The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: 52 Weeks of Organizing (page 1 of 2)

Closet Case

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my 52 Weeks projects.

Never fear! I’m still chipping away at my list; I just haven’t had the desire to write about any of it lately. I mean really, who cares about my recipe binder or the fact that I discovered 4 sets of nail clippers in my bathroom drawer and tossed three of them? Nobody. Am I right, or am I right? (Unless I’m wrong, and you really do want to see these things, in which case, comment below and tell me. I’ll show you. You know I have no shame.)

Well, I figured something out about myself last week. Turns out I’m probably just keeping myself busy with easy little projects so I can avoid completing the work I started in my closet last May. Yep. Apparently, I have more issues than Vogue magazine. Sheesh!

So last weekend, instead of wrapping up my own closet project, I tackled Bucket Head’s closet. It’s just easier to make decisions about someone else’s stuff than about my own. Can you dig it?

Perhaps you remember the before picture:

I didn’t realize until too late that I didn’t have more or better “before” pictures showing the top shelf of the closet! Dammit! Oh you should’ve seen it. It was precariously piled two feet high with extra linens and baby keepsakes and hand-me-downs from Bucket Head’s big brother, Nature Boy. He’s a cutie, but that boy grows like a weed.

My two boys are 7 years apart. That’s a lot of various sizes worth of hand-me-downs to manage.

But luckily, Bucket Head loves to try on clothes and was very cooperative with helping me weed out the things that were too small. And he has a very well-defined sense of fashion, so he was able to authoritatively tell me things like “No Mommy. I will never wear that. That’s for babies.” Wow – if only my own closet were this easy to purge!

Okay, enough jibber jabber. Here are the “after” shots:

Whooo-hooo! See that empty light beige space on the ground, front and center?? I had to look it up in the encyclopedia because I didn’t know what it was, but it’s the floor! Who knew?!

That Double Hang Closet Rod is from the Container Store. It’s the perfect size for Bucket Head to reach his own clothes and get himself dressed everyday. I only hang his nicer and out-of-season stuff up top, out of his grubby reach.

In the middle of the upper shelf I have two changes of twin sheets. I keep everyone’s sheets in their own rooms to make sheet changes easier.

More details:

Here’s something we do at our house that works for us: everyone stores their own out-of-season coats in their own closets. We don’t have a family closet anywhere for this, but even if we did, I have to say, it is nice for each person to be responsible for their own coats. It also makes it easy for me to see at a glance who has what or who needs something.

In the upper left corner I have a plastic box with locking clasps for Bucket Head’s keepsakes. It was previously under my bed, but I’m trying to get everything out from under there…Feng Shui, don’t-cha-know. We’ll see how this goes. If the kids get into the keepsake box I might have to kill somebody; and what’s the point of saving precious memories if you murder your offspring? Maybe I’ll switch to an opaque box just to avoid temptation.

In the upper right corner I’ve organized all of Nature Boy’s shoe hand-me-downs by size. I’ve also got our vaporizer up there for cold and flu season.

And now I’m going to fill the space below with my new favorite knock knock joke:

Knock knock!

Who’s there?

I eat mop!

I eat mop who?

{heh heh heh heh} You eat your poo? Gross dude.

 

Next up, the lower corners:

Here I made enough space to move Bucket Head’s hamper into the closet. I’ve also got one big plastic box easily accessible for Nature Boy’s CURRENT hand-me-downs. No more randomly tossing the newly outgrown things up on the closet shelf!

On top of that is a big yellow rubber bucket for Bucket Head’s shoes and slippers. We have issues with this boy hunting for his shoes every single frickin’ morning. That ends today.

And the lower right hand corner:

Okay, this is my favorite part! See those open stackable plastic blue bins? From top to bottom they hold:

1. undies

2. socks

3. pajamas

4. shorts

This is not a new system for Bucket Head. He doesn’t have a dresser, so I’ve always had this in his closet. It totally works for us. So easy for him to put his own clothes away (one of his favorite chores) and to find the clothes he wants each day. No drawers to open and (not) close. No pinched fingers. I don’t even need to label the bins because it is so obvious what is what. Love this!

