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Got any Before and After Pictures?

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I'm always amazed at what a difference it makes when I organize something or get rid of the clutter piled up somewhere. Seeing the difference encourages me to continue in the direction I'm going without regret. Do you ever take before and after pictures? I always forget the before pictures. Quite frankly, I'm too embarrassed for anyone to see the befores. But also I simply don't think about it until after the transformation. So I'll share with you a few afters below. Feel free to share your own photos and successes. I think it encourages others to see our organization techniques and to know they're not alone in this clutter thing.

My biggest two accomplishments recently are taming the clutter on my desk and in my kitchen. My desk is in my dining room and it's always been an eyesore. I finally stopped having dinner parties because I just couldn't get the clutter under control on the desk. My desk was a big L-shaped desk with a small hutch on one side. And there were always papers all over the desk as well as sticky notes stuck all around my computer monitor.

Over the weekend I bought a nice cherrywood computer armoire for $25 off Craigslist. I thought it might be too small, but I decided it would force me to minimize some of the stuff I thought I MUST have on my desk. Well, actually I got pretty storage-smart. I used some of the empty plastic storage drawers from my scrapbook room and found they fit some of the shelves on the armoire perfectly. I organized my papers into folders and tucked the folders into drawers. I also tucked away assorted office supplies that had littered my desk for years.

Then I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some corkboard and glued it up on the inside of the armoire doors. The corkboard now holds all my sticky notes, appointment cards, a small calendar and the other nuisance bits of papers that cluttered my desk before. Now when I sit down to work, I don't feel overwhelmed; I feel organized and energized and much more creative.

If desk clutter is an issue for you, I highly recommend an armoire with little cubby holes for everything. And these plastic drawers come in many sizes at hobby lobby and big lots and walmart. You could find some that fit your space. Some of them are stackable, so you can have just one or you can have several stacked together. Usually they come three to a stack, but some can't be unstacked; they have to be stacked in units of 3. So check the sides to see if they can be separated.

Here's my nice neat armoire.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

One of the things I like best about the armoire is that I can close it up when I have dinner guests, so it looks like just a nice piece of furniture.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

As some of you may have read, I cleaned out my scrapbooking room and got rid of a lot of excess supplies. I emptied several cabinets in there that match the cabinets in my kitchen. So last weekend, I moved the empty cabinets into the kitchen where I had a bare wall. I had already gotten rid of a lot of excess dishes and pots and pans in the kitchen, but with few cabinets, stuff was just piled on stuff. When I'd open a door, things would come tumbling out.

Well, now, the kitchen is well organized, everything within easy reach. And there's room for everything without piling it up. For little things, like tiny plastic storage containers and their lids, I used little plastic trays, like you might use to put ink pens or silverware in. I can easily grab a tray and have the little plastic containers and the appropriate size lids for it.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I did have a total of around 6 ft of counterspace in my kitchen, barely enough to hold my cannisters, small appliances and still have room to prepare food. I used one of the empty cabinets in the scrapbooking room to make an island in the center of the kitchen where I can prepare food.

I used the other empty cabinets against the wall with a 3 ft deep countertop over them to hold my small appliances and cannisters and there's still plenty of room for mixing up cookie dough or whatever. It doesn't look crowded or cluttered anymore; it looks neat and pretty, I think. What do you think?

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

In the island cabinet, I store my pots and pans. I installed a wire basket to hold the lids to my pots. They were constantly in the way and a couple of them had fallen out and broken (glass lids). Now they're tucked away out of the way and my pots and pans are neatly stacked and easy to access.

