I haven’t had the time to work an entire day on one big project, like the playroom or storage room, but I’ve been spending pockets of time here and there on cabinets and drawers. These are tasks I can complete in a few minutes and one little space usually leads to another. I’ll have several spaces cleaned out within an hour or two.
Late last week, to work on the dressers and cabinets in the living room. None of the spaces are too bad, so I knew it wouldn’t take long. I got the candle drawer cleaned out and organized and I even collected all of our matchboxes in one place! I think we have enough to last a while…
The battery drawer probably took the most time, because I decided to gather and organize charging cables and plugs from around the house to live in the other half of the drawer. Up until this point, extra charging cables were spread all over the house and it seemed like a good time to get them all in one place to 1.) know how many we have and 2.) to be able to easily find a cord or plug when we need one.
Fortunately, I had some extra organizing bins in our storage room, so I was able to arrange everything neatly in the drawer…
I also finally cleaned out my hoard of Apple product boxes. I don’t know why I feel like I need to keep them, but I got them out of the drawer and used the ones I could for organization, and recycled the rest. I only kept the boxes for the phones we currently use in case we want to sell them in the future (if you trade them into Apple, you do not need the box.) They are small boxes, so I was able to keep them in a stack in the corner of this battery/charging drawer.
I have always kept my batteries, separated by type, in little storage containers in a drawer. When I shared that on Instagram Stories, I received dozens of messages about batteries catching fire if they aren’t stored properly. This is particularly an issue with 9v batteries, but I had never even heard of that! I have always kept my batteries all willy-nilly in a container without incident. So, I used what I had on hand to get them organized in a safer way. Now, none of the ends are touching. (We’ll see how the boys do with keeping them this way!)
A few people asked why we have so many batteries! First of all, Calvin is type 1 diabetic and some of his gear takes batteries. We always want to have a healthy supply of AAs on hand for that reason. Aside from that, I buy batteries in bulk and I just restocked, so we have more than usual.
After cleaning out this dresser, the two bottom drawers are empty!
I used to like to fill every cabinet and drawer in the house, making the most of every inch of storage, but in recent years, I’ve come to appreciate empty space. Having too much stuff packed in behind closed doors stresses me out. I’m afraid I won’t be able to mentally keep track of where everything is.
I also cleaned out the hutch where we keep school and craft supplies. I ended up pitching a lot of old activity books and such since the boys are uninterested now they are older. Now we can easily see the colored pencils, scissors, glues, etc. as well as empty notebooks and colored papers for projects.
Cleaning out that cabinet led to cleaning out the hutch in my office. Several charging cables were hidden under here, too, so I put those in the battery/charging drawer, pulled out any camera charging cables to put with my photography stuff, and made sure all of the computer equipment cables were together and neat.
I also threw away any business cards and shipping labels that were out of date.
And I freed up a bin for my fabric samples, which were just resting loosely on a shelf. There is so much more space in both cabinets now and things are easier to find.
After a morning of organizing, I went into my studio to do some painting. I felt like I was in a good organizing groove, though, so I did one more drawer. I already cleaned out the large ribbon spools in this drawer, because they were too big and the drawer was overstuffed. I gathered all of the ribbon spools from around the house and put them together in a little cabinet in the sewing room. I just kept twine, rag ribbon, and some small spools of woven ribbon in this drawer.
I used some iPad boxes to organize the twine. I have so much because I used to buy it wholesale to resell at events. I also used it on my tags, so I have a lot leftover from those days. I’ll work through it all eventually!
I wound loose woven ribbon around old clothespins and coraled them in another iPad box with small balls of yarn.
Look at all of that glorious empty space!
I have entire cabinets in the living room that are empty, so I’m planning on moving some stuff from the garage and laundry room there, so it’s easier to access and makes better use of this storage space. It’ll be nice to have all of our household supplies in that one cabinet – extra cabinet hardware, furniture pads/slides, plate hangers/stands, etc.
I ended up with a bunch of empty bins along the way. In my studio closet, I was able to downsize some stuff from three bins into one!
This is another reason why it’s a good idea to wait to buy bins until you’re done sorting and purging. You might end up having what you need already. The no-spend February is forcing me to wait when I might’ve felt like I needed to run out and buy more bins. In the end, I probably will have bins leftover.
As I shared yesterday, I took a load to the thrift store, gave a few things away to friends, and have thrown away several bags of trash. So far, I’m making good progress doing just a little bit each day.
How’s your organizing coming along?