Wednesday, 30 December 2015

how to grow in 2016

WOW!!!! Can anyone tell me were 2015 has gone. With the kids in school full time I have jumped both feet into growing my company. I am having the time of my life. I remember as a kid, maybe 10-11 years old organizing my room and cleaning it for hours, I loved it. My family thought I was nuts, I think sometimes they still do. Over the last year I have done some soul searching and personal growth. I have come so far in learning to be a better organizer for my clients and a better mother and wife. I am so excited to see what the path of 2016 has for us.

On that note I have a million excuses for not doing it but no more. I am going to schedule more blog posts for all you fans. I have a busy January planned but I feel I still need to write more. So I am open to your ideas on content you want me to share. I have too many ideas sometimes and it all gets lost in my mind.

In 2016 I want to get my home a bit more organized. With me helping others, my home has gotten a bit out of order. I will make time to put it back or change areas that don't work for us anymore. There are season in life just like there are season in Canada. Most of my clients struggle with this season. It’s the season of busy. Life is busy!! Not like when you had 3 kids under the age of 4 seasons but you are running 100 different directions busy. Between work, school and sports I feel some days I don't know where I end and begin. In the past I was home with on average 5 kids when I had my day home. It was busy but not as busy as this. Now that I am in this season I can see were my clients struggling to balance it all.

I have some tricks that might work for you. If you feel you are in the "busy" season of life.

  1. LEARN TO SAY NO!!!! This is a hard one for all us moms. It’s hard because we want to make everyone around us happy. You don't want to disappoint people. Well I am sorry but if you say yes to that thing you may be also saying no to someone you love. For example, I said yes to a job that was not my "job" it was something else that was not my thing, I didn't want to do it but I didn't want to disappoint the person. Well taking on that job left me drained to be with my family. I have learned to say no to stuff that is not on my path. It’s on someone else's path but they don't know how to follow it or are too scared to do it alone. I have gone down a path with a person to show them were they need to go and do, but at some point I leave them and continue on mine.
  2. OWN YOUR TIME!!! Lots of moms wake up and don't know what they are doing that day. They wait till someone plans there day for them. I am so guilty of this too. When my second was born I started to plan my days down to what time we would have snack and reading time. I would schedule playdates and own our days. I LOVED IT. Just because I was a stay at home mom didn't mean I had to be at the whims of the universe to plan my day. I loved having our days planned out, the kids did much better, and there was also a lot less stress in the home. Yes some days did not go as planned, kids get sick and plans change, but planning the day meant that I felt in control of my time.
  3. BE PRESENCE- there is a movement out in the world about being presence. With all our technology now a days, it’s crazy how people are connected and disconnected, literally at the same time. We are connected to people around the world in a split second but then we are also disconnected to realty. When was the last time you saw the color of your kid’s eyes. Like really looked them in the eye and talked to them. I watch people a lot and I see parents looking at their phone more than watching their kids play on the playground. Recently we went on a trip to see my in laws 4 hours away. The kids were in the back with their tablets and stuff, doing their thing. A few hours in to the trip red says mom "where are we". I tell her and she was like wow that went so fast. That's how I see the world right now. At some point you will look up and see a full grown person in front of you demanding your attention good or bad, and you will wonder were the time has gone. So at least give your family and friends your full presence, which all people really want.
  4. BEWARE OF BLEED TIME- Like a cut that will not stop bleeding, your time can run away without your directed pressure and attention. Bleed time to me is Pinterest, Facebook, heck any kind of social media. A few years ago I was redoing my laundry room and looking on Pinterest for the best system that would work for our family. Then my clever, sarcastic husband said "you know you don't need to organize your laundry if you just do it". He was totally right (shhhh don't tell him that) I was looking at systems to store dirty laundry. Hum sounds insane really. So I now have a laundry system that is just doing it. I also set a timer if I want to be on Pinterest. I really can loose and hour on that thing. I can do a lot in an hour to relieve the things that cause me anxiety and stress. Walking the dog, doing a quick home blessing (aka clean) or reading my book. The average person has 4 hours a day in bleed time that adds up to almost 13 years in a life time. 
  5. DONT BE A STRESSCASE- I love this one. The top points all lead into this one. Are you running around doing things for others that they can do for themselves? Are you saying yes to things and then regretting it? Are you not planning your day with YOU in mind? You want to get healthy but you don't have time to get to the gym, don't have time to make healthy meals. You are setting yourself up for failure before you even start. If you are planning your week then you have to keep in mind that on hockey night you can’t make a 5 course meal. I like to schedule meal prep days. I love it, the kids help me and we listen to music or they just talk. We do it on a Sunday. It charges us up for the coming week and it makes the week run smoother. You can read about that here. I find a lot if not all my clients go shopping and are not percent or they are sooo stressed to get groceries. They put stuff in the cart and then get home and forget they got it and why they bought it. I think being organized before you go to the store is vital to your budget and your sanity. You are on path that is to remove clutter from your home you can’t be buying stuff just because it was a good deal. You need to be awake and present with a plan.

I hope these points help you to grown in 2016.



Saturday, 7 November 2015

Good morning world, what a fine November morning it is. Today I got up oh way to early to get the hubs off to work, and of course I tried to go back to bed but my brain would not let me. Well this week my organizing class did not run this time. I was a little bummed but trying to keep a positive mind set, I tried looking at it as a blessing. Today I am deciding to take my class again lol yes I am going to get my house in a bit of order over the next 4 weeks. Even though we are on day 7 in November but I think it will be great. My home is not noticeably cluttered, but it could use a bit of a cleaning. The 4 weeks will take me just into the beginning of December which will work great with getting ready for Christmas crazies.

I will be starting today full force. The beautiful thing about taking it over 4 weeks you don't get over tiered at least I don't. some people need it done in a week. I find the systems fail if it is to fast. I also have to run my business and run the house with all the kids after school stuff. I am also working part time in my parents business. wow no wonder i cant stay up till 9 pm lol. As Brendon Buchard would say your life's work should be fun. its work but it does not feel like it. It is just what i love to do.  I will be posting my progress every week and may even share some tips from my class.

thanks for reading.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

meal prepping made for busy people

Good day!! fall is in the air here and I love it. With fall comes a very busy schedule. With funds being a little snug as well I need to have a plan for meals. Meal planning is one of the most asked questions I get. Really meal planning to me is very personal, not every one likes the same foods and some can cook and some not so much. For me I love to cook, but with our schedules I don't have time to spend hours cooking but I still want a nice meal every night. Its nice to know that when we leave skating that there is a plan at home, it takes away from the impulse to run to a fast food place.

With that being said I have some really quick ideas that even if you are already busy you still can prep for meals.
  1.  Make a quick plan, like set your timer for 10-15 minutes and think of what you would like to have this week. FYI 90% of the time I get to the store and that plan changes, a different meat is on sale or a different veg is being cleared out. I shop deals all the time, nothing is in stone.
  2. Plan your shopping day when you have the time. Don't go to the store when you have 1hr till your next appointment. The best day for me is Saturday. If my husband is home he watches the kids or if not I take them with, there getting older they are a lot of help now. plus they get to learn how to shop. For example last week red and I were looking at getting apple but I asked her what was cheaper buy the 6 lbs bag or get single apples she had to do the math and figure it out, she loves doing that kind of stuff and she also retains it way better. MM likes to count stuff so I get him to count lots of stuff it is always a learning experience.
  3. PUT THE FOOD AWAY! I know this is a big one. shopping is exhausting but if you finish the task you don't have to think about it for a few days at least. I use to sell Tupperware and I have a lot of fridge smarts and I love them.  DONT WASH your vegetables or fruit. I just toss it in the containers and wash as needed.

