- Day 1 (Monday) – Hall closets, the pantry and the bathrooms.
- Day 2 (Tuesday) - Bedroom closet and dresser
- Day 3 (Wednesday) - Kitchen, half bathroom and laundry area
I’ve decided the only way to really do this Clutter to Clean in 7 days is to blog about it. The accountability piece is what’s keeping me moving – because I seriously wanted to take a day off on Wednesday! But I pushed through because otherwise it would have only prolonged the misery – and I knew I had a HOT date with the hubby this weekend to take loads of crap to the dump and thrift shop.
Lucky for me the kitchen and laundry room were not nearly in disarray as the bedroom closet or hall closet. I had done some reorganizing this summer in preparation for a garage sale – so we had very little to do in the kitchen or laundry room.
But nonetheless, here is what I did. . .
I cleaned out the cup cupboard first. We had a ton of baby/toddler cups that we didn’t really use anymore. Gone. I got rid of a few water bottles (how many do we really need?) and a couple to-go coffee cups. I reorganized our glassware at the top of the shelf. We have never even used the martini glasses and if we needed more space in the cabinet, I would have gotten rid of them all together. I tossed wine toppers and wine charms into a little canning jar to control the clutter factor (and you can store them in the glasses, too).
The transformation isn’t that spectacular but I definitely like that I don’t have to worry about stuff falling out when I’m reaching for something in the back! I do love my coffee mugs, so I have a hard time parting with those.
Then I moved over to the plates/bowls cabinet. Lucky for me, I cleaned this out this summer and this system has worked so well, it’s still tidy! I have extra plates and bowls on the top shelf and the ones we use the most on the lower shelves.
Part of why I think I’ve been able to keep this organized is I moved all the kids plates/cups (all awkwardly sized) to a basket on a bottom shelf. The shelf has a child lock on it, but I can open it up and the kids can set their own places at dinner time! Even my 2-year-old can set up her spot (and her brothers) because we’ve made it easy for them.
If those plates and bowls were in our main cabinet they would be falling all over the place and it would make it difficult to manage. So this system has worked out great!
The baking cabinet was next. This cabinet was also cleaned this summer (see my post with photo from March) but it had become a little disheveled since then. When I cleaned the pantry on Monday – I moved all the bulk goods to the pantry – so this place got all jumbled up.
If it wasn’t something I used often – I moved it or got rid of it. I consolidated items into bins, instead of having bags/containers of all sizes. I moved vitamins to a place where we will actually remember to take them (upstairs bathrooms).
Whenever you’re cleaning a spot – give yourself more space then you think you’ll need. I’ve found this with cabinets especially. They magically fill up with things. Give yourself more space then you think and then you won’t end up with stuff falling out everywhere. Less is best.
Then I moved to above the stove. I also cleaned this over the summer, but it was getting disorganized. Take everything out and wipe it down. Above the stove has the tendency to get dirtier because of the moisture from cooking right below it. I tossed out the Dollar Tree straws that always seemed to have a hole in them and the 1 inch of cooking wine.
I organized the oils and vinegars by type – so we could see how much we have of each item. This keeps me from running out of something!
Do you remember when I cleaned my spice cabinet? I originally did a big overhaul in October 2011 and it’s still working – but it had filled up with bags of bulk spices and got a bit disorganized. It took me less than five minutes to consolidate and clean up to get it back into shape!
I think this is great proof that if you get a system in place that works for you – it stays a lot cleaner and it’s easier to tidy when you feel like it. I spent some serious time cleaning in the kitchen last summer and I feel like it’s really helped me keep it cleaner than the other areas of my house.
Things I did to clean the kitchen:
- Take items out of shelves, wipe down shelves with a damp rag (inside and out)
- Toss expired food items
- Donate “extra” bowls, plates and appliances – things you don’t use
- Place the most commonly used items in easy-to-reach places. Things like holiday platters or things you use rarely, can go up higher and tucked farther away.
- Find lids for all your food storage containers. Store lids in a larger container, so they can easily be looked through.
- Cleaned out the fridge. Wiped down shelves with a damp cloth.
- Cleaned out the freezer. Toss old food.
The laundry “room” is actually just a nook in the garage. It has the most beautiful nature-themed paneling on the walls (insert sarcastic tone) and we have an ancient washer and dryer set. I didn’t really have much clean, because there is zero room for clutter to build up. I took everything off the bottom shelf and I wiped it down with a damp cloth. I put a basket on the first shelf for all the stain remover and dryer sheets. I added two canning jars (without lids) to the bottom shelf – one is for loose change and one is for odds and ends that we find in the laundry (pens, hair clips, hair ties, etc.). I also wiped down the washer and dryer with a damp cloth, even pulling off the knobs to get underneath!
Things I did in the laundry room:
- Take everything off shelf and wipe down with damp cloth
- Put all the small bottles – like stain remover and cleaners – into a basket
- Added a couple canning jars to hold loose change and other “treasures” from the laundry
- Wiped the washer/dyer down – inside and out.
- Dusted and wiped down the walls
- Vacuumed the carpet and around the washer/dryer.
I store all my canning jars and canning pot in the laundry area. This summer I plan to try those out (finally!) and I’m hoping you’ll come along with me when I teach myself how to can.
Final note – You can comment, as long as you’re nice or constructive. There is nothing like going through your stuff and taking photographs of it to make you feel vulnerable. I think the process of decluttering has given me an appreciation, and awareness, of just how much “stuff” we have collected – and has encouraged me to get rid of more. I really believe there is a BURDEN in the excess. Everything that I’m getting rid of is going to a good home – whether it’s a local nonprofit, thrift shop, a friend’s house or a consignment sale.
So what do you think about all this – is it helpful? I’d love suggestions for storage or helpful organization tips.
How do you keep your kitchen and laundry area cleaned? Stay tuned on an update of my kid’s rooms. . . .we’re almost done!!