Opening Hours

I got some great feedback on my recent post about my revelation of being a stay-at-home mom. (Thanks to all my readers who leave comments! I appreciate your opinions. A lot.)

I guess my previous post about Spending More Time With Your Baby was more about my obsession with the internet. While I already managed to cut down my time in front of the computer, I’m obviously still doing other chores like cleaning the house, laundry and cooking. I’m just not doing that ALL day anymore. My priority nowadays is Emma.

However, I’m still getting sucked into this black hole called internet way to much. Therefore I’ve decided to introduce opening hours for myself. Let’s pretend Thrasher Home was a business. It wouldn’t be a drive thru nor would it be open 24/7. It would be like one of those small mom & pop stores in a small beach town with a lovely front door, a cute bell and a chalkboard sign reading:

Emails may be answered a day or two later. Gasp!

Open for Business

Mon-Fri: One hour while baby is sleeping in the morning and another hour while she is napping in the afternoon.
Possibly an additional hour after dinner.

Sat:  One to two hours while husband takes care of baby. Business may be closed if family outings are happening.
Sun: Dedicated to the Lord, not the Internet.

Every now and then said sign may read:

Back in 5 or 55 minutes.

Or:

Closed for family fun.

That said, in an effort to streamline all the tasks that fall under my job description as a stay-at-home mom and my attempts to open my own Etsy shop, I will only be available online for a limited time during the day. Shudder! Gasp! Crazy idea, huh? I believe this will be the solution to keeping track of the time I spent blogging, researching, writing for SIMPLE, tweeting, Facebooking, answering/writing emails, chatting, and creating Google documents for everything else.

As part of a major family project – which we will reveal soon – I am looking into sacrificing the data plan for my iPhone. Not a done deal yet but a serious consideration.

What do you think? Would ‘opening hours’ or scheduling the time you spent online improve your day or keep you from getting stuff done?

A Perfectly Organized Home

In an effort to get our house so organized that my devoted husband will know exactly where to find stuff, I decided to take ‘nesting’ to the next level.

Operation ‘De-clutter’ had begun. Starting with the room that pretty much contains the most tools and daily ingredients – the kitchen.

Kitchen cabinets can become cluttered easily, making it impossible to find what you need when you need it. I believe an organized kitchen can simplify your life. And it looks pretty.

First, remove everything from all of your cabinets. Spread the items out on the counters and a table, if necessary. If you see anything that you simply never use or items that are so old that you could sell them on eBay as antiques, donate (not the stuff past expiration date, of course) or trash them. Also, since your cabinets are now empty, this would be a great time to give them a thorough cleaning. Just sayin’.

Pulling all the spices out of the cabinet revealed that I must have an obsession with cinnamon.

Next, separate the items you use frequently from the items that you do not use very often. For me, that means baking supplies go to the top shelf (I am really not into baking).

Of course, having a few practical shelf organizers handy is critical to accomplish your mission. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond for the following items:

Under Sink Organizer, $15

Medium Cabinet Shelf, $5

10″ Cabinet Organizer, $6

Non-Skid Turntable, $8

The black boxes are photo storage bins from Target ($5 each).

After: Items are easy to reach. And it looks neat.

Spice rack.

Breakfast items on a turntable make it easy to reach even the jars in the back.

Last, separate the frequently used items into groups: pots and pans, mixing bowls, dinnerware, serving pieces, etc. Put these items away in the most logical location depending upon their use:

  • Place pots and pans in a cabinet near the stove.
  • Place dinnerware in a cabinet near the table or entrance to the dining room.

You get the idea. Remember to put heavier items in lower cabinets or on the lowest shelf of upper cabinets. The key is to make the most efficient use of your kitchen storage.

Now, that we got the organization down, I can move on to beautifying my kitchen: a vintage wall clock, a few cute prints and a very few (!) pretty, colorful items to keep on the countertop. On that note, I have rearranged my countertop items to make room for this lovely sunshine yellow breadbox (found at Target but no longer available).

Breadbox from Target.

Vintage-looking wall clock from Target.

Off to the next room/space in our house – the linen closet. Stay tuned for part two of project ‘De-clutter’.