Monday, February 7, 2011

Cleanliness is Happiness

One of the most difficult things about settling into a home is getting organized. Ugh. Just thinking about it is frustrating for me.

I totally admit that all my cleaning and organization skills(z!) are practiced NOT inherent. I was the messiest kid and for the first few years of my adult life my home was a wreck. Mostly I hated laundry, dishes, deep cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, & cleaning up after other people. So, basically I hated life in the cleaning zone. Previously I was married to slob of a man who didn't know how to put a dish in the sink, let alone rinse it off, who wouldn't mind climbing over laundry piles to get out of bed, who didn't notice the difference between a pee stained toilet and a freshly bleached one. Then you add into the mix his disgusting friends that were a constant at our house? Yeah. Not a pretty picture (don't get me wrong, I was partially to blame and I know that. Like I said, cleaning was never a natural thing for me.)

Re-building my life from the ground up after my divorce gave me a new appreciation for my "stuff" and my space. I enjoyed having clean clothes neatly organized (it helped that I was skinny enough to enjoy wearing those clothes) in my closet, I enjoyed displaying my jewelry on pretty hangers, I found my happy place in vacuuming floors. I was far from perfect, still am, but I started practicing and building habits that would make my life happier, cleaner, and more organized.

So, back to the house organization. The clutter, oh how it taunts me. Batteries, cords, single socks, scissors, papers, tools big and small, pictures, books, cleaning supplies, wrapping supplies, holiday decor, constant laundry piles (the consistency of dirty laundry makes it clutter), toys, dog items, more toys, kitchen knick nacks. I mean, seriously, the list could go on and on. This isn't even the half of it and if you are a normal human living a normal human life you probably totally get what I'm saying here. I've had enough!!!!!!!!

Last week I posted a picture of my before and after laundry room. I wish I could say that it was the first time I had to totally clean out that room but, oh boy, how the clutter builds up in such a small narrow space. It was probably the third for fourth time! I've been so happy with the final results of that day. The cupboards were organized for the first time since we moved in and I have a lot of great plans to make that space functional, and pretty. Everyone, Google search "awesome laundry rooms" and you will see my inspirations!

So, my goal is to do one space at a time until every nook and cranny in my home is neat and tidy and prepped to stay that way by giving every little piece of clutter a labeled home.

This week, inspired by this photo, I started on my pantry and refrigerator (one of those places that requires constant attention).
{via Tidymom}
Beautiful right?!?!?!? (check out her post for suggestions on how to make the most of a pantry do over)

I forgot to take a picture at the beginning of my work and it's probably a good thing. Look at the bottom shelf of this "mid" before picture. The entire thing looked like that, or worse!!!

After about an hour of purging, wiping down, categorizing, and arranging I got it looking like this:

It's nothing like my inspiration picture because I don't really have ANY budget to work with so the cute containers, baskets, labels etc are going to have to wait. For now this is ten million times easier to live with. It's been a few days and we've managed to keep it this way. Mad loves to go in there and search for "crackers". Which is basically any crunchy snack. I love to open the door and know where things are. Hopefully I'll have a pretty pantry when all is said and done and I can't wait to get to work on that! I didn't take pictures of my fridge (be grateful!) but it is like a different world in there.

Right now the three of us are battling The Sickness and I don't have much hope of getting anything done this week. But, with a lot of Zicam, Vitamin C, and some Thera Flu miracles, could definitely happen. I haven't even decided which space to start next because a lot of my "to do" areas need money spent to make my time worth while. I suppose I now need to learn to organize on a budget!

People, I just want to link you to my new favorite blog that has really given me the drive to get things done. IHeart Organizing. The blog, and the creator, are great and it really inspires me to get shiz done around here. My home style is totally different than hers. Meaning, the framework of my home just doesn't compliment modern, but her ideas are a push in the right direction and it helps me get excited about what I can do around here. Add her to your blog feed friends!

I admit that most days my dishes are dirty and sitting in the sink, toys are scattered, and, like today, every item in every drawer in my bathroom has been pulled out to decorate the floor to my toddler's liking, I just know that this is a step in the right direction in making my cleaning life easier and less all consuming. Oh, and ALL of it is ten million times better than what my younger self would have had going on! Ew to the old and in with the (not so) new!


Jess said...

Nice job in the pantry! Wish I had a pantry that big. :)

PJH said...

This is very inspiring! It's amazing how making a few changes and reorganizing a few things can make a once anxious and easily irritated person (like me!) a little less agitated. It's all about making things as simple and easy as possible..esp. when you have kids!


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