3 Months of Taking on Today

Yesterday marked 3 months for my new little blog, and it’s been pretty fun!

I don’t post as often as I’d like still, but it’s because I’ve been busy making progress around the house, launching my new photography business, and spending time with my daughter now that she’s out of school for the summer.

I thought it’d be fun to look back at my most popular posts over the past few months:

My tent camping organization post has been viewed almost 1500 times, and pinned almost 1000 times! Seriously, I had *no* idea it would be that popular. Now if I could just get the rest of the stuff organized as well as our camping stuff is… I have a lot to do in this area, and hope to blog about it in the coming months, but lately I’ve been really focused on getting my photography business of the ground.

Launching Kelley K Photography, has been really exciting and challenging. I don’t post here about it much, because I setup a separate business web site and blog for my photography, so if you’re interested, please check those out and like Kelley K Photography on Facebook. I also joined Clickin’ Moms to help network with other photographers and sharpen my skills. I’ve been busy on their forum and will be doing some of their workshops and breakout sessions soon. It’s been a great resource already. The problem is just that I’m taking so many pictures, I can’t keep up with processing and posting them. I fall further behind almost daily.

I am (mostly) keeping up with the housework this summer though. We’re still making the beds every day, and doing laundry and dishes (almost) every day. It definitely helps when it doesn’t pile up. We had a few off days last week and I’ve had to play a little catch up, and it really made it obvious how much easier it is when I stay on top of everything each day. The app I’ve been using to keep track of my daily and weekly tasks is called Daily Planner. It’s very simple, and that’s what I like about it. It’s not a full-featured schedule manager or project planning app. It’s just simple groups of to-do’s in a clean format. There is an option that I use to have groups for daily and weekly tasks, and the cool thing about those is that they reset every day/week, so I check off my daily tasks as I do them each day (making beds, doing dishes, etc.), and then in next morning, it’s all cleared for me to check off again. Same for the weekly tasks, which I labeled with days (Monday – grocery shopping, Tuesday – trash night, etc.) so that I make sure I’m taking care of the things I need to do each week. And every Monday morning, the weekly tasks are all unchecked for me to start the new week. I also have a group for errands I need to run and phone calls I need to make, which helps me remember those things. I’m going to keep using this for a while, and if I really like it, I’ll upgrade to the paid version and then do more thorough review with screenshots.

Thanks to everyone who started following my blog in these first few months. If you haven’t yet, be sure to like the Taking on Today Facebook page, or follow via an RSS reader or email subscription (see link in the right column to sign up).

Thanks for reading my blog. Time to take on the rest of my day!

Office / Craft Room Clean Up, Part I

We moved late last summer, and I was really excited because in the new house, I could move my office and my craft room all to one large room in the (finished) basement instead of having them in two different rooms on different floors. In the old house, I found myself going back and forth between the rooms all the time, like when I wanted to ship a package, I had to print the label downstairs in my office, but then all the boxes and packing tape and stuff were upstairs in my craft room. In the new house, I have a big room for both spaces, but it doesn’t have a closet like my old craft room, so I needed more shelves for storing things, and things are harder to hide out of view.

On moving day, when everyone finished carrying stuff into my new office/craft room, between the additional furniture we moved in, and all the boxes, it was so stuffed full, we could barely open the door. I had no idea I had that much stuff! I tried a few times to get the room under control, but it was never 100% and there were several things that just weren’t working at all in the space. We had our old kitchen table in the corner, because I originally thought it would be a good place for my daughter to work on art and craft projects that needed supervision from me, but we found that we would pretty much always work in her playroom where most of her paper and art supplies are. I also had a hanging rack in there because I sell at a couple of seasonal children’s consignment sales, and I thought it would be a good place for me to hang and price clothes to sell. But I realized I prefer to sort, tag, and price items in the bedroom, because I can spread the stuff all over the bed.  And the biggest thing that wasn’t working is that I didn’t have enough big shelving to put away all the stuff that I was used to hiding in the closet I had in my old craft room. What ended up happening is that more and more STUFF kept coming into my room and there was no where to put it, so it just kept getting piled up all over the the place, until there was almost no floor space left – which is saying a lot considering the size of the room.

I finally had enough recently and I decided it was time to start getting my room under control. First step was to get the kitchen table out of there, so I converted it to a kid’s craft table. (More on that project here.) And we bought more wire shelving to put in the room. It was getting better, but priorities shifted and I had to stop working on it for a while. Then when we had my daughter’s birthday, a lot more stuff got dragged into my room to get it out of the playroom where the party was held. So last week, I realized I had enough of squeezing between bins and piles of STUFF to get to my desk, and I tackled the mess. Here’s a before picture. (I can’t believe I’m sharing this. I’m so embarrassed that it got this bad!!!)


I dove right in, grabbed a bin, and did a quick sort, putting stuff away, moving stuff out of the room that didn’t belong, stacking up paper that needed to be sorted through more closely. Then I moved the hanging rack out of the room, since I wasn’t using it. Once there was a little more space, I moved my craft table back in (it was used during the birthday party, but it was too messy in here to get it back in), and I got my husband’s help to hang shelves up on the wall above my table to create more storage. Then I kept going with my quick sort, going through each bin, box, and stack of stuff I came across, until the floor was clear. I ended up with a mountain of paper to process, and a couple of bins of small stuff that needs to be sorted through more carefully, and a lot of bins on shelves that need to be purged, but the floor is clear, I know where to find things, and most importantly, I am not overwhelmed at the sight of the room anymore so I can actually move forward and get things done.


