This past weekend, I got the bright idea of setting some tidying goals for my 600 square foot home. I consider myself decluttered, but not necessarily tidy.
Some of my cabinets needed reworking to utilize the space better. I felt like I was always cleaning up after myself and reorganizing my things for more space.
This was a pointless cycle, and I needed it to end! I mean who really needs to spend hours every day cleaning up and reorganizing?
Since I’m having a garage sale this week, I decided it was time to be relentless with my belongings, and end this cycle. I started with a list of goals for each area to help me move throughout my space more efficiently.
I made it a point to touch everything including paperwork, cleaning products, pots, pans, spices, clothing, etc. While I knew I wouldn’t get rid of a lot, this allowed me to set up better systems within my home.
My Tidying Goals included:
1. Have one basket for paperwork and organization so that I could deal with paper as it comes into my home. 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 has a space to be stored or out it goes!
With my goals set, 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 isn’t 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 was in storage when I did my 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge.
I gained about half the basket back with asking my husband which owner’s manuals we needed or didn’t need to keep. This was enough space to add in what I needed to keep from the other box of paperwork.
Now I have plenty of room if I need to add to it! We have an envelope for things we have to keep for tax purposes and a space for bills that come in the mail.
Tidying Goal #1 Complete!
When it comes to my spices, I have a 1 1/2′ by 1 1/2′ space to store them. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to put my sugar in this space with them. I removed the sugar and reorganized my spices.
With my first problem fixed, I decided what to do with the sugar. I wanted it close to the spices, so I moved it down a space. I reworked and tidied this space.
As you can imagine, this repeated all throughout my cabinets. I culled 3 casserole dishes, 1 basket, and random kitchen utensils [shown below, and to be honest there is probably more to cull…. another time…].
This freed up space I needed for tidy upper kitchen cabinets.
Tidying Goal #2 Complete + then some!
Since I just tidied my kitchen cabinets, it was the perfect time to start clearing my kitchen counter tops. I’ve purchased more fruits lately, and there isn’t as much counter top space. Needless to say, it’s a mess!
I started with clearing off anything that did not belong on the counter tops, evaluated what remained, and moved our vitamins to an upper kitchen cabinet [where there was space!].
I switched 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. Also, I don’t have drawers for my silver wear, so the counter tops are my best option currently.
My bathroom counter top holds a soap dispenser and, at times, a wash cloth. To me, it was already tidy, so it got a quick cleaning.
My night stands were a drop all space, so it was a process to get these clear. I worried with my night stand, and my husband took care of his night stand.
My night stand is where my paperwork usually ends up, so I went through it all with my first goal.
From there I put away hair bands, bobby pins, and any other random objects. My drawer was still tidy from my 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge update, so it was easy to find anything I didn’t need.
I culled some things within the shelves of my nightstand. All that remained on my night stand was a lamp, coaster, and wax warmer!
Tidying Goal #3 Complete!
My bathroom storage shelf is something that 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 a junkie space, but it is not organized in the best way, either.
[P.S. The hole on the left is for my nice towels. They were in the washing machine at the time. All of these towels are used in one way or another, so I need this many towels at this time. Hopefully that changes soon.]
Two baskets held scented wax that I worked to eliminate [because no one needs this many scented waxes on hand]. I culled a few, used up the ones that only had one or two squared left, and downsized to one basket!
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 sit on the shelf.
Then I simply moved things around until I felt better, and pulled the plastic bags [yikes!] to use for the garage sale next week.
At first, I was 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!]
Now it feels perfect! Well, for now it feels perfect! Once I eliminate my scented wax inventory, there will be 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!
I wasn’t far from a tidy space and wanted to go an extra step. Since the garage sale is next week, I wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything else I could live without.
I cleaned out some of my scarves, books, kitchen gadgets I had not sorted through in goal #2, things stored in our loft, etc. I 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. This journey is a process. By the time I finished, I felt everything had a place or on its way out the door!
Tidying Goal #5 Complete!
Now that my space is tidy, I love it so much more! For 600 square feet, it feels incredibly spacious. I did not realize that there was a such a big 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.
A decluttered space frees up my mind, but having a tidy space completely sets 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 own; it is about the space you give the things that mean something to you.
If you give something 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 needs the appropriate amount of space to create a happy, tidy space. It is easier to keep a place tidy than creating a tidy space.
Do you notice a difference in your home when it is tidy and when it is not? How do you keep a tidy home? Let me know below in the comments! If you have any questions, I’d 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