Pet Project: Zero Waste Home (Almost)

I love the idea of never throwing something away again. I already do this with coffee grounds, and I recycle as best I can. (I live in an apartment so sometimes recycling isn’t an option. Gasp. I know.) It is a dream of mine to accomplish this. (Although I still plan on using sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, and bathroom products. I live in a house of boys people.)

Here is the grand master list of what I have and want to accomplish to do my part in being green:

Cloth products

  • Cloth grocery bags
  • Cloth produce bags
  • Cloth or paper dry goods bags
  • Cloth paper towels
  • Cloth napkins
  • Cloth bread bag
  • Cloth gift wrapping


  • Buy local meats, eggs, and produce
  • Make my own bread
  • Bake own sweets (cookies, brownies, cakes, etc)
  • Make own ice cream and pop-cycles using real fruit
  • Leftovers in all glass/metal containers like mason jars
  • Can own food
  • Make own condiments
  • Grow own herbs, spices, and misc


  • E-bills
  • Magazines online only
  • Old clothes to dusting and cleaning rags
  • Make own laundry detergent
  • Reusable coffee cups
  • Reusable ‘ziplocks’
  • Reusable water bottles

And many more to come. I’m crossing off the ones that we already do, or that I’ve successfully implemented into life for at least a month (the time it takes to build a habit, right?)


Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (BONUS)

I’ve had some people request to see my list of what I kept in my closet. I made a list to adhere to on Evernote (a fantastic app that everyone should have on their phones, tablets, and computers if you don’t already). I’ll just copy and paste that list here. I didn’t keep track of undies, bras, socks, or pjs. Besides those things, I made sure to keep track of EVERYTHING in my closet.

Hot Weather
Pants (2)
  • 1 Dark Wash Jeans
  • 1 Color or Pattern Jeans (polka dot)
Skirts (the ones I have are too short) (2)
  • 1 Patterned (flare) skirt
  • 1 Color (pencil) skirt
Tops (5)
  • Chambray shirt
  • 1 neutral dark (black)
  • 1 neutral light (white)
  • 1 Floral shirt
  • 1 Striped shirt
Jackets (4)
  • 1 Denim jacket
  • 1 Neutral cardigan (grey and light blue)
  • 1 Colored cardigan (polka dot blazer)
  • 1 Light Jacket (military jacket)
Dresses (2)
  • 1 Neutral dress (navy maxi)
  • 1 Patterned dress (Easter dress)
Shoes (5)
  • 2 Pumps (1 patterned, 1 neutral)
  • 1 Patterned sandal
  • 2 Flats (1 patterned/bright, 1 neutral)
Accessories (9)
  • 4 necklaces (long, short, layered)
  • 1 bracelet
  • 1 colored belt
  • 1 patterned belt
  • 1 printed scarf
  • 1 one-piece bathing suit

Cool Weather

Pants (2)
  • 1 pair denim
  • 1 pair black
Skirts (2)
  • 1 dark mini skirt
  • 1 bright pencil skirt
Tops (6)
  •  2 button downs (chambray (and polka dots) and white(with pineapples)
  • 1 Neutral sweater/long sleeves
  • 1 Striped long sleeve
  • 1 bright sweater
  • 1 plaid shirt
Jackets (4)
  • 1 neutral cardigan
  • 1 winter coat
  • 1 jacket (leather)
  • 1 puffer vest
Dresses (1)
  • 1 sweater dress
Shoes (3)
  • Riding boots
  • Rain boots
  • Ankle boots (black)

Accessories (7)

  • 2 necklaces (metal and colored)
  • 1 watch
  • 3 scarves (neutral, patterned, colored)
  • 1 pair of tights

Extras want (1)

  • 1 colored long pants
Extras have (17)
    1 sweat pants
    1 cloth patterned pants
    1 colored shirt
    1 sleeveless blouse
    dad sweater
    white very light sweater/cover up
    super winter puffer jacket
    1 neutral pencil skirt
    1 polka dot cardigan
    1 long sweater vest
    brown ankle boots
    high heeled sandals
    1 long sleeve white shirt
    1 long sleeve black shirt
    1 long sleeve bright striped shirt
    1 thick sweater
    1 chunky sweat shirt
Workout (9)
    3 sleeved shirts (nasa, color run, and Colorado ski)
    3 workout pants (shorts, calf length, thick calf)
    3 sport bras
Church (5)
    1 patterned dress
    1 colored dress
    mourning dress
    maxi skirt
    1 short striped, colored skirt

Item Number Total: 53 and 32 extras

Missing: 19 items

I know what you’re going to say: HEY! That’s not 31 items per weather change total! Well I did mention that I was going to be using the 31 rule as a guide and in fact, my examples that I used were 15 items for warm weather and 16 for winter. The important part is that I have way less than I started with, yet kept the wardrobe mine. Please feel free to do the same!

