Too Much Stuff (story of my life)

There’s still too much stuff in this space. Oh what a tug of war between not having “clutter” and keeping things that I want to keep.

Today, I am planning on going around the house and cleaning things up and decluttering some. I guess you just get used to seeing the stuff sitting around and slowly you add to it, without even thinking. Then you see an uncluttered space and look at your own with new eyes.

So that’s what I’m hoping to do today. I’m hoping to see things with new eyes. Put some things away. Clear some stuff out so I can have a relaxed and clean space.

Does clutter bother you?


California Lifestyle

I just heard a lady on You Tube say, while flipping through a coffee table book, “It just kind of takes you away to that California lifestyle I would LOVE to live.”

Haha. Right now our “California lifestyle” involves lots of smoke and three days with our power out!

I love California. I do – but these last several years of fires and power outages have gotten a bit old! There is a fire burning that we hope doesn’t blow our way. It’s not too close but you never know which way the wind blows.

Our little house experience has improved since now we have a different internet and a better generator. We are learning to prepare better each year. Since I forgot to throw the laundry into the dryer yesterday, I will get to hang them up on the line! Usually it’s too hot and I’m too lazy to do that. The hardest thing is dealing with the dishes and silly me, I forget to get paper plates and stuff. We live a ways out of town so we can’t just run to the store real quick. But I will survive! It’s kinda like super glamping at home.

So here’s your insider view of our “California Lifestyle.” Even on a normal day – it’s not that glamorous!

The silver-lining on all this wind is that it has blown the smoke away quite a bit.

Thanks for reading.


Campmeeting and a Little Summer Catch-Up

Hello friends. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been on here! We spent a couple weeks in the cool air of the Redwoods and wasn’t that spectacular? Yes! We go to a campmeeting there every year. All of my daughters and grandkids were there and we had so much fun! We did some shopping, fell into the waves – oops, saw a zebra in someone’s yard, traipsed around Ferndale a couple times, walked through the amazing Redwoods, soaked in lots of spiritual stuff at outdoor meetings, picked blackberries and did some exploring. Some of the stuff I used in my little bedroom refresh, I just posted, was bought over on the coast.

We had a busy but refreshing two weeks away – although my legs were so sore from all the walking and getting up from that air-mattress!

Every year, I come back with a takeaway message from campmeeting. This year was the importance of spending time daily with the Lord and it’s so strange, but eating dinner regularly at the table – which has just been a struggle for years.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. – Rev. 3:20

decorating · thrift finds

Summer Bedroom Budget Make-Over

We’ve been giving our room a little mini-makeover this summer. The pillows, rug, plant, throw and curtains were new from places like Wal-Mart and Ross. The pictures, lamps and chair were second-hand for super cheap. 5 dollars or less. I already had the bedding and furniture so this was a pretty cheap breath of fresh air!

Look around your house and see what you can do for cheap. Paring your room down to the basics and swapping out accessories can make your space feel new for little money.

Thanks for reading.

home organization

Major Upheaval

Major upheaval! That’s what’s been happening at my house lately. It always gets worse before it gets better. And fortunately, it’s getting better now after our second load to the Goodwill.

We started out last week, changing the schoolroom into a bedroom. All the stuff stored in the room and closet, had to come out in order to get all my kid’s stuff in the room.

Oh man was the living room piled up… I had to sort through bins of toys and random junk, some of my mom’s stuff and books. Then I took on changing up my room and then in order to clear the living room, I had to redo the junk room to make room for this other stuff.

But two carloads and a few random pieces of furniture tossed out of the house later – it’s mostly put back together. It took almost a solid week of spending long hours working through the clutter and moving things around. My goal is to get this house in order before summer is over.

We needed more toy storage so I dug out these old shelves and they are doing the job for now.

Decluttering is always like this. I finish, but I know there’s another layer to sort through and probably another after that. I have lots of papers that need to be sorted and specific ways I want to store some of my sentimental things, not to mention loads of books to be donated. So the worst is over, but still plenty to do.

There was definitely a domino effect happening in the rooms this week. And I got way more done than I thought I would. It almost surprised me because I didn’t plan on doing all of this. I was on a roll!

Do you have simple home projects planned for this summer? It feels great to get things done, even if it’s something as simple as organizing and setting up rooms! Then once that work is done, the fun part – decorating!

Thanks for reading! Stay cool.


5-Minute Drawer Dash!

Yes, I love racing the clock! Especially if it’s only a 5 minute job.

Well here’s the story of my kitchen drawers. I had these sad, dirty little drawers that were too full, crumb-y, slammed shut and forgotten. Until one day, when I decided to set the timer for 5 minutes and voila! A small transformation happened!

No Marie Kondo folding happening up in here!

I feel kind of silly sharing such a small thing as cleaning out these drawers. They aren’t fancy or spectacular but I’ve been putting this little job off for so long that it’s ridiculous.

What little jobs have you been putting off? Decluttering doesn’t have to be on a large scale, you can start with just 5 minutes.

Have a splendid day!

love the home you have

Learning to Love Where You Live

There’s not enough space. Not enough wall space. Not a good layout for my furniture. The yard isn’t neat. I can find so many things that aren’t the way I would like, if I look. So many reasons to complain and be unhappy with where I live.

Or I can accept the shortcomings and do my best to make the best of it.

A good place to start in learning to be more content is to start comparing. What? Isn’t comparing your home to what you see on Pinterest or in magazines or YouTube videos going to just make you feel worse about where you live? It might but the comparing I was talking about was comparing where you live to how many people live in the world.

I took this picture of a little girl’s home in a book I am reading to my daughter about kids, just like her, from around the world. She was kind of shocked to see this house. That there was no water or electricity and that they cooked outside on a fire using cow dung.

