My wife and I have been at odds over how to keep the pantry organized. I put things in the way I like it, and she re-arranges it to how she likes it. In the end, I have to concede and like it the way she likes it.
My way of organizing was so that I could see the stuff I wanted to mostly use at eye level… for my height. My wife wants things to be at “normal” eye level. It’s not my fault that genetics made me over two meters tall at six foot eight inches. Currently in our household I am still the tallest.
My wife and I have often made meals together. I guess now, she’s the one who has to get the items from “eye level” and I get the things from the upper shelves. Most of the stuff is at her height because that how she likes it.
I will say I do like the organization of items. I guess that’s a popular thing to do these days- take stuff out of packages and put it into new containers. In the end, if my wife is happy, then I’ll be content with the organizational style.
With Christmas behind us, we realized that we like the house to be less cluttered. Because we had moved in at the start of summer, most of our time was spent enjoying the outdoors. Now that our mild winter is upon us, it was time to re-evaluate our home. That meant figuring out storage solutions.
First I started in the garage. We had a few boxes that we hadn’t opened yet, and an empty wall. An old bookcase becomes a place to store shoes while some shelves went up on the wall to store lightbulbs, candles, sunscreen, etc… We had some clear bins and fabric ones which worked well to organize and add some uniformity.
Next was the laundry room. Originally there was just a single shelf and a lot of wasted space above. I had taken out some wire shelves from my closet (in order to fit a dresser) so I reused them in this space. Again, we used fabric bins and put old towels and rags in them. The very top shelf will have overstock of cleaning supplies in clear shoebox size containers.
The last thing I did this week was add a more decorative cabinet in our kitchen. It fit nicely under our coffee bar. It also matched the red coffee maker and kettle. Now our teas and coffee have a better place to stay. Originally we had put a temporary wire rack underneath with all those cloth bins I mentioned.
I do prefer the clear plastic storage containers and the cloth bins over the cardboard boxes we had from moving. Even though those boxes were labeled, truly knowing what was inside was difficult. After going through some of them, we were able to gather up more donations and even discovered some items that we had no idea where they had gone.
With so much more stuff to go through, we are slowly decluttering our home. Some stuff that we brought along in the move just isn’t “us” anymore. My wife and I are trying to pass along items that we either don’t use, doesn’t bring us joy, or we simply had no idea why we still have it.
How are your storage solutions? Do you purge items regularly or do you wait for spring cleaning?
About a month ago I mentioned about Making Space In The Garage. We have been able to park my wife’s car on her side since then. We also rearranged some of the storage last week to make it more accessible and easier to manage. This afternoon- we tackled my side. And won!
With a few things still needing better placement, I’m happy with the progress. We have some donations to send out and some recycling to toss that will help with the space. But all in all, I now have a spot to park my car.
We now have two cars parked in a two car garage! This makes me tremendously happy. Much to their chagrin- I had to have to kids out there to enjoy my moment of triumph! This was a total “Dad Flex” to unbury the garage and park our cars.
Even though we “Purged” before we moved, we still have a bunch of stuff that needed to find a place in and around our home. As fun as it is to fill the ,Garage, I like being able to park at least one of our cars inside. The other side will have to wait until the summer is ending in order for me to want to hit the attics again.
I took advantage of the nice weather today to hang up our kayaks and ladder on our back fence. At least it keeps them off the ground and away from moisture and dirt.
Last week I worked diligently on organizing the garage and utilizing all the available space. I went old school with a pegboard for my tools- which my son organized and put up. I also built a makeshift 4×8 suspended shelf for my wife’s fabric. I throw a couple hooks up for bikes and the car topper. It made for a ton of more floor space and easier to navigate around the garage.
While we still have a few boxes in our home to unpack, this is a great start to our new life. Unfortunately with things the way they are, we are waiting for bookcases and a hutch to become available in order for us to complete the house. For the time being, those items are off to the side and out of our main living area.
How organized is your home? Do you feel like you have too much stuff like we do?
As we get ready to move, we are going through our items that were in storage. Yesterday I pulled some totes out of the attic storage that were filled with clothing from when our children were tiny.
My wife started the process by herself, whittling six bins down to four. Most of the baby and toddler clothes were sentimental in some way or another. As my wife processed the outfits- we all began to talk about the clothes and the memories behind them.
At one point our oldest would run off to find a photo of herself in an outfit that was pulled out. The excitement of the memories brought joy to my heart. Not only did my wife and I remember dressing up our kids- they remembered favorite outfits as well.
Seeing how tiny they once were makes me hope that one day we get grandkids. One day. Not any time soon please- our kids are still teenagers! My wife and I will keep these bins in storage for that time. Perhaps in a few years we shall pull the bins out once more and downsize again.
