More House Purge Photos + Organization

Sometimes I take pictures of things I hope to blog about and then I stumble upon them again months later. This is one of those days! I am pretty sure these were all taken after I did my giant whole house purge.

As I shared with my kids' shared bedroom, there are no fancy organizing systems here, just simple paired down cabinets full of organized bins or baskets.

In this post I will share a few of my organized spaces as well as how we use them.

We don't have a lot of extra storage so I try to be smart with how we use the space. Instead of using up a shelf in a closet for extra towels, in our primary bathroom, I use a towel rod behind the door for extra towels for Brent and I. Upstairs we have just enough towels for guests (usually the grandparents!) and then the extras are stored in a bin in our storage shed. One could argue that we don't even need these extra towels but I figure we have them when some of ours need to get replaced.

Brent and I each get one tiny drawer in our bathroom along with under the sink storage. I try to be creative in keeping just my daily use items organized in this small space. I also used a cabinet door organizer to hold larger items that are still easy to access - mouth wash, hair spray, lotion, and my brush.

I also once saw someone store all their bathroom trash cans under the sink. I liked the idea of hiding the trash away so it was a goal of mine to make enough room in the cabinet to hold the trash. Everything else is in clear bins and the white box has cleaning supplies.

I used an old sheet to put a curtain in at the vanity. We used to have a giant basket here. But with the curtain we can now store a lot more hidden away! Since we don't have a garage and our shed is up the hill from our house, my husband stores some of his tools here. Basically he was wanting more space to store stuff, so this was a marital compromise to give him more room for his stuff! And as you can see, we have still yet to paint the walls after tearing down the cabinets that were here. :)

My husband's work from home set up is still in our bedroom and I imagine will be indefinitely as the current work dynamics have changed. He doesn't work from home very often anymore but it still gets used periodically. At the time of these photos, our youngest was also taking one of his naps in the pack in play. Lots of real life - making things work around here!

I am working on more open surfaces that feels less cluttered and also keeps little hands from grabbing things! My nightstand got streamlined with my night time routine items and my most worn jewelry.

I really tried to downsize my closet. It can be hard in these baby years as I have cycled through different clothes for pregnancy and breastfeeding. I even downsized a few handbags and a diaper bag. The nice purses are always hard for me to let go of as they are still in great condition and often feel nostalgic. But just like everything else, style or needs change, and so I would rather just have a few things that I truly love and use often. The Bogg Bag was my Mother's Day gift this year. While I love it, it is really big to store! But I managed to make it work, storing some of my smaller bags inside. (If you aren't familiar, it is basically a giant beach bag but stiff so it stands up. You can just hose it off it if gets dirty. It is a great giant mom bag if you are into that sort of thing!)

The paper bag holds toys I am saving for gifts or toys that go into "holding" before I eventually donate!

On top of the fireplace is usually our junk holding place. Clothes get piled up along with things that need to get put away. Instead of adding more decor, I like having a little space for everyday piles. Then when it all gets put away, a beautiful empty space is left!

I have accumulated more maxi dresses the past few years and they would always hang in front of my shoes. I started hanging them like pants - folded over on a hanger and I suddenly was gifted so much more room! It is amazing how a simple organizational change can make such a big difference.

In our living room, the cabinets and shelves started to feel too cluttered. The kids like to store their toys and paper creations here so things seemed to always pile up. So I downsized some of the items to just the lamp, frame, our TV stuff, and a diffuser.


I also layered our old white rug with a decorative one from the nursery. It has made a big difference in making the room feel more stylish without having to purchase a new large rug. We did replace the nursery rug - I can usually find a 9x7 rug I like at HomeGoods for around $50 that works well in our bedrooms.

Even the porch got a little decluttering. I put away the tile mat and wreath for the summer for a clean and simple look. Come fall, we will be back to filling in cozy and welcoming spaces.



Life Lately: End Of Summer + Early Fall

The days seem to fly by lately. My oldest is in half day kindergarten and while the first week of school felt like the longest week ever, now that we are getting down a routine, the days pass by rather quickly. 

It seems like just yesterday I was mourning the loss of summer. And now I am feeling like we are knee deep into fall. Today I wanted to catch up on a few summer events as well as share some fall decor around the house. But as I went through photos I have been meaning to share, I realized I had three months worth! So here we go!

