Taming the Garage – 2018

7/19:  I started the garage declutter/clean today with a couple of countertops.  Several items are ready to donate and others are put into the correct area (we tend to just set stuff down in the clear area whether or not it belongs there).

7/21: The garage declutter/clean continues today.  DH took a Subaru full to the Goodwill thrift shop this morning and I stacked up the bins of Yuletide lights to go to the storage shed.  I also cleaned out the garage refrigerator and we continued to remove items to either their correct “home” or remove them from the property.

7/22: And so it goes….another car-load to the Goodwill this afternoon. We had items from the storage shed we found when we took the Yuletide lights up, more arts & crafts, and even several bags of clothes and shoes from my oldest son. I love that the boys are getting in on this.


The 20/10 Challenge – The Entry

Today’s 20/20 Challenge was a doozy.  I decided to tackle the front entry, including the coat closet.

  • I used the first 20 to remove items from the entry to sort out those that have no particular purpose in that area.  I moved them into the dining room and then wiped down the baseboard molding and bottom step.
  • The second 20 was used to remove the coats, bags, baskets, boxes, and Yuletide decorations from the coat closet – – what a mess.
  • The third 20 minutes flew by while I went through the coats and boxes, bags and baskets – consolidating, identifying the owners, making piles for donation.
  • During the fourth 20 minutes I put back the bins of decorations, the coats, made a couple of baskets with scarves, mittens and hats, another basket for my bag and purse to land, set up the umbrella stand and put out a wooden bowl for keys and spare change.
  • It looks great now. It will also function much better. Everything in the room is there because it should be, not just because there is no where else to put it. I just need to figure out what to do with all of the things I was hiding in that room.



  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t honey
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Cut the cold butter into the flour until it resembles meal.
  4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients just until well incorporated.
  5. Roll out the dough to desired thickness and cut out your biscuits.
  6. Bake them on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet for 13-17 minutes removing when biscuits are golden brown and fluffy.

The 20/10 Challenge – the scary kitchen drawers

Summer is coming to an end and it’s back to school on Tuesday.  With the long vacation, our usual summer cleaning didn’t happen to I’m trying to squeeze some in now.  Today I employed the 20/10 strategy again – work 20minutes, rest 10 minutes.  The drawers in the kitchen island hold a lot of odds and end and get really cluttered over time.

I purged a few items and reorganized what was left. Everything is neat as a button.

The 20/10 Challenge – the jam shelf

Today’s 20/10 challenge actually required 3 rounds (and I still need to find homes for the extra odds and ends).  The jam shelf is above the desk in the laundry room and right next to the door that the construction guys used to go in and out of the house to fix the dry rot.  Needless to say it was a dusty mess.  I also picked up some new jam jars recently (I love Weck jars) that needed a home after they were filled with Wild Blackberry jam and Fig & Ginger jam.  I took everything down, dumped the unidentified jams, labeled the new jams, wiped everything down and reorganized the lost of them.  Now the shelf is organized and sparkly and ready for the dreary winter ahead.

Seedless Wild Blackberry Jam

I cooked down about 12 cups of blackberries with a bit of water and strained them to remove the seeds.  The pulp went into some vodka to make a Wild Blackberry Tincture to help treat sore throats, mouth ulcers, and gum inflammations.
The juice was used in our family favorite – Seedless Wild Blackberry Jam.


  • 3.5 cups juice from Wild Blackberries
  • 2 T lemon juice (cider vinegar??)
  • 5 T all purpose pectin
  • 1 t butter
  • 5 cups white sugar


  1. Combine the blackberry, lemon juices pectin and butter in a tick walled saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil that cannot be stirred down – boil 1 minute
  3. Add the sugar and return to a boil – boil 1 minute
  4. Ladle into jars and can.

The 20/10 Challenge – drawers and cabinets

I’m trying to get everything back in order after a summer of fun. I found a site, UfYH, that suggested lots of ways to make this more palatable.  Last night I tried “Clearing a Surface”.  Today, I decided to set a timer and try “20/10” – – 20 minutes of work followed by a 10 minute break.  I was surprised to find how quickly I was able to get the chores done when I knew there was an end in sight.

Today’s 20/10 focused on kitchen drawers and cabinets……