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Tidying Goals that were Achievable In A Weekend!

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This past weekend, I got the bright idea of setting some tidying goals for my 600 square foot home. I have considered myself decluttered for about 2 months, but not necessarily tidy. Some of my cabinets needed reworked to utilize the space better. I felt like I was always cleaning up after myself and reorganizing my things for more space. This seemed like a pointless cycle, and I was craving for it to end! I mean who really needs to spend hours every day cleaning up and reorganizing?

Since I am having a garage sale this week, I decided it was time to be relentless with my belongings, and end this cycle. Starting with a list of goals for each area would help me move throughout my space more efficiently. I made a point to touch every thing I had including paperwork, cleaning products, pots, pans, spices, clothing, etc. While I knew I wouldn’t get rid of a lot, I thought this would allow me to set up better systems within my home.

This past weekend, I got the bright idea of setting some tidying goals for my 600 square foot home. I have considered myself decluttered for about 2 months, but not necessarily tidy.

My Tidying Goals included:

1. Have once basket for paperwork and organization to be able to deal with incoming paperwork immediately. No more papers on counter tops!
2. More space for my spices to easily fit on one small shelf, but still easily accessible.
3. Easy to clean counter tops at all times. This includes night stand, kitchen counter tops, bathroom counter top, and table between recliners.
4. Storage shelving in bathroom needs to look more uniform and less like a storage building.
5. Everything will have a space to be stored or out it goes!

With my goals laid out, I knew I could find fixes easier and quicker!

I started with paperwork, because it was the hardest task for me. Sorting through paperwork to decide what is important to keep and what is not is not my idea of a good time.

I started with my pretty basket to create the space I needed to consolidate my other box of important paperwork that had been in storage when I did my 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge. I was able to gain about half the basket back with asking my husband which owner’s manuals we needed to keep and what we could discard. This was enough space to add in what I needed to keep from the other box of paperwork.

The great thing is I still have plenty of room if I need to add to it! Now we have a envelope for things we have to keep for tax purposes, and a space for bills that come in the mail to be processed at a later date.

Tidying Goal #1 Complete!

When it comes to my spices, I have a 1 1/2′ by 1 1/2′ space to be able to store them. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to put my sugar in this space with them, so it was the first to be removed and I reorganized my spices.

My problem was fixed, but now I had to decide what to do with the sugar. I wanted it close to the spices, so I moved it down a space. Now I had to rework and tidy this space, and as you can imagine, this repeated all throughout my cabinets. I culled 3 casserole dishes I have not used in several months, 1 basket, and random kitchen utensils [shown below, and to be honest there is probably more I could cull…. another time…]. This gave me the space I needed to have tidy upper kitchen cabinets.

Tidying Goal #2 Complete + then some!

Tidying Goals that were Achievable In A Weekend! |

Since I had just tidied my kitchen cabinets, it was the perfect time to start on clearing my kitchen counter tops. I have been purchasing more fruits, so there isn’t as much counter top space, and it was driving me crazy! Then I started with clearing off anything that did not belong on the counter tops, evaluated what was left, and moved our vitamins to an upper kitchen cabinet [where there was space!].

I was able to switch my kitchen baskets around to provide more space and a better fruit storage solution. The only other things I keep on my kitchen counter tops are my Keurig and 2 canisters, silver wear, knife block, and microwave. I use all of these on a daily basis, so it only makes sense to keep them readily available. I also do not have drawers for my silver wear, so the counter tops is my best option at the moment.

My bathroom counter top only holds a soap dispenser and, at times, a wash cloth. To me, it was tidy to begin with, so I gave it a quick cleaning.

My night stands seem to be a drop all space, so it was a process to get these clear. I did not tidy my husband’s night stand, but more so cleared the top and let him decide on the rest. My night stand is where my paperwork usually ends up, so I was able to process it all with my first goal.

From there I put away hair bands, bobby pins, and any other random objects. My drawer is the same as it was in my 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge update, so it was easy to look through for anything I thought I did not need. The shelves in it had a couple of things to cull, and I was able to make my sister very happy with that! All that was left on my night stand was a lamp, coaster, and wax warmer!

