Revamping our farmhouse foyer: a plan for redecorating our entry way

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Our entry way has improved significantly over the years, but it is still pretty boring. Before he passed away, my dad graciously helped us build this built in coat rack into the wall behind the door. It added a space for us to hang our coats and bookbags, and we have used it so much. I subscribe to the belief that organization should be both functional and attractive. While our entry way is now functional for our family, it certainly isn’t pretty.

I’d like to change the following things about our entry. I’d like to paint the back of the door black to give it some personality.

Courtesy of Interior Barn Doors

I love how the black door makes the room look different. It’s amazing what you can do with just a can of paint.

Another thing I’d like to do is change out the builder grade light fixture for a schoolhouse light fixture.

Schoolhouse flush mount light fixture, The Lamp Goods for $95

I’d also like to add some sort of striped rug. I love this Dash and Albert rug, but I’d like to have it in black and white.

And lastly, I’d like to add some sort of boot tray to contain muddy shoes.

Boot tray from Crate and Barrel

As with everything, our entry way is a process. We are working to make it look nicer and neater all the time. I can’t wait to show you the progress as we finish it.

Have a wonderful week. We will return on Thursday to talk about command centers.

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Scripture Sunday: Plans

Scripture Sunday: Plans

How many of you are planners, like me? We know we can’t plan our whole lives, and we know we aren’t in charge, but we still get irritated when our lives don’t go as planned. We know we aren’t in charge, but still we try to put our plans ahead of God’s plans, even when we know his ways are best.

The Bible has a lot to say about plans. There’s Jeremiah 29:11, which you probably have heard preached on graduate recognition Sunday.

God has plans for us, and in fact, his plans are greater than any plans we will ever make. Even though we are conscious of this fact, it doesn’t stop us from trying to plan our own course.

Proverbs 19:21 says this about making our own plans.

We can make all the plans we want, but ultimately what God wants for us will win. So why is it so hard for us to just let go and let God?

I think if I had to choose a word for 2019, I’d choose a phrase: let go. There are many struggles of which I need to let go of at the moment, but more than that, I need to let go of my tendency to control everything and let God handle it.

If we trust in Him and we know he has a plan for us, why do we struggle so hard with letting go and letting God?

Please pray for me to let go of my own will and trust in Him this year.

Have a wonderful week.

Simplify Saturdays: Simplify Your Cleaning Routine

Simplify Saturdays: Simplify Your Cleaning Routine

I don’t know about you, but cleaning is a struggle at my house. My house isn’t all that big but it is time consuming to give it the attention it needs. With two children and a full time job, it is even more difficult sometimes to get the house clean.

Before I share the things I have learned, I want to make it clear that I have not completely figured it out yet. These are just a few tips that are helping me work toward finding a balance, even though I have far from found that balance.

1. Develop a routine and stick to it

Developing a routine and sticking to it as much as possible is a great way to have a cleaner house. We have tried to assign small duties to each night, allowing for flex time on the weekends to catch up on any tasks we have missed. We try to perform the same specific duties each day, but perform a different task each night. Here is our weekly checklist:

You will notice that starting the washing machine each morning is on the list. We have a washer with a delayed start and I use it daily. I throw laundry in the washer before going to bed and set it to finish as I’m getting up. This way, I wash and dry a load of laundry before leaving the house, and have one more load to complete when I get home. I still have to fold them and put them away, but the waiting game is over.

2. Delegate!

You don’t have to do everything, and you can’t. Assign chores to the other members of your household. My oldest daughter is eager to earn a small allowance for her own money, and she doesn’t mind helping me around the house. Pay your children to help you, convince your significant other to help you, but stop trying to be solely responsible for all the cleaning.

3. Set aside time for extra attention

I try to have a deep cleaning day one Saturday a month where I tackle cleaning tasks that don’t necessarily need to be done weekly, but still need a little extra love. These are areas like baseboards or dusting the door and window moldings. You could even break these deep cleaning tasks up and do one each Saturday. It’s all about your schedule and making things work for you.

4. Be reasonable

Sometimes, you won’t have time to clean because you’ve had a busy day. Or maybe you did clean, but something happened and your room is no longer clean. These are the moments when you must have grace with yourself. Your house can’t be perfectly clean all the time but neither can anyone else’s house.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips for simplifying cleaning. As I said before, I am still working to simplify cleaning at my own home, so if you have any tips for me, I’d welcome them 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

The 21-Day Challenge: Organize Your Whole Life in 3 Weeks!

The 21-Day Challenge: Organize Your Whole Life in 3 Weeks!

