Monday, June 30, 2008

Car Organization

When I organized the car Friday, it became apparent to me that organizational maintenance will not be sufficient to keep my car in order; I really need a full organizational solution. Currently, the areas in the car useful for organization are: the front center storage console (smaller than I've ever seen in any car), the glove compartment, the back of the front two seats, an even smaller storage console in the middle seat and a storage box under the cargo area. All of these combined are about the size of the center console in my previous car.

So, I think I need to begin research into car organization products. I think that something that adds pockets to the back of the front seats might be the way to go, but I'll have to see what turns up when I research. Also, I want to research systems that reduce the amount of objects in the car such as moving jewel cases into the house and keeping only disk sleeves in the car.

I want to keep moving on the main project, so I'm not working on this now, but it is definitely something I will be addressing in the coming months.

Approximate Recreated Friday Post

Well, the post that I destroyed accidentally on Friday detailed how I had done well that afternoon. I completely emptied out and organized the car and took it to the car wash. I also addressed all the kitchen surfaces and the sink. In addition to getting vacuum bags, I also picked up more solution for the hardwood cleaner system and stopped by the post office and mailed the letters that I'd prepared that morning. While I was at it, I got a booklet of stamps to put in my cars console that I can mail things from the house in the future.

I wasted a fair bit of time trying to post like an intelligent human with pictures throughout the text, but I did acknowledge my failure at this and more on which I thought was good. Perhaps I'll mark off a night to take some blogging lessons this week.

Goals now?
  • The new laundry machines were installed this morning, so I want to get caught up on laundry.
  • Kitchen cabinets, drawers and other areas. Must decide if i think it's better to attack the whole thing at once or do them area by area until i complete them.
  • For the sake of having one large, continuous area that feels relaxing, I think i'm going to focus on the living room next. Then I'll really be on course to have the downstairs (excluding the garage) in a state very near to how I'd like it.
  • We may have friends coming this weekend, so I want to bump up organizing and decluttering the guest bath and bed areas.
  • still need to go over the household systems plan with Paul, but I think it's less urgent since I'm definitely going to be in this intense phase for a good while longer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Do no harm...

"Do no harm" is a phrase I submit for consideration to join the fundamentals of "clutter rule of 10", "just do something", "there's no time sooner than now" and "give you future self a break".

Obviously, there's still a fair bit of clutter and mess throughout the house. I am not trying to deal with everything at once. Thus the idea of "do no harm". What I mean by this is that while I'm not attempting to improve the situation in other areas than where I am working, I am also taking conscientious action to not make it worse.

This is a tricky concept, but thinking about it in terms of dealing with all that is created on a normal daily-routine basis might help. And this view helps to justify the fact that while I'm preparing bags of things that belong in other locations as I work, I am not emptying those bags within their locations.

Now, I need to couple this with complimentary habits to "do no harm" within the areas that are in progress and I think I'll see great improvement.

Now, off to me vacation of organization (we're going out of town this weekend, so I took a vacation day to make sure I stayed on track).

So I'm not so good at this blog stuff.

Well, I couldn't get the upload into the formatting working right at all and we're about to head out of town, so I went ahead and threw everything up because I didn't want to reneg.

But, I lost my original entry to these pictures detailing all I accomplished this afternoon and how I really achieved my goals. I separated the pictures from their text. I turned one of the posts into underlined and just this minute I erased the last picture of the probably almost 20 paper bags. Eek.

My apologies. I'll hopefully get better.

Have a good weekend all!
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These first two images are general shots of the kitchen to show the improvement. Specifically, note the elimination of clutter. Though I must confess, I have only organized the pantry cabinets. All the other cabinets and drawers are in their natural, hectic order. Also, the surfaces have all been cleaned, but the floors have not been yet.

This shot is to show the organization of the pantry. We had a LOT of expired food. I also instituted order to make it easier to identify the food without allergens that Trajan can eat.

I organized both the refrigerator and the freezer. At some point, the freezer door had been slightly ajar for a day and so I had to throw out most of the freezer contents and we just don’t have that much food. Some of the current contents of the deep freeze can be moved to the freezer to be more convenient for us.

