Cleaning & Organizing

Turning 50 and Attempting to Decorate for My Age

Turning 50 and Attempting to Decorate for My Age

Turning 50 and Attempting to Decorate for My Age

Turning 50 and Attempting to Decorate for My Age. In my earnest effort to look normal, have a normal home, and decorate…we went in to TJ Maxx.  I could feel the panic come over my body.  So many people in that store.  It was like the Shop-O-Rama in my local town.

There was jewelry, perfume, clothes, purses, Christmas EVERYWHERE, decor, toys, food…my thoughts were if I stumble on a frozen food section, I am out of there.  It was overwhelming for me.  I shop online all the time.  This in person crap is for the birds.

I beelined to the pillows. They seemed safe and according to my sister, I needed one stripe or floral, one solid, and one textured to bring a “room together.”  I’m agreeing with her like I know what she is saying.

Yet, this is why she is my person.

After her words were used, she looked up the exact piece and said, “order this and this and this is what it should look like when you are done.”

Aw, she knows I’m visual and not an auditory learning.  Love her.  I ordered all that she said and am anxiously awaiting the arrival.

My Vision

There is a vision in my head of what I want for my living space. I love clean, simple, clutter free spaces.  I enjoy open, airy, lots of light as well. My colors for the first living area is grey, black, white, and red.  I love that combo with my furniture.  In the first half of my living room, I have 2 couches, 2 recliners, and a bookcase.  That’s it.  There is zero room for any end tables or a coffee table.

I dug around and found two nice, fluffy blankets to add some personality to the space.  In 2 separate grey/white twill baskets, I added stuffed animals in one and hid it behind a recliner and in the other, it has books for my grandchildren.

Onto My Walls

I have a black and white print a friend drew for me.  Love it.  Then, I have 3 16×20 canvases (is it a double consonant “s” in that word?  Canvasses?  I’ll have to look that up), and underneath it, I want a simple sign with a white background and black lettering. I’m leaning on the quote “I’m Gonna Wait on You.”

It’s personal.

Canvases and Canvasses can both be used.  I feel better.

Furniture and Obsessions

My one piece of furniture is sort of a bookshelf with a cabinet underneath.  I have a baskets under there where I may put more of my grandchildren’s toys and they can safely get too them.  Since I have no storage in this house, my mom repurposed a piece of furniture that I use for games, school supplies, and more “stuff” for the grands. That sits in my foyer.

The top 3 shelves has my collection of Bible’s hello, my name is Brandi and I’m addicted to Bibles.  Daddy said if I can’t learn what the Lord wants me to learn in one Bible,  I certainly won’t learn with 30 Bibles.

Whatever, Daddy.

What I Need

I need a long sign under my canvases (there I go again).  Also, I needed one more black framed something to go on the other side of the window.  The whole point of this trip to TJ Maxx is because I wanted throw pillows.  Honestly, I feel like people who are almost 50 have throw pillows.  I thought I could incorporate the red that way, which I did and love!

Then there was the whole conundrum of “do people who are 50 have curtains?”  Is it a requirement?  I just don’t know.  Yes, I took a poll and the poll was split down the middle.  I opted on no, but could change my mind in order to look my age LOL.

Back to the Throw Pillows

I felt safe back there in the pillow spot of TJ Maxx.  There were not a lot of people and the different textures of the pillows brought me joy.  I could be the weirdo who likes to touch things and feel the textures.  It is quite relaxing.

Sadly, I revert back to my younger years and I crop dust the pillow aisle.  That was until my husband surprised me and walked behind me.  He said “My smell is still gone but somehow, someway your putrid farts permeate my nostrils.  What is wrong with you?”  I giggled like a schoolgirl and kept walking.

Good news was that I found RED pillows (solid), textured pillows (striped), and a stand out pillow.  As an adult, I did all the requirements per my sister.  Yes, yes I did send her pictures.  She was pleased and gave me two thumbs up!

At One Point

I was standing in front of the greenery and I wondered outloud are these the types of green things that 50 year old people have in their house?  Do you dust them?  Should they be real?  How does this work.  The space over my bookcase is substantial, so how will they see these tiny little pots with these fake flowers in it.

