21-Day Challenge: How we handle extraneous clutter!

21-Day Challenge: How we handle extraneous clutter!
21-day challenge: an easy approach to organizing your whole home

Last week, I shared with you how I reorganized our entry way, an out of control pantry, the area underneath our sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen, our linen closet, and our playroom. Today, I’m going to share with you how we handle extraneous clutter. Later on this week I’ll share tips for organizing our closets, and on Saturday, I’ll share numbers 6-10 with you.

But for now, extraneous clutter- as the mother of two small children who are both still in single digits, I have seen some clutter. A lot of it. On a daily basis. Don’t be fooled- the adult members of my household are pretty good at creating clutter as well. We just blame it all on the kids 🙂

Don’t let that sweet face fool you- she’s got a Master’s degree in mess making.

We have a number of habits we practice for managing clutter, but just like everyone else, we are not perfect and we definitely slip sometimes, too.

1. Create a daily declutter routine

We take an ordinary laundry basket, and we go room to room each night, putting away anything that was left out. When the basket is empty and everything is put away, we have a decluttered house, and a clean slate for the next day.

2. Manage that paper clutter!

Invest in some file folders and a good paper shredder. File your important papers, like bill stubs, school papers, etc, and shred the rest. No need to let paper pile up on your desk or your kitchen counter! Put it away or get rid of it.

3. Sort and purge anything you no longer need or use at least twice a year

At least twice a year, we have something we call a purge around here. No, we don’t go on a killing spree, like the horror movie. We simply go through closets, dressers, drawers, and cabinets and we get rid of things. We take what we no longer need or use and we either throw it away, repurpose or recycle it, or we donate it. At times, if the items were in good shape, I chose to consign them using a brick and mortar consignment store, or online services such as Poshmark or Thredup.

Yet another rule of thumb is to search or shop your own home for anything you can use prior to buying something new.

How do you and your family manage clutter?

21-day challenge: week one

21-day challenge: week one
Week one

Well, week one of the 21-day organizing challenge is under way. I had exactly five things I wanted to do this week, and even though I barely got them accomplished, I did manage to get them done.

First, I tackled our entry. It wasn’t terrible but it needed a little attention.

2. Secondly, I straightened up our out-of-control pantry.

And by giving it a good thorough cleaning, I got it to look like this.

3. Next, I worked on the area under the girls’ bathroom sink.

WhenI was finished, it looked like this:

And if you’re wondering what the inside of the drawers look like, they hold various toiletry items for the girls and they look like this:

I also cleaned and organized the area below my kitchen sink.

It looked like this when I finished.

4. Our linen closet wasn’t too bad, but needed a little extra love.

I put away a few things in the proper place and cleaned them up. I was pretty pleased with the overall result.

While “playroom” was on the list, our playroom just got a huge purging and organizing following Christmas, so it was still in good shape.

Just in case you want to play along, and you’ve forgotten what’s ahead:

Next week, we’ll share tips for clearing extraneous clutter, garage organization, and closet organization. Join us next Saturday for my room reveals!

21-day challenge: entry way organization

21-day challenge: entry way organization

Our entry way looked like this:

It wasn’t bad, but it did need some help.

I’m going to show you my before and after shots, but I also want to share some of my tips for a more organized entry.

1. Have a place to stash shoes.

See those big baskets under the table? I use those to corral shoes. Without the baskets, shoes were always all over the floor.

2. Have a designated place to stash incoming mail and other items.

Those two baskets corral items like mail, keys and school papers, which keeps them out of sight and off the counter tops.

I gave both baskets a little straightening up, simply by going through everything in them and throwing away what didn’t need to be there any longer.

We also thinned out some of the coats and extra things hanging up in our entry way. These hooks corral our book bags, purses and the dog leash.

Our entry is still not decorated the way I want it to be, but it’s certainly more functional and neat.

Let’s see that before:

And after:

Isn’t this a lot better?

Don’t forget to show me your organizing progress on Instagram with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge ?

21-day challenge: an organized linen closet

21-day challenge: an organized linen closet

Our linen closet wasn’t terrible but it definitely needed a little love.

We had some good things going in our linen closet but we really had been neglecting it and piling it up. I began the cleanup process by removing everything that didn’t belong and putting it in its rightful place.

I neatly folded up all the towels and popped them into the cubby shelves. I also used bins and baskets to corral smaller items. I took everything that was just sitting on the shelf and found a new home for it.

I also cleaned up and consolidated some of the luggage on the floor of the closet. The laundry basket is for dry cleaning.

Rolling up a quilt actually helps it to take up less space than if you folded it up.

Let’s look at the before and after again:

After:

All in all, I’d say that our linen closet is so much neater and more organized. What do you think?

21-day challenge: pantry organization

21-day challenge: pantry organization

We have a really big pantry/coat closet at our house that I absolutely love. It has a ton of storage space, has nice shelves and is just a really useful space. At the moment, though, it’s a really messy space.

What. a. mess.

Thankfully, it’s a mess that isn’t too hard to clean up. I started by going through each shelf and throwing away anything expired, or more than half empty. I also consolidated boxes and containers if I had any items that were open.

Group like items together. It makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Use clear jars so you can tell when you need to replenish your dry goods.

I also went through all of my canned goods and straightened them.

Using shelf risers helps maximize your shelf space.

And finally, I used baskets and bins to corral chip bags and snack boxes, clip on shelves to maximize space, and wood crates for under-shelf storage. Eventually, I plan to add casters to the bottom of my crates so I can roll them out easily when I need them.

All of our breakfast items are on one shelf, making them easier to grab and go.
Quick lunch items are also stashed together to make packing lunches easier.

I also straightened up the items on the shelf to make them easier to find and store.

All in all, my pantry is so much neater and better organized. What cabinet or pantry organizing project have you completed recently?