Under the Sink

Things are about to get really personal and a little more embarrassing for me here. It’s one thing to confess my cluttered counter tops. It’s a whole other thing to well, um, let you see under the sink in my bathroom. My best friends don’t even see that part of my house.

This is where I brush my teeth, wash my face, put on make up, look at my wrinkles and wish I’d listened to my momma when she told me not to let my face get sunburned. It’s also where Aster watches me fix my hair and pretends she’s fixing hers. And where we talk about taking a bubble bath one day in that big tub I never use. It’s a happy place.


Until I open those doors…

But before I do, it’ll make me feel better if I tell you that our family moved into our house two and a half years ago to make room for our little girl to come home. And life has been non-stop ever since! I threw everything under that sink the weekend we moved in our house and have never gone back to rearrange it.
Have mercy. What all is in there? That would be the question I was asked when I decided to embarrass my self further by sending this photo to my very organized friend, Glynnis Whitwer, asking for help. I’m hoping her suggestions will also inspire and equip you to tackle one of your trouble spots. Here’ s what she wrote back to me (for you) so we both can benefit:

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I have a feeling Renee could come up with great ideas on how to organize the space under her sink. But I’m glad she asked for my help because I had fun thinking about how I would do it. I can’t wait to see what she does. In the meantime, here are some steps I would take if it were my sink.

Step 1: Pull everything out, except the plastic drawers on the right. I would buy or borrow a label machine to label each drawer.

Step 2: Reduce the number of items stored here.

  • Throw away any product that is old.
  • Remove items belonging somewhere else, like a medicine cabinet (rubbing alcohol, vitamins). If there’s room there, of course.
  • Set aside items she doesn’t use any more, and put in a bag to give away to friends or a woman’s shelter.

When I remember that it’s good stewardship to pass things on to someone else, it helps me release my hold on things that I just couldn’t part with before, for whatever reason. When I picture someone enjoying it instead of it sitting under my cabinet or in my closet, I am able to give it away with joy.

Step 3: Sort like items. It’s always best to store similar items together. It’s easier to find things and you aren’t as likely to buy something you don’t need.

Step 4: Consider additional storage needs.

Renee has room to go vertical. I have two recommendations. One would be to purchase some shelving and baskets to store her products like these. I found wire shelving on Amazon that was $8-$22.00. It’s found with kitchen organization products.


Then pick baskets that fit on top and underneath. I like the baskets below because of varying heights, because Renee has some tall products. Some baskets might just sit in front or to the side of the shelving.


However, using a vintage wire basket is also attractive, and she can see what’s inside.


The other id
ea is an under-the-counter shelf with pull-out drawers like one of these or a combo of both if she has room:

 

Renee has travel items that she uses occasionally. JJ has room under his sink, so I’d put them in a box with a lid on it in there and then JJ can use the top of the box for more storage.

I’ve got one more idea for Renee. I love lotions and think the bottles are often beautiful. I store all my lotions above my bathtub. Here’s a photo:

My philosophy on most bathroom items (except lotions, obviously) is to only keep one extra item of everything I use. I make myself use up products even when I’m tired of them. This gives me enough storage space. When I find a great deal on something, I stock up but store those extra products in a linen closet.

I hope this inspires you to organize a space in your home!

Grace & peace,
Glynnis Whitwer

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Why am I letting you see my mess and spending a week on this topic? Because I love reading your comments, praying for you, understanding how you feel, and the special bond we’re forming in the midst of our messes. Also, inviting you into an area that needs work in my life/home motivates me to do something about it.

Some of you have said your messes are worse. Others have probably been surprised I let things get so cluttered. This is an area, like some of yours, that I’ve neglected while running 100 mph taking care of other people and projects. It’s behind closed doors where no one sees, except me.

So, why hasn’t it mattered enough take time to make it better for me? Good question.