I loved seeing those itty bitty outfits. It filled my soul with fond memories.
Since we are moving, I need to get into the attic and start pulling stuff out. I sort of know what’s up there. But I still wanted to check it out.
We actually have three attics for storage in this house. I have emptied two of them so far. One had a box of wires. The other had old movie banners and fans for the summer. The third- which is above our linen closet- should contain a few Rubbermaid containers of baby/toddler clothes. Not a ton of stuff, but stuff nonetheless.
We have been paring down on stuff for a few months now. We started by trying to get the kids on board in decluttering their rooms. It wasn’t until we staged the house that this was finally accomplished. We have a little over three months to go through our stuff and decide what to keep and what to donate/sell. The final process will happen once we know where we are moving to and what stuff will make our trek to the new place.
Of course, we will probably still bring junk in boxes that shall stay packed up for many more years. Just because we cannot part with it. Relocating boxes from home to home without ever throwing it away? Seems like it would be commonplace in everyone’s house- just like a junk drawer. That’s normal, right?
I think moving is a good opportunity to evaluate what we have.
It’s January! Just like everyone else- the start of the new year means time to get organized. Buying new totes for storage, drawer organizers, and packing up the stuff we hardly use. It also means donating and give aways.
Over the past two decades, my wife and I have collected items that we once thought we would use. Some we have even refinished and brought a new lease on life to. Other items fell by the wayside only to be a project that never happened. It’s those big items that we are about to list for someone else to give love towards.
None of these items belong in the trash. They’re just not suitable for our lives at this time. Hopefully this clears up some space in our house and make it feel more spacious.
Hours of house cleaning is behind us and hours more to come. Pretty sure our teenagers are getting frustrated, but they have stuff they’ve collected over the years that need to go as well.
Recently I was cleaning out our storage, sort of… I got sidetracked pretty quick and the cleaning ended in about five minutes. I discovered some old models that I somehow acquired.
When I was about 9 or 10, my father decided that he and I would make model airplanes together. That lasted about ten minutes. My attention span was dedicated to video games or cartoons. (GI Joe and Transformers: FTW!) Hanging with my father was never on my list. Mostly I was afraid of his temper. In the end, he half built the model on his own and gave up.
When my father was diagnosed with cancer, he needed a hobby to take his mind off the inevitable. So he bought these two models. They were never opened. I don’t know why. But they ended up in my possession at the end of 2000. Twenty years later, I’m ready to give these away.
Only I can’t.
My son wants us to build them together. We have a father/son connection that I never had growing up. Let me hold back the tears a moment. Perhaps these models can be created with love. We can create a memorable moment. One that I can add to the thoughts of my father. Create a model relationship and add some positivity to my childhood.
Back in 2016 we bought a temporary shelter for our Honda Element. I put it up along the side of our home near the carport. And there it stood… until today.
We’ve been using it as extra storage for things like camping gear and outdoor Christmas decorations. I’ve also used it as a workspace for when I needed to set up some sawhorses and do some painting or building. It’s been extremely versatile. So we didn’t really want to get rid of it.
Instead, two of our children lay out the cover on the lawn and scrubbed the green film off the outside of it. I disassembled and reassembled the frame in its new location. The other side of the house. Which is a great location for this shelter.
We have a “dead space” on the side of our home that we have tried to utilize. We’ve set up a fire pit, a sitting area, even an herb garden- but it never lasted. Mostly because it is out of sight. So it’s a great spot for the temporary shelter. We moved the camping stuff, Christmas stuff and some other stuff that we don’t need out in the open. It’s a perfect storage spot.
It also made the front of our home have nicer curb appeal. Our daughter can park off to the side if she wishes. We can also access the backyard much easier once more.
Having an older home with minimal closet and storage space can make it challenging to save stuff. We do have some buildings on our property that have been used for storage. But two of the three are old and dilapidated. One is an old garden shed where a tree fell on it a few years back. So we moved everything from there to an old playhouse. The other is a woodshed/small barn/workshop. Unfortunately that has a rotten roof and back wall.
This past weekend I went into the barn and began to take some of our belongings out. It was obvious from the moment I got in there that rodents have made homes in the upper part. Not too surprising considering we live in the country with squirrels, raccoons, and all sorts of small furry creatures. Most of our stuff was left untouched- which was good. It also didn’t look like we had to much left to move out.
It wasn’t until I got everything into our home that I realized how wrong I was.
My wife and I saved our children’s collection of “Little People”. Three kids and about ten years of buying these toys accumulated to a huge collection. Everything from a castle to a circus, an airplane to a zoo- our kids received almost everything imaginable. I remember the kids spending hours playing with them when they were younger.
