Posted in Kitchen, Success Stories

Clearing Kitchen Clutter, Making It Easier to Use

Barbara lives in a house that doesn’t have enough storage. She found De-clutter Me! with an online search. Would I come to help? Of course! After I arrived, we toured the house. Where to work? She chose the kitchen clutter. We started with the table, where her husband also does school-related work. We tossed some items, placed others in the adjacent storage piece drawers. We put on the table his multi-colored pens and filled the napkin holder.

Table before we cleared its clutter, with help from De-clutter Me!
Before
Table clutter cleared, with help from De-clutter Me!
After

Next, we turned to the work table next to the sink. We moved the canning jars to the top of another surface next to the stove. Barbara would use them soon. We put containers in the pantry. On the shelves below, we moved garbage bags to under the sink. We set aside a couple of items for donation or sale. We put onions in a bowl, and breads in another.

Work table before we cleared its clutter, with help from De-clutter Me!
Before
Work table clutter cleared, with help from De-clutter Me!
After

With our remaining time together, we tackled under the sink, pulling everything out. Barbara put down shelf paper. She also had a couple of shelf extenders, which we put to good use. We placed bins on and under them. Carefully considering what she uses most, we placed items in them so that she wouldn’t have to pull some things out to get to others behind them. That sometimes leads to stacking things in frustration or haste, and then back to kitchen clutter!

Below sink clutter before we cleared it, with help from De-clutter Me!
Before
Below sink clutter cleared, with help from De-clutter Me!
After

As we finished, Barbara was happy with our progress. I congratulated her for her hard work!

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

Kitchen Clutter Cleared! The Room Feels Better!

Pol’s family lives up a hill in a log cabin house. We toured it, then discussed how to use our session time. We chose the kitchen clutter, as the room is central to the family’s life together. An easy first action was to clear the table. The bags held food gifts from a wedding trip. Into the cupboards! Paper – recycled or, if “use-able,” added to the bookcase, where we would work next.

The table before we cleared its clutter
Before
After De-clutter Me! helped to clear table clutter
After

I suggested my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method of working top-to-bottom. The bookcase’s top shelf stored alcoholic beverages and a few other items. We dusted off the booze and removed the other things. Next, we sorted through the bins, which held medications and other items used often, if not daily. On the next shelf, we grouped the three-hole punch, stapler, and some other office supplies on the left, paper and notebooks in the middle, and a seemingly lifetime supply of post-it notes on the right.

The next shelf – some books and open space! It’s good for the eyes to be able to rest a bit. The three shelves below now held more office supplies, pens, and some play items.

Before we cleared bookcase clutter
Before
After De-clutter Me! helped to clear bookcase clutter
After

With our remaining time, Pol and I focused on the island. It held onions and other often-used meal ingredients. We put other food items in the cupboards. Pol asked about the tiered storage piece. Should it stay, or be removed? I asked what he thought. Perfectly anticipating my response, he removed it. We found some pretty bowls for the foods it had held. W agreed that the room’s energy and spaciousness improved, in a big way!

Kitchen island clutter before we cleared it
Before
Kitchen island clutter cleared, supported by De-clutter Me!
After

As we finished our session, Pol looked relieved about clearing the kitchen clutter. 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 Kitchen, Success Stories

Highlights of Kitchen Clutter Cleared

For our second session, Melodie and I chose the kitchen clutter. The room actually was in pretty good shape, so we focused on just a few areas.

One was a drawer, with towels piled on top of each other. After rolling them, she would see them much easier.

The towels drawer before help from De-clutter Me!
Before
Towels more easily seen after help from De-clutter Me!
After

A storage piece’s top had become cluttered. It held paper goods, which Melodie uses often. We consolidated them, placed some in a cupboard, then unrolled the runner to add some warm feeling to the top of the piece.

The storage piece's top before we cleared its clutter
Before
After bathroom clutter clearing help from De-clutter Me!
After

Small actions can bring big impact, both always in view and out of sight. Her kitchen clutter cleared, Melodie was smiling – yay!

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

Kitchen Clutter – A Transformation, Step Three

Most of us have them – kitchen junk drawers. In our third kitchen clutter 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 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. More kitchen clutter cleared – 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

Kitchen Clutter – A Transformation, Step Two

For our second kitchen clutter 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 kitchen clutter 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

Kitchen Clutter – A Transformation, Step One

After a few weeks’ break for the holidays, Willow and I resumed our work together. Next up – kitchen clutter, in 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 enjoying 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 clutter 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 Kitchen, Success Stories

Kitchen Clutter Cleared – A Drawer Organized!

You know how it can be. An apartment kitchen drawer, meant to store more than one kind of item, gets crowded. Not only did it hold all manner of kitchen gadgets, but also some of the snacks that Grover prepares for husband Frank’s lunchbox. It was adding to kitchen clutter.

