This weekend I went to Pinners with my friend Alex from firesidestoriesnet. Alex and I worked as teachers together, but we left the campus at the same time. Since our friendship goes beyond convenience of geography, though, we still hang out! It’s awesome because she’s wonderful in all the ways.
We had a great time checking out all the vendor booths, hanging out, and attending classes.
One of the sessions we attended together was about decluttering and was hosted by Dana White from http://www.aslobcomesclean.com/
Dana went through steps to get you from overwhelmed to under control, and it really resonated with me. While she was talking, I thought about how practical her advice was and knew I could apply it right away.
In my house, most people come in through the garage and enter into the living room rather than the front door. The living room has a built-in that my husband and I call The Crap Collector: obviously, it’s not a tidy area.
However, it’s the first thing most people see upon entering our home, and it gets out of hand pretty quickly:
It’s where we drop off wallets, keys, kids’ shoes (why??), mail, diapers (that are too big and are therefore unused–again: why??), and various other Crap. Really, we named our space appropriately.
Well, today I used the tips I learned from Dana and got my trash bag, my donate box, and my walking feet. Every five minutes, I took a picture so I could see that I actually WAS making progress, and I didn’t have a “take upstairs” pile or a “goes in ___” pile: I put those things away as they came into my hand.
AND I used her questioning method of “Where would I look for this first if I needed it–not where SHOULD I look for it, but where WOULD I look for it?” to find better homes for the stuff we do use but shouldn’t keep on the counter (like the glue and baby lotion, for instance).
20 minutes later and a few trips around the house, and I had a decluttered–but still dusty–counter top: it’s no longer a Crap Collector, either.
Now the trick is two-fold:
- Keep this cleaned up (I might have to train my family)
- Move on to the other one or two (haha!) areas of my house that need decluttering
I think I’ll tackle the toy area of the living room next. Or maybe the playroom. Or perhaps the laundry room. The craft room could use some help, though. Or… well, it’s always good to have options, right?