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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Organize with a New Tool

Here is a third post in the series on getting things in a more workable order in my kitchen.  I was so excited to implement this, that I skipped ahead to post about this instead of the leftover cell phones.  Don't worry, that's still coming...

This section of my pantry holds a lot of different types of vinegar, in fact I had no idea that I had this many kinds of vinegar.
When I wanted one of them, by definition of a Murphy's Law corollary it was always in the back.
I knew just what would help the situation and on a wild shopping trip in Houston a little while back I bought the solution.

It's a 12" lazy Susan with rubberized grip.  It's not something you can get at Wally World, OK not at my Small-mart, you have to go to the 'fancy store' BB&B.  Yes, I know I don't get out much and that was obvious almost immediately when my friend S & I walked in the door.  Oooo, look at this.  Did you know they made these?  Me either.  If I was a male I think I would have sounded like Gomer Pyle.  It's not that I don't drive by this store everyday.  However, it is true that I rarely cross the threshold.  Guess I need to get in there more. :)

Once I got home I was ready to tackle this project.  Again, about 20 minutes later I had this to show for my work.
Yes, I did get a good deal on Miracle Whip and Mayo, why do you ask?  When I started this project there was actually not room on the shelf for those to be up here with the other spare/backup condiments.

How did I know this idea would work?  I read about it in a magazine several years ago and also implemented it in my bathroom right after I read about it.

The nice thing about the bathroom application is that I no longer knock things over when I get them out because instead of lifting over other things, I can spin around and just take it off without having to dodge another product.

Where do you need one of these handy dandy spinners?  Don't be lazy like Susan.

Oh... Susan!  Now there's a funny girl that you'll have to meet another day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekly Menu 10/1+


Saturday

shrimp scampi
angle hair pasta
spinach
Sunday

aussie chicken
rice
broccoli
smore torillas
 Monday

spaghetti
garlic bread
 Tuesday

weeknight chicken pot pie
salad
pears w/ cheese
 Wednesday

cheesy spirals
garlic bread
lemon pudding
 Thursday

pork roast
smashed potatoes
green beans
apple cheddar cookie tart
Friday

beanie weenies
potato chips
carrots sticks



Saturday
Shrimp Scampi (menus4moms)
· 1 pkg (16 oz) frozen raw shrimp (31-35 per lb), thawed, peeled, and patted dry
· 1/3 cup flour
· 1/4 tsp salt
· 2 Tbsp olive oil
· 4 Tbsp butter
· 2 cloves garlic, pressed
· 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Melt butter and mix with pressed garlic; set aside. Heat oil in a large fry pan (cast iron is best). Toss shrimp with flour and salt until coated, then add to heated oil. Cook shrimp on first side until pink color creeps about 1/3 of the way up the side, then turn over. Cook until thoroughly cooked through. Add butter and garlic mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, stirring gently. Serve immediately over pasta.
Angel Hair Pasta
Spinach
Sunday
1. Grill extra chicken tonight for Tuesday night’s pot pie, either with bbq sauce or without. 
Aussie Chicken
· Boneless chicken pieces
· Bbq sauce
· Bacon bits
· Grated cheddar cheese
Grill chicken pieces, basting in bbq sauce.  In the last few minutes of cooking, top with bacon bits (the real stuff only, please) and then grated cheese.  These are ready when the cheese is melty. 
Rice
Broccoli
Smore Tortillas
Spread peanut butter on flour tortillas, top with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Roll each tortilla.  You can microwave if you’d rather, or wrap in foil and place on grill while you eat. 
Monday
1.This was a meal request by J, so if you don’t like Italian food enough to have it twice in one week, well then don’t. 
Spaghetti
Garlic Bread

Tuesday
Weeknight Chicken Pot Pie
· Chicken cut up from Sunday
· Half package frozen mixed veggies, thawed
· 3T butter
· 3T flour
· ¾ c milk
· ¾ c chicken stock
· Salt & pepper to taste
· 1 tsp poultry seasoning
· 1 tsp season salt
· 1 beaten egg + 2T water
· puff pastry (frozen section), or other pastry crust
Melt butter in sauce pan, add flour.  Let it bubble for two minutes, but don’t let it burn, stir gently.  Add chicken stock and milk.  Cook until bubbly and thickened.  Add veggies and chicken. 
Pour into greased pie plate.  Top with puff pastry or other crust.  Brush with egg/water mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until crust is brown and insides are bubbly
Cut up your salad while the pot pie bakes.
Salad
Pears & Cheese



