Lots of Fun Updates from Decorating to Organizing to Filling Up a New Freezer

Welcome to the 722nd Metamorphosis Monday! Have you started or completed your holiday decorating? I got my wreaths up a few days before Thanksgiving, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. If you would like more info about how I hang my wreaths each year, you’ll find a post where I share the details here: How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows.

How to Hang Christmas Wreaths on all Exterior Windows



So, it took me a while but I finally figured out how this Dyson cordless vacuum business is apparently supposed to work. Ha! You may remember a few months, I purchased a cordless Dyson vacuum after first buying a less expensive cordless vacuum on Amazon here: Cordless Vacuum. I liked the one I purchased on Amazon so much, I decided to go for one with a bit more power and a longer-lasting battery.

When I first purchased the Dyson vacuum, I thought I would buy a second battery so if I was mid-vacuuming and the battery died, I could pop in a second, fully-charged battery. That’s how it works with my DeWalt blower so I thought the Dyson vacuum would probably work in a similar fashion. Uhhh—Nope! When I looked online at the Dyson website, the info I found discouraged you from swapping out your battery unless there was something actually wrong with the one that came with the vacuum. Also, swapping it out is nothing at all like it is with a leaf blower where you just pop one out and pop another one in. No, you have to unscrew and remove the battery that’s built into the vacuum. It’s definitely a process and not something you would want to do on a regular basis.

Dyson, Mounted on Laundry Room Wall


Ummm, okay. In the meantime, I was storing the vacuum with its hefty bag of attachments in an upstairs bedroom closet. Each time I used it and put it away, I had to remove the motor part since there was no way to just lean it against a wall and have it not fall over. Awkward.

Over the past week, I’ve been cleaning out alllll the closets in my home like a mad woman. Ever since I painted and organized this storage room in the basement, I’ve made it a mission to try and only store items in closets that pertain specifically to that room or area where the closet is located. That means not storing a ceramic Christmas Goose in the guest room closet or ceramic bunnies in the guest bathroom closet. lol

Storage Room, Basement


Clearing out all the closets spurred me on to finally consider hanging my Dyson vacuum, as I now fully understand is THE way it was really designed to operate. If you purchase a Dyson cordless vac, or any cordless vacuum that comes with a storage unit for hanging, once you make the decision to hang it as I did, the first thing you notice is the vacuum has to be stored near an electrical outlet, otherwise, you can’t plug it in. That finally made me realize (I’m slow sometimes) that THIS is what this vacuum is actually all about–convenience! By hanging it on the wall as it’s designed to be stored, it is always fully charged and ready to go when you need it. Apparently, Dyson vacuums don’t have the type of battery that gets damaged by repeated and frequent charging. I’m pretty sure I could vacuum my entire house on one charge, or at least the main level and the upstairs since I was able to almost do that with my smaller, less-expensive cordless vac that’s now being used for the basement/terrace level.

Here’s where I decided to hang it–here in my laundry room near the only available outlet in this room. The installation of the docking base went well, although I did have to use the wall anchors that came with it since I didn’t have a stud available in the exact spot on the wall where the vacuum needed to go. It’s working great here and doesn’t interfere with accessing the food pantry on the right. I really like how it looks here and it’s so much more convenient than trying to store it away in a closet someplace and worrying if it’s charged up enough to vacuum all the areas I need to vacuum that day.

Dyson, Mounted on Laundry Room Wall


Just wanted to share this in case it’s helpful for someone else who purchases a Dyson vacuum. This is really how this vacuum was designed to work–to be hung on the wall near an outlet where it’s fully charged and ready to go when you need it, not awkwardly stored away in a closet someplace where it’s not being continuously charged. Before you take my word for it though, check the Dyson website or a Dyson manual for your peace of mind. Hopefully, the battery won’t have a shortened life from hanging full-time on its charger. It probably stops charging once it’s full–like our cell phones do. I must say, this storage system is super convenient and a snap to access when needed for a quick vacuuming or cleanup. Loving this change! (The Dyson model I went with is still available here: Dyson Vacuum.)

