Organized Home: Tupperware

Howdy!  I’m still in the kitchen for my home organization this week.  Last week I tackled fridge and food storage in the cabinets (no pantry in my house).  This week I moved on to the tupperware cabinet.

On the Organize 365 podcast, she tackles this area the same week that she does food storage but I just couldn’t handle it that week. I was much more prepared this week to handle it in under an hour one morning.  It was also the morning that I prepped some food for the week, and that was a much more pleasant experience.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say opening my tupperware cabinet is a risky business.  Lids falling everywhere, things perfectly balanced once the cabinet doors are shut.  Unfortunately this is the same cabinet I store my NutriBullet and crock pot in; two appliances I use pretty frequently.

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Yikes

Here are the rules for this week’s clean out:

  1. Remove everything from the cabinet (no surprise here).
  2. Throw away anything that doesn’t have a base or a lid to match it.
  3. Throw away sizes of containers you don’t use.  In her book, and mine, it’s not a waste to throw it away if it’s no longer wasting space in your cabinet.
  4. Stock up on sizes of containers you use the most.
  5. Place everything back in the cabinet.

I listened to the podcast before the actual clean out so while on my grocery run this weekend, I stocked up on three of my favorite sizes of containers: the long and shallow ones, the square shallow and square deep.  During the cleanout, I put everything on the floor and then tried to match lids to bases.  Just like she said, I tossed anything without a match.  I kept anything with a match event though she advised against it.  I’ve got the space for now, and maybe since it’s organized finally I can actually find reason to use the itty bitty containers.

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Playing matchmakers

I didn’t have any particular system for putting things back into the cabinet.  I put all the appliances on the bottom shelf: crock pot, food processor and NutriBullet.  Then I organized the best I could by shape for the Tupperwares.

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So roomie!

The key to keeping it this way I think will be taking my time putting the containers away after I wash them.  No more opening the cabinets and casually tossing them back in there.  I used three of the new long shallow ones to store some veggies and cooked chicken in, and several of the deep, short ones for this week’s lunch salads.  My fridge is a lot neater, and now that I have easy access to actually choosing what size tupperware I want, I’ll probably break the habit of storing the big pots and bowls of entire meals in the fridge.

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Happy Fridge 🙂

Next week I’ll handle the dishware.  I have a cabinet of plates and bowls, and another cabinet of cups and mugs.  I may do one at a time, or maybe I’ll get crazy and go for both.  Either way, I’m on a mission to get this house in order, hopefully before my next series of trips in April!

Organized Home:Food Storage

I got to start today with a fantastic yoga class at our Studio here in Tulsa.  Mondays aren’t so bad when you get to start them gently moving your body and slowly waking up to the sunrise.  My first week of fast 5k training last week went really well.  I managed to get all the runs in, and all the circuits.  I feel a deep soreness to the bone in my quads, which hopefully means I’m pushing it on the runs.

During some of my down time this weekend, I conquered the next area of my Organized Home project.  I’m following along with the podcast Organize 365 and each week taking some time on the weekend to clean out and organize an area of my home. Last week I cleared the kitchen counters off, and this week went deeper in the kitchen to the cabinets and fridge.

Per usual, the first step was to take everything out of these spaces.  I decided to do the cabinets first and then the fridge.  I don’t have a walk in pantry so all of my dry goods and cans get stored in the cabinets.   Once everything was on the countertops, I vacuumed out the shelves and wiped them down.  Then it was time to toss.  Like with the master closet, there were some rules:

  1. Anything that is expired
  2. Anything that’s been open longer than you can remember
  3. Duplicates of things, especially spices

Now to put things back in these freshly clean, spacious doors.  She suggests storing things in a sorted manner that makes sense to you in additional bins but I didn’t have any, and don’t want to buy any so instead I separated my shelves into nuts and baking items, and canned goods below that.  I like her idea of having an area to store necessary ingredients for specific recipes for your week.

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After!

 

Once everything was either in the trash or back in the cabinets, I moved on to the fridge.  Same rules apply for tossing here: expired and duplicates are gone.  No second thoughts.  My favorite tip for the fridge was to not actually store your fruits and veggies in a drawer because then they’re out of sight and out of mind.  So I decided to have a shelf for snacks like veggies, guacamole and hardboiled eggs and a shelf for leftover storage and ingredients for meals for the week.

This clean out worked really well with my time in the kitchen this weekend anyway.  I’m really intentionally working on a strong Sunday cooking habit, and having a cleared out pantry is already providing more calm when I do it.  For maintenance she recommends a Sunday clean out where you go through the fridge for leftovers and opened produce to try to use up as much of it as you can – an easy habit to implement with the Sunday cooking!

