Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Our Whittle Down Wednesday posts are based on and inspired by Peter Walsh's It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living A Richer Life With Less Stuff. If you have cable you may be familiar with his TLC series Clean Sweep. I've never seen the show but the book is a great tool to motivate you to trasnsform your home & your life.

His tag line sums up the book: An Easy Plan for A Richer Life With Less Stuff. His book is a plan. He takes you through the processes of seeing your space ( home, room, drawer, etc.) as it is now and helping you to see what you really need/desire the space to be.

First, Walsh tells you to imagine the life you want to live. He leads you to think about the answers to the following questions:
What is the life you want?
How do you spend your time?
How do you feel at home?
How do you interact with your family?
What do you accomplish in your home?

Next, he asks you to imagine your ideal living space. What does your home look like?
Here are some questions he lists to help you envision your ideal space:
Does this house look the way I want it to?
Does this house feel like a home to me?
How do I feel when I come home to this place?
How do I want to feel when I come home to this place?
How do family members feel when they come home to this place?
How do they want to feel?
How do I feel when I enter this room?
What is this room's function now?
What is the function I want it to have?
In order to serve its function, what should the room contain in terms of furniture, contents, and open space?

These are the things I contemplate as I conquer one small space at a time. I'd love to have him come in and help me do a "Clean Sweep," but I don't have that luxury. Thankfully I have the accountability of this blog to see to it that I at least work on one space each week.

Here is this week's project. I tried to finish up the kitchen drawers. You must be so bored with my kitchen. I'm still not done, but I actually did more than one drawer this week.

I have a column of four drawers next to my oven. The first is my knife drawer I posted the transformation here last week.
I've labeled the rest of these drawers #2, #3 and #4.
Here is #2 before...

and after...I tossed sippy cup plugs, corn holders, broken measuring spoons. It looks much less cluttered.

Here is drawer #3 before...
Drawer #3 after...

This still looks pretty cluttered. I tossed out a few broken items, moved some items to other drawers and just tidied up. I just couldn't bring myself to toss any duplicate measuring cups. Sometimes I need 3 one-cup measuring cups!

Drawer #4 before... I keep potholders and towels here. You can see some of my rags have slipped into this drawer. I have a spot for rags under my kitchen sink. I also used to store bibs here, but pulled them out to donate. My 21 month old just pulls them off if I try to velcro one on him. I took this picture much later, you can see the evidence that we are out of paper towels, because now the drawer is nearly empty. :o)

The next two drawers are large and deep. They are below my silverware drawer. I don't load these drawers because, although they are deep, I'm afraid they may not be able to bear much weight. This is my foil, baggie and brown bag drawer before...
I also store phone books here, I tossed all the out of date phone books in the recycel bin, combined duplicate boxes andjust tidied up.

Here it is after...And this is my plastic bowl and plate drawer before...

and after... I store kid friendly bowls and plates that are within easy reach of my little ones. I also had my plain white wash cloths in here to clean up my son's face after meals. I am moving them to the pot holder drawer. I bagged the paper plate holders (they are green in the photo) to donate. I've had these for over 10 years and I know I haven't used them in more than five! Tucked in the far left corner is a collection of stainless I pull from when we have company and some plastic cuttlery.

This is the last drawer I'm blogging (I have a larege silverware drawer with two trays of stainless, but I can't toss anything here. We need all this stainless. I also have a small drawer that only holds appliance manuals). This is my baking drawer (named only because it is under my baking cabinet and I roll out dough on the counter above it).

before... after...

Stored here are: wooden skewers, the cord and drip cup to my griddle, a rolling pin, a dough mat, a small cutting board, a pie edge cover and some accessories to a food processor.

Although my de-cluttered areas are not exactly perfect all the time it is VERY easy to quickly tidy them up. As I have said before I have a 3 yo, a 5 yo and a 7 yo helping me unload the dishwasher 3 times a day, they have noticed the change and are making an effort to help me keep things tidied up.