Let me just say it again: NOBODY gets to go into my storage room. You have no idea how shocking it is that I’m slapping these pictures all over the Internet. Ask anyone who’s ever been to my house. That room is OFF LIMITS.
After you see these pictures, some of you are going to shake your head in dismay. Or you might giggle because you’ll see that Laura actually has a bottle of vegetable oil in her food storage (it was for a science experiment, I’ll have you know).
I have several excuses for how scary this room is, like:
- This room is unheated, therefore freezing during the winter, so ain’t no way no how I’m going in there for longer than the time it takes to grab something out of the freezer or throw down an empty box.
- Our recyclable items hang out in here waiting to be taken to the recycle center every few weeks. (Yes, we have to take all of our recycling to a recycle center – it doesn’t get picked up here.) This clutters up the room very quickly.
- The boys go into the room to get one box out of our pile of boxes so they can make a project, but they usually pull from the bottom of the pile, making all of the boxes fall down.
- It’s a storage room. We don’t live in there. I can close the door and walk away and forget about it.
Here’s the view when you first walk into the room. Don’t you love how UGLY the front of my big freezer is? That’s how I got it for super cheap – the poor thing was ugly. :) Putting an ugly freezer into my ugly storage room just makes sense, don’t you think? It was a great price, and it works just fine – ugly door or not! (Notice how I’m trying to distract you from the mess of the room by pointing out my freezer door?)
Here’s a closer-up picture of the food stash, and jars, and Walmart bags of canning rings. Now there’s a beautiful organizational method: throw all unused canning rings into a Walmart bag and toss it onto a pile of bulk food. Adorable, tidy and practical. Yeah, right. (This is why we’re organizing this week!!!)
Here’s an even closer-up picture of the big shelf of food. And ice cream maker. And pressure cooker that doesn’t get used because I’m afraid of blowing up my kitchen.
Have you seen enough? Well…sorry, there’s more. If you turn around and look at the other side of the storage room, you’ll see this:
You know, when you go through six to eleven dozen eggs each week, you do accumulate a lot of egg cartons. Those need to be returned to our friends with chickens. And then all that other stuff really needs to be sorted through and taken to the recycling center or given away or thrown away or put away.
So there you have it. My mess revealed.
And here’s what I’ve decided: If I’m going down…I’m pulling you all down with me. :) I wanna see your messes too…it’s only fair, right?
Take a picture of the biggest messy spot in your house (or the one you want to tackle this week). Post it on your blog if you have one, and come link up here. Let’s make this the hub for all messes everywhere, shall we? Show us your before pictures so we can all commiserate on how messy life gets.
On Friday (the 22nd), I’ll post my “After Pictures”, along with another link-up so you can show us your finished CLEAN and ORGANIZED pictures.
Just think about how many of us are going to get a scary mess under control this week! It’s inspiring, isn’t it? And yes, just a little bit intimidating. But c’mon…if I can do it, so can you! Show us those pictures!
(If you don’t have a blog and want to email me your before and after pictures just for fun, I’d love that too!)
So do tell…what’s the messiest spot in your house?
Ha ha, I am afraid of pressure cookers just because of the name! Sounds dangerous.
I would have had to start taking pictures weeks ago before I started packing up my house. Though the basement is still pretty scary, I don’t think any amount of organization will ever help it. However, with my move, I’m in a really good place to start out organized and hopefully avoid a disorganized mess to begin with.
Amy @ Finer Things says
No way, no how and NEVER will I post a pic of my bedroom. WHY do I always leave it for LAST in the cleaning/organizing rotation?!
Me too! Our entire house is quite orderly… except our bedroom. I will NEVER ever show a picture of it. I don’t even like to look in there, lol.
I do that too! I always close the door when company comes!!
Kate @ Teaching What Is Good says
Our laundry room is the one that continually falls into chaos. It is also our pantry and becomes the catch-all for whatever has to go into the backyard shed or the basement. It also holds our full size 30 gal garbage can and double decker recycling buckets.
Well, I’m sitting in my messy room. The office. Ugh! But on a side note, my five-year-old has the same Lightning McQueen toy. He put it in the tub and it finally stopped making those really annoying KA-CHOW noises! :-)
I need to know. How on earth do you use 6-11 dozen eggs each week? That is amazing.
Here’s a post that explains that a little bit: https://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/mini-crustless-breakfast-quiches
I know…sounds like a lot!! My kids can put away the food!