Next week we stay in the kitchen and tackle dish cabinets!

How do you organize food storage?

Organized Home: Kitchen Counters

Moving right along this week into the kitchen.  I am so glad that this Organized 365 project called 40 Days: One Whole House didn’t tackle the entire kitchen at once.  Instead, we’re easing in very slowly starting with the kitchen counters.  I listened to the less-than-15-minutes podcast for this topic on a drive out for dinner with Chap and the kids, and was ready to tackle the counters the next day.

In the podcast, she talks about all horizontal surfaces in your home and how they end up becoming holding spaces for all kinds of things.  Keys, papers, bills, extra cups.  It’s so easy to just set things down and leave them there for later.  I’m working hard on making a space for everything, and then returning items to their homes when they’re not being used.

The first task for the kitchen counters was to take everything off of them.  Everything.  Appliances.  Papers.  Grocery bags.  Drying racks.  Bananas.  That part was easy (my dining room table has turned into a lovely holding space for all of my items in purgatory during this project).  Then, her rule is that you can’t return anything to the kitchen until you use it.  You’re supposed to use the whole week to figure this out but I didn’t want to so I started my meal prep for the week and only returned the things I used during that time.

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Purgatory for Stuff

In the podcast, she specifically calls out several things that most people have out on their counters and should maybe reconsider.  The first is a toaster.  I don’t have a toaster but I do have a microwave.  I don’t use it everyday, and I’m not even sure I use it every two days.  I tried to move this to the laundry room shelf but the plugs weren’t compatible so it had to stay in the kitchen.  Next were those porcelain canisters of all the kitchen utensils.  I have one, and I do use it everyday, but the look of it does clutter up the counters and I have plenty of drawer space.  The utensils are now in a drawer close to the stove for easy grabbing.  And the canister moved to the mantle to hold a new snake plant!

I decided to also tackle the fridge space while I was going at the counters.  Taking down expired Save the Dates and old holiday cards.  The only things that went back up were scenery magnets and art of my favorite cities (Memphis and Tulsa).

It was pretty simple for me to decide what to not put back on the counters.  The three big jars of protein powder I hadn’t scooped from in months.  The utensil canister.  A big bowl to hold fruit that’s usually empty.  And it was nice to rearrange a little.   This new layout worked great while I was prepping veggies and meals for the week, and I love that it feels a lot less crowded in here – from the counter space to the fridge!

Need to work on getting those doors to stay shut!  Next week: pantries and leftovers.

Organized House: Front Hall Closet

This morning, I got up and did my workout at home before heading the the studio for the first class!  The ritual is working so far, plus I was just super excited about starting the New Year Fit Camp at StudiOne today.  I need to find ways to have this kind of enthusiasm for every regular day of life.

Y’all I’m pretty proud I’ve made it three weeks in a row of sticking to this organizing the house plan.  And I’m also proud to report that the master closet and the laundry room are still looking neat and tidy and perhaps even more impressively, I haven’t purchased any items of clothing in 2017.  I do have some points expiring at the end of this month so I foresee a purchase, within point limits, in the next week or so.

This week my organizational task was conquering the front hall closet.  I really only have one “house closet”, that’s to say a closet not in a bedroom.  With limited storage space outside of the bedroom, I had some specific objectives for this space.

  • Coats and winter gear
  • The vacuum
  • The carryon suitcase

I stuck to the same plan as the laundry and master closet by taking everything out of the closet first, and then deciding if it was worth putting back in OR sorting into trash and sale piles.  (I’ve decided while I don’t have anyone in that front room, that it’ll be a holding room for an early spring yard sale).

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Everything out first

Coats and winter gear already fit into this closet so it was easy to put them back in in an orderly fashion.  The vacuum and carryon suitcase haven’t fit before and just occupied space in the very narrow hallway.  I don’t like it.  I had piles of old and mismatched Christmas decorations, random sheets of tissue paper and a variety of gift bags (a poor attempt at storing wrapping supplies).  Most of that got trashed.  I hate it, especially the part where I might be able to use it in the future, but better out than in at this point.

This one was a quick project I finished in one evening.  The carryon and vacuum found homes, as well as my big duffel of race shirts ;).  I also had a plastic storage bin that wasn’t really being used so I saved the most practical wrapping supplies and put them all in there.

The best part though, and something I appreciate about younger me, was coming across an old photo box that had prints from high school and college, notes from all kinds of occasions from my parents, roommates and friends.  And my Ireland travel journal that I knew was saved somewhere.  I love saving love notes of all kinds, and even though I’m sure I’m not supposed to keep them (clutter you know), my heart is always so happy when I find them.  So that box stayed.

