Tag Archives: organizing

365 Challenge Day 312 – Organization

9 May

As I am unpacking my bags from Costa Rica, I’m realizing how much progress I have made this year in moving from “survival mode” of being a working single mom with two kids, to getting my head above water and having the time and energy to plan, organize, and simplify.  Of course there is evidence of this all around, so it’s funny to say what made me have this thought:  Sunblock!  Every summer since I’ve had the kids I would buy several bottles of sunblock which ended up scattered throughout the house in various boxes, bags and closets.  Last year during some cleaning I gathered it all together, and was dismayed to find over 20 bottles!!  Some probably 10 years old!  Not only did this show me how things were chaotic and messy behind the closet doors of my house, but also showed me a huge waste of money.  Sunblock is expensive!!  I probably threw away about $200 worth that was old and expired.

When we were planning our trip to Costa Rica I almost fell into the same trap.  I was at CVS and was going to buy some, but then I hesitated.  When I looked at home, I found several (recent) bottles that were plenty for our trip.  Done!  I also found the mosquito repellent so I didn’t need to buy it again.

365 Challenge Day 196 – Organizing

29 Dec

Well, since I have not been very successful at the decluttering this week, I’ve decided to move into organizing the clutter instead.

I made two investments.

1) I finally broke down and bought the skinny velvet hangers that you see everywhere now.  I like them!!  I got rid of my fat plastic ones.  I think it does make a big difference having them take up less space in the closet.  And the non-slip feature of velvet is awesome.  My blouses were always slipping off and ending up on the floor.  No more!!  I thought when I re-hung everything that I would find stuff to get rid of, but no.  I guess I’m just in a hoarding mode this week!!  What’s up with that??  But I did move a bunch of summer stuff out for now and made more room (temporarily.)

2) I’m super excited about this one.  I decided to turn my kitchen closet into a pantry.  Since apparently I can’t stop myself from hoarding food, at least I can make more room for it and keep it organized.  This is normal, right?  I mean, most families who cook have a pantry if they can, right?  I bought an Elfa system from The Container Store for behind the closet door.  I’m a little disappointed that the larger baskets don’t fit because it’s a very narrow door.  But I’ll have to make do with the smaller baskets, and will have more room to store extra cans, cereals, oils, etc.  My kitchen is really tiny, so the extra storage will help.

365 Challenge Day 87 – Organizing

17 Aug

I am so excited.  I went on a crazy adventure yesterday to find the perfect spice jars.  I can’t believe I’ve turned into a person willing to spend $100  on perfect spice jars!!  Who is this person??  When I lived in Senegal for three years I owned one towel, which I used for home and the beach, and it also served as a potholder!!  I don’t think I owned any spices, just salt and pepper!  Well, those minimalist days are truly over.  I admit to owning a lot of crap, including 34 varieties of herbs and spices (yes, I counted.)  And now my task is organizing it all.

I have a very small kitchen.  I like it because everything is always within reach and it’s very convenient, but because I like things out of sight and off the counters, it does feel very limited for space.  I cook a wide variety of foods so I have a lot of spices, from Indian, to Latin American, to African, to Asian, oh yeah, and European and American.  I had a drawer devoted to spices, but it just wasn’t big enough.  I added a spice shelf to the inside of one of my cabinets, which seemed like a good idea, but cabinet was so full I could never close it all the way!  In the end I had spices stored in three different places.  It was messy, took up a lot of space, and I’d often look in three or even four different places for something as simple as cinnamon!



These are magnetic spice jars from The Container Store, stuck on my fridge.  The reason yesterday was such an adventure is because I first went to Ikea (an insane thing to do on tax-free weekend!!) I bought the magnetic spice jars from there, but they were HUGE.  Four inches across.  So, actually, at the moment I have spent a whopping $200 on spice jars, but the Ikea ones will be returned.  I stopped at the Container Store on the way back and these were PERFECT.  They hold the entire contents of the standard sized spice jar.  They even have little cut outs so you can twist the top and shake out the spices without having to open the lid.  I also bought pre-printed labels which are on the sides.

This was more about organizing then about decluttering, although I did find some duplicates to consolidate.  The only thing I considered actually getting rid of was the white pepper, which I don’t think I’ve ever used!

I also bought a few other organizing containers for the kitchen, like some baskets to store items in the hidden corner of my cabinets, and these tea containers.  I got rid of seven big, bulky tea boxes and put the tea in here:

photo(2)It’s the simple pleasures…