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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--Nony

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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--Nony

Finding Storage Space in My House

Finding Storage Space In My House at ASlobComesClean.com

One of my best/for-realest excuses reasons for clutter is I don’t have much storage space in this house.

Really.

I don’t.

I have a tiny coat closet, one cabinet in the gameroom, and a pantry. But y’all, I’ve seen storage CLOSETS in other people’s houses. Like, closets for no other purpose than storing stuff. One house we looked at had, like, FOUR walk-in storage closets.

Mmmm-hmmmm. If I only had those, I’d be totally organized.

Except I don’t. I have what I have.

And since I didn’t become magically organized all the other times when other if-onlys came true, I’m pretty sure four walk-in storage closets wouldn’t do the trick either.

One of my big frustrations has been my lack of space to store our Brownie troop supplies. We meet in my house. We have supplies. Those supplies need a home, but I didn’t think I had one for them.

So they sat in the floor of my master bedroom.

A totally bad idea, but I couldn’t think of a better one.

But then, I glanced up from my breakfast table and saw this:

Cluttered Cabinet at ASlobComesClean.com

Ummm. That’s storage space.

I think of it as my pantry, but all the pantry-type-stuff is stored in its twin on the other side of the room.

I suddenly realized this legit Storage Space was storing stuff I didn’t even need.

Like two coffee makers. Two EXTRA coffee makers. The one on the bottom doesn’t even work. It’s caraffe-less, but even the first cup isn’t hot.

THE FIRST CUP, y’all.

Why did we stick it in there instead of throwing it out?

NO idea.

There was also a picnic basket we don’t use, lots of randomly placed napkins and such that could likely be consolidated, and canisters I bought a LONG while ago at a garage sale but never used because I’d have to scrub/de-funkify them first.

The fact that I still hadn’t de-funkified them and still didn’t feel like de-funkifying them right then made me realize they could go. Let someone else think they’re cute and actually do what needs to be done to USE them.

Moment of Realization: I was storing things I didn’t need, while I “didn’t have room” to store things I did need.

Ugh.

So, as the Second of Two Things I tackled that day, I cleared out the cabinet to see if it could hold our Brownie stuff.

Cleared from the Storage Cabinet at ASlobComesClean.com

On the top shelf (of the three I decided to purge), I found craft supplies, dog treats, and a cute-but-haven’t-found-a-way-to-actually-use-it basket. The craft supplies were victims of me asking “Where would I stick it?” instead of the much better question: “Where would I look for it?”

Once upon a time, this cabinet WAS our craft cabinet. But it’s not anymore. We look for craft supplies in the gameroom. But I (obviously) still stick stuff in the old place sometimes. I took it where we would look for it. RIGHT then.

Dog treats? Hmmm. Upon seeing them, I did remember putting them there, but if you’d asked me the day before whether we had any, I would have said we’re out.

Wait and see how wrong that was.

The basket? Who knows why that ended up in there. Cute as it was, it went straight to the Donate Box.

Once I removed all that EASY stuff and put the napkins and such into the basket where they actually go, I had some empty space on that shelf.

Aaaahhhh, empty space.

Open space!!!

Empty space meant I could keep the picnic basket. THERE WAS A PLACE FOR IT!!! I don’t want to talk about the “we never use it” part.

And do you see more dog treats peeking out from under the picnic basket??

I pulled out all sorts of randomness, like:

Random Birthday Hat from Years Ago

Mmm-hmmmm. THAT was worth storing for all these years. I could have returned to the dollar store for another one if we ever needed it.

Which would have been . . . never.

Pulled Out of the Storage Cabinet at ASlobComesClean.com

Some donations. Some trash. And then it looked like this:

Cleared Out Storage Cabinet at ASlobComesClean.com

Clear space. Aaaaahhhhhh.

Time to gather the Girl Scout stuff. As I put things in there, I discovered there was quite a bit of trash in the bags and boxes of Brownie stuff I’d assumed were important enough to take up master bedroom space.

But after purging trash and consolidating what we needed to keep, it ALL fit into the cabinet I hadn’t even considered a possibility a week before.

Girl Scout Cabinet at ASlobComesClean.com

Not an organizing masterpiece, but I was happy(ish) about this:

Before and After Removing the Girl Scout Supplies at ASlobComesClean.com

Happy(ish) because while I was glad to get the Brownie stuff put away, I was irritated that other, non-Girl-Scout-related things were in that pile. In my mind, this project was going to solve the entire pile problem.

But, as piles are rarely exactly what I think they are, it didn’t.

Hmmmph.

But I’m choosing to be glad I did this. I proved to myself that I do have more storage space than I think I do. I just don’t have space to store stuff that doesn’t deserve storing.

I’m also glad for my own (oh-so extensive) decluttering experience. Once upon a time, I might have come up with this solution but would have ended up Stuff Shifting. Moving the G.S. stuff into that space and putting the other stuff in a box to be dealt with later. Y’know, when I suddenly stumbled upon the storage space I hadn’t noticed yet in the nine years we’ve lived in this house.

But because I have grown to love the feeling of Stuff Leaving, the Donate Box and the trash took care of the things that didn’t have a definite home somewhere else in the house.

I made progress. Not a bigger mess. Yay for that.

 

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--Nony
--Nony

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