It’s been quiet here lately.  We’ve been away for one – Holy Week break in the Philippines! – and I’ve spent the rest of my free time tackling my Project Clean House tasks.  It hasn’t been easy!!!  I tweaked the calendar and grocery templates I did last year, and cutting everything, gluing the pages together, even punching lines of holes, has been quite tedious.  It has always been tedious – I still can’t figure out how to make the work easier, or quicker.

I also attempted not to buy anything new while I clean.  I’d take note of the items we needed, and promised myself to buy everything after I finish cleaning and organizing everything, but that didn’t work out too well.  For instance, I didn’t have any other letter holder for the mail my dad still gets.  And I didn’t have any extra clipboards lying around either, so I had to get a couple, too.  I needed large white art paper for backing the print in our Command Center (Item #7 for that area – switch back the white frame).  Then I decided I wanted a black and white print for the Command Center, instead of the wood print I got from Co/op.

I still love that Co/op print, by the way, but I left the Walloh Design print that I got for the kids on that spot for a few days aaaaaand I ended up really liking how all that black and white goes with the rest of the items on that little desk.

As you can see, the print is too wide 

So I ended up asking Walloh Design to make me a similar print – with a “home” quote and portrait orientation instead of landscape.

Then I kept getting distracted about other things like wanting to clear up the Command Center even more (it sometimes feels too busy and cluttered for me), and wanting to tackle the kids’ toy cabinet and that TV wall in the lanai-playroom…. FOCUUUUUUUS.  I need to focus.

The above distractions aside, I have been making headway on Phase 1 of Project Clean House. Almost done with the Command Center (except for where to put my dad’s mail), and this afternoon I move on to the kitchen – eeeeek.


In spite of the (endless) plans for renovating and fixing up our home, our place suffers from one fatal flaw: clutter. I buy and buy, but I’ve fallen behind on the purging and decluttering and keeping things in order. Even if I have a system in place, I know I still have to supervise the household to make sure we all stick to the system.  The H has asked me to finish cleaning out everything first before buying more things. He has a point. Some of the stuff I bought are still in shopping bags stowed away upstairs. I have to get my act together – I can’t improve the house without purging all the unecessary bits. And we’ve accumulated a lot of those even if we haven’t even lived here a year!

A few weeks back – I’ve cleaned up this area, for the most part, but you see where our clutter areas lie.

I promised the boys I’d focus on what needs to be done now – with what we have and the clutter I can tackle – before I go back to thinking of what I can buy or new project to tackle. Oh, my lists are still there, and I definitely will go back to them, but right now, and especially after the service this morning and the H’s challenge, I promise my family I’m going to tidy up – KonMari, if you will. 

I not only have to purge and declutter, but I need to finish those schedules and put the systems back in place… Aaaaand since I’m an incurable list maker, I’ve come up with my to-do lists, which I divided into parts: 

Part 1 – Downstairs

  • Command Center
  • Kitchen
  • School Station
  • Dining Roon/Under the Stairs/Living Room/Entry way 

(The 4th item are areas bunched together because these corners/rooms are already clean/organized right now). 

Part 2 – Upstairs 

  • Landing
  • The bedroom of horrors (Laz’s room that has now become our storage area i.e. junk pile) 
  • Ante-room 

Part 3 – Downstairs 

  • Shared boys’ room
  • Boys’ bathroom 

Part 4 – Upstairs 

  • Closet room/walk-in 
  • Master bedroom
  • Master bathroom

Part 5 – Downstairs and Outdoors 

  • Laundry room and pantry
  • Dirty kitchen 
  • Side yard (utility area) 

Part 6 – Outdoors

  • Side yard (garden area)
  • Backyard
  • Storage shed 
  • Balcony 

It seems kind of daunting, my list. I’ve broken it up in parts that only makes sense to me, hah! Here’s PART 1 – DOWNSTAIRS 

Command Center:

  1. File this year’s billing statements, and take out last year’s calendar from our household binder. 
  2. Print this year’s calendars and grocery lists, and have them photocopied. 
  3. File away new calendars and grocery lists in their respective binders (punch and washi tape included).
  4. Get boxes for the china I’ll be returning to my mother. 
  5. Organize that overhead china cabinet (check supplies there, return the birthday dishes). 
  6. Note down supplies needed for command center.
  7. Switch back the black frames for the white ones.
  8. Print new copies of cleaning schedule, put help’s copy in a sleeve and clipboard.
  9. Discuss laundry schedule with help, and revise if needed.
  10. Orient the new help on the household binder, grocery lists, laundry and cleaning schedules.
  11. Check and re-organize keys. 
  12. Find a spot for Papa’s mail. 


  1. Pack away the china I’ll be returning to my mom in boxes. 
  2. Sort and donate dinnerware, cookware, and all other containers and drinking flasks we do not use. 
  3. Go over each cabinet – check if we use items stocked or stored there, and have help wipe them down.
  4. Clear open shelves. 
  5. Take note of broken drawer hinges or storage needs. 
  6. Borrow my dad’s slr, bring out new dinnerware and cutlery, take photos for help’s reference, print photos, organize in small albums or corkboards or laminate for ease of reference.
  7. Figure out baby bottle station for the 2 younger boys – reorganize, take note of new bottles or nipples we may need and storage or container needs, purge what we do not need.
  8. Take note of lunch containers and drinking flasks for school, donate what we do not need or use.

