Apparently, 30 is the year to form some serious habits!
First, the Summer Shred, hosted by Bobbi McCormick (which I am currently doing a second month of, the Extreme version!), to develop healthier eating and exercise habits.
And now, the Home Organization challenge, hosted by A Bowl Full of Lemons, to develop some serious organizational habits!
I don’t even know how I stumbled upon A Bowl Full of Lemons, but when I saw the challenge, I was hooked! Completely re-organize your home in just 14 weeks?? Count me in!
Growing up, I was never really given any chores. It seems to me like cleanliness is not quite so high a priority in traditional Asian homes, as evidenced by thick layers of dust covering everywhere and the cluttered, hoard-y ambiance you get when you walk in the home.
Or maybe that was just my family…
In college, I became more disciplined in doing chores, since my roommates and I had an awesome rotation system that kept our place clean. However, I’m pretty sure that if we didn’t have this system in place, I’d only make an effort to clean and stay organized once in a blue moon. This was probably my first experience in having regular chores.
I learned a lot about how to be more efficient in cleaning the home during my summer in Estes Park working part-time as a housekeeper at the YMCA. Cleaning 20+ rooms in a day two days a week for an entire summer, you pick up a few tips.
When I had my own room and bathroom a year later, I kept up decently. This got kicked up another notch once I got married, and even moreso when we moved into our house and I realized that there was no “one day” when we’d leave and they’d pay someone to clean up our mess using part of our security deposit.
I’ve grown a lot in cleaning, organization, and keeping up with chores over the years, but I still have a long way to go. I’m sure RJ and some of our UCR friends would say that I’m a clean freak, but I still feel like a n00b. And I find that especially now that both RJ and I are working full-time, it’s difficult to find a routine and a system, and to know where exactly to start in the overwhelming task of reorganizing and rearranging the home. I just need a system!
Which is exactly what A Bowl Full of Lemons provides! A very methodical way of de-cluttering, deep-cleaning, and organizing every inch of your home in just 14 weeks!
I was lucky enough to start following ABFOL during their first week of this challenge, which tackles the kitchen! This week, we are to empty out EVERY SINGLE cabinet, EVERY SINGLE drawer, de-clutter, deep clean, re-organize, and rearrange anything possible in the kitchen. (Click on the link above for more detailed instructions)
So yeah. I was feeling motivated. I was feeling up to it. So I started emptying every cabinet and every drawer out onto our kitchen table.
It started out innocent enough with our coffee, tea, and hot chocolate stash.
And then it turned into a little more…
Okay, okay…just a liiiiittle bit more, not bad, not bad…
Wait, it’s leaked onto the couch now too??! Oh God, make it stop!!!!
ANNNND on the floor?? Oh dear Jesus, what was I thinking!!!?
“I’ve made a huge mistake….” Ummm…is it too late to just shove it all back into the cabinets and drawers??
Well. The damage has been done, my friends. And our home looks like a wreck right now. But it’s always worse before it gets better, right guys??
Anyways, I didn’t completely finish the kitchen challenge in one night, but RJ and I got a good chunk done. Even despite this being another one of my crazy, spur-of-the-moment adventures (did I mention that I just decided on doing this tonight??), and even despite him saying, “I mean, I love you, but you gotta tell me before you decide to just rearrange the entire kitchen like this, you can’t just go and do it!,” he was so sweet in helping me empty out all the drawers and cabinets, deep clean the emptied out cabinets, and even make the dreaded trip to the “evil” Bed Bath and Beyond to buy some kitchen shelves.
Don’t worry. He kept himself entertained by making armor out of kitchenware. That is, after we danced to Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” in the middle of Bed Bath and Beyond.
Here’s what we finished tonight: we deep-cleaned our two major cabinets and we finished re-organizing one of our cabinets and started re-organizing several others.
Now before I show you the before and after deep-cleaning pictures, I have to preface it by saying that I KNOW the before picture is super gross, and don’t judge me!! I mean…who looks at the tops of the cabinets in the first place???
Thick layers of dust, and what I believe to be a decomposing cockroach carcass…Lord, why won’t it scrub off???? <Gag>
Muuuuuch better!!! And the cream splotches on the far end is either paint or primer, so I just left it there.
Now to prevent this problem from EVER EVVVVVER happening again, I used a trick I picked up from Pinterest that I’ve been meaning to use for a while, but was too lazy/scared to clean the tops of the cabinet. All you do is line the top of the cabinets with parchment paper, which I didn’t have so I used foil, so that when dust gathers, all you have to do is just crumple up the foil and throw it away! Easy peasy! And invisible from ground zero!
This is a completely deep-cleaned and emptied out cabinet. It’s probably cleaner than when we first moved in!
This is the before shot of the cabinet we finished re-organizing and rearranging.
Now this cabinet wasn’t TOO bad to begin with. But wait till you see what it looks like now!
We were definitely able to use up some space that was being wasted, putting items that were cluttering up other cabinets and drawers into this one. It’s also looking more ordered and neat, but I’m not sure if it’s also looking more cluttered now. What do you think?
I forgot, we finished another cabinet. Check it out!
This was our cleaning products cabinet before.
Now it’s our cutting board, cookie sheets, cookie racks, and muffin tin cabinet, all of which used to be thrown in random places around our kitchen!
That’s it for finished products so far! I’ll try to update regularly as we finish rearranging, reorganizing, and decluttering different parts of the kitchen, and then the rest of our home!
Join me as I continue on this journey of becoming more organized! :)