Friday, January 14, 2011

21 Day Organization Challenge with a bowl full of lemons! - Part 2

Day # 11
The Freezer

I"m a little behind!  I didn't quite get this done yesterday, so I'm making up today.

I really needed this one!!  I don't think I'd cleaned out my freezer since....  EVER!

What a mess....

So I pulled everything out...

I've heard vinegar is good to clean the fridge so you don't use chemicals, so that's what I used!

I sorted through the food, and threw some things out...

Ahhhh... clean freezer...

Sorted by date...

I guess I know what I'll be cooking next week! 

Tidbit: On tupperware for leftovers I use a dry erase marker to write the date I made it and use by date!  It stays on in the freezer but washes off when you want it to!

Day #12
The Spices  

This cabinet doesn't get used too often....

ahhhhhh.... so nice

Tidbit: Invest in these turntables from Bed Bath and Beyond.  They aren't too expensive if you use your 20% coupons.  They are SO worth it!

Do spices go bad???? Some of these were expired but they were full so I kept them anyway.

Day 13 & 15
The Medicine Cabinet

This is probably the WORST area in our home.  I have been putting this off... and putting this off...  We put these cabinets in about a year ago and they just became the tossing ground for... well... just about everything that didn't have a home!

I threw away about half the things in this cabinet.  I will admit (shamefully) - there were things in here that expired in 2007!  '07!!  Oh my goodness...

And then I replaced the empty space with some things that were under our sink.  I think I need more baskets! 

Day 14
Bathroom - Under the Sink

Our Master Bath has always been a huge issue in keeping organized. 

The drawers to the right have definitely helped.  But as you an see, they're a mess.  I forgot to take a before pic of the inside of the drawers. We'll just say they looked a lot like my junk drawer...

So my tibdit for today:  Think about what containers work for your routine and your space.   When I originally organized this space I did use containers and drawers, but I definitely didn't use the right kind!  On a typical day, this this is what my counter looks like...

I decided to get rid of the container I had, and replace it with 4 different containers, sorted by which products I use the most.  I put the items I use everyday in one basket so I can pull that one out and slip it back in when I'm done getting ready.  I put the items I only use periodically in the baskets at the back.

I also organized the drawers to the right and used additional containers in them.  I found all my containers at the 99 cent store, and they were all (guess what) 99 cents!  Haha

I also found a use for all those baby food containers I've been saving...


Day 16
Cleaning the Fridge

So glad I didn't go to the store yesterday! Here are the pics from today's challenge:

Too it ALL out!

Washed it all...


SO much better!  And in need of some groceries!

Tidbit of the day:  I've never done this before, but I am definitely doing it from now on.  I have everything grouped together in the side like Toni did (ex: ketchup, mayo, mustard... all together).  I had two of so many things in the fridge and I never noticed!  Especially pickles... probably left over from pregnancy cravings. haha

Day 17
Mobile Command Center

I can NOT believe how fast the past 17 days have gone!!  Only 4 more days!!  I can tell a HUGE difference in our house.  It's amazing how quickly I am able to find things and I now know exactly what we have in our house!

So today's challenge was the paperwork.  I have been waiting for this challenge and let me tell you I needed it - badly!  Here's the before (please don't look too closely at the mess in the background!):

I found some really cute folders at Walmart.  They seemed expensive to me (around $5 for 6 of them), but I didn't need many of them, so I thought I would splurge!

I actually had this fantastic organizer that has made it through many moves - I think it may be from college???  I just knew I would need it one day!  It's faded, but it works perfectly.  Now I just need to think of something cute to do with it!

Tidbit of the Day:  This is a pretty useful one that I picked up from my mom.  As you will see I didn't make a folder for my coupons.  I actually keep them in a plastic envelope that is easy to take with me.  I don't have a picture because it is in my car right now!

Day 18

Thank goodness I just did this one about a month ago! Sorry no before and after pictures.   You've seen enough of my messy spaces to guesstimate!

We don't have too many keepsakes, since we've only been married a few years, and our little guy is still... well... little.  AND my parents thankfully haven't made me take anything out out of there attic yet.  Basically all we have are cards from our wedding, pictures etc.  I keep everything in my pie cabinet with other crafty things, sewing machine, and scrapbooking papers.

Honestly looking at this picture it still looks a little chaotic, but it is MUCH better than it was and with me being a day behind it will have to do for now! =)

I keep all of our cards in our card box from our wedding.  I'm still trying to come up with something fantastic to do with these, so if you have any ideas let me know!!

Tidbit of the Day:  This is actually more for me than anyone, BUT I've discovered that I have amazing intentions for scrapbooking.  I have a book for every year my hubby and I dated, a book for my little man, a book for our wedding.  However... NONE of them are finished!!  I'm hoping that one day I will get motivated and finish them all, but for now, I purchase the picture books from shutterfly.  I've realized that they're smaller, easier to make additional copies to share with family members, and so much fun to go back and look through!  And they don't take nearly as much time to create!! So I think for now I'm pretty hooked on the Shutterfly books.  They always have amazing deals and they just always turn out so good!!

Now I'm off to clean out the master closet - whew!

Day 19
Master Closet


The mess...

Let me give you a little background on our closet.... it's about 10 feet long and VERY narrow and FULL wall to wall.  Don't judge me - I worked retail for 7 years.  To say this is WAY past due is an understatement.  This is like many years past due.  Here is one of my goodwill piles.