Wednesday
1.Hopefully you have this in the freezer ready to go into the oven. If not, let tonight be the night that you get one of these in there.
Cheesy Spirals
§ 16 oz. package pasta spirals
§ 2 cups cooked ground beef
§ 28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce, any flavor
§ 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
§ 1 tsp. black pepper
§ 1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
§ 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook pasta spirals according to package instructions. Drain and rinse; return to pan. Add 4 cups cooked beef, spaghetti sauce, cheddar cheese soup, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir over low heat until well mixed and mixture is of uniform consistency. Remove from heat and stir in shredded mozzarella cheese. Spray 1- 9”x12” pan and 1- 8”x8” pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour mixture into pans. Bake the larger pan at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Wrap the smaller pan for the freezer and label as "Cheese Spirals: Thaw. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until heated through."



Garlic Bread
Lemon Pudding



Thursday
Pork Roast
Smashed Potatoes
Boil small to medium sized white or red potatoes until almost tender through. Place on a greased baking sheet and smash with a potato masher. Drizzle with olive oil, top with coarse salt and bake in a hot 400 degree oven until the edges of the potatoes are crispy and slightly brown.
Green Beans
Apple Cheddar Cookie Tart (Betty Crocker)
-1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
-½ teaspoon apple pie spice
-¾ cup cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
-½ cup chopped pecans
-1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
-1 egg white
-1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling with more fruit
Heat oven to 350°F. Place cookie sheet in oven. Spray 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix and apple pie spice until blended. Cut in butter using pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture in a small bowl; stir in pecans and cheese.   To remaining crumb mixture in large bowl, stir in egg white until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom and up sides of tart pan.  Place apple pie filling in medium bowl. Using knife, cut apples into small pieces.  Spoon apple mixture evenly over cookie dough crust; sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over apples.  Place tart pan on cookie sheet in oven. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until edges are golden brown and topping is set. Cool completely, about 1 hour. To serve, remove sides of pan; cut into wedges. Store covered at room temperature.

Friday
Beanie Weenies
Mix pork and beans and sliced hot dogs.  Get really crazy and use your potato chip as the spoon.  It’s Friday… loosen up for the weekend.  J
Potato Chips
Carrot Sticks


Grocery Deals 9/28+

Sprouts      red/green grapes .77/lb, roma tomatoes .77/lb, avocados .77, onions .49/lb, fall squash .88/lb, celery .88, red bell peppers.88, green bell .49, apples .99/lb, tangerines .99/lb, pork loin or roast 1.88/lb, boneless thighs 1.88/lb
Fri-Sun ONLY: potatoes $1/5#, pineapple $1, boneless chicken 1.99/lb, pepper jack 2.99/lb, ozarka 24 pack $3

HEB           fajita thighs $1/lb, gulf shrimp 4.47/lb, boneless chicken 1.98/lb, boneless thighs 1.99/lb, pears .77/lb, strawberries 1.97, plums .77/lb

Randalls    legs/thighs $1/lb, must buy some combination of 8 items (these are a few that looked good):  wolf chili .99, cake mix .99, dry onion soup mix .99

Monday, September 26, 2011

Organizing Your Turf

Welcome back to our guest contributor C. 
Hello again you loyal readers of You, More Organized your go to source for all the happenings of the Modern Green Acres.  I wanted to give a brief primer on how to mow your lawn because I know that it hasn’t rained since the “oughts” and your grass is probably “prickly dirt.”
I took a class my last semester in college titled “Turf Grass Management.”  As the name would suggest the primary focus was how to keep your yard, or putting green or multi-million dollar football field perfectly green all the time.  I learned an interesting fact in that class – don’t ask a guy wearing a Super Bowl ring if he actually played for the team because he did!  That is a different story though.  The real fact that is pertinent to this post is grass requires not only water and light it also requires temps below 70 overnight to really grow. 
So, with that lesson in mind and cooler temperatures around the corner - in December- let us begin our refresher course on the basics of lawn care.
Step one locate a large expanse of grass that needs to be mowed.  I neglected to take a picture of our yard so this picture will have to do.

