Tag Archive: closet of doom

The real winter begins

Winter has arrived.

Snow scene

Saturday the snow fell and fell and fell.
It looked like  four or five inches by the time it was over. The kids are loving it. We have a small snowman in the back yard.
While I was inside church helping with the blood drive, my husband was watching as the kids go down the hill in their snow disks. At some point, snow went down someone’s back and there was crying and complaining.

Another snow scene

We got over that disruption to get into a warm car and head home. Hot showers, hot chocolate and pizza warmed the rest of the day.

Now starts indoor life. 

When the weather is warm, I feel the need to be outside every moment possible.  Once the snow and drop in temperature occurs, we are inside. Tasks, such as finishing the closet of doom and cleaning up of rooms, come to the forefront.

Another tradition of our family’s becomes even more important – that is the Sunday dinner. Every week, someone has a turn in making it. They choose the menu, find recipes, plan the purchases and cook it up. A parent helps the kid in charge or, in the case of the six-year-old, makes the meal.

Not as pretty as elly's but quite tasty with cinnamon and allspice in the meatball.

Last night, it was my turn and I made a greek meatball dish with rice and tomato sauce. It was a meal in which I has to make a variety of substitutions. The ground lamb was replaced by ground beef. Cloves of garlic became a limited amount of garlic powder.  Sour cream was used instead of greek yogurt and the rice was leftover white rice instead of basmati rice.

The recipe came from the wonderful cooking blog, Elly Says Opa. Her pictures are closer and probably shows of the dish better.  And I am not sure how she would appreciate what I did with it.

However, let me say that my kids ate it up. They loved the meatballs and rice; loved pouring the tomato sauce from a gravy boat. The touch of sour cream was a tasty addition as well. I was not thinking otherwise I would have served a traditional Greek salad with this meal. Instead, I had cranberry sauce on the side.

The next time I make this dish, I will more than likely bake the meatballs and have a fruit like pears on the side. And next time when I make cake with cherries on the inside, perhaps the cake will not fall apart when I take it out of the bundt pan.

It was a great evening that ended with a Wii bowling tournament and early to bed. When it is too cold, the best place to be is under the covers.


Not the Pajama Pants!?!

This week I committed the cardinal “Stacey and Clinton” sin.

Pajama Parade, Picture by Gracey

 I went out in public in my pajama pants.

 This wasn’t a just for fun jaunt or a funny “let’s get together in our pj’s” outing with the girls.

 We had run out of milk at the house so instead of sending the husband who was working at home I ran out in my pajama pants. I had only been wearing a tank top (no bra) so I quickly threw on a long sleeve shirt that sort of, kind of, went with the color scheme.

 It is 8:30 in the morning and I am running out in my black and white plaid pants with a red long sleeve shirt. There were old ripped up sneakers on my feet and I think my hair was in a bad ponytail. If my kids had been along they might have been embarrassed.

 I was embarrassed.

 I have only done this once or twice in my life. I like to be dressed nicely. If I had more money I would be a clothes horse. When the catalogs hit my house I always find new things I want. Leggings, loose tops, wrap dresses, tall boots, cute flats, business wear, skirts that are loose, skirts that are tight.

 However, want and need are two different things. So while I have less than I want, I know I have more than perhaps I need. That is a blessing.

 I guess like anyone else I just want to keep my wardrobe updated. And this has been hard as I have slowly lost inches. Some of my more fashionable items has gone by the wayside because they are too big on me. I am not looking forward to the fall when I see if my favorite suede skirt will fall into that category. I love the sound as I walk about, the wonderful slight rustling sound. It goes so well with my pumpkin and deep red tops. It will be a loss I will have to bear.

 Lately I have been reading the Pleated Poppy’s blog page called What I Wore Wednesday. Every week Lindsay takes pictures of what she wore for the past week. She states it is an effort to make her self dress better and not stay in pj’s all day long. Then she invites others to do the same with pictures of their wardrobe through the week. Will I join up?

 Not sure. It requires me to clean up the only room with a full length mirror. Do I really want to show all of you my clutter since I cannot even get my ‘closet of doom’ entirely cleaned out?

