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Identifying the obstacles

Posted by lilydilly (My Page) on
Thu, May 22, 08 at 2:45

Talley Sue used this phrase "identifying the obstacles" in an older post, and I realised that this exactly describes one of the processes I've been trying to do lately. There are some jobs that I put off, avoid, make myself do, while some others I don't even think about and just do happily or automatically.
Eg. For years, cleaning windows has been a job I've claimed to detest, so having built a home with oodles of glass to make the most of a magical view, I decided I had to try to overcome whatever my aversion to window cleaning was. So I thought and thought about it, I asked people about it, and in the end this is what I found.
There is nothing about the actual activity itself that I don't enjoy. And it's not overwhelm by the size of the task, because I still felt the same about it, doing just one window a week/month. And yet I could happily clean both toilets every day. Ok, what was the difference?
I *know* exactly how to clean my loos, I have the tool I like, the product I like, I have it on hand, and I don't have to even think about the process.
With glass, I was never really sure *how* I should do it? What's the best method, the best product, the best tool...too many choices, and I ended up doing something different every time... newspaper and vinegar, then my friends would recommend a squeegee with windex, someone else said a chamois worked best... Even before I started, I was bothered, uncertain, kind of dithering about in my mind, and i never felt like I had a "handle" on how I could do it.
So, I spent a day doing research on the internet, on professional window cleaner's forums and sites, and found out what they used, and how they did it. Amazingly they all recommended the same thing. Then I got myself a bucket with the tools and spray bottle and rags they all recommended, ready to go. Simple. Now when I grab that bucket, I just clean a window without that sinking feeling. There might be another method that even works better, but I don't care, because I have mine, now. In that case the obstacle was that I couldn't get my mind settled on a method.

Next thing I avoid? cleaning the lint filter in the dryer. Now that's a 5 second no-brainer and the trash bin is right next to the dryer. What was the problem? Ok, whenever I clean the lint filter, some dust gets out and I like to dust around the dryer itself, and the doors and seals. Easy....the swiffer dust rags are right there in the cupboard below. Oh, but on top of the dryer I keep the drying rack that came with it, for if ever I want to dry sneakers in the dryer, and whenever it gets bumped, it falls down, and whenever I dust the dryer I have to be careful not to bump this stupid thing, because it's an awkward thing.
AHA...obstacle found. I moved the dryer rack, (I've never actually used it, so why have I even kept it?) and suddenly it's no problem to clean the lint filter.

Ok, is this making sense at all to anyone, or do I need my brain re-wired? I've decided to kind of work backwards through the process, till I "identify the obstacle".
Some things are so simple, like discovering I didn't avoid vacuuming, once I made the vacuum cleaner easily accessible. Others are more complex, like working out why I wasn't enjoying grocery shopping. I worked back through that one, until I found it was the state of the fridge at home that affected the mood I shopped in. It wasn't the shopping itself, it was the thought of bringing "new" groceries home to put in a fridge with milk rings, crumbs and floating snow peas. I don't have a problem with cleaning fridges, so I simply do it before I go to town, and I honestly look forward to shopping for groceries now. Obstacle: not the grocery shopping, but having a clean landing zone for them.
Here are some I have yet to solve.
I don't like under my sink. I know the obstacle is all the gear that has to be under there.... plumbing, garbage disposal, water filter, electrical outlets, retractable tap tube. It looks ugly so I avoid cleaning under there, because even when I do, it still all looks ugly. I've found the obstacle, but not the solution...yet.

I just think it'd be wonderful to have a home where I simply move through it, loving every corner, caring for it all happily, and not baulking at anything. So by going backwards through the process of tasks I don't enjoy, I'm hoping I can come up against the thing that makes me "balk", and find a way to eliminate it.
Anyone relate to this? AAAgghhh. please don't let me think I'm the only one who finds great satisfaction in solving where to put the potato peeler. I mean, my kids would just look at me and say, "Mum, this is *lint" we're talking about, is it? l.i.n.t, Mum, not world peace".
Well, maybe world peace begins with lint (LOL), if I could just go back through the process. Aaagggh. Maybe I need to get out more.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Identifying the obstacles

I think your thought process here is excellent. There are definitely different obstacles for each chore. I used to *hate* unloading the dishwasher and would put it off all day until I had a sink full of dirty dishes and dinner had to be made. Then it was even more of a chore. I'd read Julie Morganstern's Organizing from the Inside Out and she recommended timing chores to put them in perspective. Boy, was I shocked when I learned it took me less than four minutes to unload that dishwasher. Now I do it first thing in the morning while I'm waiting for the coffee to be done and it's out of the way like magic.

