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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Update

Posted by on Apr 21, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | 2 comments

This week has definitely been a productive one!  I was able to get my whole list of spring cleaning done!  You’ve all motivated me to finish it! Even if you just tackled one area of your house this week or maybe making plans to do some spring cleaning,keep up the good work! I’m going  try to keep it short and simple today by just showing you my pictures.

Under the sink before.

Under the sink after! I use a shower curtain rod under my sink to hold the spray bottles and all the organization supplies in this cabinet I “found” in my house! I love the plastic drawer for storing my towels and dish rags.  Putting them here, freed up another space too! :)

Before all the utensils and flatware lived in 4 drawers.

Now they live among 3 drawers. I was able to completely empty the two drawers next to the stove. By purging a few items and then putting everything in these two drawers, it seems to work much better.

The flatware now lives next to the dishwasher! :)

My dishes relocated to the cabinet above the dishwasher.  I have to say I should have done that so much sooner! It really makes putting everything away so much easier!

It’s really bare now!  I packed all the sentimental items and left the dishes I don’t use every day in here.

Here are my kitchen linens before.

And here they are after. I didn’t get  rid of to much linens. I’ve paired down a lot over the past year.  I did get rid of one table runner and six orange placemats though. So it’s a little lighter in here.  Most of these table linens are sentimental, so I kept them and plan to use them often! :)

Here are the two pictures of the “pantry” before.

 Much better!

One less shelf to pack in this cabinet! :)

I find that shoe boxes are one of my favorite inexpensive storage solution.  You can find them for under a dollar and they house items well.  I took things out of their original packaging and placed them in each labeled container.

My second favorite inexpensive storage solution is repurposing a yogurt container.  A little scrapbook paper and a label and it’s like new!

Well that was my week of cleaning and organizing!

How was your week?  No matter what you did or would have liked to have done, please share in the comments what you’ve done or would like to accomplish in the next week.

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge anytime! Here are the previous posts:

* I’ll be back on Monday with this weeks menu and the spring cleaning challenge for day 6! I hope you will join me!

 

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 5

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 5

If you are just joining me, I started a series on Sunday to clean and organize the kitchen in 2 weeks.  If you’d like to read from the beginning, start here.  If you are ready for today’s tips and challenge, keep reading. :)

Yes, today is the last day for this week! YAY.  I’m sure you’ve done a great job this week. Well I’ve got a big chore for you today. Depending on the size of your pantry it might take you longer then the other tasks this week have required.  I know it was for me.  I realized I had all of my pantry items spread out between 5 cupboards! Not really simple, huh?! But I had everything on each shelf by category. I’m a huge fan of like items with like items. Anyways, for my pantry makeover I came up with a plan to make it work well for moving. Today, I’m going to share with you what I did:

Pantry before

 I like having my spices next to the stove.  I use the counter space below this cabinet for prepping meals so it’s the perfect spot for them.  Also hiding in this cabinet is my baking supplies. Well, they have high-tailed it out of here and moved to their new location: the pantry!

 Now I know there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to planning out your pantry.  Everyone has a different size space.  Here are 3 organization steps that have helped me maximize my space and be more organized. I hope they will help you too!

#1. Organize by category 

Organizing your pantry by category might seem a little OCD; I understand. Especially if you’re a working mom short on time. But if you’re looking for a solution that will organize your pantry better, place things in categories. It will make your life that much easier in the long run and it’s really not that hard to do. You have to take it out to clean sometime, so you might as well organize it as it goes back in.

#2. Inventory what you have on hand

Start a list (by category) of what you have.  Make a excel spread sheet, use a phone app, or just a plain white piece of paper. When you realize what you have, it makes coming up with a storage solution that much better!

#3. Identify what storage solutions will work best for your space 

This is probably the hardest task.  One reason is organizational supplies are a billion dollar industry.  There are so many choices, how can you choose, right? But after you have organized your stuff by category and know what you have it should help you decide a little bit better.

The reason I believe having an organized pantry is important is because you’ll know what you have on hand, which in turn helps with menu planning and grocery shopping.  Which then helps you save time and money! Who wouldn’t want that?! 

Okay enough tips for today, your begging to get started right?!

Here is today’s objective. There are some new objectives added to the list today!

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • As you take everything out of the cabinet(s) and place them on to your cleared off surface, put them into categories: snacks, baking, flour, cereal, and so on. 
  • Start your inventory list as you take each item out as well. 
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in this cabinet place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later!
  • Make a miscellaneous cabinet. Place all items you are not sure where to put them in this cabinet.  We will tackle that cabinet next week!
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started on Monday. 

The After Pictures

Need more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest for more pantry organization ideas. Follow Me on Pinterest

Join me tomorrow morning for all the pictures of the progress I made this week.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge and time! Here are the previous posts:

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 4

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 4

Wow! Yesterday was a very productive day for me. I was able to clean the hutch and rearrange the dishes to the cabinet above the dishwasher.  I’m aiming to have the things that I use and wash daily near the dishwasher.  I know it might seem like this is the wrong time to move everything around but I think the next 4 weeks in my house will be enjoyable with everything in one spot: clean and organized!  Plus it will help the movers pack everything up easily; well I hope. :) I’ll definitely be showing you all the progress I made this week on Saturday morning.

Ready for today’s challenge?

Today’s challenge is to sort through and organize kitchen linens, towels, and dish cloths.