Step two find a pair of shoes that are at least a decade past their prime.  I purchased these from Academy in 2003.  (Editor’s note, if it was 2003, I believe I was still the one purchasing the shoes)

You will also need a lawn mower.  The size of your yard, bank account and willingness to spend time outside in the heat will dictate which lawn mower you use.

As you can see my lawn mower is proportionately small for the amount of grass I have to mow.  However it is proportionate to the amount of time I have to actually mow grass.
The proper attire is also necessary.  Some people like shorts and an old t-shirt.  Perhaps you like to class the neighborhood up and mow in a pair of old chinos and a short sleeve button down.  Whatever floats your boat.  Here is what I wore the most recent time I mowed the grass.

Yep, I am a blood donor.  (Children are impressionable that way, thanks Pops)  Ohhh, you might have noticed that those are long sleeves.  You are probably asking why in the world would you mow grass in long sleeves in September.  Well…

This picture… well…. This picture speaks for itself.  The top number is outside.  Let me tell you it was a bit chilly in the shade and when the breeze was blowing.
I hope that this post was helpful to you in your endeavors to maintain your yard.
*Afterword – to be read in the tone of a loving wife – I too, took the aforementioned “Turf Grass Management” class.  (Proud member of the Fightin’ Aggie Class of 2004!)  I however, took away a lesson much more related to academia.  I learned that you can skip a class called “Turf Grass Management” several times, still make a very good grade, and have a nice looking yard to boot!  The secret?  Marry a man who doesn’t mind mowing the lawn.   

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Is the Score Settled?

When I got home Thursday evening I noticed a couple of things.
1.  This gate.
Off its hinges and mangled.
2.  Hay in the pen.

3.  A bull and a red cow with a white face.
Ok, there's no picture of these two because while I did notice them, I didn't make the most important connection.  So we went out and looked....

I looked high

and low...

but didn't find them.

You know who else I didn't find?  Yep, Missy.  There's a chance she might be outta here.  I wouldn't put it past her to be hiding though.    Evidence is leaning in my favor on this one though.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Point for Missy

I took these pictures the morning the fires started.  Once we got home from church and there were fires popping up everywhere around the area, I really forgot that I had taken these until I was reviewing things on the camera.

Then I was reminded about how Missy was getting under my skin again.

This isn't Missy, but her apprentice.  Missy had already finished snacking on her breakfast okra and had moved on by the time I got outside with the camera.  

Doesn't she look smug and satisfied?
I think so too.

Then to really get me she came on into the yard for a little blue stem and zinnia dessert to top things off.  She's a sly mover despite her 1,200 pound frame.  See, you can barely see her here.


Then once she saw me, she started rubbing it in my face and decided that she could just come on out in the open.
L made me leave her alone and let her eat a meal, at least until we left for church and then J chased her out of the yard.

1 point Missy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Re-purpose to Re-organize


As promised, I did take on the next organizing challenge in my kitchen.  This time the area to be controlled is the lunchbox and water bottle area. 

It’s chaotic, I know.  I live with it, because I don’t have to look at it every day.  I really only go in there about once a week. Except for the first Monday of school that I forgot to pack lunch for poor little J.  You'll be happy to know he didn't starve and while I didn't get a confirmation email saying that he got to eat, he said he did get to eat.  Whew. 

You might notice there are a few ‘extra’ items here too.  Doesn’t everyone keep their heating pad in the kitchen?  Well if you are making your own yogurt you would.  The sad part is that after multiple failed attempts and a random successful attempt I have stopped making my own yogurt.  The good news is that I got the heating pad from K a number of years ago because she had a spare and was looking to pare down her ‘stuff’. 

The coffee grinder is used for grinding spices, seeds (flax/sunflower) or other grains when you need things a little finer than their natural state and it's not ever used for coffee.  The great thing about this grinder is that K found it for me at a thrift store for the whopping price of $1. 

So why did things get so out of hand in this cabinet?  I blame it all on the water bottles; they are top heavy and tip over for no reason. 

I found a plastic bin in another part of the house that didn’t have anything worthwhile in it.  In fact I donated every item in there, except one!  The bottles fit in this bin perfectly. 

I’ve organized in 8-10 people’s homes over the last year or so and found that every single one of them has at least one extra bin that they could put to better use.  Some people have more, but that’s another post.  Ha! 

I culled out some of the pitchers and bottles we never use anymore. Don't worry, the Larry Boy water bottle made the cut and did not get donated.  

Put things right back in and viola! 

