Do you remember at the beginning of 2020 when I was all excited about beginning the journey of purging, organizing, and getting on a regular cleaning schedule to keep my house clean? And how I did that for about six weeks before the world fell apart? Well, I’m bringing it back in 2022.
I did great in 2020 for about six weeks. I purged a whole room’s worth of stuff, cleaned out kitchen cabinets and drawers, built some custom storage solutions for those cabinets and drawers, and I was on a roll. Then I stopped. Because 2020.
Well, I’m going to bring it back. At the end of December, I said that I was going to take some time to deep clean my house so I can start the new year off on the right foot with a sparkling clean house. Well, I did a little, but I didn’t do much. I ended up spending those two weeks just hanging out with Matt, relaxing, watching movies, relaxing, reading, and relaxing. 😀 So now I’m trying to play catch up before jumping back into the bathroom remodel, which I plan to start on Monday of next week.
Right now, my house is cleaner than it has been in probably two years. Maybe longer. I mean, I’ve gotten out the ladder and wiped down every bit of molding around the windows and doorways, I’ve cleaned my pantry and kitchen cabinets from the top crown molding to the toe kicks and every square inch between. I’ve taken the glass off of light fixtures and washed them, and then wiped down all of the metal parts. I’ve even wiped down the crown molding in every room, cleaned my windows, washed throw pillow covers, deep cleaned my rugs, and on, and on.
It all feels so good. I absolutely love my house when it’s sparkling clean from top to bottom. And when I open up those cabinets and drawers that I organized back in 2020, it just feels so good to know that things have a place, and I have a system in place for those things. And the systems I put in place back in early 2020 have stuck. I use them, and I love them. Here are pictures I took just this morning…
My kitchen drawer organization by the stove keeps things in order, and keeps me from hanging onto things I don’t actually use. I find it pretty easy to keep things pared down now rather than throwing them into a drawer that’s more like an abyss. You can buy organizers at places like Bed, Bath & Beyond, but it’s so easy to make your own so that they’re customized to the exact size of your drawer.
My spice drawer still works great for me. My spices are all where I can find them, and other than needing to find a solution to the pen I used (it smudges), it’s still neat and organized. You can find that simple DIY project here.
The cabinet that I turned into pull-out storage for the cookware I use daily is also still working out great. I know exactly where these things go, and with my system in place, I use it. You can see how I did it here.
And the pull-out pan and casserole dish storage drawer in the pantry (for those items I need only occasionally) is also working out great. I know exactly where these things go, so once I use them, wash them, and dry them, they go right back in their place. You can find the DIY details here.
So while I’m not a naturally neat and organized person, I am the type of person who follows established systems once they’re put into place.
But that’s the issue. I have to actually spend time and effort thinking through those things and consciously and deliberately establishing a system, because again, these things don’t just come naturally to me. Even if I have a general idea of, “I’d like to use this cabinet for such-and-such,” it’s still not enough. A general idea is not enough. I need clear purposes, established systems, and helpful organizational tools in place. Then I’ll follow them.
When I don’t have that, my cabinets end up looking like this.
Yeah. You see what I mean. That’s the “cleaning supplies” cabinet in the pantry. And because nothing is organized and I have no system in place, I literally open the door and shove the item in. That’s my system. Open and shove. And my open and shove system means that there are things lost in the back that I’ll never see. And if I can’t see something, I think I’m out of it, and I’ll buy more then next time I go to the store. And then to put the new one away, I open and shove.
I employ the same “open and shove” system for the cabinet under my kitchen sink.
And even worse is the hallway cabinet. I built this nice cabinet that has lots of great storage space, but then I never established an actual purpose for this cabinet. I never made a deliberate decision, or put systems into place. So it’s become this abyss of entropy hiding behind closed doors.
Any time I have something that I need to find room for, I think, “Well, there’s room in the hallway cabinet.” So it’s become this place where a random mass of items have been stored together simply because I have no established place for them anywhere else. I have no system in place.
So that’s how my brain works, and I need to continue on this journey. I know myself well enough to know that once I have systems and organization tools in place, I WILL use them. But without actually assigning a place for everything, and making intentional and deliberate decisions about how a specific cabinet should be used, this is the tragic mess that I end up with. There will never be a naturally organized cabinet or drawer that occurs in my house without my being very deliberate about making decisions and putting processes into place. And it’s very discouraging to feel so good about my sparkling clean house, only to open up a cabinet like this and have this mess mock me.
And quite honestly, the worst space in my home right now is the back room, which is called the “sunroom” on every floor plan I show, even though it doesn’t get much sun. That room is nothing but storage for things I’ll probably never use again. It’s so bad that, at this point, there’s no way I’d share a photo with y’all. It’s too humiliating.
Because I haven’t been purposeful and intentional with that room, either, it has also been a victim of my “open and shove” method of storage. And when you use that method for an entire huge room (and not just a cabinet), the end result can be depressing and overwhelming. It needs help. It needs some serious purging, and then some very intentional organizational systems put into place so that that room actually has a specific purpose other than “general storage room.” Those generalities don’t work for me. My brain takes those generalities as license to “open and shove.”
So I’m adding the cleaning, organizing and purging back onto the master list of home goals for 2022. How about you? Do you need to come on this journey with me? And if you’re at a point where you feel really overwhelmed by the amount of purging your home needs, I highly recommend the book that lit a fire under me in early 2020. I got the audio version and listened to it while I started cleaning my house, and then I got so excited and motivated to purge my house of everything we don’t use, want and love. That book is called Decluttering At The Speed Of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle With Stuff by Dana White. It’s so good, and so motivating!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!