Day 2 of the Christmas Cleanup Challenge

Ok, all you rabid blog fans out there, just waiting for some sign of today’s cleanup conquest…I’m back!

First, I want to share a small clean out I did, which netted a lot of paper for the recycling bin out back, in addition to helping our front living area/school room function better.

If you are like me, your stack of magazines and catalogs can quickly grow to mammoth proportions, even if you are picky about what you keep. So, after culling through a TON of these, I moved the periodicals into a smaller basket:

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and voila! I had a wonderfully large basket all freed up. Into it went our many, many library books, and they fit beautifully, with room to spare. Now isn’t that nice?? Some folks prefer to bookend their sofa with tables to hold lamps, a drink, etc; we just throw baskets on the floor everywhere.

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One thing which will help you in your house if you use the library a ton: have a rule that when a book is finished, or not in use, or whatever, that its natural home is in the library basket. Or on the library shelf, whatever you have in your house that works best for you. By keeping the library book “home” in a common area, you leave it available to all the members of the family. Not only does this encourage constant use of the books, since it serves as a visual reminder. But having our basket system has also saved me many a headache by preventing those frantic searches for lost library books!!

Ok, now to get onto the big stuff. Today I tackled a dark and forboding place in our home: the closet of Abigail.  It was so cramped and crowded in there folks, that I got a little freaked out just contemplating cleaning it out – I think I may have minor claustrophobia issues.

Now, I must disclaim: it is NOT really Abigail’s fault that it is in such a state. Ok, it’s partly her fault, but more mine. Since she has her own room, and a fairly sizeable (for this house) closet all to herself, we have used it for storage of more than just her things. All my sewing paraphernalia as well as gift wrapping supplies need to fit in here, for instance.  And lately, it’s just been a good place to toss anything for which we had no other storage spot. So, here is what the closet looked like yesterday (those of you who are squeamish may need to avert your eyes):

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And now today, after a LOT of hard work…it’s not going to win any awards on Rate My Space, but it looks SO much better.  For one thing, my little girl can actually walk inside it now without fear of being lost in there!!

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And pore through her clothes to make very important wardrobe decisions!!

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Even give a little karaoke concert, if she has a mind to!

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As part of this cleanup effort, I revamped my system for storing wrapping paper, ribbon, tissue, etc. Down here is my wonderful Sams’ find today:

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Rubbermaid containers to hold gift wrap supplies: rolls sit at the bottom, ribbon and tissue lie in trays which are inset a bit higher, perfect!! Everything fit beautifully…..well, everything except my stash of gift bags, which I’d love some advice on.

Do any of you have a nice, neat way of organizing your gift bags? What do you keep them in? Please share!! I threw away a BUNCH of sad-looking, rather outdated ones today, but still have a pretty healthy collection I need to store!

4 Comments

  1. Aunt Jamison
    Dec 3, 2008

    WHOA GIRL, Abigail’s closet is AMAZING!!!! I’m so incredibly impressed!

    I just want you to know that I am putting my game face on, and going out to the garage to sort clothes and do some work in the baby department.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to post pics on my blog b/c we are having problems with something computer-y, but I will work on this. =)

  2. Wow. Awesome. And can I tell you how much I LOVE seeing the before pix? Makes me feel SO much better!!

    What are we gonna do when our kids are gone and we can’t blame our disorganization on them anymore??

    I used to keep all my gift bags hanging on hangers in a spare closet we had. That worked pretty well but it took up a whole lot of space that I felt like could be put to better use. So I just recently put them all in a rubbermaid crate. It is harder now because I have to open it up to get a bag out, but at least they stay neat.

  3. Tricia
    Dec 4, 2008

    Thanks Jamison, and best wishes on the baby clothes sorting. You know I’m thrilled to have another participant!

    Missy, you are kind. It is HARD posting these pics – some of them are really awful! Thx for the tips on gift bags also.

  4. Kim
    Dec 20, 2008

    Tricia,

    I pick one large gift bag and put the others inside of it. I have a cabinet in the hall that it sits in nicely. Fold up the tissue paper and put it in there too. Recently I divided into 2 gift bags — one set of “boy appropriate” gift bags and one set of “girl appropriate” gift bags.