Remember when I compared Swiffer with the store brands last week?
Remember the overwhelming mess when I pulled out the couch?
I made it through that mess in 8 minutes that included finding my camera and (random affiliate link alert) an extra SD card when the first one was full.
Unfortunately, I have plenty of experience with overwhelming messes so I knew exactly what to do:
I grabbed a trash bag and removed the trash. Look how much LESS overwhelming it was after that:
2. I put away the easy stuff. Easy stuff is stuff that has a definite home, but it’s not in that home. Easy stuff requires no decision making whatsoever, just the action of taking things where they go. I grabbed all the dirty laundry (oh my word, now we know where all those socks went) and took it to the laundry room.
Minus socks, the space was less overwhelming:
I grabbed all of the hair stuff in one hand and the pens and pencils (and some more trash) in the other and took them where they go.
And it was done:
Ready to be Swiffered.
What overwhelming-at-first-sight clutter have you worked through lately?
Lydia purple says
We just moved two months ago and had to leave a huge storage shelf unit behind that held all the art supplies, office folders and supplies and a lot of books. About half of it for homeschooling, many things were stored high out of reach for the toddler. We have an amazing room for school/play now but it lacks the high storage. I am not done in there sorting/organizing but it gets used daily and almost every other day I look in there and get totally overwhelmed because there are still so many decisions to be made plus the daily learning/art/play mess on top…. But I turn on your podcasts and take a deep breath and every time I am done with taking the trash out and putting the things that have a home away in its place it is much better and slowly I am working my way through all the other stuff that needs a new way to be stored safely yet accessible for me 🙂
And the trips to ikea to get some new storage containers have not magically solved this problem…
When I saw that before picture the first thing that popped into my head was that if I pulled my couch out and saw all that I’d take one look, groan, (grab whatever I was looking for that made me pull it out in the first place) and push that couch right back.
And I realized two things today. One – that’s the definition overwhelmed. I never would have put that word to it before. And that head in the sand behavior is why our house was in the condition it was in 6 months ago BN (before Nony – it’s totally a thing. :))
And today when I get home – I am going to move all the living room furniture, put on the hazmat mask and see what’s found its way under there since last I moved them at Christmas…. I can’t believe it’s only been 3 months since I last looked, and OMG, it’s been 3 months since I vaccumed under the couch. TPAD – also totally a real thing.
I just cleaned off my headboard this morning, and a cabinet for storing bathroom extras (toothbrushes, hairspray, etc.). The rest of my room is still a disaster, but these were little bites I could take. My room is huge, but is a huge dumping ground and I can barely walk around in it. I had planned to clean it one week that my husband was out of town, but I quickly lost steam. 🙁
Angela @ Setting My Intention says
Ugh! That space under the couch is such a problem! Whenever my kids are looking for something I ask, “Did you check under the couch?” last time I moved the couch to vacuum I discovered spilled candy that the boys had spilled while trying to hide they were eating it! Mama was Not happy!
I would NEVER have thought to ‘categorize’ the random items under the couch. But clearly taking that approach makes the clean up process much MUCH faster! Thank you for illuminating a new approach that I will definitely utilize in the future!
I tend to clear up things that don’t make a big impact on the whole picture. I have stopped looking at largeness of my clutter. It’s too much. At this rate, I don’t see an ens.
Your blog makes me feel so good to know I am not alone! Confession: I never would have thought about pulling the couch AWAY from the wall. Seriously!? Part of my reason for not cleaning under it was because of the crazy army crawl/slither thing with a yard stick, sneezing from the fluffy blanket of dust that I have always done. Thank you! Thank you!
Tipping couches and chairs over is sometimes easier than scooting. I don’t know where I learned it, but I tested it out immediately and prefer it to scooting/pushing/pulling. Depends on the type of couches and chairs you have as well as how much room you have to do this.
My whole house feels overwhelming right now!! Trying to follow the Visibility Rule and work my way through slowly. Ugh.
So grateful. I’ve been eating the elephant-that-is-my-mom’s-photo-collection one bite at a time. We have thousands of photos. I’m killing the overwhelm by committing to scanning AT LEAST A FEW everyday, labeling and filing or giving them away. Others might think I’m crazy, but I’ve become the family historian of my very large family, so it’s rather important. I find it enjoyable to sort them, while I’m face-booking/reading these clutter-posts. I was tempted to walk away tonight, but I saw this in time and remembered my commitment. 🙂 PHEW! P.S. I also jump up every once in a while and go dust a room or wipe fingerprints. yes, Noni, we love you! haha. You’re keeping us grounded. Thanks for your honesty through all this.
J.M. Ney-Grimm says
I just got your two books, and they are wonderful. I’m on day 6 of your 28-day program, and I’m feeling hope for the first time in a very long time. Thank you, Dana!
Gotta say, though, that when I pulled my son’s bed away from the wall (after he departed for college), I found a pile about 6 inches high and 1 foot wide along the whole baseboard composed of snackbar wrappers, old toys, and miscellany. I was shocked. This was before I read your books, but I did manage to take care of that mess. Honestly, a LOT of it went in the trash.
Deborah Thoms says
Wow, just accidently, stumbled onto this page and your Spotify blog – My challenge is to declutter and downsize from a smallish 3 bedrooms, with the third as a craftroom/office, homeschool area, 1 bathroom- Now, our next move, with all its challenges – is to a caravan or fifthwheeler for fulltime living – 50 years of collecting and storing (everyone says Hording?).
Yes, we have regularly moved over these years and for the first 25 years of married life, about every 1-2 years while farming – in big and small houses, farms cottages , to the bigger 4 bedrooms, two lounges , & two bathrooms, double garages and single garages, and an outside single room, to a home that had 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, two lounges… you get the picture. (We had 5 of us then), but now we are a family of three. 💟
This is the first time, ever, that I feel empowered to truly, sort the clutter properly. Without procrastination, hiding things in Cupboards (If I can’t see it I Probably haven’t used it), freaking out at the tasks in front of me… – Thank you Noni -Your way makes complete sense. (I thought I was the only one who was struggling with this), I am not a minimalist, I accept that, at times I am a perfectionist with compulsive tendencies …. but You have given me hope, that I can make space….. and will survive!!!
But what happened to the shoe??? 🙂
A bit of mess but no dust! It might be a bit messy but doesn’t look dirty at all. I pull out our sofa and there is always dust, hair etc as well as random bits x
I literally would have swept it into a pile n tossed it in the garbage. I haven’t needed that sock pen hair tie green fuzzy thing in months years etc. Don’t need it now. And yes I HAVE done that more than once.
I was wondering what happened to the shoe too! LOL!