Here are the befores:
This is what awaits just around the corner of the backdoor. It's not really where guests come in unless they've gotten a ride from us (which happens), but it is where my husband comes in every day, and I think it's important to spruce up what he sees first.
Why does everything end up here? There's about half a square foot of space there and for some reason, that's where I unload my purse as I'm coming or going. I do like to store my purse on this thing, mainly because I just need somewhere in the kitchen for it to live (there's a tiny bit of entrance hallway—which I may show you later if the kids don't all mutiny at once while I'm writing this—but it is already quite tight).
But this is not what I have in mind for it, generally.
Notice this little book in the middle of the chaos? Confessions of an Organized Housewife. Clearly, I need this book.
So, I don't have any pictures of the process, but I took everything off of the cabinet and sorted it into piles. I had the idea that the piles needed storage here somehow, that that was why they were there. I even went searching for this odd organizer thingy I'd made a while back.
But you know what, as I sorted, 90% of the stuff could just be put away on this floor. I did repurpose a little basket for all the tiny toys and kid stuff that ends up down here somehow and that needs to go back upstairs.
Here's what I came up with:
That is where the purse usually lives. But look just above the purse. There's a cute little head up there....
Let's pause for some cute baby.
Boy, do I know I'm cute or what?
OK, back to organizing.
So, I don't really consider this "pretty" or even ideal, but at least it is neat.
I think I'm going to have to say goodbye to that island thing next to the cabinet and then I'll need some more storage over there....
Here's the rest of the first view of the kitchen from the back door:
So from that picture, the whole kitchen just looks covered in dishes. And it is. I could give you the excuse that I'm sick (which I am), but even when I'm not, the evening and bedtime circus often leaves the kitchen this way. But you know what makes it instantly better, if only slightly?
Clean table. Ah. At least it doesn't look completely out of control now.
And just for good measure, here are few other views, of which I do not have before shots:
I have since mopped those back stairs, which really brightens my day when I open the back door. But picture that landing nearly covered with boxes. I decided that it just clogged up my life to have things living down there. That one remaining box is full of glass bricks and I'll have to get one of the men in my life to move it.
Hmmm... I need a better shot to end this post with.....
That's better. This is slightly related to entries since it's one of the first things you see when you enter my front door. It's fun because I really like those pillows and because I repurposed a duvet cover to cover that couch. The arms are still bare, but they actually match the blue of the checks, so it works!
You know, I keep wishing I'd done the real front guest entry... but it really is just a door into the living room which views my desk of all things! I am terrible at keeping THAT clean. Here are the before and after pics of that:
Before: kinda cluttered. A pile on the desk. And while I like that display of cards, it just looks like a mess in this photo. Maybe I should edit it?
Desk pile cleared... but really... what to do when you just walk into my living room and dining room? I've relocated most of the toys and kids books (which I'm not so sure about because I like to watch them lounge around reading...) and the school stuff is now in our cute little schoolroom, which I should show you all when it gets organized. Part of the problem is that when I go online for something, the kids sort of run amok behind me. Maybe if I started bringing the computer into the back half of the house and stuck to Aunt Leila's rule about confining the kids (and myself when online!) then maybe that part of the house would stay tidy? Thoughts?