It’s week # 13 in Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge. This week Org Junkie’s topic is “Purge Magazine Backlogs.

I don’t have this problem because me no read too good. But it’s worth checking out Org Junkie’s tips on this topic if you are a magazine person.

It’s also worth the click just to see that she actually quoted LITTLE OL’ ME! Can you believe it? Me! Bearded Iris. What a kick in the rubber parts! I sure do like that woman.

So this week, instead of purging my nonexistent magazines, I’ve been working in the kitchen… again. {deep sigh}

You see, I’ve agreed to host a Pampered Chef party next weekend for my sister-in-law, Teresa. You remember her… the one with the gorgeous hands? She’s just starting out in the wild wild world of Pampered Chef and really needs her family’s support right now, so I said I’d do it. And you’re all invited! {Make sure you RSVP so I can buy enough wine!}

Now, you should know, I am not a huge fan of purchasing parties. They are just so… I don’t know… consumeristic. And people like me with clutter problems don’t need MORE stuff. We need LESS stuff. Duh.

But I thought about a way I could do this for Teresa and still honor my current path. I am going to ask each of my guests to bring a gently used kitchen gadget to donate to a shelter for battered women. All the donations will go into a fabulous kitchen basket for a woman who needs to start over in a new kitchen of her own. Isn’t that a great idea? It’s not mine, although I certainly do appreciate your applause. I got it from Peter Walsh, another of my organizing gurus. He is running a “Declutter for Kindness” campaign to help the family of a teenage boy in Virginia who is the victim of a senseless, brutal beating. It’s a heartbreaking story, but I love how Peter is using his superpowers to help a family in need.

Besides helping others, this will also enforce the One In, One Out Rule to help us stay organized. It’s a win-win.

But also, from a more selfish perspective, if my party guests are focusing on how organized and altruistic they are, maybe they won’t notice my hideous kitchen cabinets. Or the dog-hair tumbleweeds rolling by. Or my nerve-induced B.O.

So yeah… I’m carving away at my krappy kitchen klutter bit by bit to make my house more of a home and my Pampered Chef party less of a colossal embarrassment. Oh the things we do for love.

Remember this area above the kitchen desk?

Wait. It gets worse. Go ahead, open the doors and look inside.

Oooooh-weeeee. How did it get like that? No matter. Let’s fix it.

Well, I followed the Org Junkie PROCESS (it’s really much better than my ROACHES technique) and cleaned that mother out. Man, if I could leave it like this, I totally would:

Next I did something totally crazy. I’m talkin’ straight-up rubber-room, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ca-ra-zay. You’re not going to believe this, but I moved my cookbooks INTO the kitchen.

For reals.

I had been sloppily storing them in the basement (WTF?) on a gorgeous wrought iron shelf that I bought two houses ago and don’t have room for anywhere better.  You would think running up and down the stairs every time I need a cookbook would be a good thing for the old rump roast, but my brother still calls me “Saddlebags.” Butt-munch.

The hardest part (for me) about this whole decluttering process is that it is such a can of worms. You start working in one spot, then you have to “make room” somewhere else for the stuff you decide to keep, and then that other spot becomes a mess… and so on and so on. Like a domino effect of CRAP. Pretty discouraging at times.

Well I managed to make room for some of the less-frequently used things from the kitchen cabinet, in the dining room buffet, which had been previously storing school supplies (again, WTF?), but then I needed to find a new home for those. And, oh… I seriously need a margarita. And it’s Lent. And I’m on the wagon. And shit, this is hard. No wonder I’m living in squalor.

But I stuck with it and I conquered that som’bitch. Oh yeah. That cabinet is calling me Daddy and fetching my slippers right about now.

Drum roll please….

Let me open it up so you can get a better look-see:

Isn’t that better? The biggest change is the two baskets: one for me, one for my husband, The Gatekeeper. The baskets corral all the little clutter that we need easy access to like sunglasses, wallets, etc. What a difference.

Then I chose just a few of my favorite things to display: a flashy green $2 vase from Goodwill that I use all the time and some handmade pottery by the kids…

Nature Boy made this in preschool. I broke it into a million little pieces once, but The Gatekeeper glued it back together for me. He's da bomb. I like a man with a slow hand.

Nature Boy and Mini-Me made these for us at camp last year. They rock my world. The colors and big handles are fabulous.

...and look what's inside! A clay cheetah and clay piggie! So stinkin' cute & fun with every sip.

I totally forgot how much I loved those three little things. It’s hard to appreciate the stuff that really matters when it is buried under so much clutter!

And as for the other side…

I decided to move my tacky school calendar to the INSIDE of the cabinet instead of the outside of the pantry door thanks to one of my wonderful readers and commenters who told me two weeks ago that she keeps a baggie for those “evil Box Tops” taped inside her cabinet door so it’s close but out of sight. Simply brilliant. Thanks, Connie!

So that’s it. One more project down, 39 to go!  See you next Saturday at my Pampered Chef party, right?

Your friend,


PS – To catch up on my previous 52 Weeks projects, click here.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.