Friday, January 6, 2012

52 Weeks to an Organized Home: Week 1

One of my goals this year is to simplify and get the house organized. Now, I know I'm not going to be able to do it all at once. I'm following several organization blogs to help motivate me to keep going, but I found one blog in particular that is doing a 52 week challenge starting this week... Home Storage Solutions 101.

This week's challenge focuses on the kitchen sink and countertops. Of course, I know if I just read through the post I'm not going to really absorb what it is trying to teach me, so I got out a handy dandy composition book (which I will of course have to alter soon!) and started taking notes.

I have to say that I've read many organization books, tried all sorts of home organization plans and routines, and while I have improved bit by bit after each one, nothing has really seemed to stick. As I was writing down the notes, everything I had learned before suddenly seemed to make sense! So without further ado, here are my before pictures...

Sadly, this is actually a cleaner version of how my kitchen usually is. There's usually a sink full of dishes waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher, medicine is all over the counter, and appliances are everywhere!

But first... a letter to my beloved kitchenaid mixer...

Dear Kitchenaid mixer,

I hope you know how much I love you. You were so beautiful in the corner of my kitchen counter, but you collect a lot of dust. Sure, I occasionally bring you out to mash potatoes, or even make a cake every now and then... and we have so much fun making cookies during the holidays!
But realistically, you are too big for the space you take up. And I usually end up taking you over to the kitchen table to use where I can spread out, instead of on the tiny counter. So it really doesn't make sense for me to keep you there, just so I can gaze at your shiny red beauty. So my beloved mixer, I must put you into this bottom cabinet by the table, where I can easily grab you when I need you. I will never forget you, and you will not collect as much dust.

Until we mix again....

So the first thing I had to think about when cleaning off my counters is what are the functions of my kitchen.... cooking, food storage (some), family calendar area, and medicine central.

After I tucked away my mixer, I put the dishes into the dishwasher to run, and washed and put away the pans. I then went through the stuff on the counters and found homes for the things we don't use every day. I got rid of the brown tea box that we didn't really use very often anyway. That box is going into my craft area to be re-purposed. I kept the coffee maker since Chris makes coffee every morning, along with the treat jar, sugar, and a tin with a small selection of tea. The phone moved into the living room, and the knife block stayed but is now turned on it's side. Unfortunately we have a drawer that gets stuck most of the time and is very hard to open, so the cooking utensils that we use every week have to stay on the counter. I cleaned up the medicine basket and kept only those medicines that are used on a regular basis.. Collin has a lot of meds that he takes daily/weekly, and Liam has a couple of meds he takes daily, but we don't need to keep his nebulizer medicines that he only uses when he is actively wheezing there... they went into another cabinet that we keep the rest of our meds in. The can opener and toaster remained, along with a loaf of bread and a box of cereal (the usual go-to breakfasts in the morning). I organized the tools by the kitchen sink, and tucked a few into the little junk drawer by the sink.

Then I had an idea.. I have a couple of dish brushes that Chris likes to use to wash dishes that didn't fit into the planter I have my other tools in. So I got out the beautiful crystal vase I had tucked away above the fridge for the times I never get flowers anymore.. and I put them in there. Now, there's a story behind that vase. When Chris was overseas in Kuwait, he had a local florist deliver flowers to me. The vase that was supposed to go with the arrangement online wasn't available - it was some sort of simple silver or pewter vase - so they substituted the Lenox Crystal vase. When Chris called me to see if I had gotten the flowers, I gushed about the vase (he didn't know that it was substituted). Later that day, I got a call from the florist who told me they did a substitution and since they weren't able to get in touch with Chris to make sure it was okay, they wanted to make sure I liked it. So now I can remember that story every time I wash dishes (and let's hope I can keep up with them!).

Here are the after pictures...


  1. What a difference! And I bet it made you feel sooooo good about yourself - and your kitchen?
    I must go and see that blog for myself - I'm definitely Mrs Clutter-Bug!
    Love the red touches in your kitchen - so cheerful. I have some red pans, but they live in the cupboard. However, I am sure I can find plenty to tidy up... And throw away... sigh.
    Well done you, for doing Week 1. Now all you have to do, is keep it like this as much as possible - Good luck with that!

  2. Love your kitchen, I agree with Lizzie, very cheerful! And LOL at your letter to your mixer! :D

  3. Love love love the cabinet colors! DId you paint them yourself by chance?



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