Stockpile Storage in a Small House

I live in a small house. I constantly feel cramped. It doesn't help that is also a fixer-upper split level ranch. So much of our house is living space not storage space, it makes the house feel smaller. The fixer-upper part just makes any house feel smaller.

However, I have managed to have a decent stockpile in the space I have. Not anything like you would see on that extreme couponing show, but decent for what we need.

First, I have the tops of my kitchen cabinets. It isn't ideal as I don't like the cluttered nature of it. But, it is space I have and use. I don't have much right now but I often have 6-8 bottles of juice, more cereal, etc. (Ignore my half painted cabinets. I'm making progress but it is sllllooooow.)

Second, I have the bottom of my pantry. One of the things I loved about this house when we were house shopping was the pantry cabinet next to the fridge. The bottom of it is deep and fairly tall. It's perfect for home canned items, extra condiments, pasta, etc.

{I also store personal care items like shampoo and toothpaste in the linen closet in the bathroom in a over-the-door shoe holder (not pictured).}

Lastly, I have a big room in the basement. It was originally a one car garage but someone years ago closed it in and turned it into a bedroom. It's quite the large room. We have a guest bed down there then a bunch of storage stuff thrown in.

Right now I store larger things like toilet paper down there. But eventually, we are turning it into two rooms. I drew where the wall is going on this picture as well as some lines to represent shelves. I'll probably put a row of shelves in the middle of the room as well. There are some shelves next to the closet that are not pictured. Once I have my storage room, I'll have more space for a stockpile....and stuff will be organized in there instead of just piled on the floor as it is now.

It will still leave us plenty of room in the half where the bed is to make an actual bedroom that will eventually be Abby's. You will have to walk in to Abby's room to get to the storage room as there is no good way to change that. That change may come later on. The wall will hopefully go up this winter!

There are other tips like using under the bed storage that I haven't found necessary...yet. As our family size increases and the need to have a bigger stockpile increases, that may change.

How do you store your stockpile? Do you have a lot of storage or make use of a little space?

Moments Like These

This morning I had every intention of sitting down to blog when we got home from grocery shopping.

But...plans changed.

You see, it was a gorgeous day outside and I had a little girl who was very excited about the fact that we finally had sand to put in her sandbox. Picture: Hyper active chihuahua

So instead of sitting inside and writing some post about stockpile storage or best coupons this week or an update on my word to live this year, I was outside, watching my daughter's pure joy at getting to scoop up her very own sand.

This is what I love about being a stay/work at home mom. Moments like these.

My Weekend

I know, I know. It's Wednesday. Why am I talking about my weekend? Mainly because I'm finally 100% functioning again. lol

Thursday had us driving down to a reherseal for a wedding. Abby was a flower girl in her uncle's wedding. But the wedding was no where near us so it involved traveling and staying out of town.

Friday was the wedding. Abby did a pretty good job walking down the aisle. She and the other flower girl did forget to drop their petals but oh well. At least they walked down the aisle without crying. :) Abby loved dancing until the music was so loud, it made her cry. I did ask the DJ to turn it down but he gave me attitude and refused. I still can't believe that.

Isn't she adorable!

Saturday we visited with some of Matt's out of state family then went down to Toys R Us. It was Abby's first visit. She loved it! We left only $35 lighter. She got a new seek and find book on clearance, a Thomas and Friends train track kit, and a new Magna-Doodle. She uses it in the car and competitions but her's broke. I couldn't find a new one locally. She also did a really good job visiting her grand-grandmother. It helped that we visited in the lawn, not inside the nursing home.

Sunday was church and then some swimming. Abby loves to swim!! I think the days of no or short naps due to the timing of the wedding, etc. caught up with her though. She laid down on the sofa to watch some Curious George after we got back from swimming and fell fast asleep.

Now we are just doing normal home things and lots of de-cluttering. It's amazing how clean freak and super organized me can let the house get cluttered. Matt's family will be over for dinner tomorrow night so it is a good "kick in the pants" to get some things done I keep putting off.

I am so glad we have a weekend off before 5 weekends in a row of lumberjack competitions.

When You've Lost Your Job

Four years ago I was fired from a job. It's a very long and silly story. I had had zero issues and then all of a sudden I was chewed out some some minor issues then fired. But, honestly, I never liked that job. The timing for poor but it was the best thing that happened to me.

