Thursday, January 21, 2021

A Closet and Papers

Hello Organized Friends!

I have been on a streak of some decluttering this month. All the kitchen items still need to leave. I found some things in my daughter's closet and then I ran into this closet. It's really a storage closet for things not often used: extra uniforms, luggage, sewing supplies, photos, bedding and of course the filing cabinet.

But this...mess below was a complete failure on my part. This was left from hurricane season. Photos and files we binned up just in case we would need to leave. But I never put it back!! We had dived into it and left papers and files on the floor. 

I emptied the bin, put the pictures back on the shelf, and the files back into the filing cabinet. 
Also a little tidy up as well. 

I needed the bin to corral the things I found elsewhere in the house. They didn't all fit!

I went back to the file cabinet and reviewed two of our most used files. I found 20 pieces of paper to let go of! Old receipts and manuals primarily. I also found a huge stack of manilla and hanging file folders that we no longer use. The file cabinet is only about 1/3 full at this point. I'm very interested in letting the cabinet go. I would need to find a new option first for what remains, in addition to downsizing a bit more.

Moving the minimalism needle a bit further! How minimal is your paper storage? Any January decluttering? 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Kitchen Counters: An Update

Welcome back to my organizing and decluttering shenanigans of 2021! This is a year of making changes and drifting towards another level of minimalism. 

Did you see my last post with a sneak peak of my kitchen counters?

I wanted fewer items visible, primarily because it was feeling cluttered to me. Our tolerance for items out on the counters is different for each of us. I was ready for a change. 

Here's where I show you the final results.

As you will see below, four item here moved elsewhere.

I put the paper towels and dish soap under the counter. And I bought a palm brush instead of one with a handle. It's setting on a bar soap holder. 

I put the extra pitcher away with the intention to do a better job and keeping our Berkey filled up. We do have bottled water as a backup. If I have to use the backup too often, this is my clue I'm not keeping up!

My oil diffuser was by the salt lamp and I moved it to the shelf above the sink. I have many places I like to use it. For now, I'm trying this even though I don't like the cord showing. 

This is a before photo below. 
I primarily needed to find a place for my new dutch oven. It's heavy, so it need to be easy to access. 

I cleared space in a lower cupboard. I did have to move my food processor into two pieces to make room. That white container now has more things moved from another cupboard and drawer that I decided do not need to be mixed in with more commonly used items. These are rare use utensils primarily. 

And now the counter is more clear! The bowl that was behind the coffee maker was moved to another spot...

This is another before photo of the counter. I want to try moving the toaster to a cabinet. I also realized I have several oil/condiments that could be combined and look better. I bought an oil decanter, which looks prettier than the bottle of oil. I'm working on an alternative for the spray. 

This is where I also moved the bowl of onions. I happen to have less food in the basket on the right. It helps to look better when we eat less bread and chips! Want to see where I put the toaster? 

I moved it to the cupboard with the plates, above where it had previously been! I have already used it from here. It wasn't a big deal to pull it out use it and put it back. I did have to remove some blue bowls to make this happen, which is fine as I want to see if we can get by with less. 

Shall we review the final photos again? 

I'm very happy with it! My husband was traveling when I made the changes, so there were a few surprises for him to figure out when he returned. He has been supportive so far. I'm always willing to go back to an old way if needed too. 

Do you keep many things on your kitchen counters? Have you thought if you could make space in a cabinet for some of them? Sometimes we really do use the things on the counters, but rarely use some of the items in the cabinets. Maybe the never used item can go to make space for the item on a counter to have a home inside a cabinet?!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Kitchen Counters: A Plan to Make Changes

Sneak peak! I'm going to be working in the kitchen next week to revamp things. 

There are several changes I plan to make. 

One area to address are the items we leave out on the counters. Do these all need to be out all the time? If not here, then where? Do some need to stay?

These are the before photos:

Many probably think these are not cluttered. It's true we all have different levels of things in our home and on our counters. It's all relative to how we choose to live. The changes I make may be small. In fact, my husband might not notice! 

I will be back soon to show you what changes I made. 

Do you have changes you want to make in your kitchen? If you decluttered inside your cabinets, would it make room for things on your counters? 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Year End Update

Happy New Year's Eve! 

(Or maybe you found this in 2021, in that case Happy New Year!)

Earlier this week I was a bit overwhelmed and made myself this list to lift the procrastination that was setting in. I completed it all, in addition to other regular life tasks!

  • take down all holiday decorations except the tree
  • wash our bedding
  • clean the bathrooms
  • shred receipts
  • close out 2020 budget
  • close out 2020 Christmas planner
  • read one chapter of new book

The final task was to close out my Christmas planner. I didn't use it much this year. I made a basic to do list, brainstormed gift ideas and then later made a list of actual gifts given in addition to some notes for next year. Apparently, I only need four or five pages of notes each year. Thus, next year, I'm going to simplify the Christmas planner!

I also made an impromptu decision to post two strands of Christmas globe lights and a 24 inch Nutcracker on a local FB page. All left my home on the same day posted! 

There will be more to share in 2021! With another move on the horizon in 2021, I will definitely be looking to release more things that no longer serve us, in addition to finding the right level of minimalism for us. 

