Category Archives: Paper Clutter

Kickstart to Clutter Free: Day 3 – Kitchen Counters!

You know what this means for me. Kitchen Counters = My dear sweet kitchen island gets to be uncovered again.

Here’s where we started this time:

Clutter Island 2000

It could be worse, right? A little worse?

For some reason I didn’t feel as overwhelmed as I usually do by this task. That makes me happy.

By the way, those Star Wars oranges are delish. Much better than regular oranges.

I actually remembered to start the timer this time. So after 15 minutes:

papers on island

Of course. Papers! Grrrr.

I set the timer for 15 more minutes:

100_9583

I recycled a bunch, and these are sorted small stacks.

I decided to go for 5 more minutes to see what I could do. I’m wild that way.

Oh! I almost forgot to show you this Easter basket that I found (yes, in the kitchen, in January).

I put all of the kids’ things that I found on the island in there for them to put away. I left that as one of their chores for the morning.

kid stuff to put away

(Not sure what the story is with this picture in the basket, but apparently there is a stolen lunchbox situation. “Hey! You took my lunchbox!” “Hands up!”)

The 2 piles behind the basket are for me and the hubby.

So here is what is left. A pile of mail and a small pile of papers for me to deal with.

Not Too Bad Island

 

Time for bed! It’s not perfect, but I have to get over being perfect so that I can make progress and not wait for the “perfect” time to be able to make it “perfect.”

Ack! I just realized that I forgot to count the things I decluttered this time! It was supposed to be 25 things. Things I got rid of included: trash, papers (mail, coupons, receipts, cards), and food. The rest of the items were relocated to their correct home. I just counted the papers from my recycle bag and there were 25 there, so let’s call it 30. Whew!

How are your kitchen counters doing? Getting rid of any clutter there?

I’m taking Kathi Lipp’s ecourse Kickstart to Clutter Free. If you are interested in the ecourse, you can read more about my thoughts on it here.

Next stop is the home office, whatever that means for you. Looks like I will be getting rid of more paper….

This post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something from clicking one of those links, it helps keep things running around here. Thanks! 

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Kickstart to Clutter Free: Day 1 – Paper!

Here we go! I’m so excited to be doing Kathi Lipp’s Kickstart to Clutter Free e-course! Day 1 was paper. The assignment was to get rid of 100 pieces of paper.

Kathi thought this might be a hard one for people. Not me!!! Do you know why? Because I have gobs and gobs of paper clutter!

I am really really good at collecting and keeping paper that I don’t need!

Here’s a before picture of my “desk”:

paper clutter

 

I decided to go for a section where I mainly keep the kids’ school related papers, because I knew that most of them could be recycled. I grabbed a huge stack and started going through them quickly.

For this class, each decision counts as an item. So a stapled pack of papers would count as one if you just need to basically look at the top piece and decide, but one piece of paper can also count as one. I had both situations here.

To help me keep track, I grouped the papers I was getting rid of in stacks of 10. I am so distracted, I knew I would lose count if I tried to count all the way to 100 at once.

Here are the papers I recycled. There are actually 310 here! Yippee!

kids school papers

This is the stack of papers I am keeping:

keep papers

And believe it or not, I actually put these papers where they needed to go!

This “Stay at Home” tray is now cleaned out!

Paper tray for school papers

Here’s the “after” picture of the “desk”:

Some papers gone

 

Okay, so there’s lots more to do here, but 310 papers out the door is a great start!

If you are interested in taking the e-course, you can sign up hereIt’s not too late! You can start anytime. You can read more of my thoughts about it here.

Have you decluttered any paper lately?

This post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something from clicking one of those links, it helps keep things running around here. Thanks! 

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Have you missed seeing my clutter pictures? Look no further! Clutter Island: Before Pictures

Hi Everybody! I hope you have been having a fabulous summer! I have. It’s just been really nice to spend time with my family. I love my family!

I really, really, thought I was going to get my house back in order (as much as I can do “order”), but I haven’t gotten very far. I’ve hinted at it before, but things really fell apart around here when I went back to work last year. I’m going to be brave and post a picture I took in May:

Clutter, clutter everywhere

I know. It’s craziness. This was a “before” picture. We worked on it the same day and improved it (especially all of the random stuff on the floor), but I never took an “after” picture because it just didn’t seem like enough improvement to me. It’s not like I cleared the kitchen island or the desk or the big stack of boxes of junk.

Oh my dear Kitchen Island, a.k.a. Clutter Island.

The last time my island was clean and clear was around October of last year. I kept taking before pictures thinking I was going to get it cleared, but I never did. So here’s a progression of clutter over several months in pictures! Fun with clutter!

