We are Cured!

Woot woot! As Aiden says so emphatically when he does anything: “we did it!” Come to think of it, he says that when I do something too. As in, he gets credit for anyone in our family doing anything. Day … Continue reading

Goodbye Junk, Hello Floor

On Friday, when I got the January Cure e-mail from Janel at Apartment Therapy, I thought there was no way I was going to get the assignment done on time. Day 18: Weekend Chores: Flowers, Living Room, Empty Your Outbox Tuvia had … Continue reading

A Little De-cluttering, a Little DIY

Today was such a classic Gilit situation. The assignment for Day 16  of Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is: Give Your Bathroom & Medicine Cabinets a Cleanout It’s never been clearer just how much I love clearing things out. If I had … Continue reading

Ahead of the Cord Game

We have a bundle of cords in two spots in our house: under the sideboard and around our nightstands. One of those bundles is completely inaccessible right now due to the Pack N’ Play that’s next to the bed and … Continue reading

Purge-o-Phile

Does the title seem slightly inappropriate to you? I meant it as a terrible joke, a play on the word “file” but now I’m not sure it’s gonna translate to anyone not inside my head…

I looove today’s Apartment Therapy January Cure assignment! Day 14: Get Papers & Files in Order

I’m always looking to condense our files, but it’s scary to throw things out. What if that’s the one thing I need to prove that I’m innocent and save myself from being sued or going to jail (I’m serious, these thoughts cross my mind and we don’t have any documents that can do that sort of thing at all…maybe we should get some)

Anyway, the main bullet points from today are:

  • Clear out your files
  • Organize what you are keeping
  • Set up a schedule for dealing with your bills and follow it

I do something like this once every few months, but I’ve never been totally satisfied with our system. I feel like we can get rid of more, but I’m nervous!

So these guidelines from Maxwell made me breathe a sigh of relief, pull out all our files, spread them on our table and go through them without fear (some doubts, but no fear):

Keep
Personal Letters
Tax Returns – Permanently
Credit Card Statements – 7 years
Mortgage Statements – 7 years
Bank Statements – 7 years
Investment Statements – 7 years (keep initial statement for life of investment)
Deductible Business Receipts – 7 years
Deductible Business Bills – 7 years
Insurance polices – 3 years of renewals
Warranties, User Guides – Life of product

Toss
1. Personal or Holiday Cards
2. Utility Bills (unless deductible)
3. Rent Receipts (unless deductible)
4. Nondeductible receipts or bills

Here’s our spread:

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Not bad, right?

The system we worked out in July seemed to be working, but I knew that it needed an overhaul because we weren’t keeping up with it.

We have the two white boxes for supplies like paper, folders, and files and I like that they’re easy to find and access, but it’s not something we need so often so that might change. The three blue boxes are for personal mementos, one each. Now we need another one for Mia! We also have a filing cabinet that the printer sits on in the hallway and a file box that sits out on the desk with the files we need most often.

Clear out your files

I spread out all of the files on our dining room table, and marked them with a post-it for easy reference when going through them.

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Organize what you are keeping

I got the files that go into the file box down to seven categories that I want to access easily: rent, health insurance, Tuvia, Gilit, Aiden, home decor, and photos.

IMG_0063 IMG_0065The “Tuvia” folder has 3 sub-folders: work, finances, health, “Gilit” has the same, “Aiden” has health and daycare, “home decor” is for things I clip from magazines or find that I may want to put up and like to take out pretty often to see if they work, and “photos” is the same concept for some professional photos we have that I take out at least once a week to hold up and say “nah…not over there…”

Then we have eight hanging file folders for the filing cabinet of things that we need to access less often.

the wire clipped to the file box is the usb(?) connection between my phone and computer and I use it pretty often so I like to have it right there

the wire clipped to the file box is the usb(?) connection between my phone and computer and I use it pretty often so I like to have it right there

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These are all of our official files, nothing too crazy

All of our official files, plus personal ones in the boxes

All of our official files, plus personal ones in the boxes

You may have noticed that I took off the file labels. I love and am waiting to do the washi labeling system that I saw on (where else?) IHeart Organizing in this post.

WashiTapeLabels2 WashiTapeLabels5

Okay, this is going to blow your minds, but I have no washi tape. None. Nada. And the reason why? BECAUSE I CAN’T DECIDE ON WHAT PATTERN I WANT. Ridonkulous, right? I have commitment-phobia with washi tape. Marriage? No problem. Washi tape? I have doubts.

