Friday, November 30, 2007

The Grand Reveal!!

OK, I know you can't really tell how different this room feels from the photos, but believe me, I feel like I'm in a different house!! This definitely wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. A lot more went into it than you can even see in the photographs. First of all, I needed to find my long lost label maker, so I ended up going through boxes in the garage and organizing them (and creating a huge pile of things to give away, as well as a huge box of books to donate to the library.) I never found the label maker, but I did organize part of my garage! Then I decided to move the homemade curtains from the living room into the office/scrapbook room (instead of having a blanket hanging up!!) so I had to actually go and buy some curtains for the living room that actually fit the window, instead of the ones I moved that were too small. Things got moved around and sorted out through different rooms, so lots of things are better off because of this challenge. And, yeah - I can now walk in the office without tripping on everything, and now I will actually be able to scrapbook!!

So, here it is!!


Let's start with the closet. This is a little closet, and part of it has to be used for clothes that don't fit in any of the other little closets in our house. I had the bill organizer on top of old computer boxes, and the sewing machine is haphazardly thrown in it's box. I have some mending to do, but always put it off because it's a pain to pull the sewing machine from the mess.


I tried not to spend very much money on this challenge, but these shelves are one thing I did buy. No more old computer boxes!! The sewing machine is now easily accessible - I do need to get a small container to hold thread, needles, etc. Also on the bottom shelf - a huge project that doesn't show. These are full of recipes that I have printed over the years. There are a lot of them. They are now organized into categories, so maybe I will actually use them now!


Next, onto the desk area. This is kind of hard to show the before and after, because all of the furniture got shifted around. I like it the new way so much better! (Thanks to the suggestion of my husband!!)


The desk got cleared of all of the millions of papers. The top of the desk was cleared off, and I found proper places to put everything instead of on top where it wasn't so pretty! I can actually think when I work now!


The last main area of the room is the scrapbooking table. I haven't done much on this table lately because I can never find the table!! That box in the picture? It was filled with bills/paperwork that needed to be gone through and filed/shredded. That is now done and that box doesn't exist anymore. I put things away as I do them now!


This is my favorite - I took a trip up to IKEA a few weeks ago and bought these shelves. My husband had a hard time putting them up (we are guessing that they must build things differently in Europe - it wouldn't line up with the studs in our walls. Josh had to do some extra things to get them to go into the wall properly.) I can now organize my supplies, and actually have the table to work on!! I also got some magazine organizers (they are the red flowery things) and I put my paper organizer in with the scrapbooking things. (Go figure!) I'm so excited to use this space now!! (Please ignore the boxes in the corner - those are all for my job, and I am awaiting my boss to come and pick them up.)

So overall, here are some extra before pictures:

And here are the extra after pictures:

I'm just so glad that I had the extra push to get this!

And onto the questions...

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

Actually getting in to do it was the hardest part. I kept walking into the room, prepared to purge, but it was so overwhelming that I would walk out and do something different. It took me a few days to actually even get started!! The way I overcame this was to move everything out. It was the only way I was going to be able to do anything. I had to start with a blank canvas. Everything except the desk was moved out, and only moved back into the room once it had a place.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

It's so clean and organized now, I don't think it will be as easy to just throw things in. I think that was the problem before. I had a box of things to file, so when I was paying bills, I automatically threw them in the box instead of filing. Now that the box doesn't exist, things get filed right away. The shelves to keep the scrapbooking supplies organized will definitely help as well.

3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

Ha! Most of it went in the garbage. I always knew I was a pack rat, but I didn't know it was that bad!! I had mixed tapes that were probably at least 10 years old in a drawer. I have no idea what I was keeping those for. I had to learn to let go with some things, but others were easy to get rid of. Good Will is getting a nice hefty pile as well.

4. Now that you have completed the challenge, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?

Definitely!! I will now be able to work without the added stress of an unorganized room. And I have no excuse to not scrapbook now!!

6. Why do you think you should win the challenge?

Honestly, I don't know if I should. I've seen a few of the other entries, and some people did amazing things!! I think one thing that sets me apart is that a lot of this is "stuff" that I've been holding onto for years. We've only been in our house less than 2 years, but a lot of this stuff I've been moving around with me from house to house. I really learned to let go and figure out what was really actually important to me.

Now I've caught the bug, though. I may just have to do one room in my house every month until the whole thing is ultra organized!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Organizational Challenge

So I'm finally getting my pictures online for the 30 day Organization Challenge. And let me tell you, if it's at all possible, this room actually looks worse now than when I started. That's what happens when you empty boxes and drawers and their contents are all over the floor!!

I haven't done as much as I was hoping for at this point, but it's been an extremely crazy month. In fact, I can't believe I took this on this month. But I have committed, and I am still planning on finishing. Thank goodness I don't have to make a lot for Thanksgiving!

I did go to IKEA last night to get some organizational tools, and I have been working hard today. Hopefully I will at least be able to walk in here by the time this weekend is over!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

House Selling

Let me just say - I now know why people use real estate agents....

I bought a condo about 5 years ago - back when I was single. I have just been renting it out since getting married, and Josh and I decided that it was time to sell. Mostly because I can get out of paying capital gains taxes because I lived in it for a few years, and if we were to wait much longer, we would be giving the government a percentage of what I have made on it (not that it's that much - I am not completely convinced that if you are wanting to make money off of your property, buy a house, not a condo.) Well, we put it up for sale by owner late last summer. It was a bad time to put it up in the first place because the area is inhabited by mainly singles and students, so most people looking to buy had already purchased something, preparing for the fall semester. We had an offer the day after we put it up for sale, but they had a real estate agent, which we would have to pay the 3% commission to. We were ok with that, but they low-balled us on the price, and we didn't want to take such a low offer the day after it was listed. Also, we weren't in a big hurry to sell, so we passed up the offer.

