Friday, January 1, 2016

52 Weeks to an Organized Home - Kitchen Organization: Counter Tops and Sink (Week 1)

Last year I wanted to do the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home challenge that is coordinated by Home Storage Solutions. On that website, there is a one-page sheet that has the schedule for the year as well as links with information and ideas for each of the weekly challenges.

Below is a list of the 52 challenges that are part of the Organized Home series:

Week 1: Kitchen organization: counter tops and sink (January 4, 2016)
Week 2: Kitchen drawers and cabinet organization (January 11, 2016)
Week 3: Organize pantry, spices and food storage areas (January 18, 2016)
Week 4: Organizing refrigerator and freezer (January 25, 2016)
Week 5: Organize recipes and cookbooks (February 1, 2016)
Week 6: Create a home recycling center (plus dealing with trash) (February 8, 2016)
Week 7: Organize coupons (February 15, 2016)
Week 8: Healthy meal planning and creating grocery shopping list (February 22, 2016)
Week 9: Laundry room organization (February 29, 2016)
Week 10: Laundry organization and schedule (March 7, 2016)
Week 11: Create a house cleaning schedule and organize cleaning supplies (March 14, 2016)
Week 12: Create a morning and evening routine (March 21, 2016)
Week 13: Basement organization (March 28, 2016)
Week 14: Organize your garage (April 4, 2016)
Week 15: Attic organizing (April 11, 2016)
Week 16: Organize contact information (April 18, 2016)
Week 17: Organize mail (April 25, 2016)
Week 18: Organize bills (May 2, 2016)
Week 19: Organize receipts and tax documents (May 9, 2016)
Week 20: Organize files and create home filing system (May 16, 2016)
Week 21: Organizing magazines, newspapers and catalogs (May 23, 2016)
Week 22: Organize passwords, manuals and warranties (May 30, 2016)
Week 23: Home office organization (June 6, 2016)
Week 24: Organize email and digital information (June 13, 2016)
Week 25: Bathroom organization (June 20, 2016)
Week 26: Cosmetic and makeup organization (June 27, 2016)
Week 27: Organize linen closet (July 4, 2016)
Week 28: Organize master bedroom closet (July 11, 2016)
Week 29: Master bedroom organization (July 18, 2016)
Week 30: Organize jewelry and other accessories (July 25, 2016)
Week 31: Organize shoes (August 1, 2016)
Week 32: Back to school organization (August 8, 2016)
Week 33: Organizing closet space for your kids (August 15, 2016)
Week 34: Kids' bedroom organizing (August 22, 2016)
Week 35: Outgrown and seasonal clothing storage (August 29, 2016)
Week 36: Yard and garden storage and organization (September 5, 2016)
Week 37: Organize toys and games (September 12, 2016)
Week 38: Car organization (September 19, 2016)
Week 39: Mudroom and entryway organization (Septmber 26, 2016)
Week 40: Organizing living room and family room (October 3, 2016)
Week 41: Organize dining room and stuff for entertaining guests (October 10, 2016)
Week 42: Organize photos, both physical and digital, plus negatives (October 17, 2016)
Week 43: Craft organization (October 24, 2016)
Week 44: Organize books (October 31, 2016)
Week 45: Create an emergency preparedness kit (November 7, 2016)
Week 46: Organize medicine and first aid supplies (November 14, 2016)
Week 47: Organizing purses, handbags and wallets (November 21, 2016)
Week 48: CD and DVD storage and organization (November 28, 2016)
Week 49: Holiday decoration and gift wrap storage and organization (December 5, 2016)
Week 50: Create home inventory (December 12, 2016)
Week 51: Organize pet supplies (December 19, 2016)
Week 52: Keep a family calendar (December 26, 2016)

This week, the focus is on organizing the countertops and sink in the kitchen.

Before and After: in my kitchen by the phone (east side).
Things just needed to go back to where they needed to be.
A simple was about five or so minutes of 
bringing items to different rooms of the home.

The link has many ideas for clearing counter space.

Before and after: by the microwave (southeast side).
This took a bit more time because it involved 
finding space in the cupboards for items from my parents' home; 
putting items into the freezer; and 
bringing items to various rooms in the home.

It also has suggestions for decluttering kitchen tools and equipment, but I didn't do that since that falls under Week 2.

Before and after: the southwest side of the kitchen.
This section had quite a few things out to 
make a birthday cake for Sophia and 
food that I hadn't yet had a chance to 
put away after a trip to the grocery store.

Basically this week is focused on taking control of an area in your home that is central to so many aspects of living.

After: the south counter/window space.
There wasn't anything in front of the plants before.
There were some items in front of the two containers (to the right)
that were put away in the cupboards.

For me, it was a matter of having the time now (after a busy month of homeschooling, volunteering, and 4-H commitments) to focus on picking up and going back to the way that I like to have the kitchen looking. Having space on the counter, the sink clean, and room to make food is relaxing and less stressful than looking at items that weren't put in their proper place.

After: sink area (east side).
The African violets like the east window.
There are quite a few bottles on the right side still.
However, these are all ones that we use on an almost-daily basis.
Perhaps if I free up some more space under the sink 
I can put them under the sink so it looks less cluttered.

What the process did, though, was also remind me that I need to add some items to the "To Do" list: re-caulking/re-sealing where the walls meet the counter top; fixing some drawers and a cupboard that are misaligned; fixing the seal on one of the windows; and re-potting plants that are getting too big for their pots.

It would be nice to re-paint everything, get a new lighting fixture, upgrade the windows, and replace the door (which is an interior door that technically should be an exterior door). However, those are major projects that will have to wait until my parents' home sells and there's money available to do these improvements. Even then, I need to consider which are most critical.

Perhaps with a greater focus on having a more organized home and life these things will be done this year.

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