In the back are two large plastic storage bins for the next two sizes of clothes that Bucket Head will grow into: 6-8 and 10-12. I have the nicer stuff hanging up above that.

Not only does Bucket Head’s closet function and look so much better now, but I’m feeling pretty good about the donation I’ll be making at Goodwill this week:

  • 7 long sleeve t-shirts
  • 3 short sleeve t-shirts
  • 5 dress shirts
  • 2 sweaters
  • 4 pants
  • 3 shorts
  • 5 coats

Not only could these items help clothe someone on a limited budget, but according to the kickass charity impact calculator my friend Megan posted at Declutter Daily last Friday, my donation will be providing 4.1 hours of financial planning training for someone like Rudy Batilla. Win-win-win!

For more organizing ideas and inspiration, head on over to Org Junkie and see what some of my 52 Weeks buddies are up to this week!

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


Inspired

And speaking of special keepsakes from baptisms

(If you can call a formerly poop-encrusted magnetic stone swallowed by an older sibling of the baptized baby a keepsake, like I obviously do.)

One of my lovely readers, Mary Lou of San Antonio, Texas, recently shared some pictures on Facebook of the baptism gown she made with her own two hands for her beautiful new granddaughter, Emma. All baptism gowns are special by their very nature, but the thing that caught my eye about this one in particular is that Mary Lou made it from her vintage 1974 wedding dress. 

The craftsmanship is simply stunning. But I was particularly drawn to the history and sentimentality of the fabric and trim. I asked Mary Lou for more details and this is what she told me:

I wasn’t able to use the satin because it had yellowed.  Besides, it was too stiff for a baby, in my opinion.  I used the sheer overlay from my dress and underlined it with new broadcloth.  I also trimmed Emma’s gown with the lace from my dress to which my mom, my four sisters, and I had sewn hundreds of translucent sequins 37 years ago. The tiny buttons on the back of Emma’s gown were from an old sewing box that belonged to my husband’s Aunt Emmie.

I am so deeply touched by Mary Lou’s story and her longstanding family traditions.

If I had found this on Pinterest, I probably would have pinned it onto my “Damn, I suck” pinboard, which is what I do when I find yet another thing I never did or probably never will do with/for/about/in honor of my clearly neglected children. But my love/hate relationship with Pinterest is a post for another day.

No, because I discovered this little gem on Facebook, handmade and posted by one of my Facebook friends, I was able to bypass the guilt and go right to appreciation mode.

I mean, really! A vintage wedding dress, hand-beaded decades earlier by her own family, repurposed into a baptism gown for the next generation? It’s so creative, sentimental, spiritually rich, and environmentally friendly!  Being a crafty, God-loving, and somewhat green girl myself, I have a special place in my heart for Mary Lou’s gorgeous creation and felt compelled to share it with you all.

Now before you go beating yourself up for having never done something fabulous like this your own self, you should know that Mary Lou has been sewing since she was a little girl. It’s always been her passion. She used to sew clothes for herself, her sisters, and even her Barbie Doll. Eventually, she became a homemaking teacher so she could share her passion with others.

That there is a picture of four generations of Mary Lou’s family. Pictured from left to right: Meemaw, Amanda, Mary Lou, and baby Emma. That bonnet Mary Lou is holding was made for little Emma by one of Mary Lou’s sisters out of Meemaw’s vintage 1953 wedding gown.

Stay with me, people.

Sentimental sewing is a longstanding tradition in Mary Lou’s family:

I think each of the women in our family have sewn our grandmother’s wedding lace to our wedding petticoats, in addition to wedding rings and hankies from various family members.

Mary Lou also handmade a lace hanky years ago that has since made the rounds in various sacraments through the generations as baptism bonnets, handkerchiefs, and wedding bouquet ribbons. Who knew a hanky could be so versatile?! Not me, I tells ya.