The Lord’s been showing me I need to take time to do things that matter to me. Things that will help my spirit to breathe . Things that will bring order to my heart which brings peace to my mind and my home. So, I’m committing again this week to set aside an hour or 2 for my trouble spot and tackle it one section at a time. Will you join me?

Click on the word “comment” and let me know your thoughts and if you want to, an area you want to work on. Accountability is amazing. The power of prayer even better.Today’s give-away is the gift of sisterhood and prayer. Everybody who comments wins!!

I’d love to pray for you by name, so please include your first name, too. And will you take a minute to pray for the person that leaves a comment before you. See ya back here later this week with “after” photos and lessons learned from my cabinet clean-out.

A big “thank you” to Glynnis for taking so much time to help me and for sending such great suggestions and photos we can all use! Be sure to visit Glynnis’ blog www.HerOrganizedLife.com for more ideas.
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. The condition of my home is weighing heavy on me right now. With homeschooling, kid's sports, just the basic cooking and cleaning, spending time with my husband, oh, and add in speaking opps, it seems my house is more and more cluttered. After the middle of this week, I have some down time and really want to get my spring cleaning done. I like the idea of a couple of hours a day until it's done!

  2. "Things that will help my spirit to breathe . Things that will bring order to my heart which brings peace to my mind and my home."

    I am needing to do things like this in my home, too! Oh, friend…I would give you a peak under my bathroom sink and you would see a sight VERY similar to yours!

    This series you are doing is SO timely! Truly it is. Thank you for listening to the Lord on this.

    I will be tackling under my bathroom sink, as well, this week. And wiping down my white kitchen cabinets. 🙂 The cabinets may sound silly, but it is amazing the little things I never seem to get around to.

    And I am praying for Sylvia as she tackles the places God leads her to in her home. 🙂

  3. Love the clutter free look!! I know I can do the same at my house! Can't believe you are guilty fo the same. You appear so organized! Hugs! Kelly

  4. Other than the adoption part my story could be your story. I work full time, I parent full time, I'm a full time wife, and trying to strengthen my relationship with the Lord. I am committing to purge all the unnecessary things in my life so that I can give more to the necessary things. I'm in on the decluttering…just don't make me post pictures.lol.

  5. Sylvia…I know your pain!! I'm home on maternity leave and should have plenty of time, but I'm in the road 3 days a week with my son to therapy. The others are filled with sports and so much lack of sleep I don't have the energy to do A THING!
    But a couple or even one hour a day of organizing on area at a time sounds doable to me!

  6. The area under my side of the sink looks the same way, so don't feel too bad.
    Today, I am continuing to "clean up the clutter" I am working on our master bedroom. There are other areas that I know need done,however I am trying to not look at them until I am finished.

    One problem that I always have is the basket of "what to do with it" Their are an assortment of things that belong in other areas of our home. I go to put them away and get sidetracked. I clean that area and forget what I was dong. Sometimes I just put the basket in a closet till a rainy day then never get to it;) Anyone else struggle with this?

    I really need to get this done, as I am heading for a retreat in a few days.

    Praying for you all
    Hugs,
    Rachel

  7. Okay…you are definitely helping to motivate me!!! I'm tackling my kitchen counter next!!! Can't wait to feel the peace of having an uncluttered countertop!

    Prayers and blessings,
    Rebecca

  8. Anonymous says:

    These blogs have been the encouragement I've needed to tackle the clutter that is weighing me down. As I posted on Glynnis' blog, lack of discipline is my problem, so your prayers and suggestions are keeping me motivated. As you said Renee — 'Accountability is amazing'.
    Praying for you all,
    With thanks,
    Sharon

  9. praying for you precious renee.. and i prayed for all the ladies that I read their commetns also. I need to unclutter my car.. it's bad because i just think i'll take that in next trip.. and well it piles up.. so I need to unclutter my car:-)
    Blessings
    Jenn Hand

  10. I have been under the cluttered house burden since my Mom's health deteriorated to the point where my schedule revolved around her doctor appts. Last year, after numerous falls and breakage, we had to put her in a nursing home, which took up even more time. She passed away in Feb. and I am still dazed. My heart needs the peace now of uncluttered spaces and I have begun working on it. I now have a bed in the guest room and you can walk all the way in without tripping on anything. I still have a way to go, and cabinets that need attention. I will commit to spending time this week on these areas. Thank you for your prayers.

    Brenda S

  11. I love the way you're starting with one area at a time. Not a whole room, or garage or whatever, which is how I tend to think. But if I picked one area in my office, then it would be that much easier to tackle the next and then the room would be done.

    Which little space to start with….?

    Thanks for the vulnerability Renee!

    Mary

  12. I just want to say thank you so much for sharing! Your words and experiences are balm to my soul. I too love your comment "things that will help my spirit to breathe" — the freedom to focus on the details, just one small area at a time. I have been completely overwhelmed by the state of the hidden areas in our house. Your blog, examples, pictures, and Gladys's advice are just what I needed!!

  13. Thanks Renee,

    I needed this. I have been doing a series on Proverbs 31 and God has been dealing with me to get my house and myself organized but I cant see to push pass the depression and drama in my life. And i know when I am not around clutter some of the burdens in life are lifted so I really appreciate your prayers.

    Robin

  14. Thank you for speaking on this subject. I too have recently felt the need to clean out and get organized. Last Oct. we had our third child and I know what you mean about going 100 mph every day!! This weekend I've had a yard sale to sell out-grown children's clothes(3 large totes) and organized the shelves over my washer and dryer. Today, left over yard sale clothes are going to consignment shop. My husband has agreed to build me a bookcase to store all books so they aren't scattered and stuffed throughout the house. With 5 people in a two bedroom house organization is a must for my sanity! My next project is my closet! Thank you for sharing you life with us!

  15. I can so relate with you Renee and all of you who posted comments. Like Sylvia, my home has been weighing heavy on me. I have such good ideas and plans, but my procrastination sets in and then the clutter just keeps builsing up. I'm so happy I found this blog to help me in these areas. My #1 trouble spot is my kitchen table. It is the catch-all for everything. I so want to get it cleaned off and try really hard to keep it that way. Please pray that I can get this accomplished this week. Thank you again. Have a blessed day!

  16. I'm so glad I found your blog last week! I struggle with clutter that builds up while I work full-time and try to mom full-time too. Your suggestions are absolutely do-able. Keep them coming!

  17. Lysa,
    Heard you today and really felt for you when you didn’t know how to pray or what to say. I have to tell you I never and I do mean never have problem knowing how to pray or what to say. No matter what my problem is, how big or how small whether it is going to change my life forever or whatever. Jesus taught us how to pray and for the life of me I don’t understand why so many have missed it and continue to miss it.
    This is how Jesus taught us to pray:
    Our Father who art in Heaven you are holy, I honor you, you are most sacred, you have my heartfelt respect, reverence, worship and I ask for your goodwill. I request your spiritual sovereignty. I ask that you rule, reign, have total authority and your will be done in my life as in the plan you made for me in Heaven. Provide my needs today. Forgive me as I forgive others. Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil. I submit my life to your sovereign rule, possession, authority, control and give you magnificent adoring praise, honor and worshipful thanksgiving forever, in Jesus Name Amen.

    More simply said as:
    My Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.
    Your Kingdom come your will be done in my Life as it is in Heaven.
    Provide my needs today.
    Forgive me as I forgive others.
    Lead me not into Temptation.
    Deliver me from Evil.
    For Thine is the Kingdom.
    And the Power.
    And the Glory Forever
    In Jesus Name
    Amen

    You see, when God takes spiritual sovereignty in your life, your problem. When God rules, reigns and has total authority and his will is done in every aspect of your life as in the plan he made for you in Heaven; that is ALL you need. That is ALL you should want. If you want anything else you are being arrogant, selfish and totally out of God’s will and the plan he made for you.