Every January for the past three years, we gear up for a little “routine refresh,” if you will. We tackle all regularly used areas of our home and perform a purge and an organization tune up.

While the 21-day challenge may seem intimidating, consider this: make it work for you. Don’t do an entire room at a time. Do one small section, or drawer, or closet. Or start with the worst part of that room. You can do as much of this challenge or as little of it as you’d like. It doesn’t have to be major and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And you can also repeat it as many times as you need 🙂

Organizing doesn’t have to be stressful and it doesn’t have to be time consuming- it does have to be helpful. Here are the challenges list, if you’d like to play along. If you do take the challenge, I’d appreciate it if you’d post a pic on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge.

Happy organizing! For the next three Saturdays, I’ll share my progress with you.

Have a wonderful weekend.

2019: Our New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year! Hope 2019 holds many blessings for you!


This is the time of year when many of us resolve to do something better, or to be better at something. We commonly desire to do different things, like visit a new and exciting vacation destination, or stop worrying about something, or the ever popular “lose weight.” While I have some personal resolutions this year, and I will share those, I have some resolutions for my home and for my blog. Some people would just call these things a “to-do list,” and that’s accurate as well. Whatever you want to call it, I’m more than happy to share them with you.

Personal and family

  1. A healthier, more mindful, and better me

Things have not been the greatest on the homefront. I’ve struggled with mental illness and it has taken a toll on everyone. This year, I’d simply like to learn more about my anxiety and depression, and work toward finding a healthier balance. I’m journaling a lot, I’m reading a lot, I’m in therapy, and I’m learning to handle things through a different lens. And it’s helping, but there are a lot more bridges to cross.

I was in a good place with my diet and fitness journey, but my recent bout of bronchitis and pneumonia really took a toll on it. This year, I’d like to work out at least 5 days a week and get back on my Trim Healthy Mama journey. So far, I’m doing well. My oldest daughter has become my biggest cheerleader and my running buddy.

I’m also working to make more time for what’s truly important: my family and myself. I am practicing saying no and trying to do less. I’m working toward not worrying so much about the trivial things in life- the messy rooms, the dirty laundry, and the crowded to-do lists- and enjoy the little girls who made those messes and that dirty laundry.

And lastly, I’m spending more time reading. I’ve always loved to read and I often find that I’m reading things for work and things to my children, but I rarely read for my pleasure anymore unless it’s summer break. I’ve created quite the list of books I’d like to read in 2019. Will I read all of them? Probably not. My goal is to read at least 75 books in 2019.

Home and blogging

So. many. things. I. want. to. do.

First, I plan on sharing the things we NEED to do, and then I’ll get to the things I WANT to do. Doesn’t it seem we are always sharing our wants and needs, and trying to distinguish between the two?

  1. Finish our bathroom refreshers (WANT)

Currently, we have already started a small remodel/room refresh on our master bath. Last year, I installed plumbing pipe shelving, and changed out the builder grade mirrors and light fixtures for two mirrors and farmhouse style lighting. This year, we plan to change out the faucets and begin planning for our next big bathroom project: new flooring and new tubs. We also may entertain refinishing the vanity. We may even change out the mirror, lights and faucets in our hall bath this year.

2. Replace some of our lost landscaping (WANT)

We lost about ten plants in our front foundation gardens and in our backyard to the crazy, overly rainy weather we experienced in 2018. We will be replacing them this year with something new and colorful.

3. Washer and dryer (NEED)

Our washer and dryer is on the blink. We looked at several different ones this past spring, but never truly lit on one we liked. Plus, we figured we could get a few more months out of ours. Well, we did, but we can’t push our luck much longer. So, we’ll be buying a new washer and dryer soon.

4. A living room refresher. (NEED/WANT)

This one fits into both categories. Does out living room function well now as it is? Sure. But…we are still using the same furniture we bought before Emorie was born, and she is now almost 8. It’s taken a beating from both these baby girls, and it’s time to replace it. Plus, I’ve had this gorgeous antique mantle in our garage for over a year now, and I’m dying to have it installed in our living room. This should be happening soon.

Now, for the things I want to do. This list will be far less detailed.

  1. Gather quotes for new bath tubs and bath flooring
  2. Gather quotes for new kitchen cabinets
  3. Finish our built in bookshelves in the office and convert the office into a playroom
  4. Convert the current playroom into a formal dining room
  5. Screen in our back porch

Do you see now why there are two lists? I’m not saving we will do all of these things, but each year I like to decide what I want to do and what I need to do, and try to balance out the lists.

What are your home resolutions for 2019?

Happy New Year

From us at Organized and Simplified! We hope 2019 brings you many blessings.