Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


40 Things Money Can’t Buy

It’s been another busy week. As I am finally settling down to relax, my mind shifts to my surroundings and I think of all the money I have spent on ‘stuff’. Stuff that really has no other purpose than to make my home feel aesthetically pleasing.

I look around and realize that most of the “stuff” I have I don’t need. I can live without the mirror in the hall, I don’t have to have a picture/photo on every wall. I really don’t need all these trinkets/knickknacks on every shelf. I don’t even need the shelf.

No Money

This made me think of things that I don’t spend money on and how much joy I have by NOT spending money on “stuff”.

  1. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
  2. Listening to the leaves blow on the trees
  3. Seeing “The Kid” smile
  4. Spending time with my mom and dad
  5. Listening to dad tell a funny story
  6. Listening to mom talk about her siblings
  7. Laughing with my sister
  8. Listening to music with my brother
  9. Seeing a beautiful sunset
  10. Having a great conversation with one of my cousins
  11. Learning something new
  12. Spending time in prayer
  13. Watching my great nephew play with his Papaw
  14. Watching the ducks/geese play at our local park
  15. Sharing a meal with a loved one
  16. Accomplishing a task  
  17. Helping my neighbor with a chore
  18. Opening up the windows and doors on a beautiful spring day
  19. The smell of a freshly cut lawn
  20. Watching the success of my niece and nephew
  21. Listening to my Mom’s siblings sing from old recordings
  22. Hearing a great sermon preached
  23. Taking a long hot shower
  24. Going through old photos
  25. Singing, even though I sound terrible
  26. Dancing in the kitchen with “the Kid”
  27. Making my mom laugh
  28. A good night’s rest
  29. A good day’s work
  30. People watching
  31. Making my “To-do” lists for the week
  32. Quiet time to reflect
  33. Taking a drive…..Yes, I know I spent money on the gas.
  34. Taking photos on my drive
  35. Taking a walk
  36. Writing a blog
  37. Seeing my family having fun and making memories
  38. Getting organized
  39. Listening to music
  40. Being surrounded by God’s creations.

As I write this, my house is open, the sun is shining through. I hear cyclist on the bike path, children playing on my street. A soft cool breeze is blowing through the house. I smell someone grilling out for the first time this year. I also smell one of my neighbors baking a cake or cookies. I hear “The Kid” laughing in his room while he plays an on-line game.

I have heard a great sermon and listened to some great music. I have made mom laugh today. I have achieved a few tasks and now off to fix food for my loved ones.

Could my day be any better?  I don’t think so. And I didn’t spend a penny. I have had a full enriched, joyful day. The best part, it’s not over yet.

How do you find your joy without spending any money?


Are You Ready For Winter?

My answer….never. I do love the change of the seasons but my least favorite is winter.

When I got up this morning there was a heavy frost outside. It was beautiful but cold. I don’t enjoy the cold. I took a walk and snagged a photo hoping it would change my outlook. It didn’t….still don’t like the cold or winter even though it is pretty.

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

There is a four letter word that I swear is a cuss word and I cringe every time I hear it……..SNOW.

I am never mentally prepared for winter. I’m probably going to jinx Ohio for saying this, but I am grateful that it is December and we have yet to see that white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. Grateful that it hasn’t been so cold yet that I haven’t broken out the winter garb.

It’s coming, I know it is, so I might as well get prepared for the inevitable.

Here are a few things that I do to get prepared for that dreaded yucky winter.

