I have a belief that sometimes what we want to call "clutter" isn't really clutter but rather a lack of organization. I know there are some people who would shoot that theory down and say that organization is nothing more than stuff to hold all our stuff. To an extent, they might be right. Do I believe that everything I possess right now is an item I am in need of having? No. There are most certainly some things that a savvy clutter specialist could find in my house that would not even come close to meeting the requirement of "do I need it, do I use it, do I love it" and Husband and I have been trying our best to eliminate those things from our life.
But since my vocation was determined by our perfect Heavenly Organizer, I have to bend to His wisdom and humbly accept that I was not made to live in a monastery. And as much as I would like to think of my home as a domestic church, it is in reality...a home. Filled with little people and not so little people who require things; things to care about, things to use, things we hope to use again and stuff to clean those things.
So, for those items that I need to have in order to fulfill my vocation as wife and mother, I choose to try and organize them in such a way that they don't appear cluttered because in these close quarters where I spend most of my days, appearances are everything; how a room feels can make or break my mood, my sanity. I think, in some cases, that's what clutter really is... an appearance. More adjective than noun if you know what I mean.
So this weekend (actually two weekends ago), we tackled our laundry room. Partly because it needed to be done and partly because we were cleaning up the aftermath of a close encounter of the rodent kind in our pantry which can also be found (if you look really hard!) in the same room. (The minuscule pantry, that is... the rodent is long gone!)
I forgot to take a "before" picture, but I did take this one about half way through:
We put those wire shelves up ourselves several years ago to create a bit more storage especially for cleaning products. I am too scared to keep them under the sink! Don't know why. Maybe it was all those baby proofing articles I read during my New Mommy Cram Session. I also needed a little more space to store some entertaining items that don't get used every day but enough to warrant keeping them. Our kitchen is galley style which means it's shaped like a hallway; kind of long and skinny. There isn't much room for what doesn't get used daily or weekly, but some things do actually have value even if they have to be dusted off to use. The dolly cake mold that turns a rainbow sprinkle cake into a perfect princess ballgown just right for a little girl's birthday; or the square cake plate that displays an All Hallow's Eve pumpkin roll without squishing it unlike a round plate. And let's not forget the sombrero shaped chips and dip plate that no fiesta could do without. Actually, mine is all white... but I wish it was sombrero shaped!
OK, back to the laundry room. Here is the "after":
That would be after I spent way too much
In all honestly, I could have done this without the help of the Container Store, in fact, I contemplated just covering boxes in pretty wrapping paper but I spend a lot of time in this room and I am hoping that by making it a pleasing place to be, my attitude towards laundry will improve. Sometimes, we need those little touches to encourage us to celebrate the monotonous and enjoy the mundane. I know I do.
All in all, I didn't actually purge a lot from this room. Mostly it was the old, mismatched bins and buckets that I replaced with canvas ones. I did get rid of my laundry baskets which is fodder for another post. Are you intrigued? I guess the moral to this post is that in some cases, it doesn't matter what you decide to keep, it's how you decide to contain it.