Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29 Day Challenge - End Results

Hello Everyone, 

Wow, it has been an amazing 29 days.  The first day of February I started working on the challenge put on by I'm an Organizing Junkie.  The challenge was to pick one room in your house and organize it in 29 days.  Take before and after pictures to show the progress.

I chose my front bedroom.  This room started out as the office/storage room.  This room has always been the place to hold financial papers and store the important things that just can’t go in the basement.  While I was finishing my degree, it’s the place I did my homework.  Over the past five years, it’s become the place to drop anything and everything that doesn’t have a home.  Reality is, it’s the place things got dropped because I was too lazy to put the stuff away or find a home for it. 

Here is the first before and after picture.  As you can see, I can’t even get into the room. 

I had to create a plan to tackle this room.  The first thing I did was read a few websites on how to organize a space like this.  The next thing was to plan what steps I needed to have completed by the end of each weekend.  The next step was to head to the store and purchase some storage bins for sorting. 

The hardest part of this challenge was purging all the clothes.  I’m a serious clothes collector with a huge yo-yo weight problem.   So that means I have clothes that range from size 8 to 20.  When I started working on the clothes, I had to realize that I was never going to get into the size 8 again.  I took a long hard look at myself and decided that I was never going to get smaller than a 14.  Anything that was smaller than an XL was set in the donate pile.  Should I ever lose more than 20 pounds; my reward will be to go clothes shopping.  I was not able to purge the cedar chest.  I really tried, but the tears wouldn’t stop and so I figured I’m just not ready for that step.
I had four piles of purged stuff.  One pile was professional clothes that went to an organization that helps to outfit unemployed women for interviews.  The second pile was everything else that was still in good shape but just needed a new home.  I took games, puzzles, purses, Tupperware and casual clothes.  One bucket was for stuff that needs to be shredded.  Every night, I spend about 15 minutes shredding until the machine is full.  I figure I will be done in another week.  The last pile was paper crafting stuff.  All of this was placed in the basement in the crafting area of the basement.  This will be the next area to organize.

Here is a picture of the casual clothes.  I had to make three different trips to Deseret Industries.
The main thing I did to create space was to put shelves in the closet.  These shelves help to hold a few things that I don’t want in the basement, such as photos and special mementos.  My son welded some metal rods onto a plate to hold my thread.  When just stacking them, they fell over.  I used magazine holders for both the magazines and to hold all of the past taxes and got rid of the bulky binders.  I then used one bag and placed the rest of the bags in it.  

The best piece of advice I can give anyone – If you are taking on a big project discuss what you are planning with the whole family.  I really thought that this was Tammy taking on the house. It turned out to be Tammy taking on the family and the house.  Everything I was ready to get rid of, husband and son wanted to keep. 
I am very excited that I was able to finish my room.  There is still plenty left to do.  I didn’t complete the second area that was on my list, but I feel like I got a really good start.   I would love to hear what you think of my change. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

28 Day Challenge Week 3 Update

Hello Everyone,

I've been working on the this challenge at I'm an Organizing Junkie

When the challenge started three weeks ago, I was going to take on the world and get two rooms cleaned out and organized.  Today, I feel like I've been smacked in the forehead with a 2X4.  What in the world was I thinking? 

Both areas were so bad that even thinking about going into the rooms would give me a headache.  Most of my thinking was to back the truck up to the open window, grab the snow shovel and just start throwing stuff out.  This wasn't really the answer, but man it was worth the thought. 

Anyway, I have managed to complete one of the rooms.  The bedroom that was overloaded with clothes, papers and everything else that didn't have its own place.  Here is a picture of the top of the dresser.  I haven't seen it in quite some time. 

The green bucket in the bottom of the picture is waiting to be taken to the shredder.  In the mirror you can see the top of my cedar chest.  That's another piece of furniture that was sooo berried that I hadn't put anything in it in two years.  I wanted to cry when I realized that some of the special things that should have been in there were damaged from just being placed in the room instead of put away. 

My second area has been much more of a challenge.  After dragging my husband down the stairs, I showed him a picture off the Internet of what I wanted my space to look like.  The man was laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes.  Apparently I was way off base.  The first problem was that my side of the basement didn't have electricity.  Second, my space has the overflow of toy, skis, car seats, horse tack and boat accessories that won't fit in HIS garage.  So the light bulb switched on and I said, "Why can't I have the other side of the basement?  Mike has moved out and we don't exercise anymore, let's get rid of the extra living room furniture, old Christmas stuff and gym equipment."  Well, the can of worms was opened. 

I realized that this is no longer a TAMMY is taking on the cluttered house challenge.  This is TAMMY taking on the family challenge and that can be done in 29 days.  

I am not the only one it the house that has a problem.  Every member of my family is that exact same.  You can't throw anything away because you just might need it one day or someone gave you something and you just can't part with it. 

I have until Wednesday to try and make some progress with my craft things.  Let's hope I can come up with something by then.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

28 Day Organize CHallange Update #2

Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone had a long weekend like I did.  I started my weekend early on Friday and could still use another day off to finish everything I wanted to get done. 

The first part of the weekend I spent with my husband and son in Idaho.  It was nice to spend some time with him and his friends.  The rugby team won their game on Saturday.  The team suffered a few injuries, but I don't think any major damage was done.  All of them should be back on the field and ready for the next round in Boise this coming weekend.  I must say that my kid will be looking like a raccoon for the week.  His nose was about twice it's normal size and not quite the right color. 

I was left with Sunday and Monday to myself and my organizing projects.  I must say that being involved in the challenge at I'm an Organized Junkie is lighting a fire under my backside and making me take charge of my clutter. 