My kitchen no longer looks cluttered and unuseable. I have space to work and can get to what I need without a hassle. I feel like I have a whole new kitchen now. And I still have one empty cabinet! I've never had an empty cabinet in the kitchen before. LOL

The picture below shows half of the island cabinet; the other half is similar. If you can't install wire racks to hold your pot lids, consider those plastic shoe boxes you can get at dollar stores, walmart, Big Lots, etc. The lids will fit in them well too.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Good work! Thanks for posting this. I also don't think to get a "before" pic and am embarrassed when I do think of it. Maybe I will get inspired by your successes.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Does it count if it's the kids clutter?
This is before I threatened to throw it all away

The family room

Thumbnail by flowAjen
central, NJ(Zone 6b)

everything put away... stuffed animals are in the big rubbermaid bin and all the little stuff were in plastic little bins, books are in a basket
Currently I moved a dresser from the bedroom to the family room 3 drawers for my son 3 for my daughter if it doesn't fit in the dresser it needs to be put away in their room

Thumbnail by flowAjen
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

That's a big difference!!! Way to go!!!

When my son was a teenager, his bedroom floor caught everything. It would just be blanketed with papers, clothes, cds, books, etc. I told him one day that he had 24 hrs to clean it up. If he didn't, I would, and anything on the floor would be thrown away.

He didn't, so I did. I bagged up every item on the floor and put it all in the trash. He was so mad that I threw away his "favorite" clothes (if they're your favorite, why are they on the floor????), CDs, new guitar strings, video games, and oodles of "good" things. After that, when I threatened to clean his room, he'd usually sorta clean it himself first. LOL But he's still very messy. Fortunately he doesn't live with me so it doesn't bug me now. LOL

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the laugh, Flowerjen!

When I met my husband he was a single father to two daughters, 6 and 9 yrs. He would tell them to clean their rooms and threatened that anything left on the floor would be thrown away. Turns out that is a good way to get new toys and clothes. ;-)

Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Okay, I will step up to the plate! Here is MY 'BEFORE" pic... we will see if I graduate to an "After" shot! :-)

Thumbnail by avianut
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Hey, that all looks familiar, avianut! We'll be waiting for the "after" picture. You CAN DO IT!!

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Good for you, avianut. Can't wait to see the after!

Crosswicks, NJ

Man I wish I had some before pics too......the basement and computer room was a terrible mess my husband had made.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

I know what you mean...My before pictures of any room in my house, garage, ! the 3 sheds ! gosh, they would have really been inspirational.
The best picture would have been the one of my mind. As i got everything decluttered, organized and decluttered again, I turned into the most peaceful, organized person that I had ever been. Everything is so much easier now. All of the clutter put up roadblocks to anything I did in every area of my home and that transfered into my attitude.
Unfortunately, now, near the 2 year anniversary of my start of the job of decluttering, I am seeing that I need to do it again and again, forever. DH and I will be making the big move back to the states in a couple of years or less, and at that time we will do a huge purge of the stuff that we have here in Korea. But before that, we need to get a handle on our "hidden spaces". We brought and bought lots of storage type furniture for our first apartment here and when we moved into our current one, it had lots of built-in storage...and we have gotten it ALL full of junk-n-stuff. None of this stuff will survive a purge, so why do we keep it? It seems easier to ignore it, I guess.
I currently have 4 pages open on this computer from LifeHacker that are about procrastinating...I may have to see if my librarian can get that book for me.

northeastern, AZ

I'm finding that it's a struggle to keep it under control, too, Juney. It's kind of like the difference between housecleaning and housekeeping. It's better done a bit at a time than all at once.

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

This is my brain.
This is my brain on clutter.


=^..^=

northeastern, AZ

Oh, huckleberry, that's too funny. Thanks for the laugh to start my day!

Omaha, NE(Zone 5a)

Okay, I AM working on that desk- it's just that the stacks of papers at the bottom are intimidating (I don't even remember where some of them came from, so not sure whether to pitch). Hopefully I will get to the rest of them this week (I guess if I don't know what they are, I might as WELL pitch them, right?
...
right?

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Aaargh, avianut, that is the part that defeats me too. The "What If I end up needing this after I get rid of it" feeling. Hopefully you can figure it out. I'm rooting for you to get it done!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

You could always scan them into the computer if you think you might need them again. But my guess is, once you started scanning them, you'd reassess them again and decide that most belongs in the trash. When you have to take the time to scan them, you'll discover the actual value of the papers and then most of them won't be as valuable as suspected at first.

Crozet, VA

Will work on getting some pictures taken today.

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

You go, girl!

