We have this area in our kitchen, just after the garage door (our counter), that is just a magnet for clutter, broken things and things that need to be organized. I hate it! I’m always trying to sort through paper, put away misplaced items and locate scissors and tape. Most of the stuff was just waiting to be returned to it’s rightful spot, other things just needed to be thrown away. The remainder did need to be organized, but it was always a project I never wanted to start.
First I Threw Away the Garbage
I knew I had to throw away anything that was trash. I started on the bottom shelf and worked my way up. I tested every pen, every pencil, every marker. I threw away every broken crayon, every fast food receipt and the giant pixie sticks that I would NEVER let my children eat anyway. I pulled out the things that weren’t mine. I took a bunch of water bottles and put them in our camper, because anyone who has camped with kids knows that a cup just doesn’t cut it.
Next I Sorted and Organized
I refolded placements, I sorted batteries and I regrouped items we use to send mail.
Last I Grouped and Labeled
Once the items I took out were in their new homes, I set to make it fool proof to keep it clean. I figured if I could find a way to keep the paper at a minimum, it would help, because they I wouldn’t be sorting through stacks to find one sheet. So I grouped them: School stuff, bank deposit envelopes and slips, coupons (if I lose them, what’s the point in cutting them), stickers (I have to keep the big reward stickers up in the cupboard, but they too were getting lost among the stack of paper) and the incoming mail to handle.
I used envelopes taped securely to the cabinet doors to do this. They are labeled and taped in such away that I’m not able to shove a bunch of stuff in there and forget about it, just letting it build up. I actually have to handle it. By doing that, I was able to clear a file holder off of the counter and take it to work, where it look pretty and serves and actual purpose, other than junk holder. I took our change out to take to the bank. I realized that keeping a phone book around was silly, especially since I don’t update it when someone moves.
It took a lot to just let some stuff go, but I had to. I realize that I’m a pack rat, but you never know when you are going to find the item that requires that little seal you found on the floor last week. I mean, you never know.
In the end, as my slideshow shows, I was able to get the cabinet under control and even use it better. I was able to move some wine glasses we don’t use that frequently, into the cabinet and makes some room somewhere else. Doing that allowed me another cabinet in which to put some of the small kitchen items that were just shoved in any old corner.
I am on vacation soon and I can’t WAIT to do this in more areas of my house. Clutter feels heavy to me. It weighs on my house, it weights on my mind and it weighs on my ability to be productive. I’d love to get it all under control so that I can feel like my house is light and airy for the upcoming summer months.
And now my wish list:
I am considering a small desktop shredder to help keep the mail under control. We have a large shredder in our office in the basement, but it’s too big to keep upstairs and around the kids. Something like this would be perfect.
I would like one of the Power Mat Wireless Charging Station. We are charging our phones in the bedroom, my iPod on the alarm clock dock and my iPad at work. I would like to have one place to put it all without a bunch of wires. Plus, my husband could utilize it too.
I keep my laptop on that counter and there are cords for the USB hub that we use to load up the iPods and plug in the card reader to download pictures. I’d like something like this cord organizer to help manage some of that.
I’d also like a plant. Something that won’t die (I’ve killed a Lucky Bamboo so, you know, something low maintenance) and that doesn’t require a lot of light. It’s a counter in the wall with no windows where I keep my computer. But it doesn’t have to be a dark, unhappy place! Maybe a plant would help make it look more homey.
So that’s where I came from, where I went and where I want to go. I’m glad Organizer Sandy is taking a look at it and I welcome her suggestions, but I’m happy I did this! It makes me feel efficient, effective and on top of things.