Project: Simplify week two | Polka Dot Cottage

Project: Simplify week two

Posted March 18th, 2011 by

Project Simplify week 2 - Paper cluttered desk after

This week our mission was paper clutter.  Oh, man, do I have my fair share of that!  There’s the kitchen table, which attracts mail and school papers.  There’s my desk, which has been host to a growing pile of who-knows-what for something like three years.  There’s a corner of my kitchen that I have set up for sorting the various bills, take-out menus, and school information that I want to keep.  And there’s a wicker basket in the living room filled with folders of important information.

If this hadn’t been such a busy week in other ways, I’d have attacked all four of those places.  But the truth is, the last two spots are not disorganized as much as badly-placed.  They’d be better off kept in other (less public) areas of the house.  At some point I’ll relocate them.  This week, though, I stuck with the first two spots.

Project Simplify week 2 - Paper cluttered table before

Project Simplify week 2 - Paper cluttered table after

It took me less than an hour to go through the kitchen table pile.

It’s always nice when I can see the table top :-)

Project Simplify week 2 - Paper cluttered desk before

My desk was another story.  That took two and a half times as long.  But it was also at least two and a half times as heinous, so it’s understandable.

The right-hand side of the desktop had a pile that was both my own papers, and kid stuff that had crept over from the boys’ computer table right next to it.  The only clear spot on the desktop was just the right size to slip my laptop into when I needed to use the printer.

Project Simplify week 2 - Paper cluttered desk before

Beneath the desk and next to the chair (and under it, and behind it, too) was all kinds of garbage that had overflowed from the little trash can and never been dealt with.  That area alone nearly filled a big black garbage bag.  I filled up another half a bag from the stuff on the top of the desk.

One little confession, though: After I’d been at it for a few hours, and watched my fill of streaming Netflix, I had gotten everything dealt with except for all of the objects that needed to be relocated to other areas of the house.  I’m talking about things like earrings, nail polish, Aidan’s report card, and a photo of my in-laws from 1974.  At that point I kind of lost the will to continue.  So I swept the whole lot into a box, dated it, wrote “crap from my desk” on the top flap, and shoved the box somewhere out of sight.

I’ll get back to it someday.  And in the meantime, if I ever miss any of those objects, I’ll know exactly where to look for them.  That’s more than I could say when they were buried under the mound of papers on my desk!

Project Simplify week 2 - Paper cluttered desk after

So anyway, it feels really good to have that mess (essentially) cleaned up.  This desk is in my bedroom, actually, so between the closet last week, and the desk this week, my bedroom is finally getting the makeover I promised it ages ago.  In fact, this afternoon I did a little extra cleanup in other areas of the room.  It still needs some work, but I feel kinda motivated about it for a change.  I may even switch out the bedspread for a lighter weight quilt, clear off the top of my dresser, and put away the overflowing basket of laundry at the end of my bed later tonight.

Yeah, it’s going to be a craaaaazy Friday night at the Clarke house alright!

I wonder what we’ll be challenged with cleaning up next week.  Kitchen cabinets maybe?  I hope so.  I’m up to my eyeballs in too many cups and glasses lately.  I’m also seriously considering making a list of my own personal “hot spots” to tackle after the official project is over.  Hall closet floor? I’m talking about you.

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  • Amanda says:

    Looks great. I do that “shove the little bits in a box” thing too. And I’ve been cleaning little bits here and there. it’s so nice to see a clean, horizontal surface. ciao
    ✿ Enjoy this post from Amanda: tea pot cosy

  • Elizabeth Freeman says:

    I love the lamp on your desk. I’ve lusted for one of those for years. Anyway, you call that clutter. I wish. I’m seriously headed towards a hoarder’s sized clean out. YUCK. But you have inspired me. I love seeing the tops of tables.

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