Big difference, huh? Here’s another view, where you can see the shelves we installed above my table. The stacks on the table are all the paperwork I need to sort through, and the laundry basket and box on the floor next to the table are small, random bits of stuff that needs to be sorted through. This first step was just the first step – getting rid of the big stuff to conquer the chaos in the room and get things where I could at least think straight to deal with the rest of the stuff.


I’ll be posting more as I work though the stacks of paper, and better organize the stuff on the shelves, but I thought this was pretty good inspiration for anyone who might look at a room that’s a disaster and feel like it’s hopeless. It didn’t even take me very long to make this huge transformation in my space – less than a week, only working a couple hours a day. Just grab a bin and start sorting!

Next up: Dealing with the mountains of paperwork… Wish me luck!


I’m linking this up to the weekly One Project at a Time link party hosted by A Bowl Full of Lemons!

Thanks for reading my blog. Time to take on the rest of my day!

Things are taking off!

I’ve had a very productive couple of weeks and I’m super excited about it, so I thought I’d share a little of what I’ve been up to lately.

First, I officially launched my photography business on Facebook, and my web site is up!


I’ve already had a several friends inquire about booking sessions for their children or family, and I have a newborn shoot coming up in another week or so, for the baby of this beautiful couple that I did a maternity session for a few weeks ago!


In addition to my photography stuff, the blog has been doing well. I’ve had a few really popular posts. My Teacher Appreciation Cookies post has been getting a lot of traffic this week, since it’s national teacher appreciation week. (I’m not sure why our school had it in March.) My last post about organized camping and my camping packing list was my most popular yet – it’s gotten a ton of traffic, and it’s been pinned and re-pinned on Pinterest a bunch. Exciting! And in somewhat of a surprise to me, my post about converting our old kitchen table into a kid’s playroom table has  also been very popular on Pinterest among homeschooling moms.

Finally, I’ve been getting a lot better at my regular housework AND working hard to get my office/craft room under control. My room was a complete DISASTER after my daughter’s birthday party, because I’ve never gotten it fully organized since the move last fall, and then we stuffed a lot of her stuff in my room to get it out of the way for the party, so you could barely walk in there. This week I’ve cleared the entire floor and now I just have some (big) piles of paper to sort through. For my daily housework, I’ve been really consistent the last two weeks about making the beds every morning, doing the dishes daily so the sink is empty and clean every morning, and doing a load of laundry each day – including folding/hanging it and putting it away every day. I’m trying out a new app to keep track of my to do’s, and if continues to work well for me, I’ll be posting about that soon. I’m also working on a post about the transformation in my office/craft room, complete with before and after pictures. Hopefully that will be up sometime this weekend. It’s still not going to be “done”, but I’ve made a TON of progress this week that I’m excited to share, because it’s a huge difference.

Thanks for reading my blog. Time to take on the rest of my day!

I’m still here!

Sorry I’ve been absent, but it’s been a busy week…

  • I started planning Andrea’s birthday, and we made her invitations together so she could pass them out last week. It probably should have been done a week or two earlier, but at least I got them out before Spring Break. I designed them in Photoshop Elements, printed them on a color laser printer, and then cut them out with my paper cutter. Then I cut out card stock so that it would be 1/2″ taller and wider, and I used a glue stick to mount the printed invite on the card stock (with 1/4″ around each side). Andrea loved it, because she said the card stock frame made it look like a TV.
  • We closed on the sale of our old house!!! That involved pulling together all my manuals and warranty information for stuff that stays with the old house (appliances, security system, gas fireplace logs, etc.). Conveniently, I had these all in my file cabinet in a single file folder. Yay for some organization I did a long time ago that actually worked! I also typed up a document with some notes about the house that would be helpful for the new owner to know, along with a list of utility companies and contractors that we used, along with their phone numbers and web sites. The new owner was very appreciative of all of this information, and the real estate agents were really impressed with this extra step.
  • I also (mostly) finished the web site project for a customer that I started recently. The project is almost complete, and I’m just waiting on a little bit more content from the customer, but for now it’s off my to do list at least.
  • I volunteered at my daughter’s school fundraiser, a fun run. I photographed the event and then quickly processed nearly 500 pictures, shared a some favorites on the school’s Facebook page, and posted the rest to a private album for the parents to look for their students. Several parents thanked me for the pictures I took of their kids from the run.
  • I’m still processing pictures from the wedding that I shot last weekend. I’m about two-thirds of the way done, and the bride and groom are THRILLED with the preview album I showed them. It’s getting me really excited about doing more photography work in the future.
  • While we’re on the subject of my photography work, I also did some research into setting up my business. My husband and I already have an IT consulting and web design/hosting business that we incorporated, so I’m probably going to just add a “dba” for my photography business. I found the process to apply for that and printed out the forms. I’m also designing a logo/watermark to use on my images that I use when I share them online. Next step will be setting up a web site and pricing for my photography business. I already use SmugMug for my personal photo hosting, and have been very happy with them, so I’ll keep using them to host my professional photos too, but I still want a separate site for the business.

That was all last week. No wonder I didn’t have time to post more on the blog! I also had to pack, because this week is Spring Break and we flew to visit my brother and his wife, who are having their first baby. We were expecting the baby to be here before we arrived, but as is often the case with first babies, he’s taking his time, and is at least a week overdue already. While we’re waiting, we took Andrea to the slopes for some skiing. Hopefully there will be a baby here soon though. Andrea’s very excited about meeting a new baby cousin.


Thanks for reading my blog. Time to take on the rest of my day!

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