Tidying Goal #3 Complete!

My bathroom storage shelf is something that also drives me a little crazy! It is organized, but not pretty. This space is utilized for all bathroom essentials, bulk purchased items, cleaning supplies, and medicine. As you can see in the before picture, it is not really a junky space, but it is not utilized in the best way, either.

[P.S. One of my wire baskets came from the fourth shelf, so it is not pictured. Also, the hole on the left is for my nice towels. They just happened to be in the washing machine at the time. Also, I do use all of these towels in one way or another, so yes, I do need this many towels at this time. I am hoping that changes soon.]

Tidying Goals that were Achievable In A Weekend! |

I had two baskets with scented wax that I am trying to work through and eliminate [because no one needs this many scented waxes on hand]. I was able to cull a few, use up the ones that only had one or two squared left, and downsize to one basket! [Also thinking of removing them from my home completely, but that is for another post!]

From there, I worked through another basket full of hair products, alcohol, peroxide, and dog cleaning supplies to tidy it up a bit and added a few other things to it that were sitting on the shelf. Then I simply moved things around until I felt better, and culled the plastic bags [yikes!] to use for the garage sale I am having next week.

Tidying Goals that were Achievable In A Weekend! |

At first, I was really pleased with the results, but after sending a picture to my husband to show him the process, I felt like something was off. So I decided to do some more rearranging to see if it would help, and this is the result! [I may or may not have gotten rid of my weight scale in this process!]

Tidying Goals that were Achievable In A Weekend! |

Now it feels perfect! Well, for now it feels perfect! Once I eliminate my scented wax inventory, I will have one less basket, which equals more space! I am also debating whether I should switch the baskets for matching baskets. What do you think?

Tidying Goal #4 Complete!

There was not much left to make sure I had a tidy space, but I wanted to go an extra step. Since I am having a garage sale next week, I want to make sure anything I can live without is in this sale. I cleaned out some of my scarves, books, kitchen gadgets I had not gone through in goal #2, things stored in our loft, etc., and am shocked at the amount of stuff I found to let go of or organize better.

In total, I cleaned out four boxes and packed up a trunk full of things for the sale! I guess it is true, you are never finished decluttering. By the time I finished, I felt everything had a place or was on its way out the door!

Tidying Goal #5 Complete!

Tidying Goals that were Achievable In A Weekend! |

Now that my space is tidy, I love it so much more! For 600 square feet, it feels incredibly spacious. I did not realize, until I did this, that there was a difference between decluttering and tidying. I also have a new routine that frees up an additional hour of my day I did not have before now.

Having a decluttered space freed up my mind, but having a tidy space completely set me free! I also understand Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, now. It is not about the amount of things you have; it is about the space you give the things that mean something to you.

If you give it the appropriate amount of space, your home will feel happy. If you do not give something the appropriate amount of space, it either does not belong in the space or the things crowding it does not belong. Either way, each thing in your home should have the appropriate amount of space to create a happy, tidy space. It is also easier to keep a place tidy once it has been completely tidied.

Do you notice a difference in your home when it is tidy and when it is not? How do you practice being tidy? Let me know below in the comments! Also, if you have any questions, I would love to answer them for you!

Also, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Cara at Kindly Unspoken! I would love it if you stopped by and checked it out for me! Interview with a Minimalist: Erin | A Welder’s Wife

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  • Reply
    Kathy from CT
    May 11, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Good job & good post.

    My visual spaces are uncluttered and tidy. My hidden spaces, however, are organized & bursting. To everyone else, it is fine but to me it isn’t. *I* know what is hidden & those are my next focus areas.

    Might I suggest you get some shoe boxes, cover them with pretty contact paper (from the Dollar Store), and use them for some of the items on the bathroom shelf? Or just some plastic containers from the
    Dollar Store. Both are visually appealing, but my favorite is the contact paper because they come in a
    variety of patterns.

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Kathy, I love your suggestions! I’ve had the baskets for years, in different rooms, but when we downsized they ended up together. I am hoping at least one of these baskets will be empty by the end of the year. But I would like a more uniform look. I am hesitant to spend money on anything at this moment. I know my needs are still changing, and I maybe able to do away with them altogether one day.

