The Crazy Suburban Mom: And because you've seen it all before anyway...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And because you've seen it all before anyway...

Because I've already showed you my before shots..




The other side of my kitchen...


And I've done lots of other  darkest before the dawn decluttering posts where I confessed that I clean - not with fluffy pink feather dusters in a French Maid outfit -  but with a Backhoe in a haz-mat suit so there really is no point in not showing this now...

Although at the moment looking at them all in one post I'm more then a bit nauseated. 

There is an area in the kitchen I haven't tackled.  See how pretty the morning sun glints off of it?


I took the picture from my sliding glass doors and I know it looks normal but its evil.  Pure transfat-like evil. To the right are bookshelves that are just busting with cooking and crafting books.   I've parted with so many already; it's breaking my heart to think I have to get rid of more but...


I can't look at this anymore.

And when you add this...


Well, not that...



I am beginning to feel the clang of a migraine.


I get why my kid says, Geeze Ma, we never have anything good to eat in this house.


Oh, we got it, kid.


We just can't find it.

It's supposed to be a pantry.  But it's so disorganized.  I don't really know how to make it workable...  I'm totally into a pantry these days and I really need this to be functional not the closet version of fifty-two card pick-up.



Comments... emails.... and sympathy will be much appreciated.  

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Mimi 6/30/10, 9:47 AM  

Oh Girl. I have no suggestions. I just wanted you to know I feel your pain. You are not alone!

The Crazy Suburban Mom 6/30/10, 10:00 AM  

Mimi - I feel I should go in there and tackle it but I don't think I have the energy!

Vonlipi 6/30/10, 10:39 AM  

I don't have any suggestions either. I'm not aloud to buy cookbooks anymore....:(

Last time I did a big cookbok declutter I gave away everything that I hadn't open in more than 6 months...

You have a lot of ziploc bags (a lot). Do you have ziploc anxiety? I do! If we were neighbors we would have so much fun! And we could visit and declutter at the same time!

Maureen 6/30/10, 11:11 AM  

Containers? Hahahahaha!

Anonymous,  6/30/10, 12:01 PM  

Oh dear, you are one brave woman posting actual pictures of your clutter. I'd do it, but I'd have to run & hide then and that's just not my thing ;).
I'm a tosser, not a keeper so clutter is easier for me to get rid of. I give away like mad ( and recycle everything I can to declutter. It's a start anyway.
p.s. I buy ziplocs at costco so I have almost as much as you do ;).

Babes Mami 6/30/10, 12:07 PM  

I need to bring my OCD to Jersey and attack your house but until then...clean it out first. Expired food and dried out food out. Then look and see what you will use or what is just there to be there. Then get back to me. That bag of silverware ma'am...what the eff??

Also, I will gladly take some cooking/crafting books. :]

Tara Beaulieu 6/30/10, 12:17 PM  

OMG Tracy, I have no clue how to help. My pantry looks exactly like yours!!!

Cookbooks, I'd say just do one shelf at a time. Sort by type and get rid of ones that are too similar to each other? Then you could get some cute baskets to put on the shelves to store the remaining ones in if you don't want to look at them...

Stacie's Madness 6/30/10, 12:59 PM  

take it one project at a time.
make a list and check it off as you complete the items.

you can do it.

Susie Homemaker 6/30/10, 1:06 PM  

Thanks for keeping it real!!

We All have days when our homes look like's life...

But, I do feel your pain, especially on the closet. I have one I have to get in, grab, and slam quick. Just so's nothing falls out...hmmmm. Maybe I should work on that???

Lia 6/30/10, 1:32 PM  

I'm sorry to hear that.

As for the concern, I'd ask for the help of say, my husband to sort everything out, just to make sure that everything is still worth keeping and then group the supplies accordingly.

You can do it, and you with another person in the house can definitely do it faster. Hope you get the help that you need. :)

Anonymous,  6/30/10, 1:36 PM  

Unfortunately no easy way - start with one shelf, every thing off, toss what's no good put the rest back. Next shelf, and so on. Once you've gotten rid of the no-good stuff, rearrange the rest according to category - all the ziplock bags, containers etc on one shelf, all the canned goods on another and so on - in whatever fashion makes sense to you.

It really won't take as long as you think it will.

We just had a storage closet built in the basement and my husband just put stuff in there - I need to organize it - so nice to have so much room and doors so I don't have to look at all the "stuff"

Lindalou 6/30/10, 1:53 PM  

I've got to agree, you are one brave lady...although all of us have this somewhere.

My only suggestion, stop the Costco craziness. Seems to be that's where it all stops. 8000 ziploc bags, giant cereal boxes and before you know it your pantry has been overtaken by Kirkland.

Whom am I to talk, I've lost my middle daughter's baby picture album. She's 29 now and since she's had a baby of her own, she wants to see her pics, only her awful mother can't find them. HELP.

So I understand...

The Crazy Suburban Mom 6/30/10, 2:08 PM  

Oh man, so I just looked back at this post and yikes, right?

