clean up

DAY 30 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Storage + Un-Organize

This post started out as an organization post and then became an un-organize post. Not dis-organize. Un-organize. Read on to see how that development came about.

Ok, we’ve cleared just about as much stuff as we can at this point I’m hoping. The next part is to work on storage and organization. I hope you left this for towards the end, because want to make sure we are storing and organizing only the things we need and really like! No sense in storing and organizing first before we’ve cleared out the crap. But wait….


Think first.

Do I need these things organized to live and feel better in my home?

Do I use these things often enough to organize them?

Does it actually matter if these things are organized?

Will organizing these things actually make more work for me?

Will new storage create more peace in my home by concealing things?


About a decade ago my husband and I were on a “we aren’t doing what everyone else does just because they do it.” kick. Not to be different for difference sake. It was simply fun thinking outside the box about things you never really think about. What we learned was in some cases you may want to UN-organize things. That’s right. Marie Kondo will shit a brick about now….

We stopped sorting our flatware. Those are our utensils in the photo above, laying in the drawer all willy nilly and co-mingling. Sorting them after coming out of the dishwasher was annoying AF. We really didn’t need the spoons and forks separated to make finding one easier. It’s just not that difficult to find a fork when you open the drawer. Now we just grab all of it out of the dishwasher and dump it in the drawer. It’s liberating.

Now, I know that some of you are having a conniption fit about not sorting the flatware. Chill out. I’ll never say you have to or should do what I do. It’s just a fun practice in rethinking things. Another instance of this type of thinking….

I stopped folding my underwear and pairing up my socks. Laundry is dumb enough. It ranks as number two in annoying household jobs, just behind cleaning the shower. No need to organize these things. I get no pleasure out of opening the drawer and seeing my undies folded. You know why? They never stay that way. They always end up a jumbled mess anyway. Why spend the time folding them in the first place?

And just like the flatware, finding sock pairs in my drawer has never been a problem since I stopped pairing them up just out of the dryer. I’d rather spend 10 seconds picking out my socks every day than sitting there pairing them up while folding laundry.

Another area I might abandon all organization is in my cooking utensil drawer. The smaller ones are in little shoe box lids (free version of a drawer sorter) but yet more utensils go in there and it becomes a mess anyway. Why am I even bothering? It’s not like it is hard to find the carrot peeler when I open the drawer.

Consider these little jobs we are giving ourselves. What doesn’t actually need to be done? Do we need to be sorting things that don’t need to be sorted? Are we really saving ourselves any time and making things better or actually just creating more jobs for ourselves?


Something what does need to be fixed is a storage solution that isn’t working in its current state. For instance,, we leave our shoes by the door when we enter our home. I have put baskets there but it looks awful since the entry is in our living room. I then put a trunk there to conceal the shoes. Now we just leave the shoes on top or around it. Bags and jackets get thrown nearby, too. It’s frustrating. My next step is to buy a cabinet to go there to hold it all. Hopefully with us each having our own cabinet to hold things, we’ll find it easy to open the door and chuck the shit in. I don’t care what it looks like in there so long as it closes and I can’t see it. I’m excited about having a cabinet that blends in with the wall and calms the space down rather than a bunch of little things clogging the space and view.

In your case, buy storage for and organize the things that are an actual problem. Think about how those things will function and will you actually use it the way you are intending. I had a feeling before I bought the trunk that it would be a temporary solution. My hopes are the new cabinet will conceal the stuff (the real problem). Organizing it is not necessary. I don’t care if my daughter and husband throw that crap in there in a jumbled mess as long as I don’t have to look at it anymore.

This post is a little wonky I have to admit. I guess what I’m trying to get at is organize and store things to make life easier, not to create one more thing you have to do. Organized things are nice. Creating more work to be organized for organization sake is not.

Does this make any sense at all?

Your mission is to:

  1. Find an area of your home and store the items in a more efficient and pleasing way.

  2. Un-organize something. Stop organizing something.

Tell me about it! Use #updatedontrenovatechallenge when you share!

