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Whole Home Organization Support Thread - Page 3

post #41 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkiMom View Post

Am I totally crazy to draw diagrams of the kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer so everyone can put things away in the same spots?? My husband is driving me insane right now, he just puts things anywhere and I spent so long getting things to a way that it functions and flows easily. I thought maybe the diagrams might make it easier on everyone so we are all on the same page.



I have threatened to move the house on my husband and see how he likes it.  He insists he puts everything back where he found it.  I have come to realize that he means he put everything back in the same area of the house.  Or, at least in the same house as he found it in.  Let me know how that diagram goes.  <cheesy smile>

 

 

OK - honestly, if you were my dear, dear friend and we were discussing this over lunch, I'd feign thinking you were joking and laugh long and hard.  Then, while I held your hand in commiseration, I'd tell you that I think diagrams will only result in your husband thinking you've graduated to completely crazy and you banging your head on the fridge door when you find the mayo and the beer together again, and now you have to face the fact that he has a diagram, he KNOWS where the mayo goes, he's just not putting it there.

 

Sorry.  hug2.gif flowersforyou.gif

 

 

 

 

Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay - does anyone know how to post a picture?  Do I need my own web hosting?

 

post #42 of 95

I thought I'd share some photos of our progress. We're expecting #2 in September which means that our third bedroom (which had previously been the office/craft room) is being transformed into a bedroom for my oldest. In addition to severely paring down craft supplies (including my beloved spinning wheel), we're finally starting to see real progress!

 

So, here are some of the "after" shots.

 

Here's my closet in our bedroom. I decided that I'd try to get most of my craft supplies on the shelves. (I also took out my "skinny clothes" since I'm four months pregnant and not likely to fit into much for very long.)

 

6916137076_2303ebc398_n.jpg

 

An extra shelf in the bedroom to hold misc. items. I've got some knitting needles, some leftover balls of yarn, our winter hats/scarves/etc, and some art drawing paper for my son.

 

6916137032_1f85fa4544_n.jpg

 

Our "gentleman's" chest formerly was a mess. I cleaned it out today, reduced the amount of shirts in our drawers and added smaller needles, binders and our general office supplies to keep them neat and orderly.

 

7062217667_4f4344ee63_n.jpg

 

Here's the downstairs living room corner. We had two of these giant Expedit bookshelves in the office/craft room. I've sold SOOO much yarn on Craigslist... and even though it looks like there's still a lot, trust me.. this is an improvement! My husband even commented, once he saw everything together, that it really didn't seem like much. (I'm pretty sure that's the first time he's EVER said anything like that to me.)  The bottom shelves of the bookcase house a few toys for our toddler.

 

7062217483_9d0e8089e6_n.jpg

 

And here's our growing garage sale pile! (Well, minus the chest in the front my father made that I could never part with!) We've also got stuff hidden in our shed and in the attic, but it feels great to see this pile growing and growing!

 

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post #43 of 95

Hmm... can I join in? I'm going to go through everything twice, actually. First to list and sell our current home, then moving into a rental. We're moving to a whole new area in our city, so renting first seems like a good idea so we can get a sense of exactly where we'd like to be for transportation, stores, parks, etc. The kids homeschool so we don't have to worry about school district at least! We hope to put the place on the market in the beginning of May, and before then, I have to pack up just about everything we're not literally using--out of season clothes, old homeschool materials, etc. 

post #44 of 95

Mmm, so looking at the pictures I realize I don't have the biggest projects in the world going, but I'm pleased with myself all the same.

 

 

So, the before picture, the bags are all willy-nilly, things aren't grouped with like things, etc...  Husband worked from home and I worked too many hours away from home.  So this is what happened when I only cared on the weekends...

 

Messy messy messy!

 

 

And now, I have all the bags sorted and grouped and stacked neatly, everything is with like things, and I washed the shelves before putting it all back in.  And as you can see, our garage and mail-getting shoes are now homed in the closet, so our guests don't trip over our rubber shoes when they come in the door!