Let us know what your final count is!

Further Reading:
Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Part 1)
Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Part 2)
Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Final)

Stepping into a Capsule Closet Part 3 (Final)

Alright, so last week we all pulled everything out of our closet, made everything empty, went through our clothes with our lists, and only put back the things that adhered to our lists. Right? RIGHT?! Please note the shoes. That was the hardest part for me.


Here is what my closet looks like now. It doesn’t look too different. It’s super hard to take a picture of my dresser to get you to appreciate the difference. But just imagine this: before, none of the drawers opened or closed easily, every single one was stuff to overflowing; after, I have two of my biggest drawers completely emptied and the rest glide open and closed like no body’s business. In fact, my drawers refuse to stay shut anymore. I think they’re traumatized from being so over stuffed that they no longer remember what it’s like to stay completely closed.

I also bought a big storage bin from Big Lots to put away my out of season and maternity out of season clothing. I plan on changing out the seasons with my dresser and that bin, giving me more space. So if it’s summer and I’m skinny again, my dresser has my 31 warm weather items and the Big Lots bin has the 31 cold weather items and my maternity items. Here’s what that looks like.


And that also is what homework is this week! Go to Big Lots, or wherever you’d like and buy a big bin to put your out of season/condition clothes in and lets see the final product of your clothing!

Further Reading:
Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Part 1)
Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Part 2)

Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Part 2)

How was everyone’s week? Did you find images to inspire your minimalist closet? Here are my favorites, I’m so excited to get started now guys!


Alright, so this week let’s focus on getting stuff out and get comfortable with less. I had to bribe myself to start putting aside some of my favorite items. I told myself that I would eventually buy very nice, well-made, usually too expensive clothing to replace my ‘meh’ clothing that I was keeping. Whatever you have to do, right?

Step 1. Pull it all out

That’s right, strip your closet! Like a present on Christmas day, tear into that closet and leave no survivors. The emptiness will inspire and you’ll get too tired to put it all back. Mwahahaa, Evil, I know. Because now it’s too late to put it all back, you have a mess you have to clean up now.

Step 2. Get your handy dandy list put together.
(I know, should have done this first right? WRONG! I want commitment here! Told you I was evil.)

I found the two lists I’ll be using on . Yes, I know that she says suitcase, but it’s the same idea and I really liked her color, pattern, and neutral mixing techniques. There are several other places that have their own versions of a capsule wardrobe, Pinterest is a fantastic resource to pin down the one that will work for you!

I’m using the One Suitcase Spring Capsule Wardrobe (15 pieces WHOO!) and the One Suitcase Winter Vacation Capsule Wardrobe (16 pieces, double WHOO!) and I’ll be keeping a few extra items on top of this, that makes for just over the 31 limit. Hopefully.

Step 3. Start matching your items to your list.

Instead of completely chucking your entire wardrobe and starting over (which some of you may actually be wealthy enough to do this), I decided to try to get as many items to match my list from my existing wardrobe and then buy new what I was missing.

I got a box and just started putting the clothes in there that didn’t fit into the list. Ninja Turtles shirt? Gone. Antique shirt with sentimental value? Gone. It’s just stuff. You can’t take it with you when you die. (Now I did keep the cardigan that was my dad’s. I’m not quite the drill sergeant that you think I am.)


Here’s my box up in my closet. I’ll leave it there and not touch it as long as possible. The reason I won’t be getting rid of all those clothing right away is just a safety net. Which I don’t intend to use. However if I find that I end up unable to do my capsule wardrobe, or can’t buy new items, there is the rest of my closet, sitting in the box, ready to come out and play again.

It makes this whole capsule thing just a little easier.

Now ladies, don’t touch that box. It’s not become the forbidden box. You and I must make a pact not to touch anything in that closet. A pact that can only be broken if it’s a fashion emergency. Don’t go back on this pact now ladies! You and I can do it!