I look around and can’t decide WHICH mess to take a picture of first? The office? The master bedroom? Kids rooms? Messes everywhere I look. The best picture would be one of our garage, but that is NOT my area to clean. :-)
Heather T. says
That is our worst area also the garage but I don’t go in there its and old detached garage and his mess not mine, its bad!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for being honest. I must say, my bulk food room (which just happens to be a bathroom that we yanked the toilet out of and now use as a pantry) goes from organized and sparkling to looking like this from time to time :)
I would like to do that to our old bathroom to only 1 problem, it is
the only bathroom that we have right now. maybe someday I will get a
new one. Than I will be able to do it to.
We just moved from England to Louisiana and I am still trying to get all of our stuff unpacked and organized so I am going to try and get a bunch of my stuff organized this week and next. The worst is all the baby clothes and stuff that needs to be organized so that we can store it all away in the attic. Thanks for sharing your pictures.
Have you seen the business Fridge Fronts? http://www.fridgefronts.com/ A fun way to cover up sad fridge, freezer, etc. Maybe you would like to make your freezer pretty up the storage room! :)
Wow! That’s cool…and only 89.95!! I would try to do it for 3 bucks with contact paper from the Dollar Store!! If the fridge was in the kitchen I might go for the real deal though!
Heather T. says
I was thinking a can of spray paint its not too costly and they actually make it for appliances.
Danielle B says
I have a pressure cooker as well, and I’m afraid to use it as well! lol I DO want to use it though! I’ve been organizing and cleaning out bedrooms all week, so the downstairs is a mess (I hauled everything down to sort through). I’ve come to realization we have TOOOOO many clothes and shoes!
Lisa H. says
Oh, dear… that’s not so bad! You should see my garage, which is my storage room, woodworking room, coat closet, garden shed, summer/winter clothes bin storage, extra fridge/freezer room, milling room, grain storage area, toy storage area (we only allow 1 toy out at a time… small house)…. whew! Now THAT’S a mess! Your storage room looked like an Eden to me! But I can understand your wanting to get it under control, and I know you will do a great job of it. Thanks for sharing, and I am looking forward to seeing the “after” pictures!
We have an ugly freezer, too! The upper back corner is completely smushed in, like it must have been dropped or something. We got a big discount on it from Lowe’s, it works perfectly, and it’s in our basement where no one ever sees it but us :)
sadly my whole house looks like that right now lol! In my defense I do have a broke hand so getting anything done is a very time consuming and tedious task. I can’t wait to get my cast off so I can clean my house again! Unfortunately I may have it on till August ugh!
Thanks for sharing with us, Laura – it’s nice to know I’m not the only one with a scary room in my house!!! In our house it’s my pantry/office. I just can’t seem to keep it organized! I get it straightened up and then some little trolls must come in during the night and mess it all up again. ;-) I’m not sharing pictures only because there’s NO way I can get it cleaned up this week!
I’m very proud of you — thanks for posting the pics! And you know, it’s not nearly so bad as you had me thinking it would be. :) (Of course, what does that say about my house?!) Anyway, what a great room! You definitely need some shelves all the way up the walls, then you’d really be in business! Can’t wait to see the progress.
Laura, Laura, Laura… That’s EXACTLY what my pantry looked like before I organized it – yours is not such a shocker. But I do love mine now that it’s organized and you, too, will LOVE yours when it’s organized! Having mine organized inspires me to KEEP it that way! If I had the capability, I would link up and take pictures of our basement but I can’t do it AND it will probably take the entire month of June to organize it! Thank you for posting your before pictures!
Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook says
LOL… my freezer is UGLY, too. But, it was free and it works!
My garage is worse! Not computer savy enough to post a picture so you all are spared the horror!
April Smith says
I normally like for things to be organized and tidy-but I came into it late in life. I remember the day I discovered, as a pre-teen, that my bedroom had carpet What a turning point in life! My three tween daughters have hardwood floors, and they are aware of this, but with three girls worth of stuff in a bedroom big enough for one, messes are inevitable! I need a robot.
Thanks for sharing! That was really sweet of you to be so real and vulnerable with your readers. That’s why we love you so much!
And the best part of a messy storage room? The messier it looks to begin with, the more satisfied you are when it is all organized and neat!
p.s. One more excuse for your list…4 BOYS!!!
You are awesome Laura, and inspiring. I’ve got a lot of cleaning and organizing to do. Luckily, it’s raining all this week so hope to get a lot done.
I think if everyone were this honest, we would all be a little less concerned about our own houses. I think that people have this idea that everyone else has a perfect house-except us. The truth is that almost everyone has a messy spot (or spots). Thanks for sharing!
