Still Here!

Howdy, friends….I’m baaaaaaack!

I’m still going through the Home Organization Challenge hosted by Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons. The schedule has looked like this:

  • Week 1: Kitchen
  • Week 2: Pantry
  • Week 3: Dining Room
  • Week 4: Launch Pad
  • Week 5: Living Room
  • Week 6: Master Bedroom Master Closet
  • Week 7: Master Closet Master Bedroom

The kitchen and pantry were major ones for me as I’ve just struggled to keep them organized and consistently clean in the past. I’m happy to say that things are still pretty nice in those room since completing them in the challenge. I have a few things to get out of the kitchen and I still need crates for the floor space of the pantry, but overall I’m thrilled with the changes in those rooms.

The dining room was pretty easy. We don’t have a huge formal dining room, so it was basically me cleaning off the table top (which is cluttered again) and the console table behind our sofa (it’s more part of the dining space than the casual living room). Keeping that table top clean is the HARDEST. It shouldn’t be, but that’s where we eat…do projects…drop stuff when we walk in the door, etc. It piles up so fast!

The launch pad is also super simple. I emptied my husband’s mail box because it was literally overflowing. Unfortunately we haven’t gone through that box yet, so technically the clutter just changed addresses. I’m thinking I’ll add that to Mr. Beck’s pile in our bedroom…hmmmm. Also, I got a metal milk “jug” to hold our umbrella.

We actually have two living rooms. The casual one that is open to the kitchen and dining space is where we spend most of our time. I had repurposed a dresser for toy storage months ago, but things had still gotten completely out of control in the toy and children’s books department. So, I reworked all of that moving some of the toys to the upstairs toy area and only keeping a handful of items in the dresser. I also put the majority (about four shelves worth) of our DVD’s into plastic sleeves and that freed up shelves for the children’s books. It looks so much neater and cleaner!!

In the more formal living space, it was a matter of putting some leftover Christmas stuff away, vacuuming the entire room (including under the furniture) and cleaning the windows REALLY well. My Norwex Window Cloth did an incredible job – it’s a serious workhorse!! If you decide to order one, please consider connecting with my friend Lydia Pinero – she’s a fabulous Norwex consultant. I’m also working on a gallery wall for my formal living room. It’s not up yet, so technically that room isn’t finished…just need to find a couple more elements and then I’ll be ready to arrange and hang.

As you may have noticed, I switched the master bedroom and master closet portions of the challenge because I didn’t want to get our bedroom to a new state of organized perfection just to empty our closet into it the next week. The good news is that we can see the closet floor (woohoo!) and I vacuumed it for the first time since we moved in (WOOHOO!!!). The bad news is that we are nowhere near done with it and we’re now into the master bedroom part of the challenge – there’s been zero progress there. ZERO. Almost everything that was cluttering our closet is still sitting in our room. *sigh*

Next week I’m supposed to work on my kids’ closets. Thankfully, Punkin’s closet is fine – she and I went through and cleaned it out before Christmas. But the closet in my toddlers’ room? Ugh. It’s a mess with a capital “M”. Getting behind isn’t in my vocabulary, yet that appears to be the reality I’m facing.

There have been some contributing factors to our delay in fully tackling the master closet (let’s face it – that is one area where I need my husband to be involved since half to three quarters of the belongings in the closet are his). Let me tell you what we’ve been up to instead…

When we first looked at the house we now call home, we knew the backyard fence wasn’t going to last forever, but it wasn’t until we moved in that we realized just how bad it is. There are parts of the fence that would collapse if I leaned against it. Some boards will fall apart simply by being touched with slight pressure…or when picked up off the ground. About a month ago or so we had a major cold front. There wasn’t any snow, but something happened because we suddenly noticed a huge, gaping hole in one of the weakest parts of the fence. Ugh. Thankfully, that part of the fence has a wooded area behind it, so that bought us a little time to figure things out before the city gets involved. I say that because we had a few random boards on the street side of the fence fall and we received notice from the city that we would be fined if they weren’t fixed immediately. That was a huge shocker (especially since some fences in our neighborhood look considerably worse than ours).

Anyway…

Our home sits on a corner lot (LOVE IT!) and one side faces a street’s dead end. That entire side of the house was lined with huge (obnoxious) bushes that I never loved. They were a light green color which didn’t provide much contrast against the brick – unlike the lovely dark green shrubs at the front of the house – and it seemed like they were taking over no matter how much we trimmed them. The more we trimmed them, the uglier they were. Also, poison oak/ivy loved to get all tangled in those bushes and had already caused issues for my sweet husband. Well, as of almost two weeks ago they’re gone. (Insert happy dance.)

My dad, bless his heart, spent some of his time off work to bring his tractor and chainsaw and help us remove those bushes, one of the ugliest trees I’ve ever seen (that was in the same side yard as the obnoxious bushes) and several trees that were already damaging or posing threats to our backyard fence. All of them are gone! Everything looks cleaner.

Now, we had been wanting to do this cleanup for awhile, but just didn’t have the money to replace the fence much less get a bunch of bushes/trees removed. The gaping hole situation pretty much left us with no choice. Thankfully, God has provided and voila! Bushes and fence-damaging trees are gone and now we can replace our fence with something that doesn’t look like it will fall over with the next stiff wind.

This past weekend, Mr. Beck worked on cleaning up the mess he and my dad made when removing everything and now we’re simply waiting for the weather to cooperate so that our new fence can go up.

So, all that to say, we’ve been pretty preoccupied with the outdoor area of our home.

Can I share another way that God has provided?

I drove about 45 minutes away for a huge consignment sale last Saturday evening. About five-ish minutes from my destination, the Beckmobile started acting bizarre. It scared me, y’all! I just knew one of my worst fears about being stranded in the middle of city traffic was about to come true.

Long story short, I ended up calling roadside assistance to tow it to our repairman. Thankfully, my friend who invited me to the sale was able to hang around and give me a ride home. The next day we learned the transmission had an internal failure and would have to be rebuilt at a cost that was almost as much as our new fence that’s going up soon.

We weren’t prepared for that!

We had resolved ourselves to having to use credit for something and then one of Mr. Beck’s friends encouraged us to check into the Powertrain Warranty. Praise be to God, the Beckmobile’s mileage is literally just under the cutoff point. Like the cutoff is 85k and our odometer is at 84,520…!!! Talk about the Lord’s provision. And answer to prayer.

We’re so thankful for His mercy in this situation!

This has turned out to be quite a lengthy post, but you know…catch up!

It’s back to the challenge for me with hope that we can get back on schedule. This challenge has been amazing for me, showing me simple ways to organize and declutter and actually helping me to get rid of some stuff that I really don’t need anymore.

Whew! Later, friends!

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