Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy (Getting More Organized) 2013!

It's 2013. I can't actually wrap my head around that especially when I reflect back to grade school graduation - 1983, or high school graduation - 1987, or when my first nephew was born - 1982... Time flies and it just seems like it goes faster every year!

This year has already had a few bumps - starting the year by bringing home a flu-venir from Connecticut was a drag. It took me about 12 days until I am finally feeling like I want to do anything. Of course I had to share and A went down hard a week after I did. I'd never seen him that sick - he didn't even leave the upstairs for about 36 hours! So... hopefully the ick is behind us now.

When I was sitting around the house waiting to feel better, I made a few mental notes of things that I wanted to accomplish in the very near future. Yes, we still need to finish the guest room but that is very close to being done and I need my husband to be home for the last details as they require some muscle. But there are some nagging little projects that have been bugging me.

So today (the first day off that I really had much energy) I emptied the downstairs bathroom closet. I mean I EMPTIED it from top to bottom, wiped down the shelves, removed a shelf that the previous owner installed in a half-arsed way (upside down L brackets and screws that didn't fit so it was dangling half off), installed an upright shelf in the back corner on the floor (it's an odd sized closet with an out-of-order "laundry shoot" (aka "The draft hole") in the middle of the floor that makes it even more awkward to put anything on the floor) for the cleaning products, and removed the "insta-shelves" - you know... those shelves that are sold at 3am on an info-mercial that you push into the corner and then razors slide out and lock it into place... but it won't actually hold anything that weighs more than 6 down feathers.

I took the boxes, bins, and baskets of stuff into the living room, turned on the TV show "Hoarders: Buried Alive" (truly the best motivation!) and sorted everything. By the time I was done tossing and recycling items that had expired at about the same time they were put in the closet five years ago and organizing the rest, I trimmed the lot down from six medium baskets, four small baskets, one large box, one medium bin, and two small bins down to three small baskets, one medium bin, and two small bins - I'd say that I reduced the volume by ~75%.

Because I relocated the cleaning products to the bathroom, it also accomplished a second task that I had in mind - now I've got room for the new vacuum (which is a different shape from the old one and therefore didn't fit in the small closet that the old one fit in) in the cleaning closet in the kitchen. This makes me happy as it's been taking up floor space in my office for the past six weeks or so.

I would post before and after pictures but... I didn't take a before picture - I need to stop and remind myself to do that because I always forget. Just imagine that the shelves were full, there was no room for towels on the shelves, and the floor was covered in boxes and bins.

Now that it is manageable, when I get around to painting the bathroom (I haven't yet been moved to select a color for it as the bathtub is blue with matching blue tiles and I'm not sure how to work with it...) I can remove everything and paint the inside of the closet at the same time. Yay!

Now on the agenda is the knee-wall cabinet in our upstairs bathroom. You have to stand on your head to get anything out of it and it's really deep so it's become a bit of a black hole. I spent hours organizing baskets in it last year but you have to pull out three baskets to get to the one in the back and it didn't take long for that system to fail. Now I'm thinking that I need a drawer system or something that will slide out so we can see/reach the contents in the way back.

Oh - the other bump in the road for 2013 was that our Maytag washer and dryer that were only FIVE years old both crapped out! The sensor on the dryer stopped working last summer so we've been using the timer function. Unfortunately the timer also quit working properly... at the same time that A came up and asked how long the puddle of water has been on the floor behind the washer. Apparently the transmission went on the washer. It was more expensive to repair them than they were worth and they couldn't say that it wouldn't happen again. So we broke down and bought new frontloading machines.

The UPside to getting new machines is that we are too frugal to spend the $500 that they are ridiculously asking for two stands (which essentially is just a riser with drawers) so A decided to build a shelf. I had found an "inspiration piece" on Pinterest and I showed it to A. We now have a sturdy shelf for the machines that our laundry baskets fit neatly under so that we no longer have to step over them or have them take up valuable floor space in the basement. Yay! He's so clever AND he only spent about $60 on materials therefore saving us ~$440!

I love being organized. It irritates me that I've tolerated some of the cluttered zones of our house for so long... but I have to remember that the last five years have been pretty chaotic so I can't really beat myself up. I can just keep picking away at each zone.

One part of me is doing this because it makes living in the house so much more tolerable... but part of me is doing it because we hope to sell our house in the next five years so we can get a place with: A) A garage. B) Neighbors at a greater distance preferably without constantly barking beagles! Either way, getting organized feels great!