Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 Tips to Cleaning out your Closets

I go through periods where I won’t buy clothes for years and then all of the sudden I’ll buy an almost whole new wardrobe. It all depends on where I am size wise and how worn out my clothes are. There are many ways of organizing your closet, but I want to share mine. This is what I have found to work for me as we are preparing to move to Norway and now I know exactly what I need to purchase before my move.

  1. Remove anything that does not belong in the closet
  2. Divide your clothes into groups of what you would use them for – I have training, hiking/biking, church clothes/party clothes, every day/work clothes.
  3. Go through it all and either mend or throw out any clothes with tears or holes – throw out anything with stains in them
  4. Donate anything you have not used in the last year – if you are waiting to shrink into it if it is not a classic chances are that it is out of fashion when you finally fit it again
  5. Hang everything in the groups that you divided them into or find decorative boxes to put everything into on the shelves.

Hope this will help you.

This time I cleaned out my closet and my oldest daughters closet. My daughters closet is the biggest closet in the house and where we keep some toys and anything that is not used right now. I had six boxes full of things that were packed this spring in wait of a future move, that is still in the future, stored in there and managed by going through them all to give three to donations and keep only three boxes. Feels good to have less stuff.

5 Tips to Clean Bathrooms

Cleaning the bathrooms is one of the chores that I do the most often and that I find easiest to find time to do. It is so easy to just do it when you are already there and if you have all your tools there and don’t need to run around the house to gather them.

  1. Keep rags (I use old wash cloths), sponges, swiffer dry mops and cleaning solutions in every bathroom – all you need is a little basket to contain it all IMG_0114
  2. Keep one rag handy to wipe off counters when you go to bed every night.
  3. Spray and scrub the tub or shower after your take your weekend shower – spray as you get out, let sit while you dress and then scrub and rinse
  4. If you have children have them wash their own bathroom and if they can’t wash their bathrooms while the kids are playing in the bathtub during bath time
  5. A couple of times a week take a swiffer dry mop and step on it, guide it around the floor and into the corners that you can reach for easy sweeping

Every so often I do a more thorough cleaning, but this keeps it very clean over long periods of time.

10 Tips to a Clean and Organized Fridge and Freezer

Before                                After


From dirty to clean in no time


I have found that all tasks big and small are connected in some way and here are five tips that are connected and all have to do with keeping your fridge clean and organized.

  1. Menu plan – even if it is only for a week at the time
  2. Grocery shopping – only once a week which is made possible by menu planning
  3. Remove expired foods and eat all leftovers the day before grocery shopping
  4. Clean all the shelves once a week when removing the old and expired foods and make sure there are no spills hiding under the vegetable boxes
  5. Every time you wash dishes take a microfiber towel and wipe off the outsides of the fridge and freezer

Before pictures


After pictures


For the freezer I have found that this works for me

  1. Menu plan – always check what you have in the freezer first and unless there is a very good sale use what you have
  2. Grocery shopping – only buy on good sales, but make sure you can fit it all in the freezer or use it all before expiration date
  3. Once every six months try to use up everything in the freezer, the best time of the year is around Holidays and big sports events like the Super ball when prizes on some items go lower than usual and you can stock up
  4. When the freezer is near empty, take out everything and clean it thoroughly with a damp microfiber rag
  5. When putting everything back in organize it and make sure everything is labeled

By the way labeling everything that goes in the freezer is the smart thing to do or you will end up like me with a lot of beef that I have no idea what is for which makes for lesser than fun surprises when cooking.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

5 Spots that are easily forgotten when dusting

There are five spots that are easy to forget when you are dusting, but that are easy to spot by guests. Yes I am the kind of guest who notice every little thing, but I won’t tell you or think any less of you as I do often forget these spots in my own home.

  1. Baseboards – are easily forgotten, but could need to be wiped down at least once a month                                                   IMG_0120
  2. Doors – If you have any kind of door with grooves you will need to wipe these down once a month                                 IMG_0123
  3. Light fixtures – both floor lamps, table lamps, wall fixtures, and ceiling fixtures need to be wiped down at least once a month. IMG_0121
  4. Ceilings and walls – those pesky spider webs or dust catchers can show up absolutely un noticed and un expected, check for them once a month and use a microfiber towel on a broom to catch them IMG_0124
  5. Window sills – especially in bedrooms and bathrooms where there can be not only dust, but also mold growing, check once a month and use vinegar to clean up any mold.                                                           IMG_0125

Norwegian Sauerkraut “Surkål”

I grew up with Sauerkraut to anything made with pork and my mom would just buy already made in the store to take home and reheat it there. Then when I went off to college I had a teacher who taught us an easy way of making it ourselves and believe it or not it also freezes well.

This recipe makes about 10 servings.

  • 2000 grams (4 lbs) Cabbage (Red or Green depending on what you prefer)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Caraway Seeds
  • 5 Tbsp White Distilled Vinegar (7% is best, but 5% works just fine)
  • 5 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups of Water

Shred the cabbage as fine as you want it. I like to keep mine at a medium shred somewhat thicker pieces in between the smaller pieces.

Put the shredded cabbage and caraway seeds in layers in a big pot and sprinkle salt and sugar on top. Then pour the vinegar and water over it all.

Get to a boil and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes under a lid.

Add more sugar, salt or vinegar according to your preferences. Reheats very easily in the microwave.

5 Tips to Purge your Christmas Decor

Since we are moving back to Norway this year I needed to purge all my Christmas décor. We did sell our 6.5 foot Christmas tree before Christmas and instead we got a 3.5 foot tree which we are thinking of giving to my sister in law and her husband. Still we had way to much décor to bring with us, over three boxes full and I needed to purge it down to one. As Christmas is my favorite Holliday I have collected a lot of décor and some of it I brought with me from Norway. Here is how I managed to complete this task.

  1. Gather everything and throw out anything that is broken unless you know you can fix it within the next day.
  2. Sort it into groups of decorations that match and choose your favorite group or groups, put your least favorite groups in the donation box.
  3. Make sure you have saved any décor that hold special meaning to you, wrap it up safely.
  4. See if there is some décor that you can recreate later, take a picture and put this décor in the donation box.
  5. Find the right size box and start packing your most favorite items then whatever don’t fit in the box will go into the donation box.