Thursday, February 21, 2013

ClutterBug Attack!!!!

I don't know about your home, but our home is plagued with ClutterBugs.  They're closely related to I. Dunno and Nobody of Erma Bombeck fame.  They appear from nowhere, usually directly behind where I just finished cleaning and attack.  I turn around and the area that I know was perfect 5 seconds ago is now...well....not.

Today we're going to tackle kitchen clutter which tends to gather in one of 3 places.

1. On top of the refrigerator

I don't know why, but the area on top of the refrigerator is approximately 2-3 square feet of magnet.  You'd be amazed what has gathered up there that you've forgotten about, or never knew it existed in the first place!  Unless you're one of those people with a cabinet over your refrigerator, grab a small step ladder and climb up there and see how bad it's gotten.  At best, it likely needs some love with cleaner and some towels.  At worst, well, let's just say I found a miniature promo Minion on the top of mine from the movie Despicable Me which came out in 2010.

2. Under the sink 

This is where cleaning products go to die in my home.  Maybe you store something else under there, but for me, that's what's usually cluttering it, ironically preventing me from being able to clean.  A relative of mine likes to store grocery bags to use for other things.  This is a great tactic if you use them often for walking your dogs.  This is a horrid tactic if you can't close the doors anymore.  As with all things, moderation. :)

3. The counter closest to where people walk into the kitchen

You know the routine - you're walking in the door juggling 5 bags of groceries, a screaming baby, a pile of mail, your car keys, your purse, 3 toys, and a water bottle.  Bottom line, something's gotta give!

If the money is in your budget, organize this area formally NOW, or at least by this weekend.  I took this area in our home and put a few bins.  One is for each person.  The top is for DH (he's the tallest).  His mail, magazines, and anything he puts in that spot goes in his bin. 

The next one down is for me.  I don't get much mail or magazines, but I get tons of "Mom!  Look what I did!!!" so they go there until I have the chance to sort through them.  Once a week I go through and pick a few things to selectively display around our home of triumphant moments.  The rest magically disappear.  This is also where I keep my "go bag" on a hook next to my bin.  It's a diaper bag since I have an infant at the moment which also carries a planner, notebook, 3 pens, any reading material I'm supposed to be reading (think handouts for church, school, etc), an MP3 player, and my Kindle.  This way I know where everything is when I need to leave and I can just grab and go.  I put the charger for the Kindle in the car (which also works for the MP3 player and my phone) and I don't have to worry about running out of battery!.

On the bottom is the one for my son.  His contains his magazines and mail as well as any paperwork that comes home from CCD, Scouts, and anything else.  Once a week I go through his bin, move the "need to reads" up to my bin to go into my bag, and make certain any art to be featured has also made it up to my bin.

Now, in that "spot" where things tend to land, put the following:

a small decorative bowl
   ~ to catch keys, pins, buttons and anything else little that's in your hands as you come in the door
a towel
   ~ lay flat to wipe grimy hands and/or to absorb any condensation from drinks that magically appear
a pen and pad of paper
   ~ to write the notes that are running around in your head from the day as you come in


  1. OY! I need several days for this one!
    An idea if junk mail is your bugaboo (it is mine!). I bought a pretty hanging file box to put on the counter. The idea is to put bills in one of the file folders and write on the calendar when they are due. There is also a folder for tax stuff, coupons for restaurants/take out menus, and other stuff. Now if I can just convince DH to look in the file, and that laying things on the counter as a "reminder" doesn't work!
    The GO bag is a great idea, I need to look into that. Always forgetting things because I don't have them ready to go.

    1. Kim - The Go Bag came from my time when my husband was in the military - we had 3 different "levels". One to grab and go for daily use (as above) so you didn't have to worry about leaving something you needed, like your military ID, passport, notebooks for appointments and meetings, and other "essentials" behind. Then one for overnight emergencies - which happened rather often for me. I'd get a call in the middle of the night with a family that needed me to come and sleep there with the rest of the kids so they could take one to the ER, etc.

      Last, but not least our mandatory "bug out bag" because we were stationed in an area where we could have been given 15 minutes to get our stuff together and get out the door and you didn't know when you would return.

      I hear you on the clutter - just focus on the kitchen areas of clutter for now. We'll be having more "ClutterBug Attacks" throughout the rest of Lent.