Well now my house just got a whole lot better! Can you imagine moving your house from jobsite to jobsite? Not having a bathroom? Or kitchen?

When I look at houses, I am not looking to compare what I have with what they have, but to get ideas that I can use in my place. I also look because I love houses.

If you live in a typical house/apartment/mobile home – then I’m pretty sure you have a kitchen, bathroom and so on. You have sturdy walls and windows and a floor. They possibly could use some work, but they are there. That’s a great start.

But Johanna, you haven’t seen my floor! Its horribly ugly and old.

If you can’t redo it, hide it! Get a rug. Do peel and stick! Keep it clean!

Ok welll what about my walls? I hate the color.

Paint. Oh can’t paint? Disguise with art work or try a removable wallpaper.

But my house is just too small! (this is me!)

HAVE LESS STUFF. (don’t ask me how!) Less furniture. Less blankets. Less clothes and for Pete’s sake LESS TOYS! (this is what I need to do) Oh gosh, did I forget less dishes!

But I hate my _________. It drives me crazy! I know! Me too! (See above picture) Now is it really so bad?

How to love where you live.

  1. Accept where you live. Accept it’s lack of space or whatever else you can’t really change.
  2. Find solutions to problems you can do something about. Study what other people have done in similar situations.
  3. Do the work. Declutter, clean, paint, move things around. Mow, rake, plant.
  4. Fill it with what you love. If your house isn’t your dream house, it can still be your dream home. You can still surround yourself with things you love.
  5. Be thankful for the walls that surround you. Be thankful for the kitchen that you cook meals in. Be thankful for the water that runs from the faucet and the old cabinets that house your food. Not everyone has these simple luxuries.

Sometimes the best or only thing you can do is move, but if not, if you are stuck and not too excited about it, try making the best of it! It can be a fun challenge.

Thank you for reading.

Frugal · thrift finds

Summer Thrift Finds!

In May, the girls and I went camping at the coast. It was splendid but cold at night! One morning we woke up to heavy fog and everything was so wet we just got in the car and headed for town to thrift shop and find some hot chocolate to warm our insides!

Here are the treasures I found at a few thrift stores by the sea. Everything was about 50 cents or so.

Minus the silver napkin rings!

I have been finding lots of frames for cheap since then! Most of them were under a dollar. A couple were 1.50. I also got the shelf for a couple dollars and the sweet ceramic baby shoe was 49 cents.

This 4!

I found these guys today for a dollar apiece! Along with those silver plated napkin rings which were 1.25 and such a classic find! I am excited about the zebra stripes! I would love a rug but that would be an expensive risk so these cute pillows covers are an affordable risk in case me and the zebras don’t get along. And then the vintage boy in the sailor suit. Oh my!

Couldn’t pass this up! The corner wasn’t cracked when I bought so when I saw that just now, I quickly hung it up so it would not crack any worse. Whew! I’m tired after that mouthful!

This bowl was given to me today. It was my mom’s. She had it on her table.

A good book (I bought it for the home stuff…) bought at a local thrift store and a candy thermometer from the seaside! My pictures could have been better organized but hey.

And on the line today… a nice stripey fabric shower curtain made of cotton. One small, square linen table cloth and three Egyptian cotton pillow cases…I gave them the smell test lol and they passed! So pretty new condition! I don’t intent to use the shower curtain for the shower necessarily but may use for something else. I’ve really been wanting some cotton linens.

These were things I found over the past few weeks and a few trips to the second-hand stores. Found lots of summery things.

Have you been to the second-hand store recently? What have you found??


Do More of What Makes You Happy

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21

I went through a rough patch a few weeks ago. I felt depressed and was having a hard time pulling out of it. There are reasons connected with the loss of my mother that brought it on.

I prayed about it – asking God what I could do to feel better and I distinctly heard a still small voice say – do more of what makes you happy.

For me, that meant getting fabric and paint and redoing the chair in my living room, getting outside fabric for a couple pillows for my swing and going to second-hand stores. These things brought bursts of joy! And broke that hold gloominess had over me for a few days.

There is sunshine and rain in this life but with God’s help we can get out from under those clouds!

We can pray and ask God for His help and advice in life’s struggles. And sometimes He says – go shop, girl! Make something pretty.

What is God saying to you? What makes you happy?

Poppies at the ocean!
decluttering · home organization

Small “Pantry” Clean Out

I saw a moth.

So that means that cabinet that is our “pantry” might need some work.

I have been putting it off, shoving things in and hurrying to shut the door so everything doesn’t spill out.

Is it really that bad? Why yes, yes it is. I’ve been putting it off for a long time.

Sometimes when something gets this bad you just want to shut he door and try to forget about it and then…

You see a moth. Or smell a smell. Or someone drops by. Or…

And you have a problem and finally decide it’s time to do something about it. I know we all probably have something we are neglecting and putting off. Anything is better than dealing with that one thing or two, right?

I’m not the best organizer. I lack space and discipline to put things back in such a way that lends itself to orderliness. I think the solution for this would be to regularly visit these spaces and tidy them up.

This is something I need to work on. My junk drawer and other drawers need some attention too. But that’ll have to be another day. Today’s the day to conquer that cabinet!

I went in and with my girl’s help we got it done! She was excited! I’d like more containers or baskets but was using what I have on hand.

We threw a lot of outdated food away or stuff that has gone stale. Removed some things to store elsewhere, wiped down the shelves, reorganized and labeled a few things with chalkboard labels from the dollar tree. I cleared the top of the cabinet and set out a few shells and a plant for summer.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” Luke 16:10

What area in your home or life have you been neglecting?