Friday, January 15, 2010

Remodel & Declutter--A Twofer!

Amy's Finer Things recently started a Declutter Challenge--getting rid of 730 things in 365 days. I'm really excited about this challenge, especially because it's right up my alley with this year's goal to organize, organize, organize! While I'm not sure if I'll get rid of 730 things (which equates to 2 items per day), I do know that I'll be getting rid of a ton of stuff. I'm just not so organized that I can actually count how much stuff I'm getting rid of.

Still, I'm cleaning up and getting things moved out.

But enough about me. I'm here to brag about my hubby, because he, too, has picked up the declutter bug. First, a little background for ya':

I have several cabinets in our laundry room that had gotten overrun by my husband's tools, yard work supplies, hunting gear, remodeling stuff. And with the end of hunting season, there was stuff everywhere! Let's just say that the cabinets were full, and I couldn't even open the lid to put dirty clothes in the washer machine. What did hubs do earlier this week? Cleaned everything out and tossed away enough stuff to fill up the kitchen garbage bag (not any hunting stuff, there's no way he'd get rid of that! :). Sorry, I do not have a picture of this. I didn't know that he was going to "clean haus", and what would be the point of posting an after picture if I wasn't able to get a before picture?

And here's what he's been working on (most of it he did yesterday and today). Please pardon the absolute awful mess! Kind of hard to do dirty dishes because the clean dishes took over the counters...allow me to explain. :)

We've been slowly remodeling each room of our house since we moved in back in 2002. The main project has been the dining room and kitchen, which got put on hold due to the holidays, and my husband being out of work for over a year hasn't helped. So it's been "a little here, a little there."

We have this wall in the kitchen that used to have a window. The window was really pointless. We couldn't see outside; instead it was a window into the living room that is on the other side of the wall. We thought about making it a pass-thru, or even a doorway to the living room. But neither of us were interested in that. Several months ago, hubs took out the window and put up sheet rock, which he'll tape off, mud and paint later on. That task has been late on the priority list.

In addition, hubs decided to move this upper cabinet. It's excellent as far as storage goes, but it's kind of in the wrong place. The cabinet hangs rather low over the counter and casts a dark shadow, so I've got a fluorescent light under the cabinet to help me see as I prep food, pay bills, etc. Hubs took down the pictures that I had on the back of the cabinet, put up a sheet of plywood, and...

Moved the cabinet! And built me a spice rack, too! He still has to mud and paint, but that wasn't on today's project deck.

Like I said, the clean dishes took over the's our dining room table. No eating supper here tonight!

My new spice rack. I love it! It's a handy way to keep all the spices together. Before this evening, I had 3 different spice racks, which looked more cluttered than anything. This is definitely an improvement. Plus, I discovered that I had a few duplicate spices, so I combined them and was able to toss 4 or 5 empty bottles into the recycle bin. (hooray!)

I put all the towels and clean dishes back into the cabinet that hubs moved. What a difference! I have extra space! There are some glasses in the dishwasher that will go up in the cabinet, but there's still a lot more space. I even had enough room to put the kids' plates, bowls and cups in here, instead of another cabinet on the opposite end of the kitchen.

By no means do I consider this cabinet "done." I still plan on rearranging all the kitchen cabinets. But this is a start (and it cleared off the dining table and some of the counter space!).

We still have some other changes to make to the kitchen cabinets, aside from rearranging them all. The house didn't come with a dishwasher, so the first year we were here we bought a portable dishwasher. Hubs is looking at installing the dishwasher as a permanent fixture in another area of the kitchen. After he does that, there's plans to add more cabinets where the dishwasher's current parking space is. And once that's all said and done, we'll sand down the cabinets, remove the varnish, and paint them a lovely shade of cream. The hardware, too, will all get replaced.

Baby steps, sweet sisters! Baby steps! We'll get there one day. After all, there are 365 days in a year!

This post is linked to the 730 in 365 Declutter Challenge at Amy's Finer Things. Check it out!

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