Well, Folks. I’ve been absent again from blogging. This time I have a VERY good excuse. We’re getting our house ready to sell! We haven’t liked where we are living for years, so this was a long time coming. We can now move away from this house and neighborhood without fear of losing money in the deal.
There’s just one problem.
We I have a lot of junk. I mean A LOT! I’d like to blame Jack and all his toys, but really it’s all me. It’s all stuff that I have acquired over the years and haven’t been able to let go of. Really, do I need to keep the dozen Skintimate shaving gel samples I got 12 years ago from a school P.E. kit? If I haven’t used them by now, I need to get rid of them!
Much of my cleaning out so far has been just that. Getting stuff out of my house that has no purpose. The Goodwill donation site guy is going to know me by name soon. I went twice in one day, because I had so much stuff and couldn’t fit it in one load. (and I drive a minivan, people!!)
While I’m cleaning out and making our house market-ready, I have learned a few tricks. I thought I’d share them with you. I can’t say yet if these tricks work for selling a house or are even any good, but I can say that they have made a huge difference in keeping my house clean so far. (once you look past all the boxes of course)
Let’s start with the kitchen. Here is a before picture of my kitchen. Aye-yai-yai!!
This picture actually came from last summer. But fear not, this is how awful my kitchen looks on a daily basis. When I have company, it looks a bit better than this, but there’s still a lot of stuff on my counters that I’ve had to deal with. Let’s talk about what I’ve done so far.
Cutting boards – you can’t really see them in the before photo, but they’re back in the corner, on the counter, to the left of the Cuisinart. I finally got those off my counters and into a cupboard above my (broken) microwave. I had to clean out some stuff from that cupboard that I wasn’t using, but it freed up an entire cupboard for me to use. My mom took the baker, and some pottery that hadn’t been used in 6 years. (Sorry mom, since you bought some of those for me!)
Recipe boxes – My pretty recipe boxes that were sitting on my counter to the left of the stove (the before picture was taken before I covered them with pretty paper) also got put up in that same cupboard above the microwave.
Tool caddy – I had two big/FULL kitchen tool caddy’s on my counters. I use just about every gadget in those caddies too. So instead of getting rid of it all, I put my most used tools in a drawer, left a few big spatulas and a whisk in the pretty crock, then loaded everything else that comes out every once in a while into a canvas ‘box’ that sits in my pantry. It’s really inconvenient to have to dig through the box to find the can opener, but it makes my counters MUCH neater, so I can live with it until we move. I put my unused tool caddy in storage. I’ll be bringing it back out when we move!
Food processer and Dutch oven – I am fortunate enough to own a BIG Cuisinart food processor and (since this Christmas) a HEAVY Dutch oven. I love them both, and use them pretty regularly. Up until this move, they’ve been sitting on the counter or stovetop full time. I moved them both to my pots and pans cupboard after weeding out pans that I don’t use anymore. (a big ‘spaghetti pot’ as we call it usually sits inside the Dutch oven, but it’s being used right now)
baking canisters – I bake pretty often. Well, maybe I should say I use baking ingredients (flour, sugar, brown sugar) often. I make bread, desserts, and I use sugar in our oatmeal most mornings. But they were ‘clutter’ on the counter, so I had to figure out a way to get them out of there. I ended up putting them in the pantry. It’s pretty convenient that we just redid our floors, and I had to clean out the pantry completely during that process. My pantry was pretty organized when I started this kitchen clean up, so I had extra space to fill up in the big pantry.
Fridge - I have a lot of pictures on my fridge. Every time I clean it off, I think I’m not going to clutter it up again, but it always ends up cluttered. This time I took off ALL the magnets and put them in a Ziplock bag to be brought out again once we move. I also had to clean off the top of the fridge. That happened when we redid our floors. I had recently cleaned out all the medicine from the cupboard next to the stove (don’t they say NOT to put medicines next to the stove???) and put the container turn-about in there.
Island organized – I have no pictures for now, but trust me when I say that I can make my island clear of clutter. I have a mail center now that collets the mail, receipts, notepads, and random paper clutter. It sits in the middle of the island and can be taken with us when we have showings. I just haven’t taken a picture of it yet.
So do you want to know what my kitchen looks like now? Here is a (bad) photo of what it looks like when we’re on top of our game and ready to show. (I’ll have to do something with the loaf of bread, but for now, it stays there). I purchased some “display” towels that will be hung when we go out for a showing.
Let’s see the dramatic before and after of this one again!
I’m pretty proud of my cleaning and decluttering accomplishment. This seemed like an insurmountable task! I’m glad I have at least ONE room in my house ready to go!
As for the next posts on how I’m organizing other spaces in my house, I may be lacking with the ‘before’ pictures. I’m not upset about that (since it means I don’t have to show you how BAD it all was), but it would have helped with the "wow factor” when you see how I’ve organized some other spaces.
Until next time!