Monday, November 2, 2015

Organizing My Way Through the House

This fall, I generally have Wednesday afternoons free.  For me, "free" means time at home (with the kids) without any agenda- no school, no errands, and no ferrying kids to classes.  Since my nesting season has stretched beyond summer and into fall, I decided to assign myself one area each Wednesday afternoon to overhaul.  My goal is to PURGE- throw out, donate, consign, and then reorganize.  Our stuff was cluttering my conscience as well as our very few storage spaces.

At this point, my list looks like this:

ü laundry room
ü pantry
ü school room
ü dining room
ü living room
ü nursery
ü downstairs bathroom
    upstairs bathroom
ü mudroom

First off, below is our "school-shelf".  The upper shelves are kept organized because we use them all the time.  Each child has their school books on their shelf.  This keeps me sane and makes it easier to find what I need as I'm teaching.  The open cabinets left and lower are toddler/baby toys for little people who come to play.  Our kids mostly leave them alone so they stay pretty neat. But behind those closed doors, there was a MESS.

I should've taken a before picture but oh, well.  Now they're in order.  The top two shelves are Miriam's painting/playdoh/activity book shelves (she self-soothes with art).  She has easy access to these shelves.  I do not like having tons of "craft" stuff around.  It all ends up in the trash at some point anyway, so why bother (or so goes my theory)? Bottom left are reserve toddler toys and bottom right is MY shelf- school supplies I don't want messed with.  These two doors are lockable for when little people come to play.

My pantry holds all our canned goods but also light bulbs, batteries, some school supplies, appliances, canning equipment, etc. When it gets out of control, I have to climb over things to get to the back.  Oh, the simple joy of being able to walk all the way in.

Our under-the-TV-cabinet holds DVDs and games.  As kids grow so do their tastes in both of these areas.  It felt good to pull out and donate what they no longer watch/play so that other kids can enjoy them.

Below is the top of what we call our "half hutch".  The bottom of it is a cabinet that holds our paper recycling and a shelf of seeds, seed catalogs and gardening notebooks.  On top is where I store cookbooks and homestead-themed books.  Here again, it felt good to donate what we were done with so others could enjoy/benefit from the books.

I LOVE our shoe box.  Jamey built it for me several years back (he also built all the other furniture in this post except the last peice, handy guy that he is).  It's sturdy enough that you can sit on it to put your shoes on and it hides unused shoes (and more).  I found that making compartments (out of cardboard boxes or whatever) made it even better. The blue bucket is dog food (Turkey's bowls are just to the left of it).  There is a compartment for slippers and church shoes (so they don't get dirty from outside/play shoes) and one for work gloves and hats.  The larger area holds shoes that are relatively clean.  The messy ones still sit outside the shoe box lined up under the coat hooks.  I don't mind that they're out.  We're in and out so much it really doesn't make sense to have to put your shoes away-away every time.  The shoes don't always land in their designated spot but at least they have a designated spot, right?

I'm so thankful for our laundry room. It may not be pretty but it holds a washer, dryer and two freezers, AND functions as a catch-all storage area.  There's a lot in this room.  Getting it organized helped me take stock of what I have.  We could have built or had installed cabinets with doors to make it look neater but it would have costed a LOT more.  More flexible storage flexes with your needs (hence the word 'flexible'- I'm quite the word scholar you see).  The laundry room has a door so it can be closed off if it gets out of control.  It's certainly not magazine-worthy (and maybe not even blog-worthy) but it's a real family's real laundry room space.

Because we don't have a lot of storage in our old house, we use furniture.  This dry sink sits in our dining room and (now!) actually sports an empty spot.  I think I should challenge myself to keep it empty for an entire year.  Think I can do it?

Our storage spaces are still holding quite a bit.  But at least now I know that what they are holding we actually use/therefore should hold onto. Everything feels a little bit lighter and my nesting urge has been battened down a bit once again.

Except for where the closets are concerned....I might be back. Pin It


  1. Yippeee!!!! Doesn't it just feel SO good? Hugs, Camille

  2. Looks to me as if you do a fantastic job with the storage space you have, or have made! Even with adequate storage, if we don't keep on top of it constantly (or so it seems), we can never find what we want or even know what we do have! Doesn't hurt a bit to go through it all at least once a year. Right? Right! (I can be a slight bit pompous about this since I've been cleaning, purging and organizing like crazy! Otherwise, I'd be hanging my head in shame. :o])

  3. I like the idea of assigning different areas for each week as a way to work through the house. I may need to give that a shot. I often feel overwhelmed by everything that needs done.

  4. Hi- Our family LOVES the Tomato soup recipe! I don't have your cookbook but would love it I'm sure!
    Thanks for sharing on your blog- I do enjoy reading about your musings.....


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