I love your room, there’s lots of great storage potential in there and I can’t wait to see the after pics!
I had to laugh (with you). I did mine a couple of weeks ago. I have a pressure canner that my oldest bought for me 2 Christmas’ ago. Still haven’t used it foor fear of the same thing! I have voved to can some soup for my Husband this spring. Still haven’t tried it yet.
My canning rings are now organized in a Walmart bag. Somehow over a period of a couple of weeks they crawl out (all on their own I’m told). I used to have a dresser that stored all toothpaste, tea, bags and even a drawer for my canning supplies, but one of our 4 Sweeties needed it for her clothing. Go figure… now I’m trying to figure out stronger shelving w/o having to purchase anything and more of it! I’m also looking for a way to store pasta better. I now have stacked boxes on a shelf. White buckets and lids go for $18 to $20 in our neck of the woods.
April Smith says
I don’t know where you are, but here’s a tip just in case you can use it: We have a sandwich shop here (in NE Alabama) called Firehouse subs (http://www.firehousesubs.com/)…they are a national chain with 415 locations. They get their pickles in big red buckets, and when they are empty, they sell bucket and lid for $2 and the proceeds help firefighters. If you don’t mind the pickle smell, a great deal all the way around…hope it’s helpful!
Thanks! We have those here. I’m just so used to buckets that my wheat is stored in, but I sure don’t mind red as long as they are food grade. Thanks again!
I thought I would share about pickle buckets. We have some huge containers (they hold 7 bushels of wheat each) that friends purchased from a pickle factory when it went out of business. We take our harvested wheat after it has been cleaned and store four of these in our garage. To this day, when I first open the lid, I can smell the dill pickle! BUT, even with storing in the hot garage, I have never had one bug! So, I would encourage you that pickle containers would be a great grain storage option.
Here’s how I acquire big buckets for either free or $1!! https://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/how-to-store-bulk-grain
I don’t have a camera so I can’t take a picture of my messiest room. Just picture your storage room, Laura, and multiply that by at least 5.
Ann M says
Your storage/organization solution is already in your pictures! Pegboard! I’d be sticking any and everything up on those – we have them in our basement and garage. Easy to see everything. I even hang paintbrushes up there to dry out. We have an empty toolbox nearby – just grab the tools I need off the wall, complete the project, then hang them back up on the wall. First thing I’d hang would be all those canning rings – easy enough to sort into different sizes. Good luck – I can’t wait to see the finished project.
Well I have to say, I feel like I know you so much better now! Everyone has that one room! Mine is usually my laundry room, although you cant even see the floor in my kids rooms! We don’t open our garage door for anyone! So there I have three! We live lives in our homes, and sometimes life gets messy! We are trying to sell our home, so our out of control garage has to be addressed. The whole time I was looking at your pictures, I was thinking, man I wish I had a huge messy storage room for all my bulk food storage! I already know from reading your blog regularly you consider yourself blessed ~
This is perfect! I’m doing a 30 Day Clear the Clutter challenge right now! I’ve made it through the office area, living room, and school room! Unfortunately, I’m avoiding the messiest area — my bedroom and closet!! Later…
joanie e says
Ah, this makes my fingers itch- I LOVE to organize! This would be such fun !!
I love that you shared this! My husband thinks I am the only one that saves used things. I have piles of egg cartons, boxes, baby food containers, etc. Mine are packed in storage cabinets he bought to hide in the basement.
My first thought when I saw that room is….”hey, that is a great room and she really needs some shelves in there….oh and oh man, I wonder what is all the jars and stuff, which I could be right there and see the cool things she has in there up close and personal”. And I don’t think that room is as bad as you think it is…I was imagining it was much worse. LOL. Thanks for willing to share your messy room with us all, I think it helps us all that are on the other side of the computer screens to realize that Mom’s who blog have the same struggles everyday that we all do. Can’t wait to see the other pictures of your store room. I wish I had a store room.
I hope you have some good way to store your canning rings. I am using the jars and lids for vacuum sealing and I have all the rings in a box that I am not using now. Thank you so much for showing us your store room.
Wow! I was planning to share a great tip about that very thing. Take an old coat hanger (like from the dry cleaners) and carefully untwist it. You can now slip the canning rings over the curved part of the hanger and partially retwist it. You can hang the whole thing from a peg, nail, or one of the holes in the side of metal storage shelves. I use one for narrow mouth rings and one for wide mouth. I have a nail high on the wall behind the door in my laundry room, and I hang one from the nail, and the other one from rings on the first hanger.
