Breaking the Surface: Adventures in Decluttering

This is the worst it has ever been.

I know I’ve said that about the apartment before. And it’s been bad before. In fact, I often use this picture as a profile pic.


It’s a silly picture I took of Barbie on the bathroom floor. I looked down. I saw her. And I was like yeah, Barbie. Me too. Drowning in clutter.

So it’s always been bad. But now it’s worse.

The other night Ryan said, “I want to set up a time-release camera to see how this happens.”

I know how it happens. And I told him so.

We. Have. Too. Much. Stuff.

Over the last few weeks I have been following Flylady’s advice and developing a new habit. I’ve been shining my sink every night. I’ve shined my sink every night for the past twenty nights. If I shine my sink that day, I get to call it a success. More on that here. And I have to say, I’ve done better at this than any other little “start a new habit” challenge I’ve tried in the past.

So I’m ready to start the next one. Technically it’s not February until the end of the week. But I’m starting now for three reasons.
1. We’ll be in Florida for a week in February. Sure, I can work on it in our little cabin. But to make it a full month, I need to start early.
2. I was tripping over things and couldn’t take it any more.
3. I get it. The reason it’s Shine Your Sink and THEN Declutter and never Clean Your Entire Home Right Now. And that’s the part of the battle I kept losing before.

I’m usually pretty open about things. But it’s so bad I’m not even willing to share pictures. I present to you, then, an artistic representation of our home throughout this New Habit process.

First, here’s what the apartment looked like after the holidays.


Next, this is what it looked like yesterday morning after 20 days of a shiny sink. (That’s the little silver star. I’m very proud of myself.)


Then yesterday I was teaching a piano lesson at home. There was no way I could have people see this. So I followed the directions for Crisis Cleaning. I’ve tried this method before with mixed results. This is the first time I’ve followed the directions completely. And after six hours, my home looked like this.


Better, right? It really is better to have that living room so clean. Ryan and Lily were THRILLED. And a I was proud to have done it.

But here’s the problem. It’s the same amount of stuff. Just squished together. And THAT is the issue. Too much stuff.

I get why the Shiny Sink is the first habit. And I’ll write more about that on my final Follow-Up Friday for that habit. But it’s time to Declutter.

I started in the kitchen because it is the easiest, emotionally. That has mold on it. Toss it. I also solicited help from the rest of the family. Lily loves to toss the recycling into that grocery cart. After just a few minutes, this is what was evicted from our living space.

(Don’t worry, friends. That’s just the box from Catch Phrase. Not the game. I got that version of the game in 1998. The box is no longer a box. But the game remains one of the most hysterical sources of late night entertainment ever. We’re keeping the game. Just tossing the box.)

Today’s challenge: my car. Because I can’t put the “Give Away” items in a car full of trash. I’ll keep posting pics every Friday on the blog. But if you want to see the daily progress follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or tumblr šŸ™‚

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Erin
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 17:22:52

    Nice to know I’m not the only one with clutter problems! I blame the grandparents on both sides… They just love gift giving sooo much that each child has 1 million toys.


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