Tag Archives: Before and After

Cleaning the Kids’ Room | Before and After

Two signs it’s time to clean the kids’ room:

1. Everywhere you look is a jumbled mess.

2. You can’t even get to the closet.

The Process:

I started by simply sending the kids (ages 7 and 5)  upstairs to clean their room on their own.  They worked on it for a while and made some good progress, but to really finish the job well, they needed my help and direction. It was a lot of work (because not cleaning it for many months will do that), but we worked together and made great progress! Take a look!

Before – Dare we enter? What is up with the trash all over the floor?

After – The box you see there is for toys.

Before – This rocker-glider was never supposed to be there for more than a week or so. I moved it in there when Mr. RSS was out of town and I was on my own with an infant plus the other 2 and it just made it easier at that time. That was almost 2 years ago… and here sits that chair.

After – The chair is back in the nursery, but really I think it just needs to leave the house soon…

The closet doors can even close. What a concept!

Here are some clothes that are getting donated:

Before:

After:

Did you notice that Gabe’s bed grew? He finally has a big boy bed, thanks to my sister. He’s super thrilled!

Books before – No, no, no.

Books after – Yes!

 What we’ve learned:

  • Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. Keeping it clean or cleaning it when it’s just a little messy are much easier than waiting for it to be a big stinkin’ mess. Easier said than done. I think I’ll try a Saturday morning room inspection each week.

 

Other Updates:
  • We finally put up a Christmas tree and started decorating! Christmas music is playing and there is a fire in the fireplace. Bunches of boxes are out of the living room (but just moved to the basement). I’m loving the peaceful atmosphere. I took some before pics. Maybe I’ll take some after shots to show you this week for fun.
  • The kitchen is a mess. I need to tackle that tomorrow.

17 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Cleaning, Declutter, Kids

Hot Spot Check Up: The Entryway – Week 2 | Shoe bins

Every week I post about a clutter hot spot in my home. This week, we’re continuing to work on the entryway. 

Well, hello there! Wow, it’s been quite a week around here. We had a stomach bug hit us and now I am just trying to catch up on everything. Thankfully, we are all better now, and back to our regular activities. So let’s take a quick look at the entryway, shall we?

This before picture was actually taken on Tuesday or Wednesday:

I admit it! I’m the one with too many shoes here.

I wanted to try the container idea that at few people have suggested, so I went on a little hunt around the house and found these:

I really should have put prettier shoes on the top there. Oh well. It's the real deal here.

Now we are going to skip along to Sunday for a new before picture:

Those shoe bins have been working well so far. I have one for grown up shoes and one for kid shoes.

I only needed to work on things for about 5 minutes to get it looking like this:


I’m happy with that! I do have more ideas for that closet, though. And my lovely readers shared some great ideas in the comments last week. We’ll check back in on this clutter hot spot next week.

Other Updates:

  • I’m still planning to show you some fun before and after pictures from the kids’ room. Hopefully this week!
  • I hope to get the menu plan for the week up tonight. I need to decide what to make with one cooked chicken breast…
I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing.

8 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Hot Spot Check Up, Organization

Hot Spot Check Up: The Entryway | Week 1

Every week I post about a clutter hot spot in my home. This week I’m looking at the entryway. Actually, I needed to do more than just look at it. 

Isn’t it so nice to come home, take of your coat, and kick off your shoes? That’s what we like to do.

See?

It’s just so nice to have your coat and shoes right by the door so that you can just put them on as you walk out the door.

What’s not nice is that there are 5 of us doing this in a rather small space, and with more than one pair of shoes each. They do start to accumulate, don’t they?

I picked the entryway this week because it was just driving me crazy and causing us to waste time as people tried to dig through a pile of shoes and coats before leaving the house. It was driving us all crazy I suppose, so I knew it would bless my family if I could work on fixing it up.

I started out setting the timer for 15 min, just to see how far I could get. I was able to pretty much get everything sorted in 15 min.

These are all of the shoes that were in and around that closet.

Here’s the laundry pile, kitchen, and trash/recycling.

And these were the things heading upstairs.