DAY 28 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Hide It

So often I’ve come across instances where I, or my clients, think something “should be” sitting out as decor. We have nice (and expensive) stand mixers and books and a stack of magazines, etc and we display them proudly because we’ve seen others do it. The instagram accounts we follow have styled shelves and so we, too try to style shelves. But, there’s something wrong. It’s just not feeling right. I fee this all the time. As a flipper/designer/stager I feel like I should have perfectly styled shelves and niches around my home proudly displaying my vintage finds. Thing is, it sometimes feels like clutter to me. I’ve removed everything from my kitchen island. No decor. No more plants. No more fish, Popcorn, living in his bowl in the middle of it (RIP Popcorn). I prefer a large naked island with nothing on it.

One client was giving me a tour of her house and brought me to her dining room that they use every day. She asked, “What should I put here on this table?” My first thought and answer was, “How about nothing?” If the table is being used every day, anything you put there will have to be moved every single day. That’s fine, but if sounds annoying to you, then just put nothing! It’s allowed. She had not even considered this option and was relieved!

Your challenge for today is to look around your house at the things you have displayed. Is any of it just not sitting right with you? Maybe it’s just too much to look at. Note: this is not a purge challenge. By now you should probably have dealt with most items needing to leave your house. This is about the things you have and like, but maybe don’t need to be seen on a daily basis. Here are some ideas:

  • Extra toilet paper in a basket or on a shelf - - maybe it could be hidden in a cabinet

  • Too many pillows out at once

  • Books and magazines

  • Some small appliance sitting out on your counter

  • Decor that just feels messy by being there

  • Too many plants

  • Toys

  • Items on a dresser or vanity

  • Entryway stuff - - like keys, coats, shoes, backpacks - - we set these things up like a cute mudroom drop zone but do we really care to see them?

  • Tooth brushes on the bathroom vanity

Try finding at least one thing to put away out of sight and give your eyes a break from looking at it on the daily.

Missed a challenge? Find them all here.

DAY 15 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Clean Annoying Things

This one is not going to take much time today, hopefully. Sorry, it’s an annoying one, though.

Update: ok I just made the list below and realized this could take some time. Sorry again.

Your Mission:

The ceiling fan blades.

The blinds.

The top of the refrigerator. Behind your Fridge

The tops of your cabinets.

The crumb catcher in your toaster.

The Crockpot base.

Behind your range if you can pull it out. I grab from the door handle but be careful not to pull the door off :)

The range hood……….

I mean I could go on and on but that list looks good for now.

Good luck to you.

Wear gloves.

DAY 9 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Laundry

Let’s make this quick today shall we? By now you’ve got the gist of how this will go down.

Update, Don't Renovate Challenge DAY 9.png

I don’t want you to do laundry today. Today is about the laundry area.

Time for a clean up.

Do these things:

  1. If you were like my sister, Erica, and ignored that pile on top of your machines last week, tackle that first.

  2. Pull out your machines and clean behind and around them. Grab that sock that went missing ages ago and take it back to it’s partner.

  1. Clean out the gasket or the rubber rim around the door on your front loader. You can actually pull this thing out and replace it if it’s that bad. I just take a shitty rag and wipe it down.

  2. Grab some of this Oh Yuk washing machine cleaner from Amazon and put it to work.

  3. Clean out the lint thingamajig.

  4. Wipe down the machines.

  5. If you’re really going for it, unhook the dryer vent and clean that out.

  6. If you have any shelves or cabinetry, take out and purge anything that is necessary. Wipe them down and remove detergent gunk.

  7. Do any other deferred maintenance like replace light bulbs, hole patching, etc.

That’s it! Easy peasy. Go!

But, wait. I know you want extra credit. Bonus points if you want to beef up the space even more. Here are some ideas.

  1. Grab some good looking laundry detergent containers. These bottles would work well for some of the liquids or try something like this or this for powders.

  2. Hang some shelves to make things tidier and more efficient. I like these from Home Depot. Determine what you want to use them for so you can be sure to get the proper shelf that will hold the weight.

  3. Add a cart near the machines to hold even more storage. Check out this cute inexpensive one from Target.

  4. Go bold. Decorate your washer and dryer. Paint them. Washi tape them. Stick stickers on them. Whatever.

  5. Get an ironing board hanger and get that shit organized somewhere in your house.

  6. Grab some nice baskets to swap out for your old broken laundry baskets. See some more options below.

All of the stuff mentioned above can be found here. Affiliate links abound in this post. Affiliate links help me continue to put this content out! Thank you so much for your support!

i think you should be set there. Don’t forget to show me your progress via #updatedontrenovatechallenge!

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