Dyson, Mounted on Laundry Room Wall


Freezer Update: After reading all the comments on the post where I shared the decision to buy a chest freezer, I was a bit worried I had not done enough research and had made a hasty decision since so many of you prefer an upright freezer over a chest freezer. I guess only time will tell if I’m a chest freezer fan. Here’s how the GE freezer I ordered looked on arrival. (Freezer is available here: GE Freezer.) Fortunately, the delivery went flawlessly and the freezer was delivered on time and in pristine condition. It’s incredibly quiet and practically never runs. So far, I love it!

GE Chest Freezer with Baskets for Organization


Fortunately, one of the issues many of you mentioned has turned out to not be an issue with this freezer. Though I’m only 5’4″ tall, I can easily reach all the way to the bottom of the freezer, so much so that I can just about place my hand/palm flat on the bottom, and that’s without standing on my tiptoes. So though this freezer is a generous size, 15.7 cu ft, it’s not overly deep–so no issue there.

GE Chest Freezer, How it looks when it arrives


I ordered 4 additional baskets from GE (two for the top rail and two for the bottom rail) to take full advantage of the rail/basket organizational system that’s designed into this freezer. Those arrived on Friday and I’ve been busy adding a few things to the baskets this weekend.

GE Chest Freezer, Baskets for Organizing


The first thing I added to the freezer was 4 bags of ice across the bottom because I read that a full freezer performs better than one that’s mostly empty, and I knew it could be a while before I had it mostly stocked up. Prior to ordering this freezer, while looking through photos online, I had thought that the area underneath the bottom row of baskets was pretty shallow, but it’s not! It can easily hold multiple of large items (like a big fat turkey) under that bottom row of baskets.

GE Freezer, Bags of Ice for the bottom until fill with food


Of course, the first order of business after adding some temporary bags of ice along the bottom was to stock up on my favorite Limited Edition Peppermint Stick Ice Cream from Publix. Priorities, people! Ha!

GE Freezer, Stocking with Favorites, Limited Edition Ice Cream


Get it while you can because it will be all gone by the first week of January! This weekend it was on sale, 2 for $10. Last year, I purchased 8 half-gallon cartons and was enjoying Peppermint Stick Ice Cream all the way through August. Despite the warnings on Instagram, that last carton was just as awesome as the first. I had no issue when it was stored upstairs in my side-by-side refrigerator-freezer, so I expect it to last at least that well in this freezer. Any Peppermint Stick Ice Cream fans out there? My favorite is by Graeter’s out of Ohio, but sadly I haven’t found anywhere that sells their half-gallon size here in the south.


One of my favorite foods to keep on hand are these individually packaged salmon fillets from Whole Foods. I’ve been buying their farm-raised fillets because I hadn’t realized they also carried the wild-caught. I’ve read that wild-caught is better for you, so I purchased a couple of bags to try.

GE Freezer, Salmon-Traders Joe's


This weekend, I stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up some of their organic brown rice. I tried it a few months back and love how easy it is to prepare. The rice comes out beautifully every time. I decided to try a few more varieties this time since their organic brown rice is so good.

Trader Joe's Rice


Over the next few weeks, I’ll make some homemade soups to put away. My daughter-in-love especially loves a Roasted Butternut Squash soup that I sometimes make when I visit them in Ohio. It would be a nice surprise to have some already made for her the next time they visit. Thanks for all your wonderful suggestions in the comments of my previous post when I asked for your recommendations of foods to make that store well in a freezer. If you missed that previous post, you’ll find it here: Buying My First Freezer. (Freezer is available for purchase here: GE Freezer.)

Easy and Delicious Butternut Squash Soup Recipe


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  1. I am finished with Christmas decorating (sharing), yay me! I’m taking a couple days’ down time before working on packaging, etc. Lol, your urgency for organizing sounds so much like me. One of the things I thought our prior owner was leaving was her Dyson that was wall mounted in our garage. Nope, she let her prior housekeeper have it….but left the charger hanging on the wall! All I can guess is that she had one already, and had recommended it to the owner for her convenience and use too. I have a Shark that I love, with interchangeable batteries. You can detach it for handheld use, which I found ultra handy during decorating (glitterphobe, here). That peppermint ice cream would be worth the freezer alone, lol! We always look for Spumoni this time of year (HTF!). Chick Fil A peppermint shakes satisfy my craving for peppermint, they’re just offered long enough! Have a great week, Susan.

