Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Operation Declutter Day 9 - The Kitchen

I am back in the kitchen again today. I worked on 2 drawers and 2 cabinets. I'm hoping I'll only need to spend 1 more day here. I have to have all of my rummage sale donations in by tomorrow. While editing the pictures of the kitchen declutter, I realized how completely embarrassing this whole thing is. I mean, do I really want people to see into this gross part of me? I'm human after all. I think that there are more messy and cluttered homes than there are neat and tidy ones. So, for some this may be like looking at your own home and hopefully it will inspire you and help you. For others you may be disgusted. It's better late than never to get things under control.

As if I haven't said it before, I'm so tired of living among all of this stuff. I'm tired of feeling defeated and depressed. I'm tired of seeing piles of clutter. I'm sick opening doors and cabinets only to see chaos. I want a warm, cozy, nice home for my family to live in. How could I let it get so out of control? Why have I allowed my family to live like this? It's because of my own slothfulness and laziness. I've been praying that the Lord will help me to overcome these bad traits. I'm praying for a servants heart, to serve my family and provide the most loving environment possible for them. I don't want my daughters to someday keep their own homes this way. I'm not seeking perfection, just a "company ready" home. How will God ever see fit to bless me with a larger home if I'm not a good steward of the one He's already given?

I've so far trained my family to rush rush rush and clean when people are coming over. I feel hurt in my heart that I have shown them that others are more worthy of our clean home than they are. My husband and children deserve to live in the "company clean" house everyday. This declutter mission has turned quite emotional and I feel like such a lame excuse for a keeper at home.

Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

I am going to learn to live this scripture, because my husband and children deserve it. God has blessed me with so much and I want to honor Him by taking care of those blessings.

Now that I've broken down a bit, I feel a little better and am ready to move on with the show.

THE KITCHEN: 2 Drawers, Under the sink and The cookbook cabinet, Big stuff cabinet

I have 5 drawers in my kitchen but only 2 needed attention. These two were just like that cabinet from yesterday. The "I don't know where to put this, so I'll stick it in this drawer" drawers.

This drawer was dangerous. There were things popping up to stab you when it opened. It would have been a great place to hide money, complete with it's own security system and all.

Before: Drawer #1

After: Drawer #1

Before: Drawer #2

After: Drawer #2

For the most part, I didn't need to get rid of too much. I did more of moving things around today. The larger utensils went into a utensil pot I have next to the stove, I had a 3rd set of measuring spoons I put in donations. I had bought new ones to replace them and never got rid of them.

Under the sink is next. This is just......well....I'll let you decide.

Before: Under the sink

We also kept the toaster under here (not pictured), somewhere because there just wasn't room for it anywhere else. Recently I purchased a dish drying rack for hand washed dishes. We were just using a towel and putting the pots and pans on it to dry. Using a different towel 2 or 3 times a day, was creating more laundry for me and I already have enough. I don't like the look of an empty dish rack on the counter (one of the reasons I didn't have one). Making a spot under the sink to put it while not in use, was a priority.

And, I accomplished it.

After: Under the sink

I had a lot of cleaning supplies under there and there are already two spots in the house for those items, so they were relocated. There were about 10 loose garbage bags and ziplocs that needed to be tossed.


Above the Microwave are two weird cabinets. It took me a few years to really use them for something other than miscellaneous stuff. I made 1 for my cookbooks and the other for the blender. Someone thought kitchen matches should go here also.

Before: Cookbook cabinet

Obviously there wasn't enough room for all of my cookbooks because I had to put some on the counter.

I also had some cooking magazines in another cabinet above the sink. It took some trouble shooting but I was able to relocate the blender to the large item cabinet that has also been cleaned out and decluttered. Now there is plenty of room for all the cook books and magazines. Yay!

After: Cookbook cabinet

And last for today is the large item cabinet. This previously held all the bakeware, crock pot, griddle and a bunch of misc stuff too. It goes way back to the wall so stuff gets lost back there. This cabinet has been part of the 1st two days projects and is finally done.

Before: Large item cabinet

I moved the glass bakeware stuff to that white cabinet and the other bakeware to the oven drawer which you saw yesterday. My extra mixing bowls, small crockpot, pitcher, blender, toaster and large griddle are all stationed here now. Much better. No more toaster under the sink, that annoyed my husband to no end.

