Nope, not scatter-brained, although the two could be closely related, but clutter-brained. I call myself clutter-brained when I am feeling a bit overwhelmed; I forget big important things like doing my taxes (yikes) or small things like dressing my two year old in the morning; I start one project or chore and get distracted by another and I never make my way back to the first. And the cause of all this lack of focus, I believe, in my opinion, is the CLUTTER that usually has piled up around my desk and the bookshelves.
This is my main space so I spend a lot of time in or near this area (it also happens to be the space on the side of our dining room). When it is clear and organized I feel great. I have one To Do list from which I work and things get crossed off with ease. When it is cluttered I am trying to work around all the PAPER and STUFF and I find that there are often two or three lists of Things To Do floating around. Ugh.
I really don’t know how it appears. I clear off everything and everything has its place. But mysteriously the clutter reappears as if by magic. Crazy, I know. Some might say “Kim, you have two little kids. There’s going to be messes.” Others could say “you just have to make sure that you put everything away before getting out something new.” Maybe you’ve heard this one: “you just need to put it back where you found it.” Right… Where did I find it? Remember I’m clutter-brained at this point, I don’t really remember anything. I am laughing at that but it’s not really funny. My hubby and I kid around saying that he tells me the same joke over and over because it’s like hearing it for the first time. But, seriously, I need to remember to take my vitamins – that should help.
Anyway, enough is enough. It’s time for a decluttering project! Now, I am the kind of gal who likes to take everything out of a space, clean the space, (and slowly and meticulously go through everything) and put back what is supposed to belong in a neat and orderly fashion. Let’s hope the kids don’t want to “help” too much.
Here is my “before” picture of the bookshelves. The shelf unit on the left holds the kid’s art supplies, small learning/building toys, and the floppy books (Curious George, Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, etc.). The shelves on the right are more for mom stuff: books, binders, resource/learning books, homeschool books. Not a pretty sight.
I ended up throwing away about half a garbage bag of papers and used stickers. A few things have not made it back to the shelves and will find a home in my closet or in the kid’s room. I decided that the files will find a home in my closet because I don’t use them everyday and they are a little on the personal side to have displayed in this common area of the house.
Here is the “after” picture. I changed out the tops of the plastic shoeboxes to all white. I added two black canvas cube drawers. These small changes help to make the area a little more pulled together. I have to say I love the plastic shoeboxes! They have worked really well to keep like items together and easy to find. Here, on these shelves, the boxes hold Play-Doh, magnetic letters, stencils, stamps, paints, Tinker Toys, Legos, puzzle blocks, and math manipulatives. In the kid’s room the boxes hold things like cars, Barbies, My Little Pony, little figures, play tools, etc. In my closet I keep glues, flash cards, thank you cards, the “good” markers, and “special” art supplies in the boxes. I use them everywhere; I told, you I LOVE them!
Next step is to work on decluttering my desk. I’m sure I have papers that should have been filed away or tended to in some way from months ago.
But such is life. Take one day at a time. Play with the kids. Spend time with the hubby. Talk to God. Then worry about cleaning the house.
What decluttering projects or redecorating projects do you have on your radar?
First Image: courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net