Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Interior Fridge Make-over

A few weeks ago, I saw some wonderful posts from crafty ladies who were using fridge liners, bins, etc. to make their fridge look pretty.

I've been using bins a bit, but unless I was the only one who used the fridge, trying to make it too organized would just cause me stress.  If I can get my teenagers to put the food back into the fridge, I'm happy.  Expecting them to only put it in it's proper place might be asking a bit much.

So, maybe fancy containers and labels, etc. was a bit too much but there's no reason why I couldn't make it look prettier than this:

Last week I found some plastic placements in a summer clearance for $0.49 each.  I bought 16 of them for this project.  I started with the door,s cutting the placements to fit the bottom of each shelf/bucket.  They fit perfectly width wise, so there was very little cutting required.

For the upper shelves I just set the placements on them, adding a little strip to cover the entire surface.  Since the bottom drawers is constantly being pulled in and out, I was worried the place mats may slip around so I first put down a slightly used, non-slip drawer liner cut to fit.

After all of the shelves and drawers were done, unfortunately I was about 3" short.  I left the gap on the upper shelf so it's not noticeable.

This is the one fridge organizing feature I would never go without again, a Rubbermaid turntable.  I bought it probably 10 years ago and it stills work great for bottles of dressing and such.  It's not meant for fridges, but it is very sturdy and handles the weight and the cold very well.

Now it was just putting everything back in - in a little more organized fashion.  I do use one storage bucket on the top shelf for baking ingredients (chia seeds, etc.) that the kids will never need to reach for, another for the block and loose cheeses to prevent them from getting lost, and the one in the left corner labelled "For School lunches - don't touch!"  I prepare as much as I can in advance and hate it when I try to make lunches and realize all of it has been eaten.


It's very difficult to get good photos of the interior of the fridge.  These may not look great, but I'm happy with the look when I open the doors.  It should also be a lot easier for quick spill clean ups.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Water bottles and Travel mug declutter

Hilda must have heard the choice words I was saying under my breath last week regarding our water bottle drawer.  Today this was her mission on day 8 of 31 Days of Easy decluttering.

I was very fortunate in that we built our own home 8 years ago.  Not only did I design the floor plan, I also got to design the kitchen cabinets and such.  As a result, I have drawers throughout my kitchen.  Almost all bottom cabinets have large drawers rather than doors.  This works great, except when they are not full, things slide around or, in the case of water bottles, fall over every time you open or close the drawer.  I've envisioned creating dividers (almost like a sock drawer divider) for in these drawers, but it just hasn't happened.  Today, I decided on a temporary solution that may not be as good, but still a lot better than it was:
Drawer No. 1:  Water bottles and acrylic glasses

Drawer No.2:  Travel cups and large mugs

I recently purged the water bottles (yes, we had more than this two weeks ago), so I didn't have much I wanted to get rid of.  I do think I could get rid of a few more so will get the kids to help pick out which ones this evening.  With 3 kids in various sports and taking bottles to school each day, we do really need quite a few of them.  I know there are two at school right now and one in the soccer bag, but all the rest are here.  Sometimes the drawer only has a quarter of this and that's when it drives me crazy.  I added a few bins so at least there will be less sliding around.  We also use this drawer to store our acrylic glasses and such.

These are just inexpensive shoe box size containers I bought to use in my daughter's closet but we haven't got there yet so I'll pick up some more another day.

Drawer No. 2 houses the to-go cups and the larger coffee mugs.  My son and husband take a coffee each morning, I frequently take a tea to the kid's afternoon activities and the younger ones frequently take hot chocolate to their older siblings hockey games, so we actually do tend to use quite a few of them.  I'm hoping I can convince the 'men' to get rid of a couple of theirs to make some more more in this drawer so it isn't such a tight squeeze.  You'll see the back corner has a special bucket for MY to-go cups.  There's not many things I don't share with the family but they all know they don't dare put coffee in my tea containers!  

Thanks for the push to get these drawers done, Hilda.


Bedside table

Last week I posted pics of my underwear drawer and now Becky at 31 days of Spontaneous Organizing  is asking me to post pics of my bedside table.  Fortunately, all I have that's a secret in there is my chocolate stash that I hide from my kids.  Doesn't every mom have one of those??

I did a quick 10 minute declutter - got rid of a couple of books, moved a few things to where they belong, and added a bin in the top drawer for the lotions and such I had on the top of the table. Of course, I also made the bag of chocolates slightly smaller....just to make sure they fit well.

I wonder what she has in store for me tomorrow??


Monday, October 7, 2013

Master closet shoes

Yes, I previously said my husband hogs the closet.  I have to admit that he stores NO shoes in there.  His are in the mudroom.  Mine are in the closet.

So, when Becky chose shoes as task #7 here, it was all me.  It really wasn't that bad to begin with.  The storage mostly needed straightening and dusting, but I did whittle the number of pairs down a few.  Here's what it looks like now:

Looking at the photos makes me realize I have a lot of boring black shoes, and I have extra space.  I think that means I need to do some shopping :).


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Closet shelf tidy

Today Becky at Organizing made fun suggested to focus on a shelf in the closet.

As I mentioned before, my husband hogs the closet.  This meant getting him on board to do some decluttering!  It actually wasn't even that difficult.  This is the before:

He went from 20 sweaters down to 13.  A few my teenager grabbed, but the rest went in the donation bucket.  I added the black wire "things" as dividers to separate his stacks, and a little stool the kids no longer use so I can reach to put his sweaters away.  The wire "things" were part of a set I used to use in my craft room but have been sitting waiting for a new use in the storage room.

