House For Six

40 Bags Weekly Recap: Cupboards and The Holding Area

Deme Crinion8 Comments
We have this weird/awkward/questionable peninsula of cabinetry between our kitchen and family room.  The kitchen was an add-on about 20 years ago and I think the cabinets were part of the old kitchen they decided to keep.  I'm not sure if I love it or hate it.  We're not even sure what to call it..... 

 (look at her on move-in day in all her green glory...)

Is it "the island"?  No, that would be the kitchen island with bar stools.

Then is it "the counter"?  Not nearly specific enough.

Usually I refer to it as "the big bar thingy".  And I love the big bar thingy when we're hosting people at our house.  It's the perfect place to set out food and still keep the kitchen clear for food prep and all the dirty dishes.

But it also cuts the room in half and has created way more furniture placement drama than any one person should have in their life.  How hard can it be to find a spot for the couch in such a big open space?? The answer is stupidly hard.  Anyway. I digress.

What I DO love about big bar thingy (in addition to the great serving space) is the extra storage we have in the cabinetry.  I wanted to make sure we were taking full advantage of them, so they were the first target in my 40 Bags in 40 Days purge.

Since the goal is to tackle a small area each day, I divided this up over the course of 3 days (small drawers, big drawers, and cabinets).  Truth be told I still haven't touched the cabinets on the left side that house our school and craft supplies. Because it scares me.

 Here are some of the things we ditched....

-Phone books and directories - the ones we've never opened and contain info we typically look up online.  Into the recycle bin.

-Serving dishes - I used to have a serious excess of serving dishes, but over the years I've found that I typically use the same ones whenever we entertain and they are mostly white or clear.  Dishes I haven't used in over a year went to the donate pile. 

-Table linens - just like our serving dishes, I tend to have my go-to's for table linens.  Anything I hadn't used in over a year (or ever!  Some still had their clearance steal tags) went to the donate bin.  Seasonal or holiday specific linens were pulled and store away in our holiday bins.

-Pens - when I got to the junk drawer, I realized it was a magnet for pens and markers that do not work.  Trash.  All of them.

Side note...a couple years ago I used an extra silverware tray to organize our junk drawer and it's worked swimmingly.

We also repurposed the drawers in a way that made sense.  The two small drawers on the left are dedicated to batteries and candles/flashlights.  The other two are the designated junk drawer and a drawer of miscellaneous household/hardware items.  The center drawers hold serving utensils and linens, serving dishes, and outdoor/picnic items.

I will deal with the counterspace when all is said and done but I think we could use some sort of charging station.  And binky storage?

I actually cleared off the counter space before purging the cabinets.  I didn't grab a pic, but just imagine piles.  Lots and lots of piles, merging into one counter-sized mega pile.  It felt so good to finally have that space clean and clear, but once we started going through the rest of the drawers/cabinets I found little piles started forming all over again.  #commenceeyetwitch

It made me realize that it really is helpful to have a designated holding or working area when purging like this.  I pulled several items from big bar thingy that will be relocated to other spaces.  Spaces I have not yet purged and organized.  So, they need an area to hang out until their new spot is ready.  Which means I just need to get over stuff being on the countertop.  It's never clear for long anyway.

Next up is that desk area nearby.  

It's going to become my new little home management area since I no longer have my beloved office.  It's much smaller than the area we just tackled, but there's a LOT more stuff shoved into those drawers.

This room is proving to be a challenge for me to deal with....I have a grand vision for the space that includes painting the cabinets and walls, a treatment for the fireplace and lots of fun details.  I want to do it all at once, all right now!

But this challenge is not about the pretty.  Not yet.  First the purging, then the organizing, then the finishing touches.  It's one of those spaces that is going to come together slowly, as budget and time allow.   So while I really want to run out and buy paint, I'm trying to stay focused on the dirty work.  Which really does feel great to check off the list. 

How are my fellow purgers faring?  What areas have you cleared out?  Are you staying motivated?  I've been really inconsistent.  Skipping days and then doubling up on others.  I feel like I need to get in a better routine or maybe a certain time each day when James is home to occupy the kids.  What's your approach?

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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