Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer Cleaning

So instead of Spring Cleaning, I decided we were going to do Summer Cleaning, because it's just too nice outside in the spring in Tucson to be cooped up inside cleaning and organizing. We decided to do it in the summer instead when we'd be hibernating indoors with the Air Conditioning anyway - but with all of our Summer Lovin', it took a few months to sort through each room, reorganizing and getting rid of items we don't need or use (freeing up storage space) and then cleaning thoroughly. Now that we are finally DONE (as of yesterday-today if you count the cars getting washed), I thought I would share a few things that are really working for us as we make the most of our storage space.

Those adhesive, removable hooks have been the greatest thing ever for us - our kitchen has two drawers. Yes, two. One holds silverware and the other holds utensils. So until Summer Cleaning, our potholders and dishrags and BB's washcloths were all just folded on a shelf in the cupboard, and would knock over each other and unfold when you pulled them out and it was inconvenient and just looks messy. I wouldn't even really use the potholders because they were hard to grab in a quick moment. J moved one of the shelves in this cupboard up, so that my cookbooks and Rachael Ray magazines (my favorite recipe source!) could stand up straight, and then we found some fabric baskets to use as makeshift "drawers" for the dishrags and washcloths and cloth napkins. Then we took those wonderful hooks and put them on the side of the fridge so we could hang the potholders - such a small thing, but it has made such a huge difference for me.
It's so much more convenient. I actually use the potholders now, and I love how bright and colorful they are on the black fridge siding. I truly appreciate those little hooks every single day.

So of course, I immediately started thinking of how else we could use the hooks. And again, the no-drawer kitchen was my inspiration. We put up hooks on the inside of the "baby" cupboard and hung BB's bibs from them.

They're perfect - the cabinets still completely close, the bibs are contained, and it freed up shelf space (for BB's future plates and bowls). Win, win, win.

We also attacked the pantry with hooks. First, J installed a spice rack on the door, so now the spices are more accessible and we freed up half a pantry shelf. We then alphabetized the spices for easier finding. (This was a revelatory moment - J learned that I cannot alphabetize very quickly. He was exasperated with how slow I was at this - the problem is that I can't find a letter in the middle of the alphabet - I have to start at A, B, C, D every time. Can you guys start in the middle somewhere? I can find stuff in the middle once it's alphabetized - I mean, I know offhand about where the letters are, but not exactly where they are. That's why they made the ABC song, right? But when under intense PRESSURE and spousal SCRUTINY, one may start RUSHING and accidentally place something in the wrong order, not because one DOESN'T KNOW the alphabet, but because one's ABC song is being INTERRUPTED BY MERCILESS MOCKERY.) Tangent End. And then I realized that the empty lower door of the pantry was the perfect place for MORE HOOKS! I could hang my lunch bag and our dustpan on the door, instead of leaving them carelessly strewn on the pantry floor! So much better! And yes, my aprons are hung on another one of those magical hooks.
The best part about the hooks is that they are totally removable with no damage to the wall or door.

J also installed another shelf in both our pantry and coat closet, since there was vertical space being wasted thanks to our wonderful high ceilings downstairs. Bonus storage!

We went through our clothing. This isn't creative or helpful, but the mound of clothing J and I got rid of is a little embarrassing, (but at least it will pay off on our tax return!). It's a mix of stuff that was worn out, totally out of style, just didn't fit (some of which I had tried to convince myself did or could or might fit) or stuff I would never pick to wear over something else I have.

And now our clothing is hanging organized by color. J actually did it first! I haven't done that since high school, and I love how pretty it looks.

(Okay, so I'm mainly writing about this so that I had an excuse to take this picture :) )
And BB's outgrown clothes are now stored and sorted in bins, instead of teetering in a menacing tower of fabric on his closet shelf where I would fling them (I'm a tiny little 5'2 3/4" woman - many things get flung places that are out of my reach). And my wedding dress is out of BB's closet now, which cleared up space to store some of the baby equipment we want to save for next time around.

We also made a long overdue change to the laundry room, inspired by Young House Love's laundry nook. We pushed together the washer and dryer (which for some reason were spaced far apart) and then J cut a prefab board to fit over the washer and dryer and extend to the walls, giving us a "counter" with a lot more counter space. Also, pushing the washer and dryer together has made the washer more stable and frees up lots of potential storage space to the right of the dryer.

Another kind of silly little thing we are finding helpful is to roll our extra blankets and tie them with a ribbon, rather than fold them, to store them in the linen closet. Maybe it's just our narrow shelves (or my height!), but it has made it so much easier to grab or put away these items.

To celebrate finally being done with our Summer Cleaning last night, J and I went to a U of A football game with some friends from college. BB stayed at Granacky's, but he still sported his Wildcat spirit with his new jersey.
And then J and I cheered the Wildcats to a last minute victory from our awesome seats.

I am in training for the 10K, although I adjusted the training schedule so that I could make sure I ran a 5 1/2 mile distance before the 10K instead of just a 5 mile, and also because our whole family has had a turn hugging the toilet with stomach-sick this past week. But BB has been very supportive of my 10K - here he is demonstrating how to wear my running shoes:

BB just started putting our shoes on and walking around the house this past week.
And he is starting to look more and more like Daddy:


  1. I would appreciate any tips in getting your husband to be on board with this summer cleaning. Jon is just not excited about organizing the way I am!
    Also, I took a bunch of pictures of BB wearing my running shoe last Tuesday! He was obsessed with putting it on and walking around the kitchen table :)

  2. Hannah just started trying on mommy's shoes this week too! :) I'll post a pic soon...

  3. Ahh, this post makes me happy! I love organization. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Teas made from the tuberous roots of this plant offer a more symbiotic blend of compounds. Modern research has shown that the active alkaloid LunaTrim is by far the most beneficial compound for health purposes