Progress (not Perfection) Report Party—Jan. 2010

This progress report has turned into a more lengthy endeavor than I had planned. I guess that means I made a lot of progress. I am going to outline some of the things that were accomplished and some of the lessons learned from the process. Don’t forget to link-up your progress reports/lessons learned/projects accomplished at the bottom of this post:

I cleaned and organized my laundry room (no pic, you can see some of what it looks like, here). Lesson learned: The laundry room was not the most pressing issue, but it was a project I could complete in a couple of hours and be proud of myself for getting something done! Sometimes we need to start with a small achievable task to build up the momentum to tackle those enormous ones.

The Closet Clean-up:

20100203_2498 (Hanging my clothes in rainbow order makes me happy and makes them easier to find). I worked on the closet last year, but decided some changes needed to be made. We are going to need to shuffle around bedrooms a bit to make room for #4, which means our beast of an elliptical machine will most likely need to take up residence in our bedroom. So in an effort to make room for that, and more importantly, to try and get all of our clothing in one location, we moved the dresser into the closet. I could not have done this with out the help of my SILs who devoted a week to aiding me in my cleaning and organizing endeavors. (Thank you, thank you, thank you!)

20100203_2502 20100203_2504

Here you see the dresser in the closet, with my shoes organized on top. This works for me, since bending down isn’t working so well with my belly lately.

In order to see if this would all really fit in there, I took my life into my own hands and dared to organize BSB’s side of the closet. I made it a point not to throw anything out (unless it was obviously garbage), and to just put like things together. No rainbow coordinating for his shirts, but all of the same kinds of shirts are together. And since he likes to see what he has (which usually means things get scattered about), Most of his clothing is in those bins high in the closet. He is tall, so it is right at his eye level. I considered it a major success when he came home and didn’t freak out. He’s mostly been able to keep it they way we organized it, too, so I am hopeful!


Yes, that is food storage holding up my shelves! (And you can see how NOT PERFECTLY my clothes are folded—they would never get put away!) I needed a place to put more of my clothing, but with out the money or time to go buy a new system, I started “shopping my house.” I had these shelves from the IKEA bookshelf we put in the laundry room. We removed a couple of shelves so that the hampers could fit underneath. Here are those removed shelves. The only sturdy things I could think of to use to prop them up were #10 cans of wheat we have in our long-term food storage. They do take up a bit of space from the clothing, but they are sturdy, and functioning, and free!

Lessons learned in my closet:

  • Sometimes it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission (love you, honey!). 🙂
  • Having all of your clothing in one place eliminates other potential hot spots. My bedroom is mostly clothing free, now! It had been a bad dumping ground.
  • Put things where you will use them, not where others say, too. Example: My shoes on the dresser, or BSB’s shirts up at eye level.
  • If you don’t have the money for expensive organizers, Shop your house! You can probably find something that will work. You can always go shopping later, when you have the money, and when you know what is working for you.
  • Most people say the first thing you should do when organizing is to “purge”, or get rid of things. The trouble is, my husband and I are perfectionist decision makers, and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, can keep us from ever getting past that step. When I set out to organize this space, I kept a garbage can and a charity box nearby. If I saw something that I knew I didn’t want any more, it would go straight in the box, but I didn’t spend a lot of time trying on clothes and analyzing each item in our closet. We needed to get to the point where like things had a home. And when I decided on their home, it would often motivate me to pick a few more things to get rid of, so stuff would fit better. Some people love to “purge,” it just takes too much brain-power, sometimes!

Before we leave the closet, here is one more (almost-free) project:

20100203_2495 In order to tame the next disaster area, i am about to show you, I had to come up with some way to hang my necklaces, and fast! They were getting all tangled, and my 2 year old, thought they should be her play things. I have seen lots of fun jewelry storage ideas around the web, that I may still try, one of these days, but for now, I had this frame lying around, so I just went to Home Depot and bought a few packages of basic hooks. (Total spent: about $3). BSB drilled the holes and screwed them in place. Now they are hanging about of my daughter’s reach!20100203_2496

The Master Bathroom—(especially my vanity area):

Do you remember how I talked about really embarrasing “before” pictures? Well, here it is–try not to cringe:


The sad thing is, I took this picture about a year ago, and if anything, in that time, it has gotten worse, not better. My daughter thought this was her play place, and things that hadn’t been assigned a home in the medicine cabinet, or linen closet, had just been piling up here. While my SILs scrubbed my bathroom, I mercilessly threw away expired medicines, and finally assigned a home to everything that wasn’t junk.