Clutter Island in January:

January 2013 Kitchen Island

Clutter Island in March:

March 2013 Kitchen Island

Clutter Island in June. Layers of Clutter, People, layers!

Kitchen Island 6-20-13

Clutter Island in July. In case you are wondering about those red and white legs sticking up. That’s a decorated Santa container. Yes, Santa. Yes, July. That’s a Christmas DVD there, too.

Kitchen Island 7-20-13

Now this is when I decided to do the old 15 minute timer thing and work on it in chunks until it was done. Here’s a progress picture from a different angle. Well, there is some white space, right? And a cute boy!

Kitchen Island 7-31-13

I wasn’t getting very far with the 15 minute strategy, even over several days.

And then… I found some new inspiration that I can’t wait to tell you about but this post has gotten so long I’m going to leave it for the next post. Can you believe I’m leaving you in suspense like this?!

OK. I will tell you that I did clear my island!!! Not only that, I’ve learned a lot about my clutter. Does that sound weird? Anyway, I’ll be back soon to tell you how I did it and with some process pictures and after pictures. Yippee!

Are you having a great summer? How are your cluttery spots doing?

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Love By Decluttering | The Master Bedroom Project – Update #3

I didn’t get as much done this week because I have been dealing with a broken refrigerator. SO not fun!

I cleaned out 2 laundry baskets and 1 box of clutter.

Those 2 clutter-filled laundry baskets have spent time hanging out all around my house over this past year.

I brought them down to the kitchen and worked my way through them throughout the day. I had “help.”

Check it out!

I also spent a morning, with all 3 kids in the bedroom with me, clearing out this box:

You can see the box in the first picture with more stuff in it. I took this picture after I already started.

Here’s the recycling from that box:

And here’s what I am keeping (but not in the bedroom!):

And here’s the beautiful empty box:

Can you tell that I am getting faster at decluttering paper? I can! All of my practice this year must be paying off! It also helps that this was year-old paper clutter.

I also feel like I’m doing a better job at working on my decluttering projects with the kids around. That is good, because they are around a lot! And I love ’em! 🙂

I am planning to meet with Mr. RSS to talk about books. This is something we need to go through together to make sure we agree on what to get rid of. We are thinking about selling many of them on half.com.

I know that I really need to ramp up and focus this week. I have a lot still to do!!

I’ll be back on Wednesday to show you the finished product! A clean and decluttered master bedroom! Woo!

And Ack! I’m feeling the pressure of the deadline!

I’m excited to be linking up with the 29 Day Organizational Challenge over at Org Junkie!

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Love by Decluttering | The Master Bedroom Project – Update #2

I’m decluttering and organizing The Master Bedroom this month as part of my Love By Decluttering project. And I’m so thankful that Laura from I’m an Organizing Junkie is doing a 29 Day Organizing Challenge this month, too!

I didn’t get as much done this week as I would have liked, but I do have some progress to show you.

Here’s a before picture. If you want to see more you can check out this post.

Here’s how it looks now.

Wow. That actually makes me feel like I got more done! But the clothes in the pile were mostly dealt with last week.

Here are some things that will be leaving the house! Yay!

Trash bags!

That seems like a lot of trash. That black bag was actually in the pile with some trash already in it. I’m sure I left it there because it wasn’t full yet, but the next time that happens I will fill it up from other rooms and get it out the door!

And here are some things to sell or donate:

There will be more of this next week for sure!

Here’s what is left in this part of the room:

Blech.

What I want to avoid: Moving the clutter from the bedroom to other parts of the house and just leaving it there to clutter up another area. I had to say that out loud because it’s so tempting sometimes! Moving clutter from room to room will not solve my clutter problems.

The small box of yard sale leftover baby clothes are stained and/or ripped, so I’m thinking I will cut them up into rags. The rest of it I think I need to just set a 15 min. timer and make myself work through it bit by bit. I also have a laundry basket full of clean socks that I need to deal with. Too many are missing their match. And we just have too many!

Good news:

-I didn’t add to the pile this week! I put clothes either in the closet or in the dirty laundry basket. Yes!

-My friend Kristen is coming over next week to help me with a decluttering project! Not sure if we’ll work in the bedroom or somewhere else, but it’s a good thing! We made great progress the last time she came.

Have a great weekend! I’d love to hear if you have any advice or tips for me. 

I’ll be back next Friday with another update!

I’m excited to be linking up with the 29 Day Organizational Challenge over at Org Junkie!

 

 

 

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My Husband Rocks at Decluttering | Man on a Mission Strikes Again. This time: Paper Clutter

This man puts me to shame when he gets to decluttering.

It took me 7 weeks to go through one box of paper clutter.

Mr. RSS went through about 6 boxes of paper clutter in ONE day!

