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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    front seat of my car to the Goodwill on my way out of town So simple Continuing to send things out the door is one part of simplifying and the other part is to stop bringing in more but that s a topic for another day How do you keep things going out the door on a regular basis at your house 85 Comments Container Clutter Confessions In packing up our apartment last week I noticed a trend First it was just two but then I found three more And then there were more And suddenly I was looking at about a dozen shoebox size cardboard boxes and containers All empty I was saving them in case I needed to put something in them They are such a useful size right But here s the thing boxes and containers are only useful when something goes in them As long as they re empty they re just taking up space It s an advanced decluttering skill to let go of the containers that you no longer need and I didn t need them So my container clutter confession today is I tend to value cardboard boxes too highly I ll always be able to find a new shoebox if I need one so I don t need to collect and save empty ones any more What kind of container clutter might be hiding in plain sight at your home Potential targets butter tubs glass jars plastic totes baskets 96 Comments The Move Out Done in 7 Days Our 1st goal for the new year Move out of the apartment Done We didn t want to move during the holidays so we waited until January 1 to start packing Moving boxes piled around the Christmas tree This was a seven day move

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/59/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    a little organization and preparation 85 Comments Too Many Spares Simplify Your Pairs Good new year to everybody We re starting this year by going back to basics and organizing and simplifying one place that you see every morning your undies drawer If your underwear drawer has been neglected for too long you might open your drawer to four cute pairs and twenty spares Let s simplify that So how many pairs of undies are nice to have I d say maybe twelve I used to have 30 so that I could wait 30 days between trips to the laundromat Clothes tumbled in huge gas dryers for seventy five cents per load while the Geraldo show blared on small televisions mounted high on the walls Tired women held toddlers on their laps and if you were lucky you could claim a folding table The hot air and scent of fabric softener wafted out the open doors and down the sidewalk Oh that sweet day when I moved into an apartment with a washer dryer connection Assuming that you can wash clothes at least weekly you don t need too many extra pairs If there s one place in your home that is most suited for the one in one out rule it s your underwear drawer Today we have an assignment We re going to remove the underwear that is stretched out droopy saggy or with holes Too tight too big or might have fit had not the elastic given way years ago If it s itchy or it doesn t stay where it s supposed to it has to go It s job is done I want you to open your drawer and find pretties that fit you properly You don t need to keep the extras that are past their prime Moment of truth time are you willing to take on this challenge 105 Comments New Word for the Year New and improved Clean slate And my favorite makeover These are all phrases I love to hear this time of year In seventh grade I moved to a new city and a new school I had a brilliant idea a revelation really I would be part of the popular group The kids at this school didn t know who I was or where I came from I would make new friends and decide who I was going to become I would decide my fate I don t need to add that my idea was a failure and seventh grade was one lonely year In the truest sense the only real makeover I ever had came in college from deciding to follow Jesus and he started to mend the bruised and broken places in my life The hurts from wanting high school boys to like me My pride and my desire to look sophisticated and worldly instead of naive Concerns over money And mostly an overwhelming self consciousness and fear about what other people thought of me Well that

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/60/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    Make note of details like when a leasing agent mentions an apartment has been vacant for three months or when a salesperson mentions new inventory is coming in next week Talk to the person who makes the decisions This will be someone who understands operating costs cash flow needs and incoming inventory They ll be able to know what discounts they can afford with the big picture in mind Shop midmorning or midafternoon Those are the times a manager is usually present and it s not the end of the day when people are ready to go home Ask for added value Extended warranty free delivery and free installation are usually easy add ons You can also ask for discounts for the floor model or any minor condition issues Be willing to walk away Sometimes they ll call you back but if they don t you ll find another opportunity I used to think it was hard to negotiate on price but it started getting easier for me once I saw how effective it could be Do you like to bargain or do you find it hard to ask for a better price 25 Comments Quick Color Makeover The Play Space Problem the walls are apartment beige and we can t paint them Supplies needed dish towel small curtain rod the dish towel was one I had and the curtain rod was 2 Since the dish towel was hemmed I simply pushed the curtain rod through the hem and then mounted it to the wall The color and texture define the space and make it a cozy corner It s time to cook 43 Comments Good to Own Useful Tools Helpful tools every household should have 1 Plunger One time my neighbor borrowed my plunger I must admit it was

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/142/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    on being frugal changed What do you feel is worth spending the extra money for 58 Comments Good Reads the Almost Spring Edition Photo by audreyjm529 I love how vivid color starts showing up this time of year I m especially loving orange juice Simply Orange is my favorite colored craft supplies and finding bright green in unexpected places Keep Our Lives Simple When is green too much of a good thing from Repurposeful Nurture Our Loved Ones Encouraging Independence in My Kids from Make and Takes Learn Practical Skills 10 Ways to Avoid Having a Home You ll Love from Nesting Place 5 Lovely Ideas for Adding Ambience Cheer to Your Life from The Inspired Room Make Smart Money Decisions Giving To Others When You Have Little To Give from Mom Advice Enjoy Peace be more do less from Chatting at the Sky love this gorgeous writing What do you look forward to in spring 7 Comments Lost and Found Photo by manda Usually when things go missing at our house it s because our two year old is going through a hiding phase It s funny and frustrating to have things moved and hidden in unlikely places especially when we re trying to get ready to go somewhere She s old enough to hide things but not old enough to tell me where they are The conversations go like this Me Where are your shoes Lane They re hiding Me Can you show me where you hid them Lane Let s find them Marches in a circle around the room The shoes are discovered two days later wrapped up in a blanket Pennies are slipped into the air vents of my vacuum cleaner toys are tucked inside my shoes and stuffed animals are piled behind curtains Anything with

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/141/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    let the imperfection be the backdrop for Christ coming into the world just like it was I let several things go undone this year things I didn t have time for I abandoned the ideas for handmade gifts in favor of not working on them at the last minute I lost the stocking that my mom made and that Lane had claimed as her own I know I put it aside in a special place so that I wouldn t lose it and we ve looked everywhere We don t have any other stockings because I sold the rest on Ebay thinking I would make new ones but that s a story for a different time We decided that our dinner tonight would be takeout from our favorite Mexican restaurant before we go to church Now we re heading out as a family for some morning coffee and people watching People watching is best in December don t you think The hats scarves sweaters and the other day I even saw a guy wearing pantaloons It made my day I hope you have a Merry Christmas Thank you for your gift of reading here I ll be here next week but we ll keep it low key for the holidays before we start organizing and cleaning things out in January because we ve been quite busy enough as it is 30 Comments Christmas at Home Wait whose home This post is part of a series Romance to Real Life which focuses on some of the struggles Doug and I faced when we first got married One of those rocky starts was deciding how we would celebrate the Christmas season I thought my parents were normal and that I had a normal upbringing until I got married and then Doug informed me that as much as he loves them my parents were not normal What I don t understand the way Doug and his family do certain things so I guess that makes us even When we were engaged I read a book about marriage and an entire chapter of it was on holidays It warned us that holidays could be tricky but I thought we had it covered After all we had talked about it and it sounded like we pretty much wanted to do the same things for Christmas Then we actually got married and it was a wake up call to learn that our ideas of Christmas were not the same at all Honestly I think I was holding on to my traditions a little too tightly and having too high expectations for Christmas Day Doug said Christmas decorations were tacky I wanted to have stockings He was used to having presents on Christmas Eve and I wanted to do them on Christmas morning And so on It didn t help that our first bare apartment didn t reflect the season of joy and family togetherness no tree and not even a good couch We tried going back