This is a large pile of give away/sell/return-type stuff. Some of it is leftovers from the yard sale. It’s all still there right now, but maybe we can deal with it this weekend.

The next step was removing items that didn’t belong there or that we don’t need/want at all, and organizing what was left. Gee, seems so simple sometimes. Our current rule is that each person can keep 1 or 2 pairs of shoes in that closet. So, we’re back to that maintenance problem again, because we obviously haven’t been following that rule very well.  The kids helped deliver all of the extra shoes and things to their proper places.

And here’s the after picture!

And here’s a peek into the closet.

Much better! I’m thinking I’ll stick with this hot spot for at least a couple more weeks to see how things are going. Plus I have some ideas that might help that coat closet.

Is your entryway a clutter hot spot, too? If you have any tips or ideas to share, I’m all ears!

I’m linking up at OrgJunkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing!

18 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Hot Spot Check Up, Organization

Hot Spot Check Up: Revisiting Kitchen Island

Every week I post about a clutter hot spot in my home. This week I’m returning to the kitchen island, which is the hot spot that started this whole thing to begin with. 

Oh, Kitchen Island, how I’ve missed decluttering you! 

Here’s a before picture:

I actually took a second before picture from a different angle just to show you that I did at least have a small area that was clear… (Am I just trying to make myself feel better here? Whatever works!)

Here’s the after picture:

The story with the island seems to be the same as with most areas I work on. After it gets cleaned up and decluttered, I’m able to keep it looking nice for a while, and then just a few things are sitting there out of place or “just for now.” and it still looks pretty good…

But then those items start to invite all of their friends. And those friends invite even more clutter friends until it’s a wild and crazy clutter party.

I’m thinking maintenance is key. Need to work on that.

I’m so happy to have my island looking clean and clear. I’m a much happier cook with more space. And there’s a more peaceful feel to the kitchen this way as well. And I do have some cooking to do…

6 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Hot Spot Check Up

Hot Spot Check Up: Desk | Week 6

Every week I post about a clutter hot spot in my home. I’m currently working on my desk, including a box of paper clutter I filled up from the desk several weeks ago. 

OK! I’m feeling some good progress this week. Doing the hot spot check up with the desk has helped me to be more aware of all of the paper around the house. And we have been doing a good job of not letting the mail pile up. Most of it goes right to the recycle bin. Yay!

I worked on my paper clutter box for 15 minutes, timed.

Here’s the before:

And I had the papers all nicely sorted, too. Then I ran out of time to deal with all the papers and unfortunately left them right where they were for a while.

When I got back to them, they looked like this:

Hmpf. I had to redo some of it to get it back to this (the box with the clown paper is the recycle box):

Do you see how close we are to the bottom of that paper clutter box?? Next week, baby. Empty paper clutter box. Come expecting to see it.

Then I filed the file pile. Yes!

I put Mr. RSS’s things on his desk. Yes!

And I put the take action pile on the desk with the other take action stuff. Ye….mmm….Okay.

But I did go through the take action pile a little and got rid of a few things. OK, I picked some easy ones!

Then I worked on the desk. Here’s how it looked before:

And after:

I even did some dusting on the desk! Woohoo!

Other Updates:

  • The yard sale prep is going really slowly. I hope to get more done tomorrow!
  • I started working on a cleaning and decluttering schedule for myself! I’ll be sure to post it when it’s finished!

 

4 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Hot Spot Check Up, Paper Clutter

Hot Spot Check Up: Desk | Week 5

Every week I post about a clutter hot spot in my home. I’m currently working on my desk, including a box of paper clutter I filled up from the desk several weeks ago. 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to move on to a new clutter hot spot. But I’m not going to let myself move on until I get this paper clutter box emptied and the “Take Action” pile caught up. So I’m using that desire to move on as part of my motivation to get the job done.

And yes, I know that even when I move on to a new hot spot, I still need to keep working on this one. Grrrr.

I mean…..grrreat!

Another thing I need to revisit is how paper flows in, around, and out of the house.

