My Purpose:

To have a place to share my quest for a more organized home and life.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week 6 Challenge- Recycling Center/system


The Week 5 challenge is for organizing recipes and cookbooks. I am still working on this organization, so I will make a post about that when I have completed my purging/organizing of those items.

The week 6 challenge is to make a recycling center in your home. We already have a very good system that works for us, so I just thought I would share it today.

We have a landing in the garage, just outside the kitchen door, that is large enough to hold these garbage cans that we use for recycled items. We don't need to sort our recyclables, we only sort out the aluminum cans, as we take those to the recycle center ourselves. When these blue cans are full we empty them into the larger curbside recycle cans outside the house. We have recycle pick up every other week. But we collect the recyclables on garbage day and take them out to the cans, whether its a recycle week or not.

Here is a few small cans that we put those special recycle items into, until we can dispose of them properly.
We have a few other trash cans in my craft room and the office, that only have paper items in them, so those also get emptied into the curbside recycle cans.

We have a small box by the fireplace that we burn paper items that we don't want to toss out, or we shred them in the summer when its too hot to have a fire. :)

Well that's our system. It works well for us, and we have been using it for quite a few years now, so the kids all know where each type of garbage goes.

Thanks for visiting today.

Have a Great Day!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 4 Challenge: Refrigerator and Freezer spaces

Week 4 of the 52 weeks to an Organized Home.
You can see the entire challenge here.
Click here to go directly to this weeks challenge.

Well its the end of week 4 and I am glad that is done. Cleaning out the freezers is a real pain, but I am glad it is done now. Mostly because I now really know what food I have in my home. I also realized that I have ALOT of food in my house. Maybe not as much as those Extreme Couponing Ladies, but I really need to plan some menus to use the foods I have in the freezers.

So here is my Fridge before picture:
And here is the after picture. Looks a little too empty, if you ask me, LOL all I did was purge the older food, dump the older leftovers, and consolidate the few things that I could.

Here is the Freezer over the fridge: This one did get quite a bit of purging. I also moved some items to the larger Freezer too. I have a habit of shoving things in this freezer, with the intention of moving it to the bigger Freezer, but then the items never get moved.
Here it is all neaten up! I decided to only keep a few specific types of items in this freezer. Everything else is in the bigger Freezer in the basement.
Here is my Bigger Freezer in our basement: Everything was just shoved in willy-nilly. We frequently had a hard time finding anything there! I emptied my freezer on a shelf by shelf basis. I tossed out some older items that looked a tad freezer burned. It was mostly bread items. I need to rethink how I store those types of things. I also pulled out every plastic storage container and identified them all, and labeled them if they were going back into the freezer.
Here is the top few shelves of the freezer reorganized. I bought these plastic baskets from Target. They have a wide weave, so air can move through them and they are STURDY! They hold most of the smaller items that tend to get lost in the freezer. The top green ones have veggies in them. The next shelf is my chicken shelf. The blue bin has smaller packets of cut up chicken. Next to it is 4 whole roasters and some chicken thighs. I always buy the roasters when our store has then B1G1 free.
The red basket hold smaller packages of beef and that larger green tub on the shelf below has frozen pizzas and other prepackaged dinner items.
The bottom had frozen Fruits and desserts.
Its still packed solid, and it doesn't look all that organized other than the baskets. I am going to work out a better system for meal planning and shopping, and that in turn should help better organizing my food storage.

Well at least its done, and the best part is that I now have a detailed list of what is in my freezers.

Off to plan some menus!

Thanks for visiting today. I'll be back in a week with the next challenge post.

Have a great week!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 3 - Pantry Food Storage and Spices

Hi there!

Week 3 Challenge is Pantry and Spice storage. If you would like to read more about the challenges, please visit Home Storage Solutions 101: 52 Weeks to an Organized home.

Our pantry is a walk in space, but its fairly narrow. When we first bought the house, it only had 4 deep wooden shelves in it.
We pulled those out and installed 8 wire shelves, and several wall mounted can racks. The shelves are narrower than the original wooden shelves but we utilize more space this way. Of course, over the years, it become increasingly more disorganized.
See here...Many items ended up piled on the floor as we ran out of shelf space.
Here is a picture of the can racks with everything shoved on them willy-nilly.
So I emptied the entire pantry, and for a small pantry it held quite a bit of food! I was overwhelmed with how much stuff came out of there. While it was empty, I scrubbed the floor and cleaned all the scuff marks off the walls.
Then I slowly examined all the food from the pantry. Nothing was put back without being, inspected, repacked in a tub where possible, and listed on my pantry log. I bought a few rubbermaid tubs, to hold food, I also utilized all of my Lock&Lock tubs we purchased years ago.
Here is a sleeve to hold my plastic bags. I made this using all scraps I had lying around the house. You can see the post here. I also hung some 3M Command hooks to hold some bags of chips. I also have these hooks on the other side near the door to hold the lunch bags.
Here is the top few shelves. I put all our baking supplies in containers and labeled them. The least used items are on the top shelf. I have a small stool in the pantry to reach theses shelves.
Here are the lower shelves. I took the boxes of crackers and cut off the front labels as well as the nutritional information and included it in tubs, where I could. I also tried to keep as much off the floor as possible.
Here are the can racks all straightened up. I tossed out old items or things that the food pantry wouldn't take.
Here is the 8th shelf: It is over the doorway. I store my baking pans up here. We also have a few hooks on a wood rail, that I hang my brooms and swiffer mops on.
Here is the one thing I really love about our older kitchen. When we moved in, there was a built in Ironing board in the kitchen. Well seeing as I never iron if I can help it, we decided to convert the space into a spice cabinet.
Ta -Da! Truly one of my better ideas! My Hubby made the shelves adjustable so we can change things up if we wanted to.
Here is the after pic. Its not that different. I only tossed a few older items and straightened out what we already had.
Whew! That was alot of work , but very satisfying! I am looking forward to tackling the cold food storage next!