Ok, on to the prepping now. I love to batch cook. I really didn't have a concrete meal plan this week, I really was just in need of easy meals. I could not decide if I wanted to make taco or lazanga one night so I took a step out of both dishes. I cooked 5 lbs of ground beef with a bit of onions. Now I have 5 dinners almost ready, or ready for the slowcooker. Then I got my favorate meat ball recipe and tossed it together well my beef was cooking. I like to mix pork and beef together. I lined a pan with parchment paper and baked them. Got 2 meals out of them. well the meat balls and hamburger was cooking I cooked a family pack of breakfast sausage in the oven. got 6 breakfasts out of them. well I was waiting for everything to cool I tossed some carrots, onion and broccoli in to a pot and sautéed them for a few mins then added 4cups of vegetable broth let it boil till the vegetables were soft then I mashed them gently. let is cool. I refrigerated it for the next day and made a butter and flour rue and added that and lots of cheddar cheese. mmmm my favorite broccoli soup. You can also freeze the vegetable mash in a ice cube tray and add it to stuff. I used it once for quiche, it worked well.

When everything was cooled I bagged it froze it. Now tacos take no more them 10-15 minutes to get ready. Its amazing how much just cooking the meat makes life a bit easier.

So its not big but it is when you have 30 minutes to get a dancer fed or a little boy who just skated his heart out fed before he has a melt down. Do something today to make meals easier.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

cheap fall decorating

Good morning!!!! Its my favorite season. The trees out my office window are just turning yellow. It makes my heart so happy and peaceful. In the spirit of fall I started decorating for the season. With living in a small house I don't have any extra room for decorations. When I buy décor it has to have multiple ideas. I usually gravitate towards clear mason jars (enter a big old heart). I need a sign that reads " Hi, my name is Tracy and I have a mason jar addiction". When we are out its really hard for me to control it. The older the better.

Ok on to the decorating. My first step is a big one, remove clutter, even the clutter you have gone blind to. This is big!!! I have clutter blindness like 95% of the population. To combat this I clear the whole space and I mean everything, even the pillows. I like to have a laundry basket to collect everything. This is a good time to reevaluate what you have. Maybe the old blanket has seen better days and needs a new home. Step two shop your house, I mean like dig in the china cabinet for a vase or even a sugar bowl. One time I was having friends over for coffee and I could not remember were my creamer jug went, oh it had flowers in it on the bathroom counter. My gravy boat I use maybe 2 times a year also gets lots of use lol but not for gravy. Do you have a little serving platter or a tray, grab that too. Ok so on to the fun stuff. So 95% of my decorating comes from the good old dollar store or Walmart from the year before,( you will always find me in the clearance section). I think every year I may spend $10 a year on decorating. This year funds are supper snug so all these decorations needed to be from last years stock. I love a challenge!!!!

I love my gold canyon candles and warmers. This little tray I got it from the thrift shop for $.50 and sprayed it with sliver paint.  

I just love this large bowl. My mom got it for a gift it was the bottom of a gift basket. Toss in some fake mums and done.

Oh do I just love fake flowers. I love real too but I am so cheap lol

I made this last year and the "S" word came so early so didn't last long.

Had some corn in the pantry. sooo cheap
Some moss i had from my
 spring decorating
 some fake leaves and berries,
 oh and of course a mason jar.

This is a little shelf in our front door. I love this spot. The frame is going on 5 years old. The paper in it just gets changed for the season. I never use papers like that for scrap booking so I save them for decorating. The large hurricane gets a good work out in my décor just tossed some moss and some leaves in it. SO SIMPLE!!!

This is just a garland from the dollar store and some foam pumpkins. 
This tool box I made when my family went across
Canada when I was 15. Also ..... mason jars!!!!!
 So the motto I use when decorating is less is more. I don't want my decorations to make me stressed out or look messy. Removing extra clutter I think is the key to a calming space. So go and fall in love with your home again!!!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

make it beautiful for cheap!!

I got the function down now I need to make it beautiful on a small budget and I mean small. Were do you go with a budget? that's right the dolor store.
I love these cheap magazine file folders. I get them at ikea for 5 for $2.99 steal of a deal. I have no clue how many I have in the house. (had to go count lol 32 that just the kids and I use the hubby has at least 7)

ok before pic love the space but I need color!!
Some good tunes on and my supplies. I just simply stuck the tape on and made sure I lined it up and bam maybe 30 mins of work and all the ones in my office (19 in total) are done and of course I need cute labels. A sheet of Avery address label's and They are perfect for me.

So love the color its sooooo close to the desk color.