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Vacuum and suitcase fit now!

I’m feeling good about this focus for the year!  Next week the podcast is about kitchen counters…..seems easy enough!

 

An Evening Ritual

I ran today!  It’s amazing because we’ve been in a constant state of icy/freezing/cold drizzle since mid-week last week.  And Michelle and I still got some of that on our run (wrapped in my robe under a blanket and my feet are still cold!) today but the key was it wasn’t raining when we started.  We went for a good 6 miler on the river and then warmed up on the R Bar patio talking training plans.  We may have wagered a deal that ropes me into another full…..maybe.  Don’t mix a shivering me with a mimosa.

6 miles, 50:03, 8:21 average.  Splits: 8:43, 8:18, 8:14, 8:09, 8:13, 8:27

Confession time.  Last week was a major struggle for me.  We were coming back east from a ski trip in Lake Tahoe and I’m not sure if it was the time change, the couple of days of skiing, lack of sleep on the first few nights back or all the germs of travel but I got knocked down again.   Zero energy.  Not just too-tired-for -workouts low energy, but the so tired I had a headache and nausea tired.  Or maybe the cause was vice versa.  Whatever it was, I was an unproductive sleepy and sick gal for the latter half of the week – making appointments when I could and sleeping all the rest of the time.

I’m feeling much better now after taking it easy Thursday and Friday, and sleeping over 14 hours each of those days.  Things are about to get extremely busy both for my personal running training with upcoming races, my coaching at the studio and some other growing client bases.  It’s all so good, and I want to be alert, focused and energized for all of it.

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Bedtime helpers

I’d really like to get back to the days when I would wake up an hour before 6am classes to have some time with myself before my days got crazy.  I miss the quiet morning time, reading, practicing yoga for myself and having a clear mind to think about the flow of the day.  But simply setting the alarm for 5 am hasn’t been working for me.  I just snooze until the very last possible minute.  So, the next logical place to go is the front end of the sleep cycle.

I’m creating an evening ritual, and once I’ve mastered this for two weeks, I’ll start working on the morning ritual.  Every night beginning at 9:30pm I will:

  • Turn off electronics – email, blog, scrolling, texts
  • Drink a big glass of water
  • Brush/floss my teeth
  • White strips
  • Face washing routine – wash, toner, lotions, eye cremes
  • Lotion – legs and hands, this winter dryness is killing my skin!
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Ritual essentials close by.

This should put me in bed at 10pm, where I’m allowed to read until I get tired.  I think it sounds like a pretty good plan.  I think the 9:30pm time could be a challenge since most nights I get home from my last appointment after 8 and I like to cook dinner and do some work on the computer.  I’ll have to be more strategic about what I get done on the screen during the daytime.

Do you have an evening ritual, or you just get in bed when you’re ready?  How  do you fight overwhelming fatigue?

Winter Season W3: Track Run

Y’all I am determined to keep up a daily blogging habit.  I have a few reasons for this:

  1. So I can look back on this journey to two new PRs and keep track of what went well and what didn’t
  2. So I can reconnect to this online world of like minded fast-running, healthy-eating, organized-at-home creative people.  Or at least network with some so I stay inspired.
  3. Reconnect to you, the readers to share my perspective on things in life and continue to tell stories.  If there’s any particular content you’d like to see, let me know and I’ll try to sneak it in.

So, as I get started back into this, I am going to work on using the word “so” a little bit less and also commit to writing daily.  This may mean a few junky posts for a bit while I just sit down at my computer to hash out some thoughts, get a little creative or wake up the writer in me again.  I used to have lists and lists of things to write about but today I can’t think of a single thing except to tell you how my runs have gone.  So, (whoops) that’s what I’ll do.

I have two big, hard, almost impossible goals I’ve been chasing for a while now.  I want to break 22 minutes (used to be 21 but then I got a little more realistic) in the 5k and I want to break a long-standing (almost 4 years, maybe 5?) half marathon PR.  Before I turn 30 in August (the back up plan is just anytime in 2017).

Setting the goal, and even making the plan are the easy parts.  Doing the plan through to the finish is the tough part.  Here’s the plan:

  1. 3 quality runs a week (via Run Less, Run Faster method): track, tempo and long (I’ve added my own twist to the long run, which I’ll tell you about soon!)
  2. Fit Camp Style workouts 3x per week: This is my own version of strength training.  I give credit to this for my last half marathon success on a single long run of 7 miles.
  3. Yoga everyday: not necessarily a class a day, but some kind of on the mat designated stretch out time.  The key to staying injury free.

