Sometimes It’s the Little Things
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For the last year, I’ve been cramming all of my glasses onto two tiny shelves that are barely big enough to hold them all. It’s been really annoying at times, but never annoying enough for me to do anything about it – like, you know, put some cups somewhere else.
I’m a pretty motivated person, but I’m also busy. And let’s face it – I’ve got priorities, people. Sadly, cups in my kitchen just don’t make the top of the list most days.
But a few days ago, I realized that almost half of one entire shelf was full with sippy cups! What the hell. I found this extremely annoying because a) we no longer use sippy cups, b) some of our sippy cups are unusable, and c) it took
me at least six months to make this connection.
Still, I knew that being annoyed with myself wouldn’t get me anywhere, so I did what I should have done months ago. I put all of the sippy cups in the garage with some other garage sale stuff.
Problem solved, folks. My kitchen cabinet now holds all of my cups- even when they’re all clean. That may not sound amazing to you, but it sure made my life easier. So after that, I took some time to fix some other things in my house that have been bothering me.
Fridge Clean-Up 2015
It started with my fridge. First of all, the inside of my refrigerator is squeaky clean, so no problems there. But the outside? That’s an entirely different story.
For the last year, it’s been covered with stick figure drawings that were both whimsical and creepy. But the art itself wasn’t the problem; every time someone bumped up against the fridge, they would fall all over the place which forced me to pick them up. Having that happen a few times a day was annoying, so I took the time to carefully go through the pictures to figure out which ones I should save. In the end, I saved about half and threw the rest away. And look at my fridge now!
Shoe Organization Emergency Situation
Next up was our completely crazy shoe situation. I counted at one point and we had 22 pairs of shoes in our downstairs area – for four people! But before you start lecturing me on wasteful spending, hear me out.
I own a ton of shoes, but I haven’t paid for more than a few pairs…ever. My sister hands me down all of her daughter’s adorable shoes and boots and my girls love changing shoes every few days.
Still, having 22 pairs downstairs is crazy, which is why I went through them and put up the ones they wear the least. Now my little shoe holders are no longer bursting at the seams with shoes we never wear….and it’s no longer driving me crazy!
Sometimes It’s the Little Things
Maybe I’ve just got cabin fever over here, but I think it’s crazy how a roomy kitchen cabinet, an organized fridge, and fewer shoes can make my life easier and improve my mood. So from this point forward, I’m going to take the time to fix the little things that are bothering me.
Sometimes it’s the little things that can make you happy or sad, stressed our or relieved, and frustrated or content. But if we can fix them quickly and easily, our lives can become a whole lot simpler. So if something is seriously annoying you, don’t wait to fix it! Five minutes might be all it takes to simplify your life and make it easier in one fell swoop.
Side note: Next up I’m going through my drawers to remove clothes I no longer wear and, as always, going through the garage for a serious spring cleaning. It’s almost garage sale time, peeps, and you know what that means. Wish me luck!
Do you ever let the little things drive you crazy? Have you ever fixed something simple that was bothering you and been glad you did?
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I completely agree with you, Holly! In the past I kept procastinating day by day if something was bothering me. In the present I know that I am happier and it is easier if I do it right away. Of course, this what I have learnt, but that does not mean that I am always good at doing it ! 🙂
We’re definitely procrastinating on the little things at the moment (while we concentrate on a few very big things that we’ve got going on), and I just know we’ll pay the price down the road. Already I’m getting antsy when I look in our closet knowing how much I want to devote a day to cleaning it out, making donations and generally decluttering, but for now we really need to spend that time and energy getting a ceiling back in our kitchen. =)
I procrastinate too, but I see it as “constructive procrastination.” Which means that I would put “reorganize sippy cups” on my list of things to do. No joking; once an item gets on my list it stops bothering me because I KNOW I will get it done. WHEN it will get done will depend, like I imagine Mrs. PoP would agree, on how high in priority the item is. But I know that I will work through that list, day by day and week by week, doing the best I can. And beyond that, I don’t stress myself. Like my wife likes to say: “It’s not the end of the world.”
Your kitchen sounds like it should be the priority to me! It would be hard for me to worry about cabinet space if my kitchen didn’t have a ceiling.
