clutter trouble spots {day 14 of 31}

After a no-fun day of homeschooling, Gabe called from work and said, “Hey, let’s go to a Metro Park and shoot some family photos really quick and then go out to eat so you don’t have to cook.” I said yes please. So we did.

Amidst much bickering (on the way to the shoot, during the shoot, on the way to Culver’s, during our meal, on the way home), he got some really good shots of us looking like we love each other. I’m so thankful to be married to a photographer/web designer/thoughtful, caring guy.

And I can’t wait to print a couple hundred of these out to take to Cambodia. We learned on our last trip that one of the cheapest, most treasured gifts you can give a new Khmer (Cambodian) friend is a photo of your family.

p.s. Gabe used a tripod and a timer and ran into the photo in like 4 seconds. It’s fun to watch. Check out the rest of the photos here.

Back to purging. Fun times, fun times! Tonight I made myself clean out two kitchen cupboards that have been bugging me for awhile but I never want to take the time to fix them.

The one is a floor-level cupboard left of the fridge. Its contents include: a slow cooker, a crockpot, an electric skillet, a big pot for boiling ears of corn, 3 big plastic popcorn bowls, some 9×13 pans, 2 tablecloths for painting, a huge assortment of plastic containers, and a ton of plastic grocery bags.

The grocery bags are an embarrassment, because they represent all the times that I forgot to take my re-usable bags to the grocery store. Boo. Why do I not just keep them in the van at all times?? I know, because that would involve actually putting them back in the van after each time I use them.

The plastic containers are also an embarrassment. They come from the lunch meat I buy for Livi’s lunches. I would much rather buy my meat “fresh” from a deli and bypass the container, but I shop almost exclusively at ALDI and Marc’s and neither one has a deli. Hmmm…

I took everything out of the cupboard, wiped it down (spilled coffee grounds everywhere?), put the big stuff back, matched up containers with lids, threw mateless ones in the recycling bin, and set aside several to pack breakables in for Cambodia. I used some plastic bags to pack some books I’m mailing tomorrow and put the rest in the basement with my packing supplies.

Oh my word. Am I boring you?!?

The second cupboard holds an assortment of bagged snacks (we don’t have a pantry), thermal totes (we had 12!), a relish tray, a box of cookie cutters, some plant food (?), oats, a bottle of ABC sauce (yum!), some paper plates, and some nasty onions.

Honestly, it’s all still out on the floor (in my defense, Gabe was trying to watch Lost on Netflix, and I was being too loud). I got rid of some old bags of mostly crumbs, SIX thermal totes (the girls all got new Thirty-One totes from my sister for their b-days, so I got rid of their old ones + some freebies we’ve acquired over the years). And the onions.

I’m debating whether I need all my 9×13 pans (and one 8×8 I never use). Over the years I’ve gotten rid of lots of kitchen stuff that was just collecting dust. Wok, rice cooker (both awesome ideas, but I never made them happen), cappuccino maker, food chopper, extra bread and pie pans, weird utensils…

I still have a few cupboards to go.

I’ve been trying to tame my desk lately too, but it’s having none of it.

And then there’s the basement. Ugh.

How about you? What are your clutter trouble spots? Any great tips for keeping them neat and squeaky?

21 thoughts on “clutter trouble spots {day 14 of 31}

  1. ali

    There’s a very good chance that every single person in your family is now taller than me. And I have never been so envious of three young girls and their long hair. Harper and I got the stringy, thin-haired, wavy-not-curly-nor-straight gene that requires our mop of a head of hair to stay above shoulder length at all times. I look at the pictures of your gorgeous girls and my fingers begin twitching because they want to braid so badly.

  2. Brooke

    i have mice in my kitchen cabinets sometimes, so that takes care of the squeeky part. mouse sticky traps and 409 takes care of the clean part. 😉

    i like to make extra food and freeze them for leftovers, so even using the plastic lunch meat containers i freqently have nothing to put leftovers in.

  3. Keri

    Living in a small apartment has certainly cured me of collecting too much stuff! I do have one cabinet in the kitchen I should deal with……maybe I will someday!

    Your family is beautiful. And in 9.5 weeks I get to meet everyone. It just doesn’t seem real!!!

  4. Andrea

    Boring? I love hearing how someone processes these organization decisions and navigates their spotty motivation. Good inspiration for the rest of us. And dealing with clutter during LOST? Well, you obviously should have just quit with the cabinet and joined him. I recently watched the whole series and had to succumb to the idea that I was just not going to be very productive with my to-do list but it was worth it. It was a bit freeing 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      I don’t really watch TV, mostly because I know I would spend a billion hours on it once I got hooked on a show.

      And I’m glad my de-cluttering process is exciting for you. 🙂

  5. Elizabeth

    First, the pictures are amazing. The Tavianos are a gorgeous family! And your girls are so grown up and tall and beautiful.

    I cleaned out my miniature pantry yesterday and almost cried at the junk we’ve accumulated in mere months in this apartment. It’s humbling!

    p.s. I LOVE Aldi!

  6. Sharon W

    I love this post! I have been slowly going through our kitchen cupboards. I wanted to have the counter tops as cleared off as much as possible, which meant making room for things in the cupboards (like my giant KitchenAid Mixer). Which has meant rearranging the cupboards countless times. Still have work to do there. But, I’m thrilled that I’ve kept the kitchen table clear for a couple of weeks now! That was a huge hot spot in our house. I now keep a vase of fake flowers on it and clean up as soon as each meal is done. And I go through the mail as soon as it comes in the house so it doesn’t just sit on the table.

    No evidence of bickering in the pictures, or that Gabe had just run from the camera to take his place! The pics are fantastic! And I love, love, love your hair cut!

    1. Marla Taviano

      For the first time EVER, I finally have cleared kitchen counters. Well, one is giving me fits with all the washer necklace supplies everywhere. And that’s our problem with the kitchen table too. It doubles (quadruples) as a book mailing center, crafting table, and writing/Bible reading spot.

      And thank you for the compliments!!

  7. Betsy

    Ah-ha! You spoke to me quite well this morning! “Tonight I made myself clean out two kitchen cupboards that have been bugging me for awhile but I never want to take the time to fix them.” Yep, that’s me! I decided yesterday that I’m going to start scheduling an appointment for myself called “Clean-out Time.”

    BTW…love the picture at the top! (Love the second one too but no Gabe…) You are so blessed!

  8. beth lehman

    Your photos are great – your girls look so confident~! I love fall so much! A bit late and I can’t seem to work on it every day – but I purged my side of the closet and my dresser drawers yesterday, finally ridding myself of 2 giant bag’s worth of stuff (that I might wear some day….HAH!).

  9. Ruth Chowdhury

    Um, unfortunately any spot has the potential of becoming my clutter trouble spot. Lol. It was our spare room, but the spare room is no longer spare because now it’s my husband’s office. Now I think the trouble spot(s) is my futon, or countertop, and most definitely my desk and dresser. There just aren’t many places to put things out of little kids’ reaches!

    And I am loving those pictures! The one of the girls and you in the hats is so precious! What a great looking family you have. Have a great weekend!

    1. Ruth Chowdhury

      And btw, I had one of those no-fun days of homeschooling yesterday (Wednesday) but today was much better. So, there will be ups and downs, but hang in there! Praying this day is much smoother for you & you enjoy being with one another. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *