I felt really overwhelmed for about 30 seconds after taking this picture. The room in the camera view finder looked insurmountably bad. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t as bad as it looked and it wouldn’t take as long as I feared. I’ve learned this over many years of organization day-to-day clutter.
You would think, after so many years of organizing, that I would have a technique for avoiding clutter. I don’t. Some people are great about keeping a tidy house at all times and have family buy-in. Some people, like me, let things slide. It was getting easier as the boys got older, but adding a full time job has been an adjustment. Two steps forward, one step back. I’m figuring things out.
We took all the leaves out of the table months ago, which has been great except for the plethora of chairs we now have floating around the house. They’ll come in handy on Friday, but after that they’ll go back to being a problem. On top of one floater chair is a bag of shirts I bought for Mikey on Sunday, one of which ended up on another chair after he tried it on for size.
Once I calmed down and assessed the situation, I could see the dining room wasn’t too bad. Cards from Father’s Day the day before, the pens the boys used to write them, two books, the contents of a toy Maggie destroyed as retribution for leaving her alone for too long on Father’s Day (under the table), and Nico’s cars. That was easy to take care of–no more than a few minutes. After that, Nico and I pushed aside the table and chairs. I got to work.
It took about an hour to clean out the bookcases, which I use primarily to hold my cookbooks (top shelves), Maggie’s toys and treats (linen basket), and the boys’ school and art supplies (three out of the five remaining shelves). The computer and camera on the top is a longterm project of the Mister’s. He’s transferring all our videos and photographs to the cloud, or something.
The table leaves, one of which you can see floating around in the pictures, are out for the party on Friday. They’ll go back into the guest room closet this weekend.
From start to finish, it took about 1.5-1.75 hours, but that includes me going through every single book/piece of paper and polishing all the shelves.
When I’m productive, I can usually do one big project and one small project in a day. I plan it out that way, too. I try to pick something overwhelming, but achievable, and something really easy so that if I bomb the big project, I at least have something to show for my day.
My kitchen hook sums up nicely how my year went. On the door leading outside there should be only two items: my purse and Nico’s epi-pen pack. This year I was so disorganized that I got in the bad habit of partially changing out my purse. Tell me I’m not the only one who changes out their purse on a whim, but only of the essentials. The promise, which I always break, is that when I get home I will finish emptying out the discarded purse and transfer everything over to the new purse.
This never happens! If I don’t empty out the old purse right when I first change purses, forget it. I need to make a new rule: I can’t change out a purse unless I completely empty out the discarded one.
Those bags on the doorknob are returns that never happened. *eye roll*
Sorry about the bad picture. I had to leave to pick up Mikey from camp, and by the time I got home, the sun was setting inside my kitchen. Despite that, the door looks much better, and it only took 10 minutes. That’s the part that kind of kills me, to be honest. That door stressed me out every time I left the house and again when I hung up my purse on my return. Months of stress over 10 minutes of work!
Oh well. Onward and upward!
p.s. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. This is not a design blog. If you are looking for well photographed room that are on trend and and magazine-ready, you’re reading the wrong blog. I’m a huge fan of pretty rooms, but that’s not where my strengths lie. : )