Picture by Pedro Perez


 In the meantime, I will try to make sure that morning emergencies do not include me running outside in the world in my pj’s. I will listen to the Flylady who encourages women to no longer live in chaos (can’t have anyone over syndrome) to get dressed first thing in the morning. I will listen to Stacey and Clinton before they come to give me an intervention.

 I wonder if I can look as good as this mannequin?

For those of you who have been wondering how the Closet of Doom cleaning task is going, I am posting new pictures.

What I have been doing since the beginning of February is to spend 15 minutes a day sorting and throwing thing out. I have thrown out about three bags a week of paper. During this process I have shredded old bills and writing note pads have been saved. Boxes have found their way to the trash can as well.

I have found a plethora of pictures and artwork done by one of my kids. I found more clothes that were promptly hung up.

While I still feel overwhelmed when I walk in, I leave the room knowing I have really accomplished something each day. Plus I have found so much fabric, I may not have to buy any more for a while.

What am I talking about? I will always need more fabric, now I need to use what I have. YES!!!!

Tell me what you think!

Today I present you pictures of  my ‘Closet of Doom.’

The response has been overwhelming sympathy. Everyone seems to have that one closet that has everything you no long need or do not need for the season. My closet has not reached the level of a Fibber McGhee Closet (google that for those who are too young to remember the Fibber McGhee and Molly radio show). But nor could I walk in to this small room.

So at the beginning of February, I vowed to spend 15 minutes in there everyday. When I first started, I could barely be in there that long. As I looked at the bags of stuff and boxes and papers all over the floor the feelings of defeat washed over me. I felt that there would never be an end to this.

Sometimes my fifteen minutes means going through one garbage bag filled with papers and notepads. One week was spent on a big box filled with school papers from third grade that belonged to my 18-year-old son.

I have found baseball cards, Pokemon cards (that our five-year-old grabs), pictures, jewelry, and more.  Because my husband and I are writers, we have lots of story notes, books, press kits and note pads. One basket for the clean-up is devoted to yellow legal pads. The kids keep going in there to find more treasure and I have had to ban them from the closet.

In the midst of this project I turned to Becky Esker, CPO and President of Get Organized! L.L.C. in Iowa. You can also visit her website at www.TheOrganizingChoice.com. Becky saw my pictures of the ‘Closet of Doom’ and gave me some great tips to help with the project.

“While your closet appears to be an overwhelming project, there is one key thought to keep in mind. Because it did not get this way overnight, you can not expect it to be fixed overnight either! While it may take some time, the good news is it is a simple process! It comes down to applying our 3 Step S-Wee-P™ Process.”

I guess it is like weight-loss. You didn’t get the pounds on overnight, so they are not coming off that way either. So here are the three steps Becky gave me.

1) Sort: Literally pull items out of your closet one-by-one and sort them into like categories. This means you will need some working space out in your hall or in a room nearby for piles of the various categories. Be sure to label each of your categories (a marker and large sheet of paper will do the trick). For your closet of doom, I would anticipate categories of adult coats, kids coats, mittens, papers, and decor. Other common categories found in coat closets are games, toys and garden tools.

2) Weed: After you have all the stuff pulled from your closet and into its respective category, now it is time to tackle each category. For instance, let’s take the category of adult coats. Evaluate each coat for need, size, love and condition. This is the weeding through process which leads to the purging step.

3) Purge. As you weed through your coats, if you no longer love it, purge it to the donate pile. If it is the wrong size, purge it to the donate pile. If it is torn, stained or damaged, put it in the trash pile (no one else wants it either). Ask yourself if you really need it. Better yet, take note of the number of coats you have. For instance, if you have 5 similar black coats, ask yourself how many black coats you really need. If the answer is 2, purge the other 3.

Getting through your closet of doom can be as easy as 1-2-3. If you find yourself having to stop in the middle of the process, just dump your sorted categories into each of their own empty boxes or bags. Label the bags and put them all back in your closet until you return to the project. Now you can easily pull the boxes back out and dig back in as time allows.

Becky also stated …”with a bit of time and devotion,  I am sure you will do a fantastic job!”

I really appreciate Becky’s input despite still being on the “Sort” step at this point. I  have baskets that are holding papers and legal pads. I have been finding more clothes/coats as well and have hung them up as a way of sorting.

I just hope that this task is over by the end of March.

For more information about Becky and to get organizing tips, check out her website at www.TheOrganizingChoice.com