Another thing I do is keep extra rings in a box in the garage. I reuse the same rings over and over (I don’t store jars with rings on)until they start to rust, and then toss them. I can then go to the box and have a fresh supply of pristine rings. No need to buy the expensive ring/flat combos this way. I hope this is helpful!
I wish I could join you. I have a few places that need major organizing, but I just can’t find the time in the busy spring season. Want to challenge us again in the summer? : ) BTW, I’m drooling over your storage space. Messy or not, it has great potential!
Laura…I LOVE that you showed us your messy room!! LIFE can be messy sometimes and even though I strive for order (4 kids ages 3 to 10) I also realize that a home is meant to be lived in. So THANK YOU for showing us your storage room–you made me laugh today knowing that someone else out there has a storage room just like mine! :) Best of luck on the organization project! I’ve had ‘storage room’ on my to do list for 3 months now!! :)
I’m the same way! Got a pressure canner last summer off craigslist, haven’t used it for the same reason, canning rings thrown in a bag, recycling boxes, and empty wood pellet bags. Unfortunately, it’s our garage (nice cold storage in the winter), but way too cold to do anything with until it warms up. Last Sat was our first warm enough day, and I was out there all day cleaning up, tossing, organizing. I still have the pallet of 5-gallon buckets (food area) to tidy up, but it’s a beautiful area now! Hopefully the next place we move into will have an insulated garage and an oversized one, I want another fridge and an extra freezer! :-) You’re not alone. Sometimes the path to the freezer narrows down and we’re forced to get some kind of renewed minimal organization out there so we don’t have to pick our way through. It’s so bone-chilling cold though!
SOOO, you are human!!! Thanks for sharing, I could have beat these pictures a few months ago but I’m cheating now…..We are trying to sell our house and put 3/4 of our possessions in storage. It is definitely a good way to weed out some of the stuff that accumulates. Now that the stuff is gone, I don’t think we will bring all of it to the new house, it’s nice to be rid of the clutter.
Kris Mays says
We had two really messy spaces inteh ouse. My desk area and our food storage room. Well, we go tboth od those organized with in the last few weeks an dI did not take before photos.
With baby coming in 12 weeks, I have a lot to do, so we are just plugging away on those kinds of projects.
Laura – maybe you could do a ‘Pressure Cooking’ post and get recipes and advice for us and maybe it would encourage us to actually USE our pressure cookers! Hubby bought me one about 3 years ago; I used it once (unfortunately when we were expecting company!) and ended up ordering pizza out because dinner didn’t cook properly.
Canning Lids – I saw this about a month ago – take a length of wire (strong enough that you can bend it and it will hold the lids) and string it between 2 stable items or even the sides of a cart, string your lids on it. When you need one or more lids, just unbend (is that a word?!) one end of the wire, get what you need and put it back! (Does that make sense?)
My mom always stored her canning rings in a similar way… except she used old wire hangers. She untwisted the neck of the hanger, threaded the rings through and then bent the end of the hanger wire back around the neck. She had one for wide mouth and one for narrow hanging on the wall of her store room!
Jenifer Parker says
I see room for more storage!! Piece of Plywood on top of freezer stretches to far wall supported by 2 2×4’s up against the wall and “walla” a shelf, light or heavy? choose plywood to suit?
Stacy Myers says
I cannot keep my laundry room clean. I don’t know why…..I just have problems with that. If anything needs to be put up, that’s where it goes. It’s sorta of a “free-for-all” room.
Between your post and my Azure order arriving today, I was inspired to tackle my storage areas. Since we’ve had one bay free in the garage the last couple of months, the supplies have migrated away from the wall. After shuffling jars–full ones down lower on shelves, empties up high and off the floor, I thought I’d look in a drawer. To my surprise, I had two 5lb bags of spuds with 6-12″ of growth! I, too, was afraid to use my pressure canner until one morning, I found my husband on the back patio with the canner FULL of water and whistling like an old-time steam engine! Since then, I figured, if it didn’t explode then, I’m probably safe.
Our bonus room(AKA the playroom) is the absolute worst! It is the only upstairs we have. I only go up there when I have too.