    • Wow, that’s awesome! I’m feeling way behind! That is so strange that they didn’t want the charger. Even if she had a charger at home, I would think they would take it as a backup in case the other one quit working one day.
      I’ve heard great things about the Shark vacuums! Good to know it has the interchangeable batteries. I do like being able to hang this one, it’s so easy to remove and replace when vacuuming. Hopefully the battery will last a long time. This one has a detachable handheld option, also. Love that for stairs!
      Ha! I totally agree! I think it was the ice cream that pushed me over to getting a freezer. 🙂 Yeah, those Chick fil A shakes are good!

  2. Cheryl Gordon says

    I chose an upright because I find it difficult to bend over and I think it has more room. I put water in containers in the door spots in case of power outages to help it stay cool longer. I still have to move things a bit but it’s easier if I am standing straight up. I bought a couple of freezer containers at Homegoods that have a space to write on with a whiteboard pen so you can wipe it off if you change what’s inside.

    • I can def see the benefits of having an upright one, too. I’m toying with the idea of getting one of sealer devices. I did buy labels that are dissolvable so they will wash right off a container so it can be easily reused. I will look for freezer containers in HomeGoods–thanks for mentioning those, Cheryl!

  3. Susan,
    Thanks so much for hosting this delightful party each and every week!! I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into it along with visiting all the links and choosing Features!!! Thank You!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  4. Your home looks so lovely with your window wreaths, Susan. Enjoy your leadup to Christmas. Have a great week!

  5. I love peppermint ice cream, what a great idea to buy a bunch and stock up! Thanks Susan!

  6. I have a cordless Dyson and absolutely no place to plug it in. I ended up putting the charger in the laundry room (more of a laundry closet) and charging only when it needs it. I don’t use it for the whole house since other vacuums are better for that. I have since seen stands that you buy and hang the charger on it and plug it in anywhere. I was so annoyed with the way it has to be hooked up, that I didn’t feel like paying more money for a stand so I haven’t tried it. I don’t think they are a Dyson product. The freezer looks like a great idea. It’s hard to fit everything into a refrigerator freezer.

    • That’s what I was doing when I had it stored away in a closet–just charging it when it was dead, but that seemed to always happen in the middle of vacuuming. I think I’ll like this a lot better. Interesting about the stands–I hadn’t heard about those. Thanks, Sandy! Yeah, I am loving having one now, it’s been fun being to buy a few things and actually have room to store it.

  7. I will start with Christmas decorations tomorrow. People either love or hate a chest freezer. For me, the old ones were hard to reach, being only 4’11”, I struggled. So I’ve stuck with upright freezers. But I think a chest freezer keeps better if you lose electric. I’m assuming you have to defrost??? So that is a plus. You are 5 inches taller than me, but it sounds like I might be able to reach in your freezer. lol I’m freezer less right now. Love your priorities! That peppermint ice cream sounds and looks so yummy!! I think you will love your freezer, I know I am loving the rail system…old ones definitely didn’t have that! Hugs, Brenda

    • That’s what I read, that they stay colder longer during an outage. Also, they supposedly last longer, about 5-6 years longer than an upright freezer. The only down side is having to defrost it about once a year…but I can live with that.
      It is good! Do you have Publix near you? Definitely pick up a carton if you do. I bet other ice cream manufacturers make Peppermint Stick this time of year, too. It’s addictive! lol
      Yeah, the rail system is amazing! I’m glad now I waited, although FreezerMax makes a rail system that can be added to any chest freezer. If I had purchased one without the rail/basket system, I would totally be buying the FreezerMax system.

  8. Oh wanted to say, I have a Dyson too and yes, hanging it is the only way to go! So easy, stays charged for when you are ready and some hold your “extras”. Love my Dyson! Hugs, Brenda

    • You are so right! I love, love, love how convenient it is hanging. I don’t even care if I have to replace the battery one day, it’s worth it for how easy it is to reach and store now.
      Thanks, Brenda!
      Merry Christmas to you!