That same hanky, pictured above on Mary Lou’s daughter Amanda’s wedding bouquet, was recently tucked into Amanda’s son Dylan’s pocket at his baptism. Mary Lou hopes that he’ll one day give it to his bride and that his children will have it with them at their baptisms as well.

Mary Lou is obviously a gifted seamstress. But I just love how thoughtful and sentimental she is about so many little details. That is truly a gift that will keep on giving for generations to come. What an inspiration!

I had my wedding dress “preserved” (or so I thought) back in 1997 right after my big day. I took it to a dry cleaner who supposedly specialized in wedding dress preservation and paid the big bucks so that one day I’d be able to hand it down to my daughter or granddaughter like I guessed I was supposed to do. Sadly, the process they used totally removed the white color from the overlay, turning my once beautiful white dress into a tarnished beige color. (Oh hold your snickering, Evelyn… I know you always thought it was wrong for me to be married in white in the first place! Bitch.)

Anyhooo…I have kept my tarnished dress in that ginormous acid-free cardboard “Wedding Chest” for all these years, never knowing what I’d do with it. Mini-Me is not going to want a brown wedding dress…even if it does complement the poop-tainted magnet pendant I’ll be making for her one day.

And now that I’m on a mission to clear the clutter from my life and get organized, I’m thinking about that damaged wedding dress and all the cool things I could make out of it for family heirlooms. All because of Mary Lou!

Baby Emma and her “MimiLou.”

Yes indeedy! You best believe that my kids and grandkids will be sporting little bits of my tarnished vintage wedding gown someday in everything from ring bearer pillows, to hankies, to fancy heirloom bibs and burp cloths. Shoot, with the size of my train, people are going to get mighty sick of all the heirloom hand sewn items soon to be coming their way. Can’t you just hear me now: “Sweetie, you be careful with that custom Trapper Keeper Science Binder Cover! Grandma made that ‘specially for you out of my vintage wedding gown.” Or “Make sure you have those kitchen towels dry cleaned, they’re handmade from my wedding dress, you know.” Or, “Hon, did your poker buddies like the coasters I made?” 

Hey, a girl can dream.

I am linking this to Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing series because I am so motivated by Mary Lou to someday repurpose old, unused or damaged, sentimental “clutter” into new family heirlooms my family will treasure for generations to come. I hope this post can inspire other crafty friends on the decluttering and organizing journey to do the same!

with love, admiration, and inspiration,

-Iris

 

PS – New here? Like what you see? Want to help others enjoy it too? Please share the love by voting for The Bearded Iris at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs.  I’m currently in the teens on page one of the list. Thank you kindly!

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Clothes Purging Tips via Org Junkie!

Hi and welcome to another edition of Just the Tip Tuesday!

As you may know, for the past 30+ weeks I’ve been diligently working little by little toward getting more organized.

It’s been an uphill battle rife with roadblocks and setbacks. But I’m thrilled to tell you that all those little accomplishments week by week are starting to add up to big results!

Being a bit of a pack rat, a recovering craftaholic, and an oftentimes emotionally unstable woman with impulse control issues and poor decision making skills, parting with old clothes is especially difficult for me. Perhaps you remember my 20 year old cow jeans that were particularly unflattering?

{Ahem}

Sorry about that.

Well, I never did finish cleaning out my closet. I just got overwhelmed and moved on to another project. (I did get rid of those cow jeans though!)

But a couple of weeks ago, I came across an incredible post chock full of specific directives on parting with clothes. It was so empowering that I just had to share!

The following is verbatim from my beloved organizing guru Laura the Org Junkie in her brilliant and entertaining post titled: 11 Excellent Reasons to Get Rid of Your Clothes.

Org Junkie’s Tips to Help You Part with Your Clothes

1. If you haven’t worn something in a year then out it goes regardless of condition, price or size. Why a year? Because you cover every season in that period of time. If you haven’t worn it during the year, you probably never will.

