Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Organization for the Unnatural Homemaker: The Kitchen Sink

I am not a natural homemaker. In fact, I am not a naturally tidy person, and honestly, messes don't really bother me all that much. I have always been the type of person who loves cleanliness over tidiness. My floors must be clean, but I don't care if the play room is a mess or if my bed is made.

But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate orderliness in my home, and I desire for my home to be a place that is well cared for and welcoming to others. There's nothing worse than that feeling when someone drops by unexpectedly and your house is a disaster. You just know that they are asking themselves "what does she do all day???" as they look around.

I've tried many things in the past to help implement more of a sense of orderliness through schedules and systems, but they never really stuck. I found myself feeling more of a failure the more I tried and failed.

Then a friend in my MOPS group recommended a blog/YouTube channel called At Home with Nikki. The link here is to her YouTube page, which I have found to be particularly helpful and fun, as she keeps more of a presence there than on her blog. It also seems to be much easier to search than her blog is.

Nikki makes great, very detailed videos about home organization. I started watching a few videos here and there about how she organized different areas of her home, and I realized what my biggest problem is: a lack of detailed organization.

Yeah, sure, things were basically organized, but nowhere near the detailed organization that Nikki shows. I realized that by slowly creating detailed organization in different areas of my home, I could have a better chance of keeping order.

For example, all of my linens are folded and in my linen closet, and there is some basic organization. But having bins to store each item in there in an orderly fashion makes it more likely your linen closet doesn't become a jumbled mess.

And of course what a better time to accomplish all of this than when I am in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy with twins! (face palm). No really, the nesting instinct is strong right now and has helped me to really take charge of some projects around my home.

I decided to start implementing these projects slowly, so that I don't bite off more than I can chew. I decided to start with the area of my home that needed the most help: the kitchen.

Because nothing makes a house look messy more than a messy kitchen, and the kitchen can get out of control quickly.

The first thing I decided to tackle was my kitchen sink area, which is usually where the issues start for me (dishes are my nemesis). I watched Nikki's video about orderliness around and under her kitchen sink, and became inspired to bring that area under control as well.

This is what it used to look like under my kitchen sink. (And yes, this cabinet is always very well locked so that no little ones can get in there.)
I took everything out and decided what actually was going to be stored under my sink and what could go elsewhere. This was a great exercise, actually, because I realized I hadn't put much real thought into what went where when we moved in last year. It was almost like I was moving in again!
I was left with this.

Then I did what Nikki suggests in her video and decided which sub items needed to be stored in their own containers, which would prevent the jumbled mess from happening again. I wrote down what I types and size of storage containers I needed.

I am not wanting to spend big bucks on organization bins, so I decided to go to the Dollar Tree to pick up what I could, and I am SO glad I did! I was able to get everything I needed for only a few dollars.

One thing I really wanted to store under there were my essential oils. I bought an essential oil kit and diffuser last year, which I love and use almost daily, but I have yet to find a good place to store it that is convenient and orderly. I realized after seeing that Nikki stores her diffuser and essential oils under the kitchen sink that this is the perfect place for it!

So I bought these baskets, which cost $2 total from the Dollar Tree
 And used them to organize and store my diffuser and Essential oils perfectly. Now they are very easy to get to and also out of the way.
I also decided to put together some sort of cleaning caddy to keep under my sink for doing cleaning jobs around the house. I saw Nikki's cleaning caddy in her video and a light bulb went off in my head. Why had I never thought to make a caddy with all of my cleaning supplies readily available and easily transportable throughout the house?!

So while I went with this $1 container from the Dollar Tree instead of Nikki's adorable (yet likely much pricier) caddy, I am super happy with the results.
I use and love Norwex cleaning products for my home, and this little caddy holds all of my most-used items very easily.
I also purchased one more basket to hold extra Norwex clothes, which I use to replenish my cleaning caddy when the cloths in it become soiled.
With all of these sub-items organized and ready, I was able to put the cabinet back together, and got this
No, it isn't as perfect and pretty as Nikki's sink cabinet, but it is very functional, and after a month, it still looks exactly like this! I have been able to maintain the orderliness very easily because I put it together with such intentionality, and I know where every item's place is.

The above-sink area was also cleaned up by a few simple changes. I installed this little Dollar Tree basket onto the inside of the under-sink cabinet door to house some items for the sink that I don't need all the time. I simply attached it to the door with some 3M command hooks.
Then I tidied up around the sink by utilizing 2 things I already had: an in-sink basket for my dish cloth, and a plate for housing my soap and detergent.

My mom gave me that little suction-cup basket for inside my sink a while back, and it works great. It is also very easy to clean. And when I was wracking my brain trying to think of a way to organize my soaps like Nikki does, a very simple system came to my mind....
I decided to simply use what I have! I wanted to get the soap dispenser off of my countertop, because they would drop or leak as they were used throughout the day and always got my counter slimy.
These are the smaller plates that go with my dish set, and they perfectly house my dish detergent and hand soap, as well as a Mrs. Meyers candle that I like to just take the lid off of now and again. Every evening when I am cleaning my sink, I simply change out the plate and put the dirty plate (which has collected any drips of whatnot from the soap dispensers) in the dishwasher.
This system has been working amazingly at helping me keep my kitchen clean. Simply by making sure I empty my dishwasher every morning and that I wash my sink every evening, I have been able to keep all of the dish clutter at bay for about a month now, which is miraculous. My husband has even taken notice of the huge change this has made in our kitchen, and thus, our home.

Some of this might be intuitive to most or even all of you, but I like to think I'm not the only unnatural homemaker out there!

How about you? Would you consider yourself a natural homemaker (or "tidy person") or not? My husband is much more tidy than I am, but he does not care about cleanliness like I do! I need things to be dusted and cleansed more than I need them to be tidy.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! Organization makes a big difference! I must confess that I'm a highly-organized type of person. I use lots of plastic bins and banker boxes (clothing storage) throughout our home for keeping items stored and/or organized. For me, it's all about creating a tidy looking space (even if you have a lot of things) and increasing functionality within the home and day. Your space looks great! Got to love those "nesting instincts" for such projects.

    p.s. Tip: Dollar Tree has a small bin with handles which is great for creating a kid-size cleaning bin. Simply fill with a cloth and small spray bottle of water, and little ones can carry it around and "clean" like Mama. I really like the idea of being able to easily transport supplies when cleaning. :)


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