Crozet, VA

Howdy All - I finally went through some of my pictures earlier this week and have a couple of befores to show and some other things that I marked as wanting to show you gals.

For those who have heard me lament over and over about my extra room that I have set up as the winter home for most of my houseplants, I want to share what it was like at one point. I haven't yet taken the after, but will try to do so later today and post it.

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

Another view....

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

and one more......

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

I also wanted to share something I did with the mirror collection I somehow ended up with. I suppose that I ended up with a collection because I would see things that caught my eye and so I purchased it or whatever. I decided to begin hanging them on the screened porch where we enter and leave the house. I like it very much and it has brought me a lot of joy just seeing all the things actually being put to use.

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

This is a view taken from outside of the porch.

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

My dining room wall with mirrors also......

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

Last one.....this is my garden window that I look out of whenever I am standing at the kitchen sink.

Thumbnail by rubyw
Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Oh, WOW! Ruby, you rocked the before and afters! I feel like typing a million Thank You's!

I see we have the same love of decorative objects. So courageous of you (all of you who post the before shots). Ok, I feel that the path has been well lit and I need to follow this path.

LOVE the screened porch. One of my goals in life is to have a screened sleeping porch.

Love the colored glass in the window. I bet it is lovely even when the weather is gloomy.
Thanks again and enjoy those clean rooms! =^..^=

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I love your porch and colored glass too, Ruby. Very nice!

Your extra room looks like my guest room at the moment. Everything I've decided to cull out goes in the guest room until I sell it or freecycle it. And my packing boxes are stored there. Right now it's pretty full, but if all the "culls" weren't in there, the room would be empty. When I'm done decluttering and have the room cleaned out again, I'll put a futon in there for guests. I hope to have all of my decluttering done within the next year and then I can focus on maintaining order.

But the more I clear out, the more I want to clear out. I'm giving up things I never thought I'd part with. I'm finding I like my shelves, tables and walls with very little on them. I'm decorating now with only the most beloved pieces--like oil paintings done by friends as well as myself, a big brass ship my sister gave me 25 years ago, and pictures of family. My foyer walls are covered in family portraits, but walls in other rooms are fairly clean.

It wasn't always that way; I used to cover every inch of space with something, but I'm finding that I like bare spaces more these days. I look around my house and I see other items that now seem like clutter and they just annoy me. So anything that annoys me is outta here. One day, maybe I'll be at peace with my home. I'm getting there, one room at a time.

Crozet, VA

So glad to hear from you Huckleberry. So glad that I had an impact on you too. Girl, I love all my shiny's. The ornaments and things I have hanging all around the home are called wall jewelry. I believe that is acceptable in terms of the decorating style of Funky Shui. hahaha I hear you Butterfly, about the clearing out. I am no where near where you are on this journey. For now I am happy with my progress and still enjoy most of the things sitting around. Along with the de-cluttering that I am attempting, I am also doing a lot of cleaning as I go along. That makes a major difference in how I see things too.

Thankfully I have been fortunate enough to have a cleaning lady who used to come weekly and now bi weekly and she is the one who contends with the knicky knacks and other things. If the dusting were left to me, I would have gotten rid of things a long time ago. I was thinking just recently that one of my tendencies used to be changing decor quite often and rearranging my furniture. I realize that I hadn't done much of that at all since moving in this house about six years ago. The reason I came up with is that when I was the one doing the bulk of the cleaning, I tended to tire of my belongings much quicker than I do when someone else is in charge of their care.

Speaking of screen porches....I too used to have owning one on my list of wants. Every time I would ride by a house with a screened in porch, I would drool. When our finances were better a few years back, I finally was able to get this one done. We enjoy it. It too can become cluttered and horrible looking from time to time. We enter the house through the door on the porch and so I try to do my best to keep it looking welcoming instead of trashy. It is home to my houseplants during the warmer months and my hubby calls it my jungle.

