Starting anew: Clearing clutter is a process

Hall closets piled high with boxes and junk

Impossible to find anything in the hall closets without pulling everything out and don’t even think about putting something away!
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It’s been four years since I first posted on this blog. Back then, I thought I could clear my clutter in one year and be done with it. Ha!

What I’ve learned is that clearing clutter, especially for anyone with busy lives and multiple interests, is an ongoing process.

One big lesson: I rarely zap my clutter and take time to photograph and write about it too. I’ve decided to give it another go this year, though, and I’ll upload new photos as I have the time.

The good news: We’ve made a lot of progress since January 2009. A lot! (I’ll share just one example in a minute.) We’re living more comfortably, and entertaining more.

Where we stand: We’re about half way to our goal of living in a (nearly) clutter-free home.

Our biggest issue today: Closets we revamped the last few years are full of junk again, mostly boxes of filing we never seem to get around to putting away. It’s not all paper, though.

Look inside any of our closets, and you will see a jumble of boxes filled with unsorted papers and mail, as well as plenty of junk we’ve collected along the way.

There are sacks and baskets filled with things we’ve gathered from around the house when we needed to hide messes fast. There are gifts we can’t really use, but don’t want to lose because someone we love gave them to us. And failed purchases we need to return.

So I’m starting anew. One more time. One more year. I get now that clearing our clutter is an ongoing process.

My goal for 2013: Every item we decide to keep must have an easy-to-get-to home, where it lives when we don’t need it, and where we can find it quickly when we do. Same for every new item we bring into the house.

Here is just one example of the progress we’ve made in the last four years.

Cluttered Murphy bed space with moving boxes, TV and pure mess

The Murphy Bed space in our living room, January 2009

Four years ago, the Murphy bed space in our living room looked like this. We sorted, discarded and found homes for the things in those boxes and baskets a bit at a time. Later, as we could afford it, we added shelving for the television, telephone and books.

As our grandchildren were born and grew, so did our collection of toys and art supplies. Last year, we removed books from several shelves and replaced them with attractive baskets. The baskets have easy pull-out handles so the grandchildren can grab them and find their favorite toys or art projects..

Murphy bed space converted to shelves for books, entertainment and grandchildren's toys and art suppies

Murphy bed space converted to shelves for books, entertainment and grandchildren’s toys and art supplies

I love the new space. So do our grandkids. Every time they come to visit, they head for these shelves, pull out one of their favorite projects–or discover new ones we’ve added–and enlist one or both of us in their play. We have a grand time.

Are you looking to clear clutter in your life? Where do you stand today? Don’t let the overwhelm get to you! You can start clearing your clutter in tiny increments of just fifteen minutes a day. Check it out!

Next: Safety first: Clearing the back porch storage area.

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