Not only did I get all the junk out of the breakfast room, but it’s thoroughly cleaned as well! That’s one of Jack’s beds (there’s one in most rooms so he always knows he has a place) in the back right corner -- he didn’t seem to care that I’d cleaned it and the area for him.

Huge improvement here at the bar. The speakers are there because I was playing an audiobook off my phone, but they have a home now. It’s also another good view of the kitchen.

This is the laundry room. The machines are out because I wanted to thoroughly scour it before the other machines get here Monday. I didn’t bother to open them, but all the cabinets were cleaned, fresh liners put done and the contents all sorted. The final organization hasn’t been done yet, because it will be different with the new machines as they have storage pedestals under them and the elfa won’t fit. This room makes me smile J .

Entrance alcove improved. Destination station hasn’t been worked out yet, but this still looks good.

Dining room was done as bonus.

And here’s all the bags of stuff that I referenced earlier. Eek. Some of these are donation bags though! And I have filled at least seven contractor bags.

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Picture Update

Well, I did pretty good with the afternoon. Achieved all my goals in the kitchen, got the car washed (even got a snowcone), got the vacuum bags and more hardwood solution and got stamps and mailed two letters that needed to be sent. So now, for the sake of disclosure and accountability, the promised pictures.

These first two images are general shots of the kitchen to show the improvement. Specifically, note the elimination of clutter. Though I must confess, I have only organized the pantry cabinets. All the other cabinets and drawers are in their natural, hectic order. Also, the surfaces have all been cleaned, but the floors have not been yet.

Midday Organization Vacation Review

I'm in the process of my organization vacation day, but I thought I'd take a break to record what has occurred as this was provided as one of my goals and also a reward for good progress.

The day got off to a bit of a slow stop. Trajan stayed home from school yesterday due to an eczema (at least that's the "likely" diagnosis) outbreak that we wanted to get under control. It looked like it was really headed the right way last night, but I wanted to take the time this morning to really check it out, give him a treatment bath, etc. And then I for some reason was compelled to go to Original Pancake House and have a Dutch Baby and read the newspaper. As I've responded well to advance-rewards since at least early elementary, I indulged this fancy. Then, there was a friend actually at the house when I got here, so it took me till after 9:30 to even be in a position to start.

While I was in a position to start, I just didn't want to. And instead of getting frustrated, angry or just going along with the momentum and quitting, I popped open a document and made some notes. They were as follows:

· Start by 10
· Change into sports bra/shorts combo
· Start with the bar including getting audio book playing as first step
· Organize full bags and take to their location, replacing with a new one
To accomplish:
· Get midspaces so it can be photoed, if extra time, dining room first, then kitchen, then living room, then bath, then stairs.
· Also, clean up the mess of the cleaning caddy
· Ensure path for new machines
· Clean out car
· Keep atonement audio book playing
· But include some of the organization audios at natural breaks
· Consider getting getting things done and adding that to phone
· 5-8 minute wii fit breaks allowed following an identifiable completed task/area – basically,
just needs to be something I can put specific words to

This worked to get me going. It gave me a clear structure to operate within including a time frame, gave me some ideas of specific things to do so I wasn't just puttering around and reminded me of things that would make it more pleasurable and things I could offer myself as a reward for good progress.

I did start right at 10:00, despite some iTunes difficulties that had the potential to delay me, but while I had gotten myself to the point of moving, my heart just wasn't in it. But in another startling brilliant and self-aware move, I recognized this status and dealt with it by setting an 18 minute timer and promising myself a reward break at the end of it.

During these 18 minutes, I cleaned off the new clutter that had developed in the midspaces area, prepped a couple of letters that needed to be sent and generally got all my organizing systems and tools in order. I should confess that I did look at the timer once; the time left was 2:56. After the alarm went off, I promptly took a break and went upstairs and put a different pair of socks on while planning first my immediate course of action and then what I would do for my break (check my email and google reader).

