life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful

How to get rid of your extra stuff once you've decluttered...it's always not easy!

Decluttering feels good, but what do you do with the excess? That can be a stumbling block for many of us. It's not always easy to actually remove those unwanted items from our home once we've cleaned out our cabinets! We're going to address a common struggles and a few ideas that might help. "I paid good money for that!" We feel that an item has value, or we feel guilty that we spent money to purchase it, and that money will be wasted if we give the item away. Consider this: the money you spent is already gone. AND you have an unwanted item taking up space in your home and not contributing anything positive in return. If you give the item away, you won't recoup the money you spent, but you

Spring Cleaning Challenge Day 5 - Wild Card!

Choose any little area of your home that ends to be a trouble spot. Just 5-10 minutes can make a difference, and if you're on a roll after that you just might want to spend a little more time! Here are a few ideas to get you started: Your nightstand: toss garbage, take water glasses to the kitchen, put extra books away, and add a little something that you wish you had handy at bedtime but always forget (such as lotion, a nail file, a notepad and pen.) Pens/notepads: make sure you have at least one place in your home where everyone knows they can find a pen and paper. There might be multiple areas these things accumulate, but having at least one designated spot as your go-to is helpful. Toss

Spring Cleaning Day 4 - Entryway

This challenge might be a bit different for everyone, depending on what type of entryway you have, how many people live in your home, and how messy they are. :) For instance, we have a small back porch at our farmhouse, filled with muddy boots and lots of gear for our family of six. You might be starting with less mess than we are! Here are a few quick tips to spruce up your entry for spring: Put the shoes where they belong. If they don't belong anywhere, think about incorporating some type of cubby or shelving or basket system. Your family members might not always put their shoes away, but it's nice to have a home for them so that you can do a quick cleanup when you need to. Sweep or vacuum

Spring Cleaning Challenge Day 3 - Bathroom Cabinet

Today we're going to try to find one small area of the bathroom that you can simplify. Whether you have a big or small bathroom, one bathroom or multiples, lots of storage or just a little, you can utilize some of these little tips to bring some order to this high-traffic room. First, think about the toiletry items that you use on a daily basis, either for getting ready in the morning or for going to bed at night. Grab all those essentials and set them aside. Where can you keep those daily-use items? Whether it's in a vanity, a medicine cabinet, a closet, or a basket on the counter, try to identify an area that can contain the majority of those necessities. Are there other less-used items cr

Spring Cleaning Mini Challenge Day 2 - Sock Drawer!

It might seem silly to worry about your sock drawer when you probably have an entire closet you could be organizing. But I've found that by spending a few minutes on a small area, you can make a BIG difference in your daily life. And that success just might motivate you to work another small area, creating an awesome snowball effect! Here's my theory on sock drawers in video and written formats...take your pick: Maybe they don't need to live in your dresser. Assess whether or not you're using your storage space wisely, or if there's another spot the socks can live, freeing up dresser space for other clothing. In my case, I keep my socks in my nightstand drawer that wasn't previously used for

Spring Cleaning Mini Challenge Day 1 - Tupperware!

Whether you use Rubbermaid or Gladware or glass bowls or the real deal name-brand Tupperware, we all probably have some types of dishes that we use for food storage. I just call all of it Tupperware. : ) That category of kitchenware can be a messy one. It can be difficult to keep them from becoming a jumbled mess in the cupboard, and the lids tend to crawl back into the depths and disappear. Five to ten minutes of organizing and decluttering in this area can make a big difference in your day-to-day life, making it easier to find what you're looking for and to put clean dishes away. Here's my simple step-by-step process (you can skip the video if you'd rather read the tips): Dig out all the T

Legos are magical

Ah, the superpower of Legos. They can bring a grown woman to her knees when she steps on them. Powerful, but that's not the superpower I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the power Legos have to bring a family together. To get siblings to interact. To entice sullen teens to look away from their phones. As kids grow up, they naturally play with toys less and less. They're maturing and becoming busy with other interests. Maybe tv, video games, or phones capture their attention. Younger kids might seem to outgrow their toys earlier than their older siblings, possibly because they're following in those more mature footsteps. It can be a bittersweet realization when you see those favorit

The mom superpower you might not know you have...

I'm not sure we all realize how much impact moms have on their home. Moms have a huge influence on whether our home feels cozy and relaxing or negative and chaotic (and I'm not talking about that happy busy family chaos - I'm talking the crabby chaos that comes from a mom who's pulling her hair out.). And it has nothing to do with having perfect decor or color-coded organizing systems or crock pot meals planned for the month. It has to do with comparing ourselves to others. When we think everyone else is doing it all and we're not doing enough, we feel discontent in our homes. We can't be our best selves when we're worried about keeping up with what everyone else is doing. We might try to do

How to make your kitchen work harder and smarter (even if it's small or old)

Kitchens can be a challenge. Whether you have a big, beautiful Pinterest-worthy kitchen or a small older kitchen, it's a hard-working room that wears a lot of hats. So many different things need to be stored in this room, and our day-to-day life is made just a little harder when you need to constantly move the seldom-used pans out of the way to get to the blender. Today I'm sharing a few tips that might help you to re-think how you're using the valuable space in your kitchen, no matter how big or small it is. By making the most of our space, we can add a little bit more ease to our daily life. And if we can make a few little improvements here and there, they will eventually add up to feeling

Where do you start when your house overwhelms you?

I've been there, friends. Feeling overwhelmed with a house that's cluttered or overrun with kids' shoes or school papers. A kitchen that seems to have a mind of its own. Rooms that never seem to look tidy no matter how hard you try. And don't even mention the basement. Where do you start when there's so much to do? I've found a simple solution for getting started. Choose the thing that drives you nuts. Don't start by organizing the basement. It's too big of a job. You won't see results fast enough and you'll get discouraged and quit. If you do finish, you'll be so exhausted that you won't want to work on another area. You won't enjoy the results on a daily basis, so they won't energize you

My skin cancer journey part 3...healing and life lessons

Here's the happy ending to my skin cancer journey. The healing, although it's been a long process, has been relatively painless and has provided me with lots of life lessons. I'm sharing all that in this video, and I hope you will share this if someone in your life is facing something similar. You can see the first and second parts of my story here and here. If you have more questions about how I dealt with this situation, please feel free to email me at homesteaddesignmn@gmail.com. I'm happy to share encouragement!

My skin cancer journey part 2...Mohs surgery for squamous cell carcinoma

Here's the second part of the story of my journey through squamous cell carcinoma (also known as Bowen's disease). In my previous post here, I explain how the cancer was identified and the process leading up to the surgery. In this video I'll talk a little bit about my experience with Mohs surgery. It's my hope that by sharing my story, I will provide a little bit of support or encouragement to others who are dealing with the same thing. The GREAT news is that everything is fine now! Happy, healthy and BLESSED! For part three of my story, the healing process as well as the life lessons learned through this experience, click here.

My skin cancer journey...no worries, it has a happy ending! Part 1 of 3.

If you've seen any of our recent videos, you might be wondering about the band-aids on my nose. I had surgery in January to remove a spot of skin cancer of the Squamous Cell Carcinoma variety. It was a kind of scary experience, but everything went well and all is good now! It was a bit of a process though, and some of the lessons learned turned out to be a blessing. Here's the "before" picture. It was not a big, scary looking spot. It was a small raised bump, the same color as my skin. I'm sharing my story in three short videos, for a few reasons: 1. We've gotten so much encouragement and support from family and friends on Facebook, so we wanted to give everyone an update. 2. I was inspi