site stats
Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cleaning out the Clutter

I love spring. It makes me fell renewed. Since green (in all it's many shades) is one of my favorite colors I'm happy to be outside communing with nature, and I'm just as happy sitting on the screened porch watching it.

I want (and need) to have some work done on the house this spring, and as preparation I've been reading a lot of decorating books, thinking about colorful walls instead of white and wondering where the junk in my closets came from. Clearly there was some unauthorized breeding going on in there last winter.

Then one day I found a book with a title that really caught my eye--Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? by Peter Walsh. In a breezy and engaging style Walsh talks about the clutter in our homes (and our inability to deal with it) and how it keeps us from moving ahead with other aspects of our lives. Since all my clutter is very neatly arranged I felt immune from the possibility that it was really affecting my life, but Walsh's words did make me yearn for the UN-cluttered life. At one point I was inspired to pick up a garbage bag and move a chair over to the kitchen cabinets, climb up and throw out some items that had been stored on the top shelf that I NEVER used. Bag partially full, I stepped down to the middle shelf where I had a bin for plastic ware that held no less than 20 lids for containers I no longer have (most were destroyed in the microwave and were thrown out). It was a freeing experience to toss those out and empty the bin. Out of date bottles of spices went in the bag, too. I had room to put the new storage containers in the upper cabinet instead of storing them down low, where they were hard to find.

My point (you were probably wondering when I would get to it) is that decluttering--yes, Spring Cleaning--isn't that hard to do in small doses. The day after the cabinets were done I went to the pantry and rearranged, moving the healthier choices to the front of the shelves where I could find them (that's the "Butt Look Fat?" part of Walsh's equation) and realized I actually had room for some healthier snacks. Out came a slip of paper, and a shopping list was born.

I still haven't gotten to the closets yet, but I'm not afraid of them any more. I have a plan now.

How are you planning (or ignoring) your spring cleaning chores?


At 10:49 AM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Spring break in our school district isn't even a week long (Thurs, Fri and Mon). And with Easter celebrations and church services, those days go by fast.

However, I'm hoping to get into my girls' rooms (with them) and help them go through their clothes to donate items they've outgrown, or hand-me-downs they just won't wear (3 girls, with 3 different personalities, means usually 3 different tastes in clothing).

As for me, right now if I have any free time (from school, work, or family obligations), I'm devoting it to my writing.

The clutter might have to wait, or go in miniscule stage, cuz I want to get rid of the feeling that my school work is putting my writing on the back burner.

I'll settle for a sunny day and some writing time. :-)

At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Timely post, Karen! FlyLady has taught me I am able to clean anything 15 minutes at a time. However, putting in into practice has eluded me. :-) Unfortunately, I'm also one of those who feels almost as if I'm destroying something when I throw things away. I'm now trying to teach myself that I'm not destroying but creating peace for myself. (I'm not convinced yet, but I'm working on it.)

That being said, my refrigerator turned itself off because of ice build up. After defrosting the poor thing, it works perfectly. I took the opportunity presented to clear out bottles of dressing, sauces, etc that had been there for years (some at least 15 or more) and threw away all food that suffered freezer burn. Now I'm only putting back what I'm actually using. I figure if I can do that to the fridge then I can do it to the rest of my space. And it seems to be working, as long as I don't rush myself. :-D

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Karen--you be careful climbing up on chairs, okay?

Right now, we're buried in boxes. Some of our things were already dislocated because of remodeling projects, and now that our daughter has moved back in with us, we don't have space for all her things, too.

I think our first spring cleaning efforts will involve shifting boxes from underfoot to one of the barns. After that...I'd like to get more remodeling projects underway. Having ladders and power tools and sawdust and paint supplies in a room means I don't have to dust and vacuum it, right ;-)?

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Wow, Terry, your daughter is back and your planning more remodeling projects!? Your house is already beautiful! What are you going to do to it?

Karen, great reminder to start uncluttering. Once I get started, I can't stop! I love throwing away "stuff" but my husband likes to save EVERYTHING!!!

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Hey, I know Peter Walsh. He was the organizer in one of my favorite TV shows, Clean Sweep (which is hard to find on cable these days). One of his messages was so right: Memories don't live inside items, but inside you.

Karen, there must be something in the water. I cleaned out my kitchen cabinet, too. And Judy did the same thing in the refrigerator. Amazing how much expired CANNED food I found. I'm going to try to use up all the food I have before buying more.

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Yes, defrosting my 1957 Fridge is on my to do list for certain. Poor thing needs a break. I know its days are numbered, but so long as it keeps working I'll keep it. Hard to think about getting rid of an appliance that is older than I am AND still working.

I have owned this trailer since 1993, but have only lived in it the past five years. In the interim we used it as a storage point while we traveled to grad school, med school, etc. My late DH never lived here, but it is full of memories of him nonetheless. While it is EXTREMELY cluttered at this point I fully intend to declutter it as soon as possible. My nephew will be house / dog sitting for me while I am in DC in July and he told me to make a list of things I want him to fix or build and he will get it done. Yes, he is a gem and no, you can't have him. He knows he gets everything in the will so he is just protecting his investment! LOL


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]