But first, let me share with you something that probably excites no one other than myself: The Pantry. I love a good, organized pantry; however, this is what I've been living with for years:
Ikea trip last month, I found some clear plastic bins for only $2.49 a pop. I decided I could certainly swing $15 on this project, so I grabbed them. Now, I wanted something opaque - I feel like the less color you see in your pantry, the less cluttered it appears. But since these were clear, I figured I'd just spray them with spray paint made for plastic (which works GREAT by the way). But how's this for irony: last week, pretty much days after I finished spraying them all white, I found WHITE BINS. Where you ask? THE DOLLAR STORE!! MAN! Could have already had them white, and spent $6 total. Oh well, only took me a few minutes to spray them and the $9 difference won't break the bank;) But isn't that just the way?!
Here's the pantry now:
So there's the pantry. Woohoo! One thing checked off the list...
The laundry room is really coming along too - I can actually see the floor in there now! For those of you who watched Friends back in the day, that laundry room was my Monica's Closet. No joke. It's a big room, and you could pretty much only walk in about 10 feet - and that was solely for laundry purposes. If the washer and dryer weren't in there, it would probably be 100% stuffed to the brim;) But since I've been on this 'simplify my life - live with less - etc etc' - mission, there is more room than I think there's EVER been! Yay!
There are still bins upon bins - and there's no way they're leaving. You know, the Christmas decorations, the Fall decorations, the Easter decorations, the summer clothes, the clothes we've been (thankfully) handed down, that the kids don't fit in yet, or the summer clothes that *may* fit them next year, so we haven't given them away...it's literally impossible for us not to have what feels like 101 bins! And I always think I'm being smart, when I label each one with what's inside, only to have to rip it off and write a new one - "12-18months girl clothes" becomes "18-24mos" which then becomes "24-3T." It's a vicious cycle...until today:
Now since we're on the topic of organizing our homes/lives, let me offer you a couple oldies but goodies I've had up my sleeve. Now that the cold weather is here, if you have kids, then you're aware of the gloves/mittens/hats/scarves shenanigans + 20 extra minutes it takes to leave the house. Such fun, isn't it? And a mitten's always missing, or can't find the right hat...I started a little system in our house last year, and it works well to this day. In our coat closet, I set a large canvas bin on the floor - one for each child. I printed out a picture of each child and taped it to the wall. When I did this last year, only the oldest could recognize her name, so I just used photos. Each child's bin has their mittens, boots, gloves, hats, scarves, umbrellas, etc. and I swear to you, even the youngest, who hadn't even turned one at the time I made this, would always go get his things when it was time to go somewhere, and unload his things in his own bin when we returned home. This system works wonders for us. Keeps me from hunting for the missing mitten when we needed to be somewhere 10 minutes ago. And also keeps their stuff off the kitchen floor...or family room floor...or entry floor...you get the picture:)
Do you have any tips or tricks up your sleeve that keep you organized? I'd love to hear them! Leave a comment, or stop by my Facebook page! My friend Erin, recently implemented some pretty nifty tricks in her kitchen to help her kids become more independent - you can see what she did here. Oh, to be that organized! ;)
So there's my latest on Operation Organization...I'll keep you posted as I continue on this de-cluttering journey;)