Sunday, December 23, 2007

Still Unpacking

I unpacked two boxes today. I condensed some of my bowls and serving dishes in my cabinets to make space for my nice Christmas dishes that are normally stored in the China Cabinet. Two less boxes in the garage. All this while I'm supposed to be "taking it easy." HA!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Windows! Finally!

2007 - Finally! After a year of owning the windows and having them stored outside, the bedroom windows are finally installed. Only one window to go - in our bathroom. I'll just cross my fingers for next year!

2006 - Or should I say 1964?? It only a took a year of living here to get this yucky window replaced.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Burn Pile

The rest of the barn is getting burned in our fire pit. This was taken a few days ago around sunset.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tub Testing

Tub testing - Joseph got to test out the bath tub with the completed tile and fixtures. We went to Lowe's yesterday to get the shower door and then it's almost complete! I'm very excited because we're having company later in September and they'll be able to shower in their own bathroom instead of using ours. Also my mom, who visits often, will have her own shower and working bathroom!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Barn Demolition

This is how it looked at the end of the day.... (below) And this is how it was looking when our nextdoor neighbor offered to help!
And he basically shoved the debris over with a quick motion of his huge tractor!
Wow! That's a lot of debris!
Now that the barn has been torn down, the backyard is full of the debris. We have gotten rid of one truckload, but there's much more to go!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bathroom Tile and Grout

The tile has finally been grouted. So excited... now we just need the shower door and the fixtures need to be installed. Here's a close-up of the how it came out....
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Monday, August 20, 2007

John Deer Orange?

Okay, it's not green, but we borrowed a tractor and the barn will soon be ... GONE. We're making way for the backyard. Tonight Robert also ALMOST finished the tile in the bathroom.... two tiles too short! GRRR... Another trip to Lowes is on the schedule for this week. Darn!
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Another project going on around here besides backyard demolition is bathroom 2 getting prepped for tile. Not sure why now what made us decide on tile. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Seemed like the plan was that it could have been done by the end of May and now it's almost August. Oh well! The "Wonder" Board is up and now is waiting to be sealed. Not sure how many steps until we get some tile up and a shower door... but I'll be thrilled when the day comes. I haven't had a real bath in my own house in well over a year now!
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More Plans, More Progress

Well this is a photo of the bacyard between the shed and the barn. That fencing with the big huge out-of-control vine growing on it is now gone!! I'll post some updated photos soon. We're making big plans for our big backyard. The plan is to gut it... remove everything including the barn, the shed, all fencing, etc. The shop will be built where the current barn stands. We want a lot of open space... maybe room for a half basketball court, and we have a huge wish list of back yard items we'd love to see go in. Here's our dream list:

  • Deck off the kitchen area with window converted into a bar. Deck will have built in spa.
  • Underground trampoline
  • Half Basketball Court
  • Above ground herb garden beds
  • Shop building with craft room attached. Craft room will look out over play area with window.
  • Patio for entertaining large groups (as there is no room in the house for parties!)
  • Grass area for Pepper, lawn games (we used to play a lot of croquet actually!), horse shoe pit would be fun!

Okay no more for now although I'm sure I could go on with the wish list!! I've been watching Lanscape Challenge for months now so my head is full of all kinds of outdoor goodies!

When You Want Something Done...

Sometimes you've got to do it yourself.

Our dryer has been giving us problems pretty much since we moved here. That's a long time to be dealing with the madness of running the dryer three times to get a load dry. Even though it's a huge ordeal, it has never been more important that the other projects going on. So today I got completely fed up and called Whirpool on the phone. We're all about DIY and calling a technician is not something we'd normally do. I got some lady on the phone to help me "troubleshoot" because I told her I didn't want a technician. We figured out what the problem was and I've been washing clothes like a maniac today! Apparently, when the vent is really long or goes straight up really high, there is some type of special fan needed to help the venting process. This is a part that can be purchased at an appliance store, but in the mean time, all I had to do was unhook the venting tube and let it vent into the garage... what's a little more dust and lint in the garage until I get the fan!?! Hey! I'm washing clothes at the speed of light now!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Ever Evolving Blog

So I haven't been cleaning much! My clutter blog has been neglected for the sole purpose that I've been highly distracted with all of my scrapbooking. That's been a blast, but I feel like I'm still into the whole "home" thing so I've decided that this blog will take a new direction to include other home-related topics such as cooking, recipes, and home decor.

