Friday, October 28, 2011

The Six Commandments of Organizing (Part 1)

So, here we are just a few days until baby is scheduled to arrive. I made some serious "nesting" headway this week, reviewing and filing receipts, making lists and packing my bag for the hospital. I was also cleaning up some of the files that I saved to my computer's desktop, and found a list that I made for a friend several years ago. Here is the first installment for your inspiration: 
  1. Each area of the house should be set up for only one type of activity.  Don’t pay bills in the kitchen, or eat in the bedroom. Use rooms for their intended purpose and designate an area for paperwork in an office or at a desk. Don’t cram all your activities into one room, or you’ll set yourself up to lose things!
  2. Handle items only once, or at the very most, twice.  Sort your mail next to the trash can.  Toss junk mail right away, take bills immediately to your desk (or schedule them for online payment immediately). Don’t make a habit of ‘piling’ unless you make a habit of sorting the pile for an hour each week!
  3. Designate one place in the house that will always be clutter-free to serve as your sorting area. You need a place to set down grocery bags, stacks of paperwork or supplies, and any other items you bring home with you. Unpack or spread out the items, then start putting things away immediately, working to clear off the sorting area.  Sometimes you have to make a mess in order to organize or clean it up!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Applesauce Party!

The other day, two of my good friends came over to help make applesauce. This is the third year that we've turned it into a party, and the proverbial saying is true--Many hands do make light work!

Regretfully, I didn't think to take many pictures along the way, but here are two shots of the finished product.

We started out with four baskets of Cortland apples from Ray's Greenhouse in Telford. They are a family business and wonderful to deal with. Out of the four baskets, we had one apple that was past it's prime. They also sell baskets of "seconds" for less, but according my frugal mother-in-law, it's not really worth it. I'll take her word for it! We love the Cortlands, because they are very flavorful, require little added sugar, and give this beautiful pink color.

Some math for you:
4 adults +
3 hours +
4 pots +
2 strainers =
35 quarts of yield

Pretty exciting! I like that kind of math.

In case you are wondering, I did a lot of rearranging and found just enough freezer space for all the containers. We ate quite a few thawed items for dinner this week, though!

Oh, and all the apple scrap left from this project went right onto the garden to feed next years' beans, zucchini and tomatoes. Maybe we'll even get an apple tree!? !

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I'm initiating a new type of post today, called "Tidbits." This format will encompass miscellaneous updates or thoughts that don't really warrant their own full-size post.

  •  I ran into my friend Erin over the weekend. She was pleased to tell me that even though it's been a year, she's completed her recipe project. She typed up and organized her recipes in binders. Each type (Dessert, Vegetable, etc.) is separated by a pocket divider. The recipes she hasn't tried yet go in the pocket until she deems them worthy of filing. Way to go, Erin!
  • The cleaning list I shared in my last post is really working out. I will confess that I don't get every item done every week (remember I am 35 weeks pregnant and have a teething two-year-old). However, I think I was pretty lax before and now going over stuff that is still relatively clean goes very quickly. It took me the better part of two hours to really clean my fridge last week, but it was soooo worth it. De-cluttering the doors of magnets and hanging stuff really makes for a clean appearance, too. 
  • I've learned something about laundry. Since I've been a domestic engineer, I've found myself running loads of laundry every other day or so, often mixing towels in with another partially full load. This week, I tried waiting till I had several full loads. While I can't explain it, it seems easier to do multiple loads at once. I doubt it's going to take much discipline to wait, especially once the baby is here!