  1. Make sure I have hat’s gloves and boots.
  2. Dig the snow shovel out and inspect it, so I know it will work.
  3. Buy a few bags of salt for my sidewalk and path to my car.
  4. Put a bag of salt in the trunk of car. I can always use it in an emergency. I can use it when it’s icy in any parking lot. I can use the unopened bag under a tire if I get stuck and it’s added weight to the car to help with traction.
  5. Keep an extra pair of gloves, hat, a pair of socks, jacket, a blanket, bottled water and a few snacks in the car in case I get stranded.
  6. I never let my car get below a quarter tank of gas. I want to make sure I have gas to stay warm if I get stranded or if I get stuck in traffic.
  7. I put plastic on my windows of my home to keep the warmth in. It saves on my fuel bill too.
  8. Kerosene heater with 5 gallons of fuel. Just in case the electricity goes out. This will keep a couple rooms warm, it will prevent my pipes from freezing and it’s another way to cook food if there is no electricity.
  9. Stock up on canned goods, bread, snacks and water. If I’m not able to leave the house I want to make sure I have something to eat while I am waiting for the snow to stop falling.
  10. Get my car inspected and fix whatever problem there is. I have the oil changed, and get new wipers. I want my car to be extra safe in the winter. I am too old to be setting in a broken car waiting for a tow truck.
  11. I keep lip balm and lotion in my purse. The winter does a number on this old menopausal skin.
  12. I get an extra box of tissues and stock up on cold/sinus medication. It never fails, I always get the flu, a bad cold or have a sinus infection this time of year.
  13. I open my blinds during the day to let the sun help heat my home. It saves on fuel and can brighten you mood too.
  14. Last:  I pray that this winter is mild and I don’t have to use any of the above items.

I hope this winter passes without incident for all of you.

What do you do to be prepared for the yucky winter months?

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50 Things I Need To Get Rid Of In My Home

trash can

We all need less clutter in our homes. I have down-sized my home a few times. Generally when I move, need some cash or just sick of looking at all the junk. It’s time to do it again.

This time I am taking on a new approach. I am going to tackle each room and closet with the intent to only keep the things I truly need and keep the things that make me happy. I want everything in my home to bring me joy. The rest is history.

I will make a sell, trash and donate piles for each task I tackle. As soon as that task is completed I will make sure the trash is taken out, the donate pile will be taken to my organization of choice and my sell pile will be tagged and ready to go for those selling websites or a garage sale.

I know this will take me a while to complete. The end result will be a less cluttered home and I will feel a sense of relief to have these things in my house no longer weighing me down. My home will be a happy place.

Here is my checklist of things I will be getting rid.