He sent 4 or 5 big black trash bags of paper clutter out the door!

A few things that helped him: 1) I kept the kids busy (Huge help, right?!) 2) A bunch of the paper was damaged from our little basement flood. 3) It was really really old paper clutter (much of it around 10 years old).

He was working in the basement. Here’s the before picture. I didn’t think to take one that day, so this is a few months ago. He basically took out that front row of boxes.

Some other things were moved around, so it’s a little hard to see the progress, but notice that bookcase that you can just barely see in the first picture is now quite visible.

Here we have a pile of empty boxes (plus there’s at least one that got recycled):

And the bonus? He found a $100 saving bond that was a gift for our son, and $25 cash that was a baby gift for our now 7-year-old daughter. Gotta love that!

4 Decluttering Tips from Mr. RSS

1. Tenacious focus.

2. Remember the #1 goal is to purge.

3. Don’t tie emotion to objects or pieces of paper.

4. Hold to the stuff of this earth loosely.

Happy Decluttering!

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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…

No.

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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Hot Spot Check Up: Desk | Week 6

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. 

OK! I’m feeling some good progress this week. Doing the hot spot check up with the desk has helped me to be more aware of all of the paper around the house. And we have been doing a good job of not letting the mail pile up. Most of it goes right to the recycle bin. Yay!

I worked on my paper clutter box for 15 minutes, timed.

Here’s the before:

And I had the papers all nicely sorted, too. Then I ran out of time to deal with all the papers and unfortunately left them right where they were for a while.

When I got back to them, they looked like this:

Hmpf. I had to redo some of it to get it back to this (the box with the clown paper is the recycle box):

Do you see how close we are to the bottom of that paper clutter box?? Next week, baby. Empty paper clutter box. Come expecting to see it.

Then I filed the file pile. Yes!

I put Mr. RSS’s things on his desk. Yes!

And I put the take action pile on the desk with the other take action stuff. Ye….mmm….Okay.

But I did go through the take action pile a little and got rid of a few things. OK, I picked some easy ones!

Then I worked on the desk. Here’s how it looked before:

And after:

I even did some dusting on the desk! Woohoo!

Other Updates:

  • The yard sale prep is going really slowly. I hope to get more done tomorrow!
  • I started working on a cleaning and decluttering schedule for myself! I’ll be sure to post it when it’s finished!

 

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Hot Spot Check Up: Desk | Week 4 | Old Datebook

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 a few weeks ago. 

Here’s my desk picture for today:

And….. I don’t have an after picture today for the desk. But I did do some work on my paper clutter box.

Here’s how it looked last week.

I worked on it for 15 minutes (timed) and here’s how I did (That recycle bag was almost empty when I started):

 

See that pink date book in the box? I had it in my hand, and then I put it back in there because I couldn’t decide what to do with it. It’s hard for me to get rid of old datebooks. It sort of tells about my life for that year.

But maybe it’s not telling about the really important things.

On rare occasion the old ones have helped me with tax information or birthdays.

Now I’m thinking maybe I could let myself keep them for just one extra year. What do you think?

I did take time to deal with most of the sorted piles. But my Take Action pile on the desk is growing faster than I would like. I did take some action on dealing with some health insurance stuff today though!

Even slow progress is still progress, right?

Maybe I wasn’t super inspirational today, but I can direct you to someone who inspired me with her attack on paper clutter. Check out what Megan did over at Declutter Daily.

I have some friends coming over tomorrow after dinner, so you know what I’ll be doing with any spare time I can find! I have a feeling the desk will look a little better by tomorrow night.

 

 

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Hot Spot Check Up: Desk | Week 3

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 a few weeks ago. 

I started again with that paper clutter box. I haven’t touched it since last week, of course.  Except that one thing was added to the box. That’s not what’s supposed to happen!

Before:

I set the timer for 10 min. and went to work, with the same basic process that I used last week. I was moving a little slower today, so after 10 min. was done, I wanted to make more progress, so I set the timer for 5 more minutes. The recycle bag is not just from this week’s project. It includes papers from last week and some others from throughout the week.

After:

I gave myself 15 minutes to deal with my little piles and work on the desk itself. I was so excited to get to work on the desk, that I forgot to take a before picture, but here’s how it looked after that 15 minutes, plus I went just a few minutes over.

Desk:

My Take Action pile is there to the right of the computer, and some unopened mail is there on the left.

What I am learning:

  • I need to make time for actually dealing with the Take Action pile. You know, maybe I should spend some time taking action.
  • Blogging about my progress really motivates me!
  • If I keep the same pace on that paper clutter box, I should have it emptied in 2-3 weeks. I hope I can pick up the pace a little more!

What motivates you to work on paper clutter?

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