I won't lie....there was part of me that said that under no circumstances should I post these photos online.
I mean, it's like showing you my underwear drawer.
Or the wart on my foot.
Or the state of my refrigerator.
They are just parts that I'd rather you didn't see.
They might be parts that you'd rather not see (:
Nonetheless, I am not hiding my clutter anymore...If you're going to be my friend it's going to have to be warts...ahem, clutter... and all.
So, without further adieu, I openly share with you photos of our biggest clutter catching areas in the house. You know, the areas I don't let people see when they come over!
These are the areas I will be addressing most aggressively in the next few weeks. We've already started a major basement overhaul and it has been a most scary sight, but I'm happy to report that we're making encouraging progress.
Area #1: My desk.
A couple of years ago we created a legitimate office for me right off of the front foyer entry. It was a lovely space-- windows that allowed lots of natural sunlight, hardwood floors and some cool white furniture we picked up from Ikea.
That all lasted about six months until we realized that the space would better be used as a playroom and so my "office" turned into a playroom and I no longer had a room to call my own.
This was our more recent attempt at creating a space for me. It's a small corner in what is technically our "dining" room, but most often used as a craft/catch all room. It's not very useful if you can't see the desk, huh?! I'd like to clear the clutter and call this a legitimate work space!
Area #2: Front Hall Closet
This is the catchall for every craft supply, games, and extra school supply that does not fit elsewhere. It also houses coats, the vacuum, and one of my very, very favorite items-- my home laminating machine (it's small- smaller than a printer- but it still takes up space!). Now that we have a window seat in the living room to house games and have created a "craft corner" in the basement for the girls, I'm hoping to reclaim this space for coats and just a few other odds and ends.
I'm hoping to actually be able to use it to hang your coat if you stop by.
Or, at the very least, allow for you or I not to be at risk of a game, or laminating machine falling on our heads when we open the door!
Area #3: Bedroom
Our bedroom isn't too bad. It's INCREDIBLY small, especially with a king sized bed in it. There is no room for nightstands (which might be ok because I know how clutter catching those can be!), but all manner of laundry, kids stuff, and accessories do seem to sprawl their way across my dresser and clean and dirty laundry mixes in piles at the end of my bed like nothing I've ever seen.
Every once in a while Scott and I will pull a random pen, or diaper, stuffed animal or plastic purse from beneath the comforter before we head off to sleep and hand it to the other person with a sarcastic grin..."Thought you might like to sleep with Elmo tonight?"
(This is actually a "good" bed day!)
Area #4: The basement stairs
Oh mercy. The basement stairs! They often end up becoming the junk drawer of the house! Done with that Birthday party? Throw it all on the stairs (until I get around to putting it in the basement!). Extra soup? Basement stairs! Dirty clothes? Throw them on the stairs! Shoes, batteries, books, school stuff, tools?! No time to walk it to the basement?! Throw it on the stairs!
My hope is to be disciplined about cleaning this area up, but also as we purge and make space in other areas of the house where clutter has taken up space for far too long that we might be able to relocate some of the stuff to those other areas and therefore reduce the craziness here!
|The view from the top of the stairs (from our 1st floor hallway)|
|(A view of the landing)|
|(From the bottom of the basement up towards the landing)|
Area #5: (One of the perpetually most cluttered) The basement!
Ahhh...the basement. What does one say about the love/hate relationship one can have with their basement? Collector of all things that must be "saved" or "stored", my husband's work space and music "center" (he has an affinity for collecting random amplifiers, sound boards, and guitars that all need their due places in the "man cave"!), the laundry room and wrapping room and now craft center for the kids all in one!
I'll tell you more about how we're rearranging and share photos down the road. But here are the "before" photos.
What you are looking at now is bins and baskets full of clothing that either a) is mine and needs to be donated or consigned, or b) is the girls out of season stuff and needs to be sorted into size appropriate bins to be saved for the next girl down, plus some miscellaneous baby gear we no longer need. That would be Scott's rock climbing training board in the back corner. Our basement fills an eclectic array of needs!
Because we have limited kitchen storage and no storage pieces in our dining room ALL of our "entertaining" (if that's what you call it!) stuff has been on 5 shelves (2 to the left and the 3 facing out in the picture), mixed in with kid toys that the girls have outgrown, but I'm saving for Aubrey, and random sporting equipment.
We recently moved all of those shelves, bought a big piece of inexpensive carpet from Home Depot and turned that entire corner into a craft station/play space for the girls...more on that in a later post (:
These shelves house all of the outgrown girls clothes that will either be handed down to Ella or Aubrey. I can be organized (when I have the time!) and am actually quite proud of myself for sorting everything into bins with size labels on the front (you can see the post-it notes). The bins basically function as large drawers that I pull out and drop stuff into as the big girls outgrow things.
Area #6 The Garage.
Need I say more? We're working on it (:
This is in the hallway leading down the the basement. It's a school "command center" or sorts where I post calendars, important dates and where I used to have a nice file system (in that black bin) for saving papers, and school directories. With two girls in school this year my system is a wee bit...um...overloaded. I need to revamp it a bit and reorganize. It's on "the list"!
So there you have it friends. The scariest parts of my house in a nutshell! There are a few other areas that are major clutter catchers that I will be working on as well; kitchen drawers, the bathroom closets, and the girls closets. One step at a time!
I will tell you that the very cool thing about this book Clutter Free is that I'm purging with gusto and throwing things out with confidence. Random crap that I used to hang onto, just in case, gone! And I must tell you it's starting to feel much better around here. I'm starting to breathe a little more freely and feel like some things that haven't made sense in a very long time are starting to make sense.
It's good stuff.
It's like losing that first seven pounds and noticing your pants are a little bit looser. It motivates you to keep going!
More on this all as we progress.
Hope it encourages you to start your own decluttering at home (: