Literally and figuratively.
It is the product of having many kids and many animals.
It is what accumulates during the busy, crafting holidays and the warm spring days in the garden.
It is the grime and crumbs that stick between the cracks of the table leaf because there have been many meals eaten together.
It is the dried water and mud splashes clinging to the baseboards after a long, rainy winter with kids and dogs who love playing in mud puddles.
It's having a busy toddler whose brain never quits running. Okay, maybe he does sleep a little.
I have successfully cleared out and cleaned my entire upstairs, with the help from the kids.
This means all of the kids have clean rooms, closets and bathroom. Now I am downstairs cleaning. Today I was able to clean the living room and the next two days will be dedicated to my kitchen.
EVERYTHING is coming out of the cabinets. Everything.
It's all getting cleaned and will either go back or go out. If I haven't used it within a year, it's gone.
I browsed through Pinterest and some blogs looking for some ideas to help organize my kitchen while still keeping it functional. Function is very important.
I found a couple of good ideas. One is the shoe bag that now hangs inside the linen closets.
My old house didn't have linen closets, so when we built this house I insisted on them! I have three:-)
I can place cleaners up high and away from the baby. Ditto for the flashlights that are always without working batteries, courtesy of the 2 year old. Extra shampoo and such also goes well in the pockets. This has given me extra shelf space for other items.
I also found a great tip for battery storage. I usually have them all loosely placed in a plastic storage box. It works, but it makes it difficult to glance and see what we might be low of as I am making a store list.
Now I have them all in a small tackle box. It's so much nicer than just having them roll around in a bulkier box.
Now I start the kitchen. Is the kitchen ever large enough? Is there ever enough counter space? I ask these questions while looking through all of the wonderful ideas I see online.
As much as I searched, however, I never did find any ideas that really matched the functionality of my space, my kitchen.
I saw some lovely ideas for storing flour, beans and popcorn in beautiful glass canisters, but what if you buy these items in 50 pound bags?
There are many who suggest you place your most used items on the counter, while hiding the rest. None of these ladies had wheat grinders or automatic sprouters though.
Also, can you believe there was not one single suggestion regarding the 2 gallon scrap bucket that sits under the sink for the pigs.
I am partly being sarcastic because I have come to realize this week that my kitchen is all about function and little about decoration.
I plan to change that, at least a little.
Of course I need to clear my island of all the "extras" I removed from the living room.
It's gonna get messy. It's gonna get cleaned.
But most of all.......
it's gonna get lived in and that's exactly the kind of house I love.
Hope you are feeling the love this Valentine's Day!!!! See you on the other side of the clutter!