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/61/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    and that is nothing like my freshman year of college 25 Comments Wool Baby Pants from a Felted Sweater The time I accidently shrunk and felted Doug s favorite sweater in the laundry was disappointing I tried not to be too excited when I thought about what I could make from the felted wool First up wool baby pants I used the free Katrina s longies pattern instead of trying to wing it The measurements were spot on for my child The waistband rises in the back for a good fit Baby pants are made from three pieces two legs and a waistband Choose the size based on your child s measurements so if your child has some extra fluff from cloth diapers measure him with the diaper on First you fold each leg piece in half and sew the inseams then you join the two legs together and finally you sew on the waistband More detailed sewing instructions with photos are at this tutorial I took a shortcut and used the sweater sleeves for the legs with the cuffs already finished around the ankles They are so soft and cuddly Before I cut into the wool I made a practice pair using cheap fleece The pattern works well with fleece but make sure the fleece stretches horizontally so you can pull the pants over the baby s hips You want to make sure the waistband can stretch too Now my baby runs around in a bright green pair of Kermit pants Seriously no sweater is safe anymore Around this time each year I have to do a reality check and decide how much time I can reasonably spend on sewing because if I haven t made a handmade gift by now it s probably not going to happen But I m not quite there yet and I think there may be some more wool projects coming What else could I make from a felted sweater 34 Comments Selling Used Books Still No Money We re moving in a few weeks and one of my goals is that we go out of this apartment with less stuff than we brought in Can we do it I don t know But since Doug has had more free time lately he s been going through past collections On one day lately it was books I don t have many books I m more of a library girl so my short row of books doesn t take much room on the book shelf Doug had some books from his pre parenting days when he had time to sit around and read high brow philosophy books On any other person s shelf or coffee table those would be there to make someone look smart but Doug actually read them and there were more books that he had bought before I converted him to be a library user too The Kindle is cool but we haven t bought one since our library is well stocked

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/62/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    washer and dryer match 60 Comments Some New Things I love a good makeover and it was time to freshen things up here at Small Notebook If you re reading this in your RSS or email click through to see the new design A few changes to note The Daily Tip features a new idea every day to make things easier See what people are talking about in the Comments The comments link is now after the post It s also easier to reply to specific comments Good Reads have their own place so I can share interesting article links without waiting until the weekend The most recent are highlighted on the front page at the bottom right and you can browse all of them on the Good Reads page Small Notebook is opening up for advertisements Contact me for details Take a look around I hope you like the changes 46 Comments Getting More from Your Address Book Photo by to01 No matter if you use a book or you ve changed to the computer an address book has the potential to organize much more than simply addresses and phone numbers Having a quick reference in alphabetical order will help you store all those notes and bits of information in an organized way Even though mine s in digital form I still call it my address book rather than address database Here s what you can include to make your address book even more useful Birthdays and anniversaries The names of your friends spouses and children You probably know their names but this way you won t forget how to spell them If you ve just received a birth announcement make a note of their new baby s birth date Frequently visited web sites especially ones that require you

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/140/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    overdo the food a worm compost bin has absolutely no smell and won t attract bugs We compost our fruit and vegetable scraps tea bags and some paper and cardboard The compost worms help to break down the food quickly and turn it into a rich soil for our plants You can buy an expensive bin but it is so easy to make your own using two rubbermaid storage containers To make your own like I did here are instructions plus step by step photos You do need compost worms You can t go out and dig up earthworms they need to be a specific kind I bought red compost worms online and had them shipped since I couldn t find anyone in the city who had them What I ve Learned The compost bin does better if you leave it alone At first I was overly attentive and checked the bin frequently wondering if I was adding enough or too much food for the worms Now the only thing I do is collect food scraps in a tupperware container in the fridge Once every week or two I add the food scraps to the compost bin and then I cover the food with pieces of wet cardboard or paper egg cartons I check to make sure the soil is damp Sometimes I pour out the liquid that has drained to the bottom and use it to water my plants It all takes about ten minutes per week The Results If you look inside the compost bin on the left is finished compost and on the right is compost in progress I give the finished compost to my patio plants as a top dressing over the dirt and then cover it with mulch The plants respond to it so well

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/139/ (2016-02-10)
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