Well this blog is supposed to be about organizing and well I finally got down to doing some organizing the other night when the satellite went out. It was worse than when I was a kid and the President was talking. Because now there was no blue glow, no annoying background noise. We’ve drained the pool, so we couldn’t swim. It was quite hot outside at 7pm still since we’ve now hit 85 days of 100+ degree days. I wandered around a bit at a loss of what to do next. We were definitely off our regular routine.
That’s as good a time as any to look around at some areas that could use some improvement. I found at least four that need almost immediate attention, just in the kitchen so I started with one and well just got started. I’ll admit that overcoming the inertia of keeping things the way they are is the hardest part of a project. Once you get into it and start the purging process, it is liberating to see how much you can get rid of and how little you actually want to put back into the now cleaned out area.
This is the drawer I decided to tackle first.
This is where we keep product manuals and warranty for all sorts of items. Perhaps a kitchen drawer isn’t the best place for this stuff and now that I’m really starting to think about it, I think I could indeed take things to a different place by shifting these to hanging folders as I imagined Laura did when she went through her warranties last week. Yes, this is a copy-cat activity.
So what did I find???? All sorts of things.
My darling DIL and I have a running joke about the things that I save (like the ticket stubs when we all visited the St Louis Arch) that she will end up finding when she’s cleaning out my house because I’m dead (hopefully much later in our lives), and oh J have I got some good ones for you this time! I won’t spoil it for you though, but you’ll find a few random receipts for items, I tucked them away for you to find later. J
I found manuals for things we have, duplicate books for things like ceiling fans that we have four of. Why did I save two of the books? Was I afraid one would be lost in the drawer? Really? Out one went.
The easy stuff to get rid of was the stuff that we don’t have anymore, like the lawn mower that was purchased in 1994. The book for the original washing machine that we bought with the house, that died four years ago. You get the idea. Perhaps things are like this at your house? It’s easy to add one more thing to the pile, but a bit of a pain to sort through that big pile just to look for one thing to take out. Oh used ink cartridges for our printer; we’ve not actually had a printer in at least five years.
As I took each item out of the drawer I put it with other things like it. Here are the categories I ended up with, you’ll no doubt have some different categories if you decide to do this exercise too (pssst, get ready for a challenge). Electronics, Large Appliances, Kitchen, Tools, Tractor, Shed (things that live in the shed, or are related to the outside, like the electric fence charger for the garden to keep Missy out).
There were some other items in there too… like a random picture from L&M’s wedding a young DM is in the background watching and laughing (you can get a glimpse by the bananas). Random hose connector items, that obviously belong to something…
My favorite item however was the blue thing in this picture that has ‘save for future use’ stamped in the plastic on the top. I was compliant. I saved it. I think it goes to the water filter in the fridge, but I’m not completely sure. J may get to find that too.
Plenty of the labels for education and the other labels that we save for school too. I sent those on to school this morning. Phone chargers, SIM cards, phone batteries. etc etc etc.
Once I had all the stuff sorted out I got manila files labeled them with my broad categories, stacked them all back into the drawer like this:
I recycled a stack of paper 3-4" high, threw away a good stack of stuff with our names on it and now can open and close the drawer without issue. I'm pumped and ready to tackle the next cabinet just below. I'll give you a preview.
Maybe you've got something like this going on at your house too, maybe not. How can things get this bad? I do have an answer. It's because I don't go into these cabinets very often. I don't get eye level with this lunch box/water bottle cabinet on a daily basis; perhaps only once a week (if i remember to pack a lunch for my poor boy). Things are gonna change though. Getting down on the floor makes me want to change it, and soon!
Time invested? about 30 minutes on the drawer. Way better use of my time than watching tv.
So take the warranty challenge. If you don't do anything else, just weed out the stuff you don't have anymore. Make a comment and let me know what you decide to tackle and then post again when you've gotten it done!
Ready? Set? Go! You daughter, or daughter-in-law will really appreciate it.