Getting Organized: Part 3

I’ve been working a lot on organizing cupboards and cabinets in the cozy house lately.  And not only organizing them, but doing it without spending a lot of dough.  I could easily spend hundreds of dollars at The Container Store on organizational products – I love them just as much as I love weekly planners and planning tools.

If I tried to reorganize my entire house in one day, or even just one room (like the kitchen), I would be done before ever starting.  Talk about daunting.  Even in our tiny house, that’s a very intimidating task.  If you have seen my cupboards, you would know I speak the truth.

So to tackle the project of organizing and cleaning out drawers and closets, I’ve identified the (very many) badly-neglected storage areas in each room of our home.  I have made it a goal to clean one or two areas each weekend until each is organized and well-utilized once more.  I am not even committing to one room at a time, because some rooms (like the scary-bedroom-soon-to-be-a-nursery) have about 17 scary storage areas; so I am taking baby steps and just focusing on a couple specific areas at a time.

What I am doing here is by no means rocket science, and most of you probably do all this already.  I just thought I’d share in case it’s helpful to anyone.

Last weekend I started by cleaning out the bathroom medicine cabinet and drawers.  I pitched outdated medicines, ointments, and makeup.  I emptied out drawers and set out on the task of reorganizing each drawer, one at a time.  I picked up some cheap little white drawer organizers – I think they were three for a dollar. I bought a few different shapes and sizes of containers to have some variety.  Used the smaller containers to organize drawer number one: makeup brushes, lip glosses, combs/brushes, nail polish, etc.  In drawer number two, I used the larger containers for Jon’s hair cutter and trimmer stuff– that thing has lots of little attachments and cords, so it’s nice to now have it all contained.  Drawer three is now home to an organized collection of cotton balls, q-tips, etc.  Drawers 4-6 were already pretty organized, as was the under-the-sink area, which is home to cleaning supplies and a stockpile of soaps and shampoos, so I didn’t have to go there at all, which was fantastic.  Made the job more bearable knowing that I didn’t have to tackle every little space.

On Sunday I was still feeling motivated to clean, so I braved our little built-in cupboard in the dining room.  The space is underneath our bill paying station, and it holds everything from envelopes and boxes of checks to games, notebooks, important documents, CD’s, and miscellaneous office supplies.  We earned a ton of space after this cleaning job, because I was able to purge about 60% of the contents.  We had like 36 boxes of checks for accounts that are no longer open, so those all went out to the burn barrel right away.  I also pitched a huge bag of Jon’s old receipts.  He keeps receipts for everything, which has saved our skin time and time again, but these receipts were from 2005, 2006.  No longer needed, thank you very much.  So pitching those random items, along with moving some other things to new locations and using more of those cheap white containers to organize small notepads and office supplies, gave our built-in new life.  I no longer fear for my safety when I open the door of that cupboard, in fear that I will be buried alive in an avalanche of paperwork.

It’s just such a relief to have new, usable space after cleaning up areas that have been badly out of control for so long.  This weekend I am going to tackle the big closet in the scary-bedroom-soon-to-be-a-nursery.  I also want to get the ball rolling with the basement project, so I’m hopeful that I can get a few boxes labeled and organized down there.  The process is not necessarily fun, but the end result…that feeling of relief at no longer living in a chaotic mess…so worth it.

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4 thoughts on “Getting Organized: Part 3

  1. Good for you! Now, if you ever get the chance while organizing leave a drawer or space for the baby. You’d be surprised how much space all that baby stuff takes up. I used a drawer in the kitchen for bottles and such. A space in the cupboard for misc feeding dishes, almost a whole shelf in the pantry for baby food, baby food grinder, a fantastic spinner that held sippy cups, baby silverware and more, and on and on it goes. Because I have 2 girls and we have a lot of drawers in our bathroom vanity they each have a drawer for hair stuff, toothpaste, etc. Well, you get the idea anyway. Keep on cleaning, it’s worth it!

  2. Oh Amber, I am so glad to hear your expertise about storage room for baby. I’ve been wondering about how much space to save for baby stuff, so your info is super helpful! I’m going to work on that this weekend, too, now that I have some advice. There’s tons that I could store downstairs or get rid of but I keep it upstairs just for convenience. Gracias mi amiga!

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