1. Clean the closet in Olivia's room. By cleaning the closet, Olivia will have significantly more space to put away items that are currently in her room. This will give her more floor space in her room as well as give her more space in her closet which will help her better organize her toys and clothes.
I did not work on this project this week.
2. Clean the other closet in my office. This closet has books for homeschooling, office supplies, and has become a place to store a variety of items.
Didn't work on this one either.
3. Clean the built-in cupboards in the family room. The upper shelves have canned goods and homeschooling supplies; and the lower shelves have space for homeschooling work that the girls have completed. The open cubbies in the middle have games and activities.
On the left is what the cupboards
looked like before cleaning.
On the right, is the same space
that's organized and has more room.
This is the project I focused on this week. Sophia, Olivia, and I worked together on this one since the majority of the cupboards had things that they played with and/or past work they did for homeschooling.
The most difficult part for me was going through the canned goods and tossing the ones that I knew we weren't going to use. There were years I made too much jam and the reality is we don't use that much.
Before I think about canning a type of food, I need to look in the cupboards to determine the quantity of items I have already canned and if more needs to be canned (e.g., tomatoes, peaches). This will help prevent over-canning food that may go to waste (e.g., jam).
The last thing I learned is that I should just stick with the basic foods that I know everyone will enjoy and I'll use in cooking (e.g., strawberry jam, peach jam, blueberry jam, peaches, pears, tomatoes, applesauce). I think homemade salsa and ketchup taste better than store-bought versions. However, if no one else is going to eat them, then it doesn't make sense to spend the money or time canning these items.
For the game shelves, Sophia, Olivia, and I went item by item and determined in what pile it went: keep, donate, or trash. They were so excited to find toys and games they once played with and enjoyed. They would stop at times and play, so the process took a bit longer...but they were having fun during the process which is important.
With the doors closed,
this is what the cupboards look like.
It's much easier now to find games,
musical instruments, and puzzles.
The lowest shelves (behind the doors) had some of the girls' past homeschooling work. I had them go through what they wanted to keep. What they felt wasn't important they set aside in a pile.
After they were done, I went through this to determine if it truly could be let go or if they might enjoy seeing it in the future. I agreed with 99% of their decisions. The 1% I had them hold onto were photographs, and longer-term unit studies that represented a significant amount of time.
For example, we spent multiple years going through the American Girl series, and did multi-disciplinary activities. The binders they have are more like scrapbooks than schoolwork since there are a lot of photos in them.
By the end of the day, we had 1 1/2 bags of trash; and two bags of items to donate (by bags I mean the trash-can size bags - not little plastic shopping bags). I also have a box of canned goods that were removed.
It's a relief to have this project done before the school year begins next month.