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Welcome back! Did you get the drawers of your desk cleaned out last week?
If you are just joining us, here's the deal:
I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn't belong, isn't needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life - that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.
When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.
Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!
Week 37: Craft Supplies
I needed this week. I'm a craft supply hoarder but I rarely get the chance to craft anymore. Oh sure, I occasionally get the chance to do something like painting but for a very long period of our marriage I was a scrapbooker. I really enjoy scrapbooking and one day I want to do it again. But now is not the time. With three kids still at home during the day, five kids home at night and on the weekends, being a leader in my MOPS group, blogging, and all those other things that need to happen for daily life to function I simply can't make time for scrapbooking. It's a craft that requires time and space. LOTS of space when it comes to spreading out the papers and layouts and tools. This house does not have that type of space. What I have is this shelf where all my drawers sit. And sit and sit. Occasionally they get opened when I want to make paper chains at Christmas or one of the boys wants to decorate their poster for school. Otherwise? They sit.
I know I have an abundance of items in these drawers that I'll never use. I bought so much at Hobby Lobby over the years when I thought I'd go crazy and do super elaborate scrapbook pages. And then I had a baby and all dreams of making a wedding album got pushed to the side for a baby album. That baby will be nine years old in a month and his album is still not fully finished. I do not need as many little embellishments as I have collected. But someone will want them. Into the donation bin they went. Along with lots of ribbon and fancy scissors.
I also purged all the scrap bits of paper. I was so frugal with my paper, you guys. I saved so many tiny shreds but there is no way I was going to get anything useful out of 90% of this scrap and the other 10% just joined it because I was tired of messy drawers. All the drawers have solid pieces of paper now. Some are smaller squares or rectangles but they aren't little wisps getting caught on eight other pieces of paper so I'm okay with it.
I managed to clean out six drawers. SIX! Yes, one of those drawers below has stuff in it but I took this and then realized I hadn't swapped it with another empty drawer. I've never claimed to be perfect! I'm now down to four sets of drawers with supplies. Most of it is paper and then a couple drawers worth of photos and stickers. Occasionally I let the kids break out the stickers since they probably won't be sticky anymore by the time I get around to using them.
I moved one of these drawer sets to the kitchen for housing coloring books and some simple office supplies that I couldn't find a spot for before having the drawers. The other set I stuck under our printer to hold extra paper and charging cords. I was a little nervous about this placement because it's up on top of our cupboards but our printer is really calm when it prints so even if I print off fifty pages it doesn't shake.
Phew! I'm so glad this challenge forced me to do something about those shelves. Can you believe there are only sixteen weeks left of this challenge! That means there are only sixteen more areas to clean and several of them you could probably knock out really easily.
I have noticed some clutter creeping back into areas we busted at the beginning of this challenge (like our ledge) so I need to go back over those continuously but others have managed to stay much nicer now that I've cleared the most obvious items. This is not a quick fix but it's a challenge that can be a great starting point to better habits.
Share a picture in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.
Join me next week for week 38 to declutter school and office supplies. I know this seems kind of redundant because in the last few weeks we have done our desk surfaces, office paperwork, and desk drawers - what supplies could be left? Come back next Tuesday and we will talk it all out ;)
If you are looking for a better way of keeping on top of your homemaking tasks now that you are steamrolling through all this decluttering you might be interested in a new course from Humorous Homemaking. Home Management How To: A Guide to Daily Success is open now! I've got a post about my experience with this course here but this is a great course for you to take control of all the household tasks in a way that is tailored specifically to your family and life.