Thank you to everyone who reads about my decluttering and organizing. Sharing helps motivate me to get it done! My wish is that it inspires you to make your home, your spaces what you dream them to be. Decluttering is one decision at a time. It's a process, a journey that is very worth the effort.

See you next year! 

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020

    Beating Procrastination

     Hello! A little update to my anti-procrastination list from yesterday:

    • take down all holiday decorations except the tree
    • wash our bedding
    • clean the bathrooms
    • shred receipts
    • close out 2020 budget
    • close out 2020 Christmas planner
    • read one chapter of new book
    Yesterday, I shredded receipts, gathered all the Christmas decor in one place and read one chapter of my new book. It didn't take long, but I felt so much better getting it done.

    Did you catch that the silver tree is still here? I thought I was letting it go during the Christmas Cleanout, but then wanted to decorate my daughter's bedroom while she was home, so it came back out! 

    Today, I move forward and tackle cleaning the bathrooms and washing our bedding. I will run a load of towels and rags too. One task sometimes leads to another right?

    And while it's not on my list, I will bring in the Christmas bins from the garage and pack up the items I gathered yesterday. On Wednesday, I will wrap up the 2020 budget and make the final notes in my Christmas planner which I didn't utilize as fully as past years. I think this means I will have a simpler way of Christmas planning for future years! Who hoo!

    Are there tasks you want to get done that you are procrastinating? Maybe make a short anti procrastination list and start checking the items off will get you started. 

    Monday, December 28, 2020

    Overwhelm Becomes Procrastination

    I'm procrastinating because I'm overwhelmed.

    Just like everyone I have periods of procrastination. It comes in many forms. I've noticed it happens when I get overwhelmed with a lot of ideas (many of them great, but grandiose at the same time). As the new year dawns, my brain is filled with a lot of ideas for things I want to achieve in 2021. New ideas bring about all sorts of questions and thoughts, and I find myself lost in those. As a result, on this day, I see that I am not accomplishing anything. Don't get me wrong, I think we should have days where we accomplish nothing; days when we relax and go with the flow. The overwhelm is now bringing about feelings of frustration because I rather be getting things done!! 

    Honestly, I am here writing about it so I can get a plan in place to move forward. A plan so I can stop feeling the frustration and overwhelm. The writing will get the ideas and thoughts out of my brain onto paper, into a journal post. My brain can then relax a little bit. 

    First I just need to make a plan for what I will accomplish this week:
    • take down all holiday decorations except the tree
    • wash our bedding
    • clean the bathrooms
    • shred receipts
    • close out 2020 budget
    • close out 2020 Christmas planner
    • read one chapter of new book
    There is more that I can do and may do, but I will feel good if I can get these things done. This will set me up to remain focused, to stay in the present mindset, rather than day dreaming what I might accomplish in the next 12 months. 

    It's late on Monday as I write. The buzzer for one of two loads of laundry just went off. I will go fold and put it away, moving the other load to the dryer. After that task, I will start gathering some of the Christmas decor. I will put it all in one spot. Once it is all in one place, I will bring in the Christmas bins from the garage. 

    I have a plan! Time to start taking action, rather than focusing on the overwhelm, which is creating frustration. Our feelings are connected to our actions. What feelings cause you to procrastinate? 

    Saturday, December 26, 2020

    Post Holiday Decluttering Report

    I hope you had a beautiful celebration of the season last week!

    It's the time of year where many people are ready to turn the calendar and wipe the slate clean. We are in the mindset to create new beginnings. Often one of the new beginnings is to declutter and get organized. Are you feeling that energy yet? 

    As you begin to let go, have you considered how the items will leave your home yet? What is your plan for the final exit?

    Here's how my Christmas Cleanout items from November and December left our home: 

    We sold all of these online! I specifically used a Facebook Sale page for our local area. 

    We gave away items free on the porch, again using groups on Facebook to catch the attention of interested people! Here's some photos of what I put out for the taking. 

    The really good stuff was snatched up within an hour. The chairs did take two postings for some reason, but snatched up fast after the second post. Not everything was taken of course. I figured if I'm willing to give to charity, I am willing to give free to someone willing to pick up off my porch. 

    The third and final exit was a trip to the thrift store with these items. I was ready for it to go!! Felt so good to drop off our excess things. 

    Goodbye! Farewell! Thank you for your service to our family, may you bless your usefulness to another family. Thanking your items for service is a tip from Marie Kondo! 

    Often we over think how the items have to leave. I could have kept it simple, dropping off at the thrift store only. Please follow the method that works for you to help your items make their fastest exit! You took the time to decide that you do not need or want the item, do not let the decision on how the item exits the home hold you back from actually getting the items out. 

    It helps to decide BEFORE you start decluttering what your method(s) will be. It's also important to know how long will you keep items in the home waiting to sell or porch pickup before they make their final exit. My goal was to have the items out by the end of December. I do have a couple small exceptions, but I have given myself until the end of January on those items. 

    Are you ready to declutter in January? I plan to post some inspiration in the coming days and weeks right here on the blog and on the Organized Friends Facebook page.