Step 4. Show us your results!

Take a picture of your new gorgeous, empty closets and share them below! I’ll post mine next week!

Further Reading:
1. Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Part 1)

How to Populate a Shopping List from a Meal Plan!

We have a completed menu, but that doesn’t really help us when it comes to knowing what to keep in stock now does it!? Part 2 of meal planning, in my book, means that I should have a list of exactly everything I need to buy from the store to make said dishes. I also don’t want to go every night, twice a week, or even once a week. Try twice a month!

Here’s how I did it.

Month of meal plans laid out

I went back to my month and started a new spreadsheet in Google Drive. I started with day one, Precooked Chicken and frozen veggies. Ok, easy. So on my new spreadsheet, I made two columns, one for week one, the second for week two. Looks a bit like this:

BlankBiMonthlyShoppingListThen I put down the Precooked Chicken and frozen veggies at the top of column one, and kept the color coding, just because I’m a color coding type of person. I did that for every meal I was cooking for. And finally I went through each recipe, using my Recipe Master List from the first post, and filled out each dish.

bi-monthlyshoppinglist titlespopulated      FilledoutBimonthlyShoppingList

Finally I print out that list and go through my pantry, crossing off what I already have. And viola! Ready to go shopping!

But wait! There’s more! What about the other things that I need to get from the store, you ask? Well I simply printed out this handy dandy sheet and pinned it to the wall in the kitchen. Whenever we run out of something, say paper towels, my husband or myself can write it down on this list. If it doesn’t get written down, it doesn’t get bought. Tough love style!

grocery list

Stepping into a Capsule Wardrobe (Part 1)

I’m not sure if many people are bugged by this, but I am, so hence this blog post! I hate stepping into my closet and have to skinny by two rows of almost touching clothing on hangers, being speared by the odd hanger out, my drawers not closing and even overflowing. How I have to split my laundry into four or five loads to get it all done, I can’t find anything, nothing matches, everything has holes or smells or is too small, -deep inhale- yeah. And more, loads more. I have so much to complain about when it comes to my closet! Plus, I feel like I’m getting materialistic, I get jealous when someone else has something cool/better/nicer, and depressed when I can’t afford more. That just doesn’t speak of a healthy Christian heart to me.

Shameful, I know. Ok, I admit,  cleaned it up really well before I took this picture.

Enter in the capsule wardrobe! Now if you’ve never heard of a capsule wardrobe like me, this is the general idea. 31 items (or fewer, I’ve seen a few who do 18 or even 16 items) total in your closet. This includes shoes, scarves, jewelry, but excludes undies, bras, camis, workout clothes, and pjs. There are two ways of doing the 31 items as well. One way is 31 items for cool weather, and 31 for warm weather. The other is 31 items absolutely total, both cold and hot weather. I will be doing the first way, 31 per major temperature change.

That sounds absolutely terrifying and I’m not going to lie, I’ve taken several months to get to acting on this idea. What finally got me committed were those gorgeous images of model home closets and the shows on HGTV where they redo the entire home and the lady’s closets are so super pristine.

So here’s today’s homework to get us started into the mood. Find images that make your jaw drop of gorgeous closets! What is your closet inspiration? Please feel free to share in the comments below! See you in a week!

Here’s one of my favorite closets: 
Image Credit: Better Homes and Gardens
Header image credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Further Reading:

The Not-So-Monster-To-Do-List Update

So I’ve been relatively silent the past few days (ahem weeks). Sorry about that. I’m now in the last few weeks of pregnancy and I’m tired. I have been working in the background on my list I posted last, though! Here’s an update on what I’ve finished and what I still would like to do. All things that require me to buy new or put holes in the wall at this point will be on hold until we move. Red is still accomplish-able before the move.

