Monday, January 29, 2007

oh the clutter

As so many stay at home moms know, the more you are home, the more mess you make. I tell ya, I could clean this place fifty times a day, but there is always more. I love staying at home with Alli and never want it any other way, but sometimes in the dead of winter, 5 and half months pregnant, it can get to you. It's a job where everyday you have to do the same thing. Somethings you have to do only once or twice a week, some every day, and a whole lot you should be doing more often than you should. If you let it go, it's still got to be done the next day. There is a co-worker who comes and goes, but you can't always count on him to do what you ask. I won't go into any more detail, you get the idea.

So back to my thought, I keep a rather clean house. It's rarely spotless, but almost always clean before bed. Lately, I am just not feeling the clean like I want to. I figured out what it is. CLUTTER! I hate clutter, but I have waaaaay to much of it. I was flipping through a book at Costco today about home organization trying to pick up a few quick tips. It had some good points, but here was the shocker. I saw the heading about junk drawers and immediately flipped to it, hoping to find some magical solution to keep the junk drawer under control. Well, it said no junk drawer allowed...NO JUNK DRAWER? Does anybody not have a junk drawer? I was shocked.

I came home to find I have a junk drawer, a junk spot on the corner of the kitchen counter, 4 junk drawers of the computer desk, and pretty much the whole desk in Alli's room is a really badly organized junk "drawer". So I got started. I did ok. I still have a junk drawer and a junk spot on the counter, and more organized computer desk drawers, but I didn't even touch the other desk. However, everything has less stuff everywhere, and I feel little cleaner.

And I did the magazine rack. That's easy. We have way to many subscriptions right now. 5 or 6 I think. I have no problem throwing away Sports Illustrated (even though when Derek came home and saw the pile a minute ago, he was picking through trying to keep some-with no luck on his part.) and even my exercise magazines (they are really all the same, but it's nice to get a motivational reminder every month.) But for some reason, I feel like I have to keep the Parents magazine, because there is always really good stuff in them, but for older ages. So someone tell me to throw them away or that they kept theirs and were really glad they did.

On that note, I think everyone who comments this time should share a good declutter tip. My tip is going to be...Make a plan. If you try and do it all in one day, you won't do as good a job. (Like me today) Plan to declutter one room every two weeks, by doing a little bit everyday or every other day. There is my tip, now I better write it down, and make a plan. But I'll wait for everybody's tips to come in first.
One more thing on this topic. This was the title of one of the other books at Costco, "Being Organized Is Not A Personality Trait. It's A Skill Anybody Can Learn." I'm gonna have to check that book out next time, what a good title.

And here is Alli while I was cleaning up supper, she pulled all the throw aways off the table, and was having a great time. She loves to rip up magazines. It was actually great. I got the kitchen all cleaned up with no interruptions...maybe I should keep them...haha

We took Alli to this little petting zoo in West Ed the other day. There were little goats and pigs and sheep and more stinky animals. Our friends have a dog that Alli really likes, so we thought she would have fun. She walked around having a good time looking at all the animals, but did not want to touch any, which was fine by me, because it is kinda disgusting. My camera was being weird again. But I charged the batteries yesterday and now it's working back to normal, I hope that was all that was wrong.


whitney said...

