Sunday, July 19, 2015

Monthly Goals Update and This Week's Goals

Sometimes, as you get older, you really start to feel your age.  That is my state today.  I spent all of yesterday finishing up my pantry reorganizing and oy I'm feeling it now!

Why?  Well, allow me to introduce you to my "Pantry Under the Stairs".  One of these days I'm seriously going to make a wooden sign to hang on the door with a Harry Potter-like wording on it for that.  Seriously, it's perfect so why not use it, right ;).

I'll save the "complete tour" and just show what I did over the last couple of days.  If you are looking for Pinterest pretty pantry space, this is not your show.  But, if you are looking for functional space, I think I've done a decent job with this space, especially considering my pantry is under the stairs in a pretty small space and it also shares said space with my well pump and my water softening system.

The first is the shot from the doorway (above).  I reorganized the shelves on the left a bit, but I moved all of my five gallon buckets of food storage and stuck them under the bottom shelf, where they fit perfectly.  This makes it all easier to keep track of if nothing else.  I do have a five gallon bucket of bread flour in my laundry room, but overall I was happy I was able to fit it all as before now the buckets have been taking up space in my furnace room.

This next shot is a bit further in where I'm redoing how I put out my home canned goods (ignore the giant can of nacho cheese.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do with that).  I used to try really hard to make my pantry "pretty" by showing off the jars, but just recently was like, "Oh to Heck with that idea, let's make it functional instead" and I started storing the jars in boxes so I could stack the boxes on top of each other (you're not supposed to stack canning jars as it can wreck the seal over time).  This way I can stack the boxes so I have more functional space and I feel a LOT better about the jars in boxes being able to survive an earthquake without things falling off shelves and breaking.

Turn the corner, which you are now on your hands and knees and you'll find this.  I took big cans of food storage that I don't use at all often and built shelves with the cans and some shelving material we had from bookcases that had fallen apart when we moved here.  It worked really well and I was able to get a lot more space from the pantry doing it this way.  Now, I just wait until I need a can of something that is holding up the bottom shelf (my luck ;).

Turn toward the bottom of my stairs and this is what you'd see.  This space was CRAMMED with stuff before I started this project.  I was able to move five gallon buckets from upstairs in my hallway closet into the pantry as well as the ones from the furnace room, so I was able to stick things that should have gone into the hallway closet back where they belonged, thus affording me a better amount of space.  My ultimate goal for next week is to possibly get all of the non-food items and put them into better spots (like my popsicle molds) so I can access them easier, but we'll see how it goes.  I reused some old packages of Campbell's Soup to house my new cans of cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup.  It's working really well and helps to keep it organized.

I built another set of shelves on the opposite wall from the first (which took up the entire wall, really since there isn't much space there) and built the shelves out of the cans of food storage I could see myself needing more often than the condiment shelf I built.  This shelf is housing lighter weight things so I'll be able to take the shelves apart easier in the event I need a can of something.

And there you are.  Where I've spent the last couple of days.  Hunched over and crawling on concrete, I'm feeling parts of myself I forgot I had, but I'm SO much happier with the space now!

I did okay on my other goals I had for last week as well.

Not only did I dehydrate the onion that I pulled from the garden, but I also dehydrated herbs and orange peel to use later on.  I'm thinking about dehydrating some kale too as it is doing so well this year, but I'll think on that later in the week.

I got some more of my canning list accomplished as well.  Right now about the only things I can see needing to be canned are I need to can salsa and I also need to continue to harvest fireweed to make into jelly later on.  The raspberries are just plain SAD this year.  I've got raspberry BB's on my bushes right now instead of berries.  The heat got to the berries so bad they just kind of scorched on the bushes.  And the rose bushes are all quickly succumbing to the bright orange blight, so I'm not seeing being able to harvest enough rose hips to get anymore jelly this year.  I'll instead work on budgeting some money over the next six months and getting some already cleaned rose hips online.  I probably have enough rose hip jelly to last until next year anyway at this point, but we'll see how it goes.

I got all of my laundry sorted, folded and put away.  This week's goal is to start washing my son's clothing and bedding in the home made laundry soap I made and see how it reacts with his skin.  Fingers crossed there.

So, my goals for this week?

Weekly Goals:
1.  Harvest basil and make pesto pucks.

I'm not sure if I'm going to have enough basil to make many pesto pucks, but I've had decent luck in the past padding out the basil with parsley, so hopefully I can make it all work okay.

2.  Can applesauce and salsa (this is going to depend on the weather and the heat levels).

3.  Make husband's birthday present (I got the pieces cut out this week, now I just need to put it all together).

4.  Make a couple of pillow shams for kids (these are for Christmas gifts).

5.  Continue to work on mending (it's the Never Ending Chore!).

6.  Cut out a couple of pairs of shorts to make for son later on.

7.  Harvest and cure two onions that are ready to harvest.  Dehydrate green onions (the wind we had a couple of days ago knocked two of the onions over and creased the stalk, so it's time to harvest them I think).

8.  Clean up furnace room now that the food storage is out of it.

9.  Wash children's shower curtain (I didn't get to this last week).

10.  Work on son's room (reorganizing and redecorating).
11.  Start washing and transitioning son's clothing and bedding to being washed in the new laundry detergent.
And there you have it folks.  My goals for this week.  What are you up to this week?

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