My plan was to deal with the organization within the refrigerator and then assuming that went well, the freezer and the pantry. While this deviated from the "to accomplish" list I'd made before, it definitely was within my larger goals and as it was something that sounded interesting to me, it was the right decision. Well, I flew into this project and completely organized, cleaned and refilled all three of these locations including even cleaning out the ice machine tray thing! I definitely need to make this at least a quarterly task and I really think I should do it to a minor degree weekly (just removing visibly bad things, not checking dates). Three contractor bags later, all of which I had trouble lifting and one that actually left me with some muscle soreness, and I feel quite accomplished.

Now it's 12:30 and I need to really dig into it for the second half of the day. My plan now is to empty the sink completely first. Then, I'm going to deal with the surfaces of the kitchen. However, I must promise myself that I will not attempt to deal with any of the cabinets or cleaning any of the appliances in anyway at this time. I'm not trying to underscore their importance. It's just not what is in the works for the day.

Following that, I'm going to head out into the garage and first deal with the mess that occurred from a fluke drop of a yogurt smoothie drink into the cleaning supplies area. After that, I'm off to organize and empty my car. Then, I'll take it over to the car wash and get it cleaned before we head out for the weekend. If time remains after that, I can choose between one of two options. First, I can clean the surfaces that I cleared last weekend both because some stuff has accumulated over the week and since their initial status was so bad that it really justifies an additional clean. Alternatively, I can begin the clutter sorting work within the living room.

My alternate activity that I propose for myself at any time if I find myself just not tolerating continuing what I'm doing is to go to the vacuum store and get more bags. Also, it would be nice if I would drop off dry cleaning on the way to get Trajan.

Summary: sink, kitchen surfaces, cleaning supplies area, car. Other possibilities: midspace cleaning, living room clutter. Errands: carwash, vacuum bags, dry cleaning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Personal Assistant-type services

I got a tip from a friend which may be capable of reaping both quantity of available time in my week and removing some low-quality activities. She uses a virtual personal assistant to schedule things and deal with costumer service issues. The company she uses is, but there are others including So, my issue with getting coordinated with my service guy to get the new cargo mat installed -- outsource it!

I need to read more and look at this, but I definitely think it's worth looking at.

Seriously -- I'm in love with just But I'm jaded enough to have this leaving me asking: is there something even better? Maybe the version wtih a certain amount of time makes more sense.

Would it be appropriate for me to make a request of asksunday to research and prepare a list of the virtual personal assistants available?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

iGoogle organization

I'm seeking thoughts on iGoogle organizational strategies. I really think this can be a really valuable tool to efficiently keep things in order and I've made an initial attempt of my own, but I'm guessing there have to be people who've spent a lot of time figuring this out and I should try to find their work before reinventing the wheel completely.

My big problem is coming up with a good search. iGoogle organization gets information about organization as in a company or group.

Do you have a solution? Thoughts?

RSS Organization

A tip I read somewhere was you can’t try to organize going backwards. This was about magazines and newspapers I believe, but I’ve decided to apply it to google reader. So, I went into google reader, exported all of my feeds into a spreadsheet and then deleted them all.

I then went to the actual page for each one of the links, categorized it and considered whether I want to continue subscribing to it. Then, I took my much abbreviated list of feeds and imported them into google reader each into their pertinent categories.

I’ve kept the file that includes the feeds I eliminated them in case I find I’m missing something. If I don’t realize I’m missing it though, I don’t need to have it and won’t be adding it back in.

The hardest part of accepting that I can’t organize going backwards is that I marked all of the posts as read and didn’t plunge into any of the feeds despite the temptation.

I think I will also create a tag to add to feeds that I am considering removing. That way, if I’m reading a post and I really think that there’s a good possibility that I don’t need that feed, I can add a tag that indicates I’m considering removing it to help me consider this decision. That way I’m not just stuck with the black and white options of subscribe or don’t subscribe.

I’ll see how this goes over the next few days and then weeks and will plan on reviewing and revising as necessary to make this a useful tool that adds to my happiness and productivity rather than a cluttered source of stress.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Brief Reflection on the Clutter Diet site itself

I followed a link from a posting in the Clutter Diet member forums to a site called leading to an instant realization about part of why I was initially drawn to the Clutter Diet. All of the websites associated, the main, the blog and the member's areas are neat. A lot of information is conveyed in ways that it can be easily accessed and utilized.