So funny that you should do this post because I have been thinking the EXACT same thing the past few days. Funny thing is I always had the excuse that we lived in a small apartment and just had too much stuff - when we lived in a house in Lethbridge everything was always neat and everything had its place. But now that we are out of the apartment and have a house we still have too much stuff and not enough places to put it all. And then there are all the other excuses – like we are renovating the kitchen in the next months so why bother getting it all put together and organized now when I’ll just have to do it all again…
I have begun to make lists. Not just a list of clean this, clean that – but real long list of exactly what needs to happen in each room. That way it doesn’t seem like such a big task that takes so much time. And if I don’t have tons of time I can just pick one or two things off the list and feel like I have accomplished some organization for the day.
I also have been wanting to make it to the library to get out some organization books like the ones you saw at Costco. Maybe if I see exactly what I should be doing it will be more motivation. Plus the books are due back in a few weeks so it might keep me moving.
As far as what magazines to keep – I started to rip out pages I like, with ideas or articles I want to read one (like the ones for older kids from the parenting magazines) and keep them in a folder. One day I hope to organize them better in different folders or categorize them in page protectors and a binder. I have been able to throw away tons and tons of magazines and only have one folder now.
The other thing I have done is to keep the junk in boxes (the junk that sits on the counter or computer desk). I got a cute set of the cardboard boxes from Ikea. I’m not sure this is really better, but at least I feel better because I can’t see it all staring at me. I only see the box and I know I will get to it someday.
I also bought a bunch of big Tupperware containers and have packed them up and labeled them. Romans clothes that are too small, Brad’s work clothes, camping stuff, snowboarding stuff, maternity clothes, Christmas decorations… This way I can stack them on top of each other in the garage and get them out of they way.
I say you have to allow yourself at least one junk drawer, especially while you are in the process of learning how to organize. You know who we need tips from, Brittany. She never has clutter. If you ever find out her secret let me in on it. And post any tips you have for me. Happy organizing! Sorry for the long comment, I got a little carried away.

Just Rhonda said...

My friend Carmen is RUTHLESS about clutter. If she doesn't have a place for it then it gets chucked. I don;'t quite have that in me.... but moving across the country sure helped my clutter.... I had to pay for it... so I had better want it BAD.
I think my tip would be if you haven't used it in 6 months - worn it, watched it, looked at it, played with it.. you can get rid of it.

Oh and toss those mags! I rip out articles like Whit and put mine in page protectors in a magazine.

Anonymous said...

you only a few years of collecting and a few rooms. I need the help!!!!
28 years in the same house with more rooms than I can count.

I am cluttered but sometimes I just don't go in the rooms that are filled with junk

Anonymous said...

That's so funny about how you shouldn't have a junk drawer because the 1st thing I did when moving my stuff into the kitchen was designate one a junk drawer well okay I designated 2 junk drawers because 1 was really small. You just have to control your junk drawer by only putting things in that you'll use (ie. don't put in a bunch a coupons you won't use). As for my tip, it's not a great deal if you are never going to use it or wear it, so don't buy because it won't get used but it'll still take up space.

Susie said...

way to go on the organization Decluttering is quite satisfying. My tip if possible get a friend to help you declutter, because new eyes look at your "junk" and have no problem saying Get rid of it! so ya just do a little switch with each other. Also I like thinking if i have useful things just not necessary things for me I am better if giving them to someone who could use it a whole lot more than me.

melissa dawn said...

Oooh, I know how you feel. I just moved out of a house into a room at my parents' house (temporary) and talk about de-clutter! Honestly, I don't know if I have anything new to say besides what everyone else has said. I rip pages out of magazines too, and save them in a folder. And I just got rid of anything I hadn't used in 6 months, and 3 huge garbage bags later I don't even know what I got rid of, so apparently I didn't need it.
My junk weakness is bills. I always seem to open them and then stash them in stacks even after they're paid. My new trick is to put them in a file folder as soon as I open them. That way, if I need to refer back to them, I know exactly where they are, and they're not cluttering up my living space. When I was in my house (and clearly not during snowboard season :)) I used to set aside a couple of hours every Saturday morning to de-clutter and it worked nicely. Baby steps Lins!!

brooke byam said...

my mother inlaw uses a website called flylady and it gives you different tips on keeping a clean house and de- clutter tips. it is like a everyday 10min thing. i don;t really know but she talks about it all the time and loves it.

Dad said...

Lindsay, think about it. Think about your dad and your grandfather. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree. You didn't have a chance.

Mom said...

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Pete said...

I can relate to Derek and the SI’s . I used to keep them all…but then I realized that I had already read them and they were just taking up space. So I came up with a new strategy.
Now I keep just the NBA, NFL, MLB etc previews in the “reading room” all of the other copies are read and then recycled with in a month.
Not to brag or anything but on a whole I would consider myself fairly clutter free. I think not having a car has something to do with it.