Hot Spot Check Up: Desk – Week 7 | Success!

Every week I post about a clutter hot spot in my home. I’m currently working on my desk, including a box of paper clutter I filled up from the desk several weeks ago. 

Do you know that I was so excited to get to the bottom of that paper clutter box, that I didn’t even stop to take a before picture? It looked pretty much the same as the after picture from last week.

I went to work, but I didn’t set a timer, because I was determined to get to the bottom of that box and I wasn’t going to stop until I was there. I knew I could do it. And it sure helps that I told you to expect it!

Now, are you ready to see a thing of beauty?

I really debated about whether I should do something creative or special at the bottom of the box, but then I decided…


I’m going to let the elegance of this empty cardboard box stand on its own.



Maybe I should frame that picture for inspiration. There are many more boxes to go through!

Here are my sorted piles and the very full recycle box:

I filed the To File pile. Yes indeed.

Mr. RSS’s pile is ready for him. Marvelous.

The Take Action pile moved to the desk. AND you’ll be happy to know that I took some action on several items. Maybe those of you with a keen eye can even see the difference.

Of course I did some other decluttering and organizing on the desk, too.

Here’s the desk before:

Here’s the desk after:

What I’ve learned in the last 7 weeks:

  • Even though my progress was slow, I worked on the desk and the paper clutter every week in small chunks (usually with a timer). Slow and steady wins the race, right? I’m creating good habits. It doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s where I started 7 weeks ago.
  • Mail – open it right away (or at least the same day!), recycle the junk, file right away, and of course have a place for things that need action (for me, on the desk next to the computer).
  • Accountability works. Thanks for checking in on me. You motivate me. I hope I can motivate you, too.

I think I’m ready for a new clutter hot spot. Next week, I’m going to revisit the kitchen island, since some of you (OK, 2 of you) have requested to see how it’s looking these days. And I do want to revisit this desk in the not-too-distant future. There’s more work to do here for sure, but for now it is under control.

So after I revisit the kitchen island, what should I work on next? Some places I’m considering:

  • The “entryway” (coat closet and hooks by the front door)
  • The top of the stereo cabinet
  • The kitchen counter by the dishwasher/phone
  • Another idea from my lovely readers?


And by the way, how is your desk looking today?
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Filed under Before and After, Hot Spot Check Up, Paper Clutter

19 Responses to Hot Spot Check Up: Desk – Week 7 | Success!

  1. Nicole

    My clutter hotspot always seems to be the kitchen counter. That’s where lunch containers, keys, mail, and pretty much everything end up!

  2. Sarah Godwin

    Hurray! What a tremendous accomplishment! You have inspired me to tackle my paper clutter. I can’t say that I have completely cleared any one area, but I have substantially diminished several piles, which motivates me to continue. It is overwhelming at times, as you know, but I’m beginning to believe that it is indeed possible. Thanks!

  3. Looks great! I love how you use old envelopes as your labels! Why waste them, right?
    Our computer area isn’t looking so good, but I told myself I was going to organize and wipe down the fridge this week and I did! Maybe next week my goal should be our computer area. Thanks for your inspiration!

  4. It is a huge deal to empty a WHOLE box of paper clutter. That must feel so good. I guess that’s one reason to put it in a box. So that there can be a moment of completion. The paper stuff can be like Dishes and Laundry… no end in sight!

    The empty box is elegant indeed!

    • Elizabeth

      That is an interesting thought about putting it in boxes on purpose to achieve a moment of completion. I usually just put it in boxes to hide it “for later.”

      I know what you mean about no end in sight! I’m reminding myself right now to enjoy the process.

  5. WilliamB

    My hard-core to-do piles are shrinking faster than they’re being added to. Not much faster, but faster.

    Which of these spots will be easiest for you? My vote is for that, since desk & paper is so hard.

    Any update on your first spot, the fridge? Especially if the pix include a little one poking around.

    • Elizabeth

      Glad to hear about your shrinking piles!

      I think the stereo cabinet would be the easiest.

      Yes, yes, the fridge. I actually did clean it out last month and I even took pictures and never posted them. But it could use some work again. It’s not too bad, though!

  6. I really liked seeing your progress! I am going through my house right now too, so I feel that we are in the trenches together! I subscribed by email (Frugal Girl had a lovely reminder) so you can keep me motivated! Maybe I can do a weekly blog post of my decluttering too!


    • Elizabeth

      Thanks, Alice! I’m so glad to have you here! It’s much more fun to be in the trenches with someone else!

      Let me know if you do a decluttering post. I would love to see it.

      I checked out your blog, too. You have adorable scrapbooking ideas!

  7. Good for you, Elizabeth!!!!

    My desk is looking pretty good because Mr. FG rearranged some things because he was installing some stuff in the office. And he cleaned up after himself…my desk looks better than it did before. 😉

  8. You’ve been doing such a good job with the desk mess and kitchen island. I think you should go for the kitchen counter next. It feels so good to walk into a clutter free kitchen of a morning. I know because I’ve been able to do that a few times at my house. I’ll work on my counter while you work on yours.

  9. Tiffany C.

    That is a beeeeaauuuutiful picture!!! Simple and lovely! Great job. Slow and steady DOES win the race! I think that doing the entry way would be a good place to go next. At my house, now that the big coats and the snow boots and gloves and scarves…… are all coming out for the cold season, it has gotten a bit out of control around here! I could use some ideas from you!

  10. Tiffany C.

    Oh! I almost forgot…how is your fridge doing? I did mine today, there are people coming to my house on Wed, and it was looking really scary! I’m so glad I did it, and my kids even helped. I was just curious how your fridge situation was.

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks for the encouragement, Tiffany! Good job working on the fridge! Mine is okay. I should empty it again soon before it gets out of hand. Thanks for asking! 🙂 Have fun with your clean fridge and your guests!

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