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A Bowl Full of Lemons Home Organization 101

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I stumbled upon this through Facebook and decided to join. It's a 14 week organization plan. One room per week. Thought I'd pass it along in case anyone else is interested. It starts on Sept. 1st, but I am going to try to get some done before then. I think it'll be my family room to start.
post #2 of 16
That looks interesting. So does it mean she will post the information each week on the blog? She mentions joining the "class" and I'm not sure what that means (I'm clearly not blog savvy)!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I wasn't 100% sure either, but that was my guess. There was also an event created for it on Facebook, so I am thinking she will post blog links there. But my guess is that you can follow along just by reading the blog.
post #4 of 16

I'm going to join along, I think.  I don't have all that many rooms here, so it shouldn't be so hard to keep up.  lol

post #5 of 16
Thanks for linking! I added the blog to my rss feed and joined the facebook event.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, this starts today, and i am debating whether or not to take the plunge and empty out my kitchen cabinets today or wait until tomorrow when I have more energy. http://abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com/

Anyone else doing this?
post #7 of 16

Did I say it wouldn't be hard to keep up???  eyesroll.gif  I just spent a couple of hours in the kitchen and didn't make much of a dent.  


She says no pantry this week, so, of course I started with the pantry, but my "pantry" is really the largest cabinet in the kitchen.  It has been making me crazy lately, totally overflowing and never able to find anything, etc.  So, I got rid of a bunch of stuff in there and managed to use some smallish bins that I didn't have any use/place for and had been tripping over and thinking about throwing away.  So now I've got a big bin for pasta/legumes, and smaller ones for tea, sweeteners/junk, and flavorings/lesser used spices.


My counter under the pantry was pretty well organized except for the pantry spilling over onto it, but I took everything off and cleaned.  


Didn't clean out the inside of the fridge, but I did go through and got rid of all the stuff we won't use, which will give me a head start on wiping it out.  I just emptied it and took all the shelves and bins and scrubbed a couple of weeks ago, so it doesn't need a deep cleaning.  


And my really big accomplishment was to do under the sink, which really creeps me out for some reason.  I hate it down there!  Of course that wasn't on her to do list either.  lol  But it needed to be done.  It had been quite a while. 


So, as far as I can tell I can't actually cross anything off the list as done!  But I do feel like I have started on the kitchen.  I probably won't finish everything this week, but as I said earlier, I don't have a many rooms as she listed, so maybe I will go back to work on the kitchen on one of those weeks where she's got nothing for me.  


I'd be happy if I get the following done this week:


--  wipe out and organize inside of fridge/freezer

--  clean off top of fridge

--  purge and clean out stuff from huge drawers and cabinet under sink counter

--  the normal stuff:  sweep/mop, wipe stove down, counters

--  wipe down outside of cabinets


ETA:  I just saw that she put up a schedule of rooms and I three week to work on the kitchen since I don't have any garage and I've done the pantry.  The fourth week, iirc, is the office, and I'll do my craft room that week, I think.  So between now and week four I'll do the rest of the kitchen and get started on my craft room (which will be a bit of an undertaking, though probably nothing like a lot of people's garages).  

Edited by rubidoux - 9/2/12 at 3:38pm
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, yesterday I ended up packing up my knick-nacks and paintings etc. because my mom told me that my dad might want to come and paint my living room today. He's a pro, but he was sore, so I ended up telling him let's do it next weekend. So nothing got done in the kitchen yesterday. Today I decided to clean out my fridge since dh was going shopping. I pulled everything out and cleaned every inch. I didn't do the freezer, but I am feeling good about the fridge. I will definitely set up my lunch making center this week, as my older dd starts school on Thursday. Last week, I took the office supplies I was storing in a kitchen drawer and put them in a shoe-holder on the inside of a closet door, and now there is junk in the drawer. I hate odds and ends. They make me nuts and pile up so much. I can' even count how many junk drawers there are in this house. But anyhow, I am planning to empty out the junk and put my lunch making supplies in the drawer. I used to keep them in a basket last year, but then misc. crap would get tossed in the basket and so I am hoping a drawer will be better... if I can keep my almost 3 year-old out of it. That could be challenging.

I just reorganized all of my spices a few weeks ago, and I am happy about how that turned out. I have them on a lazy susan. I have 2 bigger categories mexican spices and poultry seasonings grouped in bins. Then I have the basics- onion and garlic powder and a section for salt and pepper and one more for condiments like salad dressings (sometimes used for marinades, vinegar, honey, agave (which I never use and should probably just get rid of).

I also recently moved where I keep my pans and lids. They are now in a lazy susan, which is OK, so I'll leave that for now. I would like to reorganize my bakeware to store it standing up and label my shelves where we keep plates, bowls cups, kids cups, etc. Every time I get everything into a nice spot that makes sense, dh moves it and I forget my system. Certainly not going to complain b/c emptying the dishwasher is one task he will do without complaining (too much).

I have a bin where I store hair supplies, vitamins, medicines, deodorant, etc. Not sure why the deodorant ended up there, but I guess it was from getting my dd out the door and then getting caught up with my toddler and not having/taking time to go up and put it on. I would like to divide that up into the categories like she has-- pain and fever, first aide, vitamins and hair stuff. I always help my dd with her hair during/after breakfast, so it seems to work out better to have them in the kitchen.

