Three unique ways to bust some clutter


How to use that wasted space inside cabinet drawers and closet doors.

Staying organized is a top priority for me. I’m constantly looking for better ways to keep the clutter down around my house and, ergo make my life more stress free.

One could go as far as to say that I am obsessed about it. And, it’s true.

I think I became a clutter buster after we moved from a 4,500+ square foot house to our little country shack of 1,560 square feet. This move required a major overhaul of our possessions. We had to suck it in and decide what things were really important to us and then, chuck a whole lot of stuff. Ultimately, I found the whole exercise to be very spiritually cleansing. And, in finding clever ways to store everything that we really wanted, I discovered that I had a knack for it, too.

So, now of course, spring cleaning is well underway, and I am at it at a fever pitch! So much to do and so little time left before my sisters come to my house for this year’s Sister Vacation!

My latest organizing trend is utilizing the wasted space inside cabinet drawers and closet doors.

I freed up some kitchen drawer space by hanging the hot mitts on the inside of a cabinet door near the oven.

I’ve added several organizers to other kitchen cabinets to gain back drawer space. I’ve added this one for food wraps and I added another in the spice cabinet, and another under the sink, and another for plastic lids, well, you get the picture! Oh, and yes, that is  Charlie Kitty on the left of the photo, curiously nosying the action in the kitchen.

And, this is my favorite use of utilizing the space inside a door! I bought a hanging shoe organizer and hung it on the inside of my linen closet next to the bathroom. I was able to clear out a whole lot of bathroom stuff crammed in the far nether regions under the sink or stuffed into the drawers with this maneuver. The clear pockets let me see everything at a glance. And, I have a few spare pockets for future use.

How about one of these in the coat closet for hats, gloves, keys? Or, in the mudroom/laundry room for cleaning supplies? Or for your craft supplies or sewing supplies? OMG, the possibilities make my head spin!

So, there you have it, just a few simple ways to get more organized this spring!

Gosh, I had such fun writing this.  And, I’ve got lots more tips and tricks to share with you down the road.

On a side note, I discovered a little trick recently and am amazed that I never knew!

Did you know that most of your wraps come with these little push tabs on the side to keep your rolls secure in their packaging?



Are you a hoarder?

There is a TV show on A&E called Hoarders. Have any of you ever watched it? I’m not sure what night of the week it comes on, but I happened to watch several repeat episodes while I was cleaning house one afternoon last week. (I know, kind of ironic, isn’t it?) 

A hoarder is defined as a person who has a need to acquire things, but fails to use them or discard them. A&E says its program is about people whose hoarding has gotten so out of control they are on the verge of personal crisis. 

One episode was about a woman whose children were taken out of the home by the Department of Social Services because her house was considered unsafe and unsanitary. She had to clean up in order to get her children back. The therapist and a cleaning crew came in to help get the job done. The work was slow as the hoarder had to touch every piece of junk before she could decide if she could throw it away or not. And, in most cases, she could not. At the end of this episode, the woman’s house is clean, but her garage and basement are stacked floor to ceiling with boxes of the stuff she could not part with and Social Services is not convinced that her home will stay clean for long and she does not get her kids back. 

In another story, a woman had convinced her second husband (the first husband had divorced her over her hoarding problem) that they could never get their current home cleaned up and should buy a second house so they could start over! Eventually, they would clean up house one and sell it, she had promised. So, now, strapped with two mortgages and two out of control houses, she asks for help. Ultimately, the crew of helpers left after barely making a dent, although, the woman said she would finish at her own pace on her own. 

In another episode, a man spent a week and only got his dining room table cleared. Even though his wife had fallen down the steps the previous year resulting in a broken leg because of all the junk stacked there, and even though, she promised she would leave him if he did not get his mess cleaned up, he could not. 

In all of the cases I watched, the hoarders felt overwhelmed and ashamed and really had a strong desire to get a handle on their compulsive behavior, but could not. 