I hate cleaning the wood floor in my kitchen and I think the reason is the same as your windows - I don't have a clue how to do it properly. Now I have a new way to think about this and will do a little research.

Great post, very helpful way to think about household chores.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Now I just need to find what obstacle's stopping me from writing nice brief succinct posts instead of thousand word essays LOL.
But I talk too much in real life too! Hmmm another area to apply de-cluttering principles to?
I'm so glad you understood just what I meant, Sheriz.
And I think I just solved another one. I'm on an obstacle hunt! Tonight, getting ready for bed, I noticed how dusty our bookshelf type bedhead is, and it's often dusty because that is another little thing I find a pain to do, even though I hate it being dusty.
So I decided to work backwards to find what was wrong.
Ok, I really love the bedhead, and there is no clutter on it. No problem there.
I even enjoy wiping the surface because I love the feel and grain of the wood, and it comes clean really easily. So, I kept thinking the process backwards.
It's a king size bed, so to dust it, I have to climb onto the bed and kneel on the pillows to reach the middle bits.
AHA... I found it. Every time I dust,I have to muck up a perfectly tidy bed, and leave knee dents in my nicely fluffed pillows, and it annoys me, and makes a double chore out of a simple one.
Solution? DH built the bedhead with sliding panels that hide all our books, cd's and beddy-bye stuff, instead of bedside tables. So I've decided to tuck a pack of swiffer cloths in there out of sight, and now I'm going to give it a quick dust *before* I get out of bed in the a.m, or even after I'm in there at night, while the bed is already mucked up. Sigh.. that is so satisfying.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Obstacles. That's a good word for it.

It took me a long time to figure it out, but I realized one day that the reason I dreaded doing dishes was because my back started to hurt after a while in front of the sink. Why did it hurt? I had to lean forward to hold each dish under the water. After all that leaning ... my back was killing me. When I told my husband why I thought we needed a new, LONGER kitchen faucet, he agreed that it was worthwhile, to keep my back from hurting. And now, I don't dread washing dishes. There actually was a reason for the procrastination, and I just didn't realize what it was.

After I tackled that obstacle, I realized that I procrastinated about was PUTTING AWAY the dishes. Once a dishwasher full of dishes was done, I'd leave them in there, and dirty dishes would pile next to the sink. One day, after reading Judy Morganstern's book, I decided to time myself. It only took a couple of minutes to put away an entire dishwasher full of dishes. What a big baby I was! I don't procrastinate any more with putting away clean dishes. As I begin, I remind myself that it will only take a couple of minutes. And now I begin automatically, without whining about it!

I have never procrastinated about washing the clothes, but for some reason, I procrastinate about folding them and putting them away. Actually, I know exactly what that reason is. My husband and I each have a ridiculously tiny closet in our bedroom. We each have a dresser. It is difficult to smash all the clothes into the closets, and the dressers don't seem large enough either.

Someday, we will remodel, knocking down the wall into a small room, and have one BIG closet. Big enough for us, anyway. But in the meantime, I tell myself that it's just going to be more difficult than it needs to be, and to just live with it. LOL! I am not always able to motivate myself.

The side room we'll be busting into is where I hang-dry clothes. I strung a rope from one wall to the other. This small side room tends to be full of clutter. I have cleared out most of the clutter. It is getting more pleasant to stand in front of the ironing board and fold clothing. Folding on the bed makes my back hurt. That's why I got the ironing board. It is tall enough that I don't bend when I fold.