2. If you have a piece of clothing that you wear but are annoyed with it every time you do, seriously stop it.

3. If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.

4. If you hate to iron and your ironing pile sits there totally neglected while you wear all your favorite clothing over and over again, why do you still have an ironing pile?

5. I’m not opposed to keeping your “skinny” clothes (and I know we all do it) but for goodness sakes you don’t need to keep all of it. Styles change, your tastes change, your body shape changes so chances are good that when you get back to that size you’re going to want new stuff anyway.

6. If you absolutely love a shirt but never wear it because you have nothing to wear it with, well guess what, a mate isn’t going to magically appear in the night. Follow the one year rule.

7. Sentimental clothes that you aren’t wearing shouldn’t reside in your closet. Either take a picture of it and preserve the memory or limit yourself to one tote of “clothes to show my kids so they can laugh their heads off at me someday”.

8. Don’t hang onto something that is “just alright” because you don’t have something better yet to replace it. Let it go now unless it means you go naked, that wouldn’t be right.

9. You don’t have to do it all at once. Like I did try it in stages and be motivated by your success. One day you could do shirts, the next day shorts, etc..

10. Try everything on. This one I can’t stress enough. Do not hold something up and say oh this is so beautiful I’m going to keep it. That’s too easy and what you might not remember is that, although it’s beautiful, the buttons gape at the front showing off your woman parts. Nope we don’t want that now do we. Get rid of it.

11. You only have the space that you do. Jamming your clothes into the closet and fighting with them every single day to find what you need won’t make your closet grow in the night. It will only make you grumpy…every single day. It’s not worth it.

_________________________________________

Hi, it’s me again, Iris. Wasn’t that great?! I just love her! Seriously, if you haven’t slurped that lady’s Kool-Aid yet, you need to get on it!

I was so inspired by her clothes purging manifesto that I finally tackled the overflowing “Mend” bucket in my bedroom:

I just love how she said:

“If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.”

That spoke to my soul.

I spilled out the contents of that bucket and discovered a torn t-shirt and a pair of shorts that my daughter had already outgrown (they had been in the bucket THAT long). Those went right into the trash. How freeing! Next up, a very dated fire-engine red full length London Fog raincoat that I bought in 1989. It was really expensive and I thought I would update it by shortening it and changing the buttons. Shoulder pads might come back into style someday, right?

Maybe, but I’d rather have some more empty space in my room. That rain coat had been sitting in that bucket for well over a year. And upon closer inspection, it had some signs of wear and tear that made it not worth the time and effort if would take me to update it. Enough is enough already. Maybe it will make someone at the thrift shop very happy.

Now I only have a couple of things to mend instead of a huge bucket! Much more doable.

And speaking of those buckets…I have one more tip for you today. Those $5.00 buckets also make great impromptu Ninja Turtle costumes…

Whoo-hooo! Just add your own enthusiasm! The camouflage underwear hat is optional. (Gosh I hope those were clean.)

yours truly,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


As if I needed one more reason to hate clutter.

We’ve talked before about how “clutter costs you.” Like when I found that pile of uncashed checks in my home office worth $1463 and ended up on Oprah. Well not actually ON Oprah, she probably wouldn’t like that, and neither would Steadman. I mean on her show. True story.

But two nights ago I learned another valuable lesson about how costly clutter can be. 

Long story short: I broken my frickin’ toe when I tripped on one of Bucket Head’s toys in the middle of the night.

It’s not that great of a story, so I thought it might sound better as a song. Please click the link below to hear it:

Broken Toe

I’ve never embedded a song before, so please let me know if it doesn’t work. Alls I have to say is, watch your back Ke$ha, cuz my autotune skillz are badass.

I’m actually not even sure if my tootsie is broken… I’ve never had a broken toe before. But it sure does hurt like a mo-fo, especially at night. And it’s all bruised and swollen like a narsty fat cocktail wienie gone bad. Worst of all, it just looks SO out of place on my otherwise pretty feet. Poor, poor toe. And oh, the injustice! Couldn’t I have stubbed one of my ginormous manly fingers instead?

