We’re moving soon. And I’ve hit the Point of Moving Lethargy. Packing? Who needs to pack?

I’ve moved a lot, as you may know. And it’s always the same. You give your notice, run out to the liquor store, and quickly pack up your bookshelves (you know you won’t have time to read). Then you acquire some large boxes and look around and… there’s not much you can do. You don’t want to live out of boxes. But your energy is HIGH, because something very exciting is happening, so you declutter and pack any little box that you can.

Then your high wears off as reality sets in. It’s okay because you’re 2 weeks to move date and you can legitimately start to pack more. It’s okay if we have to live with a single set of dishes each, right? And two towels a person is all you need to allot. The boxes start to stack up, and things are looking good and going well which keep you at an even keel.

And then. THEN. Then it’s tonight – and you realize you only 3 more days to get this job done. The packing sucks now, because you have 4 books in a box and one crummy dust jacket that will get crushed, and it’s okay to just chuck stuff in a box and label it “MISC,” right? No, it’s not. Misc never gets open, friend, and you know it. So now packing is a pain in the butt and your energy dips to a low that not even Red Bull can assist with.

You sit here in no-man’s land because you haven’t reached panic point, but you know it’s around the corner.

So you enjoy making helpful graphs before it does.

Wish me luck.

Image

Paint-Chip Calendar

I believe that my husband and I have recently found a calendar system that actually works for us. The Mr. likes a big huge dry-erase calendar on the wall. I like it too, but it has the great disadvantage of showing only one month at a time, which doesn’t allow you to schedule very far ahead. Enter my “control journal” notebook – a FlyLady concept that I’ll explain in more detail another day. But for now, it helpfully holds a small paper calendar for future months.

Like I say, it works for us and you all know that finding something that works in your house is most of the battle. But I was incredibly bored of the ugly whiteboard hanging in our hall. Inspired by Pinterest leading me to beautiful dry-erase calendars such as these pretty projects, I decided to tackle one of my own. I couldn’t decide on just one colour, so my SpiritPlay-teacher love-for-rainbows made an appearance. 7 colours, 7 days, everyone! Don’t let anybody fool you into a 6 colour rainbow…

This project was a bit time consuming but otherwise pretty easy. I gathered up my paint chips (Behr, who can resist polar bears marching along the top of each week?), selected a few pieces of poster board, and bought a cheap frame designed to hold a poster. I was originally going to do a white background, but I think the colours really pop better on black. The poster board we bought was, annoyingly, too small for this poster frame, so strips of purple (left) and blue (right) make nice areas for extra notes.

Once the colours have been cut and laid out, it’s really just a matter of gluing everything down. This did not go perfectly. I messed up a little bit with some measuring, so by the time you get to the last few days of the month everything is looking a little cozy. It doesn’t bother me enough to redo it… yet.

The poster frame is topped with thin flexible plastic, not glass. A fine-tip dry erase marker works just fine on this. Actually, I’m finding it erases even better than it did on the whiteboard – no stubborn streaks left behind.

Most of the projects I’ve seen have neatly trimmed squares, but I set this up so that the names of the colours show. Some, I chose specifically for us (“Glacier Bay! We’ve been there!”), and I couldn’t deny names like “Zephyr,” “Lazy Sunday” and “Bicycle Yellow” their chance to remain visible on our board.

Esse Reusable Bags Product Review

I did a big shop today and I’m excited because I have something I’ve been wanting to show everyone. Not often does a product come along that is so cool that I think everybody needs to know about it, but one has. Today we’re talking about reusable bags.

I know, I know. You have your reusable shopping bags. Some you prefer for groceries, others are best for clothes or lighter items. Heaven forbid you need to stop in at the pharmacy for a new toothbrush and a bottle of tylenol. Nobody has reusable bags in THAT size, and so you mumble “yes” when asked if you need a bag and try not to make eye contact with the cashier – you can’t even use this one as a garbage bag later!

How many did you buy because you forgot to bring with you in the first place? Some big, some small, different styles and materials, and with a variety of endorsements printed on them, all scattered around your house (you were GOING to put them away right after use), or in a big messy pile in your trunk.  I can’t take it. Despite the chaos that often takes over, I prefer simplicity, tidiness, organization, and a little bit of style.

I have the solution. The Esse CarryAll Tote is changing my shopping life for the better. Here is my haul, just in from the car:

Image

The CarryAll Tote comes with a total of 7 bags: 3 big black Grocery Bags (the kind with flat bottoms for easy unpacking), 1 green Everyday Bag, and 2 white mesh Produce Bags. Missing from this photo is one produce bag (used recently and holding apples in the fridge) and the third Grocery Bag (because I ran out of money before I ran out of space). I’ll get to the small patterned bag in a moment.

The 7th bag in the set is the tote itself. and this is where the magic happens. The grocery bags, market bag, and produce bags all fold up (yes, even the giant black ones, which close with snaps) and fit into the little tote:

Image

Tidy, organized, and stylish, with a number of designs to choose from in either 3-pocket or 4-pocket styles. Did I mention all the bags are machine washable? Unpack, wash and dry if it’s time, fold them all up and tuck them in the tote. Use the adjustable strap to hang it on your door so you take it back to the car on your next trip out – mine sits on the front seat until it’s ready for use again.

That front pocket is best used to hold coupons, your shopping list, your loyalty card, or even your car keys. You could easily tuck your wallet in and get away with carrying just the tote instead of your whole purse.

Image

Oh, and that little patterned bag in the first photo goes everywhere with me. It’s the perfect size for a few things from the pharmacy or a speciality shop, and it makes a darn cute lunch bag. It’s called the Clip-It bag. It rolls up and is kept clipped to my keys for those impromptu buys:

Image

The 3-pocket CarryAll Tote retails for $35.95 US, and I would personally buy it with an extra set of produce bags. Now through August 20th, you can get 20% off your entire order, and a free Clip-It with a purchase of $20 or more. Use Coupon Code SCHOOL20 at checkout.

I am in no way affiliated with Esse, nor being bribed to write a good review – I’m just a happy shopper who loves these bags.

 

31 Days to Clean

I’ll be the first to admit it – I am not very organized. I love things that help me be better organized, but I’m still working on finding my system. And is it just me, or does each new home seem to need it’s very own system?

So, I’m always interested to know what others are doing that works for them. For a very limited time (I was not quick on this one, so the offer expires in a little over an hour!) you can get the 31 Days to Clean ebook for FREE by sharing this link on your blog, facebook wall, or through Twitter. So yes, I’m doing this to get my freebie, but also because… who doesn’t need a little more organization in their lives? I don’t know what “the Mary Way” means yet, but I love Martha!

I’ll let you know what I think of the book, too.