Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Taking Back My Home Week Two

Hope everyone has had a good week, and that no one has fallen off the "organizing and decluttering" wagon already! I had a few hectic days but was able to work a little extra on some others, which pretty much balanced things out.  And I even received a compliment about my clean and uncluttered counters from my hubby! That felt good.

My challenges from last week came from two sources:

Michele, who is hosting "34 Weeks of Clean" challenged us to clean up all the Christmas stuff. Even though the kids protested a bit, I worked on it and over two days, was able to get everything from Christmas packed up and put away. The cookies are gone and the containers are stacked in their storage spots. All the Christmas stuff is packed neatly in totes in the attic. The hardest part was taking down the stockings - for some reason the kids just love having them hung in the living room, and one of the kids stores little candy and treats in hers.... I was determined to meet this challenge head on and have all of Christmas packed away, and....it felt good!

Along with this, I also made a challenge to have all our thank you notes finished and mailed out, and that was accomplished as well. I updated a few addresses on the Christmas card list, and saved only the photo cards, recycling the rest of the cards.

I have also been making great strides all week in my Declutter 365 Mission from Home Storage Solutions 101.

I printed out the January calendar of daily tasks and put it up on my fridge. It is such a good feeling to mark days off when I have completed the tasks. Again, I have not accomplished everything, but I am feeling good about what has gotten done. 

My best accomplishment of the week was setting up a portable file system for managing the daily mail and piles of paperwork that our household generates.

Here is a picture of my project:

I took an empty magazine file and filled it with file folders of the most relevant and common paperwork that I have. One file is marked "bills to be paid" and another is "receipts to be filed". Those two are probably the most important. As soon as the mail comes, I go through it immediately and stick everything right into it's proper file. When it's time to pay bills or make insurance phone calls, everything is in one place for me and it saves me time having to look for papers. I also have a file for things that I have to take care of for our business. This file sits on my shelf along with all my school files (one for each grade/child) and I am able to easily access it at any time. All my work is now in one place.

Another helpful suggestion I followed from Home Storage Solutions 101 was setting up a large box in the basement for a "donating" center. As I am decluttering things, those items that are still in good shape and useful make their way into this box. Once a week when I go near the thrift store, I take the donation box with me and drop it off there. Everyone benefits.

Challenges for this week: 

The focus is still on the kitchen. 

Week Two at 34 Weeks of Clean has issued a challenge to declutter, deep clean, and organize the pantry.  My main pantry storage is in my basement and is very well organized, so while I may get a free pass on that part, my everyday pantry consists of a large cabinet in our kitchen, and it is in desperate need of attention though. I will post a before and after picture next week to show off my completed project.

Other kitchen declutter tasks for this week include:

  • the kitchen junk drawer
  • the kitchen silverware and cooking utensil drawers
  • food storage containers
  • under the kitchen sink
  • pots, pans, and lids
  • kitchen cabinets
Some of these areas are pretty high maintenance and I don't know if I will get them all accomplished....but I sure am going to try! 

One thing I have noticed is that by thinning out items and having specific places to put things away, I can easily sweep through my kitchen and spend ten minutes before going to bed at night just tidying things up. I am trying to make that a good nightly habit. It allows me to start fresh every morning with a positive outlook and has eliminated the frustration of not being able to find counter space to do menial tasks throughout the day. I am really trying to have almost nothing stored on the counters, and so far it's working!

Need more inspiration?  Check out some of the other blogs this week on the 34 Weeks of Clean Linkup!

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  1. Yay! You did a great job! So glad you are joining us. If you do not finish up that list, no worries, you will be ready to join us for Fridays challenge! ;)

  2. I am using the same decluttering calendar -- except I haven't looked at it for a day or two. Better do that now.

    1. It's been a big help and I love checking the boxes off when I'm done.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!