These posts were all separated by months but together they look like I need the show Clean House, don't they?


I so appreciate everyone's comments. And as to Costco - man I so get that. Truth is Ive ditched costo for lots of stuff - like paper towels. Believe it or not there used to be 24 rolls of paper towels needing to get in there too till I put an end to that madness.

But really. I guess it didnt even make a dent.


B Boys Mom 6/30/10, 2:18 PM  

I would say stop buying at Costco. It doesn't save if you don't use the item or can't find it.

I do the same thing and my pantry is a big mess too. I'm turning in my Costco card. I don't want to buy 500 plastic forks that I have to store for 500 years.

Good luck I think we both need it.

Debbie 6/30/10, 3:11 PM  

You know, you may find Jimmy Hoffa at the back of that closet. The kids bedroom resembles my oldest daughter's room when she was in high school. I don't think I saw her floor for at least 4 years and it took me 5 DAYS to clean it after she went to college.

photo_chick 6/30/10, 3:40 PM  

You have nothing on my house when it gets out of control. And that's all I'm saying!


I am SO stinking glad I am not alone in the clutter department! We should actually form a club!

Mary 6/30/10, 4:29 PM  

I devoted a few posts a while back to by crazy cluttered pantry. I think we all have them.

Missy 6/30/10, 5:50 PM  

Tracy, thanks for stopping by. The logline alone on your blog made me laugh.
I use to use my old Pak-n-Play for a clean laundry basket, I'd be so behind. So I feel your angst.
This is Missy Jill from
I don't know how to switch over from my google I.D. (because I'm a geek).

Heather 6/30/10, 7:26 PM  

(I stumbled upon your blog) Just gotta say, you make me feel a lot better about my own house :) I'm not the only one....

When I tackle it, I usually set a timer for 15 minutes, start in a corner and work for that 15 minutes, then take a break. Then back for 15 minutes, then take a break....until it gets done. :)

J Sedai 6/30/10, 7:30 PM  

I think I have the same box of plastic utensils!

but like everyone else said, go thru it, get rid of the old/expired things (or anything with a good layer of dust, it's a good sign you're not going to use it) then sort things out and group by like items. if there are canned goods they make these things that store them horizontally and kind of "dispense" them. and a few bins might be good for things like bags of chips and things that don't need to get squashed. I'd also see about a wider shelf unit one that went all the way across the pantry so that you could use all the space to it's full advantage instead of having that heap on the right side? if you do shop at Cost Co or the like, I've always done things like, halved the box of utensils or ziploc with a friend, still get the savings (share them even) but only have half (or a third even) the bulk item in my house at a time!

and the bookshelf isn't that bad, I bet if you did things, like laid some books on their side and used the top to free up some space visually. it's easier to see than to describe. I'll try googling some things and posting them if I can find what I mean.

Anonymous,  6/30/10, 8:13 PM  

Oh, my. I think you should start right this minute!!
One room at a time. Lots of big black trash bags. Throw everything out and throw out the unnecessary stuff, put the rest back in its place.
I am a clean freak and just looking at your pictures makes me feel completely irritated.

SmallWorld at Home 6/30/10, 10:36 PM  

Feeling your pain!

ModernMom 6/30/10, 10:54 PM  

I just want to thank you! You have just shown me that I am not alone...some of those pics could be of my house:) Best of luck with that pantry!!

Lin 6/30/10, 10:57 PM  

You've got an organizer system (shelves) in there, but they aren't the right kind for your usage. You really need to have a better system there, pally.

Do the shelves go all the way across? Are you willing to spend money to make it work? Or do you need me to come out and organize it for you??? ;)

Right off the bat, I can see you need one more shelf up high to make use of that room.

Lin 6/30/10, 10:58 PM  

Do you have a ziploc fetish??

Anny 7/1/10, 1:29 AM  

I feel you :) you should see our "ROOM" here... its filled with stuffs.. and its a big room... with stuffs from christmas tree to groceries.. to old bicycles and a rocking chair and travel bags... gosh! i dun even know where to start. Each time i open the door to put in more stuffs.. i just close it back just as fast.. hahhahahaha I feel you!

Kavita (luvikavi) 7/1/10, 1:56 AM  

I don't have any tips either besides the obvious, get more space, get rid of stuff, or buy more organizers and boxes.

My boyfriend's mom has the same issue, you should see her house, its jam packed with everything. Her basement is like a holiday store, only difference is that it takes her forever to find what she's looking for b/c there's so much stuff to go through... I wish I had a picture to show you lol.

HiPnCooLMoMMa 7/1/10, 4:47 AM  

you can probably start with one area first. or you can hire someone to do this all for you.

Marg 7/1/10, 7:23 AM  

Oh I am so excited to read this post. My house is a bigger mess than yours. I know what your problem is because it is my excuse every day. There just isn't room for everything and no where to put all the stuff. In addition I have lots and lots of animals going in and out of my house so the floor is solid hair. Anyway, I really enjoyed these pictures.

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