50 Weeks to Organized: Week 8

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I was just remarking to Matt that I don’t seem to realize how much I need organization in my life until I see the Before/After pictures side by side.

Take this last challenge, for example–in my head, I was thinking that our kitchen drawers really weren’t too bad. (Well, I knew our main utensil drawer was, but other than that, I didn’t think I could drastically improve on them too much.)

WRONG.

I’m sure if I counted up all the minutes I spend every day looking for a Tupperware container to put leftovers for my lunch in (and searching for the corresponding lid, of course) that it would add up to like six months of my life or something.

Seriously.

And I think that’s the beauty that I’m quickly realizing through all this newfound organization–that I actually seem to have MORE time for things that matter, even after you factor in all the extra time I’m putting in doing housework. I can’t exactly explain it, but I’m sure it’s true.

Maybe I’ll just let the pictures SHOW you why I’ll have more time now:

To tackle that particular brand of chaos, I went ahead and bought myself some drawer dividers as well as a utensil holder to go on our countertop.

I argued with myself over whether it was worth the lost counter space to put this utensil holder out (since we have so little counter space as it is), but I realized that having these utensils close at hand while I’m cooking on the stove could only be a blessing, really. (Because I cannot TELL you how many times I’ve burned something cooking in a skillet because I couldn’t find the right utensil fast enough, dang it!)

For the other drawers, I quickly realized as I started taking things out that we just had too much STUFF in all of them. And because a lot of it was still in great condition (like our hot pads and kitchen towels that we had never used), we decided to put some of those away until we have a house of our own. Other things (like our plastic Ziploc bags), I found other homes for (like on the new pantry shelves) so we would have an easier time navigating the drawers.
 


All in all, I’m pretty happy with this week’s drawer makeovers. And something that Matt reminded me of as I was fussing over the placement over every last utensil is that I can always change these new organization schemes–just because  I’ve taken pictures of it and slapped an “After” on it doesn’t make it permanent.

My hubby’s so smart.

And just in case anyone is curious, I picked up my drawer organizers from Walmart (6 pieces that totaled about $9), and I got my wooden utensil holder there as well ($6). I went to an antiques store first to look for a utensil holder that had a bit more charm to it, but walked out of there pretty quick when I started looking at all the price tags of the items I loved the most. (Like a vintage blue large Mason jar—$30. I don’t think so.)

This Week’s Quick Stats:
# of Items Tossed/Donated: 4
# of Items Left to Toss/Donate Before Dec. 31st: 378
Amount of Money Spent on Organizing This Week: $15

Even though I sometimes wonder if our apartment will ever be truly organized, I feel that it’s necessary for me now to have a small celebration. Why?

BECAUSE OUR KITCHEN IS NOW ENTIRELY ORGANIZED.

Yep, you read that right. There isn’t a single place in our kitchen now where I have to think, “Ugh–I hope my mom never looks in there.”

That’s right, Mom–you can come and look into any nook and cranny of our kitchen that you want, and I think you’ll be pretty pleased.

As for next week, I think I’m going to put the brakes on the actual apartment and address a much more pressing issue–

My Purse.

Seriously, I have managed to fit half of Rhode Island in there, as well as bits and pieces of some other places too.

It also weighs about 27 pounds.

So ladies (or men, with your man-bags), I hope you’ll join with me as I seek to conquer this particularly difficult area of clutter.

But first, I need your input: what do you consider to be the absolute essentials to be kept in your purse at all times? What are things that you sometimes add in, but usually take out when you come back home? Do you think a smaller purse would solve most of my purse problems?

Pressing issues, people. I’m gettin’ deep today.

This Week’s To-Do List:
*Empty your purse (and wallet!) of all its contents
*Sort through all receipts, throwing out the ones you no longer need
*Place the remaining receipts in an envelope and put it by where you manage your finances
*Collect all loose change and add it to a coin jar (vacation money!)
*Sort through all credit and debit cards. Cancel and/or shred any that you no longer use or that are expired.
*Make a list of all the remaining cards, including the name of the company, account number, expiration date, and phone number for each, just in case your wallet is ever stolen. Keep this list in a filing cabinet in your home.
*Evaluate the condition of your purse and wallet. If they are showing obvious signs of wear and tear (or are larger than necessary), consider purchasing new ones (or using that smaller one hiding away in your closet).
*Organize your purse and wallet into zones. For example, all credit/debit cards should have a zone, your cell phone should have a zone, your makeup products, etc. etc.
*Go through all the papers and receipts in your purse. Most people just stuff everything in their purse with no organizational system, making it difficult to find the things you need in a hurry. Come up with an organizational system for papers in your purse, and paper-clip or rubber-band any items that need to stay together.
*Put a pen in your purse (and always in the same spot).

Maintenance List:
Every Month
*Go through your purse and wallet, eliminating all unnecessary papers.
*At the beginning of every month, empty your receipt pouch, and sort and file receipts.
Every 3-6 Months
*Clean out your purse and wallet entirely, eliminating anything that does not need to be in it
*Take a close look at the purse and wallet you are using. Replace if necessary.
Once a Year
*Sort and donate/toss any handbags that you know you will not use again

*All to-do lists and cleaning suggestions are taken from Jennifer Ford Berry’s book Get Organized. (This is NOT a sponsored project–I just adore the book! I highly recommend buying a copy for yourself. It literally is what inspired this whole project and is worth the money. Click here to check it out.)

I’m not gonna lie, I sort of can’t wait to do this challenge.

Partly because I’m totally going to go weigh my purse before I start this whole thing and see how bad it is. How much does your purse weigh? You should go weigh it and tell me.

Seriously.

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