Friday, March 28, 2014

Declutter Day 3: Upstairs Bedroom Closet

When we moved into our 4-bedroom home four years ago, it was just Hubby and me. But we knew babies would come along eventually so we wanted to have enough space for our future family. So when we found out TWO babies were on their way, we were thrilled. We got to work turning one of our two extra rooms upstairs into a nursery. Before it was a nursery, it was basically an empty room with a closet that held my long hanging clothes, shoes, and some purses. This closet was emptied to make room for all those cute baby clothes, and I suddenly had to find room for my things in our master bedroom closets. This required some major purging and rearranging (hence the closet makeover I did a couple weeks ago). But even then, some overflow and random items found their way into the closet of the second unused bedroom. However, seeing as how we have two munchkins who will eventually have their own rooms, this closet cannot be storage forever. And besides, we SHOULD have enough room in the rest of the house to store whatever we keep, without using closets in the bedrooms. So I set about clearing that closet out. Here is the closet before:

Not the worst closet I’ve seen (or had in my home) but still everything in it really did not belong. Random Christmas items were put away with the rest of the holiday décor, the extra smoke alarm will be installed in this bedroom soon so there will be one in each of the kids’ rooms, and the shoe organizer will find a new home since I don’t have any vertical space in my closet to hang it. Besides, I did get a different shoe organizer that works much better in our room. Then there was the BOX:

The box of who-knows-what: exercise bands, exercise DVDs, Wii games, random television cables, a power strip, and a myriad of other things. Everything found a new home: either elsewhere in the house or in the donation bag to head to a new home. :) And now for the after pics:

The suit jackets will stay in this closet probably until the end of the year. By then, any that Hubby has worn will find a home in our master bedroom closet and the rest will be donated.

All of this decluttering of the house has been really freeing. It’s so nice to be surrounded by those things we really love and need. I’ll be continuing the process this weekend to get in the full “5 days” and tomorrow’s space has me super stoked: the garage!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Declutter Day 2: Kitchen Drawers

Wow, this week is flying by! I can't believe it's already Thursday. It's been a productive week too. Yesterday I went through four of our kitchen drawers. We have ten altogether, but two hold food, one just has baby bibs (but will soon have spoons and plates!), one is Hubby's "BBQ" drawer that I promised I wouldn't touch :), and two others have silverware and other utensils that were already pared down and organized. The four I tackled had enough stuff to fill all ten though! Here are before pictures:
Drawer 1

Drawer 2

Drawer 3

Drawer 4
Again, I took everything out of each drawer and gave each drawer a good cleaning with a handheld vacuum and Clorox wipes (I also wiped down the outside of each drawer. It always surprises me how dirty they get!). I then sorted and put like items together. This made it easy to see what we had multiples of and what we actually use. Then, I set out putting everything back, but in places where they made more sense. Our handheld KitchenAid mixer that we use maybe twice a year didn't need to be in a drawer; it moved to a cabinet down below. Same thing with rarely-used utensils: they didn't need to be in the drawer next to the stove, which is "prime drawer real estate". They were moved to drawers across the kitchen. And for the donate box, I put a good amount of utensils and some random kitchen knives. Now for my favorite part, the after pictures:

Drawer 1

Drawer 2

Drawer 3

Drawer 4

I've been wanting to go through these drawers for a while now and I'm so glad I did. It's so nice to be able to find exactly what I'm looking for. At some point I'd like to get some Command hooks to hang the measuring cups and spoons on inside one of the upper cabinets, just to minimize what is in the drawers a little bit more. But overall, I'm very happy with how they turned out. Are there any trouble spots in your kitchen?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Declutter Day 1: Downstairs Bedroom

I would say Day 1 of "5 Days of Decluttering" went well! I decided to go through our downstairs bedroom, and it turns out, there was more in there than I realized. We have an armoir in there that I've had since I moved into my first apartment. I love it!
Since it has lived in our downstairs bedroom, I've always wanted it to be a place where guests can put their luggage. Unfortunately, it had turned into a storage cabinet for beach towels and random items that didn't have a place anywhere else. The piece also has a bottom drawer that houses our DVD collection and that was FULL. Time to purge! I basically took everything out of the cabinet and only put back those things that made sense in the space.



Overall, the project took about 20 minutes and most of that was refolding the mass of beach towels which now have their own place on the top shelf. I think it's safe to say we are all set for summer. :) When I was done, I had a nice donate pile with some mismatched towels, a blanket, a floor mat, a dishpan (?), and a bag of DVDs that I'm not sure we've ever watched. I also cleaned out under the bed, and luckily there wasn't a ton under there: a very old power strip, an old Bluetooth headset, and some exercise bands. All things that could go! There is also a wooden chair in the room that serves no real purpose, and since the non-profit will take furniture, this will find a new home as well. Its nice to think that it will be loved in a new home.