Seriously, if you have a minute, go look at and The constrast is instant.

My guess is that the flylady site just evolved over time and that's why it has such a motley, cobbled-together appearance. I wonder if they're even aware of the message it sends.

I honestly didn't put much time into researching programs and options when I was looking for a tool to help me with the house situation. I'm in Austin and I remembered the program, looked it up, decided it looked like a good idea and went for it. Based on this first examination of another resource, it was definitely the right decision. Perhaps I'll continue doing the research I normally would have done in advance and let yall know my results and identify some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Clutter Diet, particularly in contrast to other related products.

Plan for tonight

Trajan has an ISR lesson and then we'll need to all have dinner and get Trajan ready for bed. Then, I think I'll go through the refrigerator, pantry and deep freeze with the aim of eliminating gross, expired and unwanted items. If this is done in a reasonable period of time, I'd like to go through the midspaces area and pick up things that have accumulated since Saturday as well as do a couple of short clutter rounds in the kitchen and the living room. If I get all this done, then I can fool around with the Wii for a while.

Also, I need to keep in mind that I want to look through the household systems and routines workbook with Paul.

Goals Refresh

So, it’s been five days since I posted my initial goals (, so I think it’s time to reflect, revise and review them.

First, spacescaping the laundry has had to be extended, because it won’t be completed until after we have the new machines. These are supposed to be delivered on the June 30. If this does occur, then I think a reasonable timeframe to have the place completely finished would be the end of July 5. If the machines are delayed, this may have to be revised. While there has been a time delay, I would like to balance it by enhancing the scope of this project to include not just the laundry room, but the entirety of my midspaces area. Therefore, it is my goal to have completed the decluttering, cleaning, organizing and spacescaping of the bar, breakfast room, destination alcove, entry way and all floors throughout the area by this date.

I haven’t made any progress on the goal of getting Paul to look at the Systems book, but that’s because I haven’t tried at all. Therefore, I think I should stick with the goal of having this done by 6/25 to motivate me to get to work on this.

Other goals remaining:
Identify d (and c) storage by end of June
Set up organizational caddy by July 4
Develop recycling plan by July 11
Design a laundry system by July 18 (implementation can follow)
Plan and create destination station by end of July
Set up itsdeductible and applicable picture location by August 14.

New goals:

  • Try first idea for meal planning during July. I am thinking I’m going to try Dreamdinners first. There are some other options that I’m considering, but I’m going to go ahead and try this first as I’ve heard rave reviews and the location on Mesa is under a mile from the house.
  • Get bathroom daily cleaning maintenance systems in place by mid-July. ONLY focus on the bathroom systems at this point and don’t worry about the rest of the house.
  • Do second pass at the household systems workbook including Paul’s input between the end of July and mid-August.
  • Research media library products and devise a plan by September 5. looks like a great option if I do end up ordering the macbook pro.
  • Not directly related to the house, but the condition of my office definitely has effects on me, so a final goal is to invest some time, research and reflection into office organization. Lorie has an audio component of her site that includes an interview with a woman named Barbara Hemphill who specializes in paper organization. Included in this work is a book about organization specifically at work. I think this might be a good place to start to meet this goal. I don’t want to rush this since it is imperative that I develop my good habits with the work at the house, but I also don’t want to neglect it as it definitely spills over into the rest of my life, so I think planning to have identified and started a course of action by August 15 is a reasonable goal. (note: I haven’t set a timeline for organizing the paper at our house. This is because I imagine this will come after the home office and as this is the true nightmare of our house, I don’t want to undermine the rest of my work by forcing addressing this room prematurely.)

So, that's it for today's goal refresh except to say that I'd like to make a goal about goals. I think a good plan would be to aim to reflect, append and annotate my goals once a week, so look for something of this nature each week. Any thoughts on whether it would be better to dictate that this needs to be done on a certain date, such as Tuesdays, or whether it should be done whenever it makes sense each week?

