More Organizational Tips: Learning The Walk Through, The Family Room and Upstairs Hallway, & More Yummy Market Fresh Recipes!

I think the Family Room in a home should speak loudly about the lady of the house. It should be a reflection of her personality and what she loves… for me, it’s the cottage garden, the perfect blue, summer sky and coziness of soft summer hues exploding throughout the room, flower blossoms and of course dragonflies!  My family room speaks all this and I love sitting in my rocking chair with a warm cup of coffee with a good gardening magazine or some inspirational piece… throw in a little boy ready to cuddle, and it’s even better.  The family room is the cozy spot of the home where each member can curl up with a good book & where we can share & talk about stuff.  The family room is often referred to as the living room in decorating mags (I am not referring to the Formal Living room here)… but it is more than that.

I thought today would be a good time to touch base on the Walk Through concept since I have mentioned it so frequently.  It is a very simple concept to apply and it is one that my children completely understand.  The walk through is simply going through a room and picking up AND putting away everything that is out of it’s place. 
Here are a few tips when going through this step in the organizational process of getting your home where you want it to be: (Be sure to check out my blog spots and the web site for great photos!)

*Take a plastic bag and basket along with you each time… use the bag for any trash that needs taken care of and the basket for stuff to be put away that doesn’t have a place in the family room.
*As you go through, start from the top down… table tops, book or other shelves, couches & chairs and then onto the floor- don’t forget to look under the furniture.  Gather up what doesn’t have a place and put in the basket, put trash in the bag. 
*While you are doing this straighten things up as you go… fix haphazard cushions, refold any throw blankets, straighten pictures on the wall, tidy the books or mags that belong on the tables in the room, tidy up books on the shelves, straighten any decorative objects or table clothes/ linens.
… After the walk through I always vacuum or sweep the floor. That gives the finished look!
The walk through is not ‘cleaning’ day, it is something that should be done repeatedly through the day and especially right before bed; vacuuming only once unless needed. I focus on three daily walk through’s; right before lunch- this is when we typically vacuum, just before supper (or just before dad gets home from work) and then before bed.   There is nothing nicer then getting up in the morning and coming down to a tidy house! 

Now lets touch base on how to Zone Clean the Family Room… be sure to keep watching, next time we will focus on Dining Room and closets along with menu planning!
~Weekly jobs: (unless otherwise mentioned- like the walk through)
*Start the room with a walk through.
*Feather dust from the top down: Ceiling line and down corners of the wall; picture tops, curtains, lamp shades, blinds, table tops and any other dusty spots you see.
*Wipe down/dust any shelves in the room
*Wash windows, wipe down ledges; wash all glass- pictures, clocks, etc.
*Straighten book case- organize books that are out of place; any decorative elements; table tops 

~Once a month tasks: * take down mini blinds/shades and wash.
*take down curtains and wash.
*wash lamp shades.
*Pull out all furniture that can be moved; clean up behind; use broom to sweep any dust from the baseboards out onto the carpet so it can be vacuumed.
*Vacuum under cushions of couch and chairs with removable cushions.
*Spot clean any spots on the furniture.
~Spring & Fall Cleaning:
*Wash ceilings and walls, wash carpets; all the once a month chores as well.

Our Upstairs Hallway is the main traffic highway for the whole family. All the bedrooms are upstairs in our cozy, old farmhouse not to mention our main bathroom. I am very thankful for an extra wide hallway considering what an old house this is.  I have two dressers and a book shelf in that hallway~ and even with these large pieces of furniture, there is still the ‘normal’ width of a hallway.  My Zone Cleaning for the upstairs is the same as the the Family Room with three exceptions- there are no blinds and lampshades to deal with; but we add vacuuming the stairway and dusting all the moldings over the doors.
… the hallway provides a play space for the boys as well… there have been many farms and fields in this
play zone and lots of laughter… not to mention a few screams (both of laughter and the other!)


~Cabbage is coming in by the truck load along with yummy melons… here are a few tasty treats!
Market Fresh Tangy Slaw
1 head each; red and green cabbage, shredded- should make about 8 cups
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
16 oz. bottle of red wine vinegar and oil salad dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup organic raw sugar
1 Tbsp. mustard
1 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Toss together veggies in a large serving bowl; set aside.
2. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over veggies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Toss before serving.
*Let refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow the flavors to blend!

Cabbage Strudel– makes 2 rolls

8 tbsp butter

1 c chopped onion

8 c thinly sliced cabbage

1 c shredded  carrots

1 tsp salt

1/4 c shredded cheese– Swiss or other

3/4 c bread crumbs

1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley or thyme

1/8 tsp black pepper

12 sheets frozen ph7yllo dough– thawed

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 15×10 inch baking pan– set aside.

2. 2.  in a large skillet melt 2 tbsp of the butter and add onion; cook about 5 minutes or till tender.  Add cabbage & carrots; sprinkle with salt.  Cook about 10 minutes or till tender.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese, 1/2 c of bread crumbs, pepper & herb

3. In a saucepan melt the remaining butter.  Unroll phyllo dough, cover with waxed paper & damp towel.  Brush with some butter; top with 1 teaspoon of crumbs.  Repeat layers with five more sheets phyllo., melted butter & crumbs.  Spread half the cabbage filling over phyllo layers, leaving a 2 inch border on one of the long sides & both short sides.  Fold both short sides over filling; roll up from l long side.  Place roll, seam side down, in prepared pan.  Repeat to make a second roll.

4. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden.  Transfer to a wire rack; cool for 30 minutes.  To serve cut with serrated knife into slices.


Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

4 c 1-2 inch chunks melon

1/4 c (4oz) crumbles feta cheese,

1/4 c loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn & washed

2 tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

120 macadamia nuts, chipped (optional)

In a large bowl combine watermelon, feta cheese, mint & olive oil.  Season with pepper & sprinkle with nuts.  Cover & chill for up to 4 hours.

Happy Day,

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