On Saturday, our fifteen year old daughter decided she wanted to open up every box and play again. This had all three of our kids sharing memories and stories of playing with the toys and watching videos of “Little People” at the same time.
I’m glad my wife and I saved these toys. We will pass them on to our children or (even grandchildren?) one day. From my youth I saved all my LEGO. My sister saved her Barbies and My Little Pony toys. Both my sister and I passed these toys on to our children. It’s a great way to keep memories alive while creating new ones.
What does do you keep from your youth? Or what toys have you kept of your children’s that you can’t wait to pass on? Let me know!
Last year I made a quick bed and storage space for our Honda Element. Read about it here: Camperizing Our Honda Element. I did this design to maximize our storage inside the Element for our camping trips.
Last month I installed a Keyless entry: Keyless Entry Install. At that time I also replaced the tail light super quick since it was cracked.
I want to do more to the car now. I was hoping to add a roof rack. But our local Honda Parts dealer doesn’t carry the crossbars since the vehicle has been discontinued. My next step was to watch videos of people who made their own roof racks and bars. It doesn’t look too difficult, just time consuming to find the parts and put it together. Once done- I’ll be able to put a carrier basket on top or use our car topper again.
To get to the top of the car, I am wanting to add a ladder from Gobi Racks. It is a bit pricey, but fits perfectly on the back of the Element. It will add to the ruggedness look of the car. And add ease to climb up.
Our oldest daughter who will be driving the vehicle the most doesn’t seem impressed with my plans. She thinks it’ll turn into a “Hippy Van”. I’m wanting to keep the car for many years after she is done driving it. Plus, technically it is my wife and I who own it- we will modify it to our choosing. Perhaps some daisy decals and peace signs stickers?
I’m looking forward to camping this summer. I am picking up crossbars for my Nissan Rogue with a hope to purchase a kayak or two in the future. There’s something about living in BC that makes me want to be more outdoorsy. Having roof racks on vehicles makes it easier to transport stuff as well.
Today I took down all of our Christmas decorations. No more garland, Santas, stockings or trees. All of it packed away for another 10 months. Having a large home that we want to fill with joy has one incredible drawback.
Its like playing a game of Tetris as we try and remember how everything was packed up. That just for putting the items into boxes. Afterwards was trying to hide it all away in closets and any available space. Our home doesn’t have a ton of storage space available. I have to take the time to put things in logical places as we will require them. Currently, Christmas goes in the back. Then Halloween decorations are in front of that. And right up front is things we may need for camping and traveling. Time consuming to say the least.
Hopefully our stuff remains glittery and undamaged in their storage spots. Nothing worse than finding busted up items and faded memories next Christmas season.
The past couple of days have felt like utter chaos in my home. I feel like I have to make a mess and clean it up before I make another mess. Does that make sense?
These past few days go like this:
Take down Halloween decorations and put them in storage.
Take out stuff in storage and decide what to give away.
Take out Christmas decorations and return storage stuff back into storage.
In our home, the transition from Halloween to Christmas has already begun. Some may say it’s too early for Christmas decorating. Pshaw. Our home looks amazing when done up for Christmas, so why wouldn’t I want it to last longer?
Problem is I’m home for a week and really wanted to do some painting and some final touches to complete our home. What I have done is make a big mess. Clearing out closets and storage areas trying to revamp the look and feel of our home. As well as getting a collection of donation goods and clothes for give away. Decluttering our home is an ongoing process.
But so are home improvements. My staycation is making me tired. At least the Christmas lights are up outside!
Some of the most frustrating things in life are things that don’t exist. Computer memory space for example. I swear that within a year of buying a computer, the space gets filled.
No matter what size storage you have on any given device- it gets filled quickly. We could have the largest storage on an iPad or iPhone, and it would get filled. Same with videogame systems. Our PS3 is maxed out, so is our Wii-U. Both have been in our possession for years though- so that’s forgivable.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been working on managing the storage on all of our devices. Removing defunct or useless apps. I’ve deleted the kids’ old homework from years ago that isn’t needed anymore. I’ve also been trashing numerous duplicate photos. Even going as far as deleting all downloaded videos in hopes that our computer will run smoothly again.
I don’t know if our computer will run any faster. I just know that I am able to find files easier now. It’s as if we just click “save” without choosing a destination on the computer. We have a 2tb external hard drive and it still has more than half of its storage available. But our 500gb computer is full. I just want to yell at my family that they don’t need to save to the desktop or create numerous links on the desktop to various file folders. It does not make sense!
The only thing more frustrating than having to move storage around is trying to re-connect to the internet when you get a new modem or the connection craps out. Or when you forget passwords. Passwords are the worst. But that’s a topic for another day. I need to get back to moving files around now. Wish my luck in the Matrix.