Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dirty Little Secret meet the January Cure


Assignment #5. Pick a project to cross off your to do list. We have a small kitchen and ended up with shelves of stuff we don't use all of the time. I moved items we haven't used in over a month into the garage and found new homes for things to keep.


New Basil, Rosemary and Thyme plants help brighten up the space as well as hide the appliances stored behind them.


I bought some storage boxes for the kids paint and clay supplies. I still need to find better homes for everything stacked on the floor, but it is a HUGE improvement.


I moved my tea pot and pitcher collection to on top of the cupboards and got rid of a few serving bowls we never use.


I moved all of our recipe books to one place and finally cleaned the top of the refridgerator.

I'm usually not a dumpster diver, but when I was taking out the recycling and trash, this vase with rocks and a Christmas bulb were sitting next to the compost bin. I ditched the dead bulb and cleaned this up for my Friday Flowers. Every week part of the cure is to liven up your home with fresh flowers. "Think of the purchase as a gift to your home. It is an enjoyable, (affordable!) luxury but it goes far beyond just that. The flowers are a visual symbol of your commitment to caring for your home." – Apartment Therapy


Another project on my to do list: prevent table from being a dumping ground for art and random stuff. Just because a chair is never used does not make it a storage space.


Assignment #7: Weekend Chores - Kitchen Organizing and Cleaning Today I spent 2 hours on these two cabinets. I emptied and cleaned all of the shelves and shelf liners. Threw out expired food. Found way too many duplicates - 3 opened bags of powdered sugar, 3 packages of dark brown sugar, tons of Hersheys bars (we only went camping once, I don't even remember buying duplicates). I sorted the shelves by function splitting the decaf and regular teas to different sides of the top shelf. Then a snack/medicine shelf, cans/beans/bread shelf, pasta and cooking shelf, baking shelf, and pots and pans shelf. Tomorrow I will tackle the rest of the cabinets.

If you can use some de-cluttering help head over to Apartment Therapy and check out the January Cure. You can download the Calendar here.

Happy cleaning!
Clutter is the art of delayed decision making.

I am an expert at it, but I don't want to be. I am indecisive and have a bad habit of piling stuff to deal with at a later date. That date only arrives when people are coming over and I stash my piles on other piles out of plain sight. I'm always washing laundry, but we end up wearing clothes out of the laundry baskets before we get around to folding and putting it all away.

I came across the January Cure on Apartment Therapy (via Christina) and a few things really struck a chord with me. Clutter wastes your time and money. I hadn't really thought about it like that, but it reminded me of how much time I've wasted and frustration I've caused, looking for things I've misplaced. Additionally, I've wasted money and more time by going out to buy something I couldn't find and ending up with duplicates.

Clutter is stressful. My kids can't get dressed on their own sometimes because they are out of clean underwear and socks, then we waste those limited minutes before school digging through baskets to find them. Clutter is overwhelming and makes it hard to focus on what to clean/sort first.

"If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it." – Olin Miller

I'd rather be surrounded and inspired by beauty then distracted and depressed around clutter. So, I signed up for the emails and printed out the January Cure Calendar. I may not finish in January, but I am checking steps off along the way. Here is some of my embarrassing mess and the progress I've made so far.

My new motto is "Don't put it down, put it away." If I can't find a place for something then it needs to go away. No more delay, just decisions.

"Organization isn't about perfection; it's about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life."
– Christina Scalise

My goal is to get my house and my life more clutter free and organized, and make more time for the things that matter most (minis!). I'm going to go fold some laundry now.

14 comments:

  1. I'm doing the Cure, too! I didn't take "before" pictures because I just moved (and did most of my de-cluttering while packing), but my new space is already a huge improvement over the old one.

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    1. Yay! Congrats. We are renting for two more years, so I'm hoping to be clutter free when we move.

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  2. If it means you have more time for minis then I'm all for it. I love the idea of fresh flowers and more greenery to liven up a space. I think I'll invest in some vases and tubs and bring a little of the garden inside. Love those bar stools btw =0)

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    1. The fresh flowers are a surprising treat. I've probably only had cut flowers in the house a handful of times in the last decade. Having them in the house every week inspires me keep the dining table clean, the kids think they are beautiful and it makes me happy. Definitely something I'll stick with.

      The fresh herbs have been great too. It's nice to cook with them, and I like bringing the green inside.

      The bar stools were a great find. We rent a house on a sandy marsh on the San Francisco Bay so I was looking for a beach look. Eventually, when we move I want to have a Tiki Bar to go with them.

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  3. You're very brave. I'm very impressed :-D

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement. :D Some of the before pics are pretty embarrassing. I'm hoping I can shame myself into breaking these bad clutter and procrastination habits once and for all.

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  4. What do you mean, unused chairs are not storage! Really? But it works so well and I have so many... :-)
    Your very brave indeed. ;-)
    Véronique

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    1. I keep wanting a chair in my bedroom but I know it will turn into a clothes rack. Flat surfaces are just asking to hold something. ;-)
      Thanks!

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  5. I'm impressed, well done. I did a similar thing a couple of years ago, but it was ongoing with - http://www.flylady.net/. I don't need to follow it now, it's become automatic behaviour

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    1. Congrats, and this is so encouraging to hear. I feel like I'm at the point where enough is enough and I'm hoping I can change my habits for good. I tried the flylady last year and still keep my sinks clean, but I joined right when she switched email service providers and instead of her one daily email, I started getting 6-10 emails a day from her and she was cluttering my inbox so I quit. Only 1 with the daily task, and then numerous others were the testimonials. I can't handle more than 1 email a day from just about anyone. :)
      So good to hear it worked for you, I'm hoping a less cluttered life is not just a new years resolution and sticks from here on out. :D

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  6. Good job. I have to admit it I'm a bit of a dumper. That is, if I can't find a spot for it, I put it down on a table or a desk or a bench. My boyfriend always jokes saying that the next house will have 45 degree angled furniture so everything will fall on the floor! All the best with the cleaning.

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    1. I totally do that, any available surface. I love the 45 degree angle idea, your boyfriend is a genius. It could be a whole line of "Clutter Free Furniture". :D

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  7. Great job! That was a lot of effort, it looks fantastic. I'm sure you're enjoying the benefits already. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks! My kitchen has never stayed this clean for so long before. Even though it's a small part of the house it gives me hope I can conquer the rest of the clutter everywhere else. :D

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