One lady said I sounded like her and her sister.  She was super traditional and her sister was the tye-dyed type.  Since I was literally wearing the tye die shirt, she figured out which one I was and which my sister was. I am, quite literally, trying to muster up that traditional, age appropriate person and it was evading me.  Decorating is not my thing.

I walked away with no greenery.

We Stumbled onto the Clearance Aisle

I would touch something and present it and ask to my husband “Will this make me look normal?” He stated not unless I had planned on impaling people.  This piece looked like a bunch of tiny swords ready to stab anyone who walks by.

Point taken.

Then he found a 3 piece set of a calender, a daily menu piece and the perfect match to go onto my living room wall.  I was stoked.  I accidentally got my kitchen decorated and didn’t even realize it.  Happy Day to me!

One woman, as I was muttering to myself about decorations said “ma’am, you just be you and who cares what anyone would buy or how their stuff is decorated.  You just be you.”  That actually helped.

It Helped Me Walk Out of the Store

I left him to check out, get all these pillows to the car, in the rain and we went home.  I needed a pill and some relaxation time.  Everything was done for Part 1 of my living room.  I have some pics to print and put in that one frame.  I also have another canvas to print.  Then, I have to have my mom make that sign and then it is done.

With what I had laying around my house, I found a red basket and a plant that I hadn’t killed yet.  I ordered a black pot to put Edna in for on top of my bookshelf.  Looks pretty good except for her burnt leaves. *For inquiring minds, Edna is dead. She isn’t just a little bit dead…she is a lot dead. She is dead and I subsequently killed three aloe plants.

Foyer Decor

I cleaned out the bill holder and will move some stuff around in the coat closet.  It needs to be used for coats.  I may also put a piece in there that is a hidden shoe holder.  Then, Bart hung a massive piece on top of some furniture my mom made.  Bart hung another one of my favorite signs up.  I ordered a runner (mostly for safety reasons) and a Eucalyptus wreath.

Bart will be adding shelves and stuff in the cats litter box room.  Yes, Karen has a whole room with a drain in it and all the things.  She needs it.  Anyway, once I get that, that little spot will be done. Oh, my Snake plant (no clue, but sister told me I couldn’t kill it because hers is still alive) is still alive.  It will need a little table to sit on.

TJ Maxx came through in a clutch but I gotta figure out the down times to go in there because dang, there were a lot of people.  So.  Many.   People.

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It’s Gonna Get Wild Up In Here

It’s Gonna Get Wild Up In Here



I’m just telling you now, It’s Gonna Get Wild Up In Here this week! What I had planned will probably not come to pass this week. Well, that’s not true. Most of it will be the same but with some sharp curves and turns as the week moves on. However, I must prepare myself for the meltdown that I feel sure will come by the weekend.


Usually, I get my grocery order placed and ready to pick up by Monday. Did I do that? No. I sure did not. I have my menu (posted yesterday) but that means nothing. I know what I need, I just haven’t done it. Also on Sunday, I schedule out my work stuff for the week. That means, all I have to do is clock in and clock out throughout the week. How hard is that. I mean I even set my alarm to remind me to do so. Have I done that? No. I sure have not. I’ve pretty much done nothing today. I colored and watched a movie. That sums up my Sunday.


I have a hair appointment (everybody say “hey”). Super excited about that. Hair day is always a good day! Also, a young person needs me to cut his hair. It really is no big deal. I can cut hair but when it is someone new, I cry. Every single time. I mean I don’t do it in front of the person but I will either cry before or after. Let’s all collectively pray that he doesn’t look Amish.

Also, I may have a sweet little person come over. She is needing some guidance and we were a big part of her life for a long time, so she may pop over. If she does, she may go to the basketball game with me. What my conundrum is is when am I going to clean the house because I did not have time to do a Friday Reset.

In between my hair appointment, the hair cut I have to do, my little person coming over, and basketball is when I will clean. Sure, that sounds doable. We will go with that. I had planned on setting out the ham and hashbrown casserole for supper. However, I’m really craving spaghetti carbonara. Yet, one child has requested my roasted butternut squash spaghetti. I can’t have pasta that much during the week…or can I?