She and I pulled out each item. Needed? If so, we paid careful attention to its placement back in the drawer, to accommodate her disability. Easy access is a must! For those items no longer needed, we put some in a big paper bag, to be placed on the apartment building’s free table. Reduce, reuse, recycle! We put some others, past their useful “lives,” in the trash.

The kitchen gadgets and snacks drawer before we cleared its clutter.
Before
The kitchen drawer, with clutter cleared, and contents easily seen and reached - with help from De-clutter Me!
After

When we were done, Grover was thrilled! Not only were kitchen gadgets easy to reach, but Frank’s snacks fixings were, too. Some kitchen clutter was cleared. Her smile was a delight to see!

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

“How Often Do You Use…?”

Jim wants his house to look minimalist. As part of the project, we started work on his kitchen cupboards. We began to the right of the stove. As I would repeatedly ask, how often did he use various food products? Coffee? Every day. Tea? Also often.

A cupboard before we cleared its clutter
Before

We organized it, so that coffee was on the bottom shelf, tea and honey on the second shelf. On the top – nothing, after we pulled down a kitchen towel. No doubt, the shelf will be used but, for the meantime, it was empty.

A cleared cupboard with a free shelf!
After

Next, we focused on the cupboard above the stove. It might store things not used a lot, since reaching over a hot stove could pose a potential safety concern. We tossed spices past their “sell by” dates, and also removed a couple of cookbooks that had migrated there.

I pointed out the wasted space above the spices. We’d discussed this before so, almost magically, Jim pulled from another cupboard a shelf extender I’d recommended, then he recently bought. We put soups and spices together. There was room for more of the same.

Before a cupboard's clutter was cleared
Before
A cleared cupboard with room for more soups, spices, etc.!
After

We moved left, where the cupboard held several boxes of pasta, sauce, and popcorn. It all came out, and we organized it.

Another cupboard before we cleared its clutter
Before

Now, on the bottom shelf, we put the pastas and sauce together, with some canned goods on the second shelf, and popcorn on top. As with the other cupboards, there was room to spare.

Yet another organized cupboard, with more room to spare!
After

What might be next? There was another cupboard to organize, and some drawers, too. Onward!

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

She Couldn’t Sleep Before Our Next Session

Part-way through our third session together, in an off-hand kind of way, Zoe said that she couldn’t sleep before it. Nervous? Doubtful, since we were used to each other, worked well together, and had shared some laughs. Was she excited about the progress we would make, as we continued her apartment’s transformation? Hope so!

Starting with a low kitchen cupboard, we pulled out everything. Zoe looked at an old saucepan, decided it was far past its prime, and tossed it. We set aside a coffee maker and food processor for give-away. We spoke about various other appliances and gadgets, and how often she likely would use them. We put some into the far corner, which was relatively hard to reach. We placed others more “front and center,” including a cute little pan (perfect for one egg), colander, hand mixer, salad spinner.

A cluttered lower kitchen cupboard
Before
That same cupboard, free of clutter!
After

That cupboard organized, we moved on to under the sink. Again, we pulled out everything. We tossed or placed into recycling anything that was old or appeared to be beyond its usefulness. We discussed “what to put where” for easy reach, and how to keep it organized. We looked online at commercially-available containers to hold various items. My first two photos show the area as we worked on it together.

Under the sink, quite cluttered!
Before
Under the sink, with clutter gone!
In Between

Two days after our session together, Zoe emailed, excited about the bins she bought to further organize under the sink. More success!

Under the sink, with store-bought bins
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

Reclaiming the Kitchen

Zoe and I are doing a big job in her kitchen, over several sessions, making it more functional.

We discussed making the relatively small space feel as big and useful as possible. That meant putting spices that were on top of the stove, away in a cupboard; the same for the oils and vinegars on the counter next to the stove.

One piece of it was to organize a cupboard. We tossed some foods past their “sell-by” dates. What to put where? We placed teas up top, since Zoe doesn’t drink them much, but they’re easily reached. On the bottom, there’s room for a Lazy Susan to hold spices, so they will be easy to use, too.

A very full kitchen cupboard before organizing it.
Before
A kitchen cupboard cleared of clutter, with room to spare!
After

We had a little bit of time left. How to use it well? Zoe quickly suggested the junk drawer. Among other items, it held many batteries. We put most of them into a plastic sandwich bag. We threw out some other stuff. At the end – some empty space! Hooray!

Does she buy mushrooms? If so, I suggested saving the plastic containers. They’re a great size for the junk drawer, to keep organized any random items that migrate there. (I also use them in the fridge crisper drawers, to hold veggies. Less cleaning to do, too.)

The very full junk drawer before organizing
Before
The organized junk drawer - with empty space!
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.