Resolution: Get Organized

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Welcome to the next installment of "Kate's New Year's Resolutions." I'll once again preface this (and apologize) by saying this will not be the most entertaining of blog entries, but once it's written, it's a commitment, right? Here goes.

As some of you know, Tyler and I live in a one bedroom condo. Not too big, not too small. Just right for the two of us. But other than a coat closet by the front door and our bedroom closet, we have very little storage. When we first moved in, this place was PACKED to the brim. As soon as we were married, we dove into grad school and work which didn't leave a lot of time for properly storing wedding gifts and sifting through clothes and scrap pieces of paper, golf ball, and old useless notebooks my husband will never look at filled boxes . Slowly but surely, as I've found the time, I've gradually been able to clean through one random box and dark corner in the closet at a time. I've thrown out clothes, shoes, purses, and knickknacks I should've let go of a long time ago. But as much as we throw out, almost surely it's eventually replaced by something else. So every break I have from school, I get on a cleaning out kick. The kind of cleaning where the whole place is torn apart and looks terrible before it looks a lot better.

This Christmas, Tyler's big gift was camping equipment. Piece by piece from different relatives, he acquired a tent, sleeping bag, travel coffee maker, camping pots and pans, camping chairs, flashlights, compasses, and on and on and on... I myself got a sewing machine and several more books that won't fit on my packed bookshelves. It's also a new semester which means new textbooks and notebooks. So this's cleaning time!

I've done a pretty good job so far. I broke down and cleaned out some of my notebooks from undergrad to make room on bookshelves. I've saved a lot of them since I'm actually going into a field related to my major, but let's face it... I don't need that Exercise Psychology notebook anymore. I also cleaned out my bathroom drawers: a MAJOR feat. I slowly keep collecting these tiny samples of lotions, make-up, bobby pins, and those last doses of cold tablets that get thrown in but never get used because...who remembers they're there? My drawers would barely close. So I cleaned 'em out. Our kitchen drawers were becoming the same way. We were slowly expanding our collection of gadgets and our cabinets were in disarray. I cleaned out a junk drawer so well that I had a completely new, available drawer to throw the random gadgets in. Exciting, right?? I know. And lastly, I packed away our Christmas decorations (garland and ALL) into THREE boxes. Count 'em three. After acquiring new decorations and pretty sizable Christmas gifts, I have more room now than I did before... I feel so accomplished.

I'm also a list maker. This is no new thing. Even if it's not originally on my list, if I get it done, I write it down just so I can cross it off. Don't lie, I know you do it too. But I'm going to begin writing down minuscule things, not to feel more accomplished, but because I've been getting so busy that my priorities are getting out of whack. So things like "workout," "Bible study," and "clip fingernails" are gettin' thrown in.

Our last new change: meal planning. In accordance with our new budget (more later), Tyler and I are now pulling up the sales and specials at Harris Teeter on Sundays, planning, and shopping for our meals for the week. We've allowed one night for Lean Cuisines so we have an easy night and one night we're both at Bible study, so there's no cooking. That leaves one night for us to cook together (Sunday), and one night for each of us to cook (we usually find something more fun or easy on Fridays and Saturdays). We plan our (healthy) meals around what's on sale for the week. We go to the grocery store with exactly what we need for the week and since there's no random purchasing and last minute forgotten items purchased during the week, we save a lot of money. It's also so much less stressful to know who's taking care of dinner what night and knowing exactly what I'm cooking. If I get home at 5 or 6 and have to figure out what we have in the house and what recipe will coordinate, it'll never happen... But last night I broiled salmon ($6 at Trader Joe's) and sautee'd yellow squash, zuccini , zuccinni , zuchinni , green squash, mushrooms, and onions.

So, that's what happens when you get organized! A clean house, tidy drawers and closets, accomplished priorities, money saved, and healthy, home cooked meals. Ahhhh... Stayed tuned. The season finale is our budget!!

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