This is my son-in-laws birthday. It will be a hard day for him due to some circumstances but we will make sure he knows how loved he is! I am not sure if he will be coming over for his birthday dinner or want to wait. We have another basketball game tonight, so you know…I’m thrilled.

I’m going to have to go to the grocery at some point. Honestly, I don’t know when that point will be. I would like to have my parents over for supper since it is his birthday, but I guess that depends on what day we celebrate on. That reminds me, I have to wrap his presents. By “I” that means my husband cause I don’t wrap things.


Basketball…cause why not. I mean we are wild.

Thursday Errands

We are meeting with a new neuro possibility for one of my kids. He is affiliated with the hospital we have been attending but he is at a satellite office. I have no idea how familiar he is with Opsoclonus Myoclonus but I guess we shall see. At some point, we are going to have to officially change doctors or go back to Pittsburgh where Dr. Thakker is located. She is amazing.

It is getting close to time for his yearly surgeries/scans/checkups and I really do not want to go back to the doctor we had been seeing. There is never anything accomplished or decided. Frankly, she irritates me. Oh and guess what? We have another baseball game. I know you are jealous. Luckily, I have therapy before that game. I may need it.

Friday and Saturday will be Cleaning and Organizing

Basketball and more basketball. Though my goal is to get the house clean on Monday, I will get back on my schedule on Friday to deep clean (again). I know it is redundant but my OCD wants me to be on a schedule. It’s just got to get done. There is no way around it. One of my kids has some therapy appointments. Saturday I would love to clean out the garage and organize it! I am also wanting to work on a capsule wardrobe to minimalize my clothes.

Cleaning & Organizing

Monthly Cleaning Ideas

Monthly Cleaning Ideas

Monthly Cleaning Ideas
Photo by Pixabay on

Monthly Cleaning Ideas might help you with your monthly to-do items as well. I may do things you don’t normally do. If you have anything to add to my list, feel free to comment below! Typically, I run through this list the first week of the month. Sometimes I will coordinate these things during my normal cleaning routine but I certainly do not stress over them. Well, my family would disagree. I can get a little OCD when it comes to things being in their place.

My thought process is that if you put something back where it belongs, you won’t really ever have to look for it! Seems simple to me but not the people who live in my house. Granted, I can get a little bit ‘extra’ sometimes. That usually occurs if I am cleaning during a period of time when I am dissociating. I can do that when I am stressed or when I’m working through some issues.


This is not always a bad thing but it is a type of self-protection. I move inward and I process. There are times when I can’t control the events or people around me, therefore, I control the ‘things’ in my immediate area. It is something I have always done and am, on occasion, called out for doing.

I don’t mean the phrase ‘called out’ as a bad thing. It is something that someone notices and it brings up a conversation. Some of the questions can be “What’s going on? Is there something that is bothering you? As XYZ contacted you? Are you worried about something?” Typically I will balk at someone asking me those things. However, from a few people, I can be vulnerable and know that I am safe.

Safety in Numbers

I have learned that there are safety in numbers though I would love to think of myself as self-sufficient. After my Lady died, I really disconnected from everyone. She was my person and I told her almost everything. My confessions were never met with condemnation or Bible thumping. It was met with love, grace, mercy, and a plethora of answers or at least direction.

Over the last few years, I have remembered that I am safe with a certain amount of people. My Oak, my sisters, and a few close friends but most importantly, my husband. That is a story for another day and another time. Today is not that day! Without further chatting, here is what my monthly checklist looks like!

