I thought this would be easy. I’m always in my kitchen so I figured I would be able to declutter my problem spots throughout the week for Hot Spot #4 in Project Simplify. No such luck. Two cabinets were cleaned out, but I still need to conquer the balance.

The snack cabinet before was not organized well and still had some random candy canes inside. There were also some expired BBQ sauce bottles too. I am making my sauces/marinates from scratch now so I wasn’t surprised to see certain things had expired. The cleaned up cabinet actually has some extra space now.

I loved the suggestion on Simple Mom to stock bulk purchases in glass jars.
Here is a shot of my pantry reusing some glass jars I had on hand.

The next cabinet to attack is the baking one. Since I have started cooking more real food, my ingredients have increased slightly. I need to relook at what should be in this cabinet and what may need a new home. I look forward to reading the other posts to get more organizing ideas.

If you have suggestions for organizing your baking supplies, I’m all ears!

*Remember to enter to win a unique tote from Jitesh Patel’s The Tote Bag book. Check out the previous post.

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In week 3 of Project Simplify I worked on organizing the toy area of our basement. In the before shot, you can see the havoc a two year can cause with kitchen accessories and blocks.

We don’t have a great system for all the many play things, as seen in this shot.

The space is shared with our office area so it’s distracting when the toy area gets so messy.
After a thorough clean up, there is now space to play, including room for the baby to stretch out for a cat nap!

I am using containers we already had in the house to contain the toys. I sorted through the kitchen stuff and limited it to the nice wooden food and the Green Toys accessories.

If anyone has a favorite way to organize books, I would love to hear it.

Can’t wait to see next week’s hot spot! Stay tuned for next week’s results.

Our “mail table” is the catch-all in our house.  Despite our best efforts to recycle daily all the junk mail and catalogs, the pile keeps coming back.  The mission to tackle the Paper Clutter in the house in week 2 of Project Simplify was going to be a challenge.  However, I was very motivated to sort through everything since I have been looking at it while nursing my infant for the past six weeks.

Our Mail Table Before
I realized that our mail “box” is not working well.  Now is the time to set-up our home management binder.  While sorting out the clutter, I was able to identify the key categories that pile up.  They include receipts, inspiration tears from magazines, coupons and more.  I found Mandi’s VLOG from Organizing Your Way very helpful to explain how she tackles her magazine pile as I find mine can turn into a mountain very quickly.
There was a lot of little clutter hot spots that I tried to deal with this week as well…
Wallet Clutter~ all cleaned out now
I also sorted through some kitchen clutter that includes many recipes printed from the blogs I read.  My mission is to do a better job of keeping track of recipes that I make and enjoy so I can make them again.  Maybe I need a rating system to decide if something should make the recipe box!
Here’s a shot of the sorting in progress. I wrote down all the things I need to action on Monday.
Lastly, here’s an After shot of the mail clutter.  I’m much happier with it until I can get a new system in place.  I’m looking forward to checking into more links to get some good ideas.
Can’t wait to see next week’s Hot Spot!  It’s great having a focus for the week.
If anyone has a great mail organizing system leave me a link!

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On Monday, I was excited to check Simple Mom’s site to find out where Project Simplify was going to start.  The starting point is our Wardrobe, which is quite a challenge for me at the moment.  My closet is a cluster of pre-baby, maternity, and post-baby clothes.  The project gave me motivation to start attacking the craziness that existed every time I opened the door.

I spent the better part of the week pulling clothes out that I never wore in between pregnancies.  A large number of the items were more formal attire that wasn’t needed since my office switched to business casual.  I was able to gather two garbage bags full of clothes to be donated to our local Community Council.  The proceeds will help to feed local families in need.  I also collected all of the annoying wire hangers from the dry cleaners to return to them to recycle.

I also pulled together a large section in my closet of clothes to bring to a local consignment shop.  I have an appointment next week so there’s no turning back now.

  “clothes for consignment shop”
This challenge gave me a change to shop in my closet, as I found things I forgot I had.  I also used this opportunity to practice what I preach and repurpose other items.  My multiple pant hanger became a scarf hanger, which all get much more use than my formal hanging pants.
“new use for a pant hanger”
I’m excited about the progress I made this week, and looking forward to getting some containers to further organize my closet.  Now that I have cleared out the excess, I know exactly what containers are needed.
“After shot~ more to come”
There is only so much that can be done when you are home on maternity leave and have a very hunger 5 week old.  He is the priority, so I don’t fault myself for not completing the task to my usual standard.  Who can’t resist snuggling on the couch with this little guy?!
Can’t wait to check out others before/after pictures and also find out next week’s Hot Spot!

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