The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The Mother of All Crap Magnets.

It’s week # 11 (eleven!!!) in Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge. This week Org Junkie’s topic is “Consolidate & Conquer.

Eeeek. That makes me absolutely quiver with fear. Quiver I tells ya. And not in a good way.

You see, I already know how to consolidate… that’s easy. I toss massive piles of crap into bags and boxes and buckets all the time! It’s the conquering that baffles me.

The reason people like me have so many piles of stuff everywhere is because we cannot make decisions. Wait, let me rephrase that. I am great at making quick decisions about really important things like what to major in (history! sure, why not? there are probably TONS of jobs for history majors!), what house/car to buy (this one doesn’t smell too bad!), whether or not to take a job in another state that would uproot my family and leave us in financial ruin (yes! let’s do it!). But when it comes to whether or not I should toss a plastic milk jug cap? Hmmm. I’m not sure. You know what, I think I’ll keep it. For now. You never know when you might need something like that.

Which leads to having a bag like this in your basement:

On the count of three:





But you know what? I’m getting better. I am. I am gradually seeing some improvements around here. And those improvements are boosting my confidence. And that confidence is helping me to not keep every piece of paper or plastic that touches my fingers. Want some proof?

Here’s what I conquered this week: the outside of my fridge. Also known as the MOTHER of all crap magnets.

Ick. Nothing screams “I totally do NOT have my shit together” like having your most used major appliance completely buried under a bunch of junk. In fact, I’m pretty sure there must be a direct correlation between the number of decorative magnets on one’s fridge and that person’s insanity level.

Well, not for me, anymore! I conquered that sucker! Well, the fridge part… still working on the sanity.

How’d I do it, you ask?

Naturally, I tried to follow Org Junkie’s PROCESS (Plan, Remove, Organize, Containerize, Evaluate, Simplify, Smile). However, after 11 weeks, it seems as though I have developed my own slightly less effective version, which I like to call ROACHES: (Remove, Organize, Attack (toss as much as I can), Clean the dust buffaloes I’ve uncovered, Hide rest of crap I couldn’t bear to toss, Evaluate, Shop for cute containers.)

Here is a picture after my “REMOVE” and “CLEAN” steps:

This is totally my favorite part.

The rest of those middle steps were not quite as photo-worthy this week. But let me assure you that I did a bunch of tossing and recycling this week, and did not need to resort to very much “crap HIDING.” Especially because most of the junk on the fridge was outdated paperwork that was a no-brainer even for a gal like me.

Now I’m in the “EVALUATE” and “SHOP” phases, and here is what it looks like so far:

I put all the bread products on top of the fridge into a bigger wicker basket that I already had somewhere else in the house. Isn’t that so much better looking? Very easy to grab the whole basket and just get/return what I need.  I also designated one magnet for each kid to display their ONE favorite piece of artwork for the week. (Still waiting on my third child to choose something for our “gallery”). I’ll have to vigilantly enforce the “One In, One Out” rule here so we don’t backslide into the dumping ground it was before.

On this side, you will notice three “Responsibility Charts,” courtesy of Org Junkie, and a pen hanging from a (sassy pink leopard print) shoelace. We just started using these charts this week. So far, so good! I’ll let you know in a few weeks if we are keeping up with it.

And on this side, I’ve got ONE decorative magnet (the blue polar bear with a picture of my husband and youngest son) and one baggie for coupons and one baggie for those evil Box Tops I absolutely abhor with a passion.

At some point I’ll buy or make some cuter storage containers for the coupons and Box Tops, but that’s just gravy. I also need to find a magnetic paper catcher for new recipes that I haven’t added to my recipe book yet. But I haven’t found one I like at this point.

Now of course, my children cannot STAND to see uncluttered spaces. Those are just blank canvases to them. So not one day after I achieved this marvel of organization did I find this piece of crap on my fridge:

If I were a better mother I’d probably be celebrating their creativity for making a flower out of K’Nex and lovingly participating in the decorating of our home. But no, I’m just annoyed they are mucking up my pretty kitchen with their plastic CRAP. Why I oughta….

Fortunately, I can just employ Org Junkie’s Ten Minute Tidy at the end of the day and quickly spot and remove any stray objects from my newly organized spaces! Foiled again, my uninvited little decorators!! HA! I guess I need to put some kind of bulletin boards or magnetic surfaces in the kid’s rooms so they have a surface they can decorate as they please. No prob, I’ll just add that to the “SHOPPING” list!

Have a great week, everyone!


PS – to see the rest of the 52 Weeks projects I’ve tackled so far, click here.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.


14 comments on “The Mother of All Crap Magnets.