Lucky for me, all of those things are at my studio! There really isn’t a better time for me to try to do this.  Yesterday was my week 3 track day.  The first week I ran 400s which I’ve come to love, last week was 800s which I kind of hate and this week’s assignment was 2 one mile repeats and an 800.  Weird horribly “long” track distances.

I planned to run with two of the girls who usually come to the YogaFit class on Tuesday mornings but we had some extra people show up (which is awesome!) so we went for a windy 3 mile run instead.  I was still determined to get my track work in so I hopped straight on the treadmill after class (my preferred track location).  My legs were so tired!  I did my best to keep up with my set pace but a lot of the time had to scroll down or hop to the sides.  This is always disheartening and reminds me of a slow balloon deflation.  I was so hopeful starting the workout and then as I trudged along and my legs got heavier, my little hope balloon slowly lost all its air.  But, I did it.  It’s over and I can write it down in my Believe Training Journal (more motivating to get runs in than it should be).

Hope y’all have a great first Wednesday of the new year and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for some more dusting of the rust writing…..(it’ll get better, I promise hope.)

 

2017: The Year of Less

Happy 2017 friends!  I’m relieved the holidays are over, and even though January 1 is just another day in the year, there’s something about it that gives me energy to get shit done.  This year it even started a day early – all New Year’s Eve Day I spent in my house, alone, cleaning out my closet.  It’s a daunting task to end 2016 with but it felt amazing, and like the final perfect task for an excellent year.

This closet purge was inspired by one of the podcasts I’ve been listening to called Organize 365.  I don’t listen to every episode but the host has a 40 week program that guides you through one organizational task per week.  The idea is to work on it all week, but I’m a procrastinator and like to tackle it all in a tight deadline.  I skip over days that don’t apply to me (like kids’ closets) and have completed two weeks of organizing pieces of the house. I’m going to start sharing each week here so you can follow along too!

The Master Closet

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Before

The first step is to take everything out of the closet.  Since I only have myself to worry about, and a relatively small closet, I tackled my dresser too.  This was the easiest part.  It took me less than five minutes to create a gigantic pile of clothes, shoes, purses and other odds and ends on my bed (put it on the bed – huge motivation to complete the task, unless you want to sleep on the couch.  Which I don’t have right now, so I had to get it done).

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The Pile

The sorting process is next.  This is a little daunting.  The following items get tossed:

  1. It doesn’t fit anymore.  Right now, today.
  2. You don’t feel like a million bucks in it
  3. It’s torn, ripped, stained
  4. You haven’t worn it in the past six months

I struggled at first but then I got on a roll.  Old high school sweatshirts, out.  Torn designer jeans, out.  Bridesmaids dresses, out.  Skirts, never worn, out.  Some of this was really hard, but I just shoved the items into bags and soon they were out of mind.

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Sorted.

Everything else got folded and sorted onto my kitchen table.  Jeans, workout pants, shorts and shirts.  Sweaters, shoes, hanging items, accessories.  My table and bench were covered.  But my closet and drawers were empty and cleaned!  From here, I continued to pare down.  No duplicates went into the closet.  I tried on every pair of jeans and dress that I put back in.  If I didn’t feel great I bagged it.  If it was too big, even though it was my favorite dress, I bagged it.

The struggle came with the race shirts.  SO MANY.  And I never wear them, ever.  So, I decided to keep only the ones from the state races, and any current PRs.  Everything else – bagged.

I had one bag of trashed clothes (torn, stained, unwearable etc), hangers and tattered shoes and two bags of giveaways.  Everything up to this point probably took two and a half hours.

Returning everything to its proper new home was easy.  “Dress” shirts (for me, anything that’s not athletic) went back in the closet in a color coordinated order.  Jeans, shorts, sweatshirts and workout bottoms got arranged on shelves in the closet.  Shoes on the bottom.  Workout tops, bras and shirts into the dresser drawers, sorted by bra, built in bra or just a top.  Workout t-shirts in a separate drawer.  And the race shirts all ended up in a duffle of their own in the hall closet.  Scarves and winter gear moved to the hall closet.  The over the door hanger moved to the bathroom to hold towels and robes.

And just look at the magic….

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After all of this and seeing my pile of clothes on the table, I had a thought: I do not need a single ‘nother item of clothing.  And today, as I write this, I’m resolving to not purchase any additional items of clothing this entire year (excludes new running shoes, clothes bought with Athleta points and a dress for a wedding).  Yep, there it is in writing and now all y’all can hold me to it.

What are y’all working on this year?