Monthly Cleaning Ideas

  • Letter board
  • Windows and blinds
  • Baseboards
  • Cabinet in dining room (putting things back where they belong)
  • Water plants
  • Wash placemats
  • Clean out litter box (yes, this is monthly because of the type of litter box we have)
  • Straighten up kitchen drawers/cabinets
  • Match bowls with lids
  • Wash blankets, dog beds, area rugs, shower mats
  • Match up toys
  • Wipe down the inside of the fridge
  • Replace all the febreze plug ins
  • Toilet tablets
  • Wipe down the inside of fridge
  • Fill up drink fridge
  • Wipe down cabinet fronts and splash guard
  • Refill all toilet paper, soap, handsoap, toothpaste
  • Boil toothbrushes, brushes, straws, and wooden spoons
  • Clean inside cracks/crevices and under furniture and cushions
  • Dust ceiling fans
  • Wash bedding
  • Spray and throw in dryer pillows
  • Light bulb replacements
  • Disassemble fans and clean
  • Pods in garbage disposal, dishwasher, and washing machine
  • Check air filters
  • Organize cleaning closet
  • Put meds where they belong
  • Color code clothes and hangers (aka OCD moment)
  • Sweep porch and deck
  • Bathe dog and clip nails (possible haircut)
  • Haircuts for all the men in my life (yes, I do that monthly, it is a process)
  • Shred/file paperwork

If you think of anything I should add, please let me know!  You can always email at You can also subscribe to my blog to get email notifications of when I post!

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Friday Cleaning Reset

Friday Cleaning Reset

Friday Cleaning Reset
Photo by Anna Shvets on

This is my Friday Cleaning Reset. Every Friday, I have my granddaughter for the first half of the day. During that time, we play, read, talk, rock, and do all the things that a Yayi would do. I love every minute of it. What I love even more is when both of my grands are here for me to love on excessively.

I digress.

Usually around midmorning, I pick a room and start doing some cleaning. She is usually right under my feet or on my hip, but we get it done. There are things I do, monthly, that I do not do on my regular cleaning days. Most people clean on Saturdays or Mondays but that just doesn’t work out for me.


Our weekends are busy with my son’s job, basketball, date night, family, and so on. We also have church on Sunday. Also on Sundays, I have a ‘me’ day. We will go to church and then I come home and stay in my room. For lunch we order out and supper is whatever sounds good or leftovers. I nap, blog, meditate, etc. This is my time to not parent and I enjoy my time.

During the Week

Monday-Thursday is jam packed. I watch my granddaughter, drive to basketball, meal prep, grocery shop, go to basketball games, see my parents, run errands, basketball practice, cook, basketball games, and chauffer my kids to and from basketball and therapy.

Fridays just work out well for me because my boys are not home and I can get it all done. Granted it looks like a cesspool by Monday but I know that it is deep cleaned. The day to day pick up is just a constant thing.

Typical Rundown

On Friday morning, I get supper started. Sometimes that involves a crockpot or an instant pot. There are other days that I just get it ready to put in the oven or lay it all out. Lately, I’ve been moving through freezer meals and just prepping side dishes. I do that every morning though. My husband and kids insist on eating every day.

The dining room is usually my easiest room. I have very few pieces of furniture to dust and a hand full of knickknacks that would need to be dusted. I clean off the table and wipe down the chairs. Also, I redo my letter board with scripture or quotes that make me feel good.

Moving On

After my dining room, I will move to my living rooms. Again, I am a minimalist by nature, so there are few knickknacks and furniture. It is mainly wiping down the couches. I have animals so I’m wiping off the cat hair, food (granddaughter), or spit up (grandson). Febreze is my friend. I wait to pick up the toys until C leaves but when she does, I put all the like things back together because it makes my OCD happy. From there, I do my foyer and sweep down the stairs.

After I do that, I wipe down the doors, handrails, and walls. Normally, I will get a sanitizing wipe and wipe down my steps because I just prefer that method. We have those sticky carpet things on my steps that work well but make sweeping hard. Once all of that is done, I straighten the coat closet and the cat closet.

Finishing Up My Friday Cleaning Reset

By the time I do all of that, I will clean the downstairs bathroom (which is in my kitchen) and then I will tackle the kitchen. In there, I just put things back where they belong, wipe down appliances, clean out the microwave and fridge, and wipe the counters. The dishes, I will rinse out and let my son handle when he gets home. He is in charge of the dishes, his room, and his bathroom. The dishes will get done on Friday but the other spaces he will do on Saturday.

