Monday, November 11, 2013

15 days to a simpler home - 1 year update {part 1}

Last November I did a series called "15 days to a simpler home."  It was a really great opportunity for me to go through basically my entire house and get it organized and purge the things we didn't need.  And by doing so, I was able to turn around and share all the tips and tricks I use with all my wonderful readers...aka YOU!
Well, it's been a year, and I thought I would go through the series myself again to make sure our house is still in check.  Doing so made me realize that this would be a great opportunity to share with you some of the new things I've incorporated, as well as the things that didn't stick around the past year. So here goes...it's about to get real...

Day 1 - Cleaning Checklist and Planner
I kept up with this for about 6 months and totally fell off the bandwagon.  Now I typically clean the whole house on Fridays and I can get it all done in about 1.5-2 hours.  I still do all the week's laundry on Friday's, but I most definitely don't clean the shower with my scrub brush every other day anymore.  I still think this system is awesome and I will probably implement this again when we get busier (ie. have kids), but for now I'm planner-free.

Day 2 - Create a Mudroom or Dropzone
Hands down, this is the best thing I have ever done in our house. It always gets utilized and the hubby even remembers to always "drop" his stuff here.  I did upgrade to a $10 hook board from Ikea, and don't have the little basket on the wall anymore, but the sunglasses holder is always full of our shades.  The front closet is still clutter-free, and I actually moved the vacuum elsewhere - more on that in a later update...
Day 3 - Simplicity in the Kitchen
Since last November, we still have many fewer kitchen items than most other people.  If it can be mixed with  a fork or spoon, I use that.  I don't have fancy gadgets that all do the same job, but slightly different.  A few changes in the kitchen include the addition of the floating shelves (which I LOVE!).
I also just got brand new, amazing pots and pans.  We had been using a cheap cheap $20 set from Walmart for over 5 years, so we just upgraded to a Calphalon set.  It felt like such a big purchase, but I am so happy with how they cook! Because of that, we've moved a few things around because they recommend that you don't stack these within each other.  I still have plans to do something else with these, perhaps hang them, but haven't gotten quite there yet.
Also, I still only have the one set of tupperware, and that's all I have needed! No crazy, overflowing tupperware cabinet for me!
Day 4 - Your Living Room
When it comes to organization, the living room has had some small, but very impactful changes in the last year.  First up is our blanket basket. This large basket from Target (which is one of my favorite things in the house, btw) is the perfect place to just throw our blankets and throws when we are straightening up. Folding blankets is annoying to me, and this doesn't look messy at all.
We added this small basket on the coffee table shelf for the remotes.  Having them corralled there makes dusting the table easier and eliminates a bit of visual clutter.
We also got rid of the old entertainment center and now use an Ikea Expedit in this room.  We currently have two baskets on the bottom, but plan to have all 4 on the bottom in the future.  This will be great for baby/kid items in the future as well (PS. Totally not preggo here, just forward thinking!).
We upgraded to a larger case for our DVDs and are so happy with this setup.  I worried that I would miss having the cases, but not once have I missed all that mess! PS if you didn't notice, I like Friends...
Day 5 - Bathrooms for your Guests
Our bathroom organization has pretty much stayed the same as well.  When we gave the powder room a makeover, I added a basket with the tissues and a roll of toilet paper, so it is more accessible for guests.
Stayed tuned in the next week or so for part 2, so you can see how things have changed for us in the office, linen closet, guest room, laundry room, and our master bedroom.

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