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 8:00 am

      I also agree with how you feel with the things stored out of sight. It bothers me to know if something isn’t organized and spacious. I used to be a crammer, but my anxiety has helped me change that! Now I focus on giving things adequate space and that has helped tremendously!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Hi Erin! Coming over from Cara’s blog, loved your interview with her! And I love the idea of being a minimalist. I for one, don’t think I could do it…yet! LOL! But I do enjoy reading and watching YTubers do it…is that weird? Haha!

    I need to do a good tidying up and getting things organized for sure. One of my pet peeves is having papers all over the counters…urgh! Need to find me a basket or something that will help with that. I also need to go through my bathroom drawers…they are a mess right now and so many of the things in there I don’t even use!

    Thanks for the inspiration, Erin! I think I may have to tackle this very soon!

    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      I’m glad I could help motivate you, Lily! And no, enjoying hearing, reading, or watching about minimalism is not weird! I did a lot of studying before deciding it was the lifestyle I truly wanted. We all take our own time for things. You will get there! I used to have a mess of bathroom drawers as well, but now I am glad I have it all downsized to what I use on a daily basis. It makes getting ready a lot simpler in the mornings. If you need any tips or help, simply email me! I am always here to help!

  • Reply
    Georgiana Daniels
    May 11, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Paperwork is the hardest for me too! Last weekend I tidied up my desk, which was LONG overdue. We’ve lived in a small space before, the kind where you leave out a cup, a sock, and a newspaper, and it looks like a hurricane blew through! Good luck with your garage sale 😀

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      Thank you, Georgiana! I don’t know what it is, but if I don’t handle paperwork right away, it stacks up a mile high!

  • Reply
    Carlen cooper
    May 11, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I love this Erin! I have become so much happier since purging, organizing (well, as much as one can with crazy boys in the house) and just minimizing! Love your blog and would love to connect with you. Carlen

  • Reply
    May 11, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I loved your interview with Cara! I had commented to her that I am currently in the exact same boat you were when starting your journey! I’m moving, having to stage my condo, declutter AND moving in with my parents so I am definintely in minimalism mode right now and your posts are super helpful! This post will be extremely helpful for my husband as well, we always want to be more tidy and struggle between getting rid of everything and just finding a place for the important things. Thanks for sharing with us! XO -Kim

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Kim, that is awesome! I love Cara! She is such a sweet person! I’m glad you found this helpful! I can’t believe how close our stories are! What is your plan after you sell your condo?

  • Reply
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
    May 12, 2016 at 9:25 am

    For me it’s all about breaking it all down so it’s a smaller projects vs seeming SO overwhelming!

    • Reply
      May 12, 2016 at 10:07 am

      I agree, Katie! You are also more likely to complete your projects by breaking them up into smaller projects, because you feel like you have accomplished more when you are frequently checking things off. This is the way it works for me at least!

  • Reply
    Brittany @ Everyday Thoughts
    May 12, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I really need to start decluttering, especially in my pantry and spice cabinet! You did great tackling all this – bravo!

    • Reply
      May 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you, Brittany! I decluttered my spice cabinet back when we moved, because I accidentally forgot to pack them! Best way to declutter in my opinion! haha! I’ve only purchased as I’ve needed something, but did not have enough room for them after a few months.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    You go girl! These are great tips. I really need to work on some of my decluttering this weekend too!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    This is awesome. I signed up for InkWellPress Organization Challenge (I’m way behind). However, some of your tips will prove helpful as I tackle a few areas this weekend – my spice cabinet and pantry being the main areas of concern.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    This is so helpful Erin! Paperwork is always our biggest struggle too. I think just being proactive with it and dealing with it immediately as it comes through the door is best. That way you don’t have it piling up. Thanks for the inspiration and good luck with the garage sale!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Edgar
    May 14, 2016 at 8:39 am

    You did a great job! I need to declutter some of the closets in the house. They’re overflowing with junk. Good luck with the garage sale!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Add a tension rod across that opening for the bathroom store and hand shower curtain would really make the space spa like.

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