Oh, and why is the laundry drying in that room? Why is the ironing board in there? Because the laundry room / mud room upgrade has not been finished yet. I was painting it last summer, and now it is spring, and it's not quite finished. We can't install the cabinets and coat hooks until I finish painting.

I have all sorts of excuses why I haven't finished painting yet. My biggest excuse was my dog, who was always very sick, and kept us up during the night. She's dead now, and the figurative dust has started to settle. I'm starting to get better sleep, and feel more like a real human again. So I'm going to pick a day and order pizza and just FINISH the painting!

But first, we are going up north for the holiday. "But first..." It's always something. One day, I'm going to feel strong enough to do it! Someday soon, I hope.

Anyway, I agree. It's all about identifying the obstacles, and then removing them. Then you don't have to work so hard to get things done. It shouldn't have to be difficult.

You're not the only one, Lily. I struggle with all these silly details, too.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

I just popped back in here to get some inspiration, and thought I'd weigh in here. I think this is all part of the process of working *with* yourself, rather than against yourself. I've always found that the best way to get organized, no matter what it is, is to deconstruct the whole task, figure out what's holding me up, and then figure out how to make it work better with my own natural inclinations. I'm a "less steps" kinda girl, so I try to organize my space so that everything is confined to the area that makes the most sense for that "thing". I know I won't take compostable items generated in the bathroom all the way to the kitchen, so there has to be a compost collection point *in the bathroom* as well as the kitchen. I sort the mail on the kitchen counter, and that's where the bill organizer is, because I know I won't take it all the way back to the office when I bring it in after work. It's all about making your routines and your space work *for you*, and I think that your finding the obstacles and banishing them fits nicely into that philosophy. :-)

Good luck finding and breaking through those obstacles in your routines!

RE: Identifying the obstacles

OK, this is funny.

I saw the title of your post and thought, "wow, Lilydilly has such great observations, and a real way to turn a phrase. I bet she's got something really great to say; this is going to be a really useful insight."

And you're quoting me.

But you DO have great insight here. Please, PLEASE, don't "declutter" you posts!

I think you've taken that phrase to a different place--certainly given it an emphasis, and an oomph, that really should make it one of our mantras here.

I'm in awe of the thought processes you've used, and i'm going to try to remember them when next I get time to actually *think* about my home.

Here's my biggie, right now: folding clothes & putting them away.

DH does the laundry, a lot at a time (there are two washers in the apt. bldg basement, so he does at least 2 at once).

I have some of the same obstacles as MaryLiz: too-small places to put them, so it's not satisfying.

It also feels overwhelming, and isolating (since I fold on our bed in the bedroom). Even when DH is in the bedroom (bcs he's on the computer), it feels like I'm squirreled way.

If I fold in the DR, I'm a little more likely to enjoy the process.

And then there's the annoyance and resentment bcs DH won't treat my work shirts right. (I wear knit shirts, and he thinks of them as just "t-shirts" instead of "dress shirts') I *want* him to hang them on a hanger. I squalled enough that he doesn't bury them at the bottom of the clothes basket, but they still get wrinkled when he drapes them over the dresser. I don't like that emotion, so I try to avoid the whole thing.

Lilydilly, you aren't the only one who enjoys figuring out the best way to store the potato peeler, etc. I figure, there's not much I *can* do for world peace, so I try to create peace in whatever places I can.

MaryLiz, your "trek" from the folding of clothes through the painting of the mudroom reminds me of my trek to clear away something in my bedroom, that made me think of those sliding-tile puzzles, where you have to move one tile out of the way before you can move another tile into the right spot.

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i used to be really good at those puzzles; 11 seconds! The secret was to reorder them, OUT of order, and then march them backwards into position. I felt like my home was that way: to clear the dresser, I had to move something off the closet shelf; to clear the closet shelf, I had to move something out of the china cabinet; etc.; until I had crossed the apartment twice!

Here is a link that might be useful: the

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Ah, Yes, this is absolutely the best way to tackle organizing. I learned this when I had the opportunity to design a kitchen that finally worked for me. I found that starting with what Didn't Work or ''identifying the obstacles'' was the best way for me approach the problem, in learning how to Fix it. At the time it was a new exercise that I've since put into practice over and and over. It's much easier now, and I actually enjoy the process of making things work. Congratulations of figuring out how to do this for yourself!

