Every household has a time during the year when it seems to be busier than normal. For most, that busy time tends to coincide with the summer and the holiday seasons, because you have lots going on. We at THB are also hit with these busy times of the year and want to take you on our journey as we address some of the projects we are completing during our busy summer schedule. Our belief is that even the busiest person has 15 – 30 mins to work on a project. The reward is by combating things when they are small messes they don’t grow up to be big messes.
So…our first “baby mess” (pun intended ☺) is our daughter’s food cabinet. Most homes with small children have a space where they maintain the cups/bowls and food for their little one. Well, we are no different. When we first moved into this house Natalia was one and a half months and was still being breastfed so although this has always been her cabinet, the contents of it changed when we moved to solids and formula. Here is the before photo of the cabinet:
On the left of this cabinet, we store her cereal, a measuring cup to get the right amount of cereal, cups of natural applesauce (and any other cup fruit we give her). On the right, we have an aluminum tray that holds her bottles, sippy cups, bowl and spoons…this cabinet has a strange point where the cabinets meet in the corner so we stored her bottle carry case and freezer bags in the far right corner (not shown in the photo). As you can see the space wasn’t a terrible mess, but I found stuff was constantly spilling out of the little tray when we were trying to find what we were looking for and one day I said enough was enough and decided I had to get to the bottom of the problem.
I started by taking everything off the shelf and began going through the items. I found that there were several breastfeeding items (milk freezer bags and pump parts) that were no longer needed. Once those items were removed I decided I wanted to switch the tray that was holding everything. The aluminum tray wasn’t the most attractive item and it was also too deep, which contributed to the pile up issues. I identified that part of the problem was that when we emptied the dishwasher we would just put the items up there instead of putting lids with cups/bottles. I went ahead and matched them up, but acknowledged that we probably wouldn’t maintain that. I was ok with that now that I had removed the items that didn’t really need to be in the space any longer. It gave us room to work that way. I noted that I probably would need to conduct another clean out probably in September or October when her eating habits would have changed again. So here is the final product:
This entire process took me less than 10 mins and it added some order back to our daily routine. So I urge you to think about your declutter/organizational projects in terms of small chunks of time (15 – 30 min intervals). It won’t be overwhelming and at least you can set an attainable goal. For example, you want to declutter your linen space. Make the first goal to remove everything from the space into a temporary area (a bed is a great place to do this), sort the items into like categories and remove items you no longer need. This shouldn’t take longer than 15 or 30 mins. You may even find that you got more accomplished knowing you had a set amount of time to work. You can then set another 15 – 30 mins that same day to get it all folded properly and put back in the closet.
We hope this quick tips helped inspire you to tackle one of your problem areas. If it did, please share with us what spaces you tackled and how long it took you. We’d love to hear about them and see them.