Erasing Trouble Spots | Giftie Etcetera: Erasing Trouble Spots

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Erasing Trouble Spots

Stop for a moment and look around your house.  Even if it's neat and clean, aren't there trouble spots that you constantly deal with?  In my house, there is a place there are several places that constantly are filled with stuff, no matter how much I clean.  The most bothersome is the island in the kitchen:

It's a big ugly embarrassment a massive inconvenience a problem.  My kitchen is large enough, but doesn't have a ton of counter space (as you can see in the background).  So the island is important for cooking.  Just today, I used the island for dividing up ground beef into freezer bags, for chopping onions for tacos, and for holding the cheese while I cooked the tacos so that the cheese wouldn't melt next to the stove.  I would have used the island for folding clean clothes, if it was cleared off.  (Instead, the clothes sit, unfolded, wrinkling in the washer/dryer closet to the left of the island.)  I also use the right side (which has a plug) as my desk, with my laptop and planner set next to it to process the mail, check e-mail, schedule doctors' appointments, and generally do all my office work.  (Laptop is stored near my couch when I'm playing on it, as opposed to working on it.  That way, I can watch Food Network and Facebook at the same time!) Each and every time I use my island, I have to clear it off.  Annoying, right?

Clearly, cleaning off the island is important.  Until I get into the habit of clearing it, I am making it my first chore during my 15 minute daily quick clean.  Each time I look at it, it looks overwhelming, but in all honestly, it only takes 5 minutes to clear off.

I'm going to blog my way through clearing it, just so you I can see how easy it is.

Chairs - The folding chair, still here since a dinner party - hold on, let me check my planner - 4 weeks ago, needs to go outside in the shed.  The stool basically serves as my desk chair or a space for guests/family to sit and chat with me as I cook, so it needs to be moved to the left (near the plug for my laptop and the middle of my cooking space).

Black bag - That black tote is basically serving as my purse right now.  I've been running lots of errands lately and need something that can carry a ton of stuff.  It needs to go either in my bedroom in the space dedicated for accessories that I use daily or on the counter, in the outgoing today launchpad area.  (Credit to for the idea of a launchpad.  I have two - the one for things leaving the house tomorrow and the one for things leaving the house sometime in the future, like store returns and gifts.)

Pink tote - The pink bag carries all my reusable grocery bags and needs to go in the short term launchpad for storage in my car trunk the next time I go outside.  Or, really, I could just throw it in the trunk when I go outside in a minute to put away the folding chair!

Diet Coke - I really just need to trash the Diet Coke.  It was from the party 4 weeks ago, too {blushes}, and no one drank it.  No one in the house drinks Diet Coke, so it is really just taking up space.  And it has moved in and out of the fridge because of lack of space for it, so it's probably flat.  Note to self: do not buy 2 liters for parties.  You never use them.  Stick to canned drinks.

Watermelon - The watermelon needs to go on the counter near the window, where we have tons of otherwise unusable free space, instead of on the island where it is a broken ceramic tile and explosion of red innards all over the kitchen and the unsuspecting three year old's foot an accident waiting to happen.

Baking Potato - The potato should probably go with the other potatoes in the dark section of my pantry.  My only defense for not putting it there is that it's the big potato and I'm scared it'll get lost among the little roasting potatoes.  But the island is not the place for it and with my pantry pretty organized, I'll see it. Plus, baked potato is on my weekly menu plan.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Toy Wagon - I don't pick up the kids' toys.  But I need to toss it onto the bench in the living room, which the kids are expected to check for rogue toys whenever they do their daily room cleaning.  (Room cleaning is daily because otherwise it gets overwhelming for the kids.)

Groceries (Cheez-its, Lea and Perrins, and Italian Dressing Seasoning) - I am ashamed.  I NEVER finish unloading the groceries.  I need therapy.

Fanny Pack with Water Bottle - My fanny pack goes on the floor of my linen closet, with my weights and exercise gear.  I just toss everything in there so it's easy access for working out.  (If that drives you crazy, you can use a basket.)  The water bottle needs to go in the sink to be loaded in the next load of dishes.  (One load is currently running, so I dedicate one side of the sink to dirty dishes until eldest - 6 years old - unloads the clean dishes.)

Suspenders and Bow Tie - If I'm to be honest with myself, the suspenders and bow tie are on the island because I'm scared if I store them, I won't be able to find them in June for my sister's wedding.  Instead, I am hanging them with the shirt and pants that they go with.  Surely I'll remember that, right?  (I'm approaching 40 years old, so I might need to make a note in my planner next to the wedding date about where the outfit is stored.)  (Yes, it's just hanging in the closet.  Shush.  I'm OLD.)

Magazine - I don't subscribe to magazines.  I simply check out older issues from the library.  It needs to go on the dedicated space for library books (near the launchpad).

Taking care of trouble spots is really just a matter of standing up, dedicating 15 minutes, and making a series of little decisions.  It's easy, really.  Now, stand up.  ( I'm talking to myself.  See?  I need therapy.)

(Note the lack of an "after" picture.)


No comments: