Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ready to Organize, but Not Sure Where to Start? (Giveaway)


Are you enthusiastic about tackling an organizing project, but aren't sure where to start? Or do you know you'll only get the job done with some cheerleading and encouragement?

I'd be delighted to help!

That's exactly what I did for my friend, whose kitchen is featured in these photos. We organized for function and efficiency, and relocated objects so that she could install a dishwasher.


If you have an upcoming reason to organize, or are just frustrated with your stuff, here are a few ways that I could help:
  • Assess a problem area in your home/office and offer verbal or written suggestions on how to better organize it. 
  • Physically assist you in organizing one or more spaces, providing motivation, ideas and labor. I promise this can be fun; many hands make light work.
  • Guide you through setting up online bill pay or other paperless solutions.
  • Help you find charitable or eco-friendly disposal options for things that you no longer want or need.
  • Organize items and list them for sale on eBay, Craigslist, Freecycle, etc. or prepare for a yard sale or Mother's Mart.
Of course, I'd be happy to problem solve and brainstorm along with you if you have a more specific need. Reach me at christina (dot) alderfer (at) gmail (dot) com.

Ready to get started? I'm giving away a two-hour organizing session to one lucky reader this week. Please enter by commenting on why you need the help. I'll choose a random winner to be announced on Saturday. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cleaning Schedule/Checklist

Now that the warm weather is upon us (thank heavens!), I thought it might be a good time to re-post the link to my cleaning schedule. For those of you who are, um, thinking about spring cleaning.

Nothing fancy here, just a jumping off point for you to adapt to suit your home and family needs. If you don't like mine, there are hundreds of others in cyberspace to choose from.

Incidentally, since I developed the checklist, I read this post and learned I should be vacuuming a lot more often. Like almost every day. Since we are at home most of the time, that is one time per week for every person and pet.

(Shhh...Does anyone know if this is for real, or a conspiracy put forth by carpet companies?)

Enjoy your day!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Welcome and Thank You to Moms from JAM

Welcome to those of you who are reading for the first time. Thanks for stopping by!

I'd like to express my sincere appreciation to the Moms who allowed me to speak at JAM this morning. It was a pleasure to see faces both new and familiar!

If you'd like to review a copy of this morning's presentation, please click here.

I hope you were inspired and encouraged to tackle some spring cleaning and organizing projects. And, of course, I hope you'll follow by email or subscribe to the blog (along the right column) for future tips and encouragement.

Happy Spring!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Point A to Point B

My preschool age son is enjoying a new workbook that teaches pencil control.

It's really fun watching him concentrate (think of how people often stick their tongues out while cutting). He hasn't yet fully decided if he's left or right handed--we think it's probably left--so he's alternating hands.

He starts at the green dot, follows the path of whatever illustration (trash truck, flying bird, skier, etc.) and finishes at the red dot.

If only life were as neat, predictable and easy to navigate as workbook pages. Sigh.

(Can you tell I was one of those kids that got super excited about new books, notebooks and pens at the start of the school year?)

But here's what I'm learning: It's not just about getting from one dot to the other. It's what happens in between that really matters.

This weekend, my husband and I discussed my tendency to wish away the present as I anticipate the future. I was listening to some empty nesters talking about their impromptu plans to just head to the shore for a day. It sounded really nice.

I wish, oh how I wish, that I could be so spontaneous. I tell myself I could be spontaneous if I were an empty nester. But right now? I don't think we could do that. With a preschooler and toddler, it takes military-style tactical manuevers to get out the door.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I could do it, even without small children. I'd be worrying about what was left undone at home. I'd mentally be somewhere else, doing something different, again.

This is dangerous thinking.

If I don't purposefully choose a course for my life--or as a Christian, submit to God's will for it--there will always be a savvy marketer happy to help me fill my time and empty my wallet.

So I want to intentionally enjoy each moment. Stopping to smell the roses, if you will. This requires me to be proactive, setting goals to make this season meaningful. They don't have to be perfectly executed, but they will push me to aim higher than no goals at all.

It will also be important to try and stick with the plan when the day goes off course. As I've been reflecting during the past months (this is much bigger than one conversation with hubby), I've recognized how easy it is to react, explode with frustration, and vow to get less upset next time, without making any real changes.

In the next two weeks, I'm planning to take a big step back and sit in a quiet place where I can think clearly. I want to map out a general direction for the next few years, establish priorities, and maybe even draft a family values covenant.

I can't wait to get started, even if my progress is a little shaky for awhile.