Monday, December 29, 2008

Makeover Monday: Cleaning in the New Year!

Okay, so we're approaching a new year, and in my house, instead of spring cleaning we do New Years cleaning! My hubby usually takes a week of vacation between Christmas and New Years, and we typically use part of that time together to get our house in shape. I am pretty good with keeping up with the day-to-day tidying in our high-traffic living spaces- kitchen, living room, bedrooms- but the clutter seems to collect in the corners, and especially here- try not to scream- THE OFFICE! (insert screeching violins here)

Yeah, this is the not-so-beautiful part of the beautiful thrifty life. But I have heard a rumor that the "home office" and/or "guest room" in many people's homes has a tendency to end up this way. It is not a place that really belongs to anyone, and it's not a place that's usually seen by the public. Therefore, it becomes the dumping ground for all the paper clutter, wrapping supplies, craft stuff, and pretty much all that stuff that you just don't know what to do with.

Well, our office is also my craft room, and doubles (triples?) as a guest room (there's a futon couch along one wall- not that you could tell...sigh...) when we have company (which, by the way, is usually the only time it's clean). Last year around this time we had guests, so I frantically worked to get this room clean, and I remember how following Christmas after our guests had left, I realized that I enjoyed having a clean office far more than any other gift I had received for Christmas. Over the year it collected clutter again, and got sporadically cleaned again when the arrival of company was pending, but as of this week it looked, yet again, like a bomb had gone off. 

One of my goals for this post was to demonstrate how something that seems overwhelming can actually be quite surmountable, if you start small. This is what I accomplished in this room in less than an hour:

It may not seem like much, and much of the cluttered look is due to my craft supply organization (or uh, lack thereof), but I now have floor space, desk space, and the couch is completely clear as well. 

I'd like to continue working on this room as my pet project over the next few months, and I will be sure to keep you updated. Honestly, I want it to be my gift to myself. My vision for this space is to have it be someplace truly beautiful, relaxing, and inspiring, where I can come to blog, create, and unwind. Already after I took this photo I had my husband help me hang some things that had been sitting under the desk for I-don't-know-how-many years! Included in those things were some awards I've received for musical performance, horseback riding, and academics. I wanted to have them displayed, because as a stay-at-home mom, sometimes it's nice to have a reminder of the "grownup things" you are capable of achieving!

Here are a few other "corners" that got decluttered this week:

My linen closet, aka, "Alternate CVS Stockroom". If you look closely, you can see the labels I put on the shelves. Yep, labels. :-) (By the way, that stack you see in the upper right-hand corner goes up another foot or so. It's mostly composed of toothpaste and feminine products!)

And my laundry room- it may not seem like much, but this is the first time in months that I've been able to see the floor and the top of my washer and dryer. My husband also installed more shelves (you can barely see them in the upper left corner) to hold all the extra cleaning supplies I've accrued from my deals shopping.

So again, it's not much, but it's feeling really good every time we take another load of garbage out to the trash cans, and pack another box full of stuff to take to Goodwill. I have really found that it's so much easier to keep your stuff organized when you have less stuff. As more corners get decluttered, I will be sure to share my successes.

Oh, and for all you guys out there who are wondering why I get my own space, you should know that my husband has his own man-cave down in the garage, with laminate flooring, walls covered in sports memorabilia, big screen tv, recliner, etc. So he's not missing out on anything. ANYTHING.

Have you started any New Years cleaning? Now is the time! Go for it and then leave a comment to share your success!


  1. Um Kasey, I sometimes think we have like minds. I just did a good bit of organizing myself. You are way quicker than me though. I am trying to regain control of my house after the holiday explosion (and to be honest every time I have a new baby my house gets messier and takes me a while to figure out how to get it all done again). My main focus was our family room/ toy room though. When I saw your linen closet pic I had to laugh because my hall closet looks almost identical to yours! Anyway, great job with your office. Happy birthday to Kasey! Hope you enjoy your present to yourself! Have a great day! I am thinking of you!

  2. That's awesome! I wish I had the time and the motivation to do that. My whole house looks like your before picture!

  3. I'm working on making my linen closet look like yours, I've done the lower shelves but somehow the top shelves are so much more work for me...

    My current great accomplishment (for me) was organizing my daughter's drawers, I even blogged about it here:

    Actually, I'm not done because I ran out of shoe boxes. I need to do something about that...

  4. Great job! I am doing the exact same thing today. My craft/sewing room is a disaster, and I have things all over the house that I'm trying to consolidate. I have four or five huge bags for Salvation Army, a pile for ebay, and a big bag of trash has already left the house. It feels good to get things in order.

  5. My guest room/scrapbooking room/storage room looks a lot like yours most of the time. I got it cleaned up when my family came to visit for Thanksgiving. It got a bit covered in wrapping supplies and such over Christmas, but it is nice to have it decluttered! My "CVS stockroom" is a lot smaller than yours and I'm running out of space! I guess I need to hold off on some deals. :)

  6. Your guest room/office made me laugh out loud - that is SO mine at the moment!! :)

  7. Thanks everyone for the kind comments! I will admit, I was cringing with my eyes closed when I pressed the "Publish Post" button on this one! But the first step is to admit you have a problem, right? ;-) I'm hoping to post more updated photos soon!


Comments make me happy. Nice to know I'm not just sitting here talking to myself. So, thank you!

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