Day Three & Four: Kim and Kyle

Kyle & Kim’s House

September 27th, 2016
Day Three
Start time: approx 4 pm
End time: approx 8 pm
Roughly 4 hours working

This ended up being an impromptu, spur-of-the-moment session!

Kim was tired after a long day of work so instead of having her working on anything too intense, I set her on continuing to sort through their piles of paperwork. I had Kyle working on dishes and keeping the laundry running.

I began working on kitchen cupboards and decided to start by going through their food storage containers. How many of us hold on to parts of containers that don’t have matches for months or even years? I know I’ve been guilty of that! So I matched everything that I could, and we were able to throw away quite a few partner-less pieces in the recycle. I felt that the cupboard that they were being stored in wasn’t the best use of that space. (Their bottom cupboards are quite deep and tall.) No one likes to have to dig through a giant stack of containers to get the one they’re looking for, so I moved them to their rotating cupboard. With that set-up, the containers are all stacked by size, and you can easily spin the shelf to get the size you need.

They had a few different cupboards with food items, so my next task was putting all the food items in one area of the kitchen. Kim had concerns with certain food items being in a bottom cupboard, just because there are mice in their area, so we put all things like cereal or pasta in a top cupboard, and things like cooking oils and vinegar on the bottom cupboard.

I cleaned out the “junk drawer”, which I’m pretty sure every home has! It’s not really so much of a junk drawer as it is miscellaneous drawer, with items like rubber bands, random nails and screws, glue, etc..

Once that was done, I moved to the top cupboards. They have a large assortment of water bottles, but all of the lids were currently being stored in a different cupboard in a basket. I had Kyle adjust the shelf height in the cupboard where they keep all of their water bottles, cups, glasses, plates and bowls. With the top shelf raised slightly, they now had the space to put the lids on the matching bottle or thermos cup instead of having to dig through the basket for the right one!

I started tidying the lower cupboard with the baking sheets and glass pans, making space for some of the things that were currently being stored on the metal rack in their dining area. We also found quite a few things for donation or recycling!

We cleared off more than half of the items on that metal rack, so we were hopeful that on the next visit, we’d get it emptied entirely!

Before (August 28):

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After (September 27th):

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By the time I was heading home, Kim had finished sorting through one huge box of papers! Way to go, Kim!

Progress Report:

The First Ten Tasks

  1. Laundry – washing, drying, folding, hanging, and putting away. Also potentially getting rid of any items that no longer fit, get worn, or are damaged and not worth repairing. – Task started! They are still working on keeping up with the laundry.

  2. Organize the kitchen cupboards and the metal rack in dining area. Get rid of any items that do not get used, and store large items that are only used occasionally (such as large stock pots or roasting pans) on a designated shelf in the basement. – Task started!

  3. The dining room table. (Remove all clutter and keep clear to serve its purpose as a table!) – Task started on August 28th. They have not added to the clutter on the table since my last visit!

  4. The six part organizer. (Remove excess clutter and organize contents.)

  5. The DVD shelves and bookshelves. Categorize, alphabetize, and personalize in the case of the bookshelves. – DVD shelves done on August 28th.

  6. Kitchen island and the top of the fridge and cupboards. – Task started on September 4th.

  7. Kyle’s desk area and the filing cabinet. Implement some kind of under-desk storage for Kyle and organize the filing cabinet. – Task started on August 28th. They have not added to the clutter on the desk since my last visit!

  8. Set up the bed frame in the master bedroom. Position the bed exactly where they would like it. – Task complete!

  9. Master bedroom closets. – Task started on September 4th.

  10. Hang up pictures in master bedroom. – Task complete!

October 1st, 2016
Day Four
Start time: approx 1 pm
End time: approx 7 pm
Roughly six hours working.

For Day Four, we had talked about continuing to work on the laundry and to start sorting through boxes in the basement. We got a little off-track but we still got a lot done!