Here's a photo of Robert on the neighbor's riding lawn mower in honor of my "new direction" for this blog... That building you see on the left is scheduled to be torn down and behind you can see our view.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Yard Sale Part II

I've been really disconnected lately on my quest to becoming more organized. We're taking our yard sale leftovers to another venue tomorrow and then they are going up on freecycle or taken to goodwill. I'm just kind of overwhelmed with a walking baby and so many things to do. I'm just trying to keep the dishes clean at this point! Anyway, I will get back on the wagon soon!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fireplace Mantel

Finally a fireplace mantel I can stand to look at.
It's not a secret that I hate our fireplace and wanted
it taken out during the demolition. I lost the battle
because of the extra time it would have taken, but
I still feel it's yucky and out of place. Getting it cleaned
isn't really a priority even though it really needs it
from being charred, but I just couldn't figure out how
to soften that huge rock wall. After unpacking all
sorts of boxes in preparation for the yard sale, I came
accross all of our wall hangings we had in our previous
home. Sadly, I have such a small amount of wall space in
this smaller place, I wasn't sure I'd find a place for
everything. Luckily I was able to use some of the pieces
and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It's
a mix of wall art, produce labels (local labels of course!),
a wedding photo, and a Cannery Row photo I took
during a photography class. The Mickey clock is my
subtle Disney splash and the pineapple is a bell that used
to be my Grandma's. Not sure if that begie vase is
staying or not. We'll see. Not pictured is the new fireplace
screen but I am not done with deciding on what's
going in the fireplace. I have some candle holders
for now, but no candles. It's still a work in progress!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

He Who Dies With The Most Toys...

... probably had the most cluttered house!

So Joseph's toys have really started to get out of hand especially since his first birthday. This morning I woke up to find them all over the floor. They're usually put away but with my mom visiting, it seems she had them all out, all over.

So I took it as a cue to go through his things and start to weed out the things that were:
-not age appropriate anymore
-stuff in the wrong place (teething rings go in the freezer!)
-parts to bigger toys (like attachment to his tummy time set)
-toys that he has shown no interest in for awhile and I have serious doubts interest will resurface

That's my clutter busting for today... Now onto the real day-to-day grind!

Monday, June 11, 2007


Do you ever feel so unmotivated that you don't want to do ANYTHING? I'm having one of those days. It's like I came off the weekend and the yard sale. We had to go grocery shopping yesterday and that's a huge chore. So now I'm not wanting to do a thing. I have dinner going in the slow cooker today, I made some banana bread, but I've hit this point where I just want to veg out despite the fact that I'm still surrounded by mini piles and junk. My little guy is taking a good nap but I just want to sit and enjoy the silence!! I don't want to clean today!!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Yard Sale

Our garage sale is coming to a close as we speak and we've made over $100 and gotten rid of a lot of things. My sister in law is holding another one in a few weeks so we're going to box stuff up and take it over there to see if we can squeeze a few more dollars out of junk. I think I'll probably start putting some more things on freecycle in the meantime. It's been a pretty successful day though in my clutter busting efforts. I am also getting our finances organized. I made a budget on spreadsheet to organize our spending and got further motivated when I saw Oprah's follow-up to the debt diet yesterday on tv.

Slowly but surely!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Inherited Junk

So is it still considered junk if you inherited it from a relative who passed on? In 2003, I learned the harsh reality of pack-ratting and "too much stuff" when I had to help clean out a relative's home after they passed away. I ended up with a ton of boxes. In our other larger home I had room for her dining set, and beautiful formal china set. However, it's all in boxes now and I don't havve the space in my small house for it. My mom doesn't have the space for it either but how can I get rid of something like that?? It doesn't make much sense. It's not even really my taste, but it was okay in my other house because I wouldn't have been able to afford anything for the formal dining area anyway so it worked out well. Too bad we moved!

Fast forward to 2007 and I'm stuck with a lot of her things and boxes of china. In addition there's a dining room table and china cabinet in my garage. I've been spending most of my spare time going through boxes getting everything ready for the big June 9th yard sale. I watched "Clean House" on the Style network last night and got some more inspiration. I made it through every box we had in our garage and seperated the "keeping it" stuff from the "yard sale" stuff. I also sold two items on Craigslist for $25 which felt like a jump start to my sales this Saturday. We still have some more boxes at my dad's house and last night we went to pick some of that stuff up. My goal is to get through it all by this Saturday and it's going to be tough. My little guy is needing a lot of attention right now because he's teething and not feeling well at all.

This weekend should be a success - Not planning to make big, huge, bucks, but planning to get lots of stuff out of our way!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Frustration hit an all-time high today and yesterday as I fumbled around the house looking for things I needed and could not find. Thankfully I found two items I need in a box in the garage today when I finally got back to unpacking boxes. However, they were items I needed earlier and it's too late now! The third missing item is still MIA and I'll have to replace it if it's not found by next week.
But the good news is that I did make it into the garage twice today to unpack boxes and seperate the unwanted stuff into four boxes of yard sale stuff. I collected items that need to go in the house and have made a mess with these things as they waiting to be filed away in their rightful home. Robert seemed confused about why I was emptying out the boxes and I explained that I want to go through as many boxes as possible before the yard sale so we don't have to have another one for a very long time. I have a week from this Saturday to get it all (or most it) all together!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Kitchen - Before&After

Flashback to the 1960sThe kitchen in its gutted state!

The (almost) finished product
There's still work to be done including the crown moulding and trim around the floor. It's been left unfinished for now to work on other important areas of the house including our second bathroom which is in progress now.
Pulling out the counter top really opened the kitchen up and made the whole area feel bigger. Our snack bar chairs are from and we got the appliances (minus the fridge) at Fortino's Total Home in Hollister, CA. They were great to work with!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Party Planning

I haven't had much time this week for deep cleaning and organizing... just cleaning and doing the work for the upcoming birthday party. I planned the menu and did half of my shopping today and will do the rest tomorrow. I cleaned the baby's room so that was a bonus. My new fireplace screen came in and looks great. I will post photos later but right now I can't even find my camera! How funny, if I were more organized, I'd probably know where it was!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Preparing for a Party

Preparing for a party is always a good reason to clean! But in this situation, it feels a little overwhelming. We worked in the backyard today sweeping the patio, mowing, and trimming. I worked on getting my scrapbook table cleaned off so we can use it for the party and it's almost done. I cleared the garage floor a little more as well. Things are slowly coming together and I think once this party is over, I'll really be able to focus more on unpacking the boxes and getting things ready for the yard sale and getting things more organized.

I got my photos in today that I ordered from our Disneyland trip! They are so great. I've got to get them filed in an album before this weekend because I want everyone to be able to enjoy them. I designed an 8x8 photo book on Shutterfly. It came out so cute and I can't wait to get that in the mail... busy busy busy!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Creating a Path

I created a path in the garage. It's a pretty big deal. I've started my collection of yard sale boxes. Robert has made a lot of progress in the spare bathroom which needs to be mostly completed by the end of this week. With the organized closet and progress in the garage, I am feeling more and more motivated. We had company this weekend and I didn't get a lot of sleep last night so unfortunately today I haven't gotten much accomplished. But we're getting there...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Keep On Keepin' On

