Perfectly Practical #145 - Decluttering Part 3

Messy Closet
So glad that this is no longer the case.

How do you stay on top of it?  The clutter, I mean.

I can only tell you what is working for me and it's a two-part system.

I have identified my hot zones - the kitchen countertop and the hope chest between the kitchen and den.  These also happen to be the two flat surfaces we see when coming in from the garage.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Pre-2013 I employed the laundry basket technique and would grab up everything in one fell swoop an hide it away in a closet.  Ta-da!  Super fast company ready clean house so no big deal...until it was time to pay the piper and actually clean out the closets.  Yikes!

How does it get so cluttered so quickly?

In our house, this is example of how our countertops become a right state:

  • Someone gets the mail and puts in on the counter 
  • Someone puts their school papers to lookover and/or sign on the counter
  • Someone gets distracted before putting away all of the shopping
  • Someone brings coupons over and leaves them in a bag on top of the counter
  • Someone has correspondence to deal with and as the mail is already on the counter, it seems like the place to do it 
  • Someone leaves the vitamins out
  • Someone clips some Box Tops and leaves them out as a reminder that they need to be put away 
Seriously, it can go from clear to a hot mess in an afternoon.

Tidy closet
Aaahh...much better

So far this year, once I decluttered a room, I tried to stay on top of it.

No big revelation, right?...except that it is.

If I let it go one day, I had Mt. Stuffmore to conquer but if I just dealt with stuff as it came in, I seemed to have more time available.

Whoa!  You mean if I deal with stuff as it comes I have more time later?
I know.  It's ground-breaking.
And I get to reclaim my laundry baskets for you know, laundry.

Lesson #1 learned:  Set a realistic goal & go forward
Lesson #2 learned:  Keep the momentum going...slowly
and now we have
Lesson #3 learned:  Don't fall off the wagon

Update on how far we've gotten in the house:  last week I mentioned that all I had left was the den and attic and I would clean out the "library" if I had a chance.  Well, I did have a chance so the "library" has been sorted and purged as well as the den.  That means the WHOLE HOUSE has been thoroughly purged!  Woo-hoo!

It's now up to Mr. Moppins to find the time to go through the attic with me.  Armed with my color coded bins and label maker, the attic will be much easier to organize.

That brings the total count of stuff out of my house at 4 completely filled to the brim trunks-full to Goodwill and many, many boxes of stuff to another local charity and to friends and to relatives.

It's very freeing to use/like what you have and not be burdened by what you don't use/like.

And happy birthday to my decluttering muse Ms. Nony of A Slob Comes Clean!  For one day only (1/22/13) in honor of her birthday she is offering her latest e-book Drowing in Clutter for $2.20!

This is part of Works for Me Wednesday.

I am an affiliate for Nony's book (because I liked it that much.) Nony provided me with a copy of her e-book to review. All opinions and photos of random items are my own.  Thanks Ms. Nony!


  1. I'm inspired! It's so amazing how quickly my counter tops take on that bottomless stack-look. Minutes, no, seconds. I guess it's time I stopped falling off the wagon and just stuck to it. Thanks for setting the example, and thanks for the visit!

    1. Well thank you Ms. enRoute for stopping by. Truly our countertop is, no, was the biggest culprit for clutter in the house. It's ridiculous - but no more. ;)

  2. I'm usually a very organized person---down to having the spices in the spice rack organized by alphabetical name. But when it comes to my desk....oh, the clutter! Little sticky notes EVERYWHERE of things that need my attention but do you think I ever get around to it? Noooo.....

    1. I thought that was the way everyone organized their spice Ms. Mama. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Our kitchen table and breakfast nook have been work stations/junk drawer/diaper bag. I declutter a bit each day just so it doesn't get to the point of no return, but it's a lost cause to get perfect.

    Once I have more than a 3 hour window (hungry newborn), I can do a deeper clean...wait will I ever have more than a 3 hour window???

    1. Not until you are an empty nester I'm afraid. ;)

  4. LOL, I totally read that as MR stuffmore. I was thinking- I haven't heard of him before!

    1. I know plenty of guys to which Mr. Stuffmore might be an applicable name. :)


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