I admit it. I really don’t get it. I do not understand how people could live in such filth and why they have a need to keep so much utterly useless crap. It made me realize, though, that most of us have our own compulsive behaviors.  I am quite the opposite of a hoarder. I must have order in my house. I keep the spices on the spice rack alphabetized. My silverware drawer must be organized and only hold a matching set. There are no wire hangers in my house and clothes must be hung facing the same direction. All of the clean towels and wash clothes must be folded in the same way with the fold facing out and stacked in their appropriate places in the linen closet.

A couple of months ago, I was losing sleep because my sock drawer was a mess! Well, okay, honestly, I wasn’t losing sleep over it, but I was thinking about it everyday. Browns were mixed in with blues and some had no match and I couldn’t just reach in the drawer and pull out what I wanted. It felt very satisfying to clean it. (I do not remember now the exact count, but after I threw some away I had over 30 pairs – more than I could wear in a whole month! Maybe, I’m a sockaholic.)

I have no problem getting rid of stuff. My general rule is that if I haven’t used something in a year, I must not need it and out it goes. The junk gets thrown out, and, I pile the quality stuff in the workshop, planning a future yard sale. I have never actually had a yard sale as I can’t stand the accumulating clutter, so I gather up those things and give them away a few months later.

This is not to say that I am a neat freak. I am far from it! My floors can get dirty, the furniture can get dusty and I usually have a stack of clothes piled on the dresser by week’s end. But, I do clean the inside of my refrigerator every week and straighten the kitchen pantry shelves every time I put groceries away. The more I write about it, the more I realize that people must think I’m  a tad crazy! I am truly a compulsive anti-hoarder. 

I see a reality TV show in the making; people who throw things out only to discover later they need them! 

I’ve got other compulsive behaviors, too. But, I’ll save those for another day!


Ha! There really is light at the end of this tunnel

Most of you know that I have been somewhat in a funk for a few weeks. By the time I get to late August, I am sick of the heat and I don’t feel like doing much of anything, even though, my list of to-dos continues to grow.

So, I fall behind and everyday living gets messy and things get disorganized and I stress.

So, I do what any smart girl does at times like these; I  go fishing. 

Aaah, nothing lifts my spirits more.

Aaah, nothing lifts my spirits more.

We took the boat to the tidal creeks near Folly Beach to do a little salt water fishing. You know, I am always completely awestruck at the beauty of this place and I never tire of going there. The sights, smells and sounds do magic on my soul.

We caught a few croakers, sea bass and perch, the largest fish being a nice spottail, but none of them were large enough to keep. I took my collapsible crab net, but didn’t get any crabs. I’ve determined that I need a couple of crab pots and have asked Brian to get me two for my birthday. After I get them and use them and bring home bushels of crab, I’ll write a story about it! Anyway, even though we came home fishless, it was a good day.

It wasn't quite this messy when we first started, but almost!

It wasn't quite this messy when we first started, but almost!

Speaking of fishing, on Saturday, we started cleaning the workshop. Honestly, I don’t know how it got to be such a wreck, but as you can see from the picture, it was a disaster. This was originally going to be a Brian project, but I got involved because I wanted to straighten my shelf of canning supplies to add more! My friend, Maddie, had cleaned out her shed and offered me several boxes of canning jars and a canner and I needed a path cleared to get to my shelf so I could put my new stuff away.

Brian is using a very old drill press (from his Uncle Leo) to drill holes.

Brian is using a very old drill press (from his Uncle Leo) to drill holes.

So, back to the fishing part of this story. Brian was straightening up our camping gear, boating stuff and fishing equipment. We have a number of different kinds of fishing rods, for almost every kind of fishing imaginable. Storage of so many rods is difficult and Brian has been wanting to make a rod holder to keep them better organized. Well, I’m all for organized, so we took a break from the cleaning and built a rod holder from some scrap lumber Brian had laying around. It was a fun project and we learned from our design errors, so the next one will be better. 

Eighteen of our favorite rods have their own spot in their new rod holder!

Eighteen of our favorite rods have their own spot in their new rod holder!

And, with the weather changing, I am slowly climbing out of this funk. Now, if I can just get the fall garden planted and my office at work cleaned…