Sorry – but it’s just too hideous to show you the unedited shot. And to the sweet man who wrote in requesting more pics of my feet, please forgive me.

Anyhooooo, one good thing has come of this. Yesterday, Bucket Head, Mini-Me, my throbbing broken toe (“Drizella”), and I all worked together to clean the snark out of his cluttered bedroom.

Here’s what it looked like the morning after I tripped on one of his toys:

And from another angle:

Lord only knows what I tripped on! Yeeesh.

In his defense, the poor kid is only four and he’s having really bad night terrors: wakes up screaming every night. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him watch all those Friday the Thirteenth movies. I don’t know. But anyway, every night at bedtime, if he doesn’t sneak downstairs and curl up on my lap on the couch, he avoids going to sleep by playing in his room until he basically just collapses on his bedroom floor. We end up moving him into his bed when he’s sound asleep and usually just scoot the toys out of the way.

Letting him keep all those toys in his room was my lazy-ass way of not dealing with his sleep problems. It was just easier for me to let him play than to put the hammer down. Bad Mommy.

And I guess I was too tired or drunk or lazy to clear a good path that night like I usually do. Serves me right. Dammit.

But stubbing my toe on one of his toys is just the wake up call I needed. It’s time to teach this kid how to be a better sleeper. And the first step is eliminating the clutter from his room.

The sleep issue is huge – and too much to include in this post. We’ll save that for another day, because I have a lot to say about it.

But for now, all you need to know is that we have a new rule: the only extra things allowed in Bucket Head’s bedroom are stuffed animals, books, and his baby doll stuff. Yes, Bucket Head has a baby doll. His name is Zeke. Shut the fuck up. We’ll have to discuss that separately too.

Ready for some after pics? Don’t judge my shitty decorating. He’s my third and final kid. He gets nothing.

I think I’m most excited about the two baskets on the bottom shelf for all the paperback books. I already had those baskets elsewhere in the house, so I didn’t have to spend anything. They fit perfectly and it will be so much easier for Bucket Head to flip though them for what he wants. Here’s how I was storing those paperbacks before:

It was a mess.

Here is the updated system:

 We carried all the extra toys down to the basement play room, where they belong. And starting tonight, SLEEP BOOT CAMP… if I can stay awake for it once the painkillers for my toe kick in.

Humbly and gingerly, but with gratitude for the KICK I needed to stay on my organizing journey,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


Ask and ye shall receive.

“Ask and ye shall receive.”

I don’t know who said that, but hot damn if it ain’t the God’s honest truth.

(Kidding, I know who said that. It was Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, right?)

Earlier this week I was in a major funk about the state of my house and the fact that I had not finished any of my 52 Weeks of Organizing projects lately. I suspected that if I could just focus and complete something, it would help me tremendously. So I declared my intentions to the universe.

And lo and behold, help arrived.

My organizing guru, Laura, THE Org Junkie, heard my plea and responded with the just in time medicine I needed: a fabulous post titled Finish what you start. It is filled with such good advice that I don’t even mind her blaming ME for her being a little hard on all of us this week! (Sorry guys. It’s for our own good.)

Laura encouraged us to update and reprioritize our lists! Holy cheese! That is just the lightbulb I needed. My priorities HAVE shifted dramatically since I began this journey 24 weeks ago. Almost losing 14,000 digital photos can do that to a gal.

But I never would have thought to update my list! What a great idea!

Iris' Original 52 Weeks of Organizing List

When I look back at my original list, it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me anymore. I think it needs a major overhaul. So that’s something I’ll be working on next week.

This week, however, as promised, I focused on my office desk, the office floor, and my new computer. And I actually accomplished something! Staying focused in one room made a huge difference. (The rest of my house looks like shit, but I don’t care…I’m on a mission, ya’ll!)