To get the ball rolling, I got Kim started on hanging and folding the laundry, and I had Kyle help me unload and then reload the dishwasher. I knew I would need the counter space available to me if I was going to work on organizing the kitchen cupboards again.

I then spent probably a bit more time than I would have liked tucking a cord behind the DVD shelves so that it would no longer be in plain sight. There was a big tangle of cords under the computer desk that it was mixed in with, so I told Kyle that one of his personal projects would be to tidy them up!

I had their daughter do a bit of dusting and joined Kim in working on the laundry, hanging their daughter’s clothes. When I took them upstairs to put them away, I noticed that there was a bit of disorder happening in her closet, and I took a few moments to straighten it out. I had to re-hang several garments to keep them in order with my hanging system.

I asked their daughter to put all her dirty clothes in the empty basket. She wasn’t really on board with the organizing work that day, so I tried to make it a little more interesting by sending her on an “expedition” that only she could do: crawling under her bed and pulling everything out! When I checked in with her later, she had gotten most of it, but was apparently too tired to finish, so I squeezed myself under there! She didn’t want to be overly involved in helping me go through what we had pulled out, so I did a lot of it myself. When working with kids, you have to know when it’s going to be worth the effort of trying to get them involved or when it’s time to recognize that today they’re just not up to the task. Choose your battles!

I filled one small plastic bag with trash and another with recycling, so I think I made some good progress in tidying her room. One step closer to being able to run the vacuum cleaner through!

Back on the main floor, we finished emptying the metal rack in the dining area and moved it to the basement. They are now able to use that corner for their garbage can!

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We moved down to the basement, and while Kyle put together a wooden shelf unit, Kim and I sorted through another metal rack of various items. I found a lot of expired dried goods, so we filled a garbage bag with that, and Kim found things for donation. We also filled a blue bag with recyclables! We cleared a lot of space on that rack and were then able to add the large items from the rack that had been upstairs.

I continued working on the kitchen cupboards, and organized their pots and pans along with the glass and ceramic cookware. Ideally, we would like to purchase some racks to help make better use of the space in all of their cupboards, but since we have a limited budget right now, we’re making the best of it.

One of my favourite things about organizing is that there are so many ways to go about it! Just because you may not have a lot of extra money to go out and buy racks and shelves and bins and other supplies doesn’t mean you’re unable to improve things. Creativity and an open mind go a long way to finding new solutions to a clutter problem!

Progress Report:

The First Ten Tasks

  1. Laundry – washing, drying, folding, hanging, and putting away. Also potentially getting rid of any items that no longer fit, get worn, or are damaged and not worth repairing. – Task started! They are still working on keeping up with laundry.

  2. Organize the kitchen cupboards and the metal rack in dining area. Get rid of any items that do not get used, and store large items that are only used occasionally (such as large stock pots or roasting pans) on a designated shelf in the basement. – Task started on September 27th! Metal rack was completely emptied and moved to the basement on October 1st.

  3. The dining room table. (Remove all clutter and keep clear to serve its purpose as a table!) – Task started on August 28th. They have not added to the clutter on the table since my last visit!

  4. The six part organizer. (Remove excess clutter and organize contents.)

  5. The DVD shelves and bookshelves. Categorize, alphabetize, and personalize in the case of the bookshelves. – DVD shelves done on August 28th.

  6. Kitchen island and the top of the fridge and cupboards. – Task started on September 4th.

  7. Kyle’s desk area and the filing cabinet. Implement some kind of under-desk storage for Kyle and organize the filing cabinet. – Task started on August 28th. They have not added to the clutter on the desk since my last visit!

  8. Set up the bed frame in the master bedroom. Position the bed exactly where they would like it. – Task complete!

  9. Master bedroom closets. – Task started on September 4th.

  10. Hang up pictures in master bedroom. – Task complete!

We had another very productive day, and I was proud of the work they did. I know they’re starting to feel a little better about their home every time we have a session, and I’m so excited to keep working with them to reach that end goal!

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