RE: Identifying the obstacles

LOL Talley Sue, that *is* funny. But when I first read that phrase, it really helped to define my thoughts ....maybe infrastructure for the mind? See, I have been paying attention to all your posts.:)
claire di luna, when we built our new house recently, I designed the kitchen just for me, too. For weeks afterwards, I'd get into bed and say to DH, "The kitchen *works*, did I tell you that our kitchen works?!"
After years of saying I didn't enjoy cooking at all, I've found that it's a real pleasure again, and cleaning and tidying the kitchen is something I even look forward to doing. It's not flash or fancy, it's actually very plain and functional, but oh joy, it works for me!
It's become a standard family joke now, when the kids see me in the kitchen, that "Mum isn't cleaning. She's just petting and stroking her bench tops again". DH claims he has fantasies about being an island bench (LOL).
I'm so glad I found this forum. It's like those kid's stories of baby animals going around saying, "What am I?", or "Am I the only one in the world who's tail curls up?"
I feel like I've finally found my species. (aaahh...sighs with relief.)

RE: Identifying the obstacles

This is a wonderful thread. You all have so many good insights. I can identify with procrastinating about folding clothes. My problem was two fold. Leaning over the bed made my back ache, so I moved to the kitchen table. The problem was only half solved. I still hated the job because it involved so many different movements. Sorting the clothes first into little piles of bath towels, hand towels, washcloths and underwear did the trick because I could fold in one manner and then move onto another instead of changing movements so much. Sorting first seemed to speed up the process too. I hate unloading the dishwasher because water stands on top of some cups and mugs. I have to dry them before I can store them. I can't seem to solve this one, but I did find out why I put off sewing. I love to sew, but I didn't want to because cutting out the material was a real headache. I invested in a good cutting board and cutting tool and now I sew often. Now why don't I want to vacuum the car?

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Yes, a wonderful thread. Lilydilly, please don't shorten your posts!

lexi, I empty the bottom of my dishwasher first, then I pull out the top rack. (This avoids any drips on the bottom dishes.) I pick up the dish towel and mop up any standing water before I pick up a single cup. This seems to go a lot quicker than drying the individual items.

Now, if you ever figure out a way to make car vacuuming a pleasure, please let us know!

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Me too on the car vacuuming. This is an amazing forum because that was the very chore I was going to ask about next. Let's have a group "think tank" on this one.
Lexi, this might not be relevant to you, but if they are just some items that hold the water would it be worth simply getting rid of them for some with flat bottoms? I say this, because for years I put up with coffee mugs with fluted bases that held the water. They weren't expensive and I didn't love them, so I gave them away, and bought flat bottomed ones. But there are still bits of drips that annoy me too, and Liz, I just never thought of wiping things over in there *before* unloading. Thanks for that one.
Ok, I'm analysing the car one...thinking........ thinking.....................

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Vacuuming the car...I like our vacuum cleaner and it works well, so that is eliminated from the jump.
Our car is handy to the back door and laundry, so it's convenient to just step out there and do it. Not that then.
Ok, the lead is long enough to plug it in and do the car where it is without an extension lead, which I had to use in our previous house and found a bit of a pain. I don't have to do that here so it's not that.
Ummmm, the vacuum is a bit awkward, and I have to lug it out to the car, and it doesn't glide well on the concrete.? I have to lift it over the back door slider? Nah.. not a problem. It really only takes 10 seconds and it's not heavy. If DH called out and asked me to bring it to him in his shed, I wouldn't think twice about it. But if he suggested I then vacuum the car, I'd start cringing inside. So it's something about the car.

