This is done!  Yes, this will change as the boys grow up but if you click HERE you can see my document.  We don't go away a lot but, even for weekend trips to grandma's - this will be helpful.  I find that I pack about 12 little bags because I keep remembering things I forgot at the last minute - hopefully I can now pack one bag!!

Gift Wrapping Center

1. Make sure I have all supplies - need to get tape, pens, etc so it is all in one spot.
I just need to get some tape which I will get before I need to start wrapping gifts for birthdays soon. Otherwise this is done.  I must say, I've had to wrap a few gifts recently and it was so nice to pull out the bins with bags and tissue paper and know right where everything was!  I didn't have to dig OR buy something because it was such a hassle to find something to use. 
Tot Time Storage

1. Hang display shelves on the wall to display the boys work.
I haven't done this yet but I know what I'm doing - I'm just saving up some pop cans so I can purchase my supplies :-)

2. Do touch up painting in the dining room (where the display will be)
This is done!  I did the touch-up painting in the room and it looks so much nicer.

3. Create artwork binder for each of the kids
Same with this project - I know exactly what I'm doing but have to save up to purchase my supplies. 

On a side note - I am working on some basic preschool plans for the fall which will also play into this Tot Time Storage.

Simplify # 4

The Outside

Simplify #5

Everything in its place

1. The Basement - I have to clean the basement, again, and organize, again. I want to go back through everything again (see the key word ha!) and clean out more stuff. Well, this is done but it happened in a different way than expected.  We discovered that we had a slight water problem in the basement.  Add water to hot and humid weather weeks on end and you get . .. mold.  Yep, we have dealt with and conquered mold.  It was awful.  There is no better way to clean out a basement than to have to throw 1/2 of everything out.  We lost shelves, clothing, baby items, home decor - it was amazing the places we found mold.  We had to take down walls and insulation in order to kill what was behind the walls.  Did I mention it was awful?  The good news?  Eventually my basement will be cleaner and more organized than it has ever been - once we finish the cleaning process :-)

2. Craft/Scrapbooking stuff - I'm slowly getting this organized but it is still a work in progress.
I finally took time to go through everything and organize it and it is so much better.  I was able to put like things together and make sure that everything had a home.  Now I can actually find things again: -)

3. The Stairs - need to make that step basket, and set up a system for keeping the basement clean - instead of just dumping stuff until I can get to it. I did not end up making the step basket because, something happened by chance LOL  I ended up with an empty rubbermaid shoebox size container that got set down on top of the dog food container at the top of the stairs . . .when I was getting ready to take it downstairs I realized that it was the perfect size and in the perfect location to be my "go to the basement" basket.  It is big enough to hold several books, or jars, or even craft supplies but is small enough that I'll have to run stuff to the basement before it is over flowing.  As far as keeping the basement clean?  It is simple - put things away.  That's it :-)

Simplify #6

This was the one that was really a discipline and I can say that I have been working on keeping my house "ready for anyone". Again, summers are hard - we are outside a lot, it is hot, and we often are just ready to crash . . .things get let go until fall and that's ok :-)

So, that is where I stand on these right now -  I'm still hoping to get a few more things done before year end but we'll see how that goes!