But before I can show you my progress, first I have to show you something shocking!

"One of these things is not like the other one. One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is doing its own thing? Now, before I finish my song."

Ooops, not that one.

In the process of organizing some of my photos, I came across this old picture of my home office/den in 2004:

Pretty tidy, wouldn’t you say? This picture was taken about a year after we moved to this house. That was before we had a dog, or a third tornado child.

Fast forward a few years…

Look at the dog's face! Even he can't stand it here. And do you see what Mini-Me is doing in the background? Tossing my paperwork into the air. Nice.

Hello chaos. I’m Iris. Nice to meetcha.

That was Autumn, 2008. We had recently added hardwood floors and French doors. We painted the hallway and the home office. Like you can even tell with all that clutter in the way. Let’s face it, no amount of buttercream frosting can hide the fact that the cake underneath is made of crap.

{Sigh.}

You would think that finding $1463 worth of free money in that room would have motivated me to keep it more organized.

Uh, nope.

That really happened, by the way. One thousand, four hundred, sixty-three dollars. Fo shizzle.

It was January 2009, not long after that picture above with the three kids and the dog was taken.

You know how January goes… new year, new resolutions. I was bound and determined to get our home office under control. So I started moving piles around and putting like with like. That’s when I found a stack of unopened envelopes from my health insurance company. Thinking they were just monthly statements, I had never opened them. Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

So one night I sat in front of the TV and started going through that stack one envelope at a time. Sure enough, they weren’t statements. They were reimbursement checks! And they were 9 months old and about to expire. If I had not found them when I did, all that money would have been lost.

That, by the way, was what got me on the Oprah show in March of that year. Well my voice anyway, and a bunch of pictures of me, my family, and my messy messy house. Ahhhh, good times.

But here we are two years later, and I haven’t really made a ton of progress on that home office since then. Here’s a picture I took about a week ago:

"Honey call 911! We've been robbed! Oh wait...nevermind."

Lord have mercy! Every time I come home to this I think I’ve been burglarized. Only I haven’t. The thief is ME and I’m robbing myself and my family of a better life. That’s crazy.

But I’m proud to say that I am a woman of my word and I cleared that messy floor this week:

Keep your eyes on the floor... ignore the bookshelves.

I followed Laura’s advice and put a big basket by the door to gather all the items that didn’t belong in my office. Still haven’t put that stuff where it really belongs, but baby steps, right? We’re going for progress, not perfection.

Now I’ve got stacks of organized, manageable piles around the perimeter of the room that I plan to tackle one by one over the next few weeks: medical papers, warranties, kids’ artwork, things to frame, the recipe pile, etc. I’ve also got to organize that bookshelf so it doesn’t look so messy. I always wanted to paint it or stain it too, but for now, I’ll settle for tidy.

I’m feeling much less overwhelmed! I CAN do this. One little pile at a time.

Special thanks again to Laura the Org Junkie for all her support and expertise! I’ve definitely made more progress in the past week than I’ve made in the past two years! Thank you, Laura!

Can’t wait to show you all my progress next week. I’m going to stick with this room until it is complete! Come back next week and see!

Enthusiastically yours,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


Laundry Room Highs and Lows

It’s week # 9 in Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge. This week the topic is “What is your good enough?” God help us. This is going to be cathartic.

If you are just joining us and want to get caught up on all my previous projects, click here.

Ever since I revamped my laundry system a few weeks ago and stopped sorting laundry, I’ve been itching to organize my awful laundry room. Ultimate goal: for my 11 year old son to start washing his own clothes. But there was no way I wanted him farting around in my messy laundry room, mixing bleach with ammonia, or putting too much soap in the washer like that dumb-ass Bobby Brady.

Look, can I be honest? I frickin’ hate my laundry room. I truly could not hate it more if it were located over an Indian burial ground and haunted by poltergeists. It’s small, dark, cluttered, and worst of all, ordinary. It has no natural light, old nasty linoleum floors, and energy inefficient top loading appliances that were purchased at the end of the last century. And, this room is a passageway between my garage and my kitchen, so I’m forced to look at it all the stinkin’ time.

