Thursday, January 28, 2010

elf(a) on the shelf(a)

I have now celebrated 39 New Years, and many of those have started with a long list of resolutions that boil down to me wanting to be skinnier and more organized. I am not by nature an organized person and am not sure why I think that the mind-over-matter of a new year will suddenly change who I am. And it doesn’t, which is why “becoming more organized” ends up on the resolution list year after year. (So does “being skinnier”, but that’s for a different post and a different day)

This year, I saw the error of my ways and did not resolve to become a more organized person. Instead, I resolved to be more deliberate about doing organized things and finding tools that set me up for success, one room at a time. What to tackle first?
The Pantry

Our pantry is under a staircase and actually has a good amount of space. Sadly, the space has not been configured well, so it has been hard to fit everything in – cans stashed everywhere, stuff hidden behind other stuff... It’s one of those projects – maybe you’ve had one like this – where you know you need to do something – take some kind of initiative – but it’s so overwhelming, and you know that it’s going to be a hard process, that it’s just easier to leave it the way it is, even if it is ineffective and frustrating.

But thanks to my resolution and The Container Store’s annual Elfa sale, I was able to take a deep breath and jump into the “redo”. Saturday was EID (Elfa Installation Day), and the first thing we did was take a hammer to the existing shelves. I swear they hung on the wall with all their might – like they were revolting – they did not want to go! But after lots of hammering and prying, we finally got them down. And then the new shelves went in. The difference is astounding! It was like HGTV had come in to the house to do a makeover. We stood back and looked at the new space and had one of those why-did-we-put-this-off-for-so-long kind of moments, where the angels blew their horns, and I swear there was momentary peace on earth.

And because God is good about using everything in my life as an a-ha moment, He quietly whispered to me that he has some Elfa shelving for a few parts of my life that seem to be in a bit of disarray. Areas of my life where change needs to happen, areas that definitely need a “redo”, but just the thought of tackling it, the thought of hammering down those old “shelves” and the parts that are ineffective… well, sometimes it’s just easier to live the way I’ve always lived. But standing back, looking at my new pantry, I knew exactly what He meant. And I told Him to hammer away…


  1. Your new pantry looks great! We have elfa in a couple of closets but we are getting ready to tackle another one before the sale ends.

    Why is it harder to remodel our hearts?

  2. That pantry is BEAUTIFUL!!! Now I'm sure you'll get much better use of the space. Letting God in and tear down those shelves will get you better use of your space too. Hugs!

  3. The pantry is always the hardest to organize. Looks like you did a great job. I am tackling organizing the baby/toddler clothes.
    I hope you have a great weekend.

  4. You are invited....well, guess that is not the way to build the best relationship with your child. I DO need a redo...pantry. But I'll not put that one on you. Actually I just need a new pantry! I need an "elpha"...that's the elephant-size "elfa"...for my clothes closet.

    Yes, and then there are those areas in my life
    ...was talking to the Lord about that this morning. Hope they are not the same areas as in your life, lest I feel guilty for sharing the icky's of my life with my daughters.

    Love you...and can't wait to see your pantry. My question is, "How do you KEEP it that way?" Oh, sorry...I know the answer. Keep Bennie out of the pantry. He is the mess one in your family! :-)
    Love you MUCH...Mom

  5. I loved everything about this I say that about every single thing you write? Sure feels like it!

    The title was very creative, the pictures were inspiring and the message is very challenging. I love those Ah-Ha moments and I get them all the time as well. Seems I can't even dust anything without being taught some kind of lesson......but like you say, if there weren't lessons to be learned, there wouldn't be lessons to be taught.

    Sooooooo, that being said I will join you in asking God to hammer away at old shelves so some new and much needed organization can be done!

    BTW, is that a picture hanging in your pantry? Seriously?? It just makes me love you more!

  6. Love how God shows us things through sometimes simple things! He's great isn't he!

    I love the new shelving! it looks so fresh and clean and organized- Good job!

  7. Whew! That looks awesome- I bet you are kicking yourself for not doing it sooner!!!

    You always find the best examples of God working in your life in the simplest of tasks! I love learning from you!!

    Have a wonderful week!


  8. I haven't been by in a while. Glad to see your blog is doing awesome! Stop by for a giveaway when you have a chance.
    - Cougs

  9. This looks great. I am not naturally organized either. I can mess up any space! LOL

  10. Very well written Christy! I need some re-organization in my life as well. Your blog is evolving at an amazing rate... you are a natural. :)

  11. Great job!!! What an awesome space.