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?



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…


Clutter busting

Some people call me a neat freak! But, I’m not, really. What I am is one of those people that like to keep things organized – a place for everything and everything in its place!

I have found that keeping organized is the key to living simply and stress free. And, it’s not difficult if you make a plan to stay organized and stick to it. Here is my list of eight tips.

1. 15 Minute Rule

This is the most important rule. 

Fifteen minutes is all it takes!

Fifteen minutes is all it takes!

Spend 15 minutes everyday putting things in their appropriate places.  Make it a game for everyone in the family.  Set a timer.  Have everyone straighten one area that is shared by everyone in the family.  Or pick a specific location that needs attention (such as a drawer or closet).  Do not spend more than the allotted time, but have everyone dedicate themselves to their tasks for the full amount of time.  You will be amazed at what can be accomplished in 15 minutes. 

Also, sometimes, if there is a good program on television, you can do your 15 minutes during commercials! This can be great fun, too. Everyone jumps up during the commercial breaks, works on their 15 minute project, then they rush back to the den to watch the show until next break!

2. Use it or lose it Rule (aka The One Year Rule)

Take stock of what is in your drawers and closets.  If you haven’t used something in one year discard it.   Of course, memorabilia and important documents are exempt from this rule.   But, the bottom line is that to live more simply you  must quit being a pack rat.  If you go through four seasons and no longer use something, you don’t need it anymore.   During my daily 15 minute ritual (see number 1 above) I take stock of the items around me.  If I see clutter, I ask myself if I have used that thing in the last year.  And you can guess what I do if my answer is no.   I know this rule sounds harsh and it is.  But it forces you to take a look at those things causing dysfunction in your home and provides you an opportunity to decide to keep, move or discard them. 

 3. Everyone Needs a Junk Drawer

Yes, indeed.  This is the temporary place to put the stuff that you don’t know where else to store and you cannot waste the time right now to find an appropriate place.  And it is the final resting place for those really odd items that just have nowhere else to go.  Limit yourself to just one drawer, though.  And remember to spend a 15 minute day going through it once in awhile to organize it.  It will need it, too.  Also, do not use this drawer as an excuse not to put things in their proper places. 

4. Get a File Cabinet (or expandable folder or something)

Everyone should have one.  You must keep your documents in order.  File things as soon as you are finished with them.  Throw out junk mail right away.   Need I say more?

 5. To-Do List

Make one everyday.  Try to do some of the things on the list.  Cross off the things that get accomplished.  Do any of the things that did not get done need to go on tomorrow’s list?

6. Have On-Going-Donation Box

Put it where everyone can get to it.  After it is filled, drop it off at your favorite charity.

7. Quick and Dirty Cleaning

We have all had days like this where guests are arriving in 30 minutes and the house is a wreck.  Take a quick look at what would make the place look presentable and do only those things.  Pick up dirty clothes and throw them in the hamper. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or stack in the sink.  Take a cleaning cloth and wipe the bathroom appliances with glass cleaner. Wipe your counters. Make the beds.

8. Take it Easy on Yourself

Life is short.  We are not perfect.  Some days do not go as planned.  So what?