A Productive First Week of the New Year at Our Little House

Mary B., you’re the winner of the book drawing for “Bag Green Guilt”! Email me by Friday at fivecoat@ozarkmountains.com with your complete name and snail mail address to claim your book!

And if you all missed winning a copy of  Jodi Helmer’s “The Green Year” here last year, you have a second chance to do so over at Little House on the Southern Prairie, or you can choose another of Jodi’s wonderfully green books!

My new spice drawer

On to today’s post:

So maybe the New Year isn’t good for resolutions, but I did have some goals to get the house a little more organized and was able to accomplish something in that regard this week.

I finally got the Christmas décor put away on January 1 (I know, tomorrow for Boxing Day turned into tomorrow and then tomorrow and then tomorrow….I blame the books) and I was still feeling a little closed in.

Counter with microwave

I previously wrote about wanting to get the microwave out of the kitchen. I never use it anymore because I just don’t trust their safety, especially when using it in such a small space. Dale uses it some, but never balked at me taking it to the garage (he just never would take it there).

On Monday, I couldn’t take it anymore, so the radiation cooker was finally moved out of the house. I think the counter looks so much nicer now and it also gives me more counter space on the other side of the stove.

Counter without microwave

I also cleaned out the “junk” drawer every kitchen seems to have and moved my washcloths and towels to that drawer and created a spice drawer, which freed up more room for food in the upper cabinet.

Why focus on the kitchen first? I’ll write more about our goal to eat healthier, what I’m doing to learn to cook healthier and tastier meals and give reviews on a couple of new recipes on Tuesday.

In the meantime, I’m going to try something new, posting links on Friday for you to read about environmental news, news on simple and small house living and anything else I think might be of interest to our Living Large community.

What have you accomplished this first full week of 2011?

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16 Responses

  1. With the purchase of our new house last summer,I realized a dream of mine that I’ve had for years- storage space large enough to place a fully decorated Christmas tree, in! I made sure all ornaments were fastened securely to the tree, then was able to just slide it across the floor and into our garage area, without removing ornaments or taking the tree apart! YAY! I put a large plastic bag over the tree to keep out dust and voila- it sits in a corner until next year! When it’s time to bring it out again, I only have to slide it back out of the garage and into place in the living room!

    Decorating the tree used to be a whole evening at our house, complete with hot cocoa and the kids participating in the fun. But the “kids” are now grown and gone and though I enjoy the tree during the holiday season, putting it up and decorating it, then doing the reverse at end of season, have become chores I can do without.

    • kerri says:

      What a bright idea! I don’t keep my decorations on the tree, but have long left the lights on it and covered it with a plastic trash bag.

  2. Alexandra says:

    Very impressed with your work! We are painting a kitchen and busy as bees, lots of energy with this new year, it seems.

  3. Mary B says:

    Thank you Kerri, maybe I should have bought the mega ticket the other (330 million) instead of my husband….LOL

    I organized all my bedroom closet and freecycle those clothes that I always say I’m going to wear and then never do.

    I look forward to see the new things you are going to be doing Kerri.


  4. NoPotCooking says:

    It looks like you gained a lot of space by moving the microwave. I really need to clean out our junk drawer. Pens go in there and seem to just disappear – never to be seen again. I got a couple of new kitchen tools for Christmas and now all the cupboards feel like they are overflowing.

    • kerri says:

      I haven’t been following my own “one thing in, one thing out” policy and things were really starting to get cluttered. I feel better now, but there are more cupboards, cabinets, drawers and closets to go. Hopefully, by spring, I will be ready to tackle the basement and storage building.

  5. Olivia says:

    Oh golly.

    We have the subflooring in the upper hallway torn out in preparation for the new cork flooring to go in. Along with that we are converting a small anteroom into a walk-in closet. When I say “we”, I mean we are paying to have it done – we aren’t doing the actual construction ourselves.

    Therefore – the spare room is full of clothes, bookcases, and everything else that previously lived in the hallway and/or anteroom. Our small bedroom carries the overflow (the “spare room” is not too large either). There are ladders and paint cans and generators and all sorts of additional construction materials everywhere. The Christmas tree and other decorations are still up because I either can’t get to them or, more accurately, I am so stressed by all the noise and mess that I tend to closet myself away with my computer or a book just to shut it all out.

    I shall be thrilled with the end result, I know, as I have wanted it for a long time but right now I feel as if I am losing my mind!!

    Patience, Olivia. Patience.

    • kerri says:

      Oh, I know the horrid times of construction. I remember once when we were removing wallpaper from the entry hall in our house in KC. There was so much dust and mess everywhere I felt like taking a match to it all!
      Patience is right, it will be worth it. 🙂

  6. Kristi says:

    I chose my word of the year, which is “Today”, meaning, now, not tomorrow. Christmas decorations are stowed for another year and they are consuming less space in the house due to some purging. I can now see the floor in my office, yippee. So far so good. Let’s see how this goes once gardening season starts.

  7. Susan says:

    I banned my microwave right after you wrote that article. It gets used about 2 or 3 times a month. But at least it is not taking up counter space and was an eyesore at that. Your counter looks so much better without it. I haven’t accomplished anything yet for the new year. 🙁 I have one room that has become a dumping ground that needs to be organized. The other main thing I need to do is sort through clothes and get rid of most of it. I am battling between two sizes at present. Hopefully the smaller one wins 🙂 My kitchen for the most part is organized but like all rooms could use a touch up.
    My mom will probably have to move in with us in the near future and I dread going through all her stuff (junk) She has become a QVC junkie. sigh
    Looking forward to the links you will be posting starting Friday.
    Congratulation Mary B on your winning the book.

    • kerri says:

      Dale only uses the microwave when I don’t cook, which isn’t often. 🙂 He’ll just have a few more feet to go now to use it in the garage.
      Thanks for the comment on the counter. It just feels so much better too!
      I also have a couple of shirts I need to get rid of. Not sure what to do with them. They are just too small (I don’t like tight clothes).
      My mom bought from QVC as well. Luckily, it was usually small things she was giving as gifts. She had enough of her own clutter. Good luck with her move.