House Purge Update: Buffet and Kitchen


{Before we start,  we are a family of 5 living in a little house just over 1000 sq ft and don’t plan to move in the near future.  We are tired of managing stuff…moving it, cleaning it, organizing it, stepping over it, etc.  We would rather do other fun stuff so…we’re trying to fix that.  You can read a little more about that here and see what we’ve done so far in our bathroommaster closet and bedroom, the boys’ roomZoe’s roomphase 1 of our hall closet and phase 1.5 of our hall closet…which is fully functional but has still yet to be completely finished.}


Let’s just go ahead and acknowledge the fact that it has been a full 5 months since I’ve really talked about our house purge.  Other house projects have come and gone, a school year became really intense and then ended, the months have flown by and life has happened.  Lots of really good, beautiful stuff and plenty of living.


 Sure, there’s been some donating and cleaning out happening here and there.  I feel like I’ve cleaned out the boys’ room at least 3 other times.  I guess it just didn’t feel like enough to write about.


But I have thought about our goal of getting rid of 30-50% of our stuff a LOT.  This task is not completed and I still intend to “finish”.  One of the biggest things I’ve learned through this process is that purging has levels.  You could do a huge sweep through your entire house and get rid of bags and bags of stuff you don’t need and maybe feel finished, but my hunch?  Is that you will peel back that first layer to reveal covered up layers of things you have been holding onto that’s cluttering up your life without even realizing it.


Getting rid of that stuff is where the good stuff happens.  It forces you to get to the why of your stuff problem.  And dealing with that leads to freedom and a lighter living space.  I’m still working through this, to be honest.


So enough talk now.  I’ve recently headed into my living room to tackle the buffet that houses wii remotes, office supplies, our dvds, craft supplies, junk and also serves as our entertainment center.  After I tackled that, I went to work lightening up our tiny kitchen.


The buffet was in a tragic state.  Some of the drawers wouldn’t even open and each one was it’s own mini explosion of randomness.


buffet before 4 buffet before 3 buffet before 2 buffet before 1


I didn’t do a great job of taking pictures {I was in a mode, y’all}, but I threw out all kinds of crap and reduced our dvd collection by about 40%.  When I finished, each drawer had plenty of room and the bottom drawer was empty.  Yay!


buffet after 3 buffet after 2 buffet after 1


I moved in art supplies to several of the drawers that were displaced after we did the boys’ room so now they have quick and easy access to them.  Spare junk and tools that I was scared to throw away were corralled in a zip lock bag.  Pencils, pens and office supplies were greatly pared down so they can now fit in the little containers I already had in there.  Still not sure how to make the wii stuff look pretty, but when the drawer is closed, it’s fine. :)


So, the kitchen.  Y’all, I don’ t have many nice things to say about our kitchen.  I really, really struggle with it.  Daily.  When we bought the house almost 11 years ago, I was happy when I followed the instructions on the back of the Chicken Helper box successfully.  That’s not an exaggeration, so I could care less that the kitchen was tiny, had almost no counter space and only 2 drawers.  I was maaarrrrried!!!!

Here we are, a decade and 3 kids later, and we haven’t done very much to update it.  I have a list a mile long of things we want to do, but pouring tons of money into a house that won’t give us much return has been our deterrent for a long time.  BUT…I have done a few things to cuten it up and having it de-cluttered is one of the cheapest, most gratifying things you can do for your space, no matter how small it is.
Here’s the before:

kitchen before 3 kitchen before 4 kitchen before 5 kitchen before 2 kitchen before 1


A few things to note:
–that counter space above {and mainly the section to the left of the sink} is where I do almost all of my cooking.  See how full it is with our coffee stuff?  {And this is fairly clean.}
— the 3rd picture is of a white cabinet that we bought to house our baking stuff and our trash and recycling is out of sight at the bottom of the cabinet.  It’s a great helper to us.  Unfortunately, the top was becoming a very visible catch-all.
— the 1st picture is of a bookshelf another teacher gave Josh several years ago.  He hung it on the wall over our table and I looove the extra shelving and fun decor options it has given us.  I also like to call it our South American Fruit Stand because all our fruit goes on the bottom 2 shelves.   Lately though, the yellow has started to feel less fun and more over-powering.  I’ve been craving visual rest.  A quieter space.
I had already gone through our closed cabinets so this time I just focused on all the surfaces you could see….our 2 main upper cabinets, countertops, the bookshelf and the top of the white cabinet.  I got rid of dishes we never use and stored extras we only need sometimes or are seasonal {like my beloved pottery bowls we use for soups}.  They went into a big basket that sits on top of the cabinets.  I also rearranged some decor for a fresh, lighter feel.
And my favorite is the crisp white paint job the bookshelf got.  Aaaahhh.


kitchen after 1 kitchen after 2 kitchen after 3 kitchen after 4 kitchen after 5 kitchen after 6 kitchen after 7

Here are a few side-by-sides to see the difference:


kitchen before:after kitchen before:after 5 kitchen before:after 4 kitchen before:after 3 kitchen before:after 2



It’s not revolutionary, but it definitely better. :)  Oh, and if you want the details on how I backed the cabinets to give them more personality {and grab the attention of Good Housekeeping!}, you can read all about it here.  It has been a full year and remains one of my favorite things I’ve ever done in our house.
Also, my most viewed post here by far is my tutorial for making the yard wrapped “EAT” on our shelves.  That’s here.  Such a fun project.


So!  What have you been cleaning out these days?  I need some motivation!
Linking up with We Are THAT Family.

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2 Responses to House Purge Update: Buffet and Kitchen

  1. Heather says:

    Work it girl!! I love the direction you’re heading!! We just had a yard sale in June and I was ruthless with the linen closet and my closet and dresser…I have no clothes now…but I can shut the drawers! I’m plotting on removing the doors on 2 of our upper cabinets in the kitchen… so there’s probably a need to purge in there again soon. I know all about 1000 SF houses with tiny kitchens… we do have 3 drawers, but you win with 2 extra people! Keep goin! You’ll make it work! Happy Wednesday!

    • Dana says:

      Good job!!! Doesn’t that feel good? I love that feeling (despite the not having clothes) ;). And right back atcha on the small spaces. I don’t run into many people with a similar set up anymore so it’s nice to not feel alone in this. And removing our cabinet doors opened up our kitchen a lot. I think you’ll like it!

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