Under my printer cabinet for other office stuff.
I labeled everything else too.
Holiday décor and home décor stuff

Party decorations bins

Kids crafts bins
This is a old magazine stand that I got for $1 at the thrift shop. It works amazing for quick gift wrapping.  I tossed in our craft paper roll in too sometimes we wrap gifts in plain paper and decorate it.
Gift wrapping station
I am truly in love with my new office. So much I just love about it. This winter will be great to be in here for a whole day.
Not bad at all!!! a total of $2.00 of duck tape makes this mama crazy happy.


Oh ya I finally got my office space I have been dreaming about for years. So we have decided to move our master bedroom down to the basement with the other bathroom. its like we have a master suite down there know more to come on that later. For the month of September just scaring the office, one project at a time.
As you all who know me I love a good before and after pictures, drum roll please.

I suffer bad from clutter blindness, well I think 95% of the world does. No wonder I was stressed working in here. Now I have a 6 foot window in my new office and the fresh breeze is coming in and just making me love life right now. I forsee a lot more work getting done in here.

If you ever have read the kids book, give a mouse a cookie, that is me all the way. If your going to move the ugly desk and cabinet upstairs empty you may as well give it a lick of paint. This color you may recognize from the frontdoor project ahhhhh I just love this paint. It was a mis-tint from Walmart and oh man it was so worth the $5.00 I paid of it. I love exteritior paint, it covers anything very well with a good hard finish if you let it cure for a few weeks. The tall cabinet is from a friend that was wanting to get rid of it so I grab it a few years ago. I think it was a microwave cabinet but it works sooooo great for all my office junk.If I was not a crafter I would only need these 2 pieces but I love crafting to. oh and I love my table my dad made me. Being 5'11" it is hard to find stuff that is tall enough for me to stand at.

still a work in progress but I think in a week this is good. I will show you my BEST part of this space. The closet!!!
well this is what it looked like before its little make over. hehe that is for another post. well that is all for today. Think outside the box sometimes you can make your small house work better for all members.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

back to school 2015-2016


Dont get me wrong I love my kids to the end of the earth and back, but they need to go back to school and be with there friends. This year is going to be a little different I will not have any kids at home.  I cant even imagine it right now. MM was only in school Tuesdays and Thursdays last year and that was great, I got lots done and somedays nothing but free time for myself. I am a little sad but that's normal. I am ready to get back to work and work on following my professional organizer dream.

Ok before school starts there has to be a plan of action, and organization. School time can be a stressful time but I find the first few weeks run so much smoother if I have a plan. The plan is never perfect. Last year MM broke his arm and had emergency surgery the first day of school. I tell ya i didn't have that on my list of things i wanted to do.

Today I am going to share some old ideas, maybe some common ideas. I am not reinventing the wheel here also not looking for perfection.

step 1-  Command center. This area of the house has evolved a lot over the last 3 years. It is always changing for our needs.

wall organizer from thirtyone gifts

In our large china cabinet I have just plain old magazine holders(ikea 2.99 for 5) it holds all that paper that needs a home but does not really need a permanent home in the file cabinet. I use those pocket things that you can get at any office supply store or the dollor store to sort some of the stuff. My hubbies work ticket stuff is in the pink folder lol so if he needs it right away its there for him and I don't have to get out of the filing cabinet downstairs for him. The kids one is mosly art that will come home from school and then it goes down stairs in there memory bin.

Our dinning room is our homework area to Red has a desk in her room if she need quiet, but 90% of it is done here. Simple is my middle name.

This is my drawer. I have a "problem" with color coding someday lol I love my sharpies and my ink joys. ahhhhh pure HAPPY!!! 
 This spot has not changed at all, why change something that works well right.
step 2- bedrooms
     I love a clean bedroom. Studies show kids that have messy rooms have lots of stress in the morning and it carries on through out there day.

Most of the kids clothes are hung up. I do this for 2 reason, one they are out of site out of mind kids, so they need to see all there clothes to make a decision. Second reason is they put there clothes away on laundry day. Like most kids they can not fold at all. (OCD mom right here). For the most part it always looks good.


