Despite a busy week and feeling a little under-the-weather over the weekend, I chipped away at organizing a bit more. I’m still avoiding the huge projects, but I’ve been trying to do something most days, even if it’s just cleaning out a part of a cabinet or one drawer or sorting one bin. Making small strides each day will help me maintain some momentum and I know that one of these days, I’ll be ready to tackle some of the tougher areas. I find that once I get going, I usually end up doing more than I initially planned.
Here are the little areas I tackled last week and into the weekend…
The junk drawer! This drawer always ends up a bit of a mess (living up to its name) because we’re in and out of it so much. It only took 10-15 minutes to get it cleaned and sorted, though. It’s so nice to open it and be able to see everything clearly now.
I also cleaned out the most troublesome cabinet in the kitchen (aside from the snack drawer in the pantry) – the place where we keep food storage jars and containers. I got rid of lids without bottoms and bottoms without lids. I sorted everything so that what we use most is easily accessible. Jeff uses the blender to make smoothies almost every day, so that had to be right in the front and easy to get out (and put away.)
I cleaned out and organized the cabinet, chest, and coat closet in the foyer. None of these were too messy, but I needed to go through coats, gloves, hats, snow pants, etc. and get rid of anything that was too small, had holes, etc. I learned that the boys didn’t have any gloves that were in good shape. They were all too small, filled with rips & holes, or didn’t have a matching partner. I pitched everything and I bought them each a nice, new pair of ski gloves. With the winters we have, I considered that a necessary expense.
Jeff and each of the boys have a basket for their hats, gloves, scarves, etc., so they are easy to find and have a “home.” I can’t tell you how often we’re scurrying around trying to find all of the bits of a proper winter outfit. I hope this system will help!
This is also where we store lunch boxes and school stuff. The Lego sets are ones the boys haven’t built and they decided to sell, so I’ll be listing those locally or on eBay soon. (That random pencil sharpener came in the piece when I bought it and I just haven’t removed it. I think it’s kind of quirky and sweet, so I’ll keep it there unless it gets in the way. Right now, we have plenty of open shelving.)
The coat closet is looking great, too. I thinned out the coats and donated any that were too small. We have four coats in Calvin’s size, so I’m going to have him pick two to keep and I’ll donate the other two.
The top of the closet is practically empty now!
My hats, gloves, and scarves are in the pine chest by the door. I’ll admit, I have a collection! I’ve made a bunch of stuff as I’ve been learning to knit and crochet and some were given to me as gifts. I just rotate them around and I use them for decor in the winter.
Remember this empty cabinet in the living room?
I have slowly collected and organized things we use around the house to keep in here – lightbulbs, furniture pads/sliders, interior extension cords, plate hangers/stands, furniture/cabinet knobs and pulls, the label maker, etc. These things were all scattered around the house in the laundry room, garage, hall closet, random drawers, and cabinets, and now it’s all in one place.
And, of course, I put the label maker to good use!
Things are coming progressing nicely in the organization department and I’ve crossed a lot of things off of my list.
Still to do…
- Pictures & letters – I’m still scanning and organizing family photos and letters. I have a couple of cabinets in the living room built-ins filled with photo albums, boxes of pictures, etc. I haven’t done anything with it since we moved and it’s all a bit of a mess. When the no-spend month is over, I’ll buy some archival boxes to store the photos and letters.
- Laundry room closet – I have started cleaning this out and getting it organized, but it’s still in process. I have asked Jeff if he’ll build out the closet for me in the spring, so we make better use of the space.
- Hooks & shelf in the garage entry – This area is a catch-all and it’s a mess. Snowpants, swim bags, hats, fishing stuff, grocery bags, water bottles, tools… Since it’s been -20 degrees here, this might have to wait until spring!
- Linen closets – There are three in the house that need some attention. Sorting, purging, washing, folding.
- Basement storage room – This is the one I’m dreading! It’s not too bad since I sorted it last year, but I really haven’t gone through every single bin since the move. I need to weed out the Christmas bins and get those consolidated and sell/donate decor that I’m not going to use.
- Organize the studio – I really need to clean out my art supplies and donate or sell the ones I don’t use. I like trying out new tools, materials, and supplies, but I don’t need to keep them if I don’t use them. I’ll see what I am going to get rid of and decide if it’s worth having a deeply-discounted, gently-used art supply sale for my readers. I just know that I can make better use of the space if I clear out some of the drawers, cabinets, and shelves. It’ll be a project, though!
- Sort through the butler’s pantry and dining room cabinets. I did this last year, so it won’t take too long, but things have gotten a little messy again as I’m in and out of those cabinets.
I have a feeling some of these projects will carry into March as well! That’s okay. The point of this February challenge isn’t to have a set finish line but to keep steady momentum and I’ve been doing that!
How is your organizing coming along?