School Station

  1. Put Laz’s important school papers in an envelope, for filing later on. 
  2. Check supplies tray, and take note of what we need. 
  3. Tidy up Laz’s cabinet: empty out clear box with seatwork, sort artwork we want to keep, check Laz’s extra school supplies, take note of what we need. 
  4. Empty out Alo’s cabinet. 
  5. Measure cabinets for matching bins. 

    Dining Room/Under the Stairs/Living Room/Entry Way 

    1. Organize the dining shelves. 
    2. Transfer emergency supplies into backpacks or something with handles. 
    3. Note emergency supplies and expiration dates. 
    4. Have carseat cleaned. 
    5. Change and clean the diffuser. 
    6. Check umbrellas in entry. 
    7. Clear the work files from entry and under the stairs. 
    8. Have that fan repaired! 
    9. Put the emergency light somewhere else. 
    10. Post a schedule for watering my plants. 

    LANAI-PLAYROOM: The simplest dvd storage

    The mess on top of our toy/tv cabinet has always been the pile of dvds. I’ve tried using sleeves, binders, etc. for organizing the kids’ videos – but yaya and the kids have never followed whatever system I tried to put into place. So, I just decided to keep it simple: get a BOX

    Grey metal perforated box from H&M Home

    I’m going to try to do something about the wires – I hate exposed wires and cables. The Walloh Design print is there temporarily – I’m going to use it for the shared boys’ room but wanted to see how this space would look with a print to balance off the Typo lightbox on the other side: 

    Doesn’t the print look a tad small though? I’m also reconsidering painting that wall dark – maybe a gallery wall would work better both for the size of this room and for taking the focus off the tv? 

    Here it is without the print this time.

    I like how clean it looks actually (but please excuse the old hand-me-down fan). The good thing about the box is that they just basically toss in the pile of videos that used to sit beside the tv. It’s obviously not sorted, but at least it’s all contained in that box – easily accessible, in plain sight, but still hidden. Next, I’m going to sort the dvds and get rid of the ones the kids don’t watch. And notice, the Fisher Price chair is gone? Gave it to Luli this morning. In my list, I mentioned bins for the shelves in that unit, so it won’t look cluttered. I know there’s something about leaving pretty toys out on display, but I am going to set up Montessori shelves already. This unit is for toys – play toys not educational ones, so I’m keeping them out of sight (hence, the cabinets). 

    LANAI-PLAYROOM: Skipping ahead for a bit of decorating

    I know decorating should be the last item in my home renovation list, but I just couldn’t resist; I also needed a break from saving up and buying nothing but essentials! (Curtains! Chair! Mattresses!). And you know how slowly and tentatively I decorate – so when I find something I love, I just go for it. Like with these two: 

    T-rex planter from Jurassic Pot; A4 lightbox from Typo

    I’ve always wanted a lightbox. I want lightboxes all over our house, hahaha. I found sources in IG, but Typo had them in store sooooo… This isn’t LED I think, I have to check the box, so I haven’t plugged it in. (The boxes from Typo also do not come with an adaptor, I had to buy it separately from Ace Hardware). 

    The dino-pots, on the other hand, are LOVE. Jurassic Pot is awesome, period. We got a triceratops and a bunch of little glass dino jars too. 

    LANAI-PLAYROOM: Plans for this wall

    Our playroom, being the lanai, is all folding glass and metal doors,  with just one wall where we could keep a toy cabinet and the television set. It’s actually not so great having all windows there because it gets HOT. And we don’t have screens by the doors, so we hardly open them for fear of lamok. Life in the tropics! 

    So we have this 1 wall, and though not all my plans for this wall are part of my bare essentials list, I still want to share what I want to do with it: 

    #1 – Replace the old floor fan the Lulipops lent us. 

    #2 – Paint the cabinet doors white, and attach handles or knobs.

    #3 – Paint the insides of the shelves white, and get containers for each kid’s shelf

    #4 – Ask my dad if I can remove these cables for the speakers they installed before. Otherwise, extend the electrical casing or cover these corners with a tall plant or narrow trolley.

    #5 – Give the Fisher Price chair to Luli. We got a Bumbo floor chair for Bo and haven’t gotten much use from the Fisher Price rocker.

    #6 – Get a nice box to store the dvds. Something with an open top just so they can dump the piles of dvds there, for easy access but at least the pile will still be hidden. Transfer the CD player somewhere else. 

    #7 – Organize the cables (with cable ties) and secure the tv. 

    #8 – Paint the wall. I’m thinking dark, so the tv will blend in somewhat. There’s a lot of light in that room so I’m not too scared of putting a dark accent wall. If we don’t go dark, maybe wall decals or a gallery wall so the tv isn’t the focal point.

    The curtains, etc. are all essentials, so they aren’t part of this list. Oh and notice our pretty dino-pot and lightbox? Will be sharing those in another post.