After: Large item cabinet

I really didn't end up with too much trash or donations today, only 3 pounds. But, every little bit helps.

Our new total is 238.5 pounds.

Read about more Operation Declutter here

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Operation Declutter Day 7 & 8 - The Kitchen

My kitchen is small and very full. There are a bunch of overstuffed cabinets and drawers. I'm about 1/3rd of the way through. I haven't had much time to dedicate to decluttering. My deadline is fast approaching on the 30th and I'm not going to make it. But, I'm still going to finish. I will just begin to put giveaway stuff on freecycle or donate to our favorite thrift store.

I realized I totally forgot to finish showing the girls room, so I'll get to that soon also.

Here we go:

THE KITCHEN: The first two very important areas were my pantry and "lets just put it here" cabinets. They had no rhyme or reason and were in complete disarray.

Hmmm Lets see, measuring cups, spices, baking ingredients, teas, magic bullet pieces. It's a hodgepodge of "I don't know where to put this, so I'll stick it in here" stuff. Can you guess which family members would have done this???

I reorganized all the spice jars and placed them in a small tray so I can just pull out the tray. Hopefully this will help things not get knocked over. The two upper shelves are now home to all baking ingredients and stuff like that. The cabinet goes way back where you can't see, so I wrote what was in there according to shelf and posted it inside the cabinet. It's always a bummer when you buy apple cider vinegar and come home to find you have 2 bottles already.

Before: Pantry cabinet

Ahhh, CLOSE IT QUICK BEFORE EVERYTHING FALLS ON YOUR HEAD! It's really hard for kids to put groceries away when nothing has a dedicated spot. Everything was taken out of this cabinet and put on the kitchen table.

The little girls were the perfect helpers. They passed all the stuff to the big girls.

Crazy huh?

We organized everything while it was on the table and put it back. Much better. A little organization is fantastic. I also listed all the canned goods we had on a paper for this cabinet. We are all VERY short, except for my husband. It will save me from having to climb the step ladder each time I need to see what I have.


We have a white cabinet in the dining room where I had about 10 mixing bowls, 3 large storage bowls and a bunch of other misc kitchen gadgets. I have a couple Tupperware items that I've never used. I looked them up on Amazon and Ebay and they sell for about $80 combined. So I'll be selling those. I decided that I didn't have my stuff placed in a very functional manner. This cabinet is easy to access and can be used frequently.


I donated a few of the mixing bowls and moved most of this stuff to another cabinet that I kept most of my bakeware in. I use the bakeware often and these bowls, less often. They traded places. It just makes sense.


The drawer below the stove had a pot and pan set that I've had for the last 11 1/2 years. In fact they arrived from a Pampered Chef Party the day I was leaving to go to the hospital to have August and Kiley. 4 years ago, we got a new stainless steel set to replace this non-stick set. The plan was to donate the old set. Umm, I forgot that part. Maybe it was sentimental reasons, I don't know, but they are taking up precious space. So two of the pots are graduating to camping gear and the others are being donated.


Oh, there are all my pot holders and trivets.

I moved all of my cookie sheets, muffin and cake pans here. I'm slowly trading out my nonstick bakeware for stainless. I promise I will not keep both. I will throw away/give away what I replace, that very day, from now on. My new mantra.


Donation pile

The donation and recycle piles weighed 33.4 pounds. This brings our running total to:


235.5 pounds. GONE FOR-EVVVV-ERRRR

If you're just joining the journey, I've committed to ridding my home of 500 pounds of clutter that is invading our lives and home and stressing us out. You can see other posts here.

Still here

It's been busy around here. I haven't had much time for blogging. I've been trying to limit my computer time. I find I can spend way too much time online and before I realize it I've let go a bunch of my responsibilities. So, I do most of my email and Facebook checking from my phone.

We've had quite a bit going on. Our pastor bought a new house and we've been over there a lot helping to clean, and the men are building 2 bathrooms. It only came with 1. Adam has been going over there a lot after work to help with the plans and building. He is sort of the project manager, and some of the men work all day doing the stuff he told them to. Like all DIY projects, it's taking longer and costing more than Pastor figured. That's life I guess. Hopefully they will be all finished in the next 2 weeks, so us ladies can get over there and really clean for them to move in.

