Tuesday in Hillsboro, OR was gray + wet, which is exactly what we expect this time of year. Teeming with life was the home of Lindsey, whose three children were either working on schoolwork (they home school) or following Lindsey and me around while L showed me the house. Lindsey has done a remarkable job organizing their living spaces, and I getting to come alongside her, like with any mom, is an honor. Here at TidyFox, we don't subscribe to the idea that Mom = be perfect, and do it all by yourself. We actually cheer on those moms who know that Martha Stewart herself has a TEAM of people making her look good...so....
Our clients are usually very capable and totally able to do the work we do on their own, but it's such a challenge to
b) realize you need any organization
c) clarity to see through what's there to what could be there! Lindsey originally hired us to help her mom who lives in an apartment below them, but due to scheduling, we had to change that - and I'm so glad that's how things turned out, because I spent the whole day going at that kitchen! We've created a whole Profile Album of the kitchen which you can view here
Here are some things we think might be helpful to you!
Tips from Tidying
Take Things Out of Their Packages:
Look at the picture above. The #1 difference is that we took everything out of the packaging!
This means, anything that you can - things that are in additional packages, like individually wrapped or in clear plastic bags (think nutrition bars, cereal and soda cans) looks better and are more accessible when out of the bag.
When we did this project, we didn't get to do a lot of purging, so we attempted at fitting all the things in when ideally we would have gone through and kept only the most wanted things. But hey! This is still a total transformation!
When you take items out of the package, you also realize how much you have, and will help you not overbuy next time, or at least help to make sure you're really running low before stocking up again.
We also took the smaller items (things not in previously packaged boxes) and put them in little baskets and clear tubs - this allows items to be grouped for easier finding and so they don't fall out of the cupboard ; ) We love to be economical, so we purchased these tubs and baskets at the dollar store! Here at the bottom are replenish items = mostly condiments. Grouping them all together now allows for ease in finding and not accidentally buying more than needed! And that, Friends, is the culprit of clutter - buying more than you need.
Group Like Items:
Another interesting tidbit we discovered during this kitchen project, is how it's so easy to scatter similar items all around! We like designating specific spaces for things so that in future it's easy for a babysitter, a relative in town, or even dad to find! Here we gave space on the top shelf for alcoholic beverages and the instruments related, so it's all in one spot!
Next we grouped all the baking items by flour and then misc baking below.
Finally we put all the breakfast items together so it's easy for everyone to find!
A sweet win was converting the empty candy jar into the bulk oatmeal dispenser! Then Lindsey cut out the instructions and tapped it to the side for easy meal making. Love that!
Phase Two: The Homeschooling and Entertaining Cabinet
Since Lindsey has guests over weekly, we wanted her prep for entertaining to have an ease to it, enough that an early arriver could help out!
Likewise, we wanted the kids, who are extremely creative, to have quick access to their crafting supplies.
This side took us a great amount of time due to sorting, but no complaints here! This is totally transformed, including the clean lines up top! These basketed items are either really messy crafts or better when for adult supervision (so they are up high so kids can't reach)
Find The Flow
Ease = Flow. Figure out what you need, then place it where it's best found/accessed. On the Entertaining side you can see everything with easy: plates, cups and bowls, as well as napkins, straws and table clothes. Above is spillover homeschooling supplies just for Mom and below are candles and the InstaPot. We grouped similar crafting related items together, and Lindsey approved.
1st shelf: one child's recycled items for future crafting purposes (he liked to rifle through the recycling bin so he could use them. This box is for those items.
2nd shelf: beaded items, the small whiteboards and kid magazines. 3rd shelf: are painting and drawing materials, plus blank sheets of white and colored paper. 4th shelf: crafting kits & large puzzles
5th shelf: PlayDough supplies & smaller puzzles. We hope your takeways can be inspiration as you embark on your own tidying journeys. We would love to come alongside you and see your own messes to success. Let us know! Joy to you, - Amy