Saturday, July 11, 2009

packrat reformed::urge to purge

i have been reading a lot lately on several blogs about simplifying the household in order to make it easier to live in/with and clean. simple is my friend. i love to have things organized, and in the last several years really worked on being able to determine 'must haves' from 'junk' in my personal belongings.
you must understand something about me though if you are really going to appreciate this facet of my life. i was raised a complete and total pack rat. both of my parents are pack rats. their parents are/were pack rats. it is a genetic trait, i think!! but see, men and women keep things for different reasons. my dad keeps things because 'i may be able to use that for something later' or 'i can turn that into something else and it will be great'. my mom keeps things because ' so and so made that 40 years ago' or 'i like it' (even though she may have forgotten she even had it). this is how i was, possessing BOTH of my parents traits until a few years ago. i started cutting the sentamental ties with things i never used/wanted, and realized that if i needed something in the future, i could just go to the store and buy the thing instead of hanging on to this piece of junk for 23 years.
all that to say, i have a deep appreciation for organization now and have reaped the benefits of de-cluttering my own household while i had one. now that i am living with my parents again, their clutter was getting on my nerves. i knew it was on their nerves too, but neither one of them was going to tackle it.

i did.

starting at about 9:30 friday night and continuing to about 11 this morning (nope, i didn't sleep!! i couldn't risk loosing my mojo) i cleaned out the cupboards in the kitchen and the linen closet in the hallway. unfortunately i wasn't thinking ahead and didn't take 'before' shots of the kitchen, but i did get afters, and b & a's of the hall closet.

three boxes of junk to take to goodwill. glasses, a toaster oven, baby bottles, sippy cups, mugs, bowls and lots of duplicate items (how many pie pans does one kitchen need? certainly not 5!)
there were also two garbage bags!!

then i cleared out the junk drawer. every house has one!

i cleaned up the cook books and loose recipes we had in the cupboard. also, i went through all of the medication in the medicine cabinet and threw out all the expired stuff. i HIGHLY recommend doing this! you would not believe how much expired medicine i threw away, and that stuff can be very dangerous! i organized our meds by person, and then the 'general' stuff went on the lazy susan.

i tackled the freezer too! anything that was unidentifyable because of lack of ID or freezer burn was tossed.
here's the newly organized small appliance cupboard...all of the casserole dishes were organized as well, so that everything can be found easily
this starts the 'before' pics of the hall linen closet. so much clutter!! so many towels that are not needed anymore, enough lightbulbs to light the eifel tower till Jesus comes again, candles, vhs tapes, medical supplies and junk.
and the after!!!! three boxes went to goodwill, and two garbage bags for the dump.
now, everything is nicely folded and stacked. smaller, like items were grouped together and placed in new storage bins. i also bought a labeler (a dream of mine for decades :) and identified the contents of the bins so that they will be easy to locate and keep organized. there is actually an entire shelf now that is empty, and the floor space!! we are looking forward to using that extra space for the big costco shopping of toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, etc.
it is so nice to be able to look around the kitchen and not see any clutter! and it's pretty tempting to open the linen closet every time i walk by just to admire it. mom and dad are very pleased with the outcome and are hoping this will help make their next move easier too!


Heather said...

I know of something you will love, that I just found last week. The website is giving away 1 week trial memberships right now. They have organizational lists for everthing: home managment, menu planning, travel, etc.... All you need to give is some basic info and your email address for a 1 week print membership. I highly recommend it! Happy Organizing!

Samantha said...

great job! can you do my junk drawer next???

Anonymous said...

Wow Great job!!! Came by from the happy housewifes blog!! I saw that your had your vitamins on what looked to be a turn table ....Great idea I think I will have to try that

Katie said...

Thanks! Yes, I put the vitamins and other meds on the lazy susan so they are easily found. Nothing like needing a Tylenol and not knowing where it is!! :)

L2L said...

Wow, not sure I even want to post my pitch for the week after seeing yours!!!!!! Awesome job.

Savings Ninja said...

Holy cow you got a lot done! Nice work!

sara clark said...

Wow Katie-Looks great! I was laughing while reading this because I believe that the pack rat gene is passed down and Jeremy got it from his parents as well! I am always teasing Shawn and Roger about keeping everything they have EVER owned! I am the complete opposite-I have very few sentimental bonds to things. If there is no room for them they are outta here! I am slowly pulling Jeremy over from the dark side!