Who is in this space?!?

For those who are less familiar with us, a brief summary of who lives in the site of this chaos. In brief, it’s myself, my husband, our 10-month old son and our five-year-old Irish Terrier. About once a week we add a 17-year-old dear family friend who babysits Trajan on date-night and there will hopefully be a maid added to the equation within the coming weeks.

In addition to this information being useful as a context, it’s also key to keep in mind when doing spacescaping work. Note: I need to address, from my perspective, what spacescaping means. It’s a component of the Clutter Diet system as created by Lorie Marrero. I haven’t written it yet, because I wanted to complete my first full attempt at the art before recording my reflections, so look for that after the new laundry machines are installed!

Did nothing.

Well, I did absolutely nothing today. I had a conference for work all day that I actually woke up a little late for and so I had no extra time in the morning and then Trajan had his first ISR swim lesson at 6:10. Normally this would still leave plenty of time to get at least a little something done, but we came up with an awesome deal with our divine babysitter that she would babysit each Monday night in the summer, so we went out. Our first plan of seeing Get Smart failed, but we then ended up doing more than we've probably done in at least a year, eating dinner at the Boiling Pot, seeing Kung Fu Panda and then meeting up with some friends at the Drafthouse just to chat. Then we headed to the house, I took the babysitter to her house and now I'm recording my lack of progress. So, I'm going to count my writing this as sufficient evidence of continued focus and couple that with a round of 10 items in the kitchen and then head to bed.

I have scheduled to take off Friday to dedicate the day to work since we will be out of town all weekend, so I don't think I'm too far off track! (but if I'm deluding myself, someone will let me know).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brief Note

This post is mainly to keep a commitment to myself to not let apathy or procrastination take over an otherwise admirable goal. I didn't get too much done today. Trajan had a good friend's first birthday party that we all went to and we all took a lazy afternoon nap, but I did meet my goal of doing some work by using the clutter rule of 10. I really think that is the secret to conquering my apathy. I also went grocery shopping which while it doesn't help with any of the clutter/cleaning/organizational goals is still definitely necessary. That and cooking dinner and I was pretty much done.

I need to take shots of the midspace and the fifteen some-odd bags of things sorted by location.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Roll with it.

I've always argued that moderation is the key to just about everything, but I think that's only part of it. I think a bit of flexibility is also key.

I bring this up because of my experience of this afternoon. So, I more than surpassed my goal for the day. I sorted, organized and cleaned everything within the "midspaces" area, the laundry room and the entryway. That's the positive. The negative is that I also broke the washing machine in the process. The washing machine and the dryer entered my life with Paul. They're about 6 years old and are relatively nice asko machines. They are my nemesis. At the time he purchased them, they were the most energy-efficient on the market. This translates into small and very slow. I could complete a normal load in five hours. Plus, I have an amazing skill at causing minor damage too them. Minor damage in that it takes the guy under two minutes to fix them, but damage in that they are unusable until he gets out.

So, this afternoon I broke the washing machine. Paul looked at it and then stated we should go to Home Depot and buy new ones. Now, as someone who perhaps obsessively researches, I was very unsure about this. However, my trials and tribulations with the machines were such that I agreed. So we grabbed Trajan and off we went. About forty minutes and three thousand dollars later, we were the proud owners of new Whirlpool Duet something-or-other machines. The fact that I say something-or-other shows the degree to which I didn't research anything. This decision was based solely on anecdotal accounts from friends that both the Whirlpools and the LGs were nice, but there was a real shortage of LG repair people around.

This is relevant to my continued battle against the stuff, the mess and the dirt for several reasons. First, based on my thoughts this morning on "spacescaping" the laundry room, we decided to get the storage pedestal things instead of the work surface. I think this is a better decision because it gives us valuable storage space, doesn't create an additional flat space to draw stuff like a magnet and the area is not very valuable as a workspace anyway because the cabinets above stick out in the way. It's also relevant for while everything has been gone through, the final order for the room isn't achieved yet because it will be different with the storage pedestals than with the current elfa cart.