So, this is all of it. All of our files, official files, mementos, file boxes, and paper supplies.

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I got a glimpse of it from the other side and loved how non-overwhelming and simple it looked.

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Set up a schedule for dealing with your bills and follow it

All of our bills that have the option to be paid online, which is most of them, are. Tuvia and I decided a few weeks back (when we were being inundated with hospital bills from having Mia) that we have to sit together every Sunday night after Aiden goes to bed and go through the mail. Then we write the checks, file what needs to be put away, recycle the rest, and delegate what else has to be done that week so there’s no confusion.

It was a great system for the two weeks that we did it. But then Tuvia got sick and then Aiden got sick, so the past two weeks have been pretty off. I’m putting our Sunday night meeting on the family calendar so we see it and stick to it.

Do you have a filing system that works for you? Do you keep up with it regularly or come back to it every once in awhile? Or do you do it once a year kind of thing?

 

Letting our Closets Breathe

First and most importantly, check out the featured Apartment Therapy photo for Day 13, which I saw my sister pinned before I saw it on AT.

bedroom11713It’s gorgeous, right? I love just about every purple wall I encounter, but with the carpet, the white bedding and desk, the gray and white striped walls..I’m totally in love (it’s a good thing Tuvia is so secure). I hope to one day put up pictures of my sister’s home and you’ll see a version of this palette in her living room and then you will commend me on my good taste to have her as a sister.

This weekend, the assignment was: Weekly Flowers and Bedroom.

Flowers from the first weekend of the Cure

Flowers from the first weekend of the Cure

Bedroom cleaning guidelines in more detail:

• Give your bedroom a good, deep clean. This should be a very thorough job. The aim is to rid the room of as much dust and potential allergens as possible. Here is a sample guideline deep clean plan:

• Pick up and put away all clothes, books and belongings
• Declutter surfaces (remove change, jewelry, etc and put in proper places)
• Strip the bed
• Launder all bedding, including mattress and pillow covers
• Flip and/or rotate the mattress
• Vacuum out the closet
• Vacuum curtains with brush attachment and/or clean blinds
• Clean windows and mirrors
• Dust all surfaces and wipe down light switches, fixtures and ceiling fan
• Push aside the bed, side tables and dressers and vacuum/clean under them
• Remake the bed
• Enjoy a sound sleep in your freshly cleaned room!

And, if you want to take the Cure even further this weekend:

• Do a closet and dresser drawer purge. (Filling up that outbox!)”

The outbox after the first purge...you cannot even see the basket anymore...at all

The outbox after the first purge…you cannot even see the basket anymore…at all

I hope I’m not a traitor to the Cure or anything, but I told Tuv to skip the flowers unless he saw a particularly small or beautiful bouquet while he was out. He was sick all week and just started feeling better and then on Friday we got a call from daycare that Aiden was sick AGAIN! So, flowers and the bedroom took a backseat to what I call “survival mode” because that is what Friday felt like and yesterday was more of the same.

If anything was going to get done, it had to happen on Sunday.

Luckily, a lot of it is stuff we do (or try to do) normally anyway (putting stuff away, making our beds etc.) All the deep vacuuming and dusting had been done last Thursday when someone came in to clean. And we had to change the linens recently because…how shall I put this…we have kids. That’s what I’ll call it. So with light dusting and vacuuming in the closets, we were set.

It didn’t take long at all and I always feel better when little things like that are done, don’t you?

I didn’t want to post pictures of our whole bedroom in its current (Mia-fied) state plus I’ve been rethinking the whole thing (the accent wall color has been driving me nuts since we painted it), but I figured I could put up pictures our closets because it’s where we put stuff away and I forgot to include it in the original tour of the bedroom!

Big plans for that wall, including changing the color and putting up large-scale art, which was our original plan

Big plans for that wall, including changing the color and putting up large-scale art, which was our original plan (plus we have different curtains now from Ikea, an image of which is nowhere to be found online)

But we have NO natural light in our closets. Okay, how many people do? That would be kind of odd, a window in the closet? I would cover that up with a rod or shelves. No I wouldn’t, that’s a lie. BUT our room doesn’t get much natural light and it doesn’t reach our closets at all. So I am pretty frustrated with the pictures.