SO with two days to my self and one room that I hadn't really tackled, it was time to dig in.  Honestly, I wanted to back the truck up to the window and just start shoveling. I must admit that I have made good use of my garbage can this weekend.  Could there be anything in that room that was needed or wanted?  I haven't been able to step foot in there for a long time.  I could get to the clothes rack that sits in the door way and that was about it.

I started with bins lined up in the hall.  One for craft stuff, quilting stuff, cook books, office supplies, books and clothes.  I had a pile of things to go into the cedar chest and things that should be in the closet.  Once all the clothes were out of the room, it was easier to see what was left.  I emptied out the top shelf of the closet that had 15 years of financial information.  It's now down to a few magazine holders and one great big bucket to be shredded.  The Husband wants to have a fire. 

I have a trunk full of games and puzzles to take to the good will.  Today I want to spend some time trying to find out about the homeless shelter and school that I know exists in town.  I have two 25 gallon buckets of office supplies like paper, note books and binders that they might be able to use.  Not only am I a craft supply hoarder, but an office supply hoarder as well. 

So, the front room is clean.  There is a floor and the top of every piece of furniture is cleaned off.  All the papers are filed, the printer and scanner are in their proper homes and all the spare buttons are in one dish with room to spare.  All of my kitchen chairs are the kitchen.

Now, it is functional?  I'm scared to death that in three weeks, the place is going to look the same.  Did I make the office a place where the important papers just don't go, but go in the right place?  I don't think the challenge is just about getting your space in order.  I think the challenge is going to be how long can you keep it in order.  Here is a picture of the clean room. 

I wanted to show how I decied to sort my 8.5 X 11 sheets of paper.  I have these plastic drawers that I purchased from Staples.  Then the Back Pack folders were on close out for $0.50 a package. 

I didn't really care what was on the front so I have quite a selection of folders.

I got busy with my lable maker and cut three of each name.  The first one is here on the folder tab.  The second on is on the front of the drawer.  And the third lable is on the sample card that I cut from each piece of paper and placed on a ring.  The ring will be fasten to the end of my work table with a string that I can grab and bring to the top of the table when I'm looking for a specific color.  Kind of like my scissors that are hooked to the side of my quiting frames. 

The drawer sets are 36 inches tall and will fit great under my work table.

I hope all of you that are working on this  Challenge are doing well.  I appreciate your comments and hope to see your progress soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

28 Day Organization Update #1

Hello Everyone,  It's time for an update on my progress in the 28 Day Organization Challenge.  The challenge is being presented by I'm an Organized Junkie. 

During the first 12 days, I've been able to create a vision of what I want my two spaces to look like when I'm done.  Then I've taken my husband by the hand, shared my ideas.  At this point, he pointed out a few changes and added his own ideas.  I really thought that my two spaces didn't effect him, so when he started giving out ideas I was really surprised at what he had to say. 

We purchased a table top from the good will and added legs so that it's counter height because I like doing things standing up.  The table became the sorting place.  I have labeled bins around the table with garage sale, good will, snow stuff and must save. 

The Good Will pile is over flowing and over the weekend we made two trips with more to go.  I have also sorted all of my 8.5 X 11 paper and have them sorted by color and in drawers that will fit under the table when I'm ready to move it into my craft area. 

This week's plan is to take on the 12 X 12 paper and the over flowing clothes. 

I love to hear all your comments and suggestions.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

28 day Organizational Challenge

Hello Everyone,

It's been a VERY long time.  I have been neglecting my blog to work on my A-Muse Studio business and holding card classes.  In the process of all this, I have let two areas of my house completely deteriorate, Not that they were in excellent shape to start with.

I have been following Laura at I'm an Organized Junkie for a while and she has started the 29 Day organizational Challenge.  I figured this was the perfect motivation I needed to clear out and clean up all the extra junk in my two seriously troubled areas.   Then maybe I can tackle the rest of the house. 

Let me start by saying I have a space problem.  No matter how much I water the house, it will not grow, and for some reason, my card making and quilting supplies just seem to keep multiplying.  Hence the space problem.  The DH on the other hand says I have a buying problem.  The man just doesn't know what he's talking about.  Either way you look at it, I have an office and a craft space that are completely out of control. 

According to my DH, I have two areas of the house that can take up an episode of Hoarders.  He watches the show and then tells me how bad I'm going to become.  SO, I'm doing a self intervention before he sends in an application to be on TV. 

I have two areas that need attention right away.  The first is the home office.  We really haven't used the room since I finished school.  The room has turned into the place for everything that doesn't really have a place and other area overload.  When you don't know what to do with it, shove it in the front bedroom.

This should be the office and special furniture room.  I can't move the furniture to the basement and make it the craft room, so it needs to be that room in the house that is dusted once a week and looks good all the time. At one time, there was only enough craft stuff to fill have the closet and my sewing machine. The rest of the closet was the really nice clothes that you only wear to funerals.  Now I have so many clothes that I'm filling three closets.

The second area is the Craft Area.  It will have to have space for paper crafting and quilting.  At one time I was using this area for a library.  I love to read and I was keeping most of the books.  I have cleared quite a few out and want to keep my favorites that I re-read often.  Then I started putting my crafting things on the shelves.  I've purchased baskets and drawers, but I'm not using them to their potential.  Most of the stuff is just jammed in.   

The area is kind of tight, but I know I want a craft table that is counter top height.  I do a lot of my work standing up.  I find that I'm carrying everything up stairs to work on it in the kitchen and then when it's time to clean the kitchen, it just gets hauled down stairs and placed where ever there's a spot.  

So now it's off to plan what I want to happen and then figure out where to start.  I will be checking in on Friday the 10th with a progress report.