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11 Week Challenge: week #2 plastic attack

Plastics. You have them. I have them. These are those little plastic containers we buy at Kroger for storage, butter crocks that have been emptied then held on to for leftovers, plastic cups that you have either purchased for small children or been given at random events as marketing stash. I have a couple of friends with these collections who have large custom kitchens and the perfect storage solutions. And, then, there are the rest of us. When I say "the rest of us", I mean pretty much most people whose homes I go in to, be it friend, family or client. These little gems are the featured items on today's challenge menu. 

If you did Monday's challenge, I would say there is a very good chance you have a pile of these sitting right now on your kitchen table or in a pile on your counter, waiting for me to wave my magic wand and make them go away. Well, the only person weilding a wand today is you my friend. And, I am giving you the spell to make this happen. It's simple, really and I'll even given you the steps.

1. Go through every one of those pesky plastic dishes and match them up with their lids. Set aside.

2. Remember Monday when I encouraged you to get boxes or bins (garbage bags, even) and label them keep, discard, recycle or donate? Yep, we are going to do that with the plastic dishes that do not have lids. When doing this exercise, I have two words for you:  BE BRUTAL. If you have 10 old Country Crock dishes with no lids, I want those bad boys put ASAP into the recycling or trash bin. No ifs, ands or buts. EVERYTHING MUST GO. 

3. Now, do the same thing with your plastic cups. Well, sort of. Go through all of those water bottles and giveaway cups. Any that should have lids but do not, consider (strongly consider), removing from your world. Any of those little giveaway cups, feel free to keep, but stack them together. Now, if you have small plastic children's cups, again, you can keep them, but they need to go together. With that said, if you no longer have little ones and do not regularly have small children in your home, do yourself a favor, and just release the darn things. (I'll tell you a secret...for a thousand years, children were able to manage their drinks in containers not made of plastic and that did not have cartoon characters on them.  Shocking, but true!)

4. At this point, you have sorted and should have what is remaining. (I hope you remembered to go through that stash from Monday that is piled either on the counter or table or some other random place). At this point, we will store them. My storage secret is not some elaborate or expensive method.  In fact, I am guessing I spent about $3.00 on the entire thing. Plastic tubs. You know, the kind you bring home from the hospital, except these didn't come from the hospital.  They came from the Dollar Tree or the Dollar General.

We have all of our plastic containers in one large bin and the lids go into the drawer above it. This may not work for you. You may need two bins, one for containers and one for lids.  The same is true for the drink cups. 2 bins, 1 cabinet. It's so crazy simple.

So....what's the problem? Friend, I have been with folks who had 100 of these types of containers. They lived in fear that they may one day need one of these items, so to release it to its next life, was out of the question. This is what we are working with in this challenge. It's not just what we have, but how did we get here and now how do we get out? You may have a counter full of these items, a kitchen full even. You may only have 10. Your eyes may gloss over and you don't "see" them in their glory, spilling out of cabinets or littering your countertops, but they are there.

Today, I am giving you PERMISSION to allow these items to find a new home and I implore you to not replace them. If you find that you simply MUST keep every Country Crock margarine dish, then I suggest you move to box margarine (butter is better for you unless you are vegan) which uses materials that really can be easily thrown away or recycled.

I gave you the steps, now I want you to get moving, take this challenge and please please please send before and after photos! I cannot tell you how much better you will feel if you release yourself from the slavery of these items. Yes, slavery. When you have these items you become a slave to them. I truly believe this just as I believe that less is almost always more.

Below are the images of our plastics storage. It is maybe not Pinterest worthy, but it works for us, it's simple, it's inexpensive. And.....this is the MORE IMPORTANT OF ALL - we are able to maintain it! You can have all of the beautiful systems in the world but if they are not easily maintained by you and the members of your household, they are completely useless.  #functionoverform works in many cases.  This is one! 

Happy organizing!

Please hop onto my FB page or join my Clearing group for more dialogue today.


From top: (top) cup and water bottle storage bins, (middle left) random dishes being sorted, (middle right) plastic container storage bin, (bottom left) plastic container for containers neatly placed in cabinet, notice right side there are three larger items that do not fit and are stored vertically in cabinet, (bottom right) top down capture of cups, notice koozies on table - there were "released" to a new home!  


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