  1. Out dated food and spices. That even means that foil wrapped item that’s been in my freezer for a year (whatever it may be). If I don’t use the spice on a regular basis it’s gone.
  2. Mugs/coffee cups. How many do I really need when it’s just me and ‘The Kid’ in the house? We don’t even drink coffee.
  3. Kitchen utensils. Will I really use 3 whisks and 2 sets of measuring cups at one time?
  4. Pots/pans and baking dishes. I don’t need all those baking dishes. I don’t bake.
  5. Kitchen gadgets. I have never used my blender. It’s time to go.
  6. How many serving platers does one person need? Do I really need that chip/dip set that has Christmas decor on it, when I have a nice everyday set? The Christmas set has to go.
  7. I need to get rid of that bag full of twist ties in the junk drawer. I think I have used one out of that bag since I started my collection. Time for the trash.
  8. Left over containers. I need to get rid of those bowls that have no lids, or lids that have no bowls.
  9. Magnets on the fridge. I don’t need 20. Maybe 3-4 just to hang notes or invite reminders.
  10. Grocery bags. I don’t need 50 plastic bags in the house. Maybe 10 bags. I think I will put the rest in my garage sale pile so I have bags for the customers to carry home their goodies.
  11. Chip clips. There’s usually one or two bags in the house. I don’t need 6 of those things and a clothes pin works great too.
  12. Take out menus. Most places have their menus online.
  13. Why do I keep those rugs that I trip over every day? GONE!!!
  14. Old make-up. If I haven’t used it, it needs to go. Even the new stuff. If I haven’t used it in a few weeks….Gone.
  15. Nail polish. If it’s dried up or I don’t like the color, time for the trash.
  16. Hair products/shampoo. If I don’t like it or it didn’t work, get rid of it.
  17. I have got to get rid of those stretched out hair bands and those awful clips.
  18. Why do I have 6 old used tooth brushes? Keep one and store it with the cleaning supplies to get those hard to reach places.
  19. I have to get rid of all those samplers. I don’t need 6 tiny shampoo bottles, and 6 of those tiny soaps.
  20. Old or broken curling irons and straighteners, blow-dryers and electric razors. Trash time.
  21. Anything that is too big, too small, too ugly, I don’t like, or haven’t worn in the last season, they are out of here.
  22. Belts and purses. If the belts are broken, worn out, ugly or never worn they are history. If I haven’t used the purse in a year….Gone.
  23. Socks and panty hose. I have to get rid of those unmatched and holey socks. There is no reason to have 10 pairs of panty hose in a drawer that I haven’t worn in over a year.
  24. Under garments. Time to let go of those personable items I no longer wear or like.
  25. Sheets/blankets and pillows. 2 sets of sheets for each bed is enough. There is no reason that I should have 6 extra bed pillows and blankets that I have never used.
  26. Why do I still have a pair of shoes from the 90’s? Out of fashion, no longer like, or just ugly…time for a new home.
  27. Jackets and coats. Great time of the year to donate these items. Time to let go of that coat that is 2 sizes too small.
  28. Hats/gloves and scarves. Do I really need 7 winter scarves, 8 pairs of gloves and 4 winter hats? Time to downsize those too. Just going to keep 2 of each for variety.
  29. I need one for each car and an extra one just in case. That makes three. Time to let the other 3 go.
  30. Time to let go of that one earring that I have don’t have the match to. Time to release my out dated necklaces. If they are the good stuff I may have to take them to get melted down for cash.
  31. Board games/card games. If I haven’t pulled the game out in a year…’s gone. And why do I have 6 decks of playing cards?
  32. If I still have any, they are out of here.
  33. If I haven’t read it in 6 months, I probably won’t read it. DONATE. If I have read it why am I holding on to it? I will give away to family members or donate them.
  34. I like my movies but I really need to get rid of some. Time to go through those and lighten my load. If I haven’t watched in the past year I will get rid of it.
  35. Merchandise boxes. If the warranty is expired there is no need for the box. If I have the receipt, there is no need for the box.
  36. Any empty box, recycle or use for garage sale or donate piles.
  37. Old cell phones…..DONATE
  38. Pens/pencils/markers. I have a shoe box full of this stuff. I will only keep a few good working pens, a couple of pencils and one good marker. Just enough to keep in my desk drawer.
  39. Paper work. Keep only the last 7 years of my taxes and such. The rest will be shredded.
  40. Office supplies. I don’t need push pins or thumb tacks. I don’t need 15 tablets or a 600 post it notes. I don’t need a paper punch or 10 blank folders. They all have to go. Why do I have staples and no stapler?
  41. Out dated calendars.
  42. Magazines/catalogs. If I have read them, I no longer need them.
  43. Eye glasses. I have a collection of these too. I HAVE to donate these.
  44. Out dated phone books. Shoot, I really don’t need any phone books. Almost every business phone number can be found online.
  45. Old electronics. I don’t use that old hand-held Tetris game anymore. Why do I still have that outdate software? I have no use for a VCR either. Why am I keeping that broken set of head phones? I have no use for those box speakers. I can’t remember the last time I listened to that boom box. Why do I have so many cords that don’t belong to anything?  All gone.
  46. Luggage/duffel bags.  I don’t need 3 carry on suitcases. Really!!!! I have 6 duffle bags, WHY?
  47. Holiday decorations. If I haven’t used it for the season, there is no reason for me to keep it.
  48. If my project is done, then I need to get rid of the supplies. If I haven’t completed the project in the past 6 months, I will never finish it. Time to go.
  49. Wall décor. If I don’t like it or it doesn’t bring a smile to my face….it’s gone
  50. Knick-Knacks. Why am I cluttering up my house with things I don’t like?

That’s my list. I’m sure I have missed a few things. Maybe you can use my list to help you find your joy in your home.

Tell me some of the things you want to get rid of in your home.

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The Mighty Clothespin: 20 New Uses

Photo by: Mother Of NecessityPhoto by: Mother Of Necessity

I have been thinking about objects that I use almost every day and different ways I can use them. This week I was hanging clothes on the line because it has been beautiful here in Ohio and I love the smell my clothes have when they dry outside. So refreshing and I am saving energy and money.

