Monday, April 5, 2010

Kick-Off & Kick-A$$

It's Monday, April 5, 2010. Do you know where your clutter is?

I do! I know all too well. As promised, I am delivering photos today for the first "zone" targeted in my Project 12 Rooms in 12 Months. I'd like to go on the record here, stating that I took these photos last Friday after a typical, busy week, and I left them EXACTLY as I found them (don't judge me):

This is the first thing you see entering through our garage. It is the "information center." It is informing me that I should turn around and run while I have the chance.

As you can see, much effort has been made in order to keep this mudroom functional. I have the Ikea bookshelf, the corkboard, The vertical filebox on the left to hold "'portant papers" where did I go wrong? Well, first of all, as we grab everything out of the car and drag it into the house, where do you think it lands? Right on the make-shift credenza. Water bottles, gift bags, receipts, etc. That's an easy fix. A quick daily sweep will keep that in check. But the big problem here is the plethora of paper. I took a good look at all the paper tacked up there, and I'd say about 98% of it could be filed appropriately in a real file box (more like 68% with 30% being filed in the trash can). THAT is my first task to tackle. Won't those cute corkboard disks that I found on the internet be more appealing holding kids' artwork and fancy invitations?

This is inside the mudroom closet. Those pockets are very handy to hold scissors, screwdrivers, hole punches, etc. Clever, right? But a mess, none the less. Needs editing.

Ugh. Undersized closet for oversized kids. Please tell me this, why don't kids want to stick their shoes in those convenient little cubbie holes? What is it about those neatly squared-off boxes that repels high tops and crocs?

The laundry room is barely bigger than the closet, but it works. The focus in this room will be making sure the clothes get transfered from this rod to the closets upstairs, and purge unnecessary things in the boxes above. Those boxes are my "gift closet" with gift bags, ribbons, and an assortment of knick knacks to throw in for presents. It's a very handy solution, but it only looks tidy when everything is kept INSIDE those boxes.

On to the powder room. The week we moved in, I started peeling the dated wallpaper off the walls. Two years later, notice the remnants still lurking behind the toilet? That project got pushed waaaay back when I noticed the walls hadn't been prepped properly and I began tearing into the drywall. Wallpaper. I can't tell you how many layers I've stripped from how many walls in how many homes. The bane of my existence. And yet. I just ordered four double rolls to solve the problem here! Resale shmesale. I'm doing things MY WAY.

Does anyone else still have Christmas/winter decor still looming in scary rooms? No? Just me? 'kay.

Anyone else have random cosmetics hanging out in candle jars? No? Just me, again? 'kay.

In conclusion, P:12-12 is now in full swing. Time to make a plan. I know that I am going to hit the kids' rooms in June, July, and August when they are around to help. I know I will be saving the family room (with the least amount of clutter) for the busy month of December. I know I am going to break each room down into digestable chunks. Lists are good. Focus is key. Drinking is optional.

Post your pics on Aleighopolis so we can all hold each other accountable. It just takes a few minutes. I'm a sucker for a good "before & after."


  1. OK, what's wrong with me that I find your "information center", mudroom closet and laundry room immaculately organized? You seem to be noting the inefficiencies in these photos, but I recently "organized" my garage, yet I would never post a photo b/c you'd certainly think it was my "before" shot.

  2. You're too kind. Indeed, I have purchased many storage and space-saving products, but I still feel clausterphobic. i.e. I really only use five out of my 15 cookbooks. Once I figured out that I still had to actually PREPARE the meals, they lost their appeal. Anytime I need a new recipe, I surf the web. I will gain about 1 square foot of space when I ditch the extra ten books. Every little bit counts!

  3. I am in tears (of laughter) over the make-up in the candle. Never seen that before but it's already a classic.

  4. First you said 12 rooms in 12 months...then you said 12 rooms in 12 which is it? Seriously let's not put so much pressure on ourselves! I say you stay put for 12 years (if that's possible) and do 12 rooms in 12 years. Yeah? I like it.

  5. Yikes! Thanks for catching my "typo," Jenj!!! I can't organize a sock drawer in 12 days, let alone a whole room. No, this is meant to be a "work in progress" broken down into attainable bites. On the flip side, in 12 YEARS, my kids will be out of the house (God-willing) and Big Daddy and I will be living minimal-style in a condo in Argentina. Or something like that.