    • Sell motherboard, and other computer component
    • Donate the rest/unsellable
    • Sell old phones (Samsung and Sony)
    • Sell ipad Not selling anymore
    • Sell hammock (in warmer weather)
    • All the things
    • Boxes for organizing
    • Drawers for Finn’s clothing 
    • Cover cardboard boxes
    • Research nicely designed documents and update: calender (monthly, weekly, daily), chore sheet, etc.
    • Make binders by ODA classes: schedules, supply lists, when to email, when to buy supplies, etc.
    • Small
      • Bar/kitchen counter
        • Flour, sugar, & coffee containers Found at Target for $5 each on sale!
        • Soap stand (on hold for the move)
      • Nick’s desk area (now up to Nick)
      • Entertainment center
        • Hide router in decorative box
      • Nick’s woodshop (also up to Nick)
      • Sofa table shelves
      • Entry
        • Coat hooks (on hold for the move)
        • Floor mat (on hold for the move)
      • Medicine cabinet
        • Organized jars
      • Toilet/shower area
        • Hang towel shelf in shower area
        • Make magazine rack (on hold for the move)
        • Get grippy mats for under the rugs
      • Laundry area
        • Ironing board wall hooks OR stacked curtain rods for drying (on hold for the move)
        • Missing socks collection (on hold for the move)
        • Stain cheat sheet (on hold for the move)
      • Front porch/door
        • Coffee filter wreath/Some sort of wreath (on hold for the move)
        • New welcome mat (on hold for the move)
    • Medium
      • Fridge
        • Healthy snack grab-bags
        • Meal a day go-basket
      • Kitchen cabinets
        • Dishes are dirty/clean magnet
        • Baskets for Tupperware
        • Fruit baskets
        • Minimize dishes (half way done)
        • Mason jar cupcake paper containers
      • Under/on sink
        • Cake stand soap holder (on hold for the move)
        • Curtain rod bottle hanger
      • Command Center
        • Menu clip board
        • Monthly meal plan
        • Mail in/out (on hold for the move)
        • Cleaning schedule
      • Pantry
        • Containers for cereal, noodles, etc.
        • Baskets for misc mixes and boxes
      • My desk area
      • Sitting area
        • Gallery wall (not a gallery wall anymore!)
      • Bathroom counter
        • Old wine rack into hand towel holder (on hold for the move)
        • Guest basket tier supplies (on hold for the move)
        • Left wall shelves (on hold for the move)
      • Under bathroom counter
      • Back porch
        • More seating (on hold for the move)
        • Table (on hold for the move)
    • Large
      • Bookshelves
        • Go through books 
        • Stage
        • Fabric foam core board background (on hold for the move)
      • Coffee Nook
        • Shelf liners for wire rack
        • New sugar bowl 
        • Artwork for wall
      • Bathroom cabinets
        • First Aid box
        • Medicines organized in boxes according to problem
        • Box or lazy Susan for chems. (still need to get rid of even more)
      • Master Bedroom
        • Finish night tables
          • Baskets, handles, and contact paper
        • Hang monogram
        • Make voice wave paintings
        • Buy throw pillows, new quilt, throw blanket (on hold for the move)
        • Get wedding prints made and framed (on hold for the move)
      • Finn’s nursery
        • Gallery wall (not a gallery wall anymore)
        • Pack n’ play
      • Nick’s closet
        • Labeled drawers and plastic containers (ish, it’s a tiny excuse for a closet)
        • Unbend door shelves and add backing (maintenance man’s job)
    • Super-massive: my closet
      • Art and school supplies
        • Boxes, drawers, cups, etc. organized
      • Storage
        • Labeled plastic boxes
        • Personal clothing
          • Space saving hangers (doesn’t actually save space)
          • Underwear organizer
          • Jewelry organizer
          • Capsule/Mix&Match wardrobe
        • Possibly a small make up table?? (not yet)
      • Finn’s stuff
        • Drawers and boxes (on hold for the move)

The micro-sized list:


  • Drawers for Finn’s clothing 
  • Fruit baskets
  • Containers for cereal, noodles, etc.
  • Baskets for misc mixes and boxes
  • New sugar bowl 
  • Finish night tables (baskets and contact paper)
  • Underwear organizer
  • Capsule/Mix&Match wardrobe


  • Cover cardboard boxes
  • Research nicely designed documents and update: calender (monthly, weekly, daily), chore sheet, etc.
  • Make binders by ODA classes: schedules, supply lists, when to email, when to buy supplies, etc.
  •  Fridge
    • Healthy snack grab-bags
    • Meal a day go-basket
  • Kitchen cabinets
    • Dishes are dirty/clean magnet
    • Minimize dishes (half way done)
    • Mason jar cupcake paper containers
  • Command center
    • Cleaning schedule
  •  My desk area
  • Bathroom
    • Box or lazy susan for Chems
  • Master Bedroom
    • Voice wave paintings
    • Labeled plastic boxes
    • Personal clothing (Capsule/Mix&Match wardrobe)