#Week 21-Linens, Laundry and Medicine Cabinet:KonMari with Me

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#Week 21 – May 21-27 – ☒ Linen closet, ☒ Laundry Room, ☒ First Aid, ☒ Vitamins, ☒ Medicines

I love my multipurpose laundry room! Above the washer/dryer is a wooden dowel to hang clean laundry from. On top of the dryer is our changing table. The shelves behind all this hold diapers, clean rags, laundry detergent and other cleaners.

The linen closet is easily disorganized. It is easily fixed too! Sheets go together on one shelf. Towels on another. Swim towels on a third shelf. Each set of sheets folds into one of the set. Each towel set fold together also. It is not perfect. They get mixed up-Just like life. Each one, however, has a home. I am content.

First Aid – makes me groan and laugh. We bought a huge kit when expecting our first child. I was clearly nesting. We had more FSA money than we expected left over. I thought it was very important. We have actually used enough that I’m content with the purchase. However, a bunch of outdated medicines need to go. I hate wasting. Oh, well! Live and learn.

Vitamins – Any unused old items got tossed. Very little thankfully.

Medicines  – I really don’t like sorting medicines and tossing by their date. Costco is not my friend. Not in this case. Better to have little bottles that get used near their expiration date or before. Another lesson (hopefully) learned.

How do you make your linens and laundry room look and function great?

Next Week: Bathroom, Personal care products

#Week20-Children’s belongings:KonMari with Me

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#Week20 – May 14-20

☐ Children’s belongings (books, loveys, collections)

I admire my 5 year old. Her favorite bunny and other loveys can fit in her big bedside end table. Her books squeeze into a pretty doll house book shelf. Her rock collection fits one container. Her art collection is inspiration for a birthday gift I hope to complete.

She has taken Marie Kondo’s intention to heart. She loves what she has. It is organized enough to enjoy having more favorites.

Last week’s toys conundrum is the only notably lacking item. We tried several configurations and still are not satisfied. That is ok. At least my daughter has figured out her basic favorites. I think I could learn something from her.🙂

How have your children surprised and taught you in this process?

Next Week: Linen closet, Laundry Room, First Aid supplies, Vitamins, Medicines

#Week19 – Children’s toys, baby gear: KonMari with Me

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#Week19 – May 7-13

☒ Children’s toys  ☒ baby gear, etc.

Wow! I forgot how much stuff comes with typical baby gear. Over the years, I intentionally kept only our favorite toys and baby gear. We sure have a ton of favorites!

Baby gear is all over the house. Toys and a swing parade through the living room. Plastic kids’ table settings are mercifully the only consistent kitchen items. A pile of unused baby items live in the formal dining room until I do another round of donations. That room has not been used much since our oldest was born. Unpractical carpets! What can I say?

Toys often languish on the stair landing waiting to be returned home. It saves me a ton of stair time. Most children’s toys stay in our Kindergartener’s room where they belong. But is that the best place?

Frankly, I don’t know where toys should belong. For the last year they have belonged in Big Sister’s room.

Pros: The mess does not belong in the living room. More contained in theory. She definitely pared it down to favorites for everything to fit.

Cons: The mess still migrates into the living room where we spend most of our time. Her room is not as restful.

Bright idea: Turn dust collecting formal dining room into playroom. Bedroom becomes shared room in another year or so when Little Sister sleeps easily through the night.  That will be another big project.

Uh, oh! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? … This is starting to look like a litany of later projects for my To Do list.

What would you do to maximize your organizational impact on a new toy room?

Next Week: Children’s belongings (books, lovies, collections)

#Week18 – KonMari with Me: Living/Family room, Movies, Games, Collections

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#Week18 – April 30-May 6

? Living/family room, ☒ movies, ☒ games, ☒ collections

Alright, my friend. Let’s take these 4 sub-categories from easiest to hardest:

  1. Collections: My collections consist of books (check), dolls (check), Handmade blankets, comforters and throws (check), tea sets and tea cups (check). [I’m not counting baby clothes because while it is a massive collection, I don’t intend to keep it once outgrown😉 ). All papers are in Sentimental to be processed last. The first 3 live in my closet and my great-grandmother’s cedar chest. The final tea collection lives in the kitchen where it can be used.
  2. Games: Again, this is a pretty easy category. My oldest’s personal games are in her room. Family games live in the coat closet’s top shelf. I don’t have any games just for me. My husband collects games from Lord of the Rings and a couple other of his favorite genres. His collections are in his own space. (check)
  3. Movies: All neatly housed together. The majority are my husband’s collection and the rest are a few for myself and the kids. (check) .
  4. Living/Family Room: Now it gets hard. The Living /Family room sees the majority of our relaxing, laundry folding, baby playtime and resulting toys, big sister’s dry erase art, and my ever changing paper files (and piles).
    1. Baby Toys: These live under the baby swing when not in use. Most of the day they are out if she is awake.
    2. Dry Erase Art Board: We love seeing her art almost as much as she enjoys making it. This is a low-mess alternative to downstairs toys that gives us great joy.
    3. Relaxing: Clearly that is the main purpose of the room. Not much I can see to change or improve without starting big projects… except less laundry and paper clutter…and more pick up and put away as soon as you finish.🙂
    4. Laundry: The living room is where most of the laundry folding and baby clothes storage tends to happen. They often live on the big chair.
    5. Leather Chairs: I love the 2 leather chairs. They are perfect for curling up to read, nursing the baby, and sharing a snug seat with both girls cuddled close. Our home, however, is a bit small for so much furniture. The jury is still out, but it is time to catch up in other categories.

How do you navigate the laundry/living room conundrum?

Next Week: Children’s toys, baby gear, etc.