  9. So glad your vacuum and freezer are doing their jobs and making you happy! Thanks for sharing all your experience with us – I come here to double check whenever I’m considering buying something you’ve talked about! 🙂 Always love your wreaths in the windows too – your place looks so festive! Thanks as always for hosting the party, and Happy Monday!

    • Thanks so much, Barbara! I bet your home is looking festive right now! I need to start decorating inside because elves are not showing up to do it for me. 😉

  10. Hi Susan,
    Now that you have a freezer, you need to check out Souper Cubes. They are the best for freezing anything. Check on Instagram and you will get lots of ideas on how to use them. I have 2 upright freezers and sometimes wish one was a chest freezer. Happy freezing,

    Your Roswell Neighbor

  11. Huge Peppermint Stick ice cream fan here! I have a gelato machine and have already made (and finished) a batch. My very favorite!

  12. Iris McCloud says

    Susan, On the wall to the right of your Dyson is a door. If that is a closet and you can afford the space, I had an outlet rewired to a wall inside a closet and store the Dyson there. I don’t know if that could work for you but it got my Dyson tucked behind a door which made me happy. Iris

    • It is a closet but it’s filled with shelves from top to bottom, so I use it as a food pantry. I like that idea, though! I know the perfect spot, too…a coat closet that I turned into a dish pantry, and it’s not that far from an outlet. If I figure out a different place to store all the dishes in that closet, that would have been the perfect place. I didn’t mind putting the wall anchors in the wall of the laundry room since that’s a room I need to renovate in the future. If I ever do renovate that room, I may try to move it to a closet at that time and have an outlet installed in the closet. I don’t really mind it being visible since it’s tucked over into a corner in the laundry room. That room isn’t fancy, it’s more utilitarian–if you know what I mean.

  13. That is a plus that you can store big items under the bottom baskets. With the rail system, isn’t it so you can slide the baskets back and forth to get to the bottom layers? If you have baskets all the way across you will have to pick up the baskets when you are searching for items. Love that you can store that much ice cream in one space. I don’t have a battery vacuum, but did have Dyson and switched to Shark. The Dyson was always getting things stuck in the tube and too much effort to take apart. I do have a battery floor scrubber that is always charging with no problems. I’m getting ready to put up my wreaths and always say a “thank you Susan” for your idea of hanging them!

    • There’s still a good amount of space between the baskets now, almost enough room for another basket. The baskets are 12 inches wide and when I push them all over/apart, there’s still 10 inches of space left. So when I need to reach something in a lower basket, I just slide the baskets over and reach in through that 10-inch space. If it’s a really big item that won’t fit through (which is pretty rare) I can easily lift up a basket and place it on top of another basket temporarily.
      So far, I haven’t had anything get stuck in the tube. Is the tube on the Shark vacuum bigger? Hopefully, I won’t have that issue…that would be super annoying.
      Awww thanks, Kathleen! ♥ I love the wreaths on the windows, def my favorite Christmas decoration every year.

      • That sounds great for the space to dive in and get things. I was thinking it was a tight fit and you would always have to lift one basket out! My Dyson is an upright and once I vacuumed up a peanut shell and my husband had to take the vacuum apart to get at it. The vacuum does have spaces where you can get out things stuck, but this wasn’t one of the places. I also got tired of putting the head on and off with the clip that holds it on. With the shark rocket I haven’t had any problems with anything getting stuck. Re the wreaths, going up today. I just need to get on the ladder once and hook the ribbon at the top of my windows (I don’t have double hung so I hook the ribbon on top of the trim) and when I take them down I just use a broom to lift the ribbon off! So easy, bless you!

  14. Susan, I’m glad you’re already loving your freezer. That basket system really makes it so much easier to find what you need. I’ve never tried the peppermint ice-cream. Hmm.

    I love seeing your laundry room! It looks so warm and cozy (just like every other area of your home) with the wallpaper. I would love to get back to having wallpaper again. The right wallpaper makes a space so inviting and homey. So much more than plain paint can do.

    That Butternut Squash soup is going to have to be made this year! (That photo is gorgeous.) If you come up with any other great soups, please post them. Something tells me we’ll be having soupy-winter-weather this year. 😀 Have a great week!

