Friday, March 18, 2011

Project Simplify Week Two

Warning - this is a photo heavy post!

Project Simplify is a five week decluttering challenge.  You can read all about it and join in from the Project Simiplify link above.  Week Two's Hot Spot is paper clutter!

I have to admit that Paper Clutter is an insidious monster in my household.  It tends to accumulate, multipy, and join with various other sorts of clutter in numerous hot spots throughout my home.  I have yet to find a "system" that works for me to eradicate this evil from my life.  So I keep trying.  Let's look at the worst spots:

The kitchen counter.  This end is the first horizontal surface you come to when entering through the front door. And becomes the dropping point for all manner of mail, school papers, and "stuff" imaginable.

Several members of my household dump stuff here.  I am the only one who ever removes it.

The kitchen desk.  Largely my fault.  When I move stuff off the kitchen counter, this is often where it lands.

The American Eagle bag? Stuff that needs to be shredded.  The bin under the phone - miscellaneous items like the cat brush, nail clippers, paper clips, coin wrappers, library cards.  Just an odd assortment of stuff.

Where you see the black hand bag - it is sitting in an unused "in box" filled with a bunch of other stuff.

The office.  Still in a state of flux as I'm still transitioning into this space.  And in this photo, at it's worst because I just moved a lot of stuff from the kitchen desk that actually belongs in the office based on use.  But my computer desk is almost always a mess with papers.  So much happens here!

The end table by my spot on the sofa. Can you  count at least five things that don't belong?  How about:  the Ace bandage box, the basket of socks belonging to my two youngest daughters (that has managed to reside in this spot for several years now), the camera case hidden in the corner containing a film 35mm camera that we stopped using in the mid-90's, the outdated JCPenney catalogs, the excess books on the table.

These are the areas I tackled this week.

And the results?  See for yourself:

  Kitchen Counter BEFORE
  Kitchen Counter AFTER

 Kitchen Desk BEFORE. 

Kitchen Desk AFTER.  Purse and stuff moved to closet upstairs. Inbox moved to Office - awaiting a new use or donation.  Stuff in the top two desk drawers also went to the office.  What was in the bin under the phone was sorted (some tossed) and moved to the top desk drawer.  Everyday school supplies were added to the second desk drawer for easy access by the kids.  The bin now holds papers to be shredded.

Newly organized top desk drawer.

Newly organized second desk drawer.

End Table BEFORE

End Table AFTER. Old catalogs recycled. Camera moved to area where we house other camera equipment. Excess books moved to book shelves or bottom drawer.  And that basket of socks? I took it to the girls' bedroom.  A day later it was back by the end table - like magic. I bided my time.  The next morning,  I took it back upstairs and emptied the contents into a bin in the girls' window seat. I used the emptied basket to hold some of the folded clothing overflow that was sitting on their bedroom floor.  It was a battle of wills. I prevailed.

Office BEFORE.

Office AFTER.  A  lot more happened here than is obvious by looking.  A LOT of sorting and tossing of papers. Some reorganizing of the filing system. All the bills paid and all the filing - DONE! :) 

Office close-up:  My Computer Desk BEFORE.

Office close up:  My Computer Desk AFTER.

The end result?  I now have a copy paper box FULL of documents that need to be shredded, another bag of paper that can simply be recycled. "Stuff" has been moved to where it is actually used and removed from surfaces where possible.  I'm a long way from the minimalist NOTHING on horizontal surfaces, but this is such an improvement for me!  I'm really pleased with the progress I made this week.  How did it go for you?


Amy said...

Pleased? Well, if it were me with these results I'd be swinging from the tree tops - you have done an amazing job, I bet it feels great to have things so neat and tidy! I suppose the test is to see how long it lasts and if it is maintainable? Always the challenge hey? :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! You must have a tremendous sense of accomplishment! It looks great.

Nicole said...

WOW WOW WOW! Looks fantastic! P.S. I love the flower bag on your desk. P.P.S. I'm in the OLW class too. :) Have a great deserve it after all that!

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

I had to laugh about your kitchen counter. Ours is the SAME way - and I'm the only one that ever removes stuff from it!

Great job on de-cluttering! Isn't that a great feeling? Here's hoping it lasts for a while. ;o)

scrappyjacky said...

Absolutely amazing,Cheri...what a transformation!!!!
I smiled at the kitchen counter....the end of mine looks like that as well.....actually, it usually does....but we had guests last weekend....and so it got tidied up....guests are usually the impetus for me having major tidy ups!!!!
And yes.....everyone leaves stuff around....but it's only me that ever sorts it out.
DD1 still has bags in the conservatory from when we decorated her amount of asking has got her motivated to sort and clear OH has now said if it isn't done tomorrow....he's going to tip the whole lot over her bed!!! Luckily I'm not here tomorrow!!!!

Rachel said...

Nice! I'm jealous--We've moved into a new place this week and I am buried in mess! :)

Unknown said...

That looks amazing. All I can say is wow. It's taken me a while to be a minimalist, but it is soooo worth it in the long run. Enjoy your weekend in your super organized and fantastic spaces. Thanks for stopping by Santa Beso too.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! You have been busy!! Awesome work! Looks superb!

Unknown said...

Awww, look, you're reading my blog in the last photo! Is this to kick me in the booty to get myself into this challenge??? Our dining room table is a lot like your counter, only instead of tossing it all onto a desk in the kitchen (which we don't have), it ends up on the FLOOR of my bedroom. Oh, my... I guess I need to get myself to this challenge toot sweet! Great job, Cheri! I'm inspired, motivated... yet envious and still overwhelmed. :) Hugs!

humel said...

Good for you - wow, I'm seriously impressed!

As I type this, The Doctor is sorting out some of our clutter. I'm now feeling guilty and inspired in equal measure. I need to get off the computer and help him... xx

So Domesticated said...

Wow... great job tackling hot spot #2!

Kelly Miller said...

You've been hard at work, woman! Everything looks great.

Susie said...

Awesome job!

Farming Mama said...

Wow - you may have more paper than me but you really showed the paper monster this week! Amazing job, what a drastic before/after difference! Now everytime it gets cluttered again, you have these great pics to flip back to to encourage you to keep the paper beast tamed :)

Lisa T said...

Great job! That's a lot of work. It looks great!

Anonymous said...

Whew, that's a lot of work but obviously well worth it!

Anonymous said...

You did an amazing job! Quite the accomplishment this week!

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

Good for you! I would be swinging from the treetops too.

Unknown said...

Wow, you did an enormous job! This is a very painful subject for me. I have paper clutter everywhere. My addiction to magazines, newspapers and newspaper clippings doesn't help :(