Posted in Kitchen, Success Stories

A Kitchen Transformation, Step Three

Most of us have them – kitchen junk drawers. In our third kitchen transformation session together, Willow and I focused on two drawers. The first one had a collection of varied stuff – pens, twist-ties, binder clips, batteries, boxed cupboard hardware, hand warmers, a random coffee cup top, and more.

We collected all of the pens in rubber bands. I suggested that Willow go through all of them after we finished working, to keep the good ones and toss the non-working ones. It wasn’t a good use of our time together. We placed twist-ties and binder clips in clear snack-size plastic bags.

The first kitchen junk drawer before we cleared its clutter
Before
The first junk drawer after we cleared its clutter
After

When we were done, there actually was open space in the drawer. Yay!

On to the second drawer, where we found a few cooking-related items – a rolling pin, a biscuit mold, a zester. There was room for them in a drawer we worked on previously. Yay again! We put small tools and a tape measure together, twine and painter’s tape next to each other, and restaurant take-out menus in the front. There was open space there, too. A third yay!

The second kitchen junk drawer before we cleared its clutter
Before
The second junk drawer, clutter-free!
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Kitchen, Success Stories

A Kitchen Transformation, Step Two

For our second kitchen transformation session, I started by asking Willow lots of questions. How often do she and her husband use the microwave, to the left of the stove? The toaster oven that was over to the right? “Thinking out loud,” I started exploring the idea of moving things around a bit.

Starting on the side of the kitchen with the fridge, the stove, and the sink, we started next to the fridge. We moved the little sugar bowl to the shelves on the other side of the room, and relocated other items, too. We would move the microwave to the middle space, and the toaster oven to the left, next to the fridge.

The microwave with other items before we moved it and cleared clutter
Before
The toaster oven in its new spot, with clutter there gone
After

Moving to the middle section, between the stove and the sink, there was a wood piece, like a bread box, that held spices. They would be a separate project. We removed it, moved the crock with cooking spoons, spatulas, and the like to the left of the stove. We placed the microwave there and, above it, a box with morning medications. Would the butter dish in front of it be a problem? Willow said no.

The bread box and spices before we cleared their clutter
Before
The middle section with the microwave, medications box, and hand soap
After

Now, to the right side, next to the sink. We had already moved the toaster oven to next to the fridge. Willow reached down, and magically produced a dish drainer and placed it in the open spot, above the dishwasher. That made sense! She also put the paper towels in the corner.

Before we moved the toaster oven
Before
The dish drainer in place, next to the sink and above the dishwasher
After

We also discussed the spices, spread around in the bread box and across the room on a shelf. We looked online at some storage options, and decided on an arrangement that would fit in a drawer. We measured. Hopefully, it would be delivered before our next session together.

Also in the kitchen, a towel with a famous image that husband Zach received for Christmas. Ha!

For a laugh!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Kitchen, Success Stories

A Kitchen Transformation, Step One

After a few weeks’ break for the holidays, Willow and I resumed our work together. Next up – the kitchen, a lovely, big space that could use some organizational help and suggestions.

We started with a counter that’s like an island, and the table. First, we put the eggs from their chickens into the “egg room,” several feet away. We put produce that doesn’t require refrigeration into a big, pretty bowl. I placed it to the side, then later moved it into the bigger part of the counter, explaining to Willow that I once put a plant in the middle of a counter to control my own behavior. (It worked!) We moved the wooden cupboard, full of supplies for their dog Dylan, to the top of the fridge in the “egg room.”

The "island" counter before we cleared it.
Before
The "island" counter after we cleared it.
After

Next, we worked on the table next to the window. It had become a dumping ground, of sorts, with a spray bottle, candles, jars, and other items that could “live” elsewhere. We put some items away elsewhere in the kitchen, and tossed others. I suggested that she consider buying some pretty placemats and placing them on the table, to encourage eating meals by the window, and to discourage “storing” things there.

The "island" and table before we cleared their clutter
Before
The clutter-free "island" and table
After

What might be next in the kitchen transformation? TBD!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Playroom, Success Stories

A Playroom More Ready for Play!

Dan emailed. His family had moved from Florida to Vermont, and needed some help with settling in. Would I be available? Sure!

As I arrived, he was about to leave for a doctor’s appointment. His wife Lauren showed me around their lovely home. We discussed several project ideas. What was bugging her most? It was the second-floor playroom, a large room used mostly by three of their children. It also included an area for viewing DVDs and movies. It could use some attention.

I suggested my professional organizer’s time-tested, successful method of starting in one corner and working our way around the room. First, though, the walkway space into the room. On the floor – pieces of magnetic toy pieces, a comforter, a rug and, for extra effect, their dog walking across the area.

