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.

Posted in Kitchen, Success Stories

A Kitchenette Rescue!

Christine lives in a snug efficiency apartment in a big house, reached by walking up a grand staircase. In a recent session, we tackled the sink area of her kitchenette. Using my fail-safe professional organizer’s method of working top-to-bottom, we started above the cabinets. On top – Christine’s collection of jars. She especially likes some of them, so we carefully considered which ones to keep, and which she might recycle.

The cupboards were tidy, so didn’t need our attention. We straightened up the drawers and under the sink. We cleared the area around the sink, placing some things below it. Visual noise gone!

Before
After

What will we do next? That’s to be determined but, as we finished, Christine was smiling.

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, Office, Success Stories

An Office Front Desk and Kitchen Area Transformation

Kereith got in touch. Planet Fitness had recently moved its offices. He wanted help in a few areas that could use a professional organizer’s touch.

A new administrative staff member would soon join the organization. We spent some time at the front desk, making it both more welcoming and a space to accomplish good work.

Before
After

We also worked on the kitchen. The counter top on a set of shelves across from the sink had accumulated some items in the weeks since the business move. We eliminated its clutter, including some snacks that we would place above the microwave.

Before
After

We discussed the cupboards. We grouped coffee and tea together, then cups and paper plates with plastic cutlery at the top.

Before
After

We placed the snacks, not eaten very often, in the cupboard above the microwave. (Yes, there is a step stool nearby for reaching them.)

Before
After

What might be next? Perhaps hanging art work, to be determined. In the meantime, Kereith was pleased.

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 Cabinets, Kitchen, Success Stories

A Kitchen Purge Before the Movers Come

Occasionally, De-clutter Me! is hired by Home Sweet Home, a California company that does corporate relocations. I work here in Vermont with the family that is moving away. With husband/dad Stephen already at his new job in the South, wife/mom LaTrisha and I focused most of our time purging in the kitchen, before the movers come to pack the family’s belongings and drive them away.

We opened several kitchen drawers, separating items, including lots of paper, to be recycled, shredded, or tossed. We put some of the remaining items in reclosable plastic bags. They will be easy to consolidate when the movers pack the kitchen.

Before
After
Before
After

We also worked on two kitchen cupboard shelves under a drawer. Newly organized, it holds a couple of small appliances, and varied other items that will be easy for the movers to pack.

Before
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

Hawkeye Helps with Mail in the Kitchen!

Judy and I devoted two sessions together to processing old mail in the kitchen. She said that perhaps it was bagged and stuck in a corner when the table was needed for a meal with visiting guests.

We recycled old catalogs and newsletters. We read and said goodbye to cards received for birthdays and other occasions. We filed statements for several bank accounts. We found a spiffy laptop computer bag. Once washed, it would be useful once again.

BEFORE
AFTER

English springer spaniel Hawkeye was close by through much of our work and even pitched in to help with the mail!

Hawkeye helps!

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.