Today’s Objective

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Take everything out of the cabinet(s) and place them on to your cleared off surface.  Check other areas (besides the kitchen) of your home to see if kitchen linens are living somewhere else.
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in this cabinet place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later!
  • Make a miscellaneous cabinet. Place all items you are not sure where to put them in this cabinet.  We will tackle that cabinet next week!
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started on Monday. 
Today’s Tip
  • Designate a convenient and purposeful location for your kitchen linens to live. There might be multiple places you keep table linens, towels, and dish cloths.  I know I do.  My towels and dish cloths live under the sink (now), place mats and table cloths live in a small coffee cart in my dining room, and my cloth napkins spend their time hanging out next to the flatware.

Whether you are cleaning the kitchen or other areas of the house, how is your spring cleaning going?  Share in the comments! 

Spring cleaning 2 Week Challenge Previous Posts

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 3

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 3

If you are just joining me, this week we started a spring cleaning two week challenge you can start here if you’d like.  If you are continuing on with me, how did yesterday go?  I was able to downsize two drawers and move things a little closer to the dishwasher to make even easier to put the dishes away!  I’ll be sharing all my “after” pictures on Saturday so stay tuned for that! :)

One of my favorite pieces of furniture in my house is my hutch.  I use it every day since my dishes live there.  My husband surprised me with it a few years back and I’ll always cherish that surprise.  And since  I love it so much, I really should clean it! :)

So today’s spring cleaning challenge is cleaning out the buffet, hutch and/or kitchen cabinet where your plates live.

Today’s Objective Is:

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Take everything out of the cabinet.
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in this cabinet place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later! :)
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started yesterday
Today’s Tip
  • If something you come along is sentimental: display it that way you can see it daily.  If it is something you are considering getting rid of,but having a hard time parting with it, try to choose it’s owner.  Is it an item a friend of yours could use?  Is it an heirloom a family member would cherish as much as you do?  Give it them and let them enjoy it as much as you have! :)

Alright, it’s that time get ready to tackle todays challenge.  And of course don’t forget to join me tomorrow, we have two days left this week to do some spring cleaning!

What are some organization tips you have? Please share in the comments.  

Next Post:

Day 4

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 2

Posted by on Apr 17, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 2

On Sunday, I started a spring cleaning 2 week challenge.  I was able to get under the sink done and now I’m ready to tackle today’s challenge.  How did yesterday go for you?  Are you ready for today?  Well here it is!

Today’s challenge is to clean out the drawers that have utensils and silverware in them. 

Don’t worry about the other drawers such as the: linen, towels, wash cloths, or junk drawers today.  We’ll get to those.  Definitely look in them to see if any spare utensils are hiding in there, but don’t worry about sorting them today.

Today’s objective for cleaning out the drawers.

  • Set your timer to the designated time you want to spend cleaning.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Start by taking everything out of the drawers.  As you take them out, place them into groups on your counter: spatulas with spatulas, serving spoons with serving spoons and so on.  This is going to show you what you have and help you decide what to keep, toss in the garage sale box or trash.  It also will help determine what you need to replace. (If you have older children, have them help
  • Then clean inside of the drawers with your all purpose cleaner.
  •  It’s time to see how much needs to return to each drawer. Consider how many you really need of each item.  You know your family the best and what you realistically need.
  • Aim to purge of at least 5 items either to the trash or the garage sale box.
  • Take this time to see if your utensils would be better in a more convent place.  Such as silverware close to the dishwasher or spatulas next to the stove.  Ask your family members if their is a spot they would like things to be.  Especially if they help you out in the kitchen often!
  • Return what you are keeping to drawers and let your space dictate how much you can have.

Today’s Tips

  • If something is sentimental and your not sure what to do about it.  Maybe purge something that is newer or something that you purchased.  Use that kitchen utensil that was your grandmothers instead.  What a great way to remember your family member as you cook!
  • Start a list (either on a piece of paper or phone app) of items you need to replace.  Then be looking in sale ads for the best deal on those replacement items. I have spatulas that are 12 years old that need to be replaced: thats on my list! :) I use the Evernote ap on my iPhone to keep a running list.
Remember if you work full time, have really young ones at home, or life is just busy I encourage you to find a specific time that will work the best for you and your family. This task of spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting one.  Make it fun. Put on your favorite music and  have a family member help! If you’ve worked all day, don’t feel that you have to come home an clean, but maybe plan it for the weekend or 15 minutes in the evening after dinner.  Do what works best for you and your season in life! 
Alright, well there is today’s challenge. I’m sure you will do a great job!  Join me tomorrow for Day 3 of this Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge.
What are some organization tip you have? Please share in the comments. 
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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 1

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | 2 comments

Yesterday, I asked you to join me in a Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge.

Today’s challange is to clean under the sink. 

Today’s tips for cleaning under the sink: 

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Take everything out of the cabinet.
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong under the sink, place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later! :)
  • Only keep what you use daily or weekly!  If you have a ton of stuff under the sink that you haven’t used in years, consider tossing it out or donating them. Last time I was in Habitat for Humanity Re-Store I noticed they take donated household cleaning products.  (Just contact them first to make sure that specific Re-Store in your area takes donated products.)
  • Try to get rid of at least 3 to 5 things today.
Remember if you work full time, have really young ones at home, or life is just busy I encourage you to find a specific time that will work the best for you and your family. This task of spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting one.  Make it fun. Put on your favorite music and if you have toddlers or preschoolers find some way they can help.  If you’ve worked all day, don’t feel that you have to come home an clean, but maybe plan it for the weekend or 15 minutes in the evening after dinner.  Do what works best for you and your season in life! 
Alright, ready set go! Enjoy your day and don’t work too hard cleaning under the sink! :)

I’ll be back tomorrow with the challenge for Day 2.

What are some tips you can share about organizing? 

Next Post:

Day 2 

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