 

After!

post #45 of 95

Wow, everything looks so nice now! :)  Doesn't it feel GREAT to have that "give away or sell" pile growing and know that it'll be gone soon?  I had a Goodwill pile as we were preparing to move and it was so.dang.satisfying to schlep it all to the Goodwill dropoff and have it gone!

 

My husband and I agreed that from now on we'll follow a system (which I'll invent and police :) ) to keep the house organized and company-ready at all times, rather than looking like a place where hobos camp.  (This includes buying actual nice furniture that we want to keep for 10 years or more, rather than the cheap/free stuff we used in the old, hobo-like apartment.)  When we got rid of our extremely horrible old mattress, we saw that the name of it was actually "Sultan Hogbo" (which in our mind equals Sultan Hobo)....so we've come up with the Sultan Hobo Hall of Shame Award, to be awarded weekly to the person who does the most shamefully hobo-like thing.  So far I won it once for finally buying new underwear but not tossing the old holey stuff, and my DH is in the running this week for putting his old holey socks in the wash.  (I threw them out while I was folding the clean laundry and putting it away.)

 

Reading this over, it doesn't sound related to organization, but really it is!  We are both hoarder types and ridiculously cheap when it comes to our own personal stuff and living quarters.  We end up with a lot of boxes full of junk that "might come in handy someday" or "can be made to work," and while I'm usually all for making things do...there is a limit.  I'm sick of junk everywhere and nothing working quite right.  Thus, the invention of The System and our resolution to not live in squalor anymore! :)

post #46 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Choose2Reuse View Post

Can I join in too?  We're moving from Palo Alto, CA to Portland, OR next week, so I'm purging junk like crazy.  We have intended to move back to Portland (it's my hometown) for the entire almost-five-years we've been married, so we never bought any nice furniture or anything.  We'll be starting over almost from scratch in our new apartment, and I really really want to make sure that this time it's organized and noncluttered, and that I keep the home life running like a well-oiled machine!

 

Most of the stuff we're not using at this point (basically everything but kitchen things, baby things and some of our clothes) is packed.  Next up is the kitchen!  My wonderful mom came and stayed with us for a week to help clean and play with the baby while I packed, but she left this morning.  Sure hope I can keep getting stuff done!

Hey we are moving to Portland too! Don't know when though... waiting for our house to sell. 

 

But anyway, I want to jump in on this too. The more organized our house is the more peaceful I feel, the better it shows, and the less junk we will have to pack! We did get a TON done before putting it on the market... but there is still a lot more to do. I don't think it will ever end, but I will try. Also forgive me if I dissapear from posting for a while. I suck at keeping up with forums. 
 

 

post #47 of 95

Oh, cool!  I'm a Portland native and I'm sooooo happy to be back!  (Actually we're renting an apartment in Hillsboro, but close enough!)

 

I feel like I've got a good system (at least in my head :P implementing it is another matter) for most things...but what's a good system for keeping track of papers, letters, etc.?  Especially if you live in a small apartment and haven't got a desk?  Our current system involves a decorative hanging thing with pockets and a big ol accordion file.  Mail, etc. gets stuck in the hanging pocket until I have time to deal with it.  Then if it's important it gets filed in the appropriate part of the accordion file.  The problem is kinda-sorta-might-be-important stuff, and the papers you need to keep but only temporarily.  They all build up in the hanging pocket and it drives me batty.  Does anybody have a really good paperwork-wrangling system they'd like to share? 

post #48 of 95

Subbing/joining!  Hi greenmama!! 

 

We are in the midst of a home renovation/remodel (for, um... the last 6 years bag.gif ), and staying motivated is not our strong suit.  But since we are expecting #2 in July, I have some crazy nesting urges that are a HUGE help.  So far I've completely reorganized our basement pantry and defrosted/organized the freezer, organized 4 kitchen cabinets and one in the laundry room, sorted some baby clothes to be either sold, donated, or given to a friend, and cleared all the clutter off the dining room table (though some of it is on the buffet now).  DH also totally cleaned and mostly decluttered our garage.

