Sunday, January 20, 2008

Clean Sweep

It seems that organization of stuff is a never ending battle for me. Don't get me wrong. The amount of clutter I am dealing with today is still much less than what I was dealing with five and ten years ago, but I still have "things" that have to be dealt with. Much of the clutter comes from postponing dealing with things. I tell myself that I am too busy to deal with things or that other things are more pressing at the time. In the end the reality is that if I don't deal with things as they come into the house, or as I finish using them in the house, that those are what become the source of clutter.

Over Christmas break, I did do a lot of getting rid of stuff and managed to declutter and organize the walk in closet in the bedroom now used by my 7 year old. I limited my storage area to one side of the closet so that Raymond would have room for his clothes that hang up, his shoes, his travel bag and a two drawer file cabinet for his projects and materials (he puts me in the mind of da Vinci's notebooks, as he writes on any and every scrap of paper he finds. He loves spirals, planners, notepads, scratch paper and blank sheets of copy paper; and fills them with writings and sketches on a daily basis). The storage side of the closet has about a four by four foot square floor space and there is a shelf about five feet up that has another three feet of space above it that covers two walls meeting at the back corner. This is the area where I am storing a few pieces of baby furniture until we have someone small in the family again. I have also packed large plastic storage tubs with each holiday's decorations, labeled the tubs and recorded their contents in my planner. I have also added to my to do list finding a pressure rod and curtain to cover that side of the closet so that Raymond is not even looking at the floor to ceiling storage on that side of his closet.

My walk-in closet in my bedroom is realtively clutter free. I have my hanging clothes in there. A long shelf with my folded clothes and another shelf that has my iron and photography and video equipment and supplies. The ironing board, my shoes, one medium sized box of summer clothes and a very large gift bag full of gift wrapping supplies are all that are on the floor. I still need to go through my clothes this Spring, but the closet is relatively clutter free. The closet off the utility room in my pantry has been decluttered several times in the past year, and basically has very little clutter since it is difficult to even open the door as the dog crates are stacked right next to the closet.

So I have one storage area left in my house; the very large linen closet in the master bathroom. The bathroom closet has been the catchall of late for paper clutter, office supplies, scrapbook supplies and various computer components and software from the past decade or two. Today I was working on the linen closet "clean sweep" style. I pulled each item or container out one at a time, trashed the items that were obviously trash, had an area to round up donations (as I will not ever be doing a yard sale), a tub for items that will need stored in the new craft area, and a tub for items that need to be filed or put away in a specific place somewhere else in my home. The object of the first round of decluttering was to get rid of trash and items I don't use, as well as to group together like items that are staying in my home. I set my timer for 30 minute sessions and then took a 15 minute break between to deal with kids, have a cup of tea or take care of other things going on in the house.

I focused on decluttering the items on the floor first and then worked on the shelves from the top down. There are items on the shelves that needed to stay on the shelf, so they were dusted and straightened. There was no sense in moving something away that actually belonged on the shelf.

These are before pictures of the linen closet. The gold colored tubs to the far left are empty and were used to sort and eventually store items from the closet.

After five 30 minute sessions, the closet looks good, items that are stored are in marked tubs and their contents are recorded in my planner. The main purpose of this closet is to house the linens on one side and my library on the other. I do most of my reading in the bedroom in my reading area, so the library area is close by and I can rotate books in and out of my bedroom book shelf when I feel the need.

Here is the closet after the declutter. The craft and scrapbook supplies have found a new home in my new craft area. I also found a couple of boxes of books that will go to school. I didn't realize that they were even in there.
After the declutter, I had to take care of the items that were not going back into the closet. I had to set the timer for two more 30 minute sessions to get this completed.

No comments:

Post a Comment