29 Mar 2013

Conquer the Clutter: Wrap Up

Conquer the Clutter at www.aswellplacetodwell.com

We did it! Yippie! Thank you all so, so much for participating in this challenge with me.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again - having other people out there doing the same mundane tasks as me week after week was a huge motivator.  I hope that it was for you too - just a little kick in the pants.

Does your house feel lighter?  More organized?  Less chaotic?  Mine sure does.  Although on the surface things don't look that different, when I open a closet door now I am not scared of things jumping out at me.  It's amazing how much peace comes with just knowing we aren't carrying around extra junk.  

One of the items on last week's list was to organize a hobby.  For me that means paint.  Paint, paint and more....paint! Since we don't have a heated garage, every fall I bring all of the paint in from the garage down to the basement.  We have a little storage area under the stairs that I shove it all in.  Shove is the appropriate term here.  It was a mess, and it had started oozing out into the hallway, which caused constant toe stubbing and much swearing.  

To save on space, I transferred the paint from the almost-empty cans into mason jars.

move paint from big bulky cans to mason jars to save space. www.aswellplacetodwell.com

I painted each of the jar lids so that if I have them all in a bin then I can easily see what colour each one is.

move paint to mason jars and paint the lid for easy identification

I also wrote out the colour, brand, finish and mix date for each colour onto a label and then slapped the label on the jar.

Paint in mason jars.

I am actually sort of excited to use paint out of the jars since the lids will be so much easier to open than paint cans (no searching for screw driver to pry open the lid....I know...I have a seriously tough life!).  

Moving paint into mason jars.

Pretty decent change, right?

I also started on organizing my photos.  Started is the key word.  I didn't even come close to finishing the mammoth task, but at least it's something.  I normally just import my photos from my camera into Lightroom without naming a specific destination folder, which results in each import having its own dated folder.  It's an ok system, but does not make for very easy recall.  I needed to start separating blog photos from our own family photos.  I went through and made a series of collections and then slowly moved photos into the correct one.  Now all I have to do is tackle the other 5 years of old digital files!

Lightroom Collections

I also finally went through a stack of wedding photos....from 3 and a half years ago (shake head in shame....).  I hauled the photos out while I was de-cluttering our spare bedroom closet, and had then just set them aside for a few weeks while I was focusing on other areas.

At our wedding we gave each couple a disposable camera to take pictures with throughout the week.  When everyone went home we collected all of the cameras back and then had them all developed.  And that was it.  Since then, the developed photos have sat in a bag feeling quite neglected.  I had grand plans to do an album but just haven't got there yet.  I went through each envelope and tossed the photos that weren't album worthy and was still left with a pretty decent stack.

photos finally sorted

I am now contemplating what to do with them.  I have a few options running around in my brain - it may be a post for another day!

Left over wedding photos

And yes....that is a towel elephant drinking out of a shot glass.  Bonus points for any family members who are reading and can tell me who took that photo.  (I have a pretty good idea though...).

We pretty much failed at the pantry last week.  It's all just lame excuses really.  We can't organize the pantry while Fin is awake because she is obsessed with everything in it.  She rips open bags and eats their contents with very little regard for what we say.  Dry beans? Yup, she'll eat them.  Chocolate Chips?  Even better.  Flour?  Bring. It. On. 

I had big plans to spend some time on the weekend in the pantry, but plans changed because Mr. Swell had to go visit our water-damaged rental property (which takes the whole day since it's 3 hours away).  I don't know how single parents do it...but I do know that while I was on single parent duty the pantry was not getting purged.  Nope.  I told you, all excuses.  Hopefully I will get to it this weekend.  We both have today and Monday off so I have faith that we can find a bit of time!

I think it's official that I can say most of my clutter has been conquered, and I hope you can too.  WOO HOO!

Woo Hoo
Ok, I may not be quite as zen as monks yet, but I am pretty darn happy about organizing our spaces.

I promise that this will be the last organizing post for quite a while!

If you participated in this challenge with me, what was your favourite or least favourite area?  Was it easier to do just a little bit of at a time instead of trying to do it all during one weekend and feeling overwhelmed?  

Happy Easter - I hope the chocolate egg laying bunny pays a visit to your house!


  1. Yay for organizing! I haven't done much myself lately but plan to soon as we move in to our new house (finally).

    Have a great long weekend!


  2. Ugh..my pictures. I need to organize my pictures. You are too good and may just motivate me to tackle them. And that is a brilliant idea to put your paint in the cute ball jars. I may just have to copy that! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

    1. Aren't pictures one of those things that just pile up? Especially if they are digital.....then they are really easy to ignore....until you go searching for one specific photo! Transferring the paint is totally worth it.


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