Wednesday, April 11, 2012

40 Bag Challenge Wrap-Up

Confession time: I got off to a rousing start with my 40 Bag Challenge, then promptly lost steam. It didn't turn out to be the precise and methodical project I had planned, but in the end a bunch of no-longer-needed items still left the premises, and several areas of my house are neater and more organized than they were before, and that's really what it was all about, right?

I did end up getting a couple of things done over the past week:

Another bag and box of "stuff" are off to Value Village:

And I finished things off with possibly my most satisfying endeavor of this year's 40 Bag Challenge; one of those dreaded items that had been languishing on my to-do list for far too long: Cleaning out under the kitchen and bathroom sinks.

Ever notice how those jobs that you dread for ages and procrastinate about endlessly sometimes end up being pretty quick and simple and you end up wondering why you didn't just bite the bullet and do them ages ago? Well, the under-sink excavations were precisely like that. It took me about 45 minutes to get both of them done and it wasn't nearly as unpleasant as I had anticipated.

I wasn't brave enough to snap "before" pictures (hey, even us bloggers need to have a few secrets!) but I'm happy to share the "after" ones:

The storage unit on the back of the under-sink door in the kitchen is now clean and organized! There was a bunch of junk hanging out here previously and now it's doing a great job of organizing my kitchen cleaning supplies. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that I just now discovered that the bottom shelf is the perfect size for my dish soap and spray bottles (which were all crammed under then sink before). It only took me just shy of 9 years to notice this...what can I say, I can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes :) The small spray bottle on the top shelf contains full-strength white vinegar, which I use the way many people use bleach: to disinfect cutting boards and counters.

 I made so much space under the sink that I can now stow my compost bucket out of sight. I am thrilled about this, as it's been perched on the kitchen counter for years, and although it's an attractive stainless steel bucket, I'd just as soon not have it in plain sight and taking up prime countertop real estate (which is in pretty short supply in our modest kitchen). The white plastic bin is corralling glass jars filled with dishwasher tablets and steel wool.
 This is under the bathroom sink, which is also a dramatic improvement from its previous state. Yes, there do seem to be a lot of bottles under there; the ones at the very back are extra empty spray bottles I'm keeping around for future use and the items in the blue plastic bin are ones currently in use. As you can see, I also have an impressive collection of used toothbrushes that are now fated to scrub nasty areas of my bathroom.

If you want to know more about the types of cleaners I use (a mix of homemade and store bought potions), you can find the details here.

All in all, although there are some areas I didn't yet get to, I am satisfied with the results of my efforts during this challenge. I may just keep going, even though the 40 days are officially over!

If you joined me in the 40 Bag Challenge, how did it go for you? Were you more or less successful than you anticipated?

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