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 Kitchen, Success Stories

Kitchen Drawer De-cluttered!

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.

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
After

When we were done, Grover was thrilled! Not only were kitchen gadgets easy to reach, but Frank’s snacks fixings were, too. 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.

Posted in Kitchen, Success Stories

Fun, Functional, and Funny, Too!

Zoe and I are working our way around her kitchen, tweaking, de-cluttering, and organizing it. We’re making it more functional, so she can enjoy cooking.

It was a bit surprising to see cookbooks in a cupboard. I suggested putting them on top of the fridge, kept in place with bookends. After sorting through and deciding which books to keep, Zoe had the absolutely brilliant, and very funny, idea to use old hiking boots as bookends! It would use them in a fun way, and also would honor her love of hiking.

A surprising storage spot for cookbooks!
Before
The top of the fridge before its transformation
Before
Old hiking boots become bookends!
After

What fun!I suggested that Zoe might put some small rocks in the hiking boot bookends to weigh them down a bit, so to keep them in place.

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, Living Room, Success Stories

Working Our Way Around the Room

She found De-clutter Me! by googling professional organizer and her zip code. We talked. She said that she and her husband are “victims of their stuff.” Their home offices, living room, and kitchen need help. Would I work with them, both individually and together? Sure!

After arriving, and checking our temperatures, she and I toured around the house, discussing the work to be done. What was bugging her most? Where to start? She quickly suggested the living room. We started around the wood stove. The area had become a dumping ground. Her husband has many cookbooks. A sideways box held some that he would purge. The chair held clothes and other items to put away. Other stuff was discarded or placed into recycling. We also cleaned behind it, next to the couch. I encouraged her to get rid of the little TV tray-type table that was a clutter magnet.

The area around the wood stove before we cleared its clutter
Before
Now we can see the wood stove and the nice plant on it!
After

Next, we focused on the area at the other side of the couch, where her husband sits. We put some items into recycling, moved a power strip cord to make it less visible. It was creating “visual noise,” a great term I learned from another client a few summers ago. We consolidated reading materials, discarded excess pens, and otherwise neatened-up the area.

Before
His corner now clutter-free!
After

What next? She suggested the bench with storage. Should we look through the stored items? No, she could do that at another time. On the bench part, though – a few pieces of clothing, two decorative pillows, a phone book, a power strip. The clothing was set aside for the laundry, the phone book added to recycling, the power strip set aside for use elsewhere in the house. We placed the pillows back on the bench, where she now could put on her shoes. Success!

The bench and storage piece before we cleared its clutter
Before
Now she can sit on the bench to put on her shoes!
After

We had a little bit of time left. How to use it? She chose a slim kitchen counter and a bench below it, actually in the dining area. We consolidated a few small appliances on the counter, along with a container for often-grabbed items, and a decorative rooster. On the bench below, napkins, pot holders, muffins for toasting. Our time together used up, they were pleased.

A counter and bench before we cleared their clutter
Before
Small appliances together, clear space, and room to make toast!
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

Before Kitchen Ceiling Repair and Painting

There are some areas in Robin and Dave’s house that might benefit from some organizing attention. First, though, she and I decided to focus on the kitchen. Why? Someone was scheduled in a little over a week to repair a small area of the ceiling, and then to paint it.

While items on the counters would be covered, there might be some dust, too. Clean-up will be easier if the counters are as clear as possible.

I explained to Robin my professional organizer’s method. We would start on one counter and work our way around the room. We started, first discussing an attractive, though broken, wooden pepper mill. Keep and repair or toss? We decided to keep it. Next, a small box with random cords and chargers which, incidentally, is the most common thing I see when working with clients. Often, people are unsure of what they might match. We set a few aside for Robin and Dave to consider. Next, we tossed expired supplements and pills, and recycled their containers or packaging. We placed some small appliances in the dining room where they would be close by, if needed before or during the ceiling project. We set aside some items to discard or donate.

Part of the kitchen counter before we cleared its clutter
Before
Clutter gone from part of the kitchen counter
After

Next, we continued the process on the other side of the sink, clearing clutter and consolidating items.

Before we cleared clutter from another part of the kitchen counter
Before
Clutter cleared from another part of the kitchen counter
After

What’s next? That’s to be determined but, as we finished, Robin was smiling, and the distant snow-covered mountains were bathed in glorious sunlight, a precious commodity this winter!

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.