Keep thinking...
First step to vacuuming is I take the mats out to shake them and vacuum them. I *detest* our car mats.
That is IT! Sorry, I know I shouldn't shout in capitals, but that is a glee shout. I really really do not like our car mats.
As our boys have upgraded their own cars, DH always rescues their old mats. Nothing wrong with them, except they don't fit in our car properly, the corners curl up, they are too small, so he uses 3 overlapping ones in the back seat area, rather than one long fitted one. They are cheap and nasty, and one is split along the edges, and they don't match.
We have a good quality vehicle with these pathetic mats.
They annoy me whenever I get in the car, because they look ....annoying. And I get annoyed because DH keeps saying he'll get proper ones, and yet he can't bear to waste our boys' cast offs, so I'm also annoyed at DH as well as the mats, because we can afford decent mats...and vacuuming brings all that annoyance to the surface.
So every time I think of vacuuming the car I get that grumpy slumpy feeling come over me and without stopping to analyse why, I'd simply put the job off again.
Ok, a solution: the car is usually DH's territory, simply because he's the fix-it mechanically minded one, and that's his "man" thing. So I've left the mats to him too. But I use the car the most, and even though he vacuums it out when it gets to him, I'm far fussier than he is, and it bugs me that I avoid vacuuming it.

Solution. It is DH's birthday in a few weeks....we rarely give each other gifts by mutual agreement, because we'd rather do something uncluttery together. But guess what folks? DH is getting some nice new car mats.. the ones that are manufactured to fit our car, and he can't object if they're a gift.... well, he might, but we'll at least have them, won't we?
Actually, I know exactly what to do. I'll still buy them, but I'll give them to our 2 little grandaughters to give to him for his birthday, kind of from them. He will think they're the most adorable mats in the world then. Oh, I'm so subtle, I'm obvious.
Thanks people. I've solved mine.
Now let's hear yours.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Well That Problem is solved! And it looks like lilydilly is getting Two for One!

This reminds me that (instead of car mats) I was tired of getting lost, so I got my dh a Garmin Nuvi for Christmas. Turns out he loves that thing, and the fact that it works for both of us doesn't hurt.

It all started for me with the laundry. When I was designing it, I realized I didn't have a place to actually put the dirty laundry as our bedrooms are on the small side with even smaller closets. When I finally decided to sort the laundry as we toss it into the hamper, Eureka! The worst laundry job for me was solved. (Sorting the mountains of clothes that ended up in the basement from going down the laundry chute was my most horrible chore...delegated to the dungeon that the basement was.) That was my lightbulb moment, and the idea that I could actually make something work for me was...well...empowering!

I don't have that problem vacuuming the car, but I like my car mats! Admittedly, they do work best when they fit the car.

I did find I was tired of trying to find cleaning products under the sink(s), so I put a wire shelving unit in the attic stairwell where it's so much easier to put my hands on what I need. Under the sink I got baskets that held just a few ''like'' items like dishsoap, dishwasher detergent and Jet Dry. Another basket holds dishtowels/dishrags. That made it much easier to find what I needed and I don't have a lot of stuff under the sink that amounts to clutter. The ''under sink mess'' used to drive me NUTS, but no longer.

Sometimes simplifying takes more than one crack at figuring out what works, but when you finally do it's a beautiful thing!

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Oh Claire de luna, you have just diagnosed my one and only kitchen sore spot. It is suffering from "under sink ness" !!
How do I get rid of that "under sink ness" in my kitchen. It is just an ugly jumble of hardward and plumbing that has to stay there.
I threatened to spray paint it all fleuro irridescent purple once, and turn it into an abstract sculpture under there, but nah, I don't think so.
It's like a mess of intestines or something.
I can't really cover it without reducing the space, and I do like having my root vegies, my cutting board and ........
This is madness. Even as I wrote "cutting board", I wondered why I *have* to have it under there. Well, it came with the sink didn't it, so of course I *had* to store it under the sink. Now I have a perfectly good little space in a cupboard next to the sink with a few trays and other cutting boards in it, and I have never, in 2 years thought to put this "sink" one in there. It fits into the sink space with a vegie holder drainer thingie, and I use it at least 3 times a day, so my mind just got stuck on it being under the sink.
Ok, that's one less thing under there.
I have hung as much as I can on hooks on the cupboard wall, and I use the pipes and wires and gear to kind of hold things like the Gladwrap roll and the paper bags etc. Just poke them in there, and it grips them like some under -sink pipe monster. The monster intestines are in there, so I figure they may as well serve some storage purpose, but oh it's an eyesore.
I've thought of just putting things under there that I rarely use, so I rarely have to open it. But it is in such a handy position to sink, dishwasher etc... kind of central real estate, so it's best use is for often used things.
I just need to beautify it somehow.