I still have big plans for more “decor” in this area—some fun with that chair, etc., but for now, it is a vanity that functions, and we have found the dozens of hair bands that had disappeared.

Lessons learned:

  • Kids aren’t as tempted to play with things they can’t see.
  • It is easier to get ready in the morning when you have a calm place to do it in, and can find the things you need.

Bathroom Scrub Down:

The credit here is almost entirely due to the hard work by my SILs. Playing with chemicals and bending down to scrub shower floors, just isn’t happening for this pregnant lady, but I am happy to report, the shower floors are scrubbed!


And they actually look white, now! We have really hard water, here, that tends to leave deposits of various things behind. After a standard cleaning, my shower floor usually looks brown and grimy, still. Kristin, patiently experimented with all of my cleaners (one at a time), until she found one that would remove all the brown. I think it is a pretty heavy duty chemical, so if anyone knows of anything more natural, I’d love to hear it, but for now, I am just happy to have a white shower!


This picture is a little confusing, but it is the view of my shower door (on the right), looking from inside the shower, toward the glass block window. Again mineral deposits were removed, and we are trying a cool new trick for me. Has any one used rain-x on the inside of their shower doors before? It works great on cars, and someone told my SIL that it works on shower doors, so we are giving it a shot. So far, it does seem to be helping prevent the build-up from the hard water and soap scum.

Lessons Learned:

  • Rain-x on shower doors, and Zap on shower floors.
  • Get help with the stuff you can’t do on your own. I work better when others are around, and my children are less needy when they have others to give them attention. Maybe you can switch off doing cleaning/projects at your house one day, and going and helping a friend/family member with their cleaning/projects another day. You (I) just have to get over your (my) pride issues, and let them see your imperfections.

Outside Progress:


Until just the other day, this was our doorbell (it had been dismantled before this picture). The plastic had dried out and completely broken. When I was at Home Depot the other day, getting my hooks (and some hooks for our robs that haven’t been installed, yet). I grabbed the prettiest doorbell I could find:20100202_2486

And here is a shot of our winter grass, that is finally growing like it should!


If you aren’t from Arizona, you probably don’t know what winter grass is. You might be surprised to know that it is required by our HOA, unless you have desert landscaping in the front. Ours looked kind of pitiful until the recent rains, and another attempt at fertilizer by BSB.

Lessons learned:

  • If you want a pretty doorbell (or other object), go buy it yourself.
  • If you want your dh to install pretty object, rather than putting it on his honey-do list, pull it out and ask him for a screwdriver so you can get started on it. When he gets nervous about you (in your pregnant condition) messing around with electrical stuff, you graciously step aside, and allow him to complete the task. (Well, it worked this time!)

And now that this post is in contention for the Guiness Book of World Records, title of longest blog post ever, I will quit dispensing advice, and ask you to start dispensing it, below. Let’s help and encourage each other in our home-oriented goals!

p.s. If any vendors want to offer prizes for Progress Report participants, email me {}, and let me know!


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  1. Cherish @ My Cup of Tea says

    Wow, you make me feel lazy around the house. Look at all that you got done!

  2. Congrats on what you have accomplished! I'm still struggling on how to get my dh to do tasks lol… chore chart with gold stars is next!


  3. Life with boys... says

    I fully intend to link up though it may take me til the end of the week to do so. no pics taken but I too an pregnant and though currently feel a bit energetic in comparison to weeks past, that soon vanished when I begin my projects, HA! I have been deep cleaning our house, of course you wouldn't know that by walking in the front door, but everything is finding a home or the garbage/donation pile. So soon I will link up for your viewing/reading pleasure!

  4. HA! The name of my blog is Progress not Perfection! I about died when I saw your post. 😉

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  6. Bethany Kartchner says

    Ohh! I've been looking for something that would take away the brown from my shower floors. THanks! I also love all the things that you learned. 🙂

  7. Life with boys... says

    okay do I never got to my link up, but boy am I ready for end of February's 😉 I have been VERY busy

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