Mission: Happy New Year!

If you know me, you’ll also know I’m not a huge NYE person.  No cynicism here, I just prefer to ring in the new year the same way I like spending the rest of my time: being low-key, in the company of people who brighten my days and doing the things I enjoy doing.  Translation: this NYE I stayed at home with a few friends(don’t worry, I’m not a total recluse…I did go out with my girlfriends the night before…and I am tonight as well:-), watched movies, cooked our favorite thing to make (the go-to homemade pizza and I of course made myself a kale salad as well) and woke up on New Years day to go to my usual Sunday spin class.—Great, low-key, easy-going and slightly lame New Years overall!

If you know me, or have read previous blog posts, you’ll also know that I’m not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions…I prefer everyday resolutions.  As I’ve said before, to me they’re like diets: why would you try and commit to making your life better/healthier/more impacting/whatever have you just this one time of year?  Isn’t it more effective to consistently fill yourself with the proper nutrients and excitedly indulge in the occasional treat (for me that would be chocolate cake, cinnamon toast crunch or cheez-its) than try to run on a mediocre diet most of the time and have a few weeks of deprivation?  No judgement: each man to his own and any attempt to better yourself deserves kudos!

So continuing on with my New Years: instead of making resolutions this year I decided to (and am still in the process of completing) an organization overhaul! I will get to the list eventually, but for now I’m going to give you a rundown of the biggest project completed thus far: The Organization of the Kitchen Cabinets (yikes!!)

Whenever I start a project like this (i.e. reorganizing, decorating, redecorating etc.) I always start with Putting Everything Out in the Open..this way you can tell a.) exactly what you’re working with and b.) what your blank slate looks like.

I don’t think the picture does the scariness of this situation any justice (maybe the “before” picture at the end of the post will help.)

From this point I Take it to the Trash: aka throw away any and everything unnecessary, rotten, old, devoid of its usefulness.  Next, like in a good game of beer pong, you have to Consolidate. This included putting the dry grains physically in the same place on the counter and doing the same with pastas, baking supplies, splices etc.  I like to do this because over the course of time I tend to smoosh things wherever they’ll fit, as a result I have spaghetti in the baking section, tortellini near the spices and fettucini by the popcorn (this should be something I add to my everyday resolutions…KEEP ON TOP OF NOT BEING LAZY AND STAYING ORGANIZED.  Also, once you get everything together you can see a.) what can be combined and therefore what containers can be thrown away and b.) exactly how much of something you have so you’re no longer trying to cram 5 bags of flour into the smallest kitchen cabinet.

Next step: just Get Creative…in all aspects: organizing your space, making the most use of what you already have, where you put things etc. Examples:

All my cabinets are either too tall for a girl who is 5’2″ or so deep that it feels like a certain famous C.S. Lewis novel.  My solution: use old “anything that is cubic” boxes to create some elevation and therefore easier accces.

Another problem I ran into was bags of things…and lots of them.  But seeing as I don’t want to throw their contents away and also have no other form of containment I’ll try and organize these plastic nuisances the best I can: clothes pins.

Lastly, get creative with containers.  I luckily had lot’s of mason jars I got from Sur la Table, Target etc. which came in handy but once I ran out of those I tried to move onto other ideas: vases and household baskets (which also ended up being used to organize the larger of the plastic bags).

Voila!! Before

And After

Other NYE projects I am working on:

Saging the house: have to have a clean spiritual slate for the new year.

Clothing Donation/Getting rid of all things not used:  I already have 2 trash bags full.  I’m also going to do a neat trick to help make it easier to donate clothes in the future: Turn all the hangers in your closet around (i.e. have the hook come up over the clothing’s rod from the back) and anytime you wear something, turn the hanger back to face the right way.  If in next NYE you have any hangers still in the wrong direction….donate it!

Reorganizing my closet:  I feel like I need to take the best care of the things I have that I want to last a long time.  A more organized closet could definitely help me do that with my clothes.

And an overall thorough, thorough house cleaning:  I mean the top of the fan, the corners of the closets, flip the couch cushions, stick all pillows in the dryer on hot (to kill the dust mites) etc. etc. etc. (maybe I’ll even come back with a post for good cleaning ideas!)

Maybe I’ll even go back and do a little editing to my Everyday Resolutions List 🙂

Anyways, happy happy new year to everyone, and may 2012 be a productive and fulfilling year for everyone!!!

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