I’m pretty sure there’s a better system than this:

Paper enters the house > Paper sits in pile > Pile moves > Pile sits > Pile moves > Paper falls on floor > Paper moves to new pile > Pile sits > Paper is processed (usually recycled because it is now old and unnecessary)

Paper clutter box before (Yes, I added some things last week when I was getting ready for some friends to come over.):

I set the timer for 15 minutes and got to work. After 6 minutes had passed, I stopped the timer because I was having a little panic moment with a bill that I found. It became a really urgent action item.

The good news is that when I checked it out, it had been paid in full. Whew….because I think it’s pretty important to have car insurance. Of course if I had a system working, I wouldn’t have had to waste that time.

Later in the day, I set the timer for 9 minutes so that I could finish my time.

Paper clutter box after:

The bag is for recycling. The Mr. RSS pile (my favorite) is to be handed off.  I filed the file pile! I added the take action pile to the desk……but I also worked a little on that pile, so it wasn’t getting bigger.

Desk before:

Desk after:

How are your clutter hot spots doing today? 

Other Updates:

  • Good: I finished 6 things on my To Do list today! Not so good: Didn’t do dishes.
  • I really need to figure out a way to get more sleep!

 

3 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Hot Spot Check Up

Hot Spot Check Up: Desk | Week 3

Every week I post about a clutter hot spot in my home. I’m currently working on my desk, including a box of paper clutter I filled up from the desk a few weeks ago. 

I started again with that paper clutter box. I haven’t touched it since last week, of course.  Except that one thing was added to the box. That’s not what’s supposed to happen!

Before:

I set the timer for 10 min. and went to work, with the same basic process that I used last week. I was moving a little slower today, so after 10 min. was done, I wanted to make more progress, so I set the timer for 5 more minutes. The recycle bag is not just from this week’s project. It includes papers from last week and some others from throughout the week.

After:

I gave myself 15 minutes to deal with my little piles and work on the desk itself. I was so excited to get to work on the desk, that I forgot to take a before picture, but here’s how it looked after that 15 minutes, plus I went just a few minutes over.

Desk:

My Take Action pile is there to the right of the computer, and some unopened mail is there on the left.

What I am learning:

  • I need to make time for actually dealing with the Take Action pile. You know, maybe I should spend some time taking action.
  • Blogging about my progress really motivates me!
  • If I keep the same pace on that paper clutter box, I should have it emptied in 2-3 weeks. I hope I can pick up the pace a little more!

What motivates you to work on paper clutter?

9 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Hot Spot Check Up, Paper Clutter

Play Date Clean Up | Before and After!

A couple of weeks ago I invited my MOPS group over for a play date. Doing things like that is a stretch for me, mostly because my home is not usually ready to be seen by the outside world. But I love having people over. I love connecting with people and having good conversations.

And I think it’s important to connect with people in person, and not just through email or Facebook.

I also know that inviting people over motivates me to clean.

I focused on the main floor of our home, which includes our living room, kitchen, and powder room. I was just hoping that there would be no desire or need for the guests to explore further.

I took lots of before and after shots, so here we go:

Before:

After (Yes, there is some hidden clutter here. I’m sooo sneaky.):

Before:

After (This project was done by the marvelous Mr. RSS.):

Living Room Before:

Living Room After:

Closet Area Before (This is actually taken mid-clean-up):

Closet Area After (This is one of my favorites!):

And I promise I didn’t just jam everything into that closet!

Before:

After:

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen After:

And if you are looking for a yummy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffin recipe, my friend Kristen over at The Fugal Girl can help you out!

The play date was fun!

Reflections:

  • Starting early was important, and helped a lot! Of course, things weren’t perfect, and I acted like a crazy lady for the last hour before they arrived. I know if everything was maintained better, that would make it much easier…. we’re working on it… slowly… and that’s OK.
  • I didn’t know where to start, so I just started by the front door. It worked.
  • I tried to focus on having some cleared horizontal surfaces. I learned this from my sister, and Rachel over at Small Notebook wrote a nice post on the topic. Any cleared surface really helps!
  • I want my home to be welcoming, not scary. I think I achieved that goal.