I really think keeping things so organized as well as charted on the pantry log is going to help me plan meals better, as well as keep me from wasting money buying duplicate items.

Thanks for visiting today!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 1 and 2- Kitchen

The first part of the home to get organized is the Kitchen.

Week 1 Challenge: Countertops and Sink.

Our Kitchen is an Eat-in kitchen, but its very small. We only have one bank of built in cabinets and limited countertop space. So its really important to keep them decluttered. We added a freestanding utility cabinet next to the fridge, a microwave cart, and a rolling cart on another wall, to give us more storage and work surface.

I didn't take any before pics, as I was so excited to get started. Needless to say I have purged some junk off the counters, and am endeavoring to keep them clean every night.

It has been so much easier to prepare meals and have the girls do their homework if I do not have to shift a bunch of junk around or empty a full sink.

Week 2 Challenge: Drawers and Cabinets

Here are my before pics:

This is the rolling cabinet. It has two drawers, which hold pencils, crayons, and other homework helper stuff. The other drawer holds chip clips and those take-out food condiment packages.

Underneath is one of my plastic container storage places. I have three! I can't believe that the plasticware has spread out that much! Definitely needing a purge there.
This is under the microwave cart. It is the only spot where that spinning plastic storage set will fit.
Here is the third plastic storage cabinet. This one, we had put a pull out three-tiered basket to hold the lids. Well my plastic container collection had grown o much over the past few years that not all the lids fit in that basket anymore. It will be repurposed.
This is the coffee/medicine cabinet.
Here is where I keep most of my everyday dishes.
Ahh.. The happy cabinet...I mean, the booze cabinet. Its the one over the stove. Its fairly small.
The scary under the sink cabinet. I am a little frightened by what may be lurking under there.
My pots and pans cabinet: My hubby is currently building me two pull out drawers for in this cabinet. So for now, I am not even bothering. This will stay the same until then. A toss-it-in-and-shut-the-door-before-it-all-comes-crashing-down-loudly-cabinet.
This is the utility cabinet we picked up unfinished at Menards. We call it the trash, because when we first bought it, we hid the trash cans in it so our shorties wouldn't play with the trashcan. Our youngest was rather fond of throwing things out, like her shoes, and the tv remote.

Now that she is older my hubby put in some pull out shelves to maximize the space inside.
The top, smaller door had a built in shelf already there. This is where we hide the goodies we don't want the kids to eat. It also hold some appliances that we don't use often.
This is inside the bottom door. The space originally had one adjustable shelf and huge open space. I guess it was for brooms or such. In this pic you can see one pullout shelf with plastic wraps/bags on it and the fixed shelf with a jumble of things there.
The bottom half of the trash has two pull-out shelves. One hold my bigger mixing/tupperware bowls, and the bottom holds large countertop appliances.
WOW that was alot of mess! Now on to the AFTER pictures!

The rolling cart:
I purged a lot of plastic containers. I only kept the more expensive ones that were still in good shape, and a handful of the Ziploc disposable ones. I have all my plastic containers except the spinning rack in this cabinet. I bought those red file folder containers from Target's dollar section to hold all the lids.
Under the Microwave cart:
Still holds the spinning rack, and I put the food sealer bags there, since I keep the sealer on the shelf right above the doors.
My coffee/Meds cabinet:

I purged out quite a few plain white stoneware mugs. I also moved the random baking supplies that were on the top shelf out. The meds were purged, and divided into vitamins and medicines and stored in the baskets on the bottom shelf.
Here is the cabinet where I had that rolling tiered basket. I pulled that put and placed a stacking shelf there instead. I have my crock pot and steamer in there as well as the taller cutting boards and trays.
Under the sink:
I moved that rolling basket to here, and put sponges, washcloths, and smaller bottles of cleaner in it. I purged and consolidated cleaners for the other side. I also put down some contact paper that I had lying around, just to give it a cleaner look.
Here is my dishes cabinet:

I purged some items, and picked up a small cabinet shelf from IKEA and used that over my bowls.
Here is the top of the trash:

I cleaned it out and put some stuff in baskets. Its actually fairly empty behind that silver basket. Not exactly sure what else to put up there, so for now it will remain empty.
Here is the bottom half. I straightened up the wraps and bags and added a couple of baskets to hold those things. I added a wire shelf to the shelf and have towels and paper plates there. I also have my larger baking dishes there.
The bottom two pullouts didn't really get much updating, as I have no where else to put those bigger items.

AHHH... a nice clean, and organized kitchen!
Weill its time to prep for the week 3 challenge which is Pantry storage and spices.

Off to clean!


Getting Started - 2012

Well I am starting my 2012 off with a goal of getting my home and life more organized. I figured I would have so much less stress if I decluttered both my home and my mind.

We live in an older home, one that my hubby says has "character". I say its an annoying PITA.
However, I am determined to have a better mindset when dealing with my homes "character".

I have tried many times to get my life more organized. I always start out with a fervor, but usually peter out after a few months. My hopes is that this blog will keep me motivated to stay on track.

I have joined a weekly challenge site at Home Storage Solutions

It is called 52 Weeks To An Organized Home.

You can go here to learn more about the challenge.