I once read something about a two minute rule. It a task will take you two minutes or less, do it right then rather than having it build up and drive you crazy.
Sounds like a rule made up by someone who doesn’t have kids!
I’m pretty sure that’s the Getting Things Done guy (David Allen?)
Yes! A little organizing here and there has a calming effect on me 🙂
Me too =)
I love organizing so I’m totally with you here! I seriously get so much satisfaction from taking everything out of a closet/cupboard and re-organizing it all. Too bad I don’t do it often enough… I definitely have an out of sight, out of mind feeling about many of our closets–as long as they’re closed and the rest of the house is clean, I’m happy. But I really should delve deeply with some of our shelves…
I love organizing too =) Right now I really want to get busy in my garage. It was squeaky clean when winter started but now things are piling up again. I can’t wait for things to warm up!
We agree! https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/fixing-little-annoyances/
Wow, an oldie but a goodie!
I can’t wait to be done with sippy cups. Out little guy has basically been done with them for almost a year (thanks to daycare, they have two’s drink out of regular cups), but the little lady will be starting sippy cups in a month or so.
As far as fixing little things, I do my best to just get them done, but having lived in an almost 60 year old house for the last several years, I learned many small projects can turn into larger projects just because of age.
I am DONE with sippy cups. Over it.
I think this goes back to the fact that we all have way too much crap, and we are too attached to it all to realize that we are much happier living with less. This is definitely something I’m working on.
I agree with you that we all have too much stuff. The good thing is, I am NOT attached to it at all. I could live without 50% of my belongings! I just need time to get rid of stuff.
Just having things organized and de-cluttered around the house makes life a whole lot easier I find.
LOL, we’re in the same kind of a mode over here, Holly. Doing a major cleaning/re-org of the office this week because it’s driving me CRAZY. I think it’s definitely cabin fever, but hey, let’s use it to our advantage, right? 🙂
Yes, definitely. Once it warms up, I’ll have outside stuff to do.
Great job with the organizing! Totally agree! I work better when my house is clean, haha. I’m not necessarily the most organized person, but when we moved we got rid of so much stuff that honestly I don’t even have that much stuff to organize (it’s kinda nice!!). We have to do dishes at least every other day simply because we only have the bare minimum of necessities.
Hope you have a good day, Holly!!
We do dishes almost every day. My kids use so many bowls and little plates for snacks!
As a busy mom I can really relate to this blog. It is the little things. I recently went through my closet and de-clutter my clothes and my husband’s that we don’t wear. There was only 1 thing worth trying to sell, but we got to donate some usable stuff and now I am not cramming stuff into our closet anymore. Now doing the same with baby stuff, toys, etc. Just having more space and less stuff to manage is worth the time it takes to sort through–when you can actually find time to do it! Also makes me really think before I buy something: do I want to deal with this item for the next few years?
That’s exactly what I ask myself before I buy anything. Most of the time, I don’t want to deal with it.
I agree. I find once I get started with that kind of project I can’t stop either. And it seems every six months or so something need deep cleaning or reorganizing. I find it gives me a sort of reset button.
Little things like this totally gets under my skin – especially now that I work from home. Thankfully my wife does a pretty good job about keeping things organized, as do I, but with three little ones it gets out of hand at times. We have had the same issue with the fridge. I love the drawings, but our youngest just loves ripping them off the fridge and creating an absolute mess in the kitchen. So, we removed 90% of it and saved what we wanted and the problem is solved.
I\’ve had instances where something has annoyed me and I kept putting it off. The most recent example are the knobs on the drawers in our kitchen, I swear they all became loose at the same time. But not so lose that I had to fix them asap, but a little loose where you could easily put it off.
When I did fix them, I felt so happy that we didn\’t have loose knobs anymore, then I wondered why I put off tightening them for so long!
I recently did something similar around our house and it wasn’t a complete home overhaul but the end result made me substantially happier. This has been a tough winter and it’s more difficult when you work from home and get a little case of the cabin fever. But when you organize the cabin a little better it really does have a great impact on your mental health.
Sometimes the best hour of my week is when I’m done cleaning house and no one will be home for an hour. After that, it’s no holds barred, but for just a little while it’s so peaceful and neat. I am aware that there is probably an aptly named disorder for this condition. I seem to appreciate Monica from friends more and more as I get older!