Wondering why you don't see the LB bottle?  it is actually laying down behind the bin to keep the bin from going too far in the back of the cabinet.  

A much more respectable cabinet.  Total time spent… 20 minutes.  

Next week... excess chargers and old cell phones.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Thought so.  See ya back here Thursday night.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weekly Menu 9/24+


Saturday

lasagna pizza
fruit salad
Sunday

pork ribs
baked beans
cucumbers in sour cream
 Monday

PW meatloaf
red potatoes
green beans
 Tuesday

king ranch chicken
guacamole
 Wednesday

chicken alfredo
angel hair pasta
broccoli
 Thursday

shrimp summer stir fry
strawberry fluff
Friday

taco crescent bake
lettuce/tomato


Saturday
Lasagna Pizza (Quick Cooking)
·         1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean), or 2 c cooked
·         1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
·         1/4 cup water
·         1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix, divided
·         1 package (16 ounces) hot roll mix
·         1 cup warm water (120° to 130°)
·         1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
·         1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
·         2 tsp parsley
·         1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Stir tomato sauce, water and 3 tablespoons spaghetti sauce mix into the ground beef; heat through. In a large bowl, combine contents of roll mix and yeast packets; add remaining spaghetti sauce mix.  Stir in warm water until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Roll into a 17-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; build up edges slightly.  Mix cottage cheese and parsley  and spread mixture over dough. Top with meat mixture and Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Fruit Salad

Sunday
Pork Ribs
Baked Beans
Cucumbers in Sour Cream
·         2-3 peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumbers
·         ½ c sour cream
·         1tsp sugar
·         1T apple cider vinegar
·         ½ tsp salt
·         1 tsp dill weed
·         dash pepper
Brownies

Monday
1.       Ree at Pioneer Woman has these made up as sliders, but I thought it would be good as a meatloaf, and it is.  I mixed a couple of these loaves up the other day (sans sauce), wrapped them in plastic wrap and then into the freezer.  I’ll pull one out for tonight’s supper and then will still have a spare.  You can top it with the spicy fry sauce if you want. 
Meatloaf (Pioneer Woman)
SAUCE:
-1/3 cup Mayonnaise
-2 Tablespoons Ketchup
-1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (less If You're Sensitive To Spice!)
MEAT:
-4 Tablespoons Butter
-1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
-8 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Chopped Finely
-1/2 cup White Or Red Wine (optional)
-4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
-Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
-2 pounds Ground Beef
-4 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
-4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
-1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
-Freshly Ground Black Pepper
FOR SLIDERS:
-4 slices Swiss Cheese, Cut Into Four Squares
-8 whole Dinner (or Slider) Rolls, Split
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, ketchup, and cayenne. Stir together until totally combined.  Set aside. (This is the spicy fry sauce.)  Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add onions and cook over medium heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.  Add mushrooms and toss around, then add wine (if using), Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Cook for several minute over medium heat, or until all liquid has evaporated.  Transfer mushroom mixture to a separate bowl, scraping all contents from the skillet.  Mix ground beef, heavy cream, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Use your hands to thoroughly mix ingredients. 
For the meatloaf: add in the mushroom mixture, and mix well.  Form a loaf and bake in a 9x13 pan at 375 for 45-50 min. 
For the sliders: Form 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the meat mixture into patties, making an indentation with your thumb to keep the patties from plumping too much when they cook. In the same skillet as the one used to cook the mushrooms, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add four patties at a time, indented side face up. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip. Spoon generous portion of mushroom mixture on each patty, then top with one or two squares of Swiss, depending on your preference. Place lid on skillet and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until burgers are cooked through and cheese is melted. Remove to a place and keep warm while you repeat with the rest of the meat mixture.


Tuesday
King Ranch Chicken
·         2-3 c cooked chicken
·         1 can cream mushroom soup
·         1 can mushrooms, drained
·         1 can cream of chicken soup
·         1 can Rotel (partially drained)
·         Corn tortillas (cut in wedges)
·         Cheddar cheese
·         Green onions for garnish
You can use the crockpot to simmer this all day (minus the tortillas, cheese and green onion) or put it in a saucepan before putting layering with tortillas and cheese and baking in the oven.  Bake at 350 for ~20 minutes, or until bubbly.