 

Our home is not large; we have ~1100 sq ft on two stories, plus a 2/3 finished basement.  There are 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and a laundry/mudroom/former back porch that is unfortunately our main entrance.  DS is going to move into the larger bedroom, and his current room will remain the nursery (DH works midnights, so baby can't always be in our room, though we have a co-sleeper there as well).  We have a lot of work to do to make this happen, simply because the upstairs remodel isn't quite done. We need to sit down and make a list of all the loose ends we need to wrap up before the new baby gets here...  But my biggest priority is organization.  We simply have too much, in spite of living frugally/simply and getting rid of over 1200 items in last years "2011 in 2011" challenge.  I am not organized by nature, but once a system is in place I can keep it going.  The problem is that our lifestyle has changed drastically since moving into this house (moving towards simplicity/minimalism), and because we started the reno almost immediately, no system was ever really put into place.  We're still very much in the process of figuring out what works for us, but we know that piles everywhere isn't it!

post #49 of 95

Alright...  In the past few days I've gone through all of DS's toys, sorting out what to keep, donate, or sell.  I also packed up the toys and clothes that I'm donating or selling, then got the boxes/bags in the car so I can offload them next time I go past the Goodwill.  The stuff to sell will need to wait til I can get to Once Upon a Child.  But there are no more piles in the living room!  Well, aside from library books, but that's the next step.

 

I think I'm going to take the next 3 days off of work, and DH and I are going to work on DS's new room (formerly our office/computer room).  Here's a list of what I'd like to accomplish:

  • Sort through bookcase.  I have 30 years of back issues of Mother Earth News that need to be re-sorted.  I consider these reference and will not be getting rid of them.  I contemplated buying the CDs, but I am a prepper and would like to have this particular information on paper in case of an extended power outage.  Some other reference materials are here, but some are in our bookcase downstairs.  Consolidate.
  • Take rocking chair out to garage, then back to my aunt.
  • Take bed frame back to my mom
  • Sort through hope chest.  Discard/donate items I don't want or need to keep.  Use as storage for spare blankets.
  • Find a new home for the ironing board.  Possibly purchase an over-the-door caddy, as our "laundry room" is far too small to actually iron in.
  • Select new color and paint
  • Purchase curtain and rod to cover closet opening temporarily
  • Move DS's bed into new room and clothes into larger dresser
  • Move crib and glider back to nursery

 

Since we can paint after DS goes to sleep at night, I'm pretty confident we can get it all done.  I'll be back later to post pics (scary!).

post #50 of 95

Did I scare everyone away??  confused.gif

 

Here are my accomplishments so far today:

  • Sort through bookcase.  I have 30 years of back issues of Mother Earth News that need to be re-sorted.  I consider these reference and will not be getting rid of them.  I contemplated buying the CDs, but I am a prepper and would like to have this particular information on paper in case of an extended power outage.  Some other reference materials are here, but some are in our bookcase downstairs.  Consolidate.
  • Take rocking chair out to garage, then back to my aunt.
  • Take bed frame back to my mom  (going tonight when she comes for dinner)
  • Sort through hope chest.  Discard/donate items I don't want or need to keep.  Use as storage for spare blankets.
  • Find a new home for the ironing board.  Possibly purchase an over-the-door caddy, as our "laundry room" is far too small to actually iron in.
  • Select new color and paint
  • Purchase curtain and rod to cover closet opening temporarily
  • Move DS's bed into new room and clothes into larger dresser
  • Move crib and glider back to nursery
post #51 of 95
Thread Starter 

Hi Diana!  Sorry - not scared away - just distracted by daily life these days.  I just finished a big time sensitive project, and have about a week before I leave on a trip out of state, so I am going to try to use that time judiciously!!  I needed to take today off because it is the first day I've had to relax.  Being pregnant this time is wearing me out, so I gave myself permission to just SIT. :)

 

It does get me thinking though, that I need to get things moving toward decluttering, BIG TIME.  I think we are going to try to have a yard sale in a few weeks or a month.  definitely need to go through our stuff, decide what we dont absolutely NEED, and just clear it OUT.  I think that will be a big step in the right direction.  Maybe I can plan on doing a whole room every day or two. 

post #52 of 95

Reading minamalist blogs has been inspiring. Got some good cleaning done today, and packed up a box of M's clothes that he never wears to get rid of. Looks like we are going to do a garage sale next week! 

post #53 of 95

greenmama - I'm normally not this... inspired... but I think my nesting instinct is really kicking in.  I wish I could get it together to have a yard sale, but I can't hang onto anything that long.  The clutter is making me INSANE.  But I feel like I should be making money off of all this stuff....!  I hope you have good luck!