RE: Identifying the obstacles


if you use that sink cutting board at least three times a day, why would you need to store it? I would just stand it against the backsplash.

If it was that annoying to look at, I´d cover it all up, even if that would reduce the available space. Worst case scenario, I´d keep there only the things I need to grab while standing in front of the sink.

Another idea that would obstruct a little the view, is a shallow L shaped (back and bottom) shelf at the top and front of the cabinet - can you picture that?


RE: Identifying the obstacles

*raises hand* Put me in the club of "enjoys identifying the obstacles". It's definitely a much longer-term "fix" than trying to force yourself to do something (granted, there times when "just do it" is appropriate, LOL).

When we were planning our kitchen remodel, I - like a couple of others upthread - spent a long time thinking about how we use the kitchen, where it makes sense to store things, etc. My husband just rolled his eyes, but has since admitted that he really likes how the kitchen works. (In fact, one rainy Saturday he said "Hey, there are these two cupboards that I think we should switch the contents of, because I'm always reaching for xyz." So we spent an afternoon together tweaking the kitchen setup. Ahh, true love. But I digress.)

Maryliz (and TallySue), you just caused a lightbulb moment for me. I, too, struggle with getting the laundry put away - it gets washed, dried, and folded/on hangers, but then it's a struggle to put it away. Well, wouldn't you know, my husband's dresser is his from childhood and it in no way accomodates his current clothing. He refuses to get a new one because he's "building us a custom closet" (rods for hanging and drawers for hanging)... That's been unfinished for almost three years now; the old fixtures got pulled out, and then he just kind of ... stopped. So our hanging clothes are jammed together on a "temporary" portable rack (our third, since we've already worn out two), his dresser literally can't contain all of his clothes if they're all clean at once (I do laundry once a week, since it's only two of us), and I apparently have a lot of built-up resentment about the whole situation (ha ha). Now to figure out how to solve it...

Anyway, I changed jobs about three months ago, and one of my new responsibilities is to be (peripherally) involved with as many processes/procedures as possible and make suggestions for ways to streamline them. Someone is paying me to do this! Bliss! :)

RE: Identifying the obstacles

I hate unloading the dishwasher because water stands on top of some cups and mugs. I have to dry them before I can store them.

I have an idea for yoU!

Here's what I do.
-I grab the towel BEFORE I open the dishwasher.
-Then, I pat the tops of each mug, etc., that has a puddle of water (these tend to be on the top rack) and mop up the standing water. (If I have to pull out the top rack, I do it slowly, so I don't slop the water down the sides, and I do NOT pull out the bottom rack first)
-Then, I unload the bottom rack.
-Then, I unload the top racks, and the bottoms of the mugs are pretty much dry for evaporation. if they're not completely dry, screw it, I put them away damp. They can finish evaporating in the cupboard.

the car is usually DH's territory, simply because he's the fix-it mechanically minded one, and that's his "man" thing.

a thought: think of it like the house, Maybe the *furnace* is a "fix-it, 'man'" thing, but the living room rug isn't, nor is the vacuuming. Divide the car up that way. He's in charge of the mechanics; you're in charge of cleanliness and decor. Just throw those old mats and buy new ones pronto.

Lilydilly, I thought when I saw your comment about the undersink pipes you hate so much, whether you'd thought about making something that just blocks them from view.

(If you've gotten to read post of my going back far enough, you know I leap to solve everything w/ fabric or wood stuff you make yourself.)

What if you made a false back for your sink cabinet (paint it, of course, maybe even a fun color), and set it in front of the pipes? You could make it oddly shaped to sort of wrap around whatever's there.

