Monday, February 11, 2013

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Living room organizing challenge...

This weeks challenge in the New Year's Organizing Revolution Challenge is the living room/play room. Fortunately, the living room was not nearly as bad as the office and closet were but I have 2 areas that get particularly cluttered and I have not found a good solution yet for the one area. Let me show you with photos. The first is the coffee table. I am guessing that all coffee tables become a magnet for clutter as they are a flat surface for anyone to put anything. This is what mine looked like before.

The bottom shelf gets loaded up with old magazines and things that were on the top that I didn't want to deal with at the time so they just get moved down to the bottom shelf. I sorted out all the stuff and have a pile to go to my studio and a pile that got thrown out and a pile to get passed on to some one else. Done. Now to keep it that way. The only things that got put back were books that we are reading.
I also put all the remotes into one basket. I need to find a smaller one but for now this one will do.

The sofa got spruced up too. I have a basket at the end of the couch that I have throws folded up for when we are chilly and need to snuggle up under a nice warm blankie, which right now we are doing a fair amount of since it is 3 degrees outside. It makes me want to stay inside and not go anywhere until it gets back up to 50.

This ledge has always been a problem area for clutter to build up. On the end we have our mail station.

My husband is very good about putting the mail in the top basket when he comes in and then I sort it out at my convenience. Thats the problem. I take the important stuff out right away but then the junk stays in there until the basket is about to fall over. The top basket is for our mail and the bottom shoe box (please can't I find something a little more classy than a shoe box) is for mail and stuff that we want to give to our son when he comes home for a weekend visit, unfortunately, he doesn't take the stuff with him most of the time and leaves it in there too.
The ledge becomes a catch all place for items that need to go down stairs to my studio or out to the hubby's office and doesn't make it there. Here is the after photo all cleaned up.

If you have any ideas on any solutions to help tame these problem areas leave me a comment. The rest of the room works pretty well and I am happy with it. I hope you enjoyed my reveal today and it sparks some interest to tackle some area of your home.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Continuing the clean up...

After finishing up in the bedroom closet yesterday, I got to cleaning out the refrigerator. Since I had been gone for 2 weeks the fridge was needing restocked so I knew that this was the perfect time to give it a good cleaning before refilling it. Once I got everything out of it and washed all the drawers and shelves I didn't have much of anything in it except the condiments and jams. There were some baked potatoes hiding out in one of the drawers to make home fries with and a bowl that had cheese dip, a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs. Time to go to the store and get stocked up. Here is how my fridge looks after its cleaning.

Not one of the most exciting of jobs but when the fridge is cleaned out and not a science project gone awry it makes a mom feel good. So now on to some more enjoyable jobs today. I have a little laundry to finish up, not too bad, and I have to get my projects sorted out and packed up for this weekend. I will have to start packing tomorrow so I best be getting at it.

I have been asked to help make a quilt for a young girl who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor so I am going to go meet with the woman who is organizing this today. That will be next on my agenda to get done asap. I can see that this next 6 weeks is going to shape up to be a very busy and full time. There is so much to be done before I head on out to Hawaii. My to do list that I made up Monday evening had 21 items on it that I wanted to get done before I leave this weekend. I got about 7 of them done so far, just another 14. Will I be able to get them done? I am not so sure about that. I will do the best I can and get the most important ones done.
So today, I will try to get my phone calls done. I had 3 calls while I was gone about quilting jobs so I need to get those returned today, go to the meeting up at the school, and get started packing for this weekend, which includes getting some quilty gifts lined up for my secret sister for the retreat. I think my day will be pretty full.

I hope you have a wonderful day and can get lots of stuff on your to do list crossed off. I am off and running.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hooray for the closet clean up...

Good Morning. It is so good to be back home and back to my "?normal?" routine. I arrived home last evening around 6 PM and just relaxed, unpacked and made a list of the most important things that I need to do before Friday when I head out again for a week end quilting retreat. The first 2 things on my list were to organize my closet for the New Years Organizing Revolution challenge and then to get this post written so I could link up to said challenge. I am really excited about this week's area of organizing which is the bedroom closet. Why am I excited? Because I found some wasted space that I can use to store some uncommon items that I didn't have a permanent home for when we aren't needing to use them. Let me explain and show you with my before and after photos.