#Week17 – KonMari With Me: Tools, Household Supplies

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IMG_20160505_234912184 1#Week17 – April 23-29

-Utility Supplies, -Tools, -household supplies (lightbulbs, batteries…)

 How would you like your Junk Drawer to transform into a Resource Drawer?  Tossing the junk and finding a home for rarely used items made it possible to keep these frequently used items here: Batteries, a couple screwdrivers, a few pens and markers, tape, measuring tape…you get the idea. Instead of frequently used items being housed far from the action, they all belong near the hub of activity. Now they can quickly return home without inconveniencing anyone! This was my greatest accomplishment.

Most utility supplies, tools, and household supplies live in the garage or miscellaneous closet. I guess it is time to add them to my To Do list. They certainly didn’t get done this time around. Oh, well. First World Problems. At least I know the location of most items.

Ideally, how would you organize your lightbulbs, vacuum parts, tools, and other household and utility supplies?

Next Week Living room/family room, movies, games, collections

#Week16 – KonMari with Me: Pantry and Fridge

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IMG_20160418_131738170_HDR#Week16 – April 16-22

☒ Pantry, ☒ Fridge

This fridge was so clean and empty last week that it felt like looking at my husband’s bachelor fridge 10 years ago. This was a rare opportunity to wash all the shelves. So pretty!

About a month ago, the pantry was approaching an equivalent level of order and emptiness. I intentionally used up or donated anything nearing expiration. It is a mess again now. Perhaps someday we will find the magical procedure to maintain a neat and eye-catching display. For now, being present with my babies as they rapidly grow and change is definitely my priority.

How do realism and being fully present for relationships affect your organizational style?

Next Week: Tools, Utility and Household Supplies

#Week15 – KonMari with Me: Kitchen (part 3)

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 IMG_20160505_110224116#Week15 – April 9-15

☒ Kitchen misc, ☒ Dishes, ☒ Serving supplies

What is your greatest nemesis in the kitchen? On a bad day, do your mixing and storage containers sometimes morph into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? This cupboard gets used so often that a few mislaid pieces can make a huge mess.

So, I donated all of our round storage containers except for a couple glass ones in back and the mixing bowls up top. Then, the ziploc boxes moved to another cupboard to make room for the remaining occupants. While this little space will always be a challenge, at least now the circle and square Tupperware no longer have their streams crossed.

Which part of your kitchen is the most challenging?

Next Week: Pantry and Fridge

#Week14 – KonMari with Me: Kitchen (part 2)

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IMG_20160505_110206211#Week14 – April 2-8

☒Cooking and baking supplies

Hooray for lid and pan organizers! After years of digging through sliding lids, baking pans and  cutting boards…Peace! It only took 2 organizers and about $20 to make my pan cupboard transform from Berenstain Bears’ messy bedroom closet to organized closet.

Have a wonderful, peace filled weekend my friends.

What small change could make a big impact in your life?

Next Week: (part 3) Kitchen misc, dishes, serving supplies

#Week13 -KonMari with Me: Kitchen (part 1)

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#Week13 – March 26-April 1

☒ Kitchen food storage, ☒ disposables, ☒ cleaning supplies

I love this hanging fruit basket. It allows me to display and ripen fruits. Best yet, we waste far less and eat far more fruits and veggies!

Except for daily cleaning supplies in a top cupboard, most of our cleaning supplies and detergents are all  in the laundry room shelves above the washer and dryer. I took them out, organized and put most of it back. I see that we are not minimalist by nature.  Looks like my days of packing all my belongings into my car are long gone. That is ok. Those were good times.

The laundry room in the bathroom is another favorite area. The shelves at the back hold cleaning and laundry supplies. In front of the shelves we can hang clothes fresh out of the washer or dryer to minimize wrinkles. The top of the dryer is also my downstairs changing table.

The past couple of months have been a real struggle. I love my kitchen, but easily get frustrated with little things that make it hard to access or put away things. I want it to be easy to clean up at night–not an hour for basic, clean washed counters. Forget the floors getting their due attention!

After collecting our disposables, I was surprised at how many we had collected since getting married. We started using disposables instead of dishes for a few days. We have mostly napkins left. Many. Napkins. They will get used too.

Having simplified the kitchen slowly over the last year and a half, I finally reached the point of realizing that I needed practical organizers like the hanging fruit basket so that everything could be easy to put away. Let’s see what that can look like! Stay tuned for more…

Which kitchen organizers do you find most essential?

Next Week: Cooking and baking supplies

#Week11/12-Crafts and Hobbies: KonMari with Me

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#Week11 – March 12-18 / #Week12 – March 19-25

☒ Crafts and Hobbies

Yay! I finished knitting my daughter’s blanket for her lovey that I started a couple years ago! Also all of my knitting, crocheting, and sewing supplies are finally nestled together in one basket woven for me by a friend. Talk about joy! Thank you Becky! I have not decided what to do with the remaining cloth and yarn from a couple of prior projects but they all squeeze together nicely enough with the golden sewing box fitting inside the red and tan basket.

Not accomplished: The items folded in the white basket all need mended. These are the ones I meant to mend over the last 2 weeks. I didn’t plan on most of the last month being consumed with tending to high fevers, colds, and stomach bugs. I am thankful everyone is well today.

This week’s unscheduled successes:

  1. My 5 year old, on Kindergarten Spring Break, went through all her art and school papers with my support. We grouped them into LOVE, SCAN, and RECYCLE. A foot of papers now fit about 1 inch of space and her room has gained a ton of visual space.
  2. A few inches of paper to shred have stoked a pleasant fire in the outdoor chiminea without causing the hour of infant crying that shredding invokes.

What is one important project you keep meaning to finish?

Next 2 Weeks: Kitchen (food storage, disposables, cleaning supplies) and (cooking, eating and serving implements)