For about a year now (maybe more?) I've been following Stephanie over at Keeper of the Home. I really enjoy her blogging style and her stories about her family. This summer I'm taking a challenge with her called 8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home. I won't reiterate the whole idea here ('cause that would be plagiarism!) But please go to her site and read about it. It's a truly inspired idea. I "liked" her site on facebook so that I get the daily updates about what I should be de-cluttering. I'm a few days behind her schedule, but have started in the kitchen and am working my way through.
I think this is an important task to be doing right now for a few reasons. First, I have only a week and a half left of my maternity leave... it feels a little like impending doom, thinking about adding 20 hours a week of work into what feels like an already busy schedule. Secondly, though, I know that we need to make space for new things that will be added to our lives over the next months and years as we collect things for Baby O. But third, if I expect to be minimalist with Baby O, then I have to be minimalist with my own life and belongings.
I'm amazed at what we still have in the cabinets and drawers that are either a) totally unused on a weekly basis or b) still doubles from combining households over 2 years ago! Once I get a drawer empty, cleaned, and refilled with only the stuff I plan on keeping, it looks so darn snazzy!
I plan on sending all the stuff to Goodwill. If I were really motivated, I'd try to sell it all on craigslist. But I just don't think I'll take the time/energy for that. And hopefully it will get a good home with someone new if I send it to Goodwill. However, if you live in the Boston area and know a better place to donate things to (I am a bit worried about this), please message me!
My Progress Thus Far:
Challenge #1: Kitchen drawers - 17+ items including egg timer, two can openers, 3 large spoons/spatulas, 3 plastic spatulas, bottle opener, alcohol pour spouts, cheese knives, a mis-matched spoon, and several other tiny items
Challenge #2: Kitchen cupboards: eating dishes and storage containers - only 9 items including 3 plastic tuperware containers (we've stopped microwaving plastic, so we never use them), soft sided travel cooler, a glass pitcher, two mis-matched wine glasses, a kleen kanteen, a travel mug.
Challenge #3: Kitchen cupboards: cooking items and small appliances - only 9 items 3 loaf pans, muffin tin, cookie sheet, hand-held electric mixer, a plastic bowl w/lid, my half broken crock pot (though I need to replace this soon!!!), an extra bread basket
Challenge #4: Kitchen drawers (junk/misc drawers) - ah... maybe this is why I had so many in challenge one. The thing is, we only have one more drawer in our kitchen that I didn't sweep on #1. But I just swept it out about a month ago because it was driving me nuts. And I easily threw out 10 items. So we'll consider that done.
Challenge #5: Kitchen Linens - I only put 6 dish rags in the pile. But we don't really have that many to begin with. And I don't wash them that often. So I got nervous getting rid of more than that.
I know I'm supposed to have 10 items in each category. But I figure I might organize differently than the designer of the challenge does... so maybe that's why I have a ton in challenge 1 and am struggling to find the 10th items in challenge 2 and 3??? Or maybe I'm just still a pack-rat at heart and I should pair down further... hm...
The final success of the day is that when Ben saw the pile, there's only ONE item he made me take back out and keep. Not bad, eh?