Category: House & Home

Oh man what a hectic week! Lots going on at work and both kiddos had the flu, then I got the flu. Needless to say I did not get as much done as I had hoped but still made some good progress.

If you missed my original project post or my Week 1 post from last week, check out what 40 bags in 40 days is all about and visit the other blogs of the lovely ladies participating in this challenge. You can also find us on our 40 bags in 40 days board on Pinterest.

Here’s my progress for week 2:

Bag 8: Kids kitchen cupboard This cupboard serves as a catch all for the kids cups, plates, water bottles and other various foot storage items. Unbeknownst to me, shoved way in he back were also several old bottles, dishwasher bottle racks and a ton of bibs (my youngest has been off the bottle for a year). It was nice to be able to get rid of these since it freed up a lot of space so things aren’t haphazardly shoved into this cupboard.

Bag 9, 10, 11, 12, 13: Pantry Ok I know it seems lame to lump 5 bags into one area but take one look at my pantry and you’ll totally understand. It’s a disaster. And it’s been that way for a while but it has seemed like too overwhelming of a job to tackle all at once. This might be the most embarrassing area of my house. And I know you’re saying to yourself ‘I mean who stores DVDs in their pantry?!?’. Well I have a toddler who insists on getting into everything, so me, I store DVDs in the pantry (but I hope to find a better place for them as I tackle my problem areas next week).

In order to make cleaning out this space manageable, I broke it up by shelf so I could do one each day. Besides just cleaning it out, another goal for this space was to make it easier to see how much I had left of everything in hopes of not making a trip to the store every other day because we ran out of something. Once I got rid of all the expired food, empty boxes and stuffed animals (yeah you read that right), I made a trip to the dollar store for some cheap containers to help keep things organized (without spending a fortune). I spent $9 and got all of these containers (and yes they’re all the same color because I’m OCD).

Here is the finished product (so far). I think I may still need a few extra containers here and there. And I would like to get a larger storage container to hold the party supplies on the top shelf. Overall I’m pretty proud of how good it looks and how much more space we have now (YAY! room for more food). Let’s just hope it stays this way.

Bag 14: Portable artwork storage A few months ago, I had the great idea of using a purple plastic storage box to store art supplies (crayons, construction paper, safety scissors, glue sticks, coloring books, stickers, etc) for my girls since they use them just about every day. I envisioned it being easy to move from upstairs to downstairs and neatly contain all their craftiness. Yeah right! Lately, it’s become a staple on our dining table and it often looks more like a craft store threw up at the end of my table than the little organized box I had imagined.

While the after picture doesn’t look that drastically different, the box is now about half full (after I removed all the scraps of paper, old drawings (which I’ll be archiving with Artkive before recycling) and completely colored coloring books. I also replaced some of the coloring books with new ones from the craft bin I keep in the pantry. Also, since cleaning the pantry, this box can now live on the floor in the pantry, easily within kid reach, when not in use. No more crafty mish mash on my dining room table. Hooray!

Hoping to make more progress next week on book and dvd storage, our spice/junk cabinet and our junk drawer.

Be sure to check out the progress of the other lovely bloggers tackling this crazy challenge right along with me in my original 40 bags in 40 days post!

My first week of cutting the clutter out of my life and home was hectic (with my husband and I back to work and the kids back into their routine) but still productive. As I started with my before pics, I was a little embarrassed of how bad I’d let these areas get (so no judging).

If you missed my post from last week, check out what 40 bags in 40 days is all about and visit the other blogs of the lovely ladies participating in this challenge. You can also find us on our 40 bags in 40 days board on Pinterest.

Here’s my progress:

Bag 1, 2 & 3: Toys
One of my biggest problem areas is too many toys. Everywhere. Especially after Christmas. I focused on my three biggest toy problem areas, the toy chest in our living room, the toy closet under our stairs and the girls room. I had three bags from these three areas:

  1. Toy rotation bag: I practice toy rotation with my kids. This means every couple of months, I go through their toys and take the things they haven’t been playing with much and put them in storage, then bring out some of them out a few months later. It’s like getting new toys every couple of months. This is a great article on toy rotation and organization from Hand Made Kids Art. I hope to one day be this organized but right now I just toss stuff into a giant plastic storage box in our garage.
  2. Donate bag: This bag was filled with toys that the girls had outgrown (mostly baby toys) and weren’t really interested in playing with anymore. I asked the girls to help pick out the toys they didn’t really play with anymore (which were only a few they were willing to give up but still helps them to learn to give to others). I donate these (and other household items) to a local community organization that sells them to raise money for local families in need.
  3. Trash bag: It was a little ridiculous how much trash came of these three toy spaces. Broken toys (5 broken tiaras, seriously???), little scraps of paper from who knows where and toy missing essential parts.

