Monday, March 4, 2013

The Start of Something Fun

In some circles it may be a little-known fact, but the fact is I love houses and helping them live up to their potential. Decorating, organizing, getting rid of clutter and making houses more calming and live-able. 

Enter a dear friend who became a mom about the same time as me who was looking for a little help with her place. As we all know, life events (marriage, the start of parenthood) are not only rites of passage, but major potential clutter takeover moments. In my house I approach these moments with a lot of Bankers Boxes, a Sharpie, and a fairly wild look in my eye. And also a car that's very ready to drop off things at Goodwill. 

But for the majority of people, organizational moments are event-based and need a few rah rahs to get going. I certainly don't blame them. It's not like working mothers don't have anything better to do. But when things start impeding the flow of our lives and start keeping us from getting out the door smoothly, then I say "When can I help"?

Our first order of business after an overall home consultation was the kitchen. I don't have a Before picture here, but we needed to make the cupboards more user friendly, where one could easily reach in and pull out exactly what was needed, with no extra debris flying out and no wondering where a certain glass went. 

So here is the After picture of one of the cabinets. We combed through all the tumblers, mugs, and wine  glasses, purged several unused and unloved items, put like items together, and put the most-used items toward the bottom.

Another area we wanted to tackle was all of the bottles, milk storage containers, and pump parts from when Dear Son was a baby. I can only wonder how many women have a random bag of these things pushed back in the corner of the closet, that will only see the light of day again once baby #2 comes along...and who wants to organize then?

So we sorted through everything, set aside any unused bottle types that the baby never took to to be donated, and consolidated different types of items in gallon-sized Ziplocs and stored them in a Bankers Box labeled Nursing Supplies. *Sigh* Organizing heaven to pull this out of the basement the next time it's all needed.

Then we tackled a problematic high cabinet above the pantry. It had become a catchall for grocery bags, cardboard boxes, lightbulbs, and anything else that didn't have a home. First we pulled out the cardboard boxes and gift bags that had been pushed to the back of the middle shelf and were long forgotten and saved the reusable gift bags and recycled all the rest. Then we consolidated all of the outdoor summer supplies on one side of one shelf: citronella candle, grilling tongs, sunscreen, and put the "in storage" items like extra Kleenex at the top and put the most-used items like a bin of pens and scissors on the most accessible lowest shelf. Then we added a new plastic storage box for all of her son's art supplies so they can all easily be pulled out at once. On the middle shelf we set some trays that were previously harder to reach in a location above the fridge.

One big win was the previously vacant shelf above the kitchen window. After sorting through all of their cookbooks and donating the ones that would never be used, we stored the often-used ones elsewhere but put ones of sentimental value and cute covers facing out on the shelf. Between that we added a small teapot and on the left side of the cookbooks, wooden carved salt & pepper shakers made as a gift by a family member, and on the right side of the cookbooks, a great mug with the crest of the school that she attended in England as a girl, pulled from the rest of the mugs in the cabinet we reorganized. The best part? These items of sentimental value are out of reach of sweet little toddler hands. 

We have plans to do much more, but this was an energizing start. It's so fun to see small changes make a big impact in one's home and help make things work maybe just a little bit better. 

1 comment:

Dad said...

Wow Ab! Such a useful mindset.
Everyone should be so realistic1
Luv, Dad