Day Twelve: Squeaky Clean Bathroom!

bathroom-1206932-640x480Since you use your bathroom to get clean, doesn’t it make sense to get your bathroom clean? Bathrooms often get cluttered with half used products, so head in there to clear it out!

Get under your sink, into the drawers, or into the bathroom closet if you have one and asses your items. Anything that’s not being used, anything that’s half empty (or is it half full) and has been shoved in there needs to go. Sometimes, this is a hard one because some products may have been costly and you might feel guilty throwing them away. But if they’re not being used, now both your money AND your space is being wasted. Not to mention the fact that it makes things difficult to find. If you’d like, see if a friend’s daughter or someone would like to try your expensive platinum shampoo. One exception would be makeup. If you haven’t used it in awhile, chances are it’s growing bacteria and it’s not healthy for anyone to use. Toss it and don’t look back!

Now here are some ideas for organizing what you have left:

makeup-1195895-639x719For makeup, consider getting a cute toolbox to put it in that can be tucked into a closet or cabinet when not in use. Or, if you have enough drawer space for this purpose, get a handy organizer.

If your sink is near to the bathroom door, consider getting a pocket shoe organizer for the HBA items you use regularly (brushes, gel, nail polish remover). I’ve done this in my master bath, and not only does it utilize vertical space and free up cabinets, but everything is right on hand when I need it, and I’m more likely to return things to their home so the counter doesn’t stay cluttered.

For products under your sink, get a wire shelf so you’ll have room for two layers of products, or get a pull out organizer to make things easy to access. Check out this video to see one great way of setting up your bathroom cupboard or this video to see how to accomplish the same thing on a budget.

Even if you don’t purchase any additional products, your bathroom will be a lot easier to use now that you’ve cleared out the clutter.

Day Twelve: DONE!

Day Ten: THE FILING CABINET!

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This is another one that can be scary. It’s a larger version of our day one challenge, getting rid of papers.

Therefore, I’m going to try to break things down with a few easy pointers:

  1. See this link to figure out what needs to be kept and what doesn’t.
  2. Check out this video to see one great way of keeping manuals and owner’s guides. (Better yet, remember that you can find most of them online, and pitch them!)
  3. Once you’ve pared things down, check out this filing system for one neat way to keep things in order.

Day Four: Pots, Pans & Utensils

There’s that one huge pot you use once a year on Thanksgiving. Should you keep it? Probably. But it shouldn’t be in the way of your everyday cookware. Today, let’s tackle the remainder of your kitchen!

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I recently helped a family of eight members move out of their home. The mother is very much a homemaker who is devoted to clean eating. As you can imagine they had a TON of cookware–NOT! Really she had a handful of really great pots and pans (some iron) and that was it. If she can feed that huge family that way, surely most of us can pare down our cabinets.

First, pull your pots and pans out of the cabinet and set aside the ones you use on a regular basis. Those are keepers! Now everything else is called into question one by one. As mentioned above, sometimes you have a couple of items that you use only around the holidays. Ask yourself if you have another piece that can do the same job. If not, find a place to put those that they won’t interfere with your everyday life. Maybe a basement shelf, a deep dark corner of the pantry you just cleaned out (if your following this challenge!), or a high cupboard you never use. Ask yourself if you are keeping any of the other things just because you feel obligated, or if they’re just getting in the way. Whatever falls in these categories needs to be sent to a good home where someone will use them.

Now, do the same with your kitchen utensils. Usually we have a lot of random inventions that we don’t use. Someone once gave me a nifty melon baller, but I’m not a big fan of melon and when I serve it, I just cut it up. It was used only once. It was an expensive thing from maybe Pampered Chef or Tupperware. However, it went to a melon-loving friend who actually used it. Now, somethings you might have multiples of. Large spoons and spatulas are something I have several of, but with the way I cook, I do wind up using most or all that are in my stash many times. If you use it regularly keep it, if you don’t, it goes.

Finally, consider the best way to organize these now that you’ve made some great space for yourself. It’s good to get a pan organizer so your pans aren’t nesting and scratching each other (this also makes them easier to access). Utensils can be hung on a wall, or a drawer organizer or dividers purchased. Consider hanging up measuring cups and spoons (as seen below) on the inside of a cabinet with command hooks. Get cabinet organizers for your dishes and bowls to help sort out those cabinets. You don’t even have to buy these new–many can be found at the thrift shop as I highlighted here. Search Pinterest and have a ball!

Day Four: DONE!

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An Organizer’s Secret Weapon

Wanna know a secret? My favorite tool for organizing isn’t necessarily made for organizing at all. Handier than a pocket on a shirt, the one thing I can’t do without is a dry erase marker…..or 20. I actually have them pretty much everywhere, and in every color.

One marker sits on the counter ledge in my bathroom, because–did you know?– you can actually write on mirrors in dry-erase. I regularly scribble my new favorite quote, people and things I need to remember, and most importantly a few priority goals I want to accomplish the next day. This is a great way to organize your time and make sure your priorities are at the forefront of your mind in the morning.

Another marker is attached with Velcro alongside the door frame in my laundry room next to the washer. Sometimes I put something into the wash that could turn inmarkerto a size 3T in the dryer, but I’m very bad about remembering to pull it out between the two. I’ll use my marker to note the item on the washer lid to make sure I don’t forget it. (While I’ve never had a problem, you might test it somewhere hidden first.)

An additional Expo is velcroed out of sight on the side of my microwave by the fridge. I can easily write on (and wipe off) my storage containers so I know what leftovers are hanging out in the cold. (It’s a good idea to keep a sharpie there too, so you can write names and dates on bags that go into the freezer–just don’t get them mixed up!)

I also use these handy implements to keep track of which shoes are in which storage boxes in my closet. In fact, these can be used to write on almost any kind of smooth surface. (Again, you might want to test them first. I have found that there are a few plastics that just don’t want to let go)

And now that you’ve been enlightened about the necessity of dry-erase markers, go forth and organize your life like a pro! If you find more uses for these handy little things–leave me a note in the comments!