My favorite thing in the closets is and always has been is a "TOO BIG"  "TOO SMALL" bins I am a bargain shopper and I get great deals for next size up. Also I like the small bin cause if something is to small they toss it in there and every few months, I will go around and collect the stuff and take it away to the thrift shop.

Step 3- lunches  The lunch center really haven't changed, why it works so well.

 See what I hide in here, here.
Now, with your plan in hand you are ready for a smooth school season. Just a reminder, you are the master of your mornings. If you are stressed in the morning it makes your kids stressed but at the same time all plans have hicups so don't be to hard on yourself. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

storage under the stairs!!!

This is a good one!
In our 950 square foot house without a garage storage area, storage is a big deal. But with saying that also you have to be aware of what you are storing, are you storing clutter and or garbage. Lots of clients get so excited when I come and they have just purchased 50 bins to put stuff in, That is the worst thing to do. The very first thing is to remove the obvious, garbage. Set a timer for 15 minutes and a bag. Lots of my clients are really shocked at how much garbage I remove in the first 15 minutes. Second step is remove the stuff that is not suppose to be there. I have found tooth brushes in the kitchen drawers. Third is remove stuff you want to sell and donate. The end goal is that we don't want to waste time on bins and organizing things that you don't love. So much stuff is kept but guilt. Your mothers wedding dress, grandmothers china so on. I have seen some very cool idea done with donated things. A lady makes burial gowns for still born babies with old wedding dresses for hospitals. Your grandmothers china didn't make it in the move to a new home so you have it stored because you just don't have the heart to toss it. well I think making a mosaic table top or garden stones would be fun.

On with our storage space. Our basement is finished but not really, if that makes sense. We have this space under our stairs it is such a awesome space. Most would not look at it as an awesome space but I love it. Granted it has taken a few tries to get it to were it works for our family. It is a very hard spot to photograph with not having a lot of light.


It is organized very simple, really. Like with like is my main goal. The bins are mostly Christmas and Halloween stuff yes that is all the decoration we have. I don't spend a lot of decorations at all. Most of them are diy or use what I have ideas. As you can see I have a paint stash hard core. I also LOVE spray paint. I love this space a lot everything has a home and it is easy for my hubby to find and put away things. love it!!!
working with the like with like idea, I love clear bins really bad. I still label the bins. it is proven that you are 30% more likely to put stuff away if its labeled, to me it is like a brain trigger that is like "oh I should just put it away right away" If it takes less then a minute do it now.

the labels just are like a cherry on top of a sundae or the olive in a martini lol.  

I am a project person I love to just do projects on a wim sometimes so having this space organized helps me to see what we have or what I will need to stock up on.

people that know me well, know I LOVE peg board. This piece was a cut off from a other project I was going to toss it but then thought It would be great here. BAMMM!!! I love it too. It keeps everything easy to grab and put away, all ways a win win for me.
With having a small house we have to think a little bit harder to set up systems that work well. we do have a little pantry area as well, past the laundry room. But that is it that is all the storage we have and it works well. think out side the box sometimes. Also don't over think systems too.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

good things happen to those who wait.....or work hard.

Good day!!!
Today I am here to share my living room redo. If you have been reading my blog, you know I love to decorate all the time. Over the last 3 years I have been making our 950sq foot home ours. 3 years a go we bought this house from my brother and have never looked back. lots of people would think a 950sq foot house is so small, but we love it. Really the new trend happening is 1962 small lol if I could call it that. Lets get to the fun stuff.
This was the dinning room 3 years ago when my brother owned it. For a single guy with room mates, it worked well.
The living room 3 years ago.

this is the wall 3 years ago lol its the biggest wall in our whole house. it shares the dinning room and living room.

Lets get to the after pictures!!!!!!
last before pic 
Let the fun start It looked like my house got shot up.

 there is a small difference between the old and new.
 If you are interested in the board and batten wall you can read here.
 Are you ready!!!!!!

 my favorite view!!!! those flowers are fake, can you believe that. I love them.

My puppy loves to pose for the camera. 
I love color. so its still in need of a shopping trip for some pillows but I love the cleanness of it. It is getting there slowly. I guess good things come to those who wait....... or work hard. Till next time!!! working on showing you how I organize the dresser with all our outside stuff.