Christmas Motivated Decluttering

I shared earlier about the fun I had with the jcpenney Secret Santa project.  When we were asked to provide gift suggestions for our Secret Santas, I headed over to the website, and immediately fell in love with a set of stainless cookware that I ended up getting.

Part of what made me love it was the fact that there were so . . . many . . . pieces.  I might only actually need a few new skillets . . . but if I could get three more things plus the lids plus some utensils . . . why not?!?!?!

And yes . . . that kind of thinking is one of my problems.

Since I knew I had gone a little overboard, I decided that I should try to regain some sanity and do things right.  Which means following the one-in-one-out rule.

If I said that my goal was to get rid of peeling skillets . . . I needed to get rid of them before shoving my new pans into the cabinet.  And once I thought about that cabinet, I realized that my mindless pan-shoving had been quite noisy lately.  I decluttered my posts and pans over a year ago, and even without a fancy pan-organizing system, that cabinet had stayed quite functional for a long time.  I’m always amazed at how not having too much stuff . . . keeps a space functional.

Anyway, though I could easily adjust to stepping over the pans spread out on the dining room floor, this Mama needed to follow her own advice.  Y’know, since I’ve been preaching the necessity of putting gifts away all week.

First, I got down on the floor.  On the floor where I could actually see inside the cabinets.

Where I could see what was causing all the noise.

I started pulling things out.  I found pie plates and cookie sheets (all of which have an assigned storage place on the other side of the kitchen!), and lids for things that are stored other places as well!

Multiple partially-used boxes of foil and ziploc bags and such were strewn about.  Moving them to their designated spot one cabinet door over . . . took all of three minutes.

And I also found . . .

Knives.  More than one.  Not sure how those ended up in the abyss . . .

A few minutes later, after removing the stuff that was never supposed to be there anyway, and doing some not-just-by-braille re-arranging, I had plenty of room for my new pots and pans.

Especially since I threw away the skillet that should have been thrown away long ago.

And also because I accepted that I didn’t actually need all of the pots and pans that came in the HUGE set!  I’m still deciding what to do with the brand-new-but-I’m-not-keeping-them ones.

And here’s my after:

It’s amazing what a little re-arranging and cleaning out will do.

And yes, I do now see the nasty stain on the bottom left.  Somehow . . . it escaped my real life vision.  Thank goodness for slob-blogging.

Oh, and if you were paying close attention, it’s actually three-in-one-out.  Math isn’t really my thing.  Hubby and I are still debating whether another skillet (his fave) needs to go.

Sorry, no webisode this week.  I feel like I’m doing good to get anything posted at all during these gloriously unscheduled days!

I’ll be linking this up to 52 Weeks of Organizing over at


  1. Alana in Canada says:

    Well done on that organizing! Good thing you found the knives. Ouch.

  2. I got new pots and pans 2 years ago for Christmas…I got rid of all my other ones for just this reason. I struggle with that one in one out rule so for some things it has to be a total swap out the old for the new! Of course I got a bunch of stemless wine glasses this year and haven’t gotten rid of a single other wine glass!

  3. Whenever I find random silverware or dishes where they don’t go I blame one of two people – my husband if it’s in a cabinet of any kind and my 18 mo old daughter if it’s on the floor somewhere – she loves to open the dishwasher and “help put away” dishes. Not so helpful but eh, she’ll learn. Great job!

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