a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

102 Hopefully Helpful, Simple, and Cheap Posts . . .

gleaned from my previous 2603 weeks of experiences . . . 
are coming directly to you over the next 51 weeks.

I never make New Year's resolutions. Yet, each new year's beginning finds me reflecting on back then and what  now ---- where I've been and the direction I am heading.  This year, probably because we just celebrated our 50th anniversary and Dave and I are both past the Biblical time allotted to us, there has been more reminiscing and introspection than usual.

Those of you who have followed my blog along its way, know that 16 months ago I didn't even know what a blog was nor did I care to learn.  I certainly didn't have the time nor slightest interest in writing one and dismissed  the idea as crazy when daughter-in-law Cheri suggested it.

I have no idea why but almost immediately following that exchange several things happened over a period of about 10 days that led me to know that writing a blog was what I was supposed to do.

Three weeks ago, just before Christmas, I discovered  The Creative Cheapskate passed 10,000 hits!!! I am not sure exactly what that means or how they are tracked but it was exciting and helps me feel that I am somehow helping some of you.

It has been mostly fun trying to share things that I have learned, most often out of necessity and much by trial and error over the past 50 years. I hope it has been mostly helpful, as well as fun for you.

Besides first of the year reflection, many of us try to regroup.  Or at least regroup (or maybe even group!) our s t u f f ! Where to fit what where.  

I am sure he means this nickname  in the kindest possible way,
    and not as a shortened version of  Squirrelly! 
Dave has begun calling me "Squirrel"  as I keep trying to stock up so we are as prepared as possible in this
increasingly nutty (pardon the pun) and uncertain world.

Except, unlike squirrels, I am not shaking a tree to gather the nuts, I am shaking the house trying to find niches for what I have gathered.

Many of my posts have addressed this subject in one form or another but here are a couple of other storage ideas for your tree house.
  • If any of your furniture allows for it, utilize the shallow space under it. Our couch has a wood frame that reaches the floor. Ninety-six individually-wrapped rolls of toilet paper repose under there.
  • If you have room, place an entertainment center or bed at an angle and you have not only added visual interest, but created an instant triangle of storage space behind.
  • Turn a closet into a pantry. Ours is located in the guest room closet. Our freezer also shares guest room space and sports a lighthearted note explaining the two close-at-hand snack sources for super hungry visitors. 
  • Stack your extra supplies of hand soap, tissue, etc. in the back of, or along the sides of, your bathroom cupboards, linen closets, etc. 
  • Place #10 cans or other storage items in the back of deep cupboards or closets, and/or place a layer on their floors.
  • Use a dish drainer as a handy and portable "filing cabinet" for often used papers, bills, receipts and postage supplies. I have a file folder for each family member I accumulate things for, including one for the box tops and labels I gather for a grandchild's school fundraiser.
  • Cut a circle in the side of a gallon milk jug and stuff your plastic grocery bags in the through the hole. Since there will be even more uses for plastic bags during hard times, you can cover the hole of a full jug and keep it with your emergency storage.  A gallon jug holds a lot of bags!
  • Place empty tissue boxes in a drawer to contain reusable  folded bread and zip-lock bags.
  • Use pint and quart canning jars for storing left-overs in the refrigerator. They are easily obtainable (garage sales and thrift stores), take up less room than bowls and the contents are always in sight so there is less chance of waste.

On a final note: It is probably 1) a good idea to make lists of these squirreled away items and 2) put the list where you will remember it.

I need to close now and attack the flat surfaces in our guest room.  It is basically a rat's nest of odds and ends in there that need to be squirreled away somewhere somehow.

Remember, the most important thing you need if you have the need to shake your tree is ----

a thinking cap!

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