Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Organize that Mess



Here's what I wanted to organize this week.  This island is a piece I picked up from IKEA...back when I lived somewhat close to this blessed oasis.  We've moved twice sense purchasing this piece and I still LOVE it, but our kitchen is much too small to try to squeeze something like this in there.
As you can see, the top is covered so doesn't offer a very practical work space as is.  My goal was to go through everything on the island and make it a space where I could do some of my projects, rather than sitting criss-cross applesauce on the carpet and risking hot glue goo everywhere.

My first step was to empty this crate.  I love the rustic look of this piece and could think of a million wonderful ways to use it, but my practical side took over and I knew this would need to provide storage....for something.
Jars.  Oh how I love my jars.  I hope to beautify them in the future but my first priority is to get them put away.  So fun jars go in the fun crate.  I can't wait to make these pieces part of a future project, but like I said, it needs to be functional NOW. 

My next item of business was this:
Gotta empty this baby and find a good storage solution.
I couldn't find a picture that showed the whole island, but I think you get a pretty good idea of what I was working with when I started.  On the middle shelf  is my scrapbook paper.  Stacked in a hairy cairy mess.  LIGHT BULB moment--store the paper in the crate.  I didn't know if it would be wide enough, but as kharma would have it, it was JUST THE RIGHT SIZE!  I organized by color (solid), color (pattern), stickers, rub-ons, kits, etc.  It all fit it so wonderfully well.  Deeeeep sigh and so happy.  In that stack, there was the cover to a scrapbook that had fallen apart but I couldn't get rid of the cover (I'm still in recovering, okay).
Putting books vertically on the shelves proved to be a difficult task due to this:
Scrapbook cover plus slotted shelf =
Can you believe how well that fits?!!  I decided to change it to the bottom shelf, but at least I knew it would work for my purposes.  Now look at my finished organizational project:
I've really gotta work on my picture taking skills for this blog.  Part of the problem is the mess that remained around me.  At least this wall was a gorgeous masterpiece.  I hope to one day paint/decorate this island, but I'm still on a spending freeze through January.  I will say that I'm excited to have a surface to work on while standing.  I have another table in this room but no chair so I have to bend over to use it and  I'll be honest, I'd rather sit on the floor than have to constantly be bending over. 

So, here's my advice for you other frugally (or not so frugally)-minded friends. 

#1 USE WHAT YOU HAVE. 
I have this amazing island, plenty of containers (that will soon be adorn with the gift from my Christmas Exchange buddy) I could use.

#2 WORK ON ONE AREA AT A TIME.
I will admit that other areas seem to be getting destroyed while I focus my efforts on one particular spot, but I know in the end, it will all come together.  I will probably start stuffing things back into containers so I can get them off the floor.  The cluttered look can get a person down.

#3 DON'T BE AFRAID TO DONATE.
Skip this step if it's broken, but you would be surprised at what people will buy.  Just because you don't see any purpose in it anymore, doesn't mean somebody else doesn't have the perfect space for it or project or vision or whatever.  I watched a YouTube video once of garbage men loading TONS of baby stuff into their truck.  Cribs, chairs, toys, you name it.  I felt so sick watching it.    Areas you can try use: your local thrift store, freecycle.com, craigslist, check with your church leader to see if there's a need for another church member.

That's all the advice for today.  Now I've got to go up there and clean up.  Just because I've organized one spot doesn't mean I've found a home for the rest of my junk treasures.

4 comments:

Everyday Mom Ideas said...

I have a thing for wooden boxes! You can do so much with a sturdy wooden box! I just love stopping by and seeing how your project is doing.

Leanne said...

Great ideas and I love that wooden box. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday.

Sandy Jenney said...

I found your blog from Leanne's Organized Wednesday.
I think it is great that you are decluttering...
I have also started a link party called Organizing Mission Monday if you'd like to link to it. I love DYI ideas!

Amanda said...

love the island! awesome job