And then all of this mortgage business started happening. Great. Bad timing. But luckily, the housing market is still holding strong in Utah, and although there are a lot more homes for sale on the market than buyers looking (or should I say - people that can actually qualify for a mortgage now) but at least the property values are holding. We had quite a few people look at it in the beginning, but after school started, the calls stopped coming. We decided to take the sign down, and we would wait until Spring to put it up for sale again. I called one of the renters, asking her to take the sign down. But that afternoon, I got a call from a girl that actually owns one of the other units in the complex. She was in town from California and had seen the sign in the window that morning, and she was interested. I showed her the condo that day.

To make a really long story short, she originally made an offer about $35,000 less than our asking price. When we were asking under 200k to start, that was a huge discount. We laughed and said no thank you, but she kept negotiating. We settled on the lowest price that Josh and I had determined beforehand that we would go to. We were ok with it, because we figured that if we waited until spring, we would list with an agent and probably walk away with less, even if we sold it for more. And then more negotiating, and we threw in all of the furniture (except an armoire and a sofa table that I was not leaving behind) and ended up paying closing costs just to get the deal to happen. Yikes. And then to top it all off, we were supposed to close yesterday, and she almost didn't go through with it because she didn't have signed contracts from the renters. (And just to complain some more, she originally wanted me to take care of making the renters sign a new contract with her, I told her no - she needed to take care of it, and so she only sent the new contracts to the renters on Monday and was freaking out about the whole thing when she didn't have the contracts back to her by Wednesday. I just heard back from the title lady, and the girl did end up closing last night and her mom (who is co-signing) is signing this afternoon. What a headache. This is why I can see why working with a real estate agent is SO worth the money. This has been a constant stress over the past few months, and I am going to be so grateful when I know for sure that this is all over tonight. And hopefully I will have some money in my bank account tomorrow!! Too bad Josh is working this weekend, or else I would make him take me out to celebrate.

We have decided to be smart with the money and pay off some bills, cars, motorcycle, etc. The rest is going to go into savings. The only splurges we will make are for new tires for my car (I guess this is really not a splurge - more of a necessity!) and I am pulling for us each to get a new cell phone. We are both having issues with ours. But besides that, we are going to pretend we don't have the money. But life will be more fun now that we won't have car payments or any other payments except for our house and utilities/groceries/gas etc. What a relief to have this all over with!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Josh and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary last Sunday. And nope - I don't have a single picture to prove it!!! We did celebrate, though!

We decided last minute to go up to Park City on Saturday night. Part of our (short) honeymoon was spent in Park City, and we went to Sunday brunch at a restaurant there on Main Street called Cisero's. Well, ever since, Josh constantly talks about the eggs benedict we had there. So we decided to re-live our honeymoon by spending a night in Park City and eating brunch at Cisero's. We stayed at a place called Silver King Hotel. It is like a hotel, but each unit is individually owned. I read some reviews online, and found out that some of the owners keep there units updated, while some are not so nice. So the day before we went, I called and requested an updated unit. They did not disappoint!! It was a very nice room with a full kitchen, huge jacuzzi tub and vaulted ceilings. We are lucky enough to have our anniversary the weekend before winter pricing starts, so the room was less than $100. Way better than the Marriott or the Yarrow. We ordered in for dinner because Josh wasn't feeling well, and then got up in the morning and went for brunch. It was exactly as we had remembered it. It's funny, though - you would think that the menu would change at least a little in 2 years, but I think everything was exactly the same. Not that I'm complaining - we still stuffed ourselves!! After eating ourselves silly, we went back to the room, requested a late checkout, and I fell asleep for over 2 hours!! Luckily I woke up, because we had to be out of our room and Josh hadn't looked at the clock. We stopped at the outlets for a bit, but it was raining and not the best shopping weather, so we headed home.

We will be going to Vegas in less than a month now, so that's the trip I am really looking forward to. It will only be 3 days long, but I get to see Celine Dion!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Life in Disarray

I have been feeling so overwhelmed in my life lately. I don't know what the deal is. Maybe it's because I spend 8 hours of each day at a job where I do nothing of importance, so it's hard to get motivated to do anything when I get home. I don't know. But I do know that I need to get things under control and take control of my destiny. The thing is - I can see exactly where I want my life, but right now, it's always an arm's length away. I seriously don't know how moms do it - especially working moms. I don't even have any kids yet, and my life feels overwhelming. But I am feeling motivated today. I really want to get my life in order - I especially want to get Scrapifieds up and going 100%. I just need to get my butt in gear, because once we have that going, I will hopefully be able to start having kids and start raising a family. So today, I am doing what I haven't done in a REALLY long time - I am going to make myself some goals. I am going to write everything down, and I'm going to give myself dates that things have to be finished by. And it's not even New Year's!!

I know I will feel better about everything and not feel so overwhelmed with my life if everything is in order!

Friday, November 2, 2007


I'm a day late, but I just discovered this website this morning. It is called I'm an Organizing Junkie and they are having a contest during the month of November. It is a 30 day organization challenge - you choose a room in your house, take before pictures and then go to town and get it organized. At the end of the month, you post your after pictures. There are prizes for the winners. Regardless if I win or not, I am taking this opportunity to get my office/scrapbook room organized. It is by far the worst room in my house and could use some serious help. I'm actually really excited for this - I just hope I can find the time to do something with it. I will take pictures tonight and then post them - although I am a bit embarrassed by how un-organized this room is!!