I would still like to do some some rearranging of wall hangings and accessories in this room but overall, this space is done and it feels great! I feel like we're closer than ever to creating a relaxing space for friends and family. Also, I know I'm a day behind with this decluttering project, but I plan on catching up today. Off to tackle kitchen drawers and cabinets! What is one area of your home that has been a thorn in your side? After this project, I have one less. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

5 Days of Decluttering Starts Tomorrow!

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I have been loving being home with my babies for the last 4 months (has it really been that long?!). During that time, when I haven't been feeding, changing, burping, or cuddling a baby, I've been spending a great deal of time organizing our home. We have lived in our house for over 4 years, and for that entire time I've always had a full time job (which I'm very thankful for).  On my days off, I really only focused on things that needed to be done right then (i.e. regular cleaning chores and other day to day tasks). It wasn't until I was off work for a significant amount of time that I started noticing what things were working around the house, and perhaps more importantly, what things weren't. And everywhere I looked, one big thing I kept noticing was all of our STUFF. And I'm not talking about baby stuff. That's a whole other category of "stuff". I'm just talking about stuff that Hubby and I brought into the house when we moved in together. Stuff that we just put somewhere because there was an empty space, without giving much thought as to whether we really loved or needed it. We had just always had it, so we would just continue having it.

Well, over the last several weeks, I've done a good amount of decluttering. I went through our cleaning supplies, reorganized and pared down our master bedroom closet, cleaned out under our downstairs bathroom sink, purged the pantry, and went through our closet under the stairs (scary!). I would say most of our main living areas are fairly organized (emphasis on fairly) and really only house those things we truly love and use. However, there are areas that I haven't gotten to, mainly because we don't spend much time in them: our downstairs spare bedroom, our upstairs spare bedroom, some drawers and cabinets both in our kitchen and family room (you know, the ones you don't really go in unless you're looking for that one specific thing), and some other random areas (do I dare venture into the garage??). And it turns out, this week is a great week to tackle these areas. Why? On Monday, March 31st, a local non-profit will be coming around to houses picking up donations. This means no loading up the car, packing up the babies, driving to Goodwill, unloading the car, and then driving back home. I just take everything out the curb, stick a sign on it, and it's as good as gone.

So this is the week to really get down to the nitty gritty and go through those random spaces once and for all. I'll post an update each day along with some before and after pics. I'd love for you to join in, or just read along. It's always more fun doing things with friends. :) See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Trash(can) to Treasure

Have you ever had a total light bulb moment over something so small it almost felt silly? Well, I had that happen just last week. But the change it inspired has really made my daily life a little less frustrating. In our home, the laundry room shares a space with the downstairs bathroom and because of that, they share a trash can. It was a stainless steel step trash can (unfortunately I don't have a picture of that, but it was a standard, pedal-operated trash can). The problem was every time I opened the lid with the pedal, the lid banged against the shower stall. This could happen several times a day if I were doing lots of laundry and emptying the lint trap from the dryer fairly often. Even when I pulled it away from the shower, it would end up being pushed back when I stepped on the pedal. It seems small, but it was really irritating hearing that banging noise.

So one day I was at Target and browsed their trash cans - specifically those with an open top. Well, there weren't many cute ones to choose from and those that were not totally ugly were $20 or more. I did NOT want to spend that on a trash can. So I resigned myself to just dealing with our noisy one.

Fast forward to last week, I took out the can's dark gray plastic insert to wash (it was pretty fuzzy from all that lint). As it was sitting in the sink, the first light bulb went off: why don't I just use the insert as the trash can and lose the stainless steel portion all together? Yes, that would work! I felt so proud that I had saved us some dollars by using what we already had but in a different way. Then, as I looked at the can, I remembered we had a can of white spray paint. Light bulb #2: I can spray paint it white to better match our decor! Then, light bulb #3: I have painters tape! I can tape off a design, then paint it, and I'd have a cute custom trash can. I suddenly had visions of a super cute white trash can with a dark gray chevron design. Then, I came back to reality: I have three month old twins. I barely have time to eat, let alone tape off a chevron design on a trash can. So, I decided to just tape off two wide stripes - one near the top rim, and one near the bottom, then paint. I would still have the two-tone look I was going for, but far more simple.

So on went the tape, and the hubby went to work with the spray paint. This is the end product:
I completely love it, for lots of reasons. I love that we were able to repurpose and reuse an item we already had, we didn't have to spend a dime, it's no longer irritating every time I have to throw something away, there is no loud banging noise that may wake the babies (since they nap in an adjoining room), and it's the perfect size for 4 gallon trash bags so no more fuzzy trash can! It's amazing how changing one little thing can really make such a difference. And I've already found a few more things around the house to introduce to that can of spray paint. :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Welcome to Nest for Four!

Hello all! I am so excited to be writing my very first blog post EVER. Blogs have been around for years now, but it wasn't until recently that I decided to start my very own. What prompted the jump onto the blog bandwagon? That would be my 3-month-old twins! They are so much fun and I feel so fortunate to be home with them for a few months. Until I return to work in April, I spend much of my time at home caring for my littlest sweethearts and I truly love every minute of it. Since I have been home with them, I have rediscovered my love for organizing, DIY projects, home decor, cooking, and even cleaning. Yes, I find myself looking forward to various cleaning tasks (much to my husband's surprise and delight). So, I thought having a place to document various adventures with the twins and the house would be fun, while creating a record of this time as a new mom. I so appreciate you taking time to visit and look forward to sharing the ups and downs of living and loving in our nest for four. :)