So, while this action isn't typical for me and not something I would recommend as a standard operating procedure, I think it was the right one and one that will benefit all of us.

Clutter rule of 10

The clutter rule of 10 struck me when I first read it and I've already seen that it really is an incredibly valuable tool in my organizational arsenal. Basically, when you feel you don't have time to deal with something or you feel overwhelmed by it or you worry about obsessing with perfection, don't shoot to solve the clutter. Just deal with 10 items.

Last night, I saw this play out in practice. I didn't really feel like diving deep into anything and since I was planning on dealing with my "midspaces" and laundry room on Saturday, I wasn't feeling very motivated. So, I did the clutter rule of 10 within the living room. I actually did it multiple times: once with trash, once with T-man's toys, once with miscellaneous stuff and once with media. The effect was shocking -- the room was visible and the purpose of it could be divined. Also, I'm a firm believer now in the practice of clearing up the couches as a two-minute way to drastically improve the situation.

I'm in progress currently with the midspaces and laundry room work. I'll post on it later!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The self-imposed rule I most fear

I enacted one rule yesterday that I didn’t mention at all. That’s because I’m scared of it and so I chickened out on posting it knowing that if I didn’t post it, I’d have an easier time backing out of it. I didn’t do this deliberately and consciously, but once I recognized that I hadn’t posted it, this motivation was clear. I refuse to follow that course of behavior. The only way I can hope to be compliant with this program and my self-imposed requirements is to be absolutely honest. I recognized this in describing the current position and posting the baseline pictures, but I let this omission slip by and only now am rectifying it.

The rule: no buying any organizational products, excluding a label maker, for four weeks.

This may sound odd, but I really feel it is crucial to developing and maintaining an organizational system. I tend to use organizational products as crutches and instead of really understanding whatever space I’m trying to manage, I simply clasp on to a product to solve my woes. While this sometimes solves the issue, it often doesn’t and can even be negative in that the solution actually ADDS to the clutter. So, I’m going to deal within our current parameters first and get a grip on what we have in place and what issues we are facing before buying so much as a plastic bin for jams in the fridge.

I’m not arguing that we need no products. I think there are definitely things that would be highly beneficial to our situation: pot lid organizer, garage room storage, etc. It’s just I don’t want to run headlong into getting things. We have enough things to deal with and enough problems with just getting a handle on what is in our spaces to even be thinking about developing the idea solutions.

The exception for the labelmaker is because we don’t have one and it really is so useful in getting things sorted and organized. Also, I’m positive that we will need one as we progress and as we do not own one, this will not add to our clutter factor.

So, my apologies, chiefly to myself, for abstaining from mentioning this rule as a part of my intended process. I wish I could say that it will be the last time that I try to shirk something in this Clutter Diet process, but instead I can just pledge that I will note and rectify other similar shortcomings in this same way.


In talking with a friend, I realized that I should probably provide a bit of clarification about what the Clutter Diet system is designed for. It really is about maintaining order that exists with gradual improvement with a heavy emphasis on establishing routines and systems as well as eliminating clutter. It is not about cleaning, though it does emphasize enabling cleaning. It is also not advertised or emphasized as something to deal with extreme situations like we present. However, they don’t seem phased by it either! Also, my thought is there is no time sooner than now, so while we might not be in ideal shape for the Clutter Diet, we can only gain by going ahead and starting. From my reading and reflection thus far, I really feel that it’s the systems and the routines that are the crux of the matter and those apply to everyone, regardless of their situation. So, while it may not present the solution to every issue of keeping your house clean and organized, it traverses most of that chasm.

I did encounter one issue last night because of our complete lack of order in that since there is stuff to varying degrees on most flat surfaces, it’s really hard to identify peripheral space to pull stuff out and organize while spacescaping. I’ll have more to say about this after this weekend as it’s my deadline to have spacescaped the laundry room by the end of the weekend. My thought is I might just have to bite the bullet and invest some time to put up the items (basically folded laundry) that are accumulated in the “midspace” that runs outside the laundry room.