Before: the overall view

Before: the overall view

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Before: the ubiquitous over the door shoe organizer (I never wear most of these shoes)

Before

Before: crunched for rod room and messy bags

Before: the rod, hanging fabric shelves, and two wooden shelves

Before

Before: a basket (box?) with my clutches and wallets next to some of my bags haphazardly leaning on the shelf

IMG_0071
Before
Before

Before: messy, combined seasons, wrong size, and shoes I don’t wear

Before: a Grundtal rail full of headbands and I don't even wear headbands often!The rail underneath has belts, some scarves, and the bags I use most often

Before: a Grundtal rail full of headbands and I rarely even wear headbands!

The lower rail has belts, some scarves, and the bags I use most often

The lower rail has belts, some scarves, and the bags I use most often

Before: wooden shelves from our last apartment's linen closet

Before: wooden shelves from our last apartment’s linen closet

The “before” isn’t that bad. It has good “bones” like the wooden shelves Tuvia put up on the left for hats/bags and the two Grundtal rails he put up on the right for accessories, but it’s a little crowded, a little messy, and there were so many things that weren’t necessary.

Adding to the problem is that while Mia is sleeping in our room, it’s easiest to keep all of her stuff in our room so I borrowed the hanging fabric shelves from the kids’ closet but it makes it hard to move the clothes on the rod, which means I just don’t see or wear things that I could be utilizing.

I also have wayyyy too many bags. The top shelf has a big Macbeth box with out of season bags and the smaller one has travel bags. Why do I have more than one travel bag? Maybe two, one for accessories and one for toiletries, but the rest can go. Plus I have bags hanging from hooks on the left side of the rod, behind the wooden shelves AND the basket of clutches and wallets. NOT necessary.

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Before: bigger bags hang on hooks behind the shelves, making them a little hard to get to, plus I usually use the diaper bag or just my wallet nowadays

Before: bigger bags hang on hooks behind the shelves, making them a little hard to get to, plus I usually use the diaper bag or just my wallet nowadays

So I did a big purge and it felt soooo gooooood!

There’s still so much more purging to do and SERIOUSLY we need a much larger outbox or to start emptying it, but I feel really good about getting rid of things I don’t use or need. This was a really quick moving-things-around, which got my organizing gears going and I cannot wait to redo the things that survive… “The Purge” (said in my deepest most announcer-like voice).

Here comes the “womp, womp”: I currently have no “after” pictures for you.

Aiden is still sick and has off this week from daycare. Mix that with Mia not sleeping much at night and I am spent. So I must apologize for not concluding with spectacular “After” pics, but I will before the Cure is over! (And then you’ll be all “tooootally worth the wait!” #ahhhhpressure)

Anyone else doing clothing purges? Anyone want to help me sell our purged stuff? I wish we had a front yard so we could just do an old-fashioned yard sale. Also, so we would have a front yard.

Letting Go of Clutter

First, I’d like to take a minute and laugh about yesterday when I broke the media fast before I started. Hahahahahah! Classic. But, we’re here to talk about Day 12 of Apartment Therapy’s January Cure: Declutter Books & Media Hi, my … Continue reading

You’re All Invited!

The weekend of February 1-3 you’re all invited to celebrate! Okay, I can’t really invite you all to my home because I think there’s a thing about telling a bunch of strangers where exactly you live but we can celebrate together in spirit!

Backing up…today’s assignment (yup, TODAY! I am caught up!) is to “get your get-together together” including date, guests, and invite.

I’m going to make a small low-key dinner with immediate family to celebrate (you hear that guys? this is your invite! Just kidding, I’ll totally send an e-mail and make it official). Seriously, I am grateful to every one of you who has visited, read along, commented, or been supportive of this process. It means a lot and helps move everything along.

Detchpop2thankyou-print

If I were doing paper invites, I would probably go for a minted one. Have you been there? They have the most amazing prints, invites, thank you cards, etc.

Like this print, which has a fab retro graphic feel:

MIN-JSF-GNA-002B_A_APU

That song was stuck in my head forever after that Mad Men episode except the only words I know are the ones on the poster. So I just sang that over and over and over…

Day 7. Done and done.

Our First Project of the Year

The assignment for Day 5 of the January Cure is to select one project from your list to complete this month. “Isn’t today Day 6”, you ask? Why, yes it is. I’m a day behind on posts due to overwhelming … Continue reading