OK, maybe you'd have to completely empty the stuff out from under the sink if you ever needed to get into the "guts" there. That might be a pain, esp. if it happens w/ any regularity.

If you were *really* creative, you could make it in sections, so you could take out the one section that covers the cut-off valves, or the Insta-Hot settings, without emptying the sink.

Of course, you won't see drips as readily, but honestly, w/ the stuff in there, would you see drips anyway? You might be better off getting a leak alarm, like they have for hot-water heaters.

If it's wood, you could install hooks or plastic-wrap racks on the false wall. (to install the false wall, install "cleats" on sides and bottom, and put Velcro or steel on them, then Velcro or magnets on the back of the false wall)

Another drawback to my wonderful idea: the coverup would take up some space itself. If you're wedging tons of stuff in there, that could be a problem.

Another solution: install a full-size shelf across the bottom of the cabinet just below the bottom-most pipe. Get a pullout or drawer (or two, one behind each cabinet door) to go under the shelf ( w/ *full-extension* slides. Then you can put small stuff in the drawer, and bottles or jugs on top of it.

(can you paint water pipes, etc.? Maybe not the insta-hot, but...

I love to hang stuff (like that cutting board) on the back of the sink-cabinet door. But if that cabinet you moved it to is so close to the sink, I bet that works well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leak Alarm

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Well...personally, I try not to open the sink cabinet much. Since my baskets holding the supplies are at the front and the bottles are tall, I don't actually see the plumbing. I think lilydilly, like Maria suggests, you find another spot for some of those other things like the cutting board. If you need to keep your wraps under there, try putting them in a cardboard soda bottle container (near the front standing upright) and only ''see'' those things you really use/need. The baskets my supplies are in are all the same color, so it looks organized. The under-sink ''mess'' is confined to the back so it's not up-close and personal. I think the plumbing issues are why so many people keep their trash under the sink!

embees, I hope you can get a rod put back in your closet, and pronto! That seems like it would solve your whole problem right there, especially if you utilize all the space and layer the bars. Good luck with solving your laundry dilemma. Since you do the laundry, you might need to have a frank discussion (with your SO) about how this weekly chore could be made much easier. Often, the people who don't actually do the (house) work don't realize the struggle until it slaps them directly in the face! I say this remembering the time my dh wanted to save money by deciding to strip the paint in the shower (yes, it was in the shower, please don't ask!) yet it was I who ended up doing the stripping. When I finally handed the job off to him because I couldn't stand it any more, after 20 minutes he came to me and hanging his head in shame said, ''Honey, I'm sorry. I didn't Know; this is horrible.'' We called the professionals to help us out and were happy to pay the price! This might just be one of those times when affecting a cure would be worth a little $ from your pocket.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Thanks everyone. My under-sink-ness is being dealt with. (If Scotland can have her Loch Ness monster, I can have my under-sink-ness monster).
But ... I got half way through my battle with it, when DH thought he'd be helpful. After first getting me to agree with him that yes, I am a little bonkers to be wanting to do under-sink interior decorating, he proceeded to get down in there with his screw driver, and his torch and his trusty all-purpose-macho-tool-pocket knife. AFter much grunting and busy-man noises, he emerged to tell me he'd made it look better. Apparently he'd turned all the clamps around so the screws weren't at the front. Well, I am grateful of course,(!?) but then he suggested that he could lift the water filter tanks a half inch so I could fit a plastic container in. This I was genuinely pleased with. However, in all the procedure, he managed to snap off a filter line, and leak water all through the cupboard and himself. This gadget requires a special T shaped fitting in a certain size and we have just been to every plumbing and hardward shop in town, but they don't stock them. DH *thinks* he may have one somewhere on his water-truck (don't ask!), but now he thinks he should change the pipes in there anyway to a larger size so .....
Well, I'm actually going to try to post pictures of my under-sink-Ness when it's done, just to celebrate.
Thanks everyone for the ideas.
Maria, trouble is, I don't have a splash back. The sink is in an island bench which is open to the rest of the house, so I like to keep it totally clutter free, too. Otherwise...yes.
Claire, yes, reducing the visual clutter is just what I'm going to try to do, and I have shuffled other stuff around and taken stuff out that doesn't have to be under there, just because there was space.
Talley Sue, It is kind of awkward to do much with blocking it out, so I'm going to go with your fabric suggestion. DH wants to access this easily because it is a sort of "hub" for lots of gear.
I guess I should just be grateful it is all in this one cupboard. Some of this stuff would normally be in a wall cavity, but being an island bench, it all had to go in a cupboard.
But I am taming it... well, after DH fixes what he broke, poor man. You'd have thought there really was a monster under there from all the cussing and growling when the pipe snapped!

