The Domino Effect

I wish!

I wish!

I have been doing a stellar job of avoiding writing. I wrote for three straight mornings last week. On the fourth day I had to run some errands and with the current heat I greatly prefer to go in the morning. I haven’t written since.

Today I am blaming the public library.  My turn came for the book “the life changing magic of tidying up”.   I had to read it right away as I only have it for three weeks and the waiting list is still quite long.  So I read it.  I didn’t agree with everything but many of the ideas were very intriguing. My favorite is focusing on what you are keeping, not what you are getting rid of.   As you know I have been having a purgefest this year so I am always looking for helpful hints.

When I finished reading the book I was motivated to do some tidying!  I started with my bedroom and rearranged and refolded some of my clothes.  Everything fits so well and the whole closet looks crazy tidy.  I thought I was done purging yet I still came up with another bag of clothes to donate.  (I know, I couldn’t believe it either.)  Now all of my clothes are in my bedroom and in a permanent home except for my winter pajamas.  They were in my half of the playroom closet but are now in a smaller tote in the bottom of my bedroom closet.  Still haven’t quite figured out where to put them when it comes time to wear them but I have a few months before that happens.

After admiring my tidy bedroom this morning I came downstairs and looked at the kitchen with new eyes.  The kitchen is the one room where we have enough storage.  We also have a lot of counter space.  It is not crazy cluttered but I do wish it were a bit clearer.  So I decided to take everything off the counter, give it a good scrub and then take some time putting things back.  Until I had to take everything off I had no idea how much stuff was on there.  I thought it would fit easily on the kitchen table, not quite.


Everything from the counter on the kitchen table…



… plus the dish drain and bread box.


After cleaning the counter I decided to wait a bit before putting anything back.  I wanted to see how the counters looked empty and cogitate a bit on how I wanted them to look.  I went and watched an episode of “Mad About You”.  Then I put back the items I felt sure about where they belonged. This included the dish drain, jar of cookie cutters, treat jar for the dog and our cookie jar.  I got stuck on my small spice rack.  I really wanted to put it in the cupboard with the rest of the spices but it didn’t fit.  I looked at the two large cupboards where I keep food and spices.  Hmmm.

Love the lavender scent, almost made it fun to clean.

Love the lavender scent, almost made me enjoy cleaning.


So I decided to take everything out of those two cupboards and see if I could utilize the space better.  I wiped down the shelves and adjusted the height of one shelf and squinted at the spaces.  I surveyed what I had and thought about what I used most frequently.  I tossed a couple of really old items and was happy to find some items. I had plenty of space, I just had to figure out the smartest way to use it.


At the start of removing items



Lots of empty space in this cupboard.



The after shot.  Time will tell how well it works.


With the food cupboards freshly filled I went back to the counter top.  I really didn’t want to put the small apple bookshelf back.  Hmmm.  I looked at the wire shelf in the window area.  I really didn’t like my purse there.  I loved the big window but always wished it was a little higher.  Maybe I could put the wire shelf in front of it anyway and move the trashcan down to the end where it makes more sense?


The wire shelf before


I didn’t like the bread maker on the wire shelf either.  (It’s kind of hard to see in the picture, it is under the basket.) I tried putting it in the same cupboard I tried when I first bought it.  Still too tall.  Duh. But I could lay it down. Success!  I sorted out the dog’s basket and neatened the sunscreen pile.

Then I looked at the books on the apple bookshelf.  Did these books bring me joy?  Not really.  Did I ever use any of the recipes in them?  Not that I recall.  Was I ever going to read them again?  No. They were mysteries with a few recipes in the back.  Honestly, there was one recipe in all of the ten books that I used.  So I copied it and tossed the books in my sell box that I am collecting for Bookman’s. Then I looked at my cookbook bookshelf.  Anything I could purge there?  Of course.


Yes, I have a shelf just for cookbooks.

Yes, I have a bookshelf just for cookbooks.


Four hours later and the kitchen counter is less cluttered.  I must have done a good job because my seven year old walked into the room after school and was all amazed.  “This looks so different”.  I didn’t think it looked very different, but it does feel cleaner.  I was going to say “you be the judge”  but since I didn’t take photos of the counters before that may be hard to do.  But here is the end result:


Kitchen overview



I removed the breadbox, spice rack and small bookshelf.  I moved the copper canisters down to where the bookshelf used to be.



Next to the sink  I added the radio from the wire shelf.  I used to keep my day planner and phone on the end but since this is where the dirty dishes get piled up.  It was a disaster waiting to happen.



Now I keep my day planner and phone near the fridge.



The wire shelf in its’ new location.

I am sort of afraid to get up tomorrow, who knows what the next domino will be!

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