The hydrangaes in full bloom are one of my favorite aspects of summer. Life felt a bit crazy so I did not clip many to bring into the house. Instead I allowed myself to enjoy them every time I went to and from home. It is a good analogy for life right now. I have such high expectations of how much I enjoy or take advantage of the good things in life. I am telling myself it is okay to enjoy things in a more simple form. Those hydrangaes were here today and they will come back next summer. 

We cut and gave away a few bouquets this year as well which feels like such a joy to be able to do. I have been saving our Kinder's barbecue sauce jars. They are the perfect vases for a simple arrangement.

I got around to taking a few photos of my kids with their birth posters. This has become a fun tradition for me. Hard to believe those kids were all that small!

I still struggle to get out of the house with the kids at times. Once a week we pick up our groceries that I ordered online. Afterwards we hit the park or somewhere fun. When we are already out I find that I am more adventurous. It has been a good way to make sure we get out once a week while also taking care of the weekly groceries.

My two oldest have been cutting flowers for me from the yard periodically. They find small little cups and jars from the kitchen and surprise me with a bouquet. I just love it.

We have gotten a few family bike rides in now that our youngest is a bit bigger (and on a one nap schedule which has opened up my flexibility with being out and about more).

Our littlest had his first major accident this summer. He was playing on the floor with toys in our plastic storage bins. While I was in the kitchen he climbed into the bin and then fell out, hitting his mouth on a xylophone. I heard him cry and went to pick him up and there was a ton of blood. 

I remember seeing two white things on the ground and thought it was food until I realized he hadn't been eating anything. I went back and they were two of his teeth with the root in tact! 

We had an emergency visit to the dentist and he had knocked out one of his front teeth and the one next to it. The dentist said it was better to leave his teeth out as trying to put them back in would be a greater risk of infection. So our sweet boy will be without two teeth until his grown teeth come in. The first of the kids to lose a tooth! 

It was pretty traumatic for me but he is fine and healthy which I know is all that matters. He is our little wild climber. It was a reminder that I can do all that I can to try to protect my kids but life happens. An unfortunate lesson in letting go.

Some sweet cards from my babies for my birthday.

We ate at one of my favorite local restaurants, Dough Zone, for my birthday. Also the night I started having severe chest pains...

Our second traumatic summer event was that I started having chest pains periodically for about a week. Brent was out of town for work so I was overly tired from single parenting and there were a few other stressful things that happened that week. 

The night of my birthday it became more severe which I think was triggered by some caffeine I had. It seemed to pass by the time we went to bed so we figured I was fine. The next day it continued and got to a point where I had to call Brent to come home from work. He tried calling the doctor but when he said I was having chest pain, they immediately had him call 911. Paramedics ended up coming to our house to check on me! It was quite dramatic. Luckily they resolved it was anxiety and that I needed to take it easy for a couple of days.

I still periodically have chest pain, a few months later. It was eye opening to me to realize how wound up I am on a daily basis, without even knowing it. So I am working on trying to better control it, take time to rest, use essential oils to help calm me, and ultimately to let go of things that are out of my control. It is hard for a control freak! But hopefully a change that will only better me as time goes on.

Steamers on the porch to help mama relax, be present, and simply spend time together.

I recently took the rug from the nursery to try underneath our dining table and I fell in love. It was just what the room needed to cozy and fancy it up a bit. I know it is crazy to put a light colored rug where little humans drop all their food. But so far we have been doing pretty good. Every few days I put the chairs on top of the table for our Roomba to vacuum under. The small extra work has proven worth it for how much I love the rug there.

We don't have any carpet in the house so I am finding that rugs in all the rooms make a big difference. Plus it breaks up all the wood with the lightness I like.

One more flag was made for our little guy. You can find more info on how I made my kids' name flags here

My kids then wanted to make their stuffed animals flags and capes. It was pretty adorable and totally my love language to craft together. I am quite proud of how sweet they turned out!

My toothless baby! He is walking now and acting like such a little toddler lately. It is so fun and silly. One and a half is a great age.

We are finally in fall mode around here now. I waited until my son started school in mid September before pulling anything out because I can only handle one thing at a time these days! It felt right and more fun to wait and not push myself. It is opposite of my plan ahead and overly celebrate ways. But I know it is better for me to slow down (and perhaps being off of social media helps with that too!).

We got to go into our Dairy Queen for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. That felt monumental since so many other things have been open for awhile. I am so over eating in the car. Being able to sit together as a family is a small and simple joy we no longer take for granted. This was our last day of summer outing before school started.

You would think he would learn to not climb on things but no. I also caught him drinking out of a flower vase off the table the other day!

With my oldest in school I am trying to make our grocery days a day out with the younger ones. His school ended up changing locations last minute which means we are now driving twenty minutes to school everyday. It is not my favorite but we decided keeping him at this school was worth it for the one year. So we are getting to explore a new city and trying to see it as an adventure. 

Our daughter had a hard first week without her big brother. But we are finding a new rhythm and these weekly outings seem to help.

We tried Crumbl Cookies for the first time - um YUM!!!

Since we have a bit of a drive from school, I started having the kids eat lunch in the car on the way home. This helps keep the baby from falling asleep so that when we get home everyone can go to naptime/quiet time. It feels like a lot of prep in the mornings but makes it worth it for a more peaceful afternoon for me. These simple bento boxes have been working great to hold sandwiches.

I also got a bigger insulated bag because feeding three children exceeded any of my other lunch bags I had. I am just loving this super cute and functional bag. It also has room for my water bottle and a blender bottle with protein powder if I need it when we are gone all morning. 

I don't think I have ever shared about my newish slippers either. But they have great arch support and are more orthopedic than anything. But I like that they are just fury on top so I can wear them in the warmer months. I have had some foot pain and my old chiropractor really encouraged me to get supportive house shoes. So though it makes me feel like an old lady, at least they are cute!

We found our new favorite taco truck and I am going to try to recreate the recipe at home.

For half day Kindergarten we have to pack a snack. I got this cute bento box from Pottery Barn Kids and on Fridays I pack a little treat for my son. We have been enjoying these Halloween Oreos

I have been encouraged by the author Sally Clarkson to make more simple but intentional connections with my kids. I love surprising him with this easy weekly treat. We also sometimes will share a few cookies before his quiet time so he can tell me about his day at school (as a little treat seems to get him more willing to talk about his day!).

We made caramel apples the other day with those caramel wraps you can find in the produce section. I then dipped it in melted vanilla chips and oreos. Topped with a little drizzle of chocolate. YUM! I love to watch the holiday food specials on QVC and this was inspired by one of their segments.

Our first fire of the season and also fall decorating day. It was messy and magical. The babies always seem to love to roll the fake pumpkins around the house!

My Halloween tile mat is making me so happy. Also these white slides are bringing a lot of joy as well. I ordered them early fall but will continue to wear them until the rain hits. They are the perfect easy slide that looks cute enough with my maxi dresses. Sort of my dream and an upgrade to my normal flip flops.

Both of my ghost mugs are from Target this year.

My first decorations to the playhouse! Even if they throw the pumpkins down the hill like it is a ball, it still makes me really happy.

We switched from nonstick to stainless steel pans a few years ago. I have been so happy with our Cuisinart set. They are non toxic and I like that they are light. I got rid of my cast iron skillet and dutch oven (that was chipping) as well. While I liked both of these for a season, they were heavy, bulky, and required more maintenance than I preferred. Anyways, just a personal preference. But I felt very culinary the other day when I saw all the pans on display during some dinner prep. So pretty!

We got a new free side of the road picnic table set up in the backyard. Unfortunately it is now another thing for this guy to climb on!

Spooky candy eyeballs on our ice cream cones for some October fun (cute idea from The Mama Notes). I also added some purple food coloring to our homemade cookies and cream ice cream.

We finally hung up our outdoor lights in the backyard. I wanted to add some light over our outdoor play area so that when it starts getting dark at 4 pm, we can still go outside to play. You can see all the info on our lights here when we set them up at our first house.

I hung up our paper bats on our back door and living room shelves. I love the subtle spookiness. These bats I have also had from our first house which is likely over ten years now. I have gone through plenty of different holiday decor over the years, but it is some of the simple handmade things that have proven the test of time when it comes to decorating.

The leaves are falling and the temperatures are starting to drop. Fall is truly magical. We are enjoying it all before the rain picks up again.

My kids got to decorate these fun castle bags they got last year when they were gifted some Maileg mice. We used some Halloween prints to make Halloween castles. They loved making these and they came out so cute!

Anyways, if you got through all of that...that is all for now! I love this picture of my girl, loving on the flower garden. This is the epitome of who I want to be - open and free. Yet it sure is hard sometimes. 

I suppose after going through all these photos from the last few months, it is a reminder that in the midst of the busy, the stress, and even the anxiety attacks, that most of life can be beautiful and simple. I can't keep all the crazy away, but I can choose the good in the day to day. 

I hope you are finding some bright and joyful moments this season. Happy fall friends.