but this time I'm serious.
and when I'm serious, I make a new Pinterest board.
The first step in the process. I plan to start bringing home unnecessary things over the next few months before I officially have to move out and start "practicing" a decluttered, downsized life. This article at StyleatHome.com recommends thinning out your belongings 3 months before a downsizing move. But as I'm sure we all know, the first step to actually cleaning up can be daunting, which is why we typically never get around to it.
- Make a list. What rooms do you want to de-clutter? I find breaking it down into even the parts of the room can help. Such as the closet, under the bed, top of the dresser, dresser drawers, bathroom counter, bathroom cabinets, etc. And it gives you something to cross off!
- Little at a time. Set aside time each day (max 45 minutes) to clean up whichever part on your list. Remember WHY you're doing it. For me, coming home to a clean room makes me feel great inside. Put on some music, shut the door, and get to work! Jesenia over at TheLatinaHomemaker.com recommends starting with your surface areas - that means the counters, any clothes flung where they don't belong, etc. because it gives you that instant gratification and the OOMPH you need to move on to those scary drawers and closet corner.
- What goes, what stays? Probably the hardest part of all. There's a number of tips on keeping only a certain amount of hangers in your closet, etc. and having your kids donate old toys each Christmas. But, I think it's all best addressed in the "Downsize" step.
A word about trash. Remember to reuse, recycle, sell and donate. Half-used cleaning supplies may be needed at a local shelter. Donate wire hangers to Goodwill instead of filling your landfill. Just something to keep in mind :)
- Kitchen. One spatula, half a set of dishes, one wood spoon, one set of silverware. All your cookware should be multipurpose and not redundant. 4-cup and 8-cup coffee maker? Nope. Utilize lazy susans, plate stackers, and pull out drawers. I love having a bin in my fridge that holds all my stuff. It really helps separate from my roommate's foods.
Having trouble parting with goods from guilt of impulse buys, nostalgia of half-completed projects, or feelings of obligation for gifts you didn't want? Check out this article at FrugalBeautiful for tips on how to deal with each type of item.
I like these quotes from Lindsay at LifeHacker in her article 8 Things you Can Discard to Downsize Your Life:
On Clothes in the Bottom 1/3 of your Dresser. >> "You don't need a T-shirt in order to prove you went to that conference, worked at that tech company, or volunteered at said event."
On Memorabilia. >> "That cheap medal you got for completing the half marathon two years ago, the eiffel tower shot glass someone brought you from Paris, that copy of your college graduation announcement that you've saved. You don't need any of these things. Because guess what? Without them you'll still remember what it felt like to train for that half marathon or to have graduated from college. None of those memories are going anywhere. Donate or recycle this stuff — you won't miss it."
You did it! Clutter is emotionally draining. To make a decluttered, downsized lifestyle stick you need to figure out why its important for you. Small carbon footprint, better for the environment? A better role model for your children, a less materialistic life? For me, at this point in my life, it's feeling better. And less materialistic.
Rejoice in your accomplishment and hold on to lessons you have learned - keep in mind what you have in your closet for your next shopping trip, make up practical rules for keeping your wardrobe in check. Utilize storage space for things you don't use as much (out of season clothes, pregnancy clothes, holiday dishes and servingware). Figure out what works for you. Make a plan, if that's what works for you. Make a list! Do what you need to do :)
My kitchen organization catch-all post is consistently my highest scorer, from Wordpress to Weebly. And the most questions I get are asking about canned good storage photos depicted here. So, I have gone on a bit of an Internet hunt for us all and have decided to do an updated Kitchen Organization post.
DIY from CanRacks.com
This website provides you with the plastic can racks that you need to build the best can storage system for you. It has a variety of cost-saving plans to combine different layouts and provides DIY instructions on how to make yours work.
DIY Rotating Can Rack Tutorials
I hope that answers a great many questions!
I am pleased to transfer this oh-so-popular kitchen organization and storage post from my old wordpress site over to my new weebly site! I have gotten some questions about knowing how to build some of these contraptions - I am not only updating this post with new ideas but also adding links (for as many as I can find).
Update 12/31/13: Looking for DIY and where-to-buy for can storage photos featured here? Check out my Canned Goods Storage post.
The links below will take you to some helpful websites for building, some of them even to the tutorials of some projects you see above in the gallery!
Sliding Kitchen Drawers at www.familyhandyman.com
Tutorial here: http://www.familyhandyman.com/kitchen/storage/how-to-build-kitchen-sink-storage-trays/step-by-step
Pantry Lazy Susan Carousels > http://decorchick.com/all-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-pantry-carousels/
PVC Wine Rack at www.lowes.com
Tutorial here: http://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/kitchen-and-dining/store-and-stack-wine-rack/project
Cabinet Cutting Board Rack at www.familyhandyman.com
Tutorial here (scroll down): http://www.familyhandyman.com/storage-organization/home-organization-tips-and-storage-tips/step-by-step#step4
Spacing Out Pantry Shelves at The CSI Project: Creating Something Inspiring blog
Blog post here: http://thecsiproject.com/2011/09/19/pretty-pantryin-my-own-style-2/#axzz2lsUaPumU
Practical Kitchen Storage - Drawers at www.shelterness.com
More ideas and link-ups to the products here: http://www.shelterness.com/57-practical-kitchen-drawer-organization-ideas/
Organizing Measuring Cups at Infarrantly Creative blog
Tutorial here: http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2011/08/organizing-measuring-cups-and-spoons.html
I hope this was helpful! Leave a comment with any questions.