Usually I host family get-togethers at my house.  It is easier on Ben (the Autism just doesn’t make it easy to travel to other houses).  I always make a TON of food and anyone who wants to take home leftovers is more than welcome to take some home.  This brings up the issue of what to put it in.

A few years ago I noticed that whenever I was getting ready for family dinners, since I was making so much food, I would have several plastic bowls with lids that would normally go into the garbage (sour cream bowls, cottage cheese bowls, cool whip bowls, etc).  While I don’t like to keep these for storage here at my house (I tend to use more heavy duty storage containers), I realized that it would be great to have them on hand for whenever someone wants to take home leftovers from my house!  No need to worry about returning the bowl, they can either keep it for themselves or throw it away!  Plus, at least they get used at least one more time before going into the trash :-)
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Clutter drives me crazy!  I cannot stand to live with clutter.  The only problem with this is that I love to save things…. I am not quite of “hoarder” status, but I do tend to save things “just in case I need them” and we live in a small duplex.  Because of this, I am in a constant state of trying to declutter!  I live on a tight budget so I need to organize it for free.

If you are anything like me, then you probably want to actually keep most of your stuff.  There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, I just want to organize the things I have so I can access them better and easily.  Here are a few tips I can give you for organizing what you have and not spending a fortune on containers and other stuff while you do it.

  • Figure out exactly which area you want/need to organize (a closet, drawer, cabinet, etc.) Pick out a small space to start with.
  • Take EVERYTHING out of that space.  Yes, I know it’s easier to look at some things in that space and think “that part is already organized so I will just leave it there” but you really need to take everything out
  • Once you have everything spread out and the space is empty, throw away the obvious trash and sit things to the side that you do not want to keep
  • Now just put “like items” together (if you are organizing a desk drawer, then you would put all the pens in one pile on the floor, all the notepads in another pile, etc)
  • Once you have little piles or areas of like items that you want to keep together, figure out what you can put them in to keep them together in the space you are organizing.  Free items you can use for this are cleaned out mayonnaise jars, small empty boxes, plastic cups, etc.
  • After putting all the items into containers of some sort, you can put those containers back into the space you are organizing
  • If you have any items that you still need containers for, look around your house and then if you need to, buy the necessary containers

By following these simple steps, it is very easy (and just about free) to organize any space you need to!

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I admit it.  I am in love with SHARPIE markers!  This affair has been going on for years!  Some people just don’t understand my dedication and devotion to this wonderful creation.

My biggest fear in the world is forgetting something.  Anything.  I hate that feeling of something I was going to do or look into or tell someone.  Ugh!  So, consequently, I make lists.  Lots and lots of lists.  This includes a daily “to do” list.  Every evening I either print out or handwrite my list for the following day.

Most people simply use a pen or pencil to cross things off of their “to do” lists and that is good enough for them.  Not for me though.  I feel the deep seated desire to use a sharpie and black the items out as they are completed.  I do not rest until my whole list looks like a big solid black box, with every item blacked out.

Sometimes I will make an abstract, black, linear design or pattern out of the items as I black them out.  Other times its just a huge rectangle or box at the end of the day.

I think I just like the fact that once it’s blacked out I know it’s DONE!  Final.  Finished.  Without a doubt, completed.  Also, I can more clearly see the other things that need to be done because they are not blacked out and that makes them more visible.

Whatever the reasons I love them!

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I know I have posted before about leftovers and also about making a monthly menu plan.  Today when I was cleaning out my fridge and taking inventory of the freezer so I could plan my menu for August, it occured to me that I left out a clever tip I use every week.

When I clean out the fridge, I take all of the leftovers out and go thru all the shelves making sure everything in there is fresh and edible.  I put the leftovers on the counter and throw away the stuff that is no good.  Often I still have some leftovers that are only a day old or so and I am not willing to throw away good food.  Because the leftovers have been in the fridge for a day or two, my family does not ”see” them there.  Kind of like if you open the fridge for a glass of water and the milk is on the same shelf, you just don’t really “see” it there.

To combat this, I repackage my leftovers, taking them out of the current container they are in and putting them in a different container (or even a storage bag) and then place them back into the fridge on the leftover shelf (the bottom shelf in our fridge is where all the leftovers are kept).  That way when the family opens the fridge and looks around, they see a different container in there that was NOT there this morning and it catches their attention and are more likely to eat it.

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