The Domino Effect

I wish!

I wish!

I have been doing a stellar job of avoiding writing. I wrote for three straight mornings last week. On the fourth day I had to run some errands and with the current heat I greatly prefer to go in the morning. I haven’t written since.

Today I am blaming the public library.  My turn came for the book “the life changing magic of tidying up”.   I had to read it right away as I only have it for three weeks and the waiting list is still quite long.  So I read it.  I didn’t agree with everything but many of the ideas were very intriguing. My favorite is focusing on what you are keeping, not what you are getting rid of.   As you know I have been having a purgefest this year so I am always looking for helpful hints.

When I finished reading the book I was motivated to do some tidying!  I started with my bedroom and rearranged and refolded some of my clothes.  Everything fits so well and the whole closet looks crazy tidy.  I thought I was done purging yet I still came up with another bag of clothes to donate.  (I know, I couldn’t believe it either.)  Now all of my clothes are in my bedroom and in a permanent home except for my winter pajamas.  They were in my half of the playroom closet but are now in a smaller tote in the bottom of my bedroom closet.  Still haven’t quite figured out where to put them when it comes time to wear them but I have a few months before that happens.

After admiring my tidy bedroom this morning I came downstairs and looked at the kitchen with new eyes.  The kitchen is the one room where we have enough storage.  We also have a lot of counter space.  It is not crazy cluttered but I do wish it were a bit clearer.  So I decided to take everything off the counter, give it a good scrub and then take some time putting things back.  Until I had to take everything off I had no idea how much stuff was on there.  I thought it would fit easily on the kitchen table, not quite.

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Everything from the counter on the kitchen table…

 

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… plus the dish drain and bread box.

 

After cleaning the counter I decided to wait a bit before putting anything back.  I wanted to see how the counters looked empty and cogitate a bit on how I wanted them to look.  I went and watched an episode of “Mad About You”.  Then I put back the items I felt sure about where they belonged. This included the dish drain, jar of cookie cutters, treat jar for the dog and our cookie jar.  I got stuck on my small spice rack.  I really wanted to put it in the cupboard with the rest of the spices but it didn’t fit.  I looked at the two large cupboards where I keep food and spices.  Hmmm.

Love the lavender scent, almost made it fun to clean.

Love the lavender scent, almost made me enjoy cleaning.

 

So I decided to take everything out of those two cupboards and see if I could utilize the space better.  I wiped down the shelves and adjusted the height of one shelf and squinted at the spaces.  I surveyed what I had and thought about what I used most frequently.  I tossed a couple of really old items and was happy to find some items. I had plenty of space, I just had to figure out the smartest way to use it.

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At the start of removing items

 

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Lots of empty space in this cupboard.

 

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The after shot.  Time will tell how well it works.

 

With the food cupboards freshly filled I went back to the counter top.  I really didn’t want to put the small apple bookshelf back.  Hmmm.  I looked at the wire shelf in the window area.  I really didn’t like my purse there.  I loved the big window but always wished it was a little higher.  Maybe I could put the wire shelf in front of it anyway and move the trashcan down to the end where it makes more sense?

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The wire shelf before

 

I didn’t like the bread maker on the wire shelf either.  (It’s kind of hard to see in the picture, it is under the basket.) I tried putting it in the same cupboard I tried when I first bought it.  Still too tall.  Duh. But I could lay it down. Success!  I sorted out the dog’s basket and neatened the sunscreen pile.

Then I looked at the books on the apple bookshelf.  Did these books bring me joy?  Not really.  Did I ever use any of the recipes in them?  Not that I recall.  Was I ever going to read them again?  No. They were mysteries with a few recipes in the back.  Honestly, there was one recipe in all of the ten books that I used.  So I copied it and tossed the books in my sell box that I am collecting for Bookman’s. Then I looked at my cookbook bookshelf.  Anything I could purge there?  Of course.

 

Yes, I have a shelf just for cookbooks.

Yes, I have a bookshelf just for cookbooks.

 

Four hours later and the kitchen counter is less cluttered.  I must have done a good job because my seven year old walked into the room after school and was all amazed.  “This looks so different”.  I didn’t think it looked very different, but it does feel cleaner.  I was going to say “you be the judge”  but since I didn’t take photos of the counters before that may be hard to do.  But here is the end result:

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Kitchen overview

 

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I removed the breadbox, spice rack and small bookshelf.  I moved the copper canisters down to where the bookshelf used to be.

 

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Next to the sink  I added the radio from the wire shelf.  I used to keep my day planner and phone on the end but since this is where the dirty dishes get piled up.  It was a disaster waiting to happen.

 

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Now I keep my day planner and phone near the fridge.

 

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The wire shelf in its’ new location.

I am sort of afraid to get up tomorrow, who knows what the next domino will be!

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