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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Two Enemies: Clutter and Disorganization

Clutter is one of my worst enemies. To me, there's nothing worse than a coffee table with no room for coffee among all the books and magazines piled sky-high,  a computer desk with an endless variation of letters, papers, CD's, and whatever else anyone might have put there for a "moment," and a kitchen counter covered with things that really could fit in that extra space in the cupboard. So as you might have guessed by now...I love, love, love to organize!
 Something I have to remind myself about organizing is that the entire house cannot be organized in one day. Once I start any kind of organization, I have difficulty focusing on just one project because it seems like it's all inter-connected (and it is, in a way). But that's how it works, just one bit at a time. So, here are a few of my projects I've completed lately.

 This is an idea that I got off of Pinterest that I thought was a great idea: each member of the family gets a box (clutter box, as I like to call it) for their own individual clutter. Then a certain someone (me of course =) goes around picking up all the clutter, which inevitably grows like weeds around here, putting each person's clutter in their box. Then the boxes should be emptied once in a while into each person's room. The advantages for such a system? Well, first of all, I won't get the run-down from anyone who lost something because I happened to put it away, since it will most likely be in their box where they'll find all their "missing" items. Secondly, it really does help keep any smooth, flat surfaces, such as coffee tables, desks, and kitchen counters, clear of clutter, of course not free of clutter. That will be the day when all tables and counters are forever free of clutter. But anyway, it really does help. Now, I know these aren't the prettiest looking organizers, but here's where my frugality comes into play. The picture on Pinterest showed four neat, perfectly matching baskets. And as we don't usually have four neat, perfectly matching baskets laying around, but a whole lot of boxes (from lots of online ordering) and plenty of yard sale fabrics, I threw these together one night. With a bit of hot glue, I wrapped the boxes in fabric, then used laminated index cards to label them. Now, there are six of us in the household, not four. But some of us share rooms, so I just made boxes for each of the rooms upstairs. Obviously, unless they were really long stairs, it would look rather crazy with six boxes all lined up! Anyway, as I said, they aren't the most gorgeous things you ever saw, but they get the job done.

Yep, more fabric-covered "boxes." For these, I actually used those baskets that the mandarin oranges come in. As they aren't exactly decorative, I used more fabric as a cover-up. Again, not exactly beautiful, but helpful. They're hard to see in the picture, but they have labels: one for mail, one for church mail, and one for receipts. Not surprisingly, I usually still have to go through the mail sitting on the kitchen table. But, dad doesn't have the time, and I do...so it works. Not to mention I love sorting anyway!

Up next...kitchen cupboard clean up. I absolutely love using spices when I cook, lots and lots of spices. But it's almost unbearable when you're happily cooking along and suddenly become extremely aggravated because that one spice you need is lost among the gazillion containers that all look the same. So this was my project today. All together, I used  7 boxes/containers (I used up-cycled tea boxes, a coffee filter box, and basically anything I could find around the house) and then grouped all of the spices into categories. So for instance, the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and curry powder all went in a box titled "Powders." All the seeds, like poppy seeds and fennel seeds, went in another, and so on. I can't even begin to imagine how much easier and stress-less cooking and baking will be from now on. And all it took was a pleasant hour or more of planning and sorting. What fun!

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