Niki Nowell says
To all of you ladies not using your pressure cookers: I’d be happy to take one off your hands. That’s been on my wish list for awhile now. ;)
As for the freezer: Maybe you could let the boys paint it. A group effort painting or maybe even a solid color with a favorite verse or two painted over it. It’s o.k. to have an ugly freezer, but it doesn’t have to stay ugly if you don’t want it to. I’d suggest turning it into a growth chart, but the way kids grow so fast, they’ll be taller than the freezer before you know it. ;)
As for messy spaces, you’re braver than I am. I’m not posting pictures. lol
Well, I’m excited for your messy storage room! I just know it will be super sweet looking when you’re done with it!! Can’t wait to see the ‘after’ and hear how much of a weight off of you it is. :)
Yes, I agree. All that vineagr helps quite bit. I remember back in the 90’s being told to use diatmecous earth. No way! My mother in law did and the grain was really gross(she even put in her oats).
I figured I could easliy store grain, pasta,and popcorn in them. Not sure about oats and sugar. Pickled sugar anyone? Maybe Redmonds salt if I can bring myself to purchase at the prices they want. Thanks, I appreciate your feed back. We’ll be hitting Firehouse on date night this week!
April Smith says
When I got mine to out dog food in, I (think) I soaked it in some heavily diluted bleach and then I thoroughly washed and dried it. Before I added the dog food, I lined it with a garbage bag so my Patterdale wouldn’t be put off by the vinegar odor…worked for us! : )
April Smith says
No idea about older pressure cookers, but I have a pressure canner and adore that sucker. Need to pull it out to can some bacon today in fact. :)
Canning supplies… I have some of those white outer, clear drawer dealies (Sterilite?) from Target. One drawer for all the rings, another smaller drawer for all the lids, another small drawer for pectin and used/washed lids that I then use for dry goods storage (I can’t bring myself to reuse used disposable canning lids like a neighbor of mine, just can’t do it).
Have another set of drawers for my spices. Well, until I had to start bulking that up since we/I cook so much (among other things).
The ‘ugly’ freezer – get yourself some appliance paint (or a can of spray paint if you want to get colorful I suppose) and just slap it on. Could sand off some of the ugly before so it sticks better, but still. My old upright freezer is from like 1984 or some such thing. Works better than the one we got in 2002 that died five years later.
I’ll have to email you photos, I don’t post full photos of the pantry online anymore. ;)
Well, now, not nearly as bad as you made it sound like it would be. ;-)
Our messy spot is our garage. Seems like it is messy again as soon as it is cleaned…
Thanks for sharing the mess with us. That room has so much potential I cannot wait to see what you do with it. Our laundry room/ pantry just is not full anymore since 2 of my 3 boys are older and hardly ever home.
You have inspired me so much to get canning/ preserving and making changes to our diet. Thanks so much.
My whole house is that way we are slowly going through one room
at a time but it just takes for ever. I sure wish You could come
over to my place. I love the way you organize. I am not a very good organizer.
Tammy Fowler says
Everyone has their own level of organization. I was really expecting much worse. I hope you get it get the way you like it. I looking forward to seeing the room on Friday.
Our terribly ugly refrigerator (in the garage) was saved by my little girls and some leftover paint. It now sports a rainbow, flowers, and handprints. Your boys might have a lot of fun decorating yours. :)
Theresa C says
That is a GREAT idea! Cute :)
I added my sewing room. Maybe this will give me a little motivation to clean it up!
before my hubby built storage shelves in my laundry room, it was very scarey. Just a pile of tubs and boxes, really… the room started out with intention of being the CRAFT room, but it turned into the CRAP room. :\ ;) I’m working on purging and reorganizing it, though.
I love it! My storage room often turns into an “enter at your own risk” kind of place, and my sewing room right now…you don’t need to worry about entering at your own risk, since it’s almost impossible to actually enter at all! Life just gets crazy sometimes!
Dr. Laura @ WhoIsLaura.com says
Laura, I expected worse too! I linked up my office desk post, which was my messiest by far so far. Although this next week on my Minimalist Monday post, I’ll be showing my laundry room, which was almost as bad :)
We have an old bus that is our store house because our house has no shelves, closets, etc. to store stuff in and on. I feel more normal seeing your store room.
Oops… posted this on the wrong post, so here it goes again:
Laura, I had an ugly freezer once. I covered it with pretty contact paper. Then it was a pretty freezer. I hated to leave it when we moved. It took me 5 years to get a new freezer after that – just got it two weeks ago. My new one is pretty and white and shiny, but there is a part of me that misses my ivy-covered freezer. Just thought I’d share the idea, because somehow covering an ugly freezer with contact paper seemed like it might be right up your alley! :)
April Smith says
I have to work tomorrow (I’m a substitute teacher !:), so I thought I would go ahead and post my “after”…hope yours lasts longer than mine did!