My husband will clean our upstairs bathroom and do the floors downstairs. My youngest son is responsible for his bedroom, taking out the garbage, and vacuuming. We have discovered that is his favorite thing to do, so I let him have at it. We only have carpet upstairs and he does stay out of his brother’s room.

Bits and Pieces

After all of that is done, I get supper in the oven, get my diffusers going, tackle my room, and do some laundry. It really is helpful to get a good base cleaning done for me. I do have a monthly cleaning type of schedule that I do but this is just surface level weekly cleaning. It helps me relax during the weekend. Throughout the week, we continue to pick up and do the dishes but that is usually it.

What is your schedule like?

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Digital Organization: Phone

Digital Organization: Phone

Digital Organization: Phone

It is a new year and a fresh start. So, why hold onto things. We all need a new beginning from time to time. To me, organizing is freeing. So, as I purge/donate/organize my life, I will let you know what I’m doing. Maybe it will inspire you. So let’s begin with Digital Organization: Phone.

My phone is NOT my lifeline.

I try not to carry it into places with me, and I don’t obsessively scroll for hours. It has been becoming more and more apparent how addicted we all are to our cell phones. It is sad.

I sit in places and look around. Everyone has their nose in their phones. They were scrolling endlessly. People are constantly comparing themselves to others. They do this because everything seems perfect in the little squares of life. Therefore, we fall into the trap of never being enough.

In Christ, you are enough.

Text Messages

The first thing I do is work on my text messages. How many times do you see a text and think you have responded. Then you realize you didn’t respond to that message. I am so guilty of that. Every night, I go through them and respond to what I need. Then, I put in my calendar what needs to go in there.

Next, I delete all my text messages. If it is something important, I will copy/paste it into a “Note” app. I will transfer it from my phone gallery to my tablet. I am pretty diligent about deleting my messages daily. The visual clutter drives me completely insane. I get overwhelmed.

Next up, I go through my contacts.

Delete, delete, delete. I have very few numbers on my phone. There have been moments when someone has randomly texted me. I ask who they are 🙂 Most of the time, I have a general idea of who it is.

Then, I go through my apps.

I delete the ones I do not use or have never used. It takes up so much space. Organize the apps you have. On my “home” screen, I have my garage door app and a calendar. That is it. For the rest, I take the icons off my home screen. Again, visual clutter irritates me. You can combine apps into folders on your home page. In combining, you can streamline what you see.

Digital Downloads

When I check my email, sometimes I have to download something. Go through your files to find the downloads file. Delete that mess. You don’t need it. All it does is slow your phone down. 

Digital Phone Pictures/Music

Pictures I transfer to my tablet, then I delete them off the phone. I do not store music (except for what a friend sends me).


Put your phone down and talk face to face. Do this while you make eye contact. Engage in society to make a difference. There was a time before cell phones. One could go to Walmart without everyone knowing. In the beginning, I spent WAY too much time on my phone. It was a novelty. I remember when Facebook began, and I was enthralled. Sadly, I also missed out on my children. My nose was so far up my phone that I couldn’t see the humans standing before me. They are so much more fun.



Cleaning & Organizing

Organizational Tip Let’s Talk Pictures

Organizational Tip Let's Talk Pictures
Organizational Tip Let’s Talk Pictures

Organizational Tip Let’s Talk Pictures. The next thing to tackle is my pictures in my quest to get my life together. Good gravy, I have a billion photographs. My mother-in-law is HUGE into scrapbooking, so she has given me lots of books, pages, and stickers in hopes that I would scrap all these pictures. I have not had time.

A Few Books Already Done

In my defense, I do have a baby scrapbook for each of my children. Also, I have one large scrapbook for each of them as they have gotten older. I also have a baby scrapbook of Big Daddy that his mom made for him and one for me that I made. There is also a wedding and another random one. So I have done scrapbooks in the past. I’m just not in a season to do them regularly.

Attacking the Masses

One day, while cleaning out the masses of crap in my bedroom, I came across a drawer. The drawer has not seen the light of day in about ten years. There were MASSIVE amounts of old, loose photos just hanging out…not hurting anyone….just there. My OCD said, let’s pull out some of those scraping gifts from my sweet mother-in-law, and I will make them look fantastic. My other side feels like I have no time for this mess. Then, I shut the door and moved on. Neither side won.