The walkway into the room before we cleared its clutter
Before

We started by picking up the toy pieces, and folding the comforter and rug. Quick progress!

The walkway space, clutter-free!
After

The above photo shows more progress beyond the walkway. Lauren and I methodically worked our way around the room, adding various toys and pieces into bins that already held like-kind items. In other cases, we placed items into other containers.

Clutter in the room before we cleared it
Before
Clutter - gone!
After
Another view of clutter about to be cleared
Before
Another view of cleared clutter
After

Next, we focused on a corner area, with a child-sized toy stove. We also discussed two storage pieces that were in the garage. They might hold some of daughter Piper’s dolls. Lauren and Dan brought them upstairs. They fit in nicely near the wall, just below where the sloping ceiling begins. Yay!

The corner area with toy stove before we cleared its clutter
Before
The corner area cleared, with storage cubes "waiting" to be filled.
After

As we finished our session together, Lauren seemed a bit surprised that we were able to clear the room in the available time. She smiled. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Basement, Success Stories

Progress in the Basement Work Bench and Tools Room

Continuing our work in the basement, Michael and I next turned our attention to the work bench near the shelves we had recently straightened. First, we cleared the work bench space itself. We used my professional organizer’s tested method of working from one side to the other. We put some items into the trash, others into recycling. We set aside Michael’s brown hat for winter wear, placed the drill on top of the adjacent tools drawers piece, then into its lowest drawer.

The work bench before we cleared its clutter
Before
The clutter-free work bench ready for projects!
After

Next, we tackled the tools drawers. Here’s what its front looked like when we started.

The cluttered Craftsman piece, including with a lamp cord strung across its front
Before

The first drawer held miscellaneous items and batteries. We sifted through it and, like on the work bench, placed some items into the trash and recycling. We straightened others, so that everything will be easier to see and use.

A drawer before we cleared its clutter
Before
Drawer clutter cleared!
After

One of the drawers held a jumble of different kinds of tape, glue sticks, and other similar items. We placed some of the tape into a small plastic container and likewise made everything else more visible.

The tape and glue drawer before we cleared its clutter
Before
Tapes and glue easier to find, with clutter cleared
After

Working our way down, I opened a drawer with many screwdrivers. Why so many? Michael explained that both his and his wife’s fathers had died, and they inherited many tools. We chose some regular and phillips head tools, then set the rest aside for donation or the trash.

Too many screwdrivers!
Before
A much smaller collection of screwdrivers!
After

With our time almost used up, I cleared the top of the tools piece, re-routed an electric cord, and wiped its front.

The tools piece after its top was cleared, a cord re-routed, and dusted off
After

Next time, we will finish its drawers, then continue working our way around the room.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

Progress on a Work in Progress

Willow and I continued transforming her home office. She and her husband had removed the desk from its position, placing its two sections of drawers in the center of the room. They muscled the sleeper sofa into the desk’s former spot.

Room clutter before we tacked it and rearranged some of the furniture
Before
An interim step

Now, she and I placed the desk into the corner, facing into the room. (Much better feng shui!) We put the desk chair behind it. She remarked that it looked very corporate. I agreed, though was more concerned that she would be able to get in and out easily enough. Yes!

A light bulb moment… I suggested removing the curtains. They weren’t really necessary, as the window looks out on some of their acreage. The sleeper sofa now was on the opposite side of the room. Willow agreed. We removed them. What a difference!

Before
The desk and chair in place, the curtains removed
After

We spoke about the sleeper sofa in its new spot. The long low bookcase now next to it might not be the right piece. She would think more about that. There might be a more suitable piece elsewhere in the house, or in her other office.

Another interim step

Oh, wait! The above photo shows the cubes/shelves after we worked on them. In that part of the process, I suggested my professional organizer’s time-tested method of working top-to-bottom. Willow looked a bit tentative. We tackled it. She added cards to others in the middle of a lower shelf. We grouped kazoos in a ceramic cup. We set aside crafting items for the basement, where there’s enough space and light for her to comfortably work on them. And, so it went, until the cubes were organized. Some were empty – yay!

The cubes/bookcase before we organized them
Before
The floor and cubes/bookcase cleared and organized
After

As we finished, Willow was relieved, and also maybe a bit surprised. Success! After a break for a couple of weeks, so she can catch her breath a bit, we’ll work more, elsewhere in the house.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Bedroom, Success Stories

Bookcase and Dresser Clutter – Gone!

In our next session, Jennifer, Simon, and I returned to his bedroom to clear his bookcase and dresser. As ever, using my professional organizer’s method of working top-to-bottom, we started on the top left. We used the left side of the bookcase to display a variety of items. We sifted through books on the right side, keeping some, and setting others aside for his little brother, or for recycling, or for the trash.