I thought it would be a great blog to write about the many uses for the mighty clothespin. These ideas will be based on the spring-loaded clothespin.

  1. Use 2 clothespins to hang your skirts on a hanger. This way your skirt won’t fall off the floor or have fold marks on your skirt. You can do this with dress slacks, tank tops and strappy dresses too.
  1. They are great to use several on a hanger to hold your scarves or ties.
  1. Keep bagged food items fresh and secure. Just roll up the bad and put a clothespin on it. This is great for freezer bags as well.
  1. Clothespins are great for parties/reunions/picnics: use them to hold your table cloth in place.
  1. Glue a small magnet on a clothespin and place it on your refrigerator to keep your grocery list on or leave notes for the family.
  1. Use 2 clothespins to secure your trash bag to the trash can. Just clip the bag to the lip of the trash can and Ta Dah…. the bag will never fall into the can again.
  1. Use one or two to hold sheet music or songbook open while practicing.
  1. While in the kitchen clip a clothespin to your shirt tail or waist along with a dish towel and you will always have a towel at your disposal when cooking. Also great for project that may be messy.
  1. If you are traveling, pack a few in your suitcase. Use them to secure the curtains are closed so you won’t have that crack of sunlight or a streetlight in your face. Also good to keep the peepers away.
  1. Attach a dryer sheet to a clothespin. This way that dyer sheet doesn’t end up lost forever, in your pant leg or the sleeve of your shirt. Also a great way to reuse the dryer sheet till it is no longer good.
  1. When you are prepping for errands, use a clothespin to keep your chore list, grocery or shopping list in your purse. It’s easy to locate and organized.
  1. Put a clothespin on your sun visor in the car. You can keep your debit card handy, chore list or schedule.
  1. Use a clothespin to hold a nail in place as you hammer. This way you will save those fingers and thumbs from being smashed.
  1. They are great for craft ideas. Simple and easy to paint. Just use your imagination and have fun.
  1. If you are a city dweller and your mailbox is attached to your home, use a clothespin to secure your outgoing mail to the mailbox.
  1. Use as a bookmark and keep your place. These are great for the kids. They can decorate their own with markers or pain.
  1. Use clothespins to store your gloves and mittens. Just clip the matching pair together and they are ready to use the next season.
  1. Planning a party or event that requires name cards for the tables. Use clothespins…paint them a color that coordinates with your theme place them on their side or stand them up and put your name card in the clip.
  1. Paint clothespins brown or green and use them on your outdoor lighting project for the shrubs and trees.
  1. Christmas card display. Buy some nice ribbon and secure in a doorway, staircase, fireplace or mantel. Paint the clothespin to match the ribbon and attach your cards to the ribbon with the clothespins. Simple, easy inexpensive decoration.


What are some ways you use the might clothespin?


9 Different Ways to Use A Laundry Basket

Photography:  Mother Of Necessity

Photography: Mother Of Necessity

We all have at least one laundry basket in our homes. We typically use it for its purpose….laundry.

Did you know a laundry basket has more than one use?  Laundry baskets are inexpensive and have many uses. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Put a basket in the trunk of your car to hold your tools, windshield washer fluid, and extra oil. You can put Velcro strips on the bottom to keep the basket from sliding around in the trunk.
  2. Keep your flip flops and sandals in a basket. You can keep the basket in the entry way or mud room. When the season is over you can pick up the basket and store.
  3. If you live in a two-story home or have a basement, use a basket to carry items up and down the stairs. This way you won’t have to make so many trips.
  4. Keep a basket handy to do those quick pickups in the house, especially if you have company coming and you need de-clutter quickly. Fill the basket and hide it away. Mess is gone.
  5. Keep a basket in the entry way or mud room for the winter. All those wet, snowy, muddy shoes can be put in the basket to save you from mopping so much.
  6. Use laundry baskets for the garage or shed to store sports equipment: baseballs, gloves, cleats, helmets and gloves. Use one basket for each sport.
  7. Use the baskets to sort your recyclables.
  8. Use a laundry basket as a gift basket. For a baby shower, fill it with diapers, a blanket, baby bottles, and so on, put a nice big bow on top. A basket is a great gift idea for a wedding, bridal shower, graduation or a house warming.
  9. Use a basket for your projects. If you are making a quilt, a sewing project or crafts with the kids, you can keep all your items needed in the basket. This way you can put the project in the basket and store away till the next time.

