Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge ~ Take 1

Yesterday we attempted to discuss the challenge that lay before us.  You know, that challenge that we talked about HERE

Basically we want all of our storage spaces to look something like this:
Via Pinterest and http://roost-home.blogspot.com

Here is a before picture of the closet under the stairs (Our DIY storage area):

And here is a look at our laundry room and makeshift pantry in all of it's "laundry day" glory:

YEP, THIS IS REAL LIFE PEOPLE.  We wouldn't want to clean it up to give you the wrong impression.  That cabinet shoved into the laundry room is our pantry space.  It makes no sense.  The doors are always left open and even if you wanted to close them there might be something on the floor stopping you...like piles of laundry waiting to be washed!  The mops and brooms are shoved into the corner behind that little chest freezer...and who knows what else.  Yikes...do we even want to know!?

Let me just say that Scott and I have very different styles of getting things done. 

How can I put this???

I am a Planner.  I want to sit down with a paper and pen and "map out" what needs to be done and in what order.  Pinpointing the main goals and possible difficulties before getting started.  Knowing where to start, what steps to take and in which order.  Sometimes this may slow down my progress but it also keeps me sane.  (I know, that's a matter of opinion!).  I just strongly dislike house wide chaos...

Scott is a Doer.  (Have you ever heard the term, "Bulldozer"?)   He wants to know what the end-goal is and then he jumps right in to start tackling whatever aspect is in sight.  He doesn't let any grass grow under his feet!  He doesn't like mapping out the steps or explaining why he is doing what he is doing.  If I say, "Honey, what do you think about tearing down this wall to open up the kitchen?", he has his sledge hammer out in the blink of an eye.

Some people say we balance each other out...or...
Opposites attract...or...
We complete each other...

Call it whatever you want.  When it's time to work on a big project together it goes something like this...

Scott "So, what do you want done?"
Me "I want to purge and organize the pantry, closet and garage storage space."
Scott "Okay, what are you doing with this and this and this..." grabbing miscellaneous items.
Me "Wait a minute, I need to look at that..."
Scott doesn't hear because he's too busy moving large armfuls of stuff to different areas of the house to clear a way for his new shelving project.
Me "Hey, we need to look at this project and figure out what shelving and storage containers we already have to utilize and what items we KNOW we need to have a permanent space for."  And yes, I speak in run on sentences too...
Scott "Where do you want this and this and this..." holding out miscellaneous things.
Me "Hey, can we plan to do this in several stages so we don't have everything strewn throughout the house for days on end ,when we aren't able to work on it?"
Scott "Hhhmmmphfff" still moving things to miscellaneous piles throughout house.
Me "Hey, we need to define our storage needs so that we get it right the first time and don't have to do it all over again in six months or a year."
Scott "Uh Huh" Hands me a clipboard and pencil.  "What are we keeping?"
Me "Do we want to move the pantry items to the stairwell closet so they are closer to the kitchen and the DIY stuff to the garage or laundry room?"
Scott "Sure."
Scott standing in the laundry room "We obviously need storage for paper and plastic bags."  As he pulls countless bags out of the little pocket of space that had been formed between the cabinet and the freezer.
Me "Can we just start with the first space and clear it out and get it ready for what we KNOW we want there..."
Scott "We need a spot for food, and chemicals, and extra kitchen gadgets, and cleaners, and bags, and we need a laundry sorting doodad...and..."
Me "I can't do this with you tonight..."

I like a plan.  He likes action.

Moral of this story:  Do not tell Scott there is a project until you have completely mapped out the plan of action.

These basic differences can sometimes cause me stress when we are working on a project TOGETHER.

That may have something to do with why we seem to settle into our own separate projects most of the time, or work on the same project in "shifts" (i.e. ~ he does the sanding...I do the painting).

We have a lot of stuff to go through, purge, donate, sell, junk, and organize. We don't really have a space to lay it all out and organize it all at once. How are we going to accomplish this project without driving each other CRAZY?

Did I mention I work from home. With numerous young children running around our house? I have a need for uncluttered spaces! I cannot have piles and piles of stuff strewn throughout our house during the week. I just can't.

Needless to say, last night was a chocolate and wine night for me.  ;) 

Aaaaaaand I played around on Pinterest looking for the perfect pantry and laundry room spaces to give us ideas!!!

Pantry Ideas:
via Pinterest and http://cleanandscentsible.blogspot.com

Via Pinterest and http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

Via Pinterest (uploaded by user)

Via Pinterest (uploaded by user)

Via Pinterest and http://www.realsimple.com

Via Pinterest and http://sissyprint.blogspot.com/search/label/organization

Via Pinterest and http://www.etsy.com/listing/61189102/pantry-kitchen-stickers-labels-print


Via Pinterest and http://mydesigndump.blogspot.com/2010/03/laundry-rooms.html

Via Pinterest and http://alkemie.blogspot.com/2009/03/spring-cleaning-inspirational-laundry.html

Via Pinterest (uploaded by user)

Via Pinterest and http://remodelingtherapy.com/lovely-laundry-rooms/

Via Pinterest and http://shopruche.blogspot.com/2011/08/if-ruche-were-laundry-room.html

Via Pinterest and http://ana-white.com/2010/11/laundry-basket-dresser


*I was able to move the pantry items to the new storage shelving under the stairs, leaving that huge cabinet in the laundry room empty and ready to be moved out of there.

*Scott was able to empty the contents of the small chest freezer into the freezer in the garage,  get it out of the laundry room and ready to put on Craigslist.

*I've also identified several items that we can definitely PURGE. 



  1. Good for you!! Hubs and I have TOTALLY different ideas of how to clean & organize. Maybe it's me...can anyone see the point of bringing junk up from the basement to the overcrowded living area to sort? He said once that's done, he'll have space downstairs to put clutter from upstairs. Which I have to live with for a couple years. 1st floor 1st, right?? Janet

  2. I am also a planner! I have to plan everything. I have several of those "real" places in my house that need organizing too! Love the inspirational photos! I love when things are organized, it helps me to think clearly, I just need a plan LOL!
    Sherry's Bees Nest

  3. Hahahaha, I can SOOOO relate to your conversation. Especially the end. :) I feel the same way, I need to get my mind mentally wrapped around the whole thing before you start moving things around on me! You have some great inspiration pics there, I can't wait to see more progress!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  4. Yippie - progress! I may steal some of your organizing tips for my basement which is my "impossible". Can't wait to see the finished product! So glad you are joining our challenge!

  5. Progress is so good!

    I finally got my fridge cleared out and organized. All in the name of procrastinating on my ACTUAL challenge projects.

    Just. Saying.

    Bernadette @b3hd

  6. Yay for things getting done! Love your inspiration pictures. And I love that you are taking on 3 projects in one. Can't wait to see what the planner and action duo come up with!

    I'm participating in the challenge too. Check out my pantry, so far....



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