HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Rescuing My Stairs and A Hot Spot – A Series On Minimalizing My Home

Before organizing
after organizing
We will start with what I call a hot spot, because my stairs are very scary and I really want you to stick around.
A hot spot is an area that seems to collect clutter if you don’t stay on top of it.  They are usually areas that just take minutes to get under control.This ledge is a major hot spot in our home.  It is right in the center of our home and seems like the perfect place to put little things that really should be put away where they go!
I’m finding a big part of the clutter around here is due to our home office being unorganized.  There seems to be a lot of office supplies that I’m coming across, in our junk drawer, on this ledge, on our stairs.  Once our home office is minimalized, I think we will all be better with getting this stuff where it belongs.
This hot spot only took about 5 minutes.  I grabbed everything off the ledge and put it on our table.
Here is what it looked like:
Clutter from around the house

I started with making piles of things.  Like with like.  It helped to get whatever looked like trash out first.  Then I had office supply pile, an earring pile, a pile of hair bands & combs, a pile of papers that needed attention, and some miscellaneous stuff.

Organizing clutter
By putting them into piles, it made it easier to put them all away.   The office supplies were put in my our home study, which was hard to know where to put them because I have yet to declutter that room and it seems to be getting worse and worse as my other rooms get better! I’m finding this true for all of the left over rooms that I have yet to minimalize. I started with the easiest rooms of our home and I’m gradually getting to the rough ones.  Not only did these rooms start out rough, but as I get stuff put away from other rooms, these unfinished rooms just keep getting piles added.  Ugh.  They are going to be a joy! At least I will have you all here along with me to see all the joyfulness.  Ha.
Organizing your stairway

So on to the scary stairs.  I shared this picture in an earlier post.  I confessed to loading things onto the stairs as I minimalized rooms instead of putting things away.  Now for the most part, it is not as lazy as it looks, because most of that stuff DOES go upstairs.  But it had piled up way worse than I ever let it, as the rest of my house was getting minimalized.

Rubbermaid tubs for organizing
These Rubbermaid tubs came to the rescue.  They are really neat because they have a door that swings down so you can get to them from the side.  So clever!  I marked them Giveaway, Put Away, & Trash.
I have found that they are perfect to use as I go about with my decluttering and minimalizing.  Especially once I got the stairs under control, I started using the bins to keep them that way!
Organizing on the dining table
I did the same thing with the stairs as I did with the hot spot.  It took about 15 minutes.  Here is what our table looked like 1/2 way through.  It may not look like it, but I am making ‘like with like’ piles to make putting it all away much easier.
Organizing clutter on the staircase
Here are the stairs halfway through.  Getting better!  Getting safer!!
Bins used for organizing
I had my bins close by and used the trash bin and also the giveaway bin.  The put away bin sat empty as I needed the large space of my table for this large chore.
Minimalizing in the home
See what I mean?  Oh boy.  The shoes and leggings in the front go to my room.  The books are library books and it was so nice to have a specific drawer in the living room for those.  I had a crafty pile and a beauty supply pile.  I had a seasonal pile of things that need put away for winter, and the far left of the pic is a large pile of my daughters things, as her room is upstairs and her stuff often gets put on the stairs, but not taken up!
It felt great to see that my Giveaway Bin was getting full.  I will take that out to the trunk.  This bin load will fill my trunk so I will be dropping off my first trunk load of Giveaway stuff to Goodwill in a couple days.  Yay me!!
Staircase all organized

Ahhh…so much better.

New nostalgia pinterest board floors

After my house is minimalized, I will be turning my attention to some home projects.  Something I’ve wanted to do for awhile was get rid of ugly stair carpet and refinish the stairs in some way.  I have been collecting some fun ideas on my Home: Floors board at Pinterest.

Those 3 baskets that you see in my pic above are for the 3 rooms upstairs.  The master bedroom, the craft room and my daughters room.  My husband is convinced they just collect clutter and just “whatever” gets thrown in there, even stuff that does not belong.  He has got a point.

Am I better off without them?  OR do we enforce consequences to little ones who put things in the wrong basket or things that do not belong on the stairs in them?  It would also help to mark the baskets so there is NO excuse.


Baskets for stairway

How about this idea for baskets on the stairs is from Sew Many Ways?  She calls them crap baskets and has one for each family member.  That is an idea!  She puts whatever she finds around the house in the baskets and they are responsible for putting them away.  Maybe this would be a better idea for me.  I only have 3 baskets for the 3 areas upstairs, but this idea might be better.