    Now, this is a “Faith” thing. This is not a “Know” thing.
    When you choose to believe by Faith (not that you are going to know) because you are not going to know, Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen, so you cannot “Know”. God is about “Faith” not “knowing” and when you totally submit your life and every problem according to the prayer Jesus taught us to pray then and only then will you have peace of mind believing that God is in control of your problems just like you have submitted them with the prayer Jesus taught.

    That is not just “The Lord’s Prayer” Lysa. That is for us to get to the Father. Study it; get the meaning of all those words. It will come alive like you have never known. It has in my life completely. I don’t worry about anything. Lots I don’t like and wish wouldn’t be happening but I submit them all to the Father everyday and with that submission believing that it is in his plan for my life. The problem with most people is they don’t want to submit totally to the Father. They want what they want and want it their way. They are arrogant, selfish and self centered. They think they know more/better about their future and what they need than the Father knows. This prayer gives it all to the Father and says you are willing to except his infinite wisdom for your problems no matter what the results.

    You may call or write anytime.
    Yours in His Kingdom
    Wesley Wood
    479-634-5004
    wesretired@cox.net

  18. Lysa,
    Heard you today and really felt for you when you didn’t know how to pray or what to say. I have to tell you I never and I do mean never have problem knowing how to pray or what to say. No matter what my problem is, how big or how small whether it is going to change my life forever or whatever. Jesus taught us how to pray and for the life of me I don’t understand why so many have missed it and continue to miss it.
    This is how Jesus taught us to pray:
    Our Father who art in Heaven you are holy, I honor you, you are most sacred, you have my heartfelt respect, reverence, worship and I ask for your goodwill. I request your spiritual sovereignty. I ask that you rule, reign, have total authority and your will be done in my life as in the plan you made for me in Heaven. Provide my needs today. Forgive me as I forgive others. Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil. I submit my life to your sovereign rule, possession, authority, control and give you magnificent adoring praise, honor and worshipful thanksgiving forever, in Jesus Name Amen.

    More simply said as:
    My Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.
    Your Kingdom come your will be done in my Life as it is in Heaven.
    Provide my needs today.
    Forgive me as I forgive others.
    Lead me not into Temptation.
    Deliver me from Evil.
    For Thine is the Kingdom.
    And the Power.
    And the Glory Forever
    In Jesus Name
    Amen

    You see, when God takes spiritual sovereignty in your life, your problem. When God rules, reigns and has total authority and his will is done in every aspect of your life as in the plan he made for you in Heaven; that is ALL you need. That is ALL you should want. If you want anything else you are being arrogant, selfish and totally out of God’s will and the plan he made for you.

    Now, this is a “Faith” thing. This is not a “Know” thing.
    When you choose to believe by Faith (not that you are going to know) because you are not going to know, Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen, so you cannot “Know”. God is about “Faith” not “knowing” and when you totally submit your life and every problem according to the prayer Jesus taught us to pray then and only then will you have peace of mind believing that God is in control of your problems just like you have submitted them with the prayer Jesus taught.

    That is not just “The Lord’s Prayer” Lysa. That is for us to get to the Father. Study it; get the meaning of all those words. It will come alive like you have never known. It has in my life completely. I don’t worry about anything. Lots I don’t like and wish wouldn’t be happening but I submit them all to the Father everyday and with that submission believing that it is in his plan for my life. The problem with most people is they don’t want to submit totally to the Father. They want what they want and want it their way. They are arrogant, selfish and self centered. They think they know more/better about their future and what they need than the Father knows. This prayer gives it all to the Father and says you are willing to except his infinite wisdom for your problems no matter what the results.

    You may call or write anytime.
    Yours in His Kingdom
    Wesley Wood
    479-634-5004
    wesretired@cox.net

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