  1. ctdaffodil
    March 20, 2011

    How did you get in my house to photograph my fridge?! LOL!!
    Thanks for the kick in the pants I totally need to get my fridge sides and top cleaned off and shaped up – before a phone book, bottle of tylenol or the vast amount of papers clipped to the side fall off and injure me!

    ps – your fridge looks so sparsely welcoming….I’m really green with envy!!

  2. Megan
    March 20, 2011

    You better have tossed those bottle caps, beardy-lady! The kitchen looks good. I like the one in/ one out rule for papers on the fridge. Did you come up with that yourself? ❤ sent your way.


  3. Martha (MM)
    March 20, 2011

    Go you, great job! When I first saw that baggie on the side of the fridge at first I thought it was the bag of bottle caps, glad it isn’t or I would have really thought you had joined me and totally lost your mind.
    I like your ROACHES approach except my shopping part is S for shoveling through more crap to find all the cute containers I already have buried somewhere.
    I came across a box during the 52 week challenge that had what looked like the contents of a giant junk drawer, some clothes and a jar of pickles on top – WTF is that all about?! I removed the pickles, labeled the box The WTF Box and tossed it with the pile of boxes I have already packed for the move. I mean really – WTF?!!!

    • Megan
      March 20, 2011

      WTF basket. Ha Ha. Funny.

  4. Sue
    March 20, 2011

    ROACHES? Yeah, baby, THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about!!! Ok… so my fridge looks worse than yours – honestly where does all that crap come from? I’ve got a plan…. I just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet…. it involves modge podge & scrapbook paper & clipboards & hanging them on the fridge…. in the mean time… we have our dog – Jack’s baby teeth (he’s 2 now)… and 1 from our new puppy – Jill…. a magazine page with some DIY Halloween costumes…. pictures, Christmas photo cards (can’t bear to throw them out)… Oh… did I mention the birth announcement of my nephew AND the invite to his 2nd birthday party next week…. crap, crap, crap….. and Martha (MM)… please tell me how I would explain a WTF Box to a 10 yr old? What other acronyms should I use?…. lol WTF? indeed……

  5. allysgrandma
    March 20, 2011

    I think you have it all wrong. It is not level of insanity, but level of INTELLIGENCE depending on how much crap is on the frig. My IQ was very high until I got one of those dang stainless steel ones, now nothing sticks!

    Also baskets on top of the frig only works if you do not have to drag out your little two step ladder that you asked to get as a gift from DH one year for Christmas because you are too short to reach anything!!

    Again, another LOL worthy post…and inspiring too!

  6. SnarkyVegan
    March 21, 2011

    DH has a slowly converted my utensil drawer into a bottle cap drawer with as many caps as you have in your baggie. I swear! Every time I try to throw them out, guess who goes through the trash can? yep, NOT me ;-P

  7. laura lee
    March 21, 2011

    oh gosh I save those stinkin’ milk caps too. did you see that Family Fun years ago, surely it must have been the ’70s where they showed how to make a homemade Memory Game?

  8. oneshabbychick
    March 21, 2011

    LOVE. IT. You totally inspire me, girl… Can’t quite put my finger on why, but I think it might have something to do with you being really smart… and snarky to boot. You can just put together an organizing post like nobody’s business. Not to mention all those other brilliant posts… Looks great over there! Love ya… ~ osc

  9. Megan
    March 22, 2011

    I LOVE reading your blog! You make me laugh and I swear you keep putting pictures of my clutter up on your blog. Knowing that someone else has junk everywhere makes me feel a little less cuckoo! 😉

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 23, 2011

      Yay! Love that! Oh so THAT’s how you spell cuckoo… I typed “coo-coo” the other day and stared at that mutha for 10 minutes thinking, “Is that right? That can’t be right. Damn fetal alcohol syndrome!”

      Listen girl, people are coming out of the woodwork to tell me that it looks like I am sneaking into their homes to take pics of their clutter. We are not alone. But we CAN conquer this. Oh yes we can. Look out, Clutter… this is your last warning, and then I’m’a gonna open a can o’ whoop ass on ya.

  10. Erin Branscom
    March 23, 2011

    I blogged about that too in my kitchen redo! Of course I have all 50 state magnets on the bottom that they love to put in the shape of the map! I can’t help it, that part is educational and fun. But I keep the top and the sides clutter free! 🙂

    Here is my link to my kitchen fridge clean:

  11. Connie Corey
    March 24, 2011

    FWIW, I tape little plastic sandwich bags to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinet doors to hold those evil Box Tops and one for the Campbell labels…keeps it close by to toss them in but out of sight…

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 24, 2011

      That is a WONDERFUL idea Connie! I will just move those unsightly baggies to the inside of a cabinet! More clear space on my beautifully uncluttered fridge. Thank you!

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