Trying to stay motivated... I actually made a dent in the garage tonight. I decided to continue with the closet. I got it cleaned but the upper shelves were still a mess and full of things I knew were going in the yard sale. I didn't want to buy plastic bins just to hold everything and I don't have anywhere to put extra stuff anyway! So I dove into the garage and cleaned off my old dresser. It got damaged when we moved and it will not go with the vision I have for our bedroom so I have decided to get rid of that even though it has been in my family for YEARS. (just let it go!!) I decided to put the dresser in the closet and fill it with all the clothes that are going in the yard sale. So when the yard sale comes, all I have to do is move the dresser outside. It's a perfect solution and I'm so pleased that I came up with this. It eliminates something from the garage and tidies up the closet too. It's not done... I could have kept working on it, but we had a lot of company this evening.... mother/father-in-law, uncle-in-law, and two of our friends all stopped by. So I had to cut my cleaning short, but I got some good progress done today and I'm happy with that!! I need to take some photos of the garage for before/after photos.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Unpacking has always been a dreaded task but today I forced myself to do it. I almost finished. I also cleaned the closet. I didn't organize it 100%, but it is clean and it is a start. There's a lot of stuff in there that is going up and out for yard sale so there will be a lot of free space when that stuff goes. I'm not sure if I should move stuff out and store it somewhere different before the yard sale or just leave it there. I think leaving it there might prevent a bigger mess elsewhere in the house. The day-to-day cleaning is what kills me and my motivation to look at the bigger picture!! Dishes, cleaning up after dinner, laundry, interuptions like unpacking... they all slow me down! But I need to stay focused. I think I'll goal myself to "go the extra mile" at least once each day I'm home. In addition to my normal cleaning, I'll do something extra. Like today unpacking was my normal drudge but cleaning the closet was an added something. More to come later!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Later that Same Day

I decided to take on a small project. I didn't want to get discouraged and I knew I couldn't get anything done outside this late in the evening. Joseph gets increasingly fussy as the evening plays out and evenings are not a good time to start something drastic.

I started in a kitchen cabinet where I had been throwing all things baby-kitchen-plastic related. I was taking up two shelves for bottles, nipples, breast pump paraphernalia, cups, lids, straws, plastic bowls and plates. I whittled it all down to one organized shelf and dropped the higher shelf down a notch giving me more organizing space for something else (like all those unpacked kitchen boxes in the garage!!) I bagged up the Medela breast pump accessories and put them in my Metro bag I plan to keep that is stored in my closet appropriately next to my boxed up wedding dress.

In addition to clearing a shelf, I emptied out the dish strainer that was also full of baby goodies. And once that was empty, I just store it under the sink and made the counter top clear. Here's a photo of some beautiful Salinas fresh Romaine lettuce on my lovely clear counter.
Hopefully I'll be posting more photos of my progress. With party coming up at the end of this month, I definitely want to get the kitchen as organized as possible. I think I should start with what I have inside the house and then start worrying about the boxes outside. Baby steps... it will all be about baby steps...

Day One: Mustering Motivation

I've been saying it for such a long time... I want to get rid of my clutter. I wanted to get organized. I want everything to have its place.

I'm tired of talking and ready for some action! I've watched too many people on Oprah and Home&Garden TV cleaning up their clutter and I know I can do it too. I have gotten motivated at a challenging time but I won't let these challenges be my excuse anymore. So what if I have a baby that can destroy the whole house as quickly as I can load the dishwasher! So what if we just downsized and my garage is stacked with boxes and boxes of STUFF I haven't seen in over six months. I can't let these be my excuses. If I wait any longer, the excuses will just keep building and building.

So why are you still writing about it...?? You might be asking... Well.... I want to get focused and organize my thoughts... have a plan and set a goal! I feel like if I write it all down and document my clutter cleaning journey, I'll be held to some kind of accountability. Sounds good in theory right?

Now that I have that out of the way, let's think about my method of removal.

Step One: Yard Sale
Step Two: Freecycle

I also need to think of WHY am I holding onto so much of this STUFF?? and then start to let things go!!

Progress so far? Yes... Today I went through my closet and took down things I know I won't wear anymore. If I don't feel good in it, then it's GONE. There are things that are too small so if I know I won't wear it when I get skinnier, then it's gone too! I took down a ton of stuff but just folded it into the shelving for the yard sale.

I think I need to organize a safe area where all of this yard sale stuff is going to go. But where? It will have to be the patio room!!

Let's see how I can get through this... or if I even can....