Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In which I declare that I hate how my house is organized...

I'm really into organizing houses.  Since I became an adult and moved out of the dorms, I've lived in six houses/apartments/condos/townhouses/you get the idea.  And I've had to figure out creative ways to arrange my belongings in various ways: with roommates, by myself, with a husband, with babies, with children.  Anyone who has had to uproot many times can probably relate.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly how you want your home to look.  You have to let it sink in.  And then things change like taking up new hobbies or your children's interests changing.  So there's that to contend with.

I can see you nodding.

My biggest problem has been my kitchen.  For years it has looked cluttered.  This house has a bigger kitchen, but dummy me still cluttered the counter tops.  It wasn't until I read a couple of things that the wheels began to turn.  Somewhere I read, only leave things on your counter top that you frequently use (like your toaster or your coffee pot).  The rest needs to be stored somewhere.  This would not have been possible in some of the kitchens that I lived in because the kitchens didn't have enough cabinet space.  Sometimes I stored things in the pantry if the pantry was big enough.  Sometimes I got rid of things that barely were used if I could make do without.  Sometimes things just got dumped on the counter, much to my annoyance. Thus my kitchens always looked in disarray even if all the dishes had been washed. 

So even though this kitchen is bigger old habits die hard.  Real hard.  I've been fed up with it, but stuck at how to fix it.  I'm not very good at breaking out of habits.  I don't think anyone is.  It wasn't until the suggestion to store things that I got it.  Why haven't I been storing things?  Well, you dummy, it's because you haven't had the space.  But don't I now?  Yes, but you haven't been using the space well.  If you move a couple of things and junk some things, then you could move that over here and that over there....

Well, dear reader, you get the idea. 

Basically what I did was this:

Moved my cook books to a cabinet- This required me to shift some small appliances that I use infrequently around, but was not a big deal.

Moved my crock pot- This required me to shift a few more things.  Some went into the drawer underneath the oven and others to another cabinet.  Done.

Sugar bowl finds a home back in the pantry.  Cutting boards go into a cabinet or hung up.  

Then I went through all that area that had been a catch-all area.  Some of it ended up tacked to the fridge, the rest went back where it belonged.  You should have seen the kitchen table.  It was covered in stuff that belonged somewhere else.

I looked at all that remained on the counter top: coffee pot, coffee grinder, toaster, drying rack, utensil holder w/ utensils, paper towels, knives w/block and my dust buster.  And I rearranged them now that I had more space to.  So now I have an even bigger prep area. 

Also what made a huge difference was all those darn sandwich box lids and other container lids.  Someone posted a cheap way to organize those.  All you do is save a cereal box and cut a part of it off.  Stick the lids inside and put it into your cabinet.  So easy right?  No more searching for lids.  No more lids falling on you when you open the door.  Genius!

So here is my arranged kitchen:

Please note that as far as decades go, I am not fond of the 70s decorating scheme.  Gold and drab.  So yes I hate those counter tops.  But this is a rental.  If I owned the house, at minimum I would install a new counter top and paint the cabinets.  Although truthfully the cabinets and the sink have issues too and should be replaced.

I've also done some putting Christmas/Advent decorations up.  Yes I've been procrastinating.  In the process, I found our Holy Water Font and put that on the wall where Knee injured himself and required stitches.  The left is the kitchen and the right is the living room.

Here's my living room with the newish furniture.  I'm not fond of avocado green walls, but I'm not fond of having to paint a rental that I'm not sure how long I'll be in.  I turned the book shelf catercorner to make the room seem less squared off on that side.

A view of the love seat.  You see that cut-out behind it.  That's the kitchen.  There's a pass through window, which at times has me concerned that some naughty climbing children will land on their face one day.

View of the couch.  Yes there are legos on that table.  Since the home owner turned the foyer closet into a pantry, I had to create a sort of entry way drop off.  So that's a coat rack and barely peeking out next to it is a shoe rack.  Their child-friendly height.  The good thing about it being there is behind those curtains is the sliding glass door which leads to the back yard.  So no issues with shoes being scattered to the four winds.

My next organizing projects are to tackle the boys room and our room.  Our room should be fairly simple.  It's the boys room that is an never-ending nightmare.  I'm never happy with how it looks.  It didn't bother me when the boys had a toy room.  But now that their toys, clothes, and beds are all in one room, it's driving me to distraction.  Even when it's picked up, it still looked cluttered.  So I'm going to look into getting an extra book shelf, some toy bins, and sorting through and removing extra clothes that they don't really need/like. 

Are you a super organizer like me?  What's your one problem area and how have you managed it?  Do tell me in the comments!

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!