Monday, July 14, 2008

End '08 Great: Conquering the Clutter

Hmmm.... I like this idea. It's like a mid-year resolution. The women at Happy to be @ Home are hosting a carnival of sorts to help those of us who tend to need a bit of a fire lit under us to get anything done started at times. The challenge for the month of July is to Conquer the Clutter. Gee, don't know if I have enough clutter to last a whole month's worth of cleaning.... and then she wakes from her dream and sees the piles encroaching on the last bit of clear space.

I've decided on a few main problem areas to tackle this month. The delightful linen closet, the corner of the garage (a.k.a. the Man Cave), the crafts and games cupboards, the photo cabinet, and my paperwork/files, which I think will be the toughest.

This past week, in order to get some of my paperwork in order, (and to have a place to work on the mess that is my filing system), I cleared off the catch-all of detritus dining room table.

I can't believe all the stuff that gets thrown there! It looks like I have 5 bags lying around, all for carrying different stuff. I have cups left over from me bringing them inside from the car, some Knifty Knitter™ circles for making hats for my co-worker's twins, office supplies, junk mail, and a bunch of other flotsam and jetsom....

And here's the abandoned file box that was supposed to help me keep papers together while they were being transitioned to the filing cabinets.

Notice how it's collecting dust with papers sitting on top of it instead of inside of it.

I lined up my containers for the job: my pretty new in-box (re-decorated with scrapbook paper), a "pending box" for papers, etc. that need to be kept out of filing because I still need some information or they are going to someone else (hopefully I can transition that into my filing cabinet eventually). The two cloth grocery bags are for items going to another room, and papers that need to be filed. And the garbage can is our recycling bin.

I actually managed to sort through everything on my desk and the table in one sitting. I was able to put a lot of stuff in the recycling bin (yeah!) and a lot of the stuff just needed to be put back where it belonged, somewhere else in the house. I found a home for the Pending box on a shelf so it's not in the way:

and sorted through and organized my office supplies.

I simply used cut-up cardboard food and beverage containers as dividers to keep everything neat in the drawers. Seeing the supplies this way makes me realize how much I have and how I DON'T need ANY more!

Finally! I can see the table!

I still have to go through the bag that holds my files, but now at least I have a space to do that!
And, in an effort to bring less paper clutter in to the house, I made a label that I am going to stick inside my mail box:

These are all baby steps, but I'm hoping that they will culminate in a less-cluttered home. To hear about more people who are working on their own personal mountains of clutter, visit Happy to Be @ Home and get inspired!

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