I have a SUPER hard time giving away clothes (and shoes).  They hold sentimental value to me, sort of like they're a part of who I am, part of a chapter of my life.... I know SO cheezy!  So here's what I did to "let go".

I tried on EVERYTHING! Yes, EVERYTHING! With just recently having a baby I had absolutely no idea how anything fit.  I stood in front of the mirror and asked myself how I felt in that shirt, pant etc.  If it didn't make me feel great, wasn't comfortable, or was out of style it got tossed.

A very wise woman once told me - if you keep things that you're on the fence about you're not going to be able to find the clothes that make you feel fabulous!  (who doesn't want to feel fabulous???)

Okay so enough of my rambling.  This project is going to take probably the next week to finish.  I just wanted everyone to know I wasn't slacking!

This one will just have to be continued....

Day 20

The majority of my photos aren't printed out yet, so this project was pretty easy for me!  The photos I do have printed are organized and at the top of my closet in boxes.

The rest of our pictures are organized and on SmugMug.  I started using smugmug when my son was born.  It's not too expensive - I paid 1 full year up front.  I upload all of our pics there so it's easy to share them with family and friends.  I chose smugmug because there are so many options for privacy and it also allows people to download them and get them printed off themselves.

Day 21
My Pick!!

I finally finished the master closet!  Woo hoo!!  It was a HUGE task, but it is finally finished!!

My tips for the master closet:
  • Use the same style of hanger for each category of clothes
  • Hang up clothes with the hanger facing the same way. Always make a ? with the hanger - clothes face you and hanger is always the way a question mark would face.  That's a tip I picked up while working my many years in retail. 
  • Hang clothes according to style and color
  • Don't keep things you don't wear!
  • I personally give the dry cleaning hangers to goodwill.  They have a sharp point that can damage clothes.  I DO keep their pant hangers though and use those for all my pants. They are great pant hangers!
This idea came from my brilliant dad!  This is our laundry sorting system, and I LOVE it!  This is in our master closet - ceiling to floor laundry baskets!  Of course I had to add some cute tags - you can find the tutorial here for those.

It's a great way to keep your laundry baskets organized.  Here is a look at the hardware we used to put them up. 

I don't have step by step instructions because we did this so long ago, but e-mail me if you have questions!  it's a life saver!!

I can't believe the 21 days are over!!  What an accomplishment this has been!!  This week I am relaxing and enjoying my organized home!


  1. Spices don't go bad in that bacteria grows on them and you then becomes sick when the bacteria hits your system (which is how meat/veggies/etc go bad) but the do grow "weaker" over time. You have to use more of two year old dried basil than new to get the same amount of flavour. As longs as you are aware of this, you can use the "old" spices!

  2. And I meant to add, your spice cabinet and freezer look lovely after the organization :)

  3. It looks really good and super organized. And Miazilla is right. Just use more spices and no worries about them being expired.

  4. Wow... you have really been working it! The spaces look great! I found you from A Bowl Full of Lemons. I would love for you to stop by my Organizing Mission Monday link party and leave a link. I keep it open until Saturday. Since I'm not on blogger & you won't get direct link, I'll leave the link. Thanks

  5. What a great idea to use dry-erase markers! You're a genius! I've been wondering how to do that for years.

    Don't you love organizing and cleaning things out? (Err...not the cleaning part itself, but the result.) During my holiday break, I did some of that myself. :)

  6. Those baby food containers are nice little containers.
    Thanks for linking up to my Organizing Mission Monday link party.

  7. you ARE a superwoman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Wow!! Great job! Love all the little containers!


  9. Can I hire you for my place!! SERIOUSLY!

  10. Lookin great!!!
    I love the baby food containers for small stuff.

    I had to do one big catch up day too with the bathroom. It happens, :P

  11. Everything looks SO great! So many of your tidbits and ideas and containers I use and do also! We must be like minded...if you need any more organizing inspiration, feel free to stop by. You did a really good job! Keep it up! I'm sure it feels good having everything organized and tidy!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  12. GO GIRLIE! You are doing awesome. My FAVORITE is the hair stuff storage. I have my first little girl and can't figure out where to put or how to store all her little elastics. Love your idea! Thanks!

    Jennie {Cinnaberry Suite}

  13. TERRIFIC, you did awesome girl.

    I love turntables for organizing spices, I use them too, come see :)

    I also use those old baby food containers, they are awesome, clear, and rectangular so they fit nicely, LOVE it.

    I also use vinegar for cleaning.

    I love your blog, and am your newest follower. YAYY...

    Now you come link up and party with me too, **Amaze me August**, can't wait to see you, oh and while you're there, enter my giveaway this week, for CSN stores.


    Bella :)

  14. Oh my you are rocking the organizational thing! I need to do all of this too!!

  15. Thanks for linking this up again to my Organizing Mission monday. I love it. Feel free to stop back by and pick up my button for your blog too.
    Thanks.. I look forward to seeing more of what you do. Great pics!

  16. Oh my you go girl. Wish I had found you earlier, would have joined you on your mission. I'm doing one project a week but I think I need a boost, I think daily would give me a little more boost. So I could see some results faster. Anyhow everything you have done looks great. I have a side by side fridge too, sometimes I wish I could just expand the walls a couple inches. You have inspired me to come up with a better mail system. I organized the business portion of my office but neglected the home portion. Got to figure something out.

  17. I can't wait to try this in my own home! I love it.

  18. Absolutely outstanding job!