By Caroline Bujold
Although I’m behind in completing the whole #31Days2GetOrganized challenge, I haven’t given up.
So without further ado, let me warn you about the length of this post … a whole week’s worth of challenges. Yikes!
Day 20 – Emotional Clutter – Is there someone you have fallen out of touch with and know you should re-establish contact with?
When I saw this, I knew exactly whom I was supposed to call; a friend of a friend who moved here and whom I was supposed to have coffee with. I’m happy to say, we have a coffee date in a week and I’m looking forward to meeting her.
Emotional clutter can be tricky, but this easy challenge is great to get the ball rolling. Come on, phone that long lost friend, extended family member or colleague you have been meaning to reconnect with for a while.
Day 21 – Coats and jackets – A single ten-minute challenge – find three or four coats in your home that haven’t been worn in the last year. Donate them to a charity that will find a much better use for them than hanging unused in your closet.
I found three, plus one pair of snow pants. For some reason, this was hard. As an event organizer/volunteer, I sometimes receive apparel and some become souvenirs to which I become emotionally attached. This was the case for my Team Uniform for the last Canada Winter Games I had attended.
What helped me to make a decision was thinking that maybe by keeping the uniform and not wearing it, I was depriving someone else from having warm gear for winter. Once I started thinking about it that way, it became easy to let it go.
Day 22 – Cookbooks and recipes – Today, we’re cooking up a little organization! This ten-minute challenge is all about decluttering your cookbooks and taming those pages of recipes you’ve torn from magazines or downloaded.
Our cookbooks live in a cupboard in the kitchen. I did find a few that I realistically never look at anymore, so they had to go. Some others I consult rarely but decided to keep a little while longer. Maybe they will find their way in the garage sale pile by the fall, but for now they stay in the cupboard. You can also see, on the right side, the grocery list I keep on a corkboard inside the cupboard – practical.
I also use two binders for loose recipes. I did try to have some recipes digitized, but I’m more visual when it comes to food, so paper in front of my eyes is better. This may seem like a big task to tackle, but once I decided on the different categories I wanted, it only took me a few hours to get the binders organized. I weeded through the recipes and cut them out so they would take less space in the binders and look better. I bought cheap coloured paper and plastic sleeves to keep them from getting dirty when we cook.
Here are two little tricks I use that help keep the binders organized:
- The dividers I use have pockets. If I’m not sure I actually want to keep a recipe, I put it in the pocket. This prevents me from doing all the work (cutting, gluing) just to realize I’m not going to use that recipe in the future;
- I also use repositionable glue, which behaves like the back of sticky notes. If I decide I don’t want to keep a recipe anymore, I just take it out and it doesn’t rip the paper (although it does leave it a little sticky; oh well).
Day 23 – The first aid kit – Today we’re decluttering all of those grubby and never-to-be-used first aid items and organizing a great first aid kit for household emergencies.
We have a little camping first aid kit that we never use so it was put into service as the basis for our home first aid bin. I used a bin I already had, threw the camping kit in there and added a few things that I thought would be useful. Finally I put the missing items on my shopping list so I can complete the ultimate First Aid Kit.
To figure out what you need, you can see the Canadian Red Cross list for kits here.
Day 24 – Tackle ‘’the top of’’ any area in your home – it’s over to you today to choose any ‘’top of’’ area to declutter and organize. Don’t overthink this – just choose a space and go for it!
I did tackle the top of my To Do List – It counts right? I’m giving myself a pass here, since there wasn’t any one ‘’top of’’ that was obvious.
Here are some ideas for you: shelf in your entrance closet, top of a bookshelf, top of your desk or dinning table.
Day 25 – Things that sparkle! Today we’re tackling your jewellery: rings, chains, earrings, brooches and bracelets, all of those sparkly things that need a little attention.
I had two drawers and both sides of a jewellery holder completely full. By combining and downsizing a bit, I was able to get it to one drawer and one side of the holder.
The items I no longer want will go in our garage sale (nothing worthy of selling to a goldsmith or anything).
I have a few ‘’real’’ items that I really have a hard time getting rid of. My plan is to have the lot transformed into something else that is more modern and I will actually wear; I just need to find the right artist. I’ve already contacted someone who I think can help me. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Day 26 – Declutter your small appliances – pull all of those unused small appliances from the back of your kitchen cupboards (include any unused duplicates that are hiding back there!). Today’s the day to donate them to someone who will value and use them.
Most our small appliances fit in a two-door cabinet in the kitchen. The cabinet is deep and it’s easy to ‘’loose’’ things in there. It was good to get everything out to take stock. The only appliances that stay on the counter are the coffee maker, the toaster and the kettle that we use pretty much everyday.
There are a few appliances in the cabinet that we use very rarely and although I decided at this time to keep everything, I could probably donate one or two (coffee grinder – I buy coffee ground; and a waffle maker – I prefer crêpes and pancakes). All of the appliances do fit after all in the limit/zone I have allocated to them.
Once we decide if we are have a garage sale or not, I will quickly scan and decide if I add these to the sale.
Only a few days left of this challenge and I’m so happy with what I’ve done so far. Keep on organizing 🙂
Also in this series:
Note: The challenges are not mine, but part of Peter Walsh’s 31Days2GetOrganized.