Friday, March 2, 2012

Life & Style: Organizational Series, Part 1

Jason and I moved into our current apartment one year ago and one day ago. While we've definitely made the house into more of a home since then, we looked around earlier this year and realized we still had a long way to go. We are targeting specific areas of our home for organization all through the month of March, and we'll be sharing it all with you! We have before and after pictures, tips, horror stories and success stories.

This week, we're targeting our under-the-sink areas in the kitchen, master bathroom and guest bathroom and the over-the-sink area in the kitchen. I don't know know about you, but these areas are serious hotspots in our home for disorganization! I had ideas in mind about where I wanted everything to go, and we brainstormed before each and every overhaul so we were on the same page about our vision and design.

Here's the before pictures:

Over-the-sink area in the kitchen on one side
Over-the-sink area in the kitchen on the other side
Under-the-sink area in the kitchen on one side
Under-the-sink area in the kitchen on the other side
Under-the-sink area in the guest bathroom
Under-the-sink area in the master bathroom on the most left side
Under-the-sink area in the master bedroom in the middle (we keep just TP to the right)

Horror: I have to say that when I realized I'd have to share these pictures with ya'll, I was seriously blushing. I knew it was bad, but I think seeing all this in a picture just made it worse. Before pictures can be a great way to get yourself in action, plus then you have the proof of how far you've come since then!

Here's what we decided to go to clean up these areas:
  • First, we took everything out from under the sinks and over the sink.
  • As we took out each item, we inspected it for quality (we had a couple leaking items; we threw those away). We also checked expiration dates and threw away anything that was expired.
  • Next, we scrubbed the areas so they'd be clean. Not only were some of these areas noticeably dirty from leaks (hello, leaking item! Thank you for making a complete mess of everything!), but there was actually a lot of dirt and grime. Knowing that we just cleaned these areas one year ago, this was kind of scary.
Items that had a new place in mind were immediately placed around or in the new area (some of the items were going into not-yet-organized places, so they were just put near there for the time being). Items that were going into the trash went directly into the trash. Items that were going to be donated or or listed on craigslist were placed into piles that were specifically for these purposes (at the end of organizing all the areas, we had a donate to church/list on craigslist pile, a donate-to-Salvation Army pile and a take-back-to-the-store-because-we-never-used-you-and-you're-unopened pile). Items that were going to go back where it came from under the sink or over the sink stayed near its destination.

Horror: Jason had asked me to add toilet bowl cleaner to the grocery list (we really want to do a homemade version of this but haven't got around to it yet...). But in organizing these areas of our home, we discovered we had two full bottles of cleaner! Jason was a little horrified that he hadn't even known they were there (and I had forgot about them as well).

Our vision for under-the-sink areas was to keep very few items there. We knew that too many items led to mayhem, so we wanted only the bare necessities here. For over-the-sink area in the kitchen, we envisioned that all of our cleaning products would go here. While it's usually recommended that you store cleaning products at or below eye level, we decided to take a risk and keep them above eye level anyway, as this just made more sense for us to store these items here. If you also choose to store cleaning items above eye level, we just caution you to be careful in pulling the items down and not to get chemicals in your eyes.

Here's our after pictures!

Our over-the-sink area in the kitchen - all cleaning items are on the bottom shelf, a basin, an unopened bottle of wine and wine glasses are on the top shelf.
Our under-the-sink area in the kitchen - the only items we're keeping here are garbage bags and big kitchen towels.
Our under-the-sink area in the guest bathroom on the most left side - we're keeping only shaving items for myself here.
Our under-the-sink area in the guest bathroom in the middle - we're keeping items to make homemade items in the back and hand soap in the front. We keep just TP to the right.
Our under-the-sink area in the master bathroom on the most left side - we're keeping Jason's shaving items, mouth wash and hand soap here. 
Our under-the-sink area in the master bathroom in the middle - we're keeping my personal items here that I use on a somewhat regularly basis.

Success: We love, love, love these newly-organized areas. They're so much more efficient, and the items here are easy to access. We know where everything is, and we know where everything goes when we're done using it.

Next week, we're tackling our linen closet and coat closet!

No comments: