There are many “styles” of clutter, as well as many reasons why we have clutter. I wish I was one of those people who works off their frustration by deep cleaning, which includes dealing with clutter. But no, when I am upset or frustrated, or over-committed, I could care less. I will do just the basic cleaning, but ignore the clutter that starts building up. And then there are times, when I don’t feel good or I get lazy and put off picking up the clutter until another time. There is a fine line between order and chaos. Let it go too long, and I’d surely be a candidate for an episode of “Hoarders”.
Today I am going to focus on the everyday clutter. The clutter that occurs because we lead busy lives and we actually live in our homes. This is the stuff that we use daily, such as keys, shoes, mail, jackets, etc. We’ll do the purging and heavy work another time to eliminate some of the background clutter. For now we just need to get into the routine of picking up.
I have noticed that when I get busy, I neglect picking up the everyday clutter. EVERY SINGLE DAY. My anxiety level goes way up. To say I get grumpy is an understatement.
As I sit here in the office, I can see through the living room, and into the kitchen. It’s not really that bad at the moment, but because we live in a small home, everyday clutter multiplies. Easily and rapidly.
The waste basket by my desk needs to be emptied, the sofa cushions need to be straightened, and the pillows and throw blankets need to be arranged artfully. (Not that they will stay that way long, but it’s gratifying for a short time.) Our coffee table top raises, so most of the time it’s used for either a dining table or a desk for two while seated on the sofa. On it is a bottle of aspirin, salt and pepper shakers, a notepad and pencil, plus a stack of mail, a laptop and tv remote. My slippers are still under the table. My end table has my planner, plus a few odds and ends that definitely don’t belong in the living room. I don’t have a clue what’s on hubby’s end table right now, but I guarantee it’s not living room stuff.
In the kitchen, there are a few dishes in the sink, clean dishes in the dish drainer, and a dish towel laying on the counter, among other things. I set two dust-covered gel candles on the counter last night, thinking I would clean out the glass holders and use them for votive candles.
So how do we clean this quickly? Tackle the big stuff first that gives the most visual impact. For some that might be a floor covered in toys. In my case, it was the sofa & coffee table area. I straightened everything on the sofa, then gathered up the stray items on the tables and put those things away. Moving on to the kitchen, I put the clean dishes away, washed up the few dirty dishes, put the other items on the counter away and hung up the dish towel and then did a quick wipe of the counter. I tossed the gel candles, containers and all, because I don’t even use candles. YAY, me!
Bedrooms are fairly easy to do a quick pick up. Fold clean clothes and put in drawers, or put on hangers in the closet. Dirty clothes to the hamper. Toys in the toy box. Dresser tops are magnets for stuff. As you are straightening up the items that live there, if the words, “Why am I keeping this?” pop into your head, get rid of the item. Make your bed, and voila’ the room is presentable!
Bathrooms…oh my! It takes very little to make a bathroom look cluttered, so try to keep counter items to a minimum. Put items that are used everyday in the medicine cabinet or a nice basket on the counter. Straighten hanging towels, shower curtains and throw rugs. Put dirty towels and laundry in the hamper, give the sink a quick wipe and empty the trash. Done.
Do you have someplace in your home that is a dumpsite for things you don’t know what to do with, or needs to go someplace else? You set it down there and then get busy with other things and don’t get back to finish the trip to its proper home. In many homes, the dumpsite is the dining room table. Ours was the dryer top. Our laundry area is in the hallway between the living room and the bedroom/bath. We positioned two short bookcases against the wall opposite the washer and dryer for much-needed storage. It has served us well and the dryer is no longer a dumpsite. However, I’m still working on not stacking up the top of the bookcases.
Repeat after me:
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Until next time…