(This is the third segment in a four-part series on Project Simplify with Simple Mom. Head over to Nursery Closet: Done, Eating Ice Cream While Researching Healthier Meat, and My Wife Made Me Clean to read the first, second, and fourth segments.)
First, sorry that this is the longest blog post ever. It’s how my week went. If you want to just
read the pictures, I mean, look at the pictures and not read my text, whatever. It’s so tired in here!
Alright, so it’s week three of Project Simplify. Time for Closets, Counters and Drawers (oh my). I had been looking forward to this week because our master closet needed a ton of work, which I thought would be alright since our counters and drawers didn’t need much attention – or so I thought. For some strange reason, I didn’t foresee paper clutter being included in “counters.” Yes, that’s where my paper clutter often lands, but in my mind I only envisioned my very simple layout in the kitchen that involves all appliances (except the microwave) being tucked away. I’ve mastered counters, dang it! But nope, Tsh went and called me out on the paper clutter.
See, paper clutter ALONE seemed like a big enough project that this was my intended goal for week four when we get to pick our own hot spot. But to add it together with my master closet nearly made me cry. OK not really. But defeating paper clutter has been a goal of mine for SIX MONTHS – I kid you not – so how in the world was I going to accomplish this AND the giant master closet of doom in the same week? Answer: by not cleaning anything else in the house (except laundry), soliciting help from Dear Husband with the Sweet Baby, and making
two three trips to Target to buy some storage contraptions.
AND I PREVAILED!!!
Here’s the results, starting with paper clutter, then desk drawers (yep, I even did some drawers!), and finally the master closet of doom. Enjoy!
Paper Clutter – Thou Shalt Die
One problem area for paper debris in our home is the kitchen/family room area (open concept). Mail is a big problem for me. With a baby who wants to EAT the paper, and who also likes loads of attention from Mommy, it’s just not feasible to go through the mail immediately when we come inside.
I finally decided that I needed to spend some money in order to gain some control over the mess. I went to Target and bought something that hangs on the wall at the edge of our kitchen. It has three slots that are each about an inch deep. I’m putting all unsorted mail in the back slot. I haven’t decided what to do with the middle slot. In the front slot, I’m stashing two notebooks that I use frequently for blogging/home ideas.
There were also some books we recently decided to sell that I boxed up and put in the storage closet outside. We sell books online in three different places: Cash 4 Books, My Book Buyer, and Textbooks R Us.
Next is the bedroom desk (oh, the shame!). This was a whole bunch of paper clutter and other stuff that I never knew what to do with. I bought something else at Target that is helping me corral my daughter’s baby book, baby calendar, and some photos I haven’t put in frames or an album yet. I like this little box enough that I bought another one during my second trip to Target.
Inside the desk is where we have a lot of our important documents organized in this little half-binder thingy. I would like another one but I’ve had it forever, forget where I bought it, and can’t find anything else nearly as cute. Inside we have tabs labeled accordingly: Important, Rent, Electric, Gas, Internet, Pay Stubs, Chase Checking, HSA, and Receipts. In the very front I keep a printed copy of Dave Ramsey’s recommendation for how long to keep important documents. It comes in very handy and I highly recommend that you add this to your files.
Drawers (Didn’t See This One Coming)
During my second trip to Target, I spotted a little organizer that looked perfect for my pens, pencils, and markers drawer. I wasn’t intending to organize it further, but this is basically the grown up version of what I was using, which was two sides of a children’s pencil box and an ugly flower box that held three jars of candles when it was given to me. It sufficed while we were broke during seminary, but now I felt ready to make it look nice.
When I got home, though, I realized that (A) the little organizer is too tall for my shallow desk drawer and (B) I totally forgot about the second desk drawer that had even uglier containers full of desk supplies. Therefore, I went back to Target (third trip) to buy a second organizer thing, and the two stack together in a taller drawer. The contents of that drawer have been reorganized into the two shallow drawers. Gracious! At least the final result is both prettier and more organized.
Master Closet of Doom
This is the dirty little secret of my home. I’m generally pretty organized, and when people come over, our home is clean and tidy. But my closet? Forget it. This is the deepest part of our home and only a couple of our closest friends were
nosy curious enough to peek inside when we gave them the grand tour. That was when we had recently moved here, so I wasn’t very embarrassed by it. But now… well, I’m out of excuses. We’ve lived here for a year, and my daughter isn’t a newborn anymore, and it’s just way past time that I got this finished.
During my second trip to Target I bought five more storage tubs. I used one tub for picture albums. When we buy a house, I would like to display these on a nice bookshelf, but we just don’t have the space to do that here. I used the second tub for my maternity clothes, and the third and fourth tubs for blankets, and I stashed these tubs in the storage closet outside. The fifth tub is empty and will be used for my baby’s clothes as she outgrows them (um, Matt, our daughter wants a sister – did you know?).
Here is the view from the bedroom, looking through the master bathroom, into the master closet. MUCH BETTER!
I love the shelving inside the closet. So does our daughter, and I’m so glad it’s finally baby-proofed.
The left side was even less baby-friendly with an unpacked box (oh, the shame!!!) on the ground. In a moment of desperation, I had also moved my old formal dresses out of the nursery closet during week one of Project Simplify to this side of our closet. I sure wasn’t thinking ahead with that decision! Now they are located in the (very spacious) coat closet where they will hang until they hopefully sell on Craigslist during this prom season. I also moved Matt’s seminary graduation gown and a couple other things from this part of the closet to my tub of maternity clothes since we won’t be needing those any time soon (or ever at all… Matt, do we really need that graduation gown?).
Well, this was an exhausting week. Congratulations for making it to the bottom of this post, even if all you did was look at the pictures. I’m so glad this is over. Good night.