It’s been three months since we updated you on the clutter wars. Looking back makes me realise how far we have come. We still have a clutter problem, but we seem to be getting some of it under control (I use the term ‘control’ loosely). Remember our first clutter collage? We were in real strife then. We didn’t even have a toddler-nado yet. We just had too much stuff. There is no other reason for it.
Less than a month later we had already made progress. Every time I do an update I can see at least one area that I know, right away, how to improve. The biggest improvements here were around my corner desk and with Little Fearse’s areas. I had started to get rid of things with the 2-4-1 challenge and making room in cupboards and drawers for things I had decided to keep.
It was a while between updates then, and through those four and half months we learned a lot. We removed some trouble furniture, we started using spaces for their purposes. We had removed many many many more things from our home and our lives.
So, where are we now?
Some areas are still in trouble. Some are reverting. Others have maintained their approximate state since July and others have improved.
The things I’m really concerned about are the areas that are reverting. The hall seat has become a one-stop-clutter-spot lately, as has the kitchen table. The top of the piano is still a nightmare, despite getting rid of the huge old non-working portable record player at our recent garage sale.
Here is what has helped us improve this time:
- Having a garage sale meant that the spare bedroom no longer had to resemble a junk shop. The bed has been in use with a recent visit by BP’s Mum, so it was good to have the room largely cleared out. (There are still several tubs of eBay stuff in the room out of view.)
- The laundry basket on the sewing table is the result of a recent clutter bust of the living room. Only useful if you then put everything away, rather than leaving it in the basket to lie around for another week or two.
- The buffet has now become home to our fruit (and a few vases of dead flowers which I would have removed before taking the photo, but thought it wouldn’t be true to showing what our real home looks like). I have been really strict, mainly on myself, about not allowing anything else to touch down on this space. The only issue I see with this set up is that Little Fearse can now reach the top. We regularly find pieces of fruit in the bowls with one bite out of them.
- Last week I cracked it (quietly) when Little Fearse refused to help me clean up her toys. I put all of them away and left only some books, a few instruments, a kettle, one teddy and some blocks. Her area looks great and you know what? She isn’t missing any of that stuff at all! Neither am I!
The main thing that is hampering our current efforts is Little Fearse. She’s just a whirlwind lately and no matter how often we tidy it takes her less than an hour to have it looking like we never lifted a finger. She is sometimes willing to help pack up but other times she will sit tight and just refuse. (Even worse, she will sometimes react to us asking her to help clean up by pulling even more things out and off shelves…yep, she’s getting closer to 2!) Tidying up after a toddler 4 or 5 times a day doesn’t fit into my idea of a simple life.
You’ll notice from the top of the piano that I have yet to bring in the cupboard for storing things to return to others. I have an antique coal shoot that I need to do some minor repairs on, and then oil. I think it’ll be perfect once I get around to tidying it up.
Also, our dining table is absolutely strewn with crap. This is one of the last places we can put things out of Little Fearse’s reach. It is currently housing all books that need repairing (I call this our book hospital) and a variety of other things we want out of her reach. We still use half the table for breakfast and dinner every day, but the other end is getting a little out of hand.
So, any tips on how to combat the last of our clutter issues?