It’s Zone 1: Eat Your Pantry!

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What the best way to save money at the grocery store?

Eat your pantry!!!

And this is our special project that we are going to do in our zone this week. By the way, we are in zone one this week and we're deep cleaning and De-cluttering our kitchens, pantries, and dining room. And here's our special project--we are eating from our pantry.

It’s Zone Four: Spruce Up Your Entrance

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This is a good time to roll up your sleeves and bring in a big dose of "pretty" to your home's entrance. Zone four is the yard, porch, garage and any outdoor areas. Our special project for this week is to make the entrance to your home look clean, orderly, and welcoming. So, scrub that front porch (dish soap and an old broom do wonders) and shine up the windows. This would also be a good time to clean out the gutters or put a coat of fresh paint on the front porch. Any projects that you need to get to around the entrances? Doorbell hanging on by a thread or shutters broken? This is the week to get to it!

Remember, when you are doing your zone, it's important that you declutter as much as possible. Get rid of those pots that the kids smashed over the winter, the baskets that are rotted out, and the rugs that are worn thin, and freshen the zone up. Don't buy new stuff without getting rid of some of the old stuff. I have a bench outside that the kids know NOT to sit in for fear that they will come crashing to the floor. The thing is rotted clean through! This week, I'm planning on getting rid of enough junk to rationalize buying a new one.

Also, add some flowers to the mix. A simple pot of pansies on the front porch is such a nice touch. And you can usually get a good price if you buy flats in bulk. Ask a friend to go in on a purchase and maybe you two can even share the work. It makes it so much more fun when you garden with a friend. You mulch my bed, I'll mulch yours. Hey, that sounded kind of provocative. I'd better stop there.

It’s Zone 2: Does Your Home Office Need Help?

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If your home office needs some help, now is the time to take action! Tax time is just around the corner and you don't want to get caught scrambling.

Remember, if it's a big fat mess, it didn't get this way in one day and it's not going to clear up in one day. Just take it step by step, okay? Don't be hard on yourself. Love yourself enough to clean up that office so you have a space you enjoy being in!

Step One: Clear the floor (you're going to need it). Get everything out of that space that does not pertain to your home office so you have some place to work. I share my home office with music instruments and toys. So, all the baby dolls and doll supplies are on the rolling cart. All the instruments are in their cases and placed against the wall. And the legos are put away in their drawer organizer. There's nothing wrong with sharing a room, but you need to separate the spaces. What I mean by this, is that everything pertaining to your home office needs to be in your home office "space." No toys, no dishes and forks, no nothin" except the stuff that pertains to your home office.

It’s Zone 2: Get your CRAFTS together!

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As much as I try to keep it under control, the kids wreak havoc with it during the school year and pretty soon, the glue sticks are in the paint box and the box of markers are filled with stickers (meanwhile, all the markers are scattered throughout the house--missing their tops, of course). If you find yourself in the same boat, then you're going to totally dig this special project...

YOUR CRAFT COLLECTION!

If you are new to zoning your home, you can read all about it right here. If you are already zoning with the best of us, then you know that this week we are working on Zone 2 (I missed last week because we were all on spring break. Hope you enjoyed the week off). We are cleaning and decluttering the living room and play room. And we are getting our crafts in order, too.

Zone 1: Power Up that Pantry!

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Our pantries can get pretty chaotic after awhile. Weeks and weeks of stocking and pulling and stocking and pulling eventually leaves it looking a bit (okay, a lot) disorganized and cluttered. So, this is the week we get to that pantry organized.

To make you feel good, here's my "before" pic:

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It’s Zone 4: Yard Sale Time!!

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I was on my way to take our kids to their soccer games Saturday morning and there they were, all lined up along the road:

YARD SALE SIGNS!!

I got a thrill just seeing them (even though all I could do was slow down and gaze longingly). I'm pretty sure about 90% (if not more) of the items in our home were acquired through a yard sale or Craigslist. I'm a sucker for used stuff!!