Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Decluttering Round these Parts

I'm giving our house some organizational TLC this week. This afternoon I have hired a baby sitter to come and watch our toddler while I put in a little elbow grease. I have hefty goals this week which include washing windows, dusting baseboards and cleaning carpets. I didn't get to my spring cleaning so we'll call it summer cleaning.

I the midst of being busy often organization takes a back seat, so I end up hunting through things two or three times before I find what I'm looking for. I've come to the realization that it's stealing too much of my day. I'm hoping to adopt some new habits to help me combat the clutter.

Here are some of my ideas:
I really struggle with putting it away. I usually have stacks of laundry cluttering the ironing board making it impossible to use. So they get shifted and before you know it I'm surrounded by clean laundry. I've made a commitment to put it away after it's folded and you won't believe how well it's working. I also committed to doing a little at a time, 2 loads a day max, this way I'm not overwhelmed. This one has been easier than I thought.

I really hate having a sink full of dirty dishes and since I LOVE our dishwasher I rarely do them by hand. The problem is I often forget to start the dishwasher. This usually happens because I'm waiting on a dish or two. My solution is to use the delay feature. This also worked well when we were going out of town and I wasn't quite ready to start it, but I knew I wanted it to run while we were gone. What a clever invention, no more waking up to a dirty dishwasher.

Catch All basket
I keep a basket in our kitchen that I use to gather items that don't belong in the kitchen, since that is our gathering point. It usually is overflowing with everything from bills to toys and typically takes me a good hour to get everything in it's place. I'm going to commit to put these items away every other night so it doesn't pile up.

Tackle the Storage Boxes
We are in the process of purging things we don't need to keep, our garage sale pile grows daily. We've saved a couple large tubs of keepsakes along with a lot of our college text books and to my horror all of my core curriculum notes from undergrad and graduate school. Since I don't foresee me teaching in the next 10 years I really don't see a need for these things and so much has probably changed I don't know what good they will do me. I'm imagining we'll have to make a trip to the recycling center this weekend. The goal is to get everything into fewer plastic tubs and labeled.

So that's what I'm up to. I'd love to hear how you declutter or how you organize your life because it's not my strength. For more great tips check out WFMW's home.

Off to Clean!


  1. I'm so glad that I read this! I have a full dishwasher and it was just ready to run, but I didn't do it because the kids were going to take showers. WooHoo -- thanks for reminding me! That will make my morning so much better. :)

  2. I needed some clutter buster solutions so THANK YOU!

  3. I love the kitchen collection basket idea. Not only does it provide a convenient carrier to carry those items back to their approrpiate rooms, but in the event of unexpected company, you can quickly "clean" the clutter by carrying the basket into the laundry room or other hiding spot.

  4. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who uses sitter time to organize!

    One of the ideas I tried was making a folding laundry folding table for the laundry room (does that phrase even make sense?). It's a folding table - that itself folds away. When it is open, it blocks access to most of the pantry, so I have to fold and put up the laundry piled there so I can cook. When it's closed, there's no place (intentionally) to put laundry.

    But my biggest clutter-buster of recent note was to declutter the clutter catcher of doom - throwing out the broken playpen that was passed among my kids and their cousins for 7 years and has more recently been used to catch all that laundry I'll fold later.

  5. I have a closet that needs decluttering-again and I'm not looking forward to it but it's got to get done. Thanks for the boost!

  6. I love the clutter catcher. Sadly, things pile up on my kitchen counter OR around the corner on my sewing machine in the living room. I think I'll take it a step further and get three little baskets, one for me, one for my daughter, and one for my son. (My husband doesn't need a basket. Strangely, none of the clutter is ever, ever his.)

  7. Thanks for the ideas. I will be putting some to work for me.
    My husband always has this massive clutter around where his laptop lands. It blocks the pathways. I put a trash can next to him and a decorative box with a lid under the coffee table for all his good junk. It works well for the most part.


I'd love to hear from you. Let me know what you think.