The closet is about 12 feet long, my husband and I split up the space equally but used different configurations when putting in the closet organizer units, the type you can get at the big box stores. Here is what my half of the closet looked like before.
At a quick glance it might not look too bad until you really look at what is falling out...
of the bottom shelves of the center tower. This is where my casual clothes such as t- shirts, sweatshirts and shorts are supposed to live. You can't see what is in there let alone find it when you want it.
The top shoe area isn't too bad except, do you see those boxer shorts on the right hand side? They don't belong in with the shoes. Also the ledge is pretty cluttered up with junk.
Let me explain this area. We have a door in our bedroom that leads straight to the bathroom, do you see the doorknob?... nothing wrong with that, but we have never ever used that door to enter the bathroom. So I hung a shower tension rod in between the walls and used it for over flow for special occasion attire. Unfortunately, as you can see the rod usually falls down because it is holding too much weight. When that happens then everything that usually gets stored in there gets thrown ontop of the clothes that are supposed to be hanging.
Back to the closet. The bottom drawer is for my swimsuits and bras.
The top drawer is for the underwear.
Here is the closet after I removed everything from it, sorted, purged and relocated everything as should be.
Look at all the space that I have after purging these shelves and hanging up those things that were supposed to be hanging.
Now I have my pants on the bottom hanging bar along with my camis since I have a lot more tops than pants. (I still have 3 pairs of jeans to hang up after I get the laundry done but I have enough room for them.)
On the top bar I have all my tops and sweaters.

I am having technical difficulties adding the photos of my 2 drawers in the closet tower. Let me just say that I have plenty of room in them so that when I get my laundry all done up everything will still fit into the drawers without any problems.

This side has my long dresses, skirts and a bulky jacket, not too many of those.
I have room for my boots on the floor here and they don't get knocked over since the dresses don't touch them. (I added another pair of boots to this area after I took this photo.)
Now here is the photo of that awkward space I reclaimed for storing the car seat and pack and play that we have for when the grandkids come and stay. I purged a lot of clothing items from this area so now maybe that rod won't fall down. I store my purses on the shelves of the small table that is on the left. You can see that I have floor space now for the...
car seat and the pack and play.
This is what this area looks like in the bedroom when it is closed off with the curtain...
and because of the door in the bathroom I have access to the space from there also.
Here I have my nicely cleaned and organized closet all hidden behind closed doors. I also found a nice way to add some photos to my boring closet doors. The frames are attached to the doors with velcro so they don't move when the doors are opened and shut. They have been on there for over 10 years and not a one of them has budged.
These 2 bags are items that I purged. They are going to go straight away to my car so I can drop them off at Goodwill on my next trip to town.

Thanks for visiting my most intimate of places in my home. I hope that you found some helpful tips that you might be able to use in your spaces or that my little foray has inspired you to just dive in and clean out and organize your own closet. I would appreciate it if you would vote for me if you have found any of the ideas I shared helpful. I am number 47. That my friend is the end of my organizing story for today.

PS. I don't have to do a before and after of my husband's half of the closet since the only thing I found wrong with it were 2 pair of socks lying on the floor and empty hangers that will be filled up with his shirts and pants once I get that laundry done. His shirts are even sorted by color and in order for his work week. By the way, a little secret here, shhh...He has more clothes than I do.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Organizing challenge-Kitchen space

This week's organizing challenge takes us to the kitchen. I don't know why our kitchen gets so unorganized when we built in so many features when we remodeled the kitchen nearly 10 years ago to maximize the organization of it. The worst clutter catcher happens to be the kitchen island. It measures 4' x 8' and becomes the surface that catches everything.

One of the features that I love the most about it is the reflectiveness of the granite. When everything is cleared off and it is shining I love how the tile work reflects in the granite, this is the main reason to keep it all cleared off as much as possible.

