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Ever have the feeling that you could quite possibly drown in your own clutter?  I did!

Decluttering One Pile At A Time


We have just started a new school year here in Australia after our long summer break.  The week every one was heading back to school, I looked around our house and all I could see was pockets of clutter every where.  I felt quite overwhelmed.  With working on the blog and wanting time to settle everyone into the new school term, I couldn't see how I could get on top of it all.

Then I realised that I was seeing the clutter as one very, very large job.  It was so disheartening and seemed impossible.  I decided for that week, each day I would choose one area, no matter how small to declutter and re-organise.  The difference this made to my sense of overwhelment was huge.  I felt like I could get on top of it.  

Best of all was the feeling of satisfaction I felt once I had completed my decluttering job for the day.  I have found I need that postivie feeling of achievement to encourage me to keep going. As weird as it sounds, I began looking forward to the decluttering challenge the next day.  Some took longer than others, but none more than 30 minutes.  

I did five areas last week and intend to the same this week. I would have spent about an hour and 45 minutes in total decluttering last week.  I would never have had a solid block of time to do that, so breaking it down into manageable smaller tasks made it actually happen.  Otherwise I would have kept putting it off until I had "a couple of spare hours".

2011 had a very busy end for me and I was really in maintenance mode only with the house organisation for the last couple of months.  Then followed by school holidays, it meant I really felt I was drowning in clutter.  Here are some of the tasks I completed last week:

The Drop Zone

The Drop Zone - before
We have this place near the phone, where lots of stuff just gets dropped.  To the point the decorative bowl I had there was full to the brim with "stuff" that no one (including me!) could really be bothered to take to its rightful home.  I think most places have some where like this, a draw, a bowl etc.

The Drop Zone - after
When I decluttered, I removed the bowl and replaced it with nothing.  It is now actually our technology spot.  Before the kids go to bed, they need to drop of their iPods, the eldest his mobile etc.  We don't want them to be tempted by having access to them in their room. 

The Bathroom Cupboards

The Bathroom Cupboards - before
This was just some of the old and empty paraphanelia I threw out from our bathroom cupboards.  We have good storage in the main bathroom, but the kids were having trouble getting stuff in and out because they were cluttered.  

The Bathroom Cupboards - After
So much easier to access what they need, now the junk has been decluttered!

My Gym Gear

The Gym Gear - Before
I really don't know why, I find it so hard to throw out my old gym gear.  I haven't worn any of this for months, I have bought new gym gear and my drawers were hard to open and close because they were so cluttered.

I emptied out what I don't wear, but still couldn't bring myself to throw it out.  So as a compromise, I have bagged it up and placed it in the attic.  If I don't touch it in the next three months then I will throw it out.

The Gym Gear - after
Now at least I can open my drawer without a fight!

Areas on my list for this week are:
  • My cook books and foodie magazines.
  • The baking section of the pantry.
  • My everyday bag.
  • The kids games cupboard.
  • The kids shoes.
Feel free to reply to this email (I do read all the responses to these emails) and let me know what part of the house you have trouble keeping clutter free, or if you have a great tip on how to manage clutter in a particular area.  I can collate all the info into a post and share the wisdom!

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Happy Decluttering!
Planning Queen
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