So that gives me for this week:

Lunch station
Mixed up morning bin
plates cups cabinet

If I do one per day, I should get through it. If not, I'll go back to it sometime. Oh, and I could do my freezer, but won't be horrified if I skip that one.
post #9 of 16

I have the same problem with the junk drawers.  Every time I get rid of the junk drawer (which can never fully be accomplished anyway), another one pops up.  I think I have two going now, and one is near to overflowing.  Ugh.  


I did my lunchbox drawer today and love it!  My home is a mess somehow, even though there is almost no clutter.  I just don't have any stuff  --  except crafty stuff and lunchbox stuff. I have quite a few actual boxes, and then a ton of small stainless steel containers and other accessories.  A few too many water bottles, too.  But I paired down the lunch drawer so that everything fits nicely and is well organized (it's a HUGE drawer).  It's only got the smaller containers and accessories in it though, not the boxes.  I am thinking of getting rid of all but two of the boxes (in case one gets lost, which does happen).  I should really do that tomorrow, a little decluttering is always a good thing.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I really made quite a dent today. But I left the odds and ends for me to sort through later. I think I am going to have to box up a bunch of odds and ends and then sort them later. I checked the schedule, and next week is the garage. I don't have a garage, so I can spend next week doing my odds and ends.

Lunch station- I got my drawer set up, and I do think I will like it much better. I took my thermoses out of the cabinet and put them in the lunch drawer. That gave me some extra space to organize our plates, bowls cups, etc., so I did that cabinet.

Mixed up morning bin- sorted through the bin and put first aide, fever/pain, hair stuff and vitamins in separate bins/baskets

Bakeware- That was easy. Just stood them on the sides, and realized that I had enough room to add my cutting boards with the cookie sheets and baking pans.

plates cups cabinet

Labels-- This is the only thing I didn't do. I am thinking of taking photos of each to show my dh how to put it all away. He seemed to like that idea.

Now, I have 2 empty drawers. I need to figure out what to put in them so that they don't become junk. smile.gif Then I need to deal with the random odds and ends that I took out of cabinets.

I'm so glad I did as much as I did today because I don't know how much time I will have the rest of the week. It was nice to have my dh here to help with the kids. I even disinfected my counter tops.

So my new to do:

Odds and ends
wipe cabinet doors and drawers
Declutter side of fridge
Put a pocket inside a cabinet drawer for takeout menus?
Edited by mkksmom - 9/4/12 at 11:11am
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that she made a group for the challenge, so I joined that.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I wiped down my cabinets, and I put stuff away. I need to take photos so we know how to keep it nice. I started decluttering my fridge, and I realized that I am going to have to come up with a new system for storing school papers for the girls. There are so many options. Too many. Don't know which one to try. I know I need a dumping ground for school work as it comes home. Then I need a space for calendars, schedules, PTO resources, safe snack lists, etc. Coupons. I was thinking I would work through all of this during the office week. However, school starts for 2 days for my older dd, and on the 17th for my younger dd. I think I'll set up a system and reevaluate once the office week rolls around.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK I realize I am talking to myself here, but someone will probably relate. I was thinking through my paper system before starting and then looked back at my fridge and thought that I should take down the kids' art work and move it. So rather than setting up a paper system, I hung a string from one nail to another across a blank kitchen wall and put the artwork up there with clothes pins. Before that, I was going to vacuum, realized I should dust first. Went to grab a microfiber cloth and saw that I really needed to wash my iron skillet from lunch. So I washed the skillet, managed to remember that I had to dust. Finished that and then set the kids up with a puppet theater. I just had to hang a nail over a doorway, and put up the hanging curtain. Then I forgot what I was doing and came on here to check my list for what to do next. As I type this, I am looking at the vacuum, which needs to be run before my 3 yo takes a nap. I swear I have add. That's why challenges like this one are good for me. At least I am doing something. I will vacuum now and take pics of the inside of the cabinets during my dd's nap.
post #14 of 16

i relate, keep writing, you can help the both of us !

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Every cabinet in my kitchen is organized now, and i have 1 empty cabinet and 1 empty drawer. I do have a shelf above my table that is about the height of the doors, and I did not go through the bins up there. It's extra utensils and such that I should cull, but I do have room to store them, and I just didn't want to tackle them with my dd starting school this week. I don't have a beasement, so I will be starting my dining room table next week. This is where I have dumped boxes of odds and ends. I dread it, but I have to get it done.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Things are moving along for me. I put my living room back together and decluttered the bottom shelf of the bookcase in there, so that looks better. Then over this weekend, I tackled my dining room-- AKA the dumping ground since we eat in the kitchen. I scheduled to have someone come to clean my carpets tomorrow morning, a week before my LO's party so I would be motivated to straighten up and get the little furniture moved into the dining room. This week is the Pantry. I don't have a true pantry. I turned a closet into a pantry, but we use it for games and toys for the kids. I'm not thrilled with my food storage, but it's working. I have to straighten up my laundry room and do party prep this week, but I just might get crazy and reorganize the pantry closet. The games and such are spilling over and really need to be purged or at least moved.

I really should have been doing my basement when she was doing the garage, but with painting the living room and putting it back together, I really didn't have time. I am really liking having weekly direction, though. I am finding that it keeps me motivated. I joined her group, and I see those posts and it makes me want to go on even if I am not working in the same area.
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