Because my wife and I live in a smaller space I’m quite anal about organization. I’m constantly going through our cabinets to see what can be tossed or better organized. One area that really annoyed me was our spice jars since they took up so much space. I ended up buying stackable jars.
The one area I won’t touch for fear of death is my wife’s shoe and purse collection.
What a coincidence, my wife purged our kitchen 2 days ago. We are down to our last few original plates and glasses from our wedding. Pretty soon we’re going to have to break down and get some new ones.
Oh my goodness! Whoever said ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ was out of their mind;0) Lol! All of those little things add up to a big thing. Great job on getting it done! I have a few areas I’ve been much too comfortable with … time to get a move on!
Reading through your post actually made me feel relieved for you. Little things definitely tend to bother me, and I also procrastinate on fixing them. While I was away visiting family, my fiancé cleaned up the apartment and reorganized a few things, which was really nice. Now we feel more motivated to keep up with it!
Yep pretty sure I had a similar situation. My wife loves coffee mugs, and I like them too but…our cabinet has become crammed full of mugs. It started to infuriarate me and finally I said “we need to move some of these downstairs!” (yes, angrily said it…unfortunately). After we moved the mugs I’ve been much happier. Our next house will have a big designated space for all our mugs…plus room to grow.
That is one of my favorite activities! It’s funny how something so simple really can change our mood. Time is a huge factor though! I’m with you on that!
Oh man, the little things are sometimes even easier to focus on than the big ones. (Especially when the big ones cost a lot of money!)
Our coffee table gets covered in various things that we throw there rather than put/throw away. Every so often, we finally reach the boiling point and take 5ish minutes to put things back in place or toss them. We feel so much better that it’s startling.
By the way, have you considered taping up the art on your cupboard doors instead of magnets on the fridge? It would help keep your fridge exterior clutter free.
I didn’t think I’d have enough to have another garage sale this year (at least not one the same size as last year’s) but low and behold, its going to be about the same size again! I can’t believe we (my mom and I) have that much crap to get rid of! This is with us downsizing and not replacing most of this junk either.
It’s crazy how much of a difference those little things can help our sanity. 🙂 I like things in their place but my husband really likes things in their place. He doesn’t like clutter, which sometimes leads to a disagreement over whether a throw pillow is clutter, but on the plus side, he really keeps things organized!
It’s amazing how these little things improve our lives and help with our sanity. I know we need to do this kind of exercise more often at our household.
The little things make a huge difference! There’s this one cabinet that won’t close because the storage containers are stacked funny. Drives me nuts. Every day. It will feel great when I fix it (it’s pretty high up the list). Yesterday I moved our daughter’s books from our room to her room. She hadn’t ripped apart any books lately, so I figured it was time. It’s been great to reclaim our room.
I totally relate! Over Christmas break I tackled a bunch of shit that was annoying me just like your cups- Piles of papers, entry way coats, cleaning the oven door…feels SO good. There are three spots left in the house that are nagging at me to clean/organize/throw out but I need a few hours sans kid (or husband!) to get it done.
Yep… got a decent ol’ list of ‘little things’ that need fixing. Trouble is, they keep falling off the bottom of the To Do list because there’s never enough time to do it all. Maybe I’ll just turn the list upside down one day and just focus on the little stuff. It’ll be nice to get a few easy runs on the board.
HAHA Every word I read made me think of our family. We only allow one pair of shoes at the door because of the shoe pile we used to have. The only reason we cleaned up the front of our fridge is because we moved and the struggle is still real with the sippy cups, though my son is just now starting to use them so it will be a while. I know how you feel! lol
I love the approach, Holly. I have to do those little things right as I think of them…or they’ll fester for months.
We put all the kids’ dishes in one of the drawers under the oven. We are blessed with a ton of storage in our kitchen, so may not be for everyone. The beauty is I do not have to dig through 20 plastic cups and plates to get to my stuff AND the children can empty their stuff from the dishwasher and they can set the table!
I agree. The little things that aren’t urgent, yet still extremely annoying always produce the most sense of accomplish after they are completed. This motivates me to go through and tackle some of my own nagging issues.