Pantry Cleanup

A few weeks ago, I had decided to jump on the 40 bags in 40 days bandwagon with Ann Marie over at White House, Black Shutters.

I started off really good then life just got busy so I hadn’t done anything in a while.

My daughter’s softball team is having a garage sale to earn money this weekend.

I decided that I need to get busy coming up with things to put into the sale and it’s a perfect time to get rid of stuff that I have been hanging onto forever.

This is my pantry/laundry room.

I hate this room.

Every time I walk into this room to get something, it gives me a headache.

We are supposed to one day move the washer and dryer to the basement but I seriously doubt that will ever happen.

One of my biggest problems with the room is that I can’t reach the shelves.  Every time I need to get something, I have to get on a step stool to reach it.

It’s just as difficult to put things away.

Everything just ends up shoved up there with no rhyme or reason.

Things get shoved to the backs of the corners and I can never find anything.

I have several small appliances that I don’t use anymore, that need to be given for the garage sale.

At one point, for a reason that I don’t understand, I put my spices and baking things on the 3rd shelf.

I think I did this to keep the bottom shelf for snacks and items for the kids.  They really aren’t able to reach all the way up to the 3rd shelf.

So I just jumped in.  I got a box from the garage to put in the stuff for the garage sale.

I got a trash bag for things that have expired that need to be disposed of.

I wiped down the top shelf, it was really dusty up there.

Here is how it looks now.

I like to have all my food together so I know what I have and am able to find stuff.

I also moved my spices to the bottom shelf.  This right there will make my life so much easier.

I love how it turned out.  I love how all my cans and jars are lined up and facing forward.

We’ll see how long it lasts.

Because it is also a laundry room, I do have to have laundry supplies in here.  I moved a stand up from the basement that works perfectly.  It also gets my detergent off the shelves with the food.

So, that’s my pantry and laundry room all cleaned up.

I managed to get 1 bag of trash and 1 box of stuff to get rid of.

A big box.

 

I’m linking up with these parties…

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Stuff be gone….

I have jumped in on the challenge that Ann Marie is having over at White House, Black Shutters.

It’s a great motivation to get some stuff cleared out that I’ve forgotten I even have.  I did the challenge last year.  I was able to clear out lots of stuff in my closet, master bathroom, the kids rooms and then I stopped.  I think I had jumped in too hard.  This year, I decided to take things a little slower and smaller.  Instead of tackling an entire closet in one day, I decided to do some drawers to start off.

I haven’t cleaned out my nightstand draws in several months years.

I had so much stuff shoved in there.  To be honest, I don’t even really know what nightstand drawers should be used for.  Mine were used mostly for holding stuff that I didn’t know what else to do with.

I found some old journals.

I had started writing in this one when I was pregnant with my daughter, 14 years ago.

I found 3 journals total.  Two that I had started writing in, but they were only half full.  One was empty and I gave it to my daughter so maybe she could start writing down some of her thoughts.

I have no idea what that white stuff is in the top drawer.  Probably some lotion that got spilled and never wiped up.

I love having the drawers almost empty.

This baby doll was mine when I was a little girl.

I managed to get 1 bag of trash out of the drawers.  I didn’t get anything for Goodwill but gave a couple things to my daughter.

My 2nd set of drawers to tackle were the drawers in my china cabinet.

They haven’t been cleaned out since I got this piece of furniture almost 2 years ago.

Somehow the top drawer ended up as a junk drawer.  I hate junk drawers so this definitely needed cleaned out.

I found these cute Easter towels that my mom gave me.

I had forgotten that I had them.

I took everything out and put it on the dining room table.

I then sorted through everything and made a pile to go to goodwill and a pile that needed to go to a different location.

I had more linens than I needed and some of the things that I just don’t love anymore.

I’m now able to use the bottom drawer for my Christmas dishes and serving platters.

The top drawer is organized and no longer has weird random stuff thrown in it.

I ended up with a small bag of trash and started a box to go to Goodwill.

Even though you can’t see inside the drawers all the time, I love the idea that they are cleaned.  It’ll be a nice surprise when I open them and they aren’t cluttered.

I’m linking up with White House, Black Shutters

It’s time to get rid of stuff!

Last year about this time I found Ann Marie over at White House, Black Shutters.

Ann Marie had a little challenge going called 40 bags in 40 days.

The idea was to clear your house of unnecessary clutter.  We all have it, some of us keep it hidden better than others; but we all have it.  I immediately jumped on board.  I hate clutter.  My favorite thing to do is throw things out.  {Or hide it in drawers, but we won’t go there just yet}

I started in on hubby and I’s  master bedroom closet.  I was so excited to have gotten rid of so much stuff.  Clothes that I didn’t wear anymore, purses that I had been hanging onto, shoes that were shoved into the back corners of the closet.  It felt so refreshing to see those things go to a good home.  Someone else’s home!!

The next day, I got busy in the master bathroom.  I couldn’t believe the clutter that I found in there.

I got it all cleaned up, looking nice and wanted to go ahead and get to painting and adding some nice touches to that area.  Obviously I wasn’t that motivated because the paint is still sitting in the paint cans waiting to go on the walls.  Maybe my fairy godmother will come in one of these nights and do it for me??  No?? Well, it was worth a shot anyway.

After tackling the bathroom, I moved onto the kids bedrooms.  They loved that I had decluttered their rooms.  Probably mostly because they didn’t have to do it.  Well their rooms have since been filled with stuff.  I swear I don’t know where these kids get all their junk from.