I've been placed in charge of the youth table at our church's upcoming rummage sale. The youth of the church are going to be selling baked goods, coffee and water to earn money to go to the National Youth Conference next year. It's about $150 per kid and some of the families at our church have several children who can go. Just for us it would be $300 for the two oldest to go. They are also collecting recycling to earn money. It was all my idea, so I'm sure that's why they are putting me in charge. I think it will be fun, I love the teenagers at our church.

I'm still doing my declutter mission and am ready to post on that. I've got about half the house done and I'm loving the lack of stuff everywhere. We are enjoying our last few weeks of summer before we start school again. It's been hot and the girls have been doing a lot of  swimming.

I had my birthday last week and hit the big 31. We celebrated at the A's game. My brother in law shares the same birthday as I do, so the whole family went to the game and we tailgated first. The A's won. Yay! Later that evening, my husband let me relax in the hot tub and he and the girls cooked me dinner followed by homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches. It was a blissful wonderful day. I love my family. My mom had another birthday get together for cake and ice cream this last Sunday afternoon. That was very nice and relaxing.

For those of you inclined to prayer, our family needs it. We have a few members who have ran across some bad health problems. I can't explain at the moment. Some people haven't been told about it yet and I'd hate to be the one to spill the beans. Just send some prayers our way.

Yesterday the girls and I met up with my friend and her little girl, she also had her friend and little boy come along. We met at the water park and had a picnic. It ended up being really windy and kind of chilly so our day was cut short. It was a lot of fun to hang out with my friend, it's been a while since I've seen her.

Scary stuff last night, as we were all sitting in the hot tub. Emily started pointing at August laughing and saying "you have a spider on your head" we thought she was joking because of the way she was giggling. Either that or it was a tiny bug or something. August got annoyed with her sister and said "Mom, is there a spider on my head?" I turned to look and TO MY HORROR I LOUDLY GASPED. Adam turned and looked too,  there was a giant Black Widow Spider on her head. I've never seen one so big, or on a human. He flew across the hot tub and tried to flick it, and it just stuck on. Then he swatted it and nothing, he was afraid it would get mad and bite her so he tried to swat again, and finally grabbed her head and dunked her under water. When she came back up it was gone, and luckily didn't bite her. It all happened so fast, and we looked around the water and found no spider. He yelled at us all to get out, get out. So we all got out and ran in the house to change and make sure it didn't end up in our clothes or hair. We never did find that spider and have no idea where it went. It still makes me shiver. August never saw the spider and that's probably a good thing. That was the highlight of our week I think.

I am finishing up the decluttering of our kitchen today and hope to blog on it soon. God bless you all.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Operation Declutter: Day 6 - Big Girls Room - 1 side

Today the 3 older girls did declutter work on their own room. This was such a blessing. They set their alarm, woke up early and started cleaning and doing their laundry. The sweet dears.

I have been working on about 3 different areas, but had to do some laundry and regular housework, so I don't have anything to show. Hopefully I'll have two closets to post on tomorrow.

Here is 1/2  of the girls room done today. They started with the clutter wall. Everything is stacked against this wall, books, dolls, shoe boxes, hermit crab cages, coats, animal hammock, robes....etc. They did this without help from me and I think they did a fantastic job.

Before: Stuffed animal hammock


They put about 2/3rds of the animals in the donation bag and the others went into attic storage. There are some they can't part with but they are getting a little old (they said) for stuffed animals. It looks nice.

Next up is the coat hooks. They think that every coat they own should go on these hooks. Yikes! So, some were moved to the winter storage box, and the others were hung in the closet. They left their Bible bags and robes.

Before: Coat hooks


The next two areas were the clutter corner and the clutter wall. This corner had all sorts of things sitting here. Their violins, shoe bin, step stool and 3 hermit crab cages. They moved their hermit crabs to the dresser and minimized the number of cages. The shoe boxes went into the closet and the dolls are on the bed.

Before: Clutter corner

Our nice neighbor gave the girls this beautiful old french-ish vanity table. Now they can do their hair stuff in their own room.


And here is the clutter wall. There was a bookshelf full of books they've already read, need to read or are too young now. They packed up their favorites or need to read books in a box and put them on the shelf in the closet. The others were packed for attic storage to save for the little girls. I saved a few that I am hoping to sell on Amazon.

Before: Clutter wall


Lastly was the hat, purse, bag rack on the back of the door. They thinned this out a lot.



They also cleaned under their bunk bed (no pictures of that)

I am VERY proud of them for taking the initiative and doing their own room. It was such a nice surprise. It did take them quite a long time. They are proud of themselves too, and are very excited about their super clean room.

Their room yielded 20.3 pounds of clutter today. Awesome.

I went through a few boxes in the attic and was able to pack up and move out 22.4 pounds of clothes that no longer fit anyone.

Our total now is 202.1 pounds.

Click here if you'd like to read about our progress previous to this post.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Operation Declutter: Day 5 - Media Stand and Bathroom

Our TV  or Media stand rather, there is no TV on it, needed some cleaning. For some strange reason I have held on to a bunch of super scratched beyond the ability to function CD's and DVD's.


This poor spot had at least 6 CD/DVD folders (mostly my husbands stuff) but, there was plenty to throw out. The sad flowers for one. The big pile of Preschool books, were moved to the school shelf. That blue planter box there, didn't have a plant, but a spindle of more CD's. After a lot of tossing and a bit of giveaway. We ended up with 13.7 pounds less, and this...


My next spot was our bathroom. Our ONLY bathroom. A house with 6 females and only 1 bathroom?? Yes, just one. But, praise God, it's at least one, right?

This room was crayzay! Like I said, we only have 1 bathroom so all of the bathroom stuff has to go here. There is a little storage in the hall, so I put extra stuff there.  I did find a plethora of razors and blade refills in the vanity, and those were all moved to the hall storage.

first things first, the ridiculous counter, goodness.

Before: Counter

This wasn't rocket science, JUST PUT THE STUFF AWAY. Piece of cake!

Counter: After

The dreaded under the sink. AHHHH! This is home to lotion. Lots and lots of lotion. I have tons of lotion. I don't even use lotion, but somehow it likes me. I am constantly getting rid of bottles of lotion. I think it's one of those things you get when people don't know what to get you. Or it could be they don't like it either and are re-gifting? I do however keep several bottles of lotion still, just in case I need it. (the pack rats famous words)

Ahem, this is also home to all the girls' hair do things, hair care products, brushes, etc..
Red Vine buckets are fantastic for holding a bunch of brushes. I think when I was a kid our brushes were in a Red Vine bucket. Some childhood nostalgia.

Before: Under the sink

I once had an idea to organize the different types of hair things in that little white drawer thing. Like barrettes in the top, hairbands in the middle and then headbands at the bottom. That was short lived, it was a mess and took up too much space. I hear things like "Moooooom, I can't find ANY headbands"

hmmm probably because they are all here on my arm. All 100 of them.

Got Headbands?

After: Under the sink

Notice the cute blue plant box from the living room? It's much nicer looking than the Red Vine bucket, and it holds the everyday hair stuff quite well. And also notice the hair drawer thingy is gone. I've moved them to ziploc bags on the door. I don't know if it'll stay that way, but that's all the room I have. Because, did I mention we only have 1 bathroom?

Next is the drawers. The first is the man drawer. It's full of normal man stuff. I am not showing a picture of my drawer before because, I'm just not.

Before: Man drawer

After: Man drawer

My drawer was converted into the hair brush drawer, because after all the decluttering I had no use for a drawer. I even lined them with pretty contact paper.

After: Hair drawer

The bottom drawer is the hidden super secret drawer that I didn't even know existed until I had lived here for quite a while. I found it on accident while trying to clean under the vanity.

Before: Super secret hidden drawer

After: Super secret hidden drawer

The medicine cabinet was kind of, no biggie, I probably could have left it out but, I'm not.

Before: Medicine cabinet

After: Medicine cabinet

And, home to more lotion, but mostly soap stuff, is the over the toilet cabinet.


I copied the alligator from my sister. Hers was so cute I had to get one last year, he holds the Q-tips.

The bathroom yielded 5.3 lbs of clutter, along with the 13.7 lbs from the living room we are now at, 159.4 pounds of clutter, gone.

I am rewarding myself with a new shower curtain. I saw a darling one at Wal-Mart the other day. I have had the same one for about 4 years and it's beginning to get a little boring. I am planning donating the old one so it doesn't hang around and become more clutter. The great thing about this new one is it will match my existing towels so the bathroom doesn't have to undergo an entire makeover. I will get it next time my husband pays me.

Next I think will be either more of the big girls room or more in the living room. Stay tuned.

If you want to catch up on the previous declutter days click here
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