And now we have some more room!  Maybe I'll even be able to claim some of it.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Seasonal swap time

I think it's time to finally admit that summer is over :(.

That means time to pack up the shorts and flip flops and get out the winter boots and cords.

Becky at Organizing Made Fun  and Hilda at From Overwhelmed to Organized both posted decluttering challenges that were perfect focal points for me today.  I'm enjoying following both of them on their 31-day challenges this month.  Quite often it's hard to know where to start so this is a great for me.

Becky suggested decluttering short hanging items in the closet.  I chose to go after only our pants today, since the entire closet was more than I had the time (or ambition) to tackle today.  Here's the before photos of both my husband and my pants section in our closet:

We both removed our summer weight pants and capri's (don't worry, that was just me), and replaced them with our winter/fall bottoms.  If you are interested in knowing how I store our off-season clothing, check out this post.  My husband also put 5 pair in the donation bucket.

A very quick but necessary task that resulted in this:

Hilda's decluttering focus was the entrance way shoes.  We seem to need to do this task twice a week.  We have lots of shoe shelving, but getting the teenagers to actually PUT things in there doesn't happen too often.  I hate to even show you the before photos, but here are a couple:

Here's another - yes, that's summer sandals, water shoes and winter boots.  Not really needing those both out at the same time.

So, my quick declutter was to put all the sandals in our off season bucket that we store in the garage and put the shoes on the shelves where they should be.

Now, if I could find a way to get the kids to put them on the shelves themselves...........

Not an 'exciting' organizing project but one that needed to be done.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Organizing my dresses with tags

Today's Spontaneous Organizing mission from Becky was the closet - long hanging items.

My husband hogs our closet.

I'm a SAHM so I don't require the amount of clothing he has, but he does have to share some of the long hanging space with me.  I keep trying to get him to realize that, but he has a tendency to push me out :).   See my 6" of space at one end and about 4" at the other:

Even though I'd rather live in jeans and sweaters, I do require dresses.   Because of his business role, we attend a lot of formal or semi-formal events.  I'm not a fan of getting dressed up, nor am I big shopper so I don't take every event as an opportunity to go out and get something new.

As a result, I frequently worry that I'm going to wear the same dress to the company Christmas party two years in a row or the same dress out with the same group for four events in a row.  True story, last Christmas friends had a slide show on their TV with photos from the previous year's party and I was wearing the same outfit.  All of the women who actually 'care' thought this was pretty darn humorous.

Not long after this, I started a log on my computer to keep track of what I wore to special events.  Needless to say, I didn't keep it up.  Today I came up with what I think is a better solution.  I didn't take the time to make these too pretty as I wanted to get this done quickly but I may get out my rubber stamps and pretty these up a bit another day.

I used safety pins to attach the tags to the dresses' tag and tucked them in before hanging them into the closet.  If it's right there, I'm pretty sure I will remember to update it.

In the process of doing this, I realized two of the dresses have been worn far too many times so they went into the charity donation bucket along with a couple of others I've owned for awhile and never worn so I don't need them.

I pushed my hubby's stuff over and claimed an entire 14" of closet space and rehung them all on matching hangers which were scattered throughout the closet.  He still needs to do a good decluttering but at least I'm done this part of the closet!

By the way, I gave my sister the blouse I wore to the Christmas party two years in a row in case I forget and wear it again this year.  She lives a long way from me and we have very few mutual friends so we should be safe.

In case my husband ever decides to look at my blog, I fully admit to hogging the chest of drawers in our bedroom.


Sofa table cleaned off & dressed up

I had previously decorated my side table for fall (post can be seen here), but had yet to get to the other flat surfaces in my home.

Today, Hilda's focal point at was to declutter your coffee table.  Since we don't have a coffee table I decided to focus on my sofa table.  It was definitely in need of decluttering - why the kids have to set everything there I don't know!  We've only had the table for a month, but it's already become a catch all.

This was the terrible before photo:

After putting most items back to where they belong and a quick swipe with glass cleaner, it was ready for some fall decor items.  These were all things I already had, just moved them here.  The boat shaped bowl was a gift my husband received from the local art gallery after having sat on the board for a few years.  We haven't had a spot for it in the past so glad I could find a use for it my fall decor.

And the full table - not easy to get a good photos with the large windows.

Another area done!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Underwear Drawer

My family have officially declared me crazy, OCD, anal, and a few other things under their breath that I didn't catch.

I started with Becky's task at Organizing Made Fun but went a little beyond my original intent.  I think it has something to do with knowing darn well, that my underwear drawer is probably the ONE place in our house that the teenagers will not ruin my attempt at being tidy and organized.  Even my husband stays out of this drawer.  This is MY space.

I started with this (yes, I'm posting pics of my undies online):

First, I covered two Cheerios boxes with contact paper which I bought for a project in my home office awhile ago but have yet to get to.  This was the part of the project that took the longest.

Next, I dug up two small accordion holders that I wasn't using and cut off the bottom of them as well as the top flap.  I got this idea from a link Becky posted to Rea at Homefor4sweetHome.  I used two sided tape to contact two accordions together.

The boxes went to the back of the drawer to hold my bras:

My undies were folded in half and then in thirds and each tucked into a slot in the accordion:

And finally, my perfectly organized undie drawer:

The only problem is that if this gets messed up I can't blame it on anyone else.........