Monday, January 16, 2012

Organized Home Challenge: Week One

      One of my goals this year is to simplify and get the house organized and I've realized that I'm never going to be able to do it all at once. I'm following several organization blogs to help motivate me to keep going, but I found one blog, Home Storage Solutions 101, that is doing a 52 week challenge to organize your house.    
    While perusing Pinterest last week, I ran across a pin for the Organized Home Challenge and repinned it. I had previously bookmarked a 2012 Declutter Calendar, but that had a different chore for every day of the week and was a little more labor intensive than I personally have the time for. So when I saw the weekly challenge, I was intrigued. After checking it out, I realized that it was something that I could do. Each week focuses on a different area of the home to declutter. And thankfully, the kitchen is divided into at least four weeks. I had already missed one week and was starting halfway through the second week of the challenge, but I jumped right in and figured I could do my best and catch up on a later week if I needed to. 
     The first week's challenge was to declutter your kitchen countertops and sink area. The creator of the challenge had a lot of great tips for figuring out how to declutter that area. The first concept that she asked followers of the challenge to do was to think about what functions you want for that area. For me, the main function of my kitchen of course, was cooking. But I also wanted an area to serve as a place for incoming mail because it typically gets dumped on the kitchen island (a common dumping ground for random stuff). Then she asked that you take things off the counter based on how often you use them (daily, weekly, or less than that). She recommended only keeping out things that you use daily. For us that meant keeping things like cutting boards, the coffeemaker, and the dish drainer. But it nixed a few other things, including, sadly, my KitchenAid mixer. So I wrote it a "Dear John" letter and stashed it in my pantry since I use it only occasionally.
      Here are my "Before" pictures of what my kitchen typically looks like.
See the kitchen island where I do most of my food prep? Covered with random things like car keys and sunglasses, empty milk cartons, paperwork, and baby clothes.
The lefthand side of the stove generally stays uncluttered, but the right side was a mess. We hardly ever put away clean bottles and instead just pull them from the draining rack. The KitchenAid mixer took up a bunch of space and dirty dishes are typically stacked next to the sink.
Our sink area. Dirty dishes, too many mildew-y sponges, medications in the windowsill, and a framed meal planner that I got from a MOPS meeting, but have never used.
And the right side of the sink where there are lots of coffee accessories and Tim's dump bowl. And clean dishes that need to by put away.
      One thing that I removed from the kitchen was a bowl that Tim has commandeered as his catch-all for keys, chapstick, his wallet, coins, and anything and everything else that comes out of his pants' pockets. I hated the way it made the countertop look so cluttered so I moved it into our bedroom on the dresser. I also got rid of the medications that I kept in the kitchen windowsill. I stored them in the linen closet in our extra toiletries tote until I find a better way to store our medication. I also got rid of a framed menu planner that we made as part of our crafts portion of a MOPS meeting, but that I never used. Another change I made was to move our fruit bowl over to the corner where the KitchenAid mixer used to be. It made room for my new mail center. Tim used to keep a bag of Splenda next to the coffeemaker so I put a sugar bowl next to it to make it prettier. One thing that I can't wait to get rid of is our draining thing for baby bottles and our bottlewarmer. The drainer was really cute at the beginning, but I'm tired of having it on the counter. But because it is something we use everyday, for now it stays. 
      Anyway, just doing those few things has really opened up some kitchen space and made our kitchen look much less cluttered. That and being more diligent about keeping dishes clean and then putting them away afterwards, and it will look great!
     Here are my "After" pictures.
Much better!
No more spoon rest unless I need it... No more bottles left on the drainer for forever...
No more KitchenAid more framed menu planner...
Goodbye medications and old sponges...
Adios Tim's catch-all bowl and Splenda bag and coffee.
     So there you have it! My first challenge completed! It was actually pretty easy because my kitchen is kind-of small and it wasn't too bad to start with. It took me about one naptime to complete this challenge. Stay tuned tomorrow to see my results from Week 2 and then I will be caught up and able to begin Week Three with everyone else who is doing the challenge. I plan to post my weekly challenge results on Mondays, which is the day that the challenge creator unveils her plan for the next week.


  1. Looks great Jess! Superwoman has struck again! :)

  2. It looks great. And now I feel the need to declutter my kitchen. :)