Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Cleaning Stuff

Okay, so I probably scared away half (or maybe more) of my potential readers for this one with the title, but oh well. Don't worry, I won't bore you with all the details of cleaning my house, you all know how that goes. I just had to share two of the things I did that I think are awesome. One is an idea I found on and instantly knew would be my favorite pin ever (yes, I am that nerdy, you'll see why), and the other came as a stroke of inspiration as I was mourning one of the little details in my house that has always bugged me and I've never been able to solve to my satisfaction.
The way this post is organized may seem a little random, but bear with me.

Let's play "I Spy", and I'll start you off with a really easy one. Can you find all the food storage items that have been taking up a large chunk of my pantry?
Good Job! Now on to business, there will be more "I Spy" later.
I know I'm going to sound OCD when I say this, but it REALLY bugs me when I'm looking at my bookshelf and the little books are pushed clear to the back so you can hardly see they're there, and the big ones are sticking way out in front hiding everything else. If you scoot the little ones forward to line up with the big ones than they look good for the moment, but you know it's just a matter of time until they all get pushed back again and you have to start all over. You can kind of solve this problem by grouping them on the shelf with other books of the same size, but it still just isn't perfect. I was trying to find a way to squeeze a few more books onto my shelf and lamenting the cluttered look of all the books, when the thought came to me that all I needed to do was put something behind the little books so they wouldn't get pushed back. Sounds good right? But what am I supposed to put behind all those books that is the right size and that I'm not going to have to use regularly, necessitating the removal of all my books on a regular basis?

Okay, now for the harder "I Spy". Can you find all the food storage items that have been taking up a large chunk of my pantry?
TA DA!!!!!!!!! Look at those pretty books, all lined up nicely on their shelf. I dare you to try to push those little ones to the back! AND, there's actually room to spare behind a few of the books that I could stick some more food in if I wanted to. I'm such a dork, but I was sooooo excited when I figured this out! Poor Ethan had to submit to being pounced on the minute he walked in the door from school, and dragged over to the bookshelf to admire my handiwork. And now I have almost a whole shelf of empty space in my pantry, so Sam's Club here I come! Someday when I'm no longer living in a tiny apartment all my excess canned goods will migrate back to the pantry, but for right now I'm loving this.
Now for my favorite pinterest pin, which shows how to roll up grocery bags so they pull out from the center of the roll like wipes. When I saw this I was so excited I actually got up off my lazy bum right then and tried it out. It was AWESOME, definitly the opposite of a pinstrosity!
If you're like me you tend to collect plastic grocery bags. They work great as trash bags in little garbage cans (such as the one in your bathroom), they make great lunch bags, disposable tote bags, packing material, etc... BUT, they take up soooo much space and it's not too long before they start to take over. And, have you ever pulled one out of your stash to use for something and it's got a huge hole in it, or a torn handle, or some other defect? It's so annoying, right? I've started doing this little trick with all my grocery bags, and it's so great. They take up so much less room, and are so handy. I'm not going to post my own tutorial, but the one on the original website is great, so you should check it out. Just so you can see why I love this, here's a few pictures of before and after the process(the dvd case is there as a size reference, not necessarily as an entertainment suggestion):
Okay, don't judge me for my mountain of bags, this is a couple of months worth.
As part of the process for rolling these, I check each bag for holes, tears, etc, and then dispose of the unusable bags. I'm too lazy/cheap to make the pretty containers the like the original blogger does, so I just secure mine with rubber bands and it suits me just fine. I keep a roll in the bottom of each of my small trash cans, as well as in the car. It's so nice to have a bag handy whenever you need one.
This is the final product. Four rolls of 12 bags each, and a pile of bags that were defective in one way or another and will be taken to be recycled. Look at how much space I'll be saving!
This entire process took me about half an hour, but that included time to stop and take pictures and to go help Erik resettle when he woke up from his nap too soon. And, if you don't wait forever in between bag rolling sessions (maybe you're even organized and motivated enough to do it right when you get home from the store) than it wouldn't be too bad at all. You could even do this while you sit and watch TV, it's that easy.
Anyways, now you've had a little peek into my oh-so-exciting life, and the high levels of nerdiness that I posses.


  1. Ok, I laughed at you hiding cans in your bookshelf, but it makes sense. :) I mean, who came up with the idea that canned goods could ONLY go in the pantry??

    I liked your grocery bag holders, good idea.


    1. It might help me not look so goofy if you knew that these aren't cans I'm planning on using for dinner any time in the next little while. Our church leaders have asked us to have a supply of food and other basic supplies on hand so we can be prepared for whatever may come. That way if you lose your job, or a natural disaster hits, or any other situation disrupts your ability to provide for yourself and your family; you can still feed your family for a while, hopefully until you can get back on your feet. So, these cans will hide behind my books for a few months until it's time to take them out,use them, and replace them with new ones so I can keep my food supply fresh. Since our last several homes have had limited kitchen space, I've gotten pretty creative at finding places to stash my extra food. You should see what it looks like under my bed! :)

  2. Your can idea is genius, I love it.

    And I'm thinking I need to roll my grocery bags now, that looks so handy. I think my mountain of bags is 3x the size of yours, lol. I just can't throw those away for some reason.

  3. I'm going to roll my bags, too! What a great idea - thanks for passing it along.