Saturday, January 2, 2010

making progress...

Yesterday I made a list of things that I wanted to get done around my house. And would you believe, aside from getting dinner into a Crock Pot and serving frozen corn dogs for dinner instead, I got it all DONE?! I did. And it felt really, really good.
Now, I can't believe I'm going to DO this. But I am. I've got pictures to share...befores, durings and afters. The afters I'm OK with, of course. But the befores? Um...not so much. But...for the sake of progress and goes!
Trouble spot #1: my bedside. The before. I wasn't kidding when I told you I was a piler, now was I?
OK, the details. Wicker basket as nightstand. On it? Lotions, books, notepads, remotes, coffee mug...and more. On the floor? Pile of library books. Camera bag. Sewing machine. Sewing basket. Tub of yarn. Tote of yarn and crochet projects. Oh...and for drama, a pair of my cozy socks flung onto the top of it all. Wow. Talk about keepin' it real. This is almost harder than the self-portraits!!
Fortunately...things got better. I found a little table that will work better as my nightstand. Can you see it there behind all of the stuff I pulled from my closet?
I pulled so much out of our tiny little closet...I can't even believe how much I had in there! The area rug was one of the things I had stored in my closet. I decided to actually use it...and I'm glad. I think it looks pretty cute there. You'll be able to see it better in this next picture.

New nightstand with a drawer that contains everything that was previously on TOP. Two shelves for books. The camera bag to the right. It will always be there...handy, at the ready. Still a pile of library books...and that's probably a staple, too. And I'm OK with that. Once a piler, always a piler. We're just trying to minimize the amount of piles, here! And Uggs. Always there. In the summer, they'll be replaced with flip-flops. The point here is that it's a lot better than what it was. And that was my goal. Replacing the round wicker nightstand with this smaller, square piece opened up the space a lot. It feels spacious and roomy. And in this small house, I need that.

Trouble spot #2: counter top.
Bills....paid and unpaid. Notepads. Pens. Pencils. Junk mail. Recipes. School papers. You name it. If it's paper it ends up here. And I am tired of it. I need this bit of space to COOK. Bye bye piles!

Hello counter top! I still need to find a space for the gravy boat in the hutch. And I'm still perusing my new cookbook that I got for Christmas. So I'm OK with these two items sitting here for a bit. It's a neat and small pile. Not a messy one!

Now this next space was one of the biggest thorns in my side. It made me mad...daily.
Trouble spot #3: eating area.What a mess! Piles on the table. Piles on the floor. Piles on BOTH sides!! Ick. And if you can imagine...I walk down the hall every morning from my room and turn right into my kitchen for coffee. So this is what I've been looking at every morning when I get up. No wonder I've been cranky!
And honestly, the piles on the table are smaller than they've been in the past because I've been making small changes over the last few days in preparation for this project. Like the little black chest in the corner...that is new. And I placed it there to see if I liked it. So it's not been there. Before it was a dusty dust-buster and a bag of...piled papers!
This is the other side of dining table. These are our "important papers". Can't you tell? Because they're treated with such importance?

This banker's box has been sitting here for...gosh...too long. I don't even know how long. Then there's my file folder of scrapbook papers I was using while crafting for the boutique...still not put away. And...a humidifier that Chris brought home and set there...and there it has stayed.
Well, after just a little bit of work and moving a few things around...
...The After.

Banker's box? Gone. Neatly store in my closet that now has more room. Humidifier? Behind the table...ready to be used when we need it. The piles? Sorted. Trashed. Recycled. Filed. And the rest? Neatly store in the chest of drawers. The lamp in the corner is a new addition. The lamp itself is old...I got it at a yard sale years ago. And it's the perfect size for this space...tall and skinny. I'm liking it. It casts a really cozy glow in what was previously a dreary corner.
You can see there is still a pile back in the corner of the table. Those are papers that I will take with me to the office on Monday and file there, where they belong. The bowl in the middle of the table is holding cards and notes that I need to respond to...and I will. That's next on the to-do list.
So. There you have it. My dirty laundry...aired for all to see. The good part is that I got it all done. I set a goal. And I accomplished it. I purchased a few items to make it easier. And I got rid of a ton of stuff. Out of my closet alone I got rid of one big trash bag. One big recycle bag. One large shopping bag for a friend...I think she'll like a skirt and several pair of shoes I'm getting rid of....a few still with tags! And four medium sized donation bags that I've already taken to Goodwill.
I also found several items that we can use...a cute area rug, two pretty pictures that I'm going to hang above our bed, a lava lamp for Seth's room (don't ask), a Nerf dart bow and arrow set (Ian's having fun with that) and in the process made room for more and better storage. I even have extra room in my closet on the shelves!
I have to say...waking up this morning to a neat and tidy bedside...and walking down the hall toward a pretty and neat eating area made me a lot less cranky! I feel accomplished...and determined to keep it this way. Not to mention, ready for the next project.
Hmmm....what's next?


ThyHandHathProvided said...

Way to go! I love before and after pictures- thanks for sharing yours. Everything looks great:-). By the way, both our kids have lava lamps, too:-).

Amy Blogs @ River Rock Cottage said...

FABULOUS, Michelle! I love it! And you are so much more brave than I am. I haven't posted any before pictures. I know if feels so good to get this done. What a great way to start the new year!

I finally found a basket for my library books. It can sit wherever I want, but it's easy to just pick up and take to the car for the trips to the library. Even the librarian commented on this tip (she liked my basket!). Perhaps that would give your own library books by the bed a finished look, but still accessible. Just a suggestion.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Bloom fine art fotografi said...

You know...this is actually really smart Michelle that you are posting this, because it validates that you are doing something good for yourself and you are holding yourself to it.
That is so smart.
I did this uncluttering alot last spring...painted most of my rooms white when I was finished and I can't begin to tell you what it has done for my soul during these harsh grey Montana winters.

You go! I'll be cheering you on.

WhiteStone said...

Oh, how I hate those "pile-ups", whether they be in a corner or atop the kitchen counter. I work hard at keeping things put away but sometimes they just pile up. Sigh!

Anonymous said...

that was one good day. I just got done putting all the christmas stuff away. yipppeee. it is only Jan. 2 - we are sure to get lots accomplished at this rate.

Earth Mama said...

Man that's the best! I love that accomplished feeling. I still have my decluttering to do, and I can't wait till it's done. I think there's something to be said for the person doing it though. Like you are also cleaning and organizing our insides as well during the process...that's why we feel so good about it afterwards...our soul takes a big SIGH!


Nancy said...

Hip Hip Hooray for progress! At this rate, you'll have your list crossed off before Valentine's Day!

Love all that you accomplished. And, thank you for keeping it real.

Baby Mama said...

awesome!! everything looks so clean and organized!! i LOVE that feeling...and now youve inspired me to go do my own!

Neuroknitter said...

Sadly, my decluttered wool room ended up cluttering the office...I still have a way to go. Baby steps! Thank you for such wonderful inspiration!

Beegirl said...

Woo-hoo!! Wanna hit my house next? Your place looks great. Funny how easy it is for those piles to creep up on you. I am sooo avoiding our closet. One large pile, oh.. add the basement to that too.. Thanks for the inspiration! I've got some work to do!!