Thursday, September 5, 2013

Operation Declutter The Continuing Saga

Operation Declutter is in full swing.  We've begun to go through our house and get rid of items not needed and organize those that are.  I'm pleased with everything we've accomplished so far.

Our cookbook cabinet was a disaster, overflowing with cookbooks and loose recipes torn from magazines and printed off the computer.  I sorted through the cookbooks.  The cookbooks we use frequently stayed in the cupboard.  The cookbooks not used very often found a place on a pantry shelf downstairs.  Steve helped me sort through the paper recipes.  Recipes we aren't going to make ever were thrown in recycling.  Recipes that had potential found a place in my recipe binder.  The cabinet looks so much better and it is so much easier to grab a cookbook.

I loved my Scentsy pot but it was impractical for my house.  I have a fairly large home with open doorways between rooms.  I also don't have an appropriate place to put the Scentsy where Katherine can't get it now that she's mobile.  (Yup, she's crawling!)  My little sister Darcy moved into an apartment in Ames and the previous tenant had pets.  Her apartment has a smell.  (Lucky her, right?)  I boxed up my Scentsy and all of the wax and mailed it to her.  Clutter gone from my house!

Does anyone not have a bathroom closet that overflows with all the necessary and unnecessary items shoved in it?  Ours looked that way.  I wanted to put in small plastic totes to contain the clutter.  Lucky for me it's back to school season so things like small plastic totes are super cheap right now.  I bought four small purple crates for a dollar a piece.  Two of the purple crates now house bandaids and medicines (pain relievers, allergy meds, etc).  I actually over-bought the crates because I have two left. I already had: 
  • A small tote for feminine hygiene products simply because I don't like looking at the boxes and the boxes take up so much space for the quantity they hold.  
  • A small wicker container for baby travel toiletries.   
  • A rectangular cloth storage container from the hospital for my nursing pads.  Again I don't like to see the box.  (This storage container was actually from a formula company.  The lactation consultant gave it to me so I could have the small cooler and ice packs.  I donated the bottles of ready formula to a local pro-life pregnancy resource center.)
  • Two pink crates which store baby lotions (we have a lot) and miscellaneous items (travel kleenex and things like that). 
Steve has been extremely helpful with Operation Declutter.  He made shelves for one of our storage rooms in the basement.  They are very simple plywood shelves.  They look nice and will keep our items off the floor.  He's actually made two sets of shelves because we have two storage rooms.  I so appreciate him doing this.  He thought of this project, measured the space and bought the supplies completely on his own.  And I'm so glad because I wouldn't have thought of it.

Steve also tackled a huge project while I was at work and Katherine took a 2-hour nap.  He cleaned and organized our home office.  That room was a beast.  It was our catch-all for everything.  Papers everywhere, random items placed on the table and desks.  Steve cleaned and organized it and hung some artwork on the walls.  His mom had made me a fabric photo board for Christmas a few years back and Steve had a friend make a "Count Your Blessings" wood carving this year.  Both are now on the walls!  It's so nice to sit in a clean office each morning.  This project was especially important because we wanted it clean for Katherine's birthday party.  To get to our main bathroom, people have to walk through the office and we were tired of the mess.

But Operation Declutter is not complete.  We have a few upcoming projects that will make our lives a lot easier.  We have a storage closet upstairs next to our linen closet that we plan to turn into a clothes closet.  Our closets are tiny because our house is really old and our dresser is also small.  This is quite a change from the walk-in closets we had at our apartment.  Laundry never gets put away simply because we don't have a place for it.  We plan to paint the closet and get a carpet remnant for the floor.  Right now it's bare wood, not finished and full of boxes.  It will be a big project but will be so nice when we are done.  When we moved in, I over-bought on paint... by a lot.  We will use that paint so we're saving an expense there.  I'm hoping we can get a cheap carpet remnant.  The space is not very big.  If not, Dollar General it is for a cheap rug.  Our second upcoming project correlates with the storage closet project.  I need to go through my clothes yet again.  (I've actually already started this.)  I still have maternity clothes floating about.  I also have clothes that are too big for me right now which need to be put into storage.  The last project is organizing our office closet.  Right now it holds a mismash of things: yarn, fabric, diapers, clothes and who knows what else.  I would like to get the closet organized so we can actually find things in there.  The fabric will be moved to the basement.  I had dreams of learning to sew and quilt and making fabulous items for our house.  Right now we are just too busy for me to be able to focus on that.  It will happen someday but now is not the time.  I'm using the yarn to make dish cloths as Christmas gifts for the daycare ladies.  The clothes will be moved upstairs to their permanent home after the clothes closet is complete.

There you have it!  Operation Declutter is in the works and it feels great.