And I’m still trying to clear the clutter…

Cover of Inside storiesWell, I think I chose completely the wrong time to de-clutter the house. Mr K is working on a DIY bathroom re-do which means that the house is currently strewn with boxes of things that would live in the bathroom, but can’t, as well as a plethora of tools and plumbing supplies. Once he’s finished though, I reckon the bathroom will definitely be “magazine worthy” – at least until I clutter it up!

Needless to say, I haven’t made an awful lot of progress on the clutter front, but I’m working on forming a couple of good habits that I think will help. For example, I am trying to take my shoes off and put them away as soon as I come home, rather than kicking them off when I sit down for the evening, which meant that virtually every pair of shoes I owned regularly migrated to my spot on the couch.

I’ve made some progress in my sewing room, and I’ve decided that the best thing to do in there is to finish all my UFOs (no, I don’t mean flying saucers, I mean “Un-Finished Objects”) so I’ve made myself a goal not to start any new projects till I’ve finished all the things I’ve already got started.  Or at the very least, to finish more than I start.  Now I’m wondering if things count as “started” if I’ve already bought the fabric? What if I’ve already got it planned, but not bought anything yet? And of course I had to make an exception for the Young Lad’s pirate costume for book day at preschool (he went as Cut-throat Jake from the Captain Pugwash books, and he looked fantastic!). But I have finished some curtains that have been hanging around un-hemmed for longer than I care to mention, so at least that’s progress.

If you want to join me on the clutter crusade, here is a quick review of some of the books I’ve read:

The accidental Organiser: When I first picked up this book, I was a bit un-enthused about it, I mean, it’s got no pictures to look at and keep my interested. But I actually enjoyed reading it.  The best tip for me was:

If you need or love it then keep it. If you think someone else expects you to need or love it, get rid of it.

I also really liked Wendy Davie’s de-cluttering playlist. What a great idea to put on some boogie music and wash that clutter right out of your hair!

I used her tips to help me defragment my sewing room. I can now get in the door without tripping over something, and I can see my work table again! And I found a couple of pairs of trousers for the Young Lad that I’d totally forgotten about – I’d put them in there so I could take the hems up…well they fit him now, so that saves me a job!

I think this is a great book to use if you have a spare room that you need to clear a mountain of junk from.

Cover of What's a disorganized person to doWhat’s A Disorganized Person to Do? has lots of pretty pictures and will suit you if you like lists, since it is really a list of 300-odd organising ideas. Some of the ideas are really great, some seemed rather obvious, and others just left me scratching my head. After reading Stacey Platt’s “kitchen drawer theory” I’ve decided that I’m not so much lazy as a reverse-kleptomaniac – I don’t steal things without realising I’m doing it – I’m forever putting things down without noticing. I really think my brain is just wired that way.

Living Normally made me think that my house is a lot more “normal” than the ones in this book (!) and that if they can get their houses in a book, then maybe my house is “magazine worthy” after all!

Organizing for Dummies looked quite promising, but I really didn’t find anything useful. It’s really a very basic DIY book with a couple of tips on organising thrown in. Check it out if you think you’d like to know how to make a bedside table out of a rubbish bin (I won’t be making one, myself!).

Cover of Banish Clutter foreverBanish Clutter Forever: Sheila Chandra “had me at hello” by asking if I aspired to a home like the picture-perfect abodes in magazines.  I like her theory that things need to be organised by function rather than type, and then I realised that I actually already do that, for the most part. The thing I will take with me from this book is that

Your house won’t stay tidy (however beautiful your storage boxes) until you make the habit of ‘completion’ automatic.

In other words, if I want my house to stay clutter free, I need to learn to put things back where they are needed IMMEDIATELY. I think most of the clutter is stuff that I started and didn’t finish, whether it is the mail (did I deal with those bills and file them? No, I just left them on the end of the bench), the laundry (did I put away that folded laundry? No, it’s still sitting in a pile on the arm of the couch), or a craft project (I know I won’t have a chance to work on that quilt again for weeks, did I leave all the bits spread on my work table? Yes. Along with the bits of half finished toys, and new blouses, and dresses, and mending, and the left over bits from Christmas gifts I made…). Yup, I just need to learn to finish what I start, including the tidying up at the end (Mr K has been telling me this for years “tidy as you go!”)

My best piece of advice: pick ONE book to get ideas, and then get down and DO something about your clutter!!

As for my house, well, our special-order bathroom vanity has just been finished, so all Mr K has to do now is put the cabinet handles on, fit the sink top, and plumb in the taps. Then the bathroom will be all done! Then I’ll be able to put everything back in the bathroom, and really get stuck in to the de-cluttering… Oh, I guess that means I’ve got work to do… No more excuses, gotta get down and DO something!