I like #7 of Angie at EasyLivingMom tips for ending clutter that she shared about clearing counters daily. She says "if you get in the habit of clearing your counters every night you will not run into a situation where you have so much clutter to clean that you don't know where to start." I am going to set that as my goal for this space. I love to see it all shiny and beautiful.

The pull out shelves of the pantry makes it so easy to see everything that I have in there. When we designed the pantry we made the shelves of varying heights. The top shelves are farther apart to accommodate taller items such as boxes of cereal and jars that hold my spaghetti etc and as the shelves go downwards they are arranged to hold shorter items such as canned goods, in this way we maximized how much we could store in this area. It does get a little bit out of sorts when I am not on top of putting everything away where it is supposed to go.
I did a good clean up and organizing of this area by putting like items with like and discarding out of date items and consolidating other items. It didn't take all that long and now I can see what I have plenty of and what I need to put on my grocery shopping list for the next run to the store.

I also have a problem with this corner of the counters getting clogged with clutter.
I moved everything off first of all and gave it a good scrubbing and then put the minimum back.
It's looking good for now. I will have to see how it works out.

I still have 3 more areas that I want to work on when I can get back to it and those areas are the lazy Susan that holds the Tupperware items and small appliances, under the sink with the cleaning products and last is the cabinet under the microwave where the blender, extra jars and odds and ends get put when there isn't a home for them else where.

I hope you enjoyed my reorganizing post and if you would vote for me on The New Year's Organizing Revolution I would really appreciate it. My number is 7. Thank you. Have a good week.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Office reorganization

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2013 is to move forward. What do I mean by that? Simply to do whatever the next step(s) is or are to move forward rather than to sit back and to let whatever happen happen. On a personal level that means to actively pursue those activities that will help me grow, be ready and prepared for whatever challenges I might face. One way that I can do that is to get myself and all the household stuff organized. So I joined the New Year's Organizing Revolution Challenge. This week's challenge was to organize some area of our office. You know that area that becomes the paper pile up center. I confess I had to start this early to accommodate my travel plans but I did manage to get this area under control. I am pleased with the efficiency and pleasure I have found in being able once again to work in this space without the stress of seeing every thing I needed to do glaring at me every time I sat down to blog or spend some time on the Internet.

This photo is what I saw everytime I passed the door to my office. What a mess. I never wanted to enter the room.
My office also doubles as a guest room on occasion unfortunately the day bed gets over run with clutter and is not inviting.
This area also becomes a clutter gathering spot
and because of all the clutter in front of the closet I couldn't get into it to put things away or to retrieve things when needed.
The top of my filing cabinet also became a heap of clutter.
This stand is where most of the work waited to be organized. This is all the papers that needed sorted, filed and dealt with in some manner
along with the run over onto my desk. This was just the pile on the left side of the desk.
Here is the pile on the right side, this is the pile that required immediate attention, such as bills and other items.
Now the day bed is pretty and functional.
I can get into my closet and I was even able to find some space to store some of those things that were sitting on the floor that did not have a home.
I made the top of my file cabinet my grandma's brag station. I have photos of my grand-daughters there and will be able to add some of my grandson as soon as he decides it is time to join us.
This is a shot of my desk. I have done some more editing of it since this photo was taken.
This stack of papers is what was left with that needed to be sorted and filed, many of the items where things that needed to be entered into the corresponding computer files. This is part of the organizing process that you won't see much change in except that the paper trail either got shredded or filed as appropriate once I dealt with them. They have all been dealt with, finally.
Here at my desk I now see that I need to do some additional organizing of the cork board. It is amazing what you see in a photo that you don't notice in person.
I like what I see as I pass the doorway of my office now.
My inbox is cleaned out and all that is on my list is this organizing challenge.
I hope that you have enjoyed seeing what I was able to accomplish in my office. This has been long over due and I plan not to let my office get to the before stage again. I know that with the health issues that I had been dealing with that I let everything else that seemed challenging go and I can't allow myself to get so far behind with my office work again. This new year will be the year of keeping up with all the hard stuff. If I can deal with tough health issues I can deal with clutter.