Friday, September 18, 2020

Catching Up

     These past several weeks have been full of deep-cleaning, organizing, and decluttering as I prepare for James's arrival in December.  The second trimester came with a welcome burst of energy that allowed me to tackle the housework I had fallen behind in, and while this last trimester has seen my energy levels drop somewhat, I still have that momentum.  I guess you could say I'm in nesting mode full-swing!  As my due date gets closer and closer, there is a sense of urgency that makes me feel that if I don't get things done now, they won't get done!

    This post might be a bit random as I share what I've done, but I hope it serves as an encouragement to show what can be accomplished little by little.  I admit my to-do list seemed overwhelming at first, but I took the advice of some seasoned homemakers to just "do the next thing".  I also had to remind myself that it's not the end of the world if I don't cross everything off of my list in time for the baby!  After all, homemaking and housekeeping are not a one and done thing.  That is part of the beauty and joy of it, to always have some little task that keeps our hands busy and our hearts happy, ways here and there to always bless our families, not to mention the satisfaction for ourselves when we get to see and enjoy all the fruits of our labor.  This list just helps me get it all down on paper and out of my head.

The top portion is Colton's list, the bottom is mine.
("De-grease John's toys and clothes" means clean off all of the baby balm he decided to coat everything in while I was in the shower.)

     My first ambitious project was to do a complete pantry clean-out.  It was silly for me to think I could get this done in a day.  I'm still working on it!  I emptied out the entire pantry to wipe down shelves, take inventory of what I have, and rotate stock.  I will save this for another post since there was so much involved, but here is a picture of my empty pantry.  I don't like to see it empty!  Thankfully, it is full again and all clean and organized.

     I almost have it like I want now, but having and keeping a well-stocked pantry means that it is ever-evolving and never quite finished.  I gave myself a break from the pantry once most of it got put back together and jumped to something else on my list.  I wouldn't normally do this, but with my list and for the season I am in, I am just going with bite-sized chunks of whatever I have the energy for.  It's ok to do this!  I still see progress, so even if I don't get the satisfaction of drawing that line through my list, I still know I've accomplished a lot.

    Sorting through baby clothes was another thing on my list.  I still have some clothes from when John was a baby, plus some new things for James that I have either thrifted or been gifted.  I got all of these washed up and sorted by size.  I labeled them and put them away in the attic for when the time gets closer to use them.

    This led me to do something that I hadn't written down but that desperately needed to be done, and that is clean up the loft!  The door to the attic is in the loft, so a lot of times things that either go in the attic or need to come out just get set up there and it becomes a catch-all.  It is also where all of my craft supplies are, and that can quickly get messy if I have projects out.  It was in a dire state.  After plugging away little by little, I finally got it all done!  And now the attic is organized too!

    Here is the embarrassing "before" photo...

    And here it is all cleaned up...

     In the midst of all this, I started on another project.  We have a shelf in our utility room that I was using to hold my jars, most of them thrifted and still unwashed.  I ran out of room on that shelf a long time ago!  I decided I would relocate the jars to the top kitchen cabinets, so I am in the process of getting them all washed and sanitized for that.  It will be much more practical for me to have them at the ready in the kitchen should I need them.  I have too many to wash all in a day, so I am just doing several a day and chiseling away at the pile.

The shelf, with several jars already removed.

    To the aforementioned shelf in the utility room, I moved all of our extra bathroom toiletries, first aid, and kitchen supplies.  When things go on sale that I know we use regularly, I buy several, not just one!  This is an investment up front that saves money in the long run, as it means I never have to pay full price.  I previously had these supplies in a closet in the utility room (you can see a glimpse of it to the right in the photo above), which held everything well, but it was hard to search for things, as the closet is deep and things tended to get buried.  Now everything can be seen at a glance, and I can easily tell what we are getting low on.  Colton and I have enough shampoo and Q-tips for the next five years, I think!  But I can see that we really need dish soap...

    I've also been washing up some fabric from the thrift store.  I'd be embarrassed to tell you how long ago I bought this.  It was during a bag sale so that tells you it was pre-covid!  It has been sitting in the laundry room in the same bag I bought it in.  Now it is all washed and put away.  As a side note, I bought all this fabric for $2 total!  How could one pass that up?

    We got some free food-grade buckets from the grocery store bakery.  I washed them up and now they are ready to hold the bulk wheat that we bought.  We currently have the wheat in the freezer to kill any critters that might hatch out.

    I was also able to add some freeze dried onions to my pantry.  This had been on my list and only ended up taking about an hour to process.  We had a great harvest of onions this past spring, and my parents offered to freeze dry some for me!  They processed ten pounds sliced.  I crushed some and ground the rest and sealed them in jars.  Some of the jars will be for long-term storage (freeze-dried foods will last for decades if stored properly) so I added oxygen absorbers to them.  Now I have a good supply of onions in the pantry.

     It has been so helpful to review this past month and see all that I was able to accomplish.  I hope it has served as some inspiration if you have some bigger projects that you need to get done.  I would love to hear about them in the comments!  I'd also love to know your method for getting things done and how you stay motivated!  


  1. Love all your projects! This is what my world looks like and feels like too ❤️ You have a lot of nice storage shelves - especially your pantry! Enjoy the preparation for baby 🍼❤️😘

    1. Thank you, JES! I am very grateful for all the storage I have. I was amazed at all I had been able to fit in the pantry once I pulled everything out!

  2. Kelsey you are having a boy and he has a name! I am sorry I am a bit behind, but I know you know why. Thank you for your message too. I am also glad you are feeling better as I know the first trimester wasn't so easy. But now you are doing veery well! You have a very nice pantry and the pother shelves are great too. We are doing the same there... moving stuff around and re organising areas... and I am not pregnant so its not that! That fabric was the deal of the century. Your attic craft room is beautiful what an asset you made yourself there. And your parents have a freeze drier! Ok that also is an asset! A huge one! The onion powder is awesome. Drying is just the biggest space saver ever! It amazes me. I loved your report and all your nesting!!! With much love,

    1. Whoops, I accidentally posted your reply below! Still getting the hang of this... :)

  3. Thank you, Annabel! I just read your post and thought, Ha! We are doing the same things! It is a big job and can make a mess of things before it's all finished, but it is so worth it in the end to have a clean and organized space. Things are already working better for me and much more practical.
    Yes, we are all very excited about the freeze dryer. My dad has had one on order for over a year and he finally got it. He and my mom have been watching YouTube and experimenting with freeze drying all sorts of things. They said if there was anything I needed freeze dried to just send it over. They may regret that lol.
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

  4. Dear Kelsey, I am so impressed with everything that you are achieving! Well done! I love your craft space. That fabric was a fantastic deal. I also love your storage spaces and how you are making great use of the space that you have. Well done on the processed onion, how handy to have it on hand. I am excited for your pregnancy and baby- it is getting closer. I am currently trying to sort out all our clothes and put them in sizes. I always try and have two sizes up for our eldest and then carefully save his clothes for our younger one. I need to get some extra shelves put in to the kitchen so I can store more things. I think it is wise to be prepared. Love, Bridge (Lily) XX

    1. Thank you, Bridge! I like your idea to buy clothes two sizes up. I'd like to start doing that, too. I agree, it is wise to be prepared, especially with everything we have seen happen this year.
      I hope you can get your kitchen shelves! Extra storage can make a big difference. Other times it is rearranging things to work better for us. I am already finding this with what I've done so far and wish I had moved things around sooner!


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