BTW: thanks for the comment that inspired this as well as all the other conversations I’ve had with those of you who are supporting me in this venture!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baseline Photos

To help simplify later review, I combined all of the small initial posts of the house into one long post. There's no new pictures or commentary here. You can also see these at: These are the same pictures as showing in the "before" slideshow in the sidebar.

As promised, I went throughout the house and took pictures. Also as promised, I made no improvements or alterations at all even leaving some simple piles from laundry and unpacking a suitcase.

The rest of the house will follow in simultaneous posts to follow. I anticipate this being the only time that I cover the whole place, but I thought it was important to go ahead and show the whole place even though it's a fair number of pictures so that I have a baseline to show for each project.

These four shots are:

The "pantry". We actually don't have a normal pantry. This set of deep cabinets is used as such. (I didn't bother to take pictures of ALL the cabinets, but I'll try to take pictures of them before starting any pertinent project).

The refrigerator. Main reason for showing is the clutter on top. I abstained from opening it, but lets just presume it's not so great.
The island. Not too bad on top at the moment. A bit crazy inside. THere are doors on both sides, so tends to get a bit insane.

The sink, dishwasher area is crazy with T-man's things as you can see.

That more or less does the kitchen. Just note that every cabinet is loaded and that fridge and pantry haven't been overhauled since we got the fridge more than a year ago.


Eek. As you can see, T-man's freedom to play is currently severely hampered by the fact that there's so much stuff everywhere. We just can't let him play because there's too much stuff and possible dangers. He votes for losing some clutter.


So, these pictures represent an area I'm calling midspace (that's mid between the kitchen, the living room, the stairs and the garage.Breakfast room is generally just a flat space for dropping. The bar is even more so. That organizational alcove thing is fantastic, but is currently so cluttered that it's not very useful.


As you can see, the laundry room is currently sadly lacking in utility.
The dining room isn't in too bad a shape, but has a tendency to be the place where things to be donated accumulate with no future action seeming apparent.
The entryway is just another place where there is flat space and things have a magic ability to accumulate. These two parties wouldn't be an issue since they are sorted and from unpacking IF they'd been put away immediately after rather than sitting there for almost a week.

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Not too bad, but that's just in comparison to a hideous nightmare :-).

Actually, there's some good structures and organizational elements here. It does need elimination of some serious clutter, some assigning of homes to items and perhaps some added elements to have more type C and D storage in the garage.

Note: still room for a 7-seater car at least :-)

(ps: the deep freeze also should be organized)


Front door is mainly here for a contrast. Nothing startlingly wrong, but not that warm and fuzzy a greeting.
There's a flat rail at the top of the stairs on a divider between the hall going to the office and the stairs. As you can see, it's another location that has falled prey to the tendency of flat spots to accumulate junk.

This is the top of the cabinets at the back of the landing. Also symptomatic of lack of follow-through and seizing any flat spot.

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Umm.... eek.

While every other space in the house has been organized at one point, this room has never been so in the time we moved into the house. Not only that, but I gave up on it within months of moving into the house (i.e. before T-man was born).

With our move towards laptops, this could definitely be improved. Also by eliminating unneeded textbooks.

The closet currently is a mishmosh including holiday items, gift wrap and office supplies. This is one area that a serious improvement could be achieved with relatively little work.


Tends to be a dumping grounds. At the moment there is no room in the closet for guests to put anything.

Also, there is no drawer or shelf space at all for them to organize their things.

The bookcase is actually not as organized as it appears either.

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In good news, the bath is already subsantially improved. I took just six minutes and it made a startling difference. Keep it up?

(Note: there are actually two sinks in the bathroom. You just can't see the second one for the junk.)

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One of the things that quickly obvious is the master is quite lacking in closet space. A long term plan is to turn this bonus room into a closet, but for now there are other simple, free improvements that should be made.

Laundry was one of the areas that was most obvious when I quit prior to the exam.

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evidence of the aforementioned problem.

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And to finish this tour, the baster bath. In addition to the jacuzzi, there is also a shower which I somehow didn't get a picture of.

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