8 Mar 2013

Conquer the Clutter: Week 2

If you are participating in the Conquer the Clutter Challenge I really hope you had a successful week!  I sure did!  And let me tell you....knowing that you were out there doing this right there along with me really did help.

If you are new here you can check out week 1 here.

4 weeks, 20 neglected areas. Let's conquer the clutter together. www.aswellplacetodwelll.com

I shared some of my successes on Facebook throughout the week and you told me about yours.  I loved hearing your stories (which included duct taped shoes and repainting a whole entry!).  Hilarious. 

I promise I won't bore you with all of my organized areas, but here are a few highlights of my week.

Remember our disgraceful back entry? The one that my Mom told me I should not share with the world.

Well we tackled it as a family on Saturday morning.  Even our littlest member got in on the organizing action.

Zebra PJs must have given her super hero stacking abilities....

We purged, and purged, and purged!  We moved stuff to the garage (random tools we tend to toss in the closet), moved the paint downstairs, and attempted to match up all of the shoes.  After only about 20 minutes we ended up with this.

Everything now has a place.  We even found the lid for the dog food container (which is actually our old diaper pail...haha...don't worry, we washed it!), which was a huge success as Fin is still obsessed with the dog food and the lid is very helpful at deterring her.  

I would really like a new shoe rack, but since our goal was to do all of this organizing without spending any money, the old wire shoe rack will stay for now.  Mr. Swell wears size 13 shoes, so it's really quite a challenge fitting them on shoe racks (see how all of his shoes are hanging over?). 

Just organizing this little area made me feel so much better!  It really is nice coming into the house and seeing this instead of the gong show that it was before.

I also self cleaned our oven over the weekend.  I hate to admit it, but since we moved in 3 years ago we have never self cleaned the oven.  I was scared.  I had this fear that the whole thing was going to blow up.  It doesn't help that we have a huge crack through the glass top of the stove, so that made me almost positive that something bad was going to happen.  Well...I hit the 'clean' button, went downstairs for 2 hours and when I came back up it was all done and still intact.  A little smokey, but everything was still standing.  Phew.  I really should have done it earlier.  

The microwave is also nice and shiny.

Look at that! You can even see Fin's finger painting art work in the reflection.  Thanks to my Ultimate Cloths the stainless steel shined right up.

On Monday night I tackled our cutlery drawer.  

I threw out all of the odd cutlery that didn't match our set, moved the measuring spoons to where they should be, and donated a bunch of other stuff.  

I lined the drawer with some wrapping paper and then put the cutlery back in.  

organized utensil drawer, lined in wrapping paper.
So. Much. Better.  And yes, we do have big spoons...they were all in the dishwasher when I took this photo (all the better to see the pretty paper anyhow).

The last thing I'll share is the spare bedroom closet.  Oh man...this is the one I was dreading.  Remember my closet of frames that I have talked about before?  This is it!  It's amazing that I can even find any frames in it.  Truth be told, usually when I do find one, things (like those red pilates balls) end up falling on my head while I am digging it out. 

Even Diefenbaker was scared. 

After sorting through everything and making some tough decisions on what to keep and what to donate, we ended up with this huge pile to go to the thrift store.

Do you think someone will be happy with our CD collection?  My guess is that we donated close to 100 CDs.  We kept hanging onto them but finally gave in and realized that we haven't listen to a CD in years.  Time to go.

The closet looks much better now.  I can close the doors, which is a HUGE success.

This might just be the most exciting 'after' so far on this blog.....I can't quite believe that I have stooped to showing you the innards of our closets! Sorry.....

Anyhow, how did you do?  Did you donate your old CD collection to the thrift shop too?  Did you find money in the pocket of a winter coat in your entry way?  

Ready for this week's list?  Here it is:

1. Linen closet.  Or linen drawers....whatever you have.   Toss the old holey sheets and random pillow cases.  Line up all of the towels nice and pretty :)
2. A bathroom cabinet.   Hello odd bobby pins and goopy lotion bottles.
3. The freezer.  Clean 'er up.  If it looks more like a block of ice than a loaf of bread it's time for it to go.
4. A junk drawer/junk area.  You know...that area where you toss things never to be found again.  
5.  Toys.  If you don't have small kids then you are off the hook for this one.  If you do have small kids it's time to sort through everything and either donate or store what the kiddos aren't using any more.  

I'll post it on Facebook for quick reference.

Sound ok?  I have been staring at our junk area for a week now just wanting to get going at it but restraining myself so that I can do it along with the rest of you (is that an excuse? maybe...).

Once again, keep sharing your successes on Facebook, and I'll keep cheering you on!

Need a theme song for this week?  How about the Zac Brown Band - Knee Deep?  It's a tune to bop along to while you are tossing things out.  I am craving summer, so it works for me to imagine that I am knee deep in the water somewhere while I am straightening towels and organizing my nail polish.   You can preview or buy the song here (US) or here (Canada). 

I wish you oodles of success with your clutter this week!  

p.s. The JACEK Chocolate giveaway is still open.  Enter here.


  1. Woo hoo - I'll have to keep this in mind to tackle next weekend. The Lone Star State calls this week, and so I'm bound for Houston in the morning!

    I had to make a substitution earlier this week as our microwave wasn't too bad. I cleaned our fridge out instead [don't want to come home to any science projects] and actually cleaned the fridge inside in the process - as in drawers & shelves to boot.

    Have a great week!

    1. Have an awesome trip! Sounds fun. The fridge is a big one! I have it jotted down to do next week. The freezer is going to a big one for us. I think there are about 10 packs of bread in there each with just one slice....I always save them to make breadcrumbs but so far I haven't...I just buy breadcrumbs!

  2. Yay and congrats for your successes! I can't say my successes were so great... I did do a self cleaning thing on my oven though! It took 4 and a half hours!! It was my first time doing it since we moved in two years ago. Who knows if the previous home owners ever did it? We did manage to sell our dining table on Craigslist so guess what? The dining room is all cleared out! For now... the Hubs has been using it for playing hockey. Ha! I did manage to some what de-clutter our smaller guest room. Not as much as I would have liked but it's okay. We are going to try to paint the big guest room this weekend! That will be an huge accomplishment for us and I'm so excited!!

    1. Glad I'm not the only one who hadn't self cleaned our oven. Did it smoke up your house? Congrats on the table selling - that's fantastic. Better buy a new one before he gets to used to playing hockey in a big empty space :) Good luck painting - what colour are you going with?

  3. Kelly, your "look away" photo = hilarious. It made me think about our scary scary pantry. Every single day I remind myself that it needs some major love and every day I go to bed without doing anything to fix her up. ;) You may have just motivated me... And my oven...I totally have you beat, we've been here almost 8 years and not once.have.i.cleaned.it. Awful, right? Well, now that I sound like a complete disgusting individual...awesome. Anyways, I'm a new follower...just wanted to say hi! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

    1. Oh, I haven't even dared to show our pantry here yet. It's bad, really bad. We cleaned it all up a year ago, but it has seriously fallen off the wagon since then. Do you have a self cleaning oven? I really promise it's not that bad. Thanks so much for your comment...off to check out your blog.


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