It’s been awhile since I posted a blog entry. I went on vacation for Thanksgiving and although I was only physically gone a few days, I obviously have been mentally still on vacation for quite some time. But I’m back now (for the most part).
It’s also been awhile since I cleared clutter in the house. I had a good run there for a short time, clearing Charlie’s closet, our kitchen cabinets, and the front hall landing zone, but like any well-intentioned-yet-completely-out-of-her-element person, I reverted to old habits and ignored all sorts of cluttered areas of the house. But three factors contributed to me jumping back on the clearing clutter wagon:
- I made The List. Oh, The List. I thought this list of inexpensive (many even free) tasks I’ve been meaning to get to around the house would be inspiring, but instead it’s just a reminder of all the things I haven’t done. One of the items on the list is to clear clutter in ALL of the closets in the house. Good grief. I may never finish that task. One closet seems like a major accomplishment. So although the list is intimidating, it does on occasion cause brief, productive bursts of
- My mom, who does more in a day than I seem to get done in a week, came to visit and helped me.
- Just one half of one episode of this horrific program on TLC called “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” sent me running to the nearest cluttered area to atone. Have you seen this show? Sweet mercy, it is terrifying. No joke. This is how it is described on their website: “Hoarding goes inside the homes of extreme hoarders to explore the psychology behind their compulsion to accumulate & store large quantities of nonessential things.” Enough said.
Anyhow, I attacked two different closets. First up: the catch-all closet in the front hall. This closet had become our behind closed (closet) doors dumping ground since shortly after we moved in. It had no order to it, we just shoved things in there that we couldn’t find a home for elsewhere or that should have gone to live in the garage but we were too lazy to take to the garage. It had gotten to the point where we’d open the closet door and things would tumble out.
Sorry, the picture of this closest isn’t good because it’s in a tight space in the house and it’s impossible to get a good angle on it for a photo.
Here are just some of the things I pulled out of the closet:
To clear this closet, I threw out a lot of stuff, but I also just moved things to a better location. For example, we had a lot of paint supplies, so almost all of those (except the ones we use most frequently) got moved to the garage. To give you a sense of the kind of stuff we were holding on to in that closet but didn’t realize it, the pile above included paint chips for just about every color we ever considered painting each room in this house. For example, here are the reds we considered in 2004 when we were choosing a color for the living room:
And, in fact, none of those large paint chips are for the color we actually ended up choosing. I think we ended up with the red color that’s circled in the bottom right of the photo. I think.
After a lot of work, here’s the final result of the hallway closet de-cluttering project:
Now the closet stores luggage and golf clubs, both of which get used at about the same rate which is to say almost never.
Next up, the linen closet. This one wasn’t nearly as cluttered as the hallway closet, but it lacked any form of organization and I’d lost track of what was in there.
This is the closet my mom helped me with. We took everything out of the closet and created lots of piles to sort each item, including piles for twin sheets, queen sheets, duvet covers, hand towels, bath towels, and wash cloths. We also made the ever-important “thrift store” pile which, I’m happy to report, was quite large by the time we were finished. I’m even happier to report that my mom took the big pile of things to the thrift store and brought back a receipt for tax deduction purposes. Then we put everything that remained back into the closet, keeping each item in its sorted pile.
My mom even went all Ms. Organization on me and, after she flew home, created a bunch of labels and mailed them to me, so now I’ll always know where things go. Thanks, Mom!
I still have a long way to go on my quest to clear clutter in the house — heck, I have a long way to go just to clear clutter in the rest of our closets — but little by little, I’m working on it. Or, at least, I’m thinking about working on it.
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