Tuesday, January 12, 2010


photo by Electric Spam

Advice from de-cluttering experts:

•Handle every piece of paper that comes into your house only once.
•Don't bring anything home that you don't have a place and purpose for.
•For every new possession that enters your house, one must leave.

There is one room in my house that looks like a bomb went off. I've been trying to get it cleaned up for years. When company comes, we just shut (and lock) the door to that room. So there it sits. It's such a mess that even thinking about starting to clean it makes me feel overwhelmed and helpless.

Sometimes the things I need to and even want to do are the hardest to face. I am searching for the will to just get started! Do you have a Room of Shame where you live?


Sweet P said...

Yes, it's my basement. I had it clean and sorted out 18 months ago and then DH started putting more stuff down there. Now he wants to refinish it - that will give us a reason to clean it out again.

True Blue Nana said...

So hard to motivate yourself to clean up a room like that. I have been there myself. It always seems like if I throw a bunch of stuff away within a short time I need one of the things I threw away. Crazy

Sara said...

Sometimes I am able to follow the advice of FlyLady: You can do anything for 15 minutes.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and tell yourself that is all the longer you have to work on that room. When the buzzer sounds at the end, take the trash to the trash, the "Give away" bag to the trunk of your car, and the "Put away" things to their proper places. And STOP.
Give yourself a gold star, and don't do any more until the next day.

I find her statement "You can do anything for 15 minutes" is also helpful when I have to deal with other unpleasant situations [and people].
Yes, I am strong enough to stand 15 minutes of almost anything. [Or if you have inexplicably become energized, set the timer for another 15 minutes.]

Good luck, and let us know what method works for you!

woolywoman said...

What Sarah said about Flylady. ALso, I go to Goodwill every single week, even if I only drop off ONE thing. I keep a hamper by the washer so that when clean clothes that are too small come out of the dryer, I drop them in the Goodwill hamper. My kids are trained to put stuff there that they don't want, and even if I dispose of it otherwise, it is a good habit for them. It really, really helps, because dropping off one little bag, or even one thing, is one thing LESS in the house. Slow but steady wins the race.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

I was going to leave an encouraging comment, but I think I'll head down to my kitchen/very messy entry way and set the timer for 15 minutes and tackle my own room of shame!
We volunteer at an animal shelter in Vermont. They raise money for the shelter by having a monthly indoor tag sale. we (and the kids) are so motivated to purge and put all kinds of stuff in the "donation" box so we can go and bring it to the shelter and visit the dogs and cats...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sharon said...

I solved that problem by moving! It was agonizing. It took me two weeks to purge and sort and pack up my sewing room that had become the "Crap Room" instead of the "Craft Room". Two weeks of 10 hour days. Painful, but it helped. I resolved to not let that happen in the new house. After 2 1/2 years, I'm starting to slip a little. So, time to get a handle on it. It's really not fun to live with that kind of monkey on your back.

I think Sara's advice from FlyLady is a good place to start. The hardest part is getting started. Good luck!

Nanci said...

Is that kid part of the de cluttering? I want him! He's cute, looks like he could clean a plate....
I'm not a clutter type. We had an old dog that always learned to move around the house out of the way so we wouldn't throw him out...just kidding.
Kids are clutter...it's part of life.

Carol E. said...

I don't know who the kid is. We don't have any kids living in our house these days. Hubby and I are the culprits. We're not throwing around toys, but we're still messing the place up. Sad but true.