Hello, friend. How is your summer going? It seems like we should be through the thick of our busyness, but it doesn’t appear to be slowing down yet at all. I am enjoying my summer, though, and getting lots of things done that I won’t be able to get to once school starts. I have been cooking with peaches and working on organization this week. We got our first tomato out of our garden on Monday. That was very exciting. I’ve also been picking green beans and weighing them each time. We’ve picked about 20 pounds so far. Whoo Hoo!
Peaches are in and selling at farmer’s market. Of course, I was enticed by the boxes full of pretty yellow and red fruit and bought two half bushels of seconds. I then had to figure out how to use them promptly. Though they were firm then, I didn’t consider that the peaches had sat out in the heat all day at the market, and so they were ready to be used by the time I got them home on Friday night. Saturday morning we started right in on them. We initially made two peach pies. Stephanie and Kenny came over for dinner on Saturday evening, so it was nice to have a special treat. We then made two peach cobblers to take to a cookout we were invited to on Sunday Night.
Somewhere in there, Sunday afternoon maybe, I made peach and yogurt popsicles. The children are enjoying those. Monday morning I made peach and banana yogurt smoothies for our breakfast. All of this is besides what were initially consumed by the masses…. I mean children. They were very helpful in putting a real dent in the supply. I actually was planning on flash freezing some for later use in smoothies after peaches are not in season anymore, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Maybe I’ll pick up some more next week as the lady at the market told me she would still have peaches for a couple of weeks.
I also have been on an organization bent lately. What happens to me, I don’t know, but I can only look at a messy area for so long before I have to tackle it. If I were normal, I could just clean up a mess and go on, but I have a different gene. I’m not super picky about the house being perfect all the time, but when a mess won’t go away after I straighten it up over and over, I go into my tackle mode. Then it’s like that old T.V. series, Clean Sweep. I take everything out, throw most of it away and put what I consider manageable back in place.
This gene has been helpful over the years in retrieving lost items such as spoons and cups in the bottom of toy boxes or screwdrivers in dresser drawers. I know that things in my house walk around at night because I am constantly assured that no one living here puts things in such crazy places.
In the past week, I have deep cleaned the mud room/coat area, emptied out and organized my pantry, and yesterday I tackled Stephanie’s old room, which is now our library/game room. I considered just speaking to the pantry area since it is kitchen related, but I decieded to throw in a picture and a short paragraph about the library/game room because I am so pleased with how it looks and how I hope it will function better.
In our family, maybe in all families with children, especially in families with children that help with the cooking, the pantry tends to get trashed. Often. At least mine does. People are thinking about what they want out of it but have no memory of where it came from when they put it back away. Then you buy groceries. Everyone helps put them away. But some people, in a big hurry, just kind of stuff things in the first empty spot they see. If the empty spots are gone, things end up on the floor of the pantry. Have you ever found a container of frozen orange juice in your pantry?
One of the things that makes our pantry difficult to keep clean is we always have small items that tend to sprawl out. This includes things like bags of beans, packages of spaghetti, bags of rice, etc. Sometimes I will put a basket in the pantry and fill it with small stuff, but it never stays neat because we have to dig through it to find what we want, and you cannot stack the baskets. I have been looking in the food storage area at Meijers to find some organizing solution but haven’t found anything that works at a price point I am willing to pay. (I thought I would need quite a few).
It occurred to me to look in the home organization area. Here’s what I learned. Food Storage/organization containers are expensive; Home storage/organization containers are cheap. I bought two 6 quart rectangular containers. They were about $2.50 each. I brought them home and put all of my bags of beans in them. It looked orderly. I stacked them up, and I suddenly had clean space. So, the next day I went back and bought four more. I put my spaghetti, my rice, my chow mein noodles, and bags of dried milk all in containers. It looks so organized.
The Library/Game Room
OK, I will make this one short. Since Stephanie’s room is empty, this is a great opportunity put it to good use. John had talked about making it into a library, so we went with that. We moved two bookcases in there. On one bookcase, we put all the fiction books that have no particular owner. This gives those books a home, and hopefully, everyone knows what to do with a book when we are cleaning.
On the second bookshelf, we put all our games and puzzles. They are also all in one place now, very easy to find, retrieve and replace. Is that just wishful thinking? We put the futon bed into a couch position, so now there is a place to sit. It makes me happy to get up in the morning and see children sitting in there reading while waiting for the rest of the family to wake up.
I love learning about organization from other people. It is not my strong suite. Please leave me your favorite organization tip in the comments below. Thanks and have a great week.
Until next time,
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