Anyway.....thanks for the comments Huckleberry and Butterfly. Good to see you as always. I took a picture two days ago of the current state of jungle which is now inside for the winter. Yeah, Butterfly, I hear you on how troublesome it can be to tend and maintain the plants and to carry in and out, but for now they are not something I would consider getting rid of. I figure that as I age and my body continues to sabotage me that I will begin thinning them out when the care becomes too much for me. For now I derive too much pleasure from them to not have them.
Hope that you ladies willl have a great week coming up.

Will post the plant room picture after a bit. Gonna run and do a few things at the moment. Smooches to both of ya!!!

Ruby

Crozet, VA

Dang, dang, dang........took pictures of the current plant room and they are too dark to tell much. Will find camera owners manual sometime and see what correct flash setting or whatever is. This happened once before when I was taking pictures of my grand children and it is such a bummer!!! Anyway.......

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

another one....

Thumbnail by rubyw
Crozet, VA

one more.....

Thumbnail by rubyw
Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

What a fabulous idea it was to install the sliding glass door. I recall how you persevered thru the construction obstacles and stuck to your plan. You have every right to beam with pride!
Your hubby is right..I searched your photos to see if there were any tropical birds or monkeys in your lovely jungle. I did spy the glorious fall foliage on the hillside. What a thrill! You are blessed! Enjoy it and thanks for sharing it with us.

Crozet, VA

Hi huckleberry, yeah I noticed the fall colors in the photo too. It has been some really pretty colors here this year. I don't leave the house every day like I did when employed and so whenever I mosey out I realize how blessed I am to live in such a pretty place with all of God's glory to experience.

I still haven't found the time to sit down and figure out what is happening with my camera. I will try to find the time this weekend maybe. Gosh, if you had looked a bit closer in the jungle I am sure that you would have seen at least an elephant here or there. My main collection is elephant figures. I have them in every room though the majority of them are now housed in a glass front cabinet in my son's bedroom. I need to be giving some thought to changing that because I don't get to enjoy them being there.

Oh yeah, getting this door installed was something else. I have enjoyed it though. Next summer I will be able to open the door and sit some of the houseplants on the front deck to spend the season and not have to tote them such a long distance.

Take care and thanks for responding.

Ruby

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Your porch with the screen & the mirrors for wall hangings is on my 'want list'!
I do so love your plant room. And I remember how difficult it is to work with some handymen...I am so glad that you got the room all put together and it looks so wonderful. Someday....I will do that to a room in whatever place I end up. DH said yesterday that he would not mind Missouri again. I am praying that it will be several hundred mile south of there. I really DO NOT LIKE REAL WINTERS! I am OK with summer being 9+ months long, I just don't think that I can stand too many more winters that have a daytime high less than 50 or so. I have Fort Hood, Texas in my prayers LOL!
I am having a paperwork problem. I put things on my desk thinking that I need to read/reply/do something with them and when the stack gets too high, I put it on the filing cabinet, and when it looks too bad, I stick it into a drawer...and never deal with it... I need to figure this out...

Crozet, VA

I hope that your wishes for certain rooms and certain places to live come to fruition some day Juney. Gosh, I am the very last person on earth that you want advice from regarding paper work. I have to admit to being very careless with papers and always have a hard time locating things when I need them. I have been addressing the paper issue a little at a time for a while now. I can't begin to tell you the things I have bought to simplify life in regards to record and bookkeeping. None are being used though is the problem My latest purchase along those lines is a plastic bin bought at an office supply store that is the size of a regular size file folder. I have the hanging folders in the bin but not all the papers are filed in their correct files yet. Over the years I have stored different types of papers in different locations. I need to go through two desks that I own and get together the papers in them that need to be with other important documents.

Giving some thought to this now I realize that there are several of my purchases still in original wrapping in my closets taking up space. I suppose it is time for me to finally let go of them. I won't be using them because I plan to have everything together in the plastic bin, so now is as good a time as any to decide where to send the other things.

Thanks for bringing the paper work topic up Juney. Made me do some thinking and thus will allow me to rid myself of a few more clutter makers. I have a friend that I will offer them to and if she doesn't need them, off to charity shop they will go. Gosh, I love it whenever I can come here and get inspired. The three items are small but every little thing counts I believe.

I wish you good luck in deciding what to do with your paper issue. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ruby

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