Friday, January 30, 2015

34 Weeks of Clean: Week 4 - Fridge, Freezers, and Floors

This week I was excited about this challenge.  I dove in face first last week as soon as I knew what the challenge was.  The freezer in my kitchen fridge was in great shape.  I only keep a few select items in it that are used frequently.  I cleaned my quickly emptying fridge, since I knew I would be going shopping the next day.  I also looked over the front of my fridge and cleaned off old and useless items that went straight into the trash can and wiped off the dusty top.  I also found a few items that hadn't been used and were beyond usable.

Trash :(


The rest of the week I kept thinking I need to get to the other fridge and straighten up the upright freezer and wash the kitchen floor.  Sadly, I didn't get to it, but we did enjoy a birthday celebration day and had company for dinner one evening.  I also planned to finish taking down the Christmas stuff from week one.  I didn't finish that either, but I did pack up all our Christmas books and put them away in the closet for next year.  One small step in the right direction is better than none.  I usually tackle the upright freezer in the spring when it is warm and I can defrost it before I have my garden providing produce that I want to freeze.  I know I'll get to that.  The garage fridge isn't too bad.  The floors still need washing, since they only usually get spot washed as needed I'm sure they are pretty dirty.  Hopefully I'll do better on next week's challenge.  

Family, Faith, and Fridays

Friday, January 23, 2015

34 Weeks of Clean - Week 3: Kitchen Cabinets

Family, Faith, and FridaysYesterday I had a little time in the afternoon to work on this weeks cleaning project.  The assignment was to clean and purge from the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen.

I didn't work the on drawers because for the most part they are pretty straight.  A few months ago I began to rearrange a few things in my cabinets, but didn't get to finish.  I worked on finishing up what I had previously started.

Previously, I moved all my small plastic storage containers to a deep drawer in which I had been using for some utensils.  Here is the current picture.  There was so much space in the deep drawer that I felt I could make a better use of it.  While we do have to put them in just right it doesn't bother me as much as it does one of my children who is on dish duty.  I like having my dishes all stacked neatly so I can quickly grab the size I want and find the matching lid. 

I hadn't finished rearranging the cabinets after moving the plastics, so this is what I started with yesterday.

My spices were spread out over two cabinets and six shelves.  I moved all may savory/ cooking spices to the cabinet where I wanted them.  And rearranged all my sweet/baking spices to take up a much smaller amount of space.  I threw away several old spices and packages and out of date imitation flavorings that I hadn't used in forever.  I decided I probably wasn't going to use them.  I also cleaned up the counter space by the coffee maker and made the space usable again.

Here are the after pictures of my spice rearranging.
I use baskets to help hold some of my spices.  I've found it helps me keep them neater and I can quickly pull the basket out of the cupboard when I am looking for a spice that I don't use as often.
 I also moved the mugs from the cupboard on the right and put them in the cupboard near the coffee pot.  Then I moved several vases that were on top of the fridge to the shelf above the mugs.  In my cup cupboard I put my measuring cups where the mugs had been.  They were displaced after rearranging the spices.

Next I worked on the cupboard under the counter that I had cleared off.  It's been bothering me for a while at how messy it was and hard to find a paper plate, cup, straw, or a tray.  I found probably 75-100 loose paper napkins in this cupboard, and since I only keep special party napkins in this cupboard I put all the other ones out to be used.  There were several items I tossed into the trash and a few items I set aside to put in my giveaway box, because I probably won't need them.  I keep my plastic ware in re-purposed coffee tins.  This helps keep them neat and easy for anyone to access.  You can't see them well because they are lined up behind the cabinet divider.

I'm looking forward to the challenge for Week 4.  You can visit this blog to see what it is and choose to join the challenge.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Missions School

This past weekend we attended the missions conference at our church.  As a follow-up for the kids I thought they would have fun with a little bit of related school.  Their assignments today were to choose a country where they might be interested in going if they were to be a missionary.  They wrote a short paper about the country they chose and why they choose it and how they might be a missionary there.  Then they had to draw a simple map of the country and research and write a few facts they learned about the country of their choice.  Then they had to choose a recipe to try from that country.  Then Kent, Katy, and Kaomi got to write a letter to a missionary in the country they chose and introduce themselves and ask any questions they had about being a missionary in that country.

       So now I have a menu planned for the next few days.  Here are the foods that we will be preparing.  Tomorrow we will be heading to the grocery store to buy any ingredients we don't have on hand.  Each person has their own shopping list.  Since we already had the food that Katy chose she will get to shop for the items needed to make the Indian Fried Rice which Jeff chose.

Monday:  Quiche Lorraine - France - Katy
Tuesday:  Ham and Cheese Empanadas - Argentina - Kaomi
                French Lentil Salad - France - Felicity
Wednesday:  Chicken Nuggets - United States of America - Clark
                      Pineapple - Clark
                      Indian Fried Rice - India - Jeff
                      Poffertjes - Netherlands - Suanna

Thursday:  Spanish Chicken w/Olives - Spain - Kent
                  Green Beans

Friday, January 16, 2015

34 Weeks of Clean -Week 2: Pantry

I've been wanting to blog more, but haven't taken the time to do it.  I found this challenge I wanted to work on, so I thought I'd try starting blogging again with this.

Family, Faith, and Fridays

Week 1 was putting all the Christmas stuff away.  We've been really busy on our weekends and I haven't done it yet.  This year we only have our Christmas tree and Christmas books out, so it shouldn't take too long.  Maybe I'll tackle it one evening this coming week.

Week 2 was the pantry.  I've been really needing to make my pantry functional again.  Over the last 2 months it seems like all I did was throw things in it, rather than put them away.  I found a few things that we used up and a few things to throw away, like a can of cream soup that's best by date was in 2012, old candy,  and a bunch of onion and garlic skins.  I only worked on it one day this week, but my pantry is almost back to normal, even though I didn't finish going through every shelf.  Over the last couple years I've learned that just doing a little bit can make a big difference even if you know you don't have the time to finish something.

Here are my before and after pictures.


Just putting away the stuff that was on the floor made a big difference, because we can now walk into the pantry to get what we want or put away what we are done with.

Week 3 is working on straightening and de-cluttering the kitchen cabinets and drawers.  I started this back in October, but I am looking forward to hopefully finishing some of the ideas I want to implement in my cabinets over the next week.