We took a little vacation

Going on vacation is such a treat, but the getting ready to go part can be really stressful. It’s taken me a long time to realize how much time I really need to get ready to go. I know that the more I work on this whole simplifying thing, the easier it will get, and ultimately it will not take quite as much time. Here are some snippets of how things went this year.

I knew that I was behind on laundry, so I planned to catch up with laundry 2 days before we were leaving, then the day before was scheduled for packing. That kind of planning is progress for me!

I didn’t get to all the laundry the first day, so some of it got bumped to the packing day. I usually sort all of the laundry on the bed and then pick out which items to pack. It sort of works.

I think organized people must pack directly from their closets and drawers. Maybe I should try that sometime. Like when I’m all caught up on laundry and it’s all organized and put away. That could happen.

I had to get my suitcase from the bottom of the stairs, where it has been living for the last several months leading a double life as a baby gate.

Look at that! We found another area to declutter!

Guess what the fabulous Mr. RSS did to get us ready for our trip? He cleaned out the minivan! We were getting ready to spend about 9 hours in the car, so this was very helpful!



I actually forgot to take the “after” picture until after the trip, so I’ll allow you to be impressed that this is the after clean-out and after road trip picture. 🙂

I tried an idea I read about in this post over at isavvymom about hanging a bag on the back of the headrest to use for trash. Great idea!

We left for the trip only 4 hours later than planned. That’s progress for us for sure! All of those last-minute things to grab or take care of take so much longer than it seems like they should! Next time I’ll plan more time for all of that.

And of course we had a great time on our trip!

How does packing for a trip go for you? Do you have any favorite tips for packing or road trips?


Weekly cleaning update 2 | Children’s books | The kitchen floor

Remember how I was working on a weekly cleaning schedule? I even posted an update of the first week. Well, I thought it would be good to post an update as it’s been almost a month since my last update.

This is what I managed to print out before our printer broke again:

The checks mean yes, I did it; the x’s mean nope, didn’t happen. So I’m about 50% on this week also. The next week, I tried to keep track on a little piece of paper, which I promptly lost (big surprise), and then I fell off the wagon on the whole “keeping track of the cleaning” thing.

But, I can say that the habit was starting to form, and I think maybe I’ve been able to hold onto my 50%-ish status on getting this cleaning stuff done.

I think I’d like to revise this file to be more of a chart with a grid-type checklist. A chart that would last for a month would be better. A new stinkin’ printer to print it would be nice, too! (Sweetie?)

I also wanted to show you a couple of other projects I was inspired to do recently!

I organized the kids’ books!

Before (this picture is actually from a few months ago, but this is a very good example of how the books usually look in the kids’ room):

It really bugs me when books are all over the floor getting stepped on!! Ug! Yes, there are more books under the toys.

I did some minor decluttering and got rid of 3 books, but mostly it was an organizing job.


This actually only represents about half of our children’s books. I’ll show you the rest another time. 🙂

At some point, I would like to get a little bookshelf for this spot. I think it would make it easier for the kids to manage and keep up themselves.

Now for the infamous kitchen floor!

I recently showed you how I sweep my floor. Well, with my nicely swept floor all ready, I got inspired to get it really clean! That’s right. Me on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor. I always think of Cinderella (before the fancy ball) when I do this. Let’s just say I don’t think of Cinderella very often. 😉

This next picture was taken under the table. It’s really bad.


Floor after sweeping. Yes, after.

Some spots were really hard to get clean. I had to get a little creative. Turns out a couple of them were gum. Gum?! I don’t know how I could have missed gum on the floor until it got to this point. But here we are.

Sorry, no pictures of me scrubbing the floor. Maybe next time. Maybe not.

But seriously. I’ve got good news here….


By the way, I’m planning to do some posts where I revisit some of the areas I have previously decluttered and cleaned up. Fun, fun!
How often do you mop/scrub your floors?

Project: Simplify: Clean closet alert!!


I did it! I did it! I really really did it! I cleaned and decluttered my closet area!!!! It was not easy and it took many hours, but the results are worth it!  Loads of before and after pictures await…


My, my, my










You could say that I found a lot of shoes…

I organized them and got rid of at least a dozen pairs!

And here’s what I got rid of…

Some nice dresses and a suit (this is just a sampling)


 some fun shoes…

Some goldie-butt capri jeans…

4 bags of clothes and a box of shoes!!!

Onward towards simplicity!

And if you want to see more before and after clean closets, head over to Simple Mom’s results link up for Project: Simplify week 1.

Lost Keys

I really wanted to take that junk out of there just for the picture, but my goal is to be real!

Ok! So I lost my keys today! This is an example of how being disorganized and rushed caused unnecessary stress and wasted time.

The sad thing is that I used to have this problem all the time, but I have gotten sooooo much better. Except for today.

We have these handy-dandy hooks right by the front door, and my hook is the very first one. This is a very good thing in our house. I think any organizational system needs to be easy to use. For people like me, where organization doesn’t come easily, it needs to be very easy. This hook right by the door is very easy. And I love it!

We actually added some more hooks on the other side of the door, that I will showcase another time. Hooks are easy. I might need to think of more places where hooks could be useful.

But if I start to envision hooks all over my house, then that could look a little cluttered. It sort of makes me think of TGIFriday’s for some reason. Anyway…

I lost my keys when I was rushing in the door carrying 2 gallons of milk. I put the milk away (Yay!), quickly wrapped birthday presents for a party that was about to start(not good time management, I know), and grabbed Gabe to run out the door to the party. No keys. After searching around making us late, I still couldn’t find them.

I just had them 10 minutes ago!

Well, I ended up grabbing the extra key from Mr. ReadySetSimplify’s(His new name for himself) keys. This was before lunch. I was sure they would just “show up.” But no.

I finally found them at about 10 pm, after more searching. They were by the diaper bag, and my Bible, and a random paper plate craft, and a kid chair that isn’t supposed to live there.

I’m so glad I found them, and hopefully I will be re-inspired to use the key hook all the time!