Remember when I wrote about values? Well, be careful with what you write about. It’s kind of like praying for patience. Don’t pray for it, or God will actually give you the opportunity to learn it!
Within a week of writing about my values, Jeff and I were confronted with facing what we value and putting those values into action. We decided to stay put in our current house, I went to part time at work (after 16 years of full time work), and we bought 2 new (used) cars that better serve our family. A lot of change in a short amount of time.
Jeff and I have spent the past 10 days unpacking boxes. We were supposed to be moving into our dream house. Instead we spent the time unpacking boxes in our 1400 square foot home. With 6 people and 2 dogs and a multitude of hobbies, it often makes for tight quarters. I will not lie. A few tears were shed and I do believe that I pouted once. Well maybe twice.
We had 2 garage sales, made trips to Goodwill, and unloaded over 30 large yard-sized garbage bags of trash. That’s right, 30 bags of trash. We purged big time.
So I took to my list of wanting to become more organized and I will show you some things I have learned in my journey towards organization with a large family.
1. If you don’t see it, you won’t use it.
I love seeing the colors and my supplies. After 8 years of living in this house and being a girl scout leader, I found paint in every room of my house, except the bathroom. I also discovered things that I put in the back of closets and cabinets and were not seen again until this week. Yikes.
This shelf was made for my wooden stamps. It’s 7 years old and looks as good as the day it was made. I decided to use it for a variety of craft supplies and some of my favorite stamps. This shelf is drilled into the brick wall of my carport turned into a garage. It has A/C which is needed for living in Phoenix so the supplies are safe. Also, it is placed high enough to keep little hands out of reach.
2. If you haven’t used it in the past couple of years, chances are you won’t.
I made a commitment to myself when I started. I want to use my supplies but I don’t want to be overwhelmed by them any longer. Since I started using Project Life, I don’t use as much supply. My husband is very happy about this. However, I still love making mini books and painting with my girls. So I decided that I would contain my supplies to the lower portion of a large closet, one basket of alphabet letters and sayings, my wooden shelf, and one small item for on top of my desk (the strainer seen above). If it didn’t fit, it took a hike.
And it made me a little nervous but then it felt great! I now am down to my favorite things and they are visible. I am crafting more than ever, even with all of the painting and organizing going on. I’ve allowed myself to almost become more creative by eliminating the clutter. Amazing and simple.
You’ll see that I have my punches, stamps, paper, and page protectors on one side of the closet. On the right side, I have my supplies organized in the clear containers by color groups. And the boxes above are from IKEA and painted yellow and I have more letter and number stickers/embellishments that are very easy to find. BTW- my kids have full access to my supplies except for my strainer. That is off limits. Other than that, the sky is the limit to them. If I’m not using them, I want someone to enjoy them. Right?
3. Invest in versatile furniture, baskets, or jars that can serve many purposes.
I bought this antique tool caddy about a year ago and have used it to sort bathroom items like hair ties, Q-tips, etc. Now I’m using it to help sort the massive amounts of art supplies that my girls use. I love that it is portable and that I can bring it to the kitchen table. I love that it has been used everyday since assembling. And I love that it is getting ready to be painted red. Have I mentioned that I love red?
Now before I buy something, I will make sure that it can serve multiple purposes before I purchase it. This is essential for someone living in tight quarters. Of this, I am certain!
4. Clear glass jars are my favorite organizing accessory.
I organized my ribbon according to colors and placed them into clear jars bought at IKEA. I love them and they prevent dust getting on my supplies, which is a huge issue for me here in Phoenix. I used tinier jars for smaller items such as eyelets, brads, and rings for my mini-books. I also have clear jars in my kitchen and bathroom closets. I love them.
5. Designate one place for certain items, even if that space is limited. And make sure your family members know where these spots are.
I have become quite a baker since starting my 52 cupcake challenge. And as with any hobby, lots of stuff can be accumulated quickly. I decided to make a baking station inside my laundry room since I don’t have a pantry. An IKEA shelf was built and now I can see what I have. Visibility… so tremendously important.
You can only be organized so far when you are only 1 out of 6 people in the house. I have been showing the kids where things are located now. It is just as much as part of my job to teach them as it was for me to organize our living space. This is still happening now and will have to take some time.
I’m on a serious mission my friends to create an organized living space. It will happen. I’m determined.
By the way, I will leave you with a smile. In the process of reorganizing I found that I had 7 jars of peanut butter, 6 containers of vanilla, and 24 vials of food coloring (not counting the 15 containers of food coloring specifically for cake decorating).
Left on the agenda: Painting 3 rooms, organizing Master closet and drawers, scanning old photos and art work, and setting up a Project Life station. I have other pictures that I will share in the future, but many are covered in plastic as I’m painting.
I’ve missed you and looking forward to a more valued centered and organized life.
I would love to know some of your organizing tips. Feel free to link a post below if you have any amazing ideas. After all, we are all here to learn.