The bookcase before we cleared its clutter
Before
The bookcase, now a display area with easily reached books and other items
After

Next, we cleared the dresser. Now, Simon will be able to enjoy his room much more. Both he and his mother smiled as we finished. Success!

The dresser before we cleared its clutter
Before
Dresser clutter cleared!
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Basement, Success Stories

Basement Medicines and Remedies “Treated”!

For our next project, Michael and I returned to the basement. One of its rooms includes built-in shelves, holding lots of medicines and natural remedies. He has an ailment that requires some of the items for treatment. It had become hard to see all of what was there.

As ever, using my professional organizer’s method of working top-to-bottom, we started on the top shelf. Working our way down, we pulled some medicines to return to a pharmacy, and dumped others into a paper bag, while saving their containers to be recycled. We would pour out others.

We even consolidated holiday wrapping, putting them on one shelf together. They will be much easier to see, when the time comes to use them.

Cluttered shelves before we cleared them
Before
Cleared clutter on the shelves!
After

On the lowest shelf were some bottles of wine, produced by Michael’s third cousins in France! We put them on the top shelf.

Medical clutter and bottles of wine!
Before
Cleared shelves!
After

As we finished, there was empty space on the shelves! Bonus points!

What’s next? Maybe more in that room, but there also is another basement room to de-clutter, and a shed, too!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Bedroom, Crafts Room, Office, Success Stories

Office, Art Storage, and Guest Space Changes Begin!

A room in Willow’s house is intended to serve several functions. It’s her home office. It stores art projects and supplies. It also could be a place for guests to sleep. That would require moving heavy furniture, which we would do at a later time.

As we got acquainted, I suggested that we start in one area of the room and work our way around it. It’s my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method. It keeps us on task and on track.

We started by the door. A low table with paper storage, which had been a “freebie,” was partly used. We put some more paper in it, then Willow changed her mind. Out of the room completely! It might be used elsewhere in the house, or maybe it would end up by the side of the road, for someone else. We put its notebooks into a bin. We cleared the dresser, put some art supplies into a corner bookcase, set other items in the trash, and still others into recycling. We repeated the process with a stand in the corner, which Willow set aside to place in the interior green house. We also removed the white cubbies, which also might be used elsewhere in the house. We cleared the floor, too. I placed a tall stool in the corner.

A cluttered corner area
Before
Corner clutter cleared!
After

Our next focus area was a low bookcase, which held a few plants, including a decades-old jade plant! On its lower shelves – bins and papers. We went through the papers, putting some into recycling, others into the handy bins. Willow would review others.

A busy and cluttered bookcase
Before
Cleared bookcase clutter - and the floor, too!
After

With our remaining time, we cleared the sleeper sofa. We removed the “TV tray” and a small table. We cleared the table next to the sofa. Breathing room! Willow still would be able to reach items needed for her work, which might be enhanced by the cleared space.

Too many tables and clutter
Before
A much more peaceful-looking sofa area
After

Next time, we will continue on our way around the room, as its transformation takes shape.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Bedroom, Success Stories

A More Welcoming Boys’ Bedroom

Two young brothers share a bedroom in a stately house dating from 1830. They were there to help part of the time, while their dad Yoshi and his partner Jessica were more present.

First, their two beds. When getting into bed at night, I asked if they care if their beds had been made in the morning, or if it feels okay if not. They didn’t respond much. Saying that I much prefer to slip into a made bed, I added that it’s a strongly affirmative morning action. It also feels more respectful to the self.

The boys' beds before we made them
Before
Made beds - much better!
After

Starting to move around the room, we focused on a trunk and the items on top of it. First, we moved the chair, empty boxes, and portable plastic file box. Then, we pulled many Legos pieces from around the room, and added them to the trunk, which was now about two-thirds full with them. Hopefully, any wanted pieces could be found and, maybe equally important, not stepped on. That hurts!

Floor and other clutter
Before
Floor and other clutter cleared, and Legos together in the trunk
After

Our next focus was a set of shelves on the wall. We changed it to better display some toy tractors, small stuff animals, and books. Below the shelves, we put some more stuffed animals in a basket, and also placed a miniature hot air balloon atop a toy bus.

Cluttered shelves and small cabinet before we cleared them
Before
Now, a fun display area
After

Moving around the room, we turned our attention to a low red chest. We closed its doors, and removed empty boxes.

Cluttered floor and open cupboard doors.
Before
The floor cleared, and cupboard doors closed
After

As we finished what was visible, Jessica and I looked at bins stored in the closet. One held a funny surprise. Her partner Yoshi, a high school teacher, paints houses during the summer. The bin’s contents – three painting shoes. Not two or four. Three! Where was its “mate?” We laughed.

For a laugh!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.