How do you handle stairs and the things that belong up them?

I love hearing that you are all minimalizing too, so let me know if you are!


More In This Series:

Minimalizing My Living Room
Minimalizing My Dining Room
My Big Fail While Minimalizing
Minimalizing My Sunroom

You Might Also Like

  • New Nostalgia – Minimalizing My Teen Daughter’s Room
    May 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    […] Minimalizing My Dining Room Minimalizing My Sunroom My Big Fail While Organizing and Minimalizing Rescuing My Stairs and A Hot Spot Minimalizing My Hall Closet and Drawers 14 Ways To Minimalize A Bedroom homemaking, […]

  • karlamcurry
    April 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I have gone back and forth with baskets on our stairs. I love to be organized and thought it would help tote things upstairs, but a) they invite clutter and b) they can get in the way. Now when I need to remember to bring something upstairs I just put the thing itself on the stair; I’m less apt to leave it there since it’s not in its own container.

  • Pam
    April 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    After years of convincing, my husband finally removed the exact same carpet from our stairs last week. They need a little love but there were pretty hardwood steps under all that carpet. So much nicer! We used to have baskets on the stairs and there were always things lingering in them that never got dealt with. We removed the baskets to deal with the carpet and discovered without a place to stash them, things just got put away as we found them rather than piling up for later. The baskets were pretty, but clean stairs are even better. :o)

  • fleur
    April 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Ok one rule to make with the crap basket recipients is this: “you have one (or however long you choose) day to remove contents to your space or they’re mine to do with what I choose” (i.e. throw away, give away b/c obviously they are not covetted objects. lol A few valued things gone and they will be taken care of. Also some items looked like they can be duplicated for upstairs and downstairs so they don’t have to go between floors. Scissors with kids are always needed and always missing. I’d get each of them a pair and one for you for crafts/projects and one for kitchen. That might be excessive but you have plenty already so the girls can each have one and one can go on your desk or work space and one in a kitchen drawer with the knives or cooking utensils? Get a small bin with drawers to keep your office supplies (or that’s how I do it) . Mine has three drawers. Top is pens b/c we grab pens most often, center is office supplies less grabbed but small like paper clips, bigger clips, etc that i keep in little cardboard boxes with lids to keep them from falling into the drawer. Also rubber bands, etc etc. Bottom drawer for me is a stack of mailing and note papers so i have in it post-it notes, return address stickers, cute stickers for mailing cards/letters to loved ones, and stamps. In another rolling cart with drawers (see a theme here?) i have one whole drawer dedicated to envelopes. I have one dedicated to printer supplies (ink and smaller papers like photo paper), one dedicated to stationery boxes, one dedicated to small gift giving supplies like small gift bags, bows, paper shredded bag stuffer, and cute stickers for personalizing the bags. Bottom drawer is art supplies that i don’t use but should (journalling supplies which is a sketchbook, some pastels and i think colored pencils or ??).
    IMPORTANT stuff stays in a wooden drawer container on my desk. This is things I cannot afford to lose and don’t want to file. Passport, info for others’ credit cards or passwords, extra cards that don’t need to go in my wallet daily (gift cards, frequent flier cards, you know those various and sundries). Also I keep my backup sunglasses or reading glasses in there. lol
    under that is one drawer that i keep my spouse’s emergency medical stuff. For us it’s a meds list, printed copy of the medical power of attorney from our attorney and rescue diabetes meds in case of severe lows or highs so i can find them FAST. I also keep a booklet which holds doc’s biz cards so I can keep them all together. Got that at office depot and it’s just a planner type of book with biz card holder plastic sheets so you can add/remove them as needed. This has come in handy numerous times for medical issues or insurance issues.
    There’s more but I thought this might help you. I have my own hotspot needs for suggestions especially with small space living in a condo. I’ve decided to make a dedicated craft space and a seperate dedicated paper processing space. They sometimes overlap but keeping crafty gifting things seperated from medical and bill type things for me is helpful. I also have a container for coupons that aren’t filed yet so they’re not floating around on my desk. I even found that to get messy so i nixed coupons til i can get a better handle on the rest. I grab a couple coupons if i see them now and put them in my purse if we run to target or gro store and if i can’t use them i toss them or it’s clutterville. Ok i think that’s enough for you to read but feel free to email me at fragilefleur at hotmail dot com if u want to talk more.

  • Top