 

sk8boarder - I've been looking through blogs, too.  Have you seen any with pictures of traditional homes that are still minimal?  It seems like so many minimalist inspiration photos are of very modern rooms, which isn't my style at all.

 

AFM - Woohoo!  We started painting today!  It was sort of bittersweet, because the room is painted a gorgeous shade of aqua.  We are going to repaint our bedroom the same color, but seeing the room mostly empty and that beautiful color on the walls...  And I don't know when we're going to paint our room.  Soon, I hope.  Regardless, we are definitely on track to get DS's new room just-about done by the end of the weekend.  The only thing that we may wait on is the curtain over the closet, as I want to find something heavyweight with a nice pattern.

 

My to-do list:

  • Sort through bookcase.  I have 30 years of back issues of Mother Earth News that need to be re-sorted.  I consider these reference and will not be getting rid of them.  I contemplated buying the CDs, but I am a prepper and would like to have this particular information on paper in case of an extended power outage.  Some other reference materials are here, but some are in our bookcase downstairs.  Consolidate.
  • Take rocking chair out to garage, then back to my aunt.
  • Take bed frame back to my mom  (going tonight when she comes for dinner)
  • Sort through hope chest.  Discard/donate items I don't want or need to keep.  Use as storage for spare blankets.
  • Find a new home for the ironing board.  Possibly purchase an over-the-door caddy, as our "laundry room" is far too small to actually iron in.
  • Select new color and paint
  • Purchase curtain and rod to cover closet opening temporarily
  • Move DS's bed into new room and clothes into larger dresser
  • Move crib and glider back to nursery
post #54 of 95

We signed the lease for our apartment today and promptly bought some cubbyhole shelves & fabric drawers for them!  And so far, doing good on the resolution to only buy furniture that includes storage space (with the obvious exception of dining table & chair, etc. that can't really have storage).  Right now everything is unassembled and making a big mess in the apartment (we're staying with family for another week or two), but I have high hopes for organization soon!
 

post #55 of 95

The sell or give-away pile has been diminished, as bulk pickup came on Friday and we discarded of three small kitchen appliances that were well-loved and quite broken.  My house is now down one old, crusty rusty crockpot, one wafflemaker that made the mistake of breaking while poor husband was using it, and one coffee grinder that ground it's last cup and was bid a fond farewell after we both agreed we had REALLY gotten our $15 worth of use before it cracked.

 

Soooooo happyyyyyy!

 

Now, I start on my pantry.  So far I've installed a lazy Susan for the spices and now I will be sorting my beans and grains and whatnot into jars instead of the bulk bags they now reside in.  After that I am tackling these two small cupboards I have in the kitchen, one above the sink and one above the range vent.  This is what husband is afraid of, because I can't even see into these cupboards without the 3-step stool, so I know he's got his "stuff" stashed up there.  He's a pack-rat, it seems.  I ain't having it.

 

 

post #56 of 95

I did a HUGE kitchen clean-up this weekend (yay for sunny weather inspiring me to do spring cleaning/decluttering) and managed to remove a lot of stuff from the kitchen area. I still need to delve into the backs of some of the cupboards, because I know I have a ridiculous amount of glass baking dishes back there multiplying on their own...