Shortly after I was fired, I posted this list of things to do when you lose your job. The tips are still valid so I thought I would share them with you again.

lost job fired from job tips

Friday was I was let go from my job. I will not go into details at this point but it was very sudden and unexpected. We were also just getting ahead financially. To be cut to a one income family is going to be a huge struggle for us. So, the question is, what do you when you have been terminated? The answer is not a simple one.

First, you freak out. You just can't help it. Go home, cry it out, throw a tantrum, whatever you need to do. You need to get the anger and frustration and hurt out of your system before you can move on.

Second, apply for unemployment as soon as possible. It can take a few weeks to be approved and then to start receiving benefits. So the sooner you can get it taken care of, the better.

Third, take a look at your finances. Look to see where you can cut back and make changes. For me, it is my student loans. They are the most forgiving loan you can have. I will be putting them in deferment for a few months as well as cutting back on every expense I can.

Fourth, decide what you want to do. If you have been thinking about a career change, this is the time to do it. My word of caution is to make sure you really do want a career change and are not just doing it because that is where the jobs are right now. You don't want to end up in a career that you hate and then be stuck for awhile.

Fifth, just find a job unless you have the savings to live on. Look for temp work while you are looking for permanent employment. You're going to need it, especially if your field is seasonal and you are let go in the wrong season. This does seem to contradict my last point but it doesn't. A job and a career are two very different things.

Sixth, know that it will be harder to find a job, especially if it was a termination. Some employers do not want to deal with someone that they think might have to be fired later. They will consider you a risk. Don't let it get you down. Just be realistic when you are looked over a few times.

Seventh, be sure to word carefully the reason for termination. It is okay to say irreconcilable differences if that is what it was or it best describes the issue. But if you were fired for something such as stealing or frequent tardiness, you need to be truthful. You also don't want to give excuses. You can say, "I was let go due to frequent tardiness. I admit that I was in the wrong but I have learned from this experience and am working on this behavior." Or some similar such phrase. But you must mean it. If you just use the line to get the job and do not truly change your behavior, you will be let go again and most likely quicker than before. So be truthful, don't give details unless asked and then do not go in to every detail and be careful not to bad mouth your previous employer. You need to accept blame for your actions and show that you are learning from them. Bad mouthing your former employer shows that you are immature and do not take responsibility for your actions.

These are the things that I have learned reading online articles and through experience. It can be very difficult to go through a termination, especially if it was sudden or you feel that it was wrongful. But what has happened has happened you cannot just take it sitting down. You will need to be active in recovering from this event. Just remember, not every employer is like your previous one. Someone, somewhere will want to hire you and will think you are amazing.

Hopefully you have family and friends that can support you through your difficult time. I have some amazing friends and a husband that are being more supportive than I ever thought possible. This has gone a long way for me to feeling better about myself. Big confidence boost after being knocked flat on my butt.

Keep your chin up and go ahead and tackle the world! I can do it, you can do it too! :)

(Originally posted 7/11/10)

Current Happenings - July 

I actually just finished this one last week but haven't really picked up a new book yet. The One was the final in a trilogy. I can admit to you that I read it in 6 hours. And I still managed to make dinner and put Abby down for bed!

jag cast

INSP plays old reruns of JAG in the middle of the night. I used to love this show in high school. I record it and watch them during nap time. 

iced coffee

We tend to buy more coffee in the summer because of lumberjack competitions. I try to make our own breakfast when we are leaving from home but we often have back to back shows where we aren't home. Or I'm just run out of time. Or we only stop for coffee and eat breakfast I've made at home the day before. Whatever the case, I love Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Hazelnut, please.

I'm working on how to keep lumberjack season stuff as organized and simple as possible. I keep Abby's toy box packed, I saved up the money needed for entry fees over the winter to make that easier, I'm putting aside cash and putting money on a Dunkin Donuts gift card each paycheck, I'm keeping the van organized throughout the competition instead of waiting to pack at the end of the day, I updated some computer record keeping for lumberjack finances and Matt's event times, etc. Just when you think I can't get any more organized, I go and prove you wrong. :)

What are you up to this July? Leave me a comment and let me know!