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Done!!! Oh, I wish I knew how to send photos. It looks so great under the sink now that I almost want to move in! The strange part is that I have actually got more things in there now, but it looks like I have much less. I even have a big rubbermaid type of container, which acts as a shelf, but it's empty and I have *nothing* whatever to put in it. I hung white tea towels along the back wall, over all the pipes and junk, then draped another one around the tanks and gear.. hard to explain, but they just kind of disappear into the background now.
Also put a stainless steel mesh bin in there for root vegies etc,. It was actually an office container, but looks very sleek and neat as a vegie holder.
Well, I'll stop raving. I keep sneaking out to the kitchen, and opening the cupboard, just to be amazed all over again.
Thanks again for all the input.
I'll just pop back out now and do something in the kitchen... hehehe. The under-sink monster is now a smiling kitty.
Oh, and DH did find whatever he needed to fix the thingummy. :)

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Yay! Now you can enjoy the holiday weekend when you open that sink door to retrieve your root vegetables...while you make that helpful man something nice for his trouble! Congratulations to you.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Great advice here. I can add: 1. Keep what works for you. I clean my cats litter box every day,that works to keep the house smelling okay,so I keep that habit.And 2. Do It Now. This morning i felt very sleepy and groggy. but I swept the kitchen floor and went over it with a Swiffer wetJet, I fed the cats, brought in the mail. emptied the kitchen wastebasket and cleaned the litter box. Then I sat down and ate breakfast.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

Jannie, Do It Now, really works for me when I do it LOL. It does act a bit like that little Jimminy Cricket type of conscience...sitting on my shoulder and whispering in my ear, "Do it Now". Sometimes I've had to turn around, go back into a room and pick up, or do the thing I'd deliberately ignored, just because of that little whisper.

RE: Identifying the obstacles

I'm having so much fun with this thread! Great ideas and inspiration, everyone!

As for vacuuming my mini-van, I tend to procrastinate with that one, too. Even though our vacuum cleaner is very good, and has many attachments, I guess I just hate being on my knees. My knees have taken a beating over the years. So perhaps I will just use that foam pad that you're supposed to kneel on while gardening. And I'll wear hubby's earmuffs with the radio built in. They will block the noise of the vacuum and entertain me at the same time. I'll change into "garage clothes." Maybe it'll become an automatic routine after a while!

I also have an additional tool, which I have been using, without protest: my FlyLady "rubba scrubba," which is a rubbery brush which takes dog fur off upholstery like magic. I love to find ways to use that one around the house.

As for under the kitchen sink, I found a simple cardboard box that would fit. I folded down the flaps to make it more stable. It keeps the pared-down collection of bottles and boxes from sliding to the back of the cabinet. There is just enough room on top to act as a shelf for the new, unused sponges & rubber gloves. I attached some holders on the cabinet door. I wedge the cuffs of the gloves into the slits of the holders. I got the holders so the rubber gloves can dry between uses. No excuse NOT to wear those gloves. I keep them clean and dry. I couldn't force myself to use them when they were still wet and icky from the last use.

By the way, that was one more thing that made me procrastinate about washing the dishes: my hands were getting terribly dry and cracked and feeling like snaggy VELCRO!. So I bought several different types of rubber gloves, to figure out my favorite kind. I still don't have a favorite rubber glove, but I do wear them to keep my hands nice and smooth.

I think it takes some thought to find a way to make the task more enjoyable. If you can find a way to make it fun, it'll get done!

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