 

I sold my dining table & chairs a week or two ago and am planning on getting a new, smaller set, so right now my dining room is chaos. I have the following piles: to sort, to sell (mostly on craigslist), to donate (to Goodwill and to Dress for Success), to give to family/friends. There are also a lot of sub-piles. It's a little nuts. happytears.gif

 

I'm really excited about the way things are going, though! My basic rule of thumb has been that any item has to have at least TWO of the following qualities: useful, beautiful, and loved. And it can't just be generally useful/beautiful/loved -- it needs to be so RIGHT NOW and TO ME. It's too easy to say something is beautiful, but if it's not particularly beautiful to me right now, or because I loved it once, doesn't mean I need to keep it!

You all inspire me. Keep up the good work, everyone! joy.gif

post #57 of 95

Glad I'm not the only one who's been busy!

 

Tracy - I'm a huge proponent of the useful/beautiful/loved rule.  It's one of the reasons I love antiques.  I have/use antique kitchen appliances for that reason.  I also have a beautiful bookcase with leaded glass doors that would be the only possession I'd try to get out of the house if there was a fire.  I like function, but I want it to look good while functioning!

 

MrsGregory - Good for you for tackling the pantry!  That is one area I have a hard time keeping organized, because things are always moving in and out.  Jars instead of bags are a HUGE help.

 

choose2reuse - Congrats on the new apartment!  Maybe you can share some pics once you are moved in?

 

AFM - All that's left to do on DS's room is swap the furniture.  I was out of town visiting family for the weekend, and returned home with some crazy ligament pain from chasing DS around by myself all weekend.  I chose a long bath and a lazy evening instead of finishing, which I don't regret in the slightest.  I think DH and I can get everything switched on Thursday morning (he's off work), and a few extra days to air out the paint fumes isn't a bad thing.  I don't smell anything, but we've had the window open since painting.

 

Now that the room doesn't actually look like a pit, I'll share my before pictures.  This is terribly embarrassing...   In my defense, the room only looked this awful for a few weeks.  Before that, it was set up like a guest room and looked functional, if slightly cluttered.  Once we moved the bed to DS's room (he was climbing out of his crib, but we weren't ready to swap actual bedrooms), it just became a dump for junk from the bathroom remodel (tile, boxes from the faucets), some things from the nursery (crib parts, glider), toys, and laundry.  Yikes.  bag.gif

 

2012-04-18 13.58.00.jpg

 

2012-04-18 13.58.05.jpg

 

2012-04-18 13.58.12.jpg

 

And here's a sneak peek of what it looks like now:

 

2012-04-20 08.12.08.jpg

 

BUT, in spite of not finishing DS's room, DH did a complete overhaul of the basement storage area!  He took everything out, scrubbed the walls and floor, built new shelves, and then put everything away in an organized fashion.   I wish I had a before picture.  There were shelves on each side of the walkway, and there was just a little path to get through.  It's a pretty small space to begin with, and it felt very closed-in.  Now it's so much nicer!  Because I was out of town I didn't go through any of the bins of decorations or anything, but I'll tackle that after the upstairs is squared away.

 

2012-04-23 22.07.12.jpg

 

Yay for progress!!  joy.gif

post #58 of 95

Is anyone else dealing with a pack-rat partner, and how do you deal?  And by deal, I do mean convince them to rid themselves of 75% of their pack-ratted crap?

 

help.gif
 

post #59 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

Is anyone else dealing with a pack-rat partner, and how do you deal?  And by deal, I do mean convince them to rid themselves of 75% of their pack-ratted crap?

 

help.gif
 


As a recovering pack-rat myself, I'd say leading by example is the best way to do it! Good luck!
post #60 of 95

Tracy, I'm a big fan of leading by example, but in this case it's not working.  He seems to take my lack of accumulation as a sign that there is space to be filled!  I'm just a little horrified, as I entrench myself in the house and get it suitable for habitation, I keep finding more and more of his stuff and it really is a lot.  There are a lot of pack-rats in this world, and I'm not one of them, and I don't plan to live with one of them.

I had an idea that each family member can have a box, roughly foot locker sized, and if their items of sentimental value cannot fit in that box, it gets trashed or sold or donated.  Except husband isn't claiming sentiment, he's claiming future use. 

He saved couch cushions.  From a couch we hadn't had in a year.  I just hate feeling like the junk police when I throw away his treasures.


 

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