Logic Wins

My logical brain sidestepped in and thought: “let’s kill two birds with one stone.” I pulled out those photos. Next, I began to separate them by the child. I put those separated piles into baggies and labeled them. Next, I pulled down my scrapping supplies, set up a card table, hollered for my two big girls, and let them at it. Was it as nice as I could have done? No, not really.

It certainly was not up to par with my pro-mother-in-law, but they stayed occupied. All my pictures are in the scrapbook with added cute things. Also, it all has my girl’s handwriting on it. I will cherish these scrapbooks forever because my girls created them. I smile every time I pull them down. These are some of my prized possessions.

Thankful for the Help

Once I got the masses of pictures done, courtesy of my girls, I found more. They were on my computer. Over time, I have added new files under my pictures section. The main file is the year, and the subfiles include things like Christmas, Family, a file for each child, pets, misc, etc. Since there are dates on 99% of my pictures, I first sorted them out, via the computer, into the proper year.

I put them in the proper subfile, and from there, I went and deleted the duplicates. I kid you not; in 2015, I had 10000 duplicate pictures. So there was a ton of space taken up by having double photos. I have not edited them because that is just not high on my “super fun” list of things to do.

It takes So Much Time.

This process takes time, but I do it at night when watching a movie or the kids are outside. I do not put any pressure on myself at all. One thing I invested in was an external hard drive. I have not only saved my pics on a CD but also on a flash drive. I put them all on my external hard drive from the flash drive. Next, I delete them off my computer. Let’s face it, computers crash. My pictures were not going to crash with them. Sorry, Charlie. Not going to happen. Not on my watch.

Big Daddy and the children love to sit down and watch me sort things out and look through these pictures. It is fun. Also, it is a conversation starter for some of my kids. Take your time. Enjoy the views and memories. Remember to save them to multiple devices and always store them in a fire-safe box or safe in case of fires!


Cleaning & Organizing

Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids Artwork

Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids Artwork
Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids’ Artwork

Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids’ Artwork. I have a lot of kids. That fact is no secret. My kids like to color, draw, paint, and make sculptures and Sunday School creations. These creations come home every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday.

Tote Overload

If each of my kids has one tote per year of arts and crafts until they turn 18, there would be 126 totes. Remember, I homeschool and have chosen to keep everything from their school years. I would have 126 totes FULL of stuff that I would have to store in my attic, garage, man cave, or storage unit. That does not include all their baby things and toys. What I’m talking about is just artwork.

While going through my nesting phase, I came across about 30 containers with all this stuff. Sentimental things. Things I cherish and want to remember forever. Realistically, it was a bit of a fire hazard. I had Big Daddy breathing down my neck to throw these treasures away, and then I had my kids on the other side crying when they saw something in the throwaway box. They felt I didn’t love their art.

Quite the conundrum.

I had a couple of great ideas. Maybe three. I have a small wood chest my daddy made years ago. I also had a box my mom got me when I was a child. The first thing I did was I went through the attic (and garage) ALONE. Second, I emptied my two chests and cleaned them all out. Third, I got binders. Two per child and put their names on them. I separated every paper and craft. So, each child had a pile.

Binder Help

I used my three-hole puncher for the treasures I would not part with. Then I added them to that particular child’s binder. With the more oversized items, I placed them in my two chests. Honestly, that still left me with A TON of treasures. Once I had the binders and chests full, there was more. I had seven piles of things for each child. These were precious items, but I did not necessarily want to keep them (fire hazard, remember). I took out my camera, and I took pictures of pictures. I downloaded those photos on my computer and gave each child a file. Those pictures are now on a flash drive, disk, and my external hard drive. I can look at them whenever I want.

This simple act cuts down on so much clutter.

I could keep their sweet drawings while keeping my sanity and living the minimalistic life I love. I still have boxes of old toys, but I did part with 98% of them. Some things are worth the clutter. I was able to clean out an entire closet from the garage and free up all that space. It all went into the attic space, labeled and gone through. I hope this is something that can help others.

Good luck and happy organizing.