I’ve tried to spruce it up little by little over the 7 years that we’ve lived here… a coat of leftover paint, some hooks, a set of really nice shelves my sweet Stepdad and I almost killed each other installing, a few cute baskets here and there. But all these little improvements are like putting a band-aid on a gushing hatchet wound. In other words… ain’t working. I still hate it.

I’ve always fantasized about one of those fancy schmancy laundry rooms with custom cabinetry, a built in ironing board, a spotless counter top for folding, gleaming glass canisters filled with organic plant based detergents… the works. You know — the kind of laundry room Martha Stewart would go to prison for.

But instead, what I have is this:

BEFORE: Cramped, cluttered, and ordinary laundry room.

Ugh. So very far from perfect, wouldn’t you agree?

But let’s face it – I’m not going to get that fantasy laundry room any time soon. So I would be wise to stop comparing and start decluttering. In the immortal words of Elvis, “a little less talk, a little more action.” Let’s do this, shall we?

Remember the PROCESS? (Plan, Remove, Organize, Containerize, Evaluate, Solve, Smile)

1.) Plan. Eh, f#ck it. I’m not a planner. I’m just gonna dive right in.

2.) Remove everything from the space. Check:

WOW! Looks so much better already, doesn’t it?! Decent bones, at least. Okay, I take that back, but at least my water supply hoses are made of braided steel instead of rubber. So there’s one good thing.

This would be a good time to paint the room the robin’s egg blue I’ve been coveting, but my husband said “NO WAY, JOSÉ,” since I have so many other unfinished renovating, crafting, and personal hygiene projects in the works. I swear, sometimes that man is about as much fun as a dead baby bunny on Easter morning.

In case you’re wondering where I put all that stuff… well so much for the clean dining room from last week:

BEFORE: decluttered dining room.

DURING: cluttered dining room revisited.

That’s okay. Just more motivation for me to keep moving and git-r-done.

3.) Organize. Once everything was in the dining room, I put like with like, and tossed (or recycled) a bunch of CRAP like a dozen cardboard toilet paper tubes I was saving for a craft we’ll never do.

4.) Containerize. Whatever I didn’t toss/recycle, I consolidated. Then I moved a box of pet supplies to the garage to preserve the valuable real estate I had created with all the purging.

Time to put stuff back into the laundry room!

And THAT is when it hit me: the less I put back in, the more organized and spacious the room would appear! I used containers to create boundaries, just like Org Junkie says. Turns out I don’t need a bigger laundry room… I just need less stuff. Talk about an “Aha Moment.”

And speaking of containers… I started thinking, what would oneshabbychick do to corral all her fabric softeners and stain removers? Her stuff is sooooo pretty and easy on the eye. Ooooh, I know…. she’d find something fabulous on the cheap at Goodwill and spray paint it Ivory or Navajo white. So I did just that. Check it out, my little Lookie-Lous:

BEFORE: ugly metal bin from Goodwill.

AFTER: same thing, but with satin ivory spray paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. ) Evaluate.

AFTER: Iris' laundry room shelves.

 

AFTER: Iris' laundry room make-under.

6.) Solve. This is obviously a work in progress. I’ll keep you posted as I get used to the new decluttered space and discover if there are any problems that still need to be solved.

I am going to have my artsy pregnant friend Mama Cloud make me some pretty labels for the baskets so my kids and husband can find things. She has the most beautiful handwriting and needs something to take her mind off the ring of fire she’s going to experience in about 6 weeks.

7.) Smile. Can’t. Too tired. And all those spray paint fumes have me a little high. But I surely am grateful for the “Aha Moments” I experienced in this project and I’m looking forward to purging more stuff in my other rooms.

It may not be the perfect laundry room of my dreams, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was last week. Maybe uncluttered is good enough for me.

Until we meet again!

-Iris

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