I guess cleaning and decluttering the kids bedrooms was too much for me (or maybe I thought I was done) but that seems to be where I stopped.  I don’t know why.  Maybe I thought I had tackled all the clutter in my house.  Maybe my ADD kicked in and I forgot what I was doing.  Whatever the reason, I never finished.

Sad, very sad!

Well, Ann Marie is at it again.  It’s a new year and a new challenge.  Same general purpose, to clear clutter, but new.

New year, new challenges; I like it.

I wasn’t sure that I was going to join at first.  I mean I did this last year, we should be good, right? Wrong!!

Completely and totally wrong!

I’m not sure why we have so much stuff.  I’m not sure where it all comes from.

It’s everywhere.

So I am using this new challenge to get busy.  I’ll be posting my updates weekly (on Friday) and linking to the linky party over at White House, Black Shutters.

Be sure to check back and see if I’m actually making a dent in our clutter.

Kitchen organization

It is a cold, overcast day in Atlanta today.

What a great day to show the kitchen a little love.

My kitchen is fairly small and I don’t have a lot of cabinet space.  One of our cabinets has always been dedicated to plastic cups.  It’s at the bottom and was very convenient for the kids when they were little.

Now that they have gotten a little older, we don’t need to have as many plastic cups for their use.  They can pretty much safely use glass.

I decided that I would use this day to clean out the cupboard that houses our plastic cups.  It was time for some of the ones we’ve had forever to go away and some that have been sitting at the back of this cupboard never being used to go as well.

This is what the cupboard looked like:

We also keep our plastic pitchers in there too.  Well, I figured that since I am downsizing our number of plastic cups and they are currently in this bigger cupboard, maybe I could move them to a smaller cupboard and use this bigger one for other things.

This cupboard which has all my stones, cooling racks and cutting boards in it is way too crowded.  However, these things would be much more comfortable in the bigger cupboard.

See how crammed everything is in there?

I decided it was time to do the ole switcheroo.

Everything came out of both cupboards so I could see what we have and what needs to go.

I had some things in the back of the cooking stones, cutting boards cupboard that I had forgotten I even had.

I then sorted the cups onto 3 piles.  The cups on the left are cups that we use frequently.  The cups on the right are either broken, missing lids, or I’m just honestly tired of them and want them to go away because they are taking up too much room.  The cups in the middle are ones that may get to stay depending on space available.

Using my new cleaner that I made the day before, you can read about that here, I cleaned both now empty cupboards.

I then put all the things we wanted to keep back inside.

This is the new plastic cup cupboard.

And the new location for the cooking stones, cooling racks and cutting boards.  They seem so much happier in there.  I was even able to put my waffle maker and foldable griddle on the shelf.  Those 2 things were taking up residence in my pots and pans cupboard and were always in the way.

Everybody looks so much happier in there.

I’m so glad I did this project.  My family will be so confused for a couple of weeks but they will figure it out.

A Pinterest Cleaning Product

I just love Pinterest.

I find so many fabulous ideas on there.

There are so many creative people out in blog world and I love that we all have a great site to share those ideas.

I recently came across a recipe for this cleaning product.

Source

It is equal parts white vinegar and Dawn dishwashing liquid.

The person who posted it used it for their bathrooms and said her faucets and bathtub sparkled and was like new.

Well that definitely piqued my interest.  I love an easy cleaner that I can make myself that will actually do a great job.  I’ve always heard that vinegar was good to clean with.  I sometimes put a little vinegar in my water when I mop.

The next time I was at the store, I picked up a spray bottle, some vinegar and a bottle of Dawn.  Both my vinegar and Dawn were 9 oz bottles.

The other day I turned on my oven to get it preheated to make our bread for dinner.  I went into another room while waiting for the oven to warm up and finally remembered after about 20 minutes to go check on it.  When I came back into the kitchen, the oven temp was still at 100 degrees.  I knew that wasn’t right.  I turned it off and tried again and this time I didn’t hear the fire underneath kick on.  It’s a gas stove and you can hear it.

Long story short, hubby had to pull the oven out to see what was wrong and try to fix it.  I was hoping it was something easy to be fixed, I’m not really prepared to go buy a new oven at this point.

When he pulled it out, I immediately saw this.

That’s probably not as bad as some, but it’s bad enough for me.  I know when I’m cooking I get drips and spills and what not.  It’s really difficult to get down in there to clean and I don’t make a habit of pulling my oven out often.  That usually only happens when it needs fixed, which is rarely.

So I decided it would be a great time to try the cleaner that I saw on Pinterest.  I hadn’t mixed it together yet, so I got the plastic bottle, the vinegar and the Dawn.  Dawn is notorious for cutting through grease and I wash food off my dishes with it so I thought it would be a perfect cleaner for this mess.

All you do is warm the vinegar in the microwave.  I warmed it for 1 minute.  Then pour it into the plastic bottle and add the Dawn.  Give it a quick shake to mix it and you are ready to go.

I started by vacuuming all the dust bunnies on the sides and underneath the oven.

I then sprayed the entire side of the oven with the cleaner and let it sit for a minute.  I was able to easily white most of it with one of my cleaning rags but used a gritty sponge for the tougher spots.

It only took me about 10 minutes to clean one side.

This is how it turned out.

Their was one very light stream of something that I scrubbed and scrubbed but it just wouldn’t come off.  Other than that, it’s so much better.  I did both sides and the drawer then hubby pushed it back in.  I needed to get dinner started so I really didn’t have much time to do more.

I will definitely be trying this cleaner on other areas of the house.