Monday, March 5, 2012

Project Simplify 2012: Make Way for Baby

Posted by Amy Baranski

If you're not into water aerobics but are looking forward to our blog's activity in April: DIY Home (Do It Yourself home edition) you might consider taking the Project: Simplify 2012 challenge this month sponsored by Simple Mom.

My sister and I have joined! Not only do I have a list of things to organize (for each room and closet in my house) before baby comes, I also have rolling list of little things I want to make during DIY month. But my house is in disarray! For me this means that I have no dedicated, and clean, work space to create things. Project Simplify addresses this dilemma in a fun and social way and hopefully will help me gear up for April.

Now, with my big sis on board I feel like I'm on a team and not just swimming alone in the great blog yonder. Maybe we should make matching shirts or capes or something. You can join too...

Project Simplify breaks down the work load into 4 weeks of spring cleaning madness. You can choose one, two, three or all four weeks. Whatever speed works for you. The focus for this week, March 5th, is: Kids’ stuff—toys, clothes, and the like. Since baby isn't making any mess yet that means I have to tackle my own.

My hot spots

My problem areas primarily exist in the closet of our soon to be baby room, our front room--where I've had a very messy makeshift desk/space for a few months--and our bedroom closet. My husband might have a few others to add, but I think it's a fair assessment.

Need 1: Dedicated work space
I work from home often so I need a dedicated work space for my computer. It doesn't have to be big, but it should be focused. In conjunction with the work space I need a filing system for paper work. All my files are in plastic bins which, for the most part, have served as great organizers, especially as a mobile city apartment dweller. But I need something more permanent and homey feeling.

Need 2: Space for baby things
We have a small room for baby (which doubles as a guest room) with an itty-bitty closet (with no light). But there's other space throughout the house waiting to be utilized. I need dedicated space for baby's things where I can stockpile diapers, wipes, and other essentials. Since I started emptying out the itty-bitty closet for baby I now have plastic bins full of random things lining the walls in our front room. What is all that stuff?

Need 3: Art and craft supply storage
In 2010 I took a book making class. Last year I started knitting. This year I got a sewing machine for Christmas. I hoard magazines for collage making and obsessively save scraps of paper from my travels for... scrap-booking maybe? In short, I collect a lot of ephemera meant for future projects. But I don't have it organized, and sometimes I forget about it. I need a small, but organized, and handsome space for craft and art supplies.

My Plan

Finding space seems to be the common theme in addressing my messy hot spots.

Step 1: Locate the measuring tape. Then some grid paper. If I map out potential layouts for each room and identify space for each need then I'll know where to start.

Step 2: Bask in the glory of having used a measuring tape and grid paper. Then liberate surface space. File errant receipts, shelve books, and maybe even making a pile of unknowns--this and thats--that I don't know what I'm doing with. Look for a pattern of unknowns.

Step 3: Open the boxes. It pains me to think about this step. But I need to see how much stuff can be reduced and first I have to know what I'm dealing with. Make a "keep/kill" pile. (We do this with content at work). Of the items on the "keep" list group all like things together. Take items on the "kill" list to a donation center (or their proper owners).

Step 4: If I bite off a little of the above every night this week, by the weekend I should be able to move any big pieces of furniture around, or find the right vessels to hold certain things. I think that's ambitious enough for this week. If I can do just one of those things I'll be happy. Before and after pictures will be posted by Saturday. Join in the fun if you dare!


Cassandra said...

Good luck with the decluttering! We are doing the same in prep for the move. It feels so good to get rid of so much stuff!

I look forward to the before and after photos!

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