Guacamole
·         Avocados
·         Tomatoes & onion chopped finely
·         Garlic salt
·         Squeeze of lime juice

Wednesday
1.       This cooks up very quickly and is SO good.  Plus we’ve already had cream in our pie this week, so why not have cream again!  Also if you only used half cup of cream in your pie, you’ll have just enough cream to use up the pint within the week. 

Creamy Chicken Alfredo
·         ¼ c flour
·         6 boneless chicken
·         1t salt
·         2T olive oil
·         3 cloves garlic
·         1T minced onion
·         1 ½ c whipping cream
·         1/3 c parmesan cheese
·         ½ t pepper
·         1T chopped parsley

Sprinkle chicken with salt and dredge chicken through flour in shallow dish.  Heat 2T oil in large skillet.  Add chicken and cook, turning once until golden; about 2-4 minutes per side.  Chicken does not need to be fully cooked.  Place chicken in a 9x13 pan.  Heat remaining oil in skillet add garlic and onion; cook until garlic is fragrant and onion is tender about 1-2 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high; add whipping cream, parmesan and pepper.  Cook until sauce is bubbly and slightly thickened; about 2-3 minutes.  Spoon sauce over chicken in dish.  Bake about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until chicken reaches 180 degrees. 

Pasta
Broccoli

Thursday
Summer Stir Fry (Pioneer Woman)
·         2 Tablespoons Butter
·         2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
·         4 cloves Garlic, Minced
·         12 whole Jumbo Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined, Tails Left On
·         2 whole Zucchini, Sliced On A Slight Diagonal
·         2 ears Corn, Kernels Sliced Off
·         1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, Sliced In Half Lengthwise
·         Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
·         Chopped Fresh Herbs, If Desired
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic. When oil/butter is hot, add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a plate. Do not clean skillet.  Add the rest of the butter and oil and heat over medium heat. Add zucchini slices in a single layer and cook for one minute, tossing once. Scoot the zucchini to the edges of the pan, then add corn kernels to the middle of the pan. Cook for one minute. Add grape tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and toss around, then add shrimp. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Serve on a big platter.

Strawberry Fluff
·         1 packet sugar-free strawberry jello
·         1 c sour cream
·         2 c sugar-free cool-whip
·         1 c chopped strawberries
Mix dry jello with sour cream.  Fold in cool whip, then fruit.  You can easily switch the fruit and jello combos to match what you have on hand.  Mandarin oranges work well in this recipe too.  Of course you can use sugared jello and cool-whip if you’d like.  I do make an attempt to be somewhat healthy around here.  This counteracts the praline apple cake from last week. 

Friday
1.       If you have left over meatloaf, this is a good way to use it up. 
Taco Crescent Bake
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 2 c cooked ground meat
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 c sour cream
  • ½ c picante sauce
  • 1 c grated cheese
  • 1 c crushed tortilla chips

Unroll crescent rolls and seal seams into a 9x13 pan.  Combine sour cream and picante sauce and spread over rolls.  In medium saucepan combine ground meat and taco seasoning with water and simmer until all liquid is gone.  Spread over sour cream mixture.  Top with cheese and crushed tortilla chips.  Bake 375 for 15-20 minutes. 
Lettuce & Tomato

Grocery Deals 9/21+


HEB             chicken breasts $1/lb, St Louis pork ribs 1.97/lb, pasta $1, green beans .77/lb, corn 3/$1, gala apples .97/lb

Randalls    roast 50% off (no idea on price per pound), pork loin 1.88/lb, red grapes .99/lb

Sprouts      cantaloupe .77, peaches/nectarines/plums .77/lb (vs 1.47 HEB, .99 Randalls), pears .77/lb, oranges .77/lb, gala apples .99, roma tomatoes .39 (vs HEB .77), avocados .39, corn .49, bell peppers .49, red ones .77, onion s.49/lb (vs HEB 1.39), celery .77, broccoli .99/lb, cauliflower .99/lb, Colby jack 2.99 (bulk cut), chicken tenders 1.88/lb, chocolate raisins 2.99 (yum), pitted prunes 1.99/lb.  I only include the prunes because it gave me reason to type out this fun little song.  I’ll sing it for you sometime if you want. 
 
No matter how young a prune may be, he’s always getting wrinkles. 
A prune-y is just like his dad, but he aint wrinkled half so bad.
Now we get wrinkles on our face, but a prune-y gets them every place.
No matter how young a prune may be, he’s always getting stew-ooo-ewed.
(Clasp your hands together and speak into them)
Little pit inside that pru-en, is it night or is it noo-en?
Whatcha doin, pru-en?  Stewin?  Hmmmmm?
 
