Paper Clutter Update

You may be wondering if I ever went through that whole box of paper (reference Paper Clutter). The answer is yes; I got rid of two thirds of it and placed the remaining one third back into the plastic filing box (at least, that’s what I’m calling it for now). I then cleared the desk and surrounding areas of papers and added the important ones to the temporary filing box.

So, why didn’t I just file this stuff in folders/files as I went through it? You may have read in previous blogs that the phase I’m firmly planted in at the moment is ‘removing the trash’ not organising. This is a much quicker way as it required less decision making (which I liked the sound of). All I have to do is ask myself if the piece of paper is worthy of a space in my future files, rather than exactly where it will be filed.

I do have a filing system buried behind all of these boxes so I’ll get to that in the organising phase and everything will look lovely (well, that’s the idea anyway).

As I look around the spare room, things are feeling clearer and I haven’t organised a single things yet, just removed stuff. Over the last 3 weeks, as well as sorting out paper clutter, I’ve taken 6 bags to the charity shop and thrown out at least 3 bags of rubbish.

So, you could say that it’s going well.

Until next time…

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Paper Clutter

I’ve just opened the lid to this box in the spare room and I’m faced with paper from about 3 years ago (I think). There are similar boxes and piles around this room and probably other rooms (I haven’t delved into those corners yet).

So, the phase I’ve been working through over the past few weeks is ‘removing the trash’, so it should be quite easy to get through this box quickly. I have a shredder, a rubbish bag and a box for papers that I want to keep (the contents of which I will probably put back in here afterwards).

If I can work at a steady pace, I should get through this in around an hour. Maybe I’ll keep this blog in draft until then…

…One hour later, and I seem to have spread across the room as I keep finding things that the children might want to keep. They have been laughing at some of their drawings, written notes etc. So, I may be only half way through the box but I’m welcoming the interruptions and giggles. Never mind, I’ll probably finish the second half of the box whilst they are asleep tonight.

Until later…

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Decluttering vs. Cleaning

Decluttering can either be a short warm up for cleaning or take a whole day to move everything out of the way before getting out the duster and hoover. The latter meaning that you possibly never get around to the cleaning.

I’ve always known that decluttering and cleaning were completely separate activities, and I still spend a lot of my time on the clutter rather than the cleaning. Having said that, the daily clutter routines that I now have in place (see previous blogs) are helping me tremendously.

What is also going to help me move forward even more today are the concepts below. I noted these down on my phone this morning as I was walking back from the gym listening to the last chapter of Dana K White’s book Decluttering the Speed of Life:

CLEANING: this needs to be done over and over

DECLUTTERING: once it’s gone it’s gone and you never have to deal with that particular item again.

That’s motivation enough for me to get back into the spare room today and purge some more stuff.

Until next time…

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Clutter barrier items

We all have items in our homes that are barriers to decluttering. When I come across these types of items, they can literally stop me in my tracks and I either stop decluttering or move them to another area of the room or house.

Today, I got past a few of these items. I think that it helped that I was listening to a decluttering book at the time, because it completely altered my frame of mind. I picked the items up and put them in a charity bag. It was hard, but I did it. Thoughts were going through my mind at the time about how much I paid for the items or that someone I know might want them. I tried to change my mindset by thinking about how much I value the charity shop that I donate to, so I imagined someone buying the items and looking after them for me, instead of them being in my spare room for the next 10 years.

I talked to my partner about this to see if he could help me make sense of what was going through my mind and he said ‘other people needing these items isn’t our issue’ and suggested taking photos of them as memories. He made me realise that just giving them away would free the space and allow me to actually use it to relax. He thinks so differently to me.

A clutter barrier item

As part of my decluttering project, I’ve decided to make a list (and take photos of) the items that I come across that literally stop me delcuttering. Then, at some point in the future when I’ve put the new space to good use (which is still a very scary thought and feels a long way away) I will look back at what had been stopping me all these years.

What’s stopping you decluttering?

Until next time…

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Clutter tips that stick

In Dana K White’s other book called How to Manage your Home without Losing your Mind’, she suggests ‘doing the dishes’ every day in order to keep on top of things in the kitchen. This doesn’t just mean washing up. The idea is that you clear and clean the kitchen counters, removing, washing and putting away everything. Every day.

No matter how tired I am in the evening, the surfaces get cleared, everything goes in the dishwasher and it gets switched on (even if it’s not full). I then sweep the floor which means that I’m moving clutter from corners as well.

This, combined with the ‘start at the front door’ decluttering tip that Dana K White suggests in her other book Decluttering at the Speed of Life’, is helping me keep on top of the clutter downstairs.

When I get up in the morning, this decluttered space feels really good. I’m not saying that it stays clear, as life happens, but at least I know what I have to do daily to put it right.

Until next time…

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Enjoy life’s moments

I recently watched a film called ‘The Convenient Groom’ and the following few lines stuck in my mind:

“Everything in life is temporary. You’ve just got to enjoy life’s moments while you have them”.

It’s really made me think about everything I do and appreciate even the smallest moments. The children grow so fast and each of their stages of growing up are ‘moments in time’. Things that have frustrated me in the past, I’m now embracing instead, and learning from them.

Until next time…

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Walk into each room like a guest

After writing yesterday’s blog, I decided to apply the ‘start at the front door’ concept to the spare room; a room that’s bugged me for 10 years! I have many pictures of that room with clutter in it, and although I don’t have previous pictures to hand right now, I imagine that it’s mainly the same clutter but in different places, with items being added every so often.

Sometimes, when I’m really feeling motivated, items move out of the room in rubbish bags or charity bags – whoopee! Sometimes I even find places for the items around the house or give them away. The problem I have is that I find it difficult to make decisions about what to do with the stuff.

Today, I started at the entrance to the room and worked my way in, armed with one rubbish bag and one charity bag and made quick decisions. I also immediately put things away that needed to travel to other rooms. One hour later, I hoovered the area of carpet that was visible and stopped to make dinner.

When I walked back in after dinner, it was like walking into a different room. The narrow corridor that I had created over the years with the boxes of clutter either side was wider and I could actualy walk in without turning sideways.

I still need to repeat the ‘start at the front door’ tip that I started doing yesterday, and make sure that I also keep on top of that area every day. If I then do 10-15 mins in the spare room on top of that daily task, I should make progress.

Do you have any daily routines that help you keep on top of clutter?

Until next time…

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