Less. That was the goal. at ASlobComesClean.com

Continuing my Saturday challenge of doing Two Things at some point in a busy day, I decided to tackle my Junk Drawers.

Remember them? I decluttered them long ago, in this post where I first came up with my two decluttering questions.

They needed re-decluttering.

Oh boy, did they.

My clue that it was time was not so subtle. When you can’t close a drawer, it needs to be decluttered.

Just the kind of life-changing organizing advice you were hoping for when you came here today, huh?

But when I opened up the drawers, I was completely overwhelmed. I mean, I’d decided to do two things. Two things doesn’t seem like it should be that bad. But these two things? These two particular drawers?


I told myself to end with less than I had when I started.

Less. That was my goal.

Not perfection, not even finishing, just having less.

The best way to achieve less?

Pull out random stuff and stick it in the Donate Box or the trash.

Random junk pulled out of junk drawer. at ASlobComesClean.com

Top left: The random Christmas decoration that wasn’t used in ’14 and never made it back into the attic in ’13.

Top right: A never-used calendar from 2014.

Bottom left: Whatever I could cut away from the big tangle.

Bottom right: Some poor polar bear whose face was chewed off. I’m sure I stuck him there to save him from Scruffy the Polar Bear Eliminator. Not sure why I didn’t stick him straight into the trash can. Oh well, he’s there now.

Before and After Pic of my Junk Drawer at ASlobComesClean.com

There’s less in that second picture. I promise.

Next drawer.

Before and Less. ASlobComesClean.com

OK. This second drawer seems to have more of the “less” thing going.

Things I removed:Junk from the Junk Drawer ASlobComesClean.com

Left side, top to bottom:

  • Box top expired in ’12. Ugh. Deja vu anyone?
  • Sewing kit I’d look for in the gameroom cabinet. (So I took it there.)
  • Pure randomness. (I threw it all away. It’s ok. I had permission.)
  • Extra batteries for my beloved Key Finders. I took them to the place where we keep batteries. (Which happens to also be where we look for them!!)

Right side, top to bottom:

  • Handwipes and swimming earplugs (that I’d look for in a cabinet three feet away).
  • Another box top that I’m sure produced clever musings in my mind in the moment when I took the picture, but that my 41yo mind can’t recall and my 41yo eyes can’t even read to try to come up with more clever musings.
  • Glue sticks I’d searched for desperately a few weeks before (in a drawer on the other side of the kitchen).
  • Another DS charger for the kid who bought one when he couldn’t find this one (or the one I found on my bathroom counter).

I can’t call anything I did that day organizing, and I can hardly call it a project.

But I did take a few of my Saturday’s awkward pauses to get rid of stuff. Enough stuff that my kitchen junk drawers can easily close.

Y’know, so they can properly hide the junk that’s still in them . . .

I’m calling that progress.


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The Next Saturday: Decluttering Two (Or Three) More Things

It was the next Saturday. I had another small pocket of unclaimed time, and I decided to try my Two Things strategy again.

This time, I followed my Visibility Rule the way it’s supposed to be followed. Don’t declutter something guests will never see. Declutter something out in the open that I’ve stopped seeing.

Like this:

Clearing Out the Kitchen Shelf at ASlobComesClean.com

My pantry/breakfast nook.

It has been the subject of oh-so-many previous decluttering posts.

I removed trash.

I called that one thing. One super quick thing.

Then I moved on to the pantry:

Before Picture of Messy Pantry at ASlobComesClean.com

I kept removing trash.

Trash pulled out of the pantry at ASlobComesClean.com

Lids for containers that had broken long ago. Expired “extra” mustard brought home because it was free with some other purchase. We don’t eat enough mustard to need extra.

And, an empty lasagna noodle box. Empty because it was open ON THE BOTTOM and the noodles fell out onto the floor. Whatever. It’s gone.

And . . . not included in the collage (but seen at the very top of the before picture), seaweed. Note to self: Even if seaweed seems like something Hubby would like, buy it in a small quantity the first time. Don’t get it from Costco.

Trash removal, things going to other places in the kitchen where I’d look for them first, and a little consolidating/rearranging, and this was the result:

Cleaned Out Pantry at ASlobComesClean.com

Not perfect. Way better.

And that was my two things. I had cleared out the mostly-empty chip bags and purged the pantry.

But then, I decided to keep going. It was hard to ignore the space next to and below the two spaces I’d just tackled.

Before Clearing the Breakfast Nook at ASlobComesClean.com

After straightening, consolidating and moving things to their real homes less than two feet away (this flat surface is WAY too convenient), it looked like this:

The Breakfast Nook. Better. At ASlobComesClean.com

Far from perfect. Still with a ceramic pumpkin. But oh so much better.

So there you go. My two things turned into three things even though they were really probably only one thing.

Whatever. I made progress. Go me!!!

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How Many Do I Need? Not that many.

How Many Do I Need at ASlobComesClean.com

I think about this question.

I get asked this question.

But any decluttering progress I’ve made has NOT been because I had an answer to this question.

The best answer is simply, “Less.”

I need less. Or fewer. Whichever is grammatically correct for the situation.

Less refers to something that can’t be counted. Fewer is used when there is a specific number of things. Example: Less water. Fewer cups.

Fewer things. Less stuff.

Things can be counted. But when there are so many things that it becomes stuff, counting is pointless.

I know for a fact that I’ve kept mousse bottle caps because it seemed logical to keep them. When we travel, you need the lid. Lids disappear, so I should be sure I have one.

But I’m not sure I have one. I’m just sure I have more. I can’t have any idea how many I have when the bathroom counter looks like this:

Before Picture where I Can't Possibly Know What's In the PileASlobComesClean.com

It was on that bathroom counter that I found all FIVE of those caps. Five.

I can count to five, and five is four too many.

But on this counter, I can see if I have one or none or more.

Picture of a space I can SEE at ASlobComesClean.com

I can see it, so I know. I know if I have enough. Takes away the stress of wondering.

Takes away a lot of stress.


Oh. And yes, I see that hair hanging off one of the caps in the picture at the top of the post. I thought about applying my limited photo-editing skills to remove it. Then I decided it is what it is. I can’t pretend the random mousse bottle caps in the pile of clutter are pristine.

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