Cleaning out the clutter: Part 2

Last night was a rare night where I didn’t have anything on my agenda. No hours to log for the side job, no social engagements, no meetings or travels. Nothing. I literally counted down the minutes until I was off work so I could enjoy my free evening.

And enjoy it I did. All while managing to be productive, too.

My roommate has been gone the last 7 weeks or so for an internship, but she returned last weekend. (I can’t tell you how awesome it is to finally have someone to talk to when I get home from work!) She also started the Happiness Project book (although hasn’t finished it, so she’s borrowing my copy). She joked she needed to start her own happiness project too, so we thought we’d start small. We cracked open a bottle of wine and went to town on the totes in our individual bathrooms.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I started clearing the clutter out of my bathroom. That was just surface level, mostly cleaning out the perfumes and other beauty products on my counter. Last night I tackled a good chunk of the rest. It was hard at first, but I ended up getting rid of a good 15 pairs of earrings I never wear and probably half a dozen or so necklaces. (Gretchen Rubin is right – having an objective person go through your stuff is a fantastic idea.) The contents of my makeup bag have been cut in half, as have my hair accessories. Major success! I’m also thinking about using my roommate’s method for storing her jewelry – each piece of jewelry she owns gets its own small plastic storage bag before it’s put into her jewelry box. Based on the disarray my earrings were in, I may have to invest in some of those…

Last night I also started that keepsake box I mentioned in the post that I linked. I pulled out three different photo boxes, a basket and a few other odds and ends where I keep my keepsakes. I can’t tell you how good it felt to organize all that stuff and have it in one place, categorized by year. And there’s an added bonus of having two completely empty photo boxes. Greeting cards, notes, awards, little nick knacks – you name it, it’s almost all in one place now. That’s something Barbara Hemphill stresses. She was at the women’s leadership conference I went to two weeks ago, and a lot of her messages resonated with me. One is that everything should have a place in your space. You should (ideally) be able to look at a piece of paper or item and know where it goes. I’m slowly hoping to get to that point through this decluttering/organizing/throwing crap away process. Right now it’s just in piles or hidden in cute storage bins.

I think her tips are also going to be helpful as I start approaching my weekend task: my desk. I fear this will be a bigger and less enjoyable endeavor in my quest to be more organized and clutter-free. The problem is that I love my desk and it’s made for a type a/OCD personality like mine, but I don’t really use it as a desk anymore and it takes up a ton of room. It’s basically become a shelf, so I’m going to have to assess whether I really need the desk or if I’m better off investing in an cubbie/filing system and dresser. Anyone have any advice on that? Right now it holds probably a dozen binders with school notes, file folders and notebooks, plus two of the now-empty photo boxes. It just feels like too much clutter, but I haven’t been able to visualize or decide how to remedy this. I’m definitely open to any and all suggestions.

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About dakotalizzie

I'm a twentysomething young professional living in Nebraska. My blog centers on the things I love - my family, dogs, friends, crafting, cooking, life chats and health. All these things help me lead the good life, and isn't that really what it's all about?

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