Do you have any other ideas for the use of laundry basket?  Please share.

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7 Steps To Organize Your Purse

purseThis one is for all the ladies. We all have that one accessory that we don’t leave home without. That is our purse. Our purse is an extension of ourselves.  It holds our phone, money, credit cards, insurance cards, pictures, make-up, comb/hair brush, mints, tissues, pen/paper and identification. Our purses have our lives in them.
Is your purse as organized as you or is everything just dumped in? If you are the organized one, then congratulations you are ahead of the rest of us ladies. But, if you have that unorganized purse, I’m here to help. YAY!!!

Here are 7 simple steps to get your purse in order.

  1. Find a good work station, such as a table or the floor if you have one of those large purses. Now dump everything out of your purse.
  2. Now throw away any trash, like reminders, receipts you no longer need, used tissues, candy wrappers, whatever is trash…throw it out.
  3. Pare down. Gum or mints, you really don’t need both. Cut down on the lip sticks you have maybe carry an all-purpose lipstick instead of 4 different shades. Only carry a couple of credit cards that you use all the time.
  4. If you can’t pare down, try putting your make-up in a zip-lock bag or better yet a nice make-up bag. This way it’s easy to get to and it’s all in one place. You can use this idea for those emergency chocolates or anything you need to keep separate or are hard to find.
  5. Now arrange your purse. Put large items in the main pocket, such as your wallet. Use the zip pockets to keep those personable items or items you don’t use often. Use the small pouches to keep a credit card handy or maybe a few pieces of chocolate.
  6. Get in the habit of storing your items in the designated places
  7. Purge your purse weekly to help keep it organized

Here are a few tips:

After you have organized your purse you may find you should be carrying a smaller one. This way the smaller purse won’t hold as much and you won’t be tempted to stuff it full.

Make photo copies of credit cards and insurance cards, Keep the copies in a safe place in case your purse is stolen or lost.

Never carry your Social Security card in your purse.

When you dump your purse to purge, wipe out the inside with a damp cloth. Most purses can be turned inside out for better cleaning. A clean purse leads to an organized purse.

Please share if you have any suggestions, tips or things you do to organize your purse.


4 Weeks of De-cluttering Your Home


We all need a little more de-cluttering in our lives. Why not start today?

I know it can be hard to keep up on chores and keeping things organized. I have made a 4 week outline to help you get back to some a lighter feeling home.

The idea here is to take an extra 30-45 minutes a day and help yourself get back into a good routine.

WEEK 1: Kitchen:

Day 1: Refrigerator: Go through your fried and toss everything that has expired or don’t need. Do this with the freezer too. Since you are taking things out of the fridge/freezer, this is a good time to give it a good scrubbing.

Day 2: Start with the biggest and messiest. Take one or two drawers and clean them out. Toss broken items, or put items you no longer need/want in a charity box or garage sale box.

Day 3: One or 2 Cabinets: do the same as day 2.

Day 4: Continue with 2 more drawers or cabinets

Day 5: Clean out pantry or food supply. Toss out everything that is expired. Wipe down the area food has been stored. If you have canned or box food that has not expired and you know you will not be eating, why not donate the food to your local soup kitchen.

Day 6: Pots and Pans/small appliances: Go through your pots, pans, and small gadgets and see if there is anything you can give to charity or sell. If not, organize them so you have better access. Don’t forget to take the time and clean out those spaces that you store them in.

Day 7: Finish up any cabinets, drawers or spaces I may not have mentioned. Give the kitchen a good cleaning

Ta-Da!!! You know have a clean functioning kitchen with less clutter.

WEEK 2: Living Room/space

Day 1: Movies: That movie collection you have, it’s time to let some of it go. Try to cut it down by ½. If this is not possible, at least go through them and organize the movies by genres: horror, love, drama, action films or alphabetically. Even if you only let go of one movie this is a great start.