What??? No takers?  Ahh, that’s ok I’ve made some of you sing…I know who some of my readers are.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Warranties


Well this blog is supposed to be about organizing and well I finally got down to doing some organizing the other night when the satellite went out.  It was worse than when I was a kid and the President was talking.  Because now there was no blue glow, no annoying background noise.  We’ve drained the pool, so we couldn’t swim.  It was quite hot outside at 7pm still since we’ve now hit 85 days of 100+ degree days.  I wandered around a bit at a loss of what to do next.  We were definitely off our regular routine. 

That’s as good a time as any to look around at some areas that could use some improvement.  I found at least four that need almost immediate attention, just in the kitchen so I started with one and well just got started.  I’ll admit that overcoming the inertia of keeping things the way they are is the hardest part of a project.  Once you get into it and start the purging process, it is liberating to see how much you can get rid of and how little you actually want to put back into the now cleaned out area. 

This is the drawer I decided to tackle first. 
 This is where we keep product manuals and warranty for all sorts of items.  Perhaps a kitchen drawer isn’t the best place for this stuff and now that I’m really starting to think about it, I think I could indeed take things to a different place by shifting these to hanging folders as I imagined Laura did when she went through her warranties last week.  Yes, this is a copy-cat activity. 

So what did I find???? All sorts of things. 

My darling DIL and I have a running joke about the things that I save (like the ticket stubs when we all visited the St Louis Arch) that she will end up finding when she’s cleaning out my house because I’m dead (hopefully much later in our lives), and oh J have I got some good ones for you this time!  I won’t spoil it for you though, but you’ll find a few random receipts for items, I tucked them away for you to find later.  J

I found manuals for things we have, duplicate books for things like ceiling fans that we have four of.  Why did I save two of the books?  Was I afraid one would be lost in the drawer?  Really?  Out one went.  

The easy stuff to get rid of was the stuff that we don’t have anymore, like the lawn mower that was purchased in 1994.  The book for the original washing machine that we bought with the house, that died four years ago.  You get the idea.  Perhaps things are like this at your house?  It’s easy to add one more thing to the pile, but a bit of a pain to sort through that big pile just to look for one thing to take out. Oh used ink cartridges for our printer; we’ve not actually had a printer in at least five years.

As I took each item out of the drawer I put it with other things like it.  Here are the categories I ended up with, you’ll no doubt have some different categories if you decide to do this exercise too (pssst, get ready for a challenge).  Electronics, Large Appliances, Kitchen, Tools, Tractor, Shed (things that live in the shed, or are related to the outside, like the electric fence charger for the garden to keep Missy out). 

There were some other items in there too… like a random picture from L&M’s wedding a young DM is in the background watching and laughing (you can get a glimpse by the bananas).  Random hose connector items, that obviously belong to something… 


My favorite item however was the blue thing in this picture that has ‘save for future use’ stamped in the plastic on the top.  I was compliant.  I saved it.  I think it goes to the water filter in the fridge, but I’m not completely sure.  J may get to find that too. 



Plenty of the labels for education and the other labels that we save for school too.  I sent those on to school this morning.  Phone chargers, SIM cards, phone batteries.  etc etc etc.  

Once I had all the stuff sorted out I got manila files labeled them with my broad categories, stacked them all back into the drawer like this: 
I recycled a stack of paper 3-4" high, threw away a good stack of stuff with our names on it and now can open and close the drawer without issue.  I'm pumped and ready to tackle the next cabinet just below.  I'll give you a preview.  

Maybe you've got something like this going on at your house too, maybe not.  How can things get this bad? I do have an answer. It's because I don't go into these cabinets very often.  I don't get eye level with this lunch box/water bottle cabinet on a daily basis; perhaps only once a week (if i remember to pack a lunch for my poor boy).  Things are gonna change though.  Getting down on the floor makes me want to change it, and soon!  

Time invested? about 30 minutes on the drawer.  Way better use of my time than watching tv.  

So take the warranty challenge.  If you don't do anything else, just weed out the stuff you don't have anymore.  Make a comment and let me know what you decide to tackle and then post again when you've gotten it done!

Ready? Set? Go!  You daughter, or daughter-in-law will really appreciate it.