  15. Hi Susan! First, thanks for the tip about Peppermint Stick ice cream . When I move from CT to NC in early summer next year, Publix will be my grocery store. I’ll have to wait a few months for that to be in the store but I bet it’s worth the wait!
    My house is decorated for Christmas now and the wreaths – done the BNOTP way of COURSE – are hung on the front facing windows. The ribbon hangers and bows are sadly faded and really need to be replaced but I figured I’d ask them to tolerate one more New England weather’s abuse and will replace them with fresh ribbon in the new house. I think of you and your tutorial every year when I hang those wreaths .
    Lastly, I was so surprised to read about your Dyson. I had a regular size Dyson vacuum once and just didn’t like that big ball. It seemed to knock into everything and was too big to fit under any furniture. I lived with it for years and finally got a Shark that I like very much. Then I also got a Shark stick, and the opposite happened! It isn’t powerful enough and now I long for a Dyson stick. So I hoped to find a Black Friday deal at any store but couldn’t. However, I ended up getting one directly from the Dyson website. It comes with a few free extra tools, and also a free floor rack of some sort that holds everything. It should arrive in the next few days. That rack will allow me to save the wall mount thingy for the new house. I’m so excited about it’s arrival! Yours looks great right where you put it. Close to an outlet is crucial so I’ll have to find just the right spot.
    Have a good week!
    Mary Anne

  16. A few thoughts about your organizational system: With four baskets on the top and middle rails, you don’t have much room to slide them to one side or another to get at what is on a lower level. That means you’ll have to lift one or more of them out when you want to get some things. I keep only two baskets on each of the top and middle levels so I can slide them way over to get at things that are beneath them.

    Also, you may not want to keep your ice cream on the top level as it may not stay cold enough. I put ice cream closer to the bottom. I had some popsicles for my granddaughter stored near the top, and they remained frozen but a bit soft, so when she went to eat them, they melted quickly. Just a thought.

    Putting bags of ice on the bottom was smart. I know Atlanta doesn’t get many bad storms, but if there’s a chance you will lose power, having plenty of ice in the bottom and letting the freezer walls get a bit iced over may help save your food until power is restored.

  17. Hi Susan,
    You probably already know this but Fresh Market has the Graeter’s ice cream but in pints only. Just in case you really want it.

    • Thanks, Carolyn! I have seen it in pints in Kroger–not Peppermint, but other flavors. I didn’t know Fresh Market had it, too. Our Fresh Market near me closed a while back, I’m not sure if we still have one in this area now.

  18. Hi Susan, Over the years, I have read and enjoyed your postings and have also purchased so many of your recommendations. I can honestly say you have Never disappointed! My husband often says — Is this (new item) from the “Porch Lady?” Now I am considering a cordless stick vacuum. I saw the link to the less expensive Bissel but which Dyson vacuum did you purchase? Thank you for any information. Gail, Arlington, Va

    • Thanks, Gail! That’s so cute about your hubby–love that! 🙂
      I went with the Dyson V8 Adsolute and I really like it. I think it’s one of their most popular vacuums from what I’ve read. I bought it directly from Dyson. I just checked to see if it’s still being made and it is. You can see it here: https://bit.ly/3VXDk4b .
      I really like the less expensive one I purchased on Amazon, it was what made me fall in love with a cordless vac. So I decided to go for the Dyson since the battery lasts longer and it’s more powerful. I still use the Bisell, too.

  19. Susan, I’m so glad you have your Dyson stick vac hung now. I bought one several years ago to go into a newly enclosed laundry room. I had so much fun designing that room that had been a workshop accessed from the garage. It was a dumping ground, in actuality! We cut off access from the garage and opened it up from the house and I had floor to ceiling cabinets put on one wall with electric outlets in two of them. Of course, my many dishes and glassware were stored there, along with cleaning supplies, vacuum, baskets of batteries, hooks, light bulbs, tools, etc. I gave my Dyson a special place on one cabinet back and it has hung there ever since. It is always charged and ready to go. I love that vac! We only have one cat left, sadly, and it is a fabulous way to keep little fur bunnies vacuumed up. HOW I wish I had had this wonderful vac in the days we had 4 pets inside.

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