Other Updates:

  • I swept the floor while I was on the phone this week, without even thinking about it. Strange, but good!
  • I’m thinking about an experiment where I make myself go to bed at 10:00 PM for an entire week no matter what and see how it impacts my productivity.

I’m linking up with Orgjunkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing!

 

9 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Cleaning, Declutter

Hot Spot Check Up: Desk in 28 min. | Week 2

OK! I’m feeling good about things this week. I started to deal with that box of hidden paper clutter. The whole box was just too overwhelming and I knew I didn’t have time to do it all, so I set my handy-dandy timer (I use the one on my oven) for 10 minutes and I went to work.

Before:

After:

I decided to just make some quick piles and not bother with boxes/bags/containers. Part-way through, I made those labels for the piles using envelopes from the recycle pile, to help me keep on track.

My piles included:

  • To File
  • Recycling
  • Mr. RSS (That’s anything for my husband to deal with)
  • Take Action

Next I dealt with each pile instead of leaving them there for days to get all mixed up again by a certain toddler. Why didn’t I think of this idea before?? (I forgot to set the timer for this part, but I’m estimating it only took me 5 min.)

  • Recycle – into a recycle bag. Easy!
  • To File – The pile was so small and not so overwhelming, so I actually filed everything right then and there. I’m not even kidding. Crazy.
  • Mr. RSS – I put his pile on his desk for him. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled!
  • To Take Action – Well, I moved that little pile to the desk, right next to the computer. Not much action on it yet.  

But, wait! There’s more!

Desk Before:

I set the timer for 10 min. to work on the desk. After that, I really wanted just a little more time, so I did 2 more minutes and then 1 more for the finishing touches. So, that’s 13 min.

Desk After:

What I am learning:

  • Small chunks of time seem to work well for me.
  • The timer helps me stay on task, work quickly, and have the end in sight.
  • It was good for me not to set up boxes to sort papers because:
    • That takes time, or I need to find my old boxes which are….somewhere….maybe in my room?
    • I feel the need to keep the boxes to use again, or wait until they are full. Then I have boxes sitting around somewhere. Not good for me.
    • In the case of a quick sort, the papers are not getting out of hand, and It helps me to deal with them more quickly.

How is your desk doing today?

I’m linking up with Works for Me Wednesday over at We are THAT Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Hot Spot Check Up, Paper Clutter

Hot Spot Check Up: Desk! | Week 1

I’ve been checking in on a clutter hot spot each week. I take a picture of that spot and post it for all to see. I just spent 7 weeks on the kitchen island, and now I’m moving on to the desk (AKA The Desk of Paper Clutter Madness).

Tuesday night, I started instinctively clearing the island to get ready for my hot spot post. When I remembered that I was moving on to a new spot, I almost stopped….but I decided to keep working at it even though I wasn’t taking a picture of the island. Yay!

About 6-7 months ago, I did a major desk declutter/clean up/organize session, and the results were great. Some of it has stayed under control, some of it hasn’t.

Paper clutter is one of my biggest clutter struggles, and of course my desk loves to collect papers.

Here’s a picture of how it looked about a week ago:

But you might remember that last week I was hosting a playdate, so I was doing some major cleaning up. Our desk sits right between our kitchen and our living room, so it is very visible. I worked on cleaning it up, but in the end I did not have time to deal with all of the paper clutter, so I put it all in a box and hid it in the basement. Hey, at least it fit in just 1 box, right?

Here’s how it looked after the clean up/declutter/clutterhide:

And now, here’s this week’s picture:

Most of the clutter that was added there this week is actually because the kids were using the desk as their “teacher desk.”

I am planning to go through that paper clutter box. In fact, it is now sitting next to the desk. Feel free to ask me about it if I don’t report back with an empty box.

I hope you’ll join me as I figure out what works and what doesn’t with the desk and the paper clutter!

Other Updates:

  • I’m thinking about a post about the pros and cons of hiding clutter, since I’m becoming an expert on that, it seems.
  • I’m excited to show you some before/after pictures from the playdate clean up sometime soon.

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

10 Comments

Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Hot Spot Check Up, Paper Clutter