Five Degrees of Clutter.
It’s a phenomenon spreading through homes across the world! It starts out with that one pile on the kitchen counter top. It’s just one pile… it will stop there. But then company is coming and you quickly move part of the pile to the office and the other part up to your bedroom. Night falls. The pile in the office is out of sight out of mind. The pile on the bed needs to get out of your way so that you can sleep so it moves either to the bench at the foot of your bed or on the bathroom counter.
There’s no ill intent with this pile. There is a positivity that it will get taken care of any minute now. But the truth is harsh. That pile is added to day after day and before you know it, the counters, the benches, the office, the secret two drawers in your kitchen, even the cabinets under your sinks… yeah. And at some point it’s just easier to ignore, until that one day. That one day when you realize that you have no idea what is even in the pile and you start looking and the horror and discovery sends you down a rabbit hole.
After I got out of the fetal position, I decided to formulate a realistic plan. Because let’s face it, this happened because there are 8 million other things going on around me, so it wasn’t going to get better if I spent all day fixing it all because then it would result in chaos in every other part of the house. Funny how that happens so quickly. Actually it’s really not funny.
So let’s just start with 5 Degrees of the Clutter. Last week I picked 5 frightening spots in my home to organize and declutter. None of which are huge and would only maybe take an hour each to do.
- Kitchen counters and junk drawers
- Chair in the Master Bedroom
- Under the bathroom sinks
- The pile of bills in the office
- My dresser. This may not sound like much but as a whole it is a task.
I know you all are just chomping at the bit to see the before pictures. Wondering if I am the fraud who says my house is a mess but there is one single cup on the counter… no my friends… I am no fraud. In fact my honesty usually gets me in trouble… just ask my school and the PTA! I show lots of pretty pictures here because let’s face it, that’s really what you want to see the majority of the time, but this is going to give you the satisfaction of some nice before and after shots.
Before: Kitchen counters and Junk Drawer(s)
Basic instructions: Take everything out of them and place on the floor. Look at it all in disgust. Throw out all obvious trash. Throw out everything you didn’t even know was in there anymore, like the 4 cute planners that you never used, the 45 chapsticks you were looking for, the hair clips because you know you have 400 others, and the copies of recipes you saved which you can now google in two seconds. Now divide and conquer. What goes where and before you go buy all the cute little organizers that would make this project fun, actually see what you need. (That was hard for me because I reeaaalllly love buying organizing stuff.)
Ummm… here’s a back scratcher…
Before: Master Bedroom Chair
Let’s all just fess up. Everyone has that chair or bench in their room that is not used for it’s intended purpose. It would probably be extremely helpful to just not have it so you wouldn’t put things on them! But they are cute and we have them so let’s just get on with it. All of my kid’s laundry? Put away. All of my husband’s laundry? Hung up neatly. My laundry? Dirty and clean ends up here. Also paperwork that I intend to go through after I hide it (read first paragraph) and other odds and ends that are in my hands and I set down when I get distracted by said kids and husband. All here.
This is pretty simple, but it actually has to be done. Put clean clothes away, wash dirty clothes and actually put those away, file or trash paperwork, put toys in appropriate places, and put caution tape across the chair to try and avoid this same scenario the next day.
Restored! You can find the DIY fabric and painted chair tutorial here.
Before Bathroom Cabinets
It’s time to get real. If you haven’t looked for it in at least a year, it’s out. Now I can actually see what I have and what I need when it’s running out. Amazing concept but when you run a household these are the places that come last.
I hate mail clutter. Why don’t you just pay them all online and go paperless you ask? Because I tried that and for whatever reason I didn’t see the emails or my brain doesn’t work so then I paid bills late. You want money from me? I need notice in my hand. So my plan is usually keep the last 6 months and shred the rest. Sounds good and attainable but as noted about every other situation in my house, life happens. This is a dirty job and an annoying one and just has to get done. Separate by bills and then file or shred.
Side note: The best part about making these little tasks each day is that they kind of naturally lead to a general tidying around the areas. Did I need to have spray paint in my office… ummm no.
To see the office make-over head here (yes this 70’s file cabinet is going to get a make-over soon)
Before: My Dresser
Ugh. A dumping ground. I appreciate all of you that don’t let these things happen but in my world, it just happens. The kid’s masterpieces need to be displayed, I leave my jewelry out, 5 legos that I found and could possibly be needed, the bandaids that were brought up in an emergency play room situation, bug bite cream, and the glass of water I meant to drink. And the cords that still need to be hidden from getting a new TV.
It’s not all about picture perfect on my dresser and I like it that way. I love seeing my pictures and trinkets that may seem like clutter to some, but are actually momentos from very special people in my life that have gone before me.
So 5 days and 5 areas. Is my house now clean and amazing? No. But at least a new beginning in some places. Kind of how I look at a new year. Making a huge resolution seems like a big way to disappoint yourself. Maybe set your bar a little lower and just focus on being better at what you can one day at a time. Who knows? Maybe I will not put things on my chair in my bedroom! I mean that is definitely not going to happen, but maybe I will make myself put my laundry away when I make the boy’s do there’s. Sometimes the little things add up to a bigger thing.
Organization and life don’t actually go hand in hand. Be easy on yourselves and know that all the pretty pictures in the magazines and the ones you even see here are just that… pretty pictures.
But organizing a post like this did help me motivate. So maybe shorter lists is the key to greater accomplishments!
Want to see how some of my amazing friends are organizing there way into this new year?! I do! Secretly I also love some messy before and glorious after shots! Check out these awesome ladies below!