Day 2: Music: If you have a CD collection (Like I do), this one can be tough. Try and let go of a few CD’s and then organize them alphabetically so they are easier to find. Maybe you could load a few CD’s to your computer or I-pod/MP3 player. This too will help with the clutter.

Day 3: Magazines/Books: Toss out those magazines you have already read or better yet take them to your local library. If you have books laying around, find a shelf to organize them on. If they are books you have read, pass them to a friend, take the books to your library or local shelter. Try and downsize these as much as possible. They take up so much space.

Day 4: Knick-Knacks: Do you have a lot of little things to decorate your place, like figurines, glassware, trinkets. Take a look around your space and ask yourself this question: Do I love this item so much can’t live without it? If the answer is “No” then it’s time to pass it on to charity or put it in that garage sale box.

Day 5: Coat Closet: Take everything out of the closet. Wipe down the walls, shelf and floor. Go through each item that was hanging up. If you haven’t worn that coat in a year, it’s time for the charity box or garage sale box. If there is anything broken like umbrellas, it’s time to toss them. Downsize as much as you can and then put things back in an organized fashion.

Day 6: Give the room a good cleaning. Move furniture so you can sweep and dust under them. Get all the cob webs off the ceiling, corners and walls.

Day 7: REST. Take a break you have been working so hard to de-clutter 2 rooms you deserve a rest. Enjoy the work you have done.

WEEK 3: Bedroom(s)

Day 1: Start with a dresser. Go through each drawer and take out what you no longer wear or need/want. Organize each drawer. But unwanted items in charity or garage sale box.

Day 2: If you have 2 dressers do the next one. If not, go to your child’s room and do their dresser.

Day 3: Closet: Go through your clothes. If you have not worn the item in a year, it’s time to let it go to charity or the garage sale box. Organize your clothes by color, season or type: shirts/pants/dresses/skirts and so on.

Day 4: Do the closet in your child’s room. If your child has outgrown item or no longer wears, you need to toss or put in charity/garage sale box.

Day 5: Under the bed: Pull everything out from under the bed. Same rule applies. If you have not used or needed in a year, it’s time to let it go.

Day 6: Give your room a good cleaning. Sweep, dust and wash curtains.

Day 7: This one is optional. Go through your child’s toys. If they have outgrown toy or no longer play with it, it’s time for a new home. If toy is broken, then toss. You can either get your child involved in this chore but you may have a fight on your hands. You might want to consider doing this one by yourself. Your choice.

WEEK 4: Bathroom(s) Linen Closet

Day 1: If you have a vanity, start with a drawer or two. Take everything out. Discard anything that is outdated or you don’t use/need. Wipe out drawers. Organize the drawers for better use and access.

Day 2: Finish vanity drawers or cabinets.

Day 3: Discard any items that are expired, broken or just yucky, like make-up, hair products, medicines, toothpaste, etc.

Day 4: Linen Closet: Go through all your towels/hand towels and wash cloths. If they are worn out or towels you don’t like or use…t’s time to let them go. If the towels are worn out, you can always cut them down for rags. They make great cleaning rags or keep one in your car (just in case).

If you have sheets in the linen closet go through these too. If you don’t use you can donate or put in garage sale box. Organize your sheets too. Fold them as nicely as you can and use one of the pillow cases to put the fitted, flat sheet in along with the other pillow case. This way you just grab the pillow case and you know you have a matching set ready to go.

Day 5: Give the bathroom a good cleaning. Wipe down walls, get the corners, mop and clean the tub/shower.

Day 6: Gather up the items to take to charity, the library or soup kitchen and drop them off. This way they are no longer sitting in your home making more clutter.

Day 7: Gather all the garage sale items and either start planning your sale or put them aside till you are ready

Shew!!! That was a lot of work. Don’t you feel better? I know I do when I do this to my house every 4 months or so. It feels good to purge the things we no longer need/want.

I know this seems like extra work, but it really isn’t. You can break this down any way you want. If you want to take 30 days just to do your kitchen. That works too. Make a plan. List what you want to do every day and check it off when done. In no time you will have de-cluttered you whole house.