Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week # 1 Results - Organized Home Challenge - Kitchen Counter Tops and Sinks

The first half of January heralded a watershed event in our home - the beginning of organization.  In other words, life as we know it has changed forever.

Week #1 Organized Home Challenge: Counter Tops and Sinks
You know the way it feels to be happy and nervous at the same time. That mix of emotions is sometimes referred to as giddiness.  Do you know what it is like to tackle a challenge that requires breaking old habits, thinking outside the box, learning and growing in new ways?  Do you feel the effect of inertia when you make yourself do something difficult?

Counter top before challenge
 As you can see, I had a lot of work to do.  My counter tops were covered with clutter. Yep, it was a hot mess.

Counter top clutter moved to kitchen table for re-organization during challenge.

Can you believe the amount of stuff here?  It is hard to get a photo of it all due to the sheer volume of clutter.  Cake mixes, large crock pot, waffle cones, frosting, paper towel holders, tins, cutting board, kool aid, butter tub filled with cookie cutters, goldfish crackers, canisters, push pins, toys, spray cleaner, and the list goes on and on.  Obviously I had lost control of my kitchen somewhere along the way.

Kitchen table filled with counter top clutter mid-challenge. 
Actually it felt so good just to get EVERYTHING off the counter tops.  Even though most of the clutter that had been on the counter tops and sink was not put away yet, I had a new sense of purpose.  It felt like a burden was starting to be lifted from my shoulders when I saw those perfectly clean counter tops.  I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  No, not a light from an oncoming train.  It was like accomplishing this was my first little victory.  It offered a sense of brightness and hope for the future challenges.

Counter top after challenge
A clean counter top makes me happy.  It is such a simple thing, right?  Taylor, the genius behind The 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, said this about why she chose to start with Week #1 Organized Home Challenge Kitchen Organization: Countertops & Sink:

"The reason I chose this challenge as the first of the year is because keeping your kitchen organized (and functional) is so important to keeping our whole house running smoothly, and can have such a positive impact in our lives." 

She continues by explaining why uncluttered counter tops are so important:
"There are two main reasons why keeping your counters (mainly) clear is so important to home organization. The first is that you need clear counter space to do many different cooking activities. Since this is the primary function of a kitchen you need space to do these tasks. The second is more of a mental reason. Seeing clear space, instead of cluttered space, is just much more calming and can keep you from feeling so stressed when you enter the room."
After seeing my own progress thus far, I wholeheartedly agree with her.

Kitchen counter tops, stove, and sink after challenge.
 What do you think?  I really like the results.  The only thing I returned to these counter tops was the microwave and one of the two paper towel holders. It was so exciting that I washed the curtains and cleaned the stove top and microwave.

 It might sound silly, but I felt so free and refreshed just standing there looking at all the new space created by the challenge.

Kitchen sink and counter tops with chrome utensil caddy after challenge.
My daughter PEPSI said that she'd like to do it too, but didn't have the money to buy a bunch of storage bins and things.  Guess what?  I didn't really have to buy anything.

Sunflower dish brush and caddy
I chose to buy a new set of kitchen utensils in a cool chrome caddy at Walmart and a cute dish brush with caddy from Tuesday Morning The total cost was under $25.   Following Taylor's advice, I put the utensil caddy right beside the stove top and the sunflower caddy on the window above the sink.  You put the things you close to where you'll use them.

What do you think of the results so far?  Believe me, if I can do this, you can too.  Want to join in?  Need some motivation?  Read on:

 I had a wonderful surprise after my original The 52 Week Organized Home Challenge - Taking The Plunge My new blogger friend Cupcake Mumma has decided to join the challenge too.  Her first post is 52 Weeks to An Organised Home-Phase One This is such exciting news!  It is always easier to take on a big challenge if you have a buddy, right?

More surprises came from two other friends who decided to participate in their own way.  Robin and Tina saw the original post The 52 Week Organized Home Challenge - Taking The Plunge that was shared to facebook.  Even though I can't give you links to check out their personal Organized Home Challenge progress, I will update with progress and pictures as often as possible. 
Tina's medicine storage
Here are some photos from Tina.  She is a very busy mom with six children that she home schools.  Additionally, she and her husband co-founded Plaza Theatre Company and she serves as the Director of Education for Plaza Academy.  She is also an award winning costumer. Would you call me a name-dropper if I said that Curt Mega and Kimberly Whalen  just did a special theater workshop at Plaza Academy over the holiday break last month?  Yes, Tina knows Curt and Kimberly personally.  Yes, Curt is one of the Warblers on Glee.  Yes, his video of Uptown Girl on youtube is pretty darned spectacular. Yes Kimberly is an actress on General Hospital and has appeared in other famous shows.  But I digress...

Tina's medicine storage

Tina shared these "after" photos of her medicine storage.  Looks pretty good, don't you think?  She is very happy with the outcome.

Overall, Week One went even better than expected.  It is nice to share inspiration with others.  Thank you Taylor Flanery for inspiring me.  Thanks Cupcake Mumma, Tina, and Robin for what you are doing on your own and sharing.  You have helped strengthen my motivation.

The next challenge is Week #2 Organized Home Challenge Kitchen Drawers & Kitchen Cabinet Organization.  It actually started on Monday January 9th. We'll catch up a bit by posting next.  Hope you enjoy reading and following along.  Remember, if you like to join in the Challenge, please let me know.  If you blog about it, I'll post links to your Challenge in my weekly updates.