Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CHUCK IT, CLEAN IT, FIND A PLACE FOR IT - Continuing the Cleanout in the Kitchen

The office was such a success, I was ready to tackle the kitchen.  Not to be overwhelmed, I counted how many drawers and cabinets there were - 21.  I could do 7 each day for three days.  Done.

For many months I have had drawers that wouldn't open well, cabinets that spilled out when opened, and a general gross feeling to all of it.  This had me thinking we needed to renovate the kitchen - new cabinets, new design and a way to make it functional.  Guess what?  It wasn't what was needed.

Baking and Mixing
Bowls and Cups
Day 1 - I began at one end and worked through 11 cabinets.  I didn't mean to, but as I made room in some, I moved items from others.  As I moved stuff out, I cleaned the shelves, the doors and the surrounding area (floor tile, toe kick, counters).  Gross!  How did I let this stuff get like this?  Out went anything I hadn't used in the last year.  Out went items with missing parts.  Out went a lot of junk!

Spice Cabinet
Day 2 - I wasn't as excited today to start.  I knew what a pain yesterday has been and knew I had the cooking side of the kitchen to do today.  I started in the pantry and tossed expired food.  Yikes!  That took about half of the stuff cluttering up the cabinets.  I cook all the time, but obviously I don't routinely use a lot of the special products that were old.  Spice cabinet, pots and pans, under the sink (gross) and I am done.  This was definitely the harder day and lots of scrubbing.

Lucky for me 'Hoarders' was on and a wonderful backdrop to motivate me!  I pulled the TV over and let it distract me while I worked.

A full trunk headed for Goodwill - that is a lot of stuff!

Finished, I stepped back and saw that the cabinets were not bad, just need some repairs (Michael will have to do those).  The kitchen is not too small - my cupboards are open and have room to spare.  There is not a need to renovate at all, I love how it looks and how it functions.  Actually, I am thankful it is the size it is.  I can clean it easily and quickly.  I would love a second oven and a wine fridge, but I can put the roasters in the laundry room on holidays and use the second fridge for beverages.  No big whoop.

I am in love again with my kitchen!

Now I am considering which room will be next.  Two biggies are the laundry room and fabric room.  Yes, fabric room (where we store our inventory).   I should call it now the "storage-and-don't-know-where-else-to-put-it" room.  The laundry room is the same.  It has a large pantry cabinet (what I thought we needed since our cabinets were bulging), a refrigerator, and where the cats live at night.

This will have to be done with careful planning.  The men in my house will have to be at work or asleep as these areas will require some serious culling.  Will they miss it?  No. Will they notice stuff is gone?  Yes.  My younger son, Chich, doesn't do well with change and will be hostile for a few days.  So what?  I live here and his dad and I pay the bills.  Get over it!  I have left his room untouched and allow him to live in filth.  Parental lesson - close the door.  But know that when his booty moves out, I will be scouring that room and turning into a glorious guest room.  I am already planning the quilt....seriously, I have the blocks finished and am dreaming!

I hope you are feeling empowered.  If I can do this - you can.  I don't do it for hours, just a few.  Like two.  If I don't have time to quilt, cook and do my routines I will be unhappy.  So, I quilt some, clean some, and then work on this project some.  It is all about balance and peace.  I am working to find both.

NOTE:  If you look carefully at the kitchen picture, you will see the cat on the chair in the office snoozing away.  I think we are all happy with the changes!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


My plan for the summer is to swamp out the house and reduce the amount of stuff.  I don't do well with too much around me for many reasons:
  • I don't like to clean it.  Seems simple enough but I LOATHE dusting.  If it isn't there or put away it won't need it.  I enjoy a clean house and want it to be easy and fast.  Too much stuff gets in the way.
  • Visual clutter makes me crazy.  I believe this is a by-product of my OCD.  When I walk through a room (or past one) I scan it.  If something is out of place or distracting, I don't like it.  I either have to fix it or continue thinking about it.  So, the answer is to get rid of it.  If something is left out by my son, I will immediately ask that he put it away.  This leads to him teasing me by saying, "If I don't put this away we will be on Hoarders."  To me it is just as bad.  Sick, I know, but there are worse problems to have.
  • A clean organized house gives me peace.  And we all know, I need some peace. 
Since April 1st, I have been on leave from my job.  Lots of time, right?  Not really.  I really did need to recover and became tired very quickly (I suffered a cardiac arrest on March 28th, was saved by my wonderful team at work, and am here to see many more days - smile).  I have done a lot of writing, creating and planning.  But now it is time to move.  I still have mobility and weight lifting limitations which will slow me down a bit.  Enough about that - back to the task.

What can I do first?  My least favorite but most necessary.  The files.  Meh.  Double Meh.  This is embarrassing, but here is a picture of the mess I need to tackle.  To make me feel better (and for you to know I am not a total slob) I am also including a picture of my sewing area.  Can you tell which I enjoy more?

Sewing Area
Filing Area

The plan for today:

I am going to set a time for one hour.  I can do that.  I will begin with the filing cabinet and remove anything I haven't used in a year.  If there are important documents (that I do not believe I will need) I will place them in a box, label it, and put it in my storage closet.

This should free up some space for newer files.  I long for the ability to instantly put my hand on something I need.  I do this now, but it requires plunging into closets, odd stashes and piles. To fix this, I must be diligent and get it done.

Could I procrastinate and do something else?  Well, yes.  I decided to write about it here instead of just jumping in!  But one hour.  Then I will get on with something more fun.  Then tomorrow I will do another hour. 

So right now I am setting a timer. 

Stay tuned...  I will post my progress (or lack of progress) and any tips or trials along the way. 

UPDATE!  Below are the pictures of the final project.  I continued to clean out the other areas of the office/sewing room and am so happy.  The storage boxes were on clearance at Joann's for $1.97 - 5.97.  We decided to get all different ones (since the selection was poor) and go with it.  Also, the picture of the paper cabinet (printing paper, envelopes, business cards, etc.).