I didn’t include a before an after of the girl’s room as I’m nowhere near done with the organization in that disaster zone. Stay tuned!

Bag 4: My purse
Kids have turned my purse into a bottomless pit of fruit snack wrappers, single random socks and tissues (gross!). As a kid, I’d always ask my mom to put stuff in her purse (my trash, a toy, whatever) and it always kind of annoyed her. Now I totally get why! Talk about karma. Anyways, after digging out all the ‘non-essential’ items in my purse I restocked it with the things I actually need and use. And now it’s a good 3 pounds lighter.

Bag 5: The family command center
Our family ‘command’ center was in command of nothing. This once organized catch-all has become stuffed with my daughter’s school papers, old bills (that have been paid but not filed away) and 4 year old takeout menus. After weeding through the chaos, I’ve removed a bag of trash and a big stack of my daughter’s school papers that will be archived (using the Artkive app) shortly.

Bag 6: Utensil drawer
This is the drawer that contains multiples of every kitchen utensil but you can never find them. It also rarely opens or closes on the first try, which then leads to an immature struggle to get it open. Seriously sad! I removed all the utensils and got rid of the duplicates (who needs 8 wooden spoons and 3 can openers?). While it now opens and closes easily, it’s still not as organized as I’d like it to be. Might need some more work on this one.

Bag 7: Food storage/towel drawer
Everyone has those reusable food storage containers. How has someone not invented an ingenious way to organize them. I can never find the right lid for the right size, which is so frustrating when you’re already running late for work in the morning. I removed and tossed any container without a matching lid (where do the lids go anyways?). I also tossed the nasty stained pot holders that were clogging up the drawer. Now it’s much easier to get to things and find lids for the appropriate containers.

Whew! I’m exhausted!!! But I feel so good about the progress I’ve made so far and can’t wait to see how wonderfully organized my house is once the 40 days are up.

Don’t forget to check out the other wonderfully AMAZING bloggers participating in the challenge along with me!

My house used to be (somewhat) organized and pretty free of clutter. Now, with a full time job, two kids and an overwhelming amount of stuff, my house is a complete disaster zone most of the time. It takes a pretty significant amount of effort to whip it into shape suitable for anyone outside our family to visit. There is ridiculous amount of clutter and toys everywhere and no on can ever find anything in a reasonable amount of time. As one of my New Years resolutions, I’ve decided to take part in a 40 bags in 40 days challenge. I, along with 7 other bloggers, will be whipping our homes into shape by identifying 40 areas that need a little (or a lot) of help. The goal is to eliminate one bag (large or small) of stuff from each problem area per day to be donated or thrown away. At first this sounded kind of like a daunting task (especially considering I have to find time each day to do this for 40 days). I feel good about having something that forces me to do this and gives me a pretty specific timeline (and blogging about it keeps me accountable). I’m also going to enlist the help of my family (since a lot of this stuff is theirs too), which I think we make it slightly less overwhelming. I’ve taken a good look at the stuff in my house that drives me nuts and come up with these areas as my main problems:

  • Paper – important paperwork, bills, magazines/catalogs, kids artwork/school papers
  • Toys – everywhere
  • Clothes – kids, mom and dad
  • Laundry and linens – no real functional storage space
  • Kitchen – gadgets, cleaning supplies, utensils, pantry

I started an organization Pinterest board to get some ideas for how to get my mess under control without having to spend a ton of money (cuz Mama would rather spend money on shoes than fancy storage containers). I’ll be documenting my progress with blog posts every Friday over the next 6 weeks. Next week I’ll tell you a bit about my overall strategy and how I’m prioritizing my problem areas (and my time).

My Progress
Week 1

You can also check out the progress of the other 7 amazing bloggers that are part of this challenge at the InLinkz link below. Be sure to check us out with the hashtag #40bags40days on social media or visit our group board on Pinterest.

Want to take the challenge yourself? Here is a printable list to use to help choose and prioritize your problem areas.

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