We moved into a house with a good-sized kitchen pantry. The only problem was that the previous owners had only put shelves up on the top half of the pantry; the bottom half was untouched because at one point they had their washer/dryer there. The shelves that were installed were also awkwardly laid out, with some inaccessible corners.
So I drew up a new plan, figured out how to use the shelves that were already there with a minimum of new purchases, took everything down off the walls, grabbed a tape measure and a saw capable of cutting metal, and started rehanging the existing shelves. I had to buy a few new bits of hardware and chop a few of the old shelves down to fit the new layout, but I ended up with the entire back wall filled with shelves except for one space left open for my recycling bins. The side walls of the pantry have narrow baskets for holding cooking oil, etc., on one side of the pantry and cleaning supplies on the other. My vacuum cleaner fits up against the left wall, and a mop and broom are tucked into the few inches of space between the closet wall and the bifold doors on the left side.
I’m not the handiest person around the house, so I made sure to double-check all my measurements and think through what I was doing before I started buying and sawing. The end result looks so wonderfully neat and organized that I’m tempted to throw open the bifold doors and look inside every time I walk by.
Next up: my home office is in a spare bedroom, so I’m going to work on making that closet more functional.
Getting organized for me has two components—decluttering my house and coming up with better systems for handling paperwork, finances, project management, and my to-do lists.
For the house clutter, I’m tackling one small spot at a time. Every day I focus on a different room, and aim to eliminate one “hot spot” mess. Then I work on maintaining that clean area and move on to another spot in another room the next day.
In the past I would try to completely overhaul one room. It would take a lot of time and effort, it wouldn’t always get completely finished, it would still be depressing to walk out of the clean room and see a mess in another area of the house, and if I got busy cleaning another room, that meant the first one didn’t get maintained. In short, it was a very frustrating method.
Hence the one spot a day approach. You know how they say the best way to lose weight is to make small lifestyle changes over time, aiming to lose maybe a pound a week? That’s what I’m doing with my house. Small changes, spread around so no matter what room I walk into I can see something positive. I hope it will help motivate me to develop better habits, so I make fewer messes and have an easier time maintaining the place.
More than 120,000 words into the novel and I’m struggling to finish. Part of that is because I’ve been fighting off a cold, and part of it is because the last section of the story is the thinnest part of my outline. I have some general ideas of what is going to happen but am struggling with the bits in between. My writing also feels rawer because I don’t have any previous drafts of most of this stuff.
So this week I’m trying to remember to turn off my inner editor and just let the words come out. Heaven knows the entire novel is going to need some serious editing; there’s no reason this section needs to be the perfect first draft.
My goal is to finish the draft by the end of the year.