Today's task is to look closely at the "public" spaces in your home: living room, kitchen, porch. The idea is to declutter (of course!) and make these spaces usable to all members of the household.
I need to run a few errands today, so I will do that, read the article, see what I can accomplish during the daylight hours, and then be back here with my report! Talk to you later...
11:59pm--Well, my day did not turn out as planned. Little one developed a fever of 103 while we were at our last store, after literally bouncing around the other errand locations... Weird. She seems to be sleeping it off now. Tylenol has worn off, but peppermint on her feet is still going strong. She seems to not be warming up again. Ah, I'll try to stop worrying (unlikely).
So, I did not have a chance to put today's article into practice, at all. I did, however, get some good ideas.
Living Room: I am doing better in this room than I realised. Items are pretty well contained. Toys are grouped in baskets and out of the way. Coasters and a coffee table are accessible for the entertaining of guests. It is definitely a kid-friendly area, but not much is available in terms of function for J or I. I used to have a knitting corner, but that has made way for storing kid puzzles. A tall cabinet houses a stereo that is only useful for AM radio (which J uses to listen to sporting events) and 3 shelves worth of knick knacks that I don't even look at any more. So, my task for this room will be to remove all of these knick knacks, put back only those I love, and utilize the freed shelving space for books I want to read or other things I could be enjoying while sports are being listened to and toys are being played with.
Kitchen: Items are stored as close to their useful areas as the layout of my kitchen allows. I need a better storage container for my cloth napkins, but I am already working on that. I live in a house full of grazers (myself included), so I like the idea of putting snack items on high shelves. For the most part, we have already done this (plus, I try to not even purchase snack items that are unhealthy); and, I have recently placed a bowl on the counter that is full of fruit and easily reached by little hands--if a snack is requested, I say, "Sure, get a piece of fruit."--which seems to be working out well so far. I know I have a lot of gadgets and dishes that are tucked in the back/top of cabinets that I never use/have forgotten I own. So, my task for this room will be to empty all the cupboards (yikes!) and only put back what I use. Seasonal items (cookie cutters, etc.) can be stored in my seasonal decor bins that live in the garage. Simple Mom says, "Keep counters as clear as possible..."... Oops. This will be a big task for me, as I also use my kitchen counter as a sort of landing pad/reminder area/to-do list holder/communication center... I'm not quite sure how to remedy that, but I do know there are dishes and other gadgets that could be given a home in my soon-to-be cleaned out cupboards.
Outdoor Spaces: I am happy to report that my back patio has recently received a little remodel of sorts. J, his dad, and his uncle built an arbor that I have been longing (harrassing him) for. It's so beautiful... My wisteria is already so happy to call it "home". I have plans for grapes and kiwi to also make a home there, and for neighbors and family to gather for BBQs and card games, while the children explore the yard (which is a major work in progress.... for the rest of my life, I think).
The front porch, however, is a much different story. I would like people to feel welcome to gather there, but it doesn't happen. I don't hang out there, so I don't know why I would expect someone else would want to. I have several potted plants, but I like Simple Mom's idea of planting them with natives that will acclimate and (maybe) not need as much attention as a potted plant typically does. I have wicker furniture on the front deck, but it is never used. Perhaps it just needs new cushions that don't look so dirty?! I will make my tasks for this area to move the furniture into a more inviting arrangement, replace old cushions, and figure out some lighting for the dark corner near the garage. If I can convince J to hang my hammock somehow, I know I will be out there more!