When clutter becomes invisible to you…try moving it to a different place by Doodle

Doodle

Doodle

We have a total of four choices of seating in the entire house: an armchair each (one purple, one red) and the 2 seater sofa. The sofa doesn’t get sat on much; unless we need to share a takeaway or we have visitors. We rarely have visitors, but it seems reasonable to be able to offer them a seat if we do 🙂

The sofa’s other main function is by default “the temporary dumping ground”.  This was fine as I was in the habit of clearing it, if it needed it, every night before I went to bed.

However, two months ago my husband had a bit of a clearout and put a large pile of papers/magazines on the left hand seat. He didn’t want to get rid of them but couldn’t think were to home them (much of it is magazine subscriptions for past interests.)

He’d done so well to get rid of other stuff, I hadn’t the heart to challenge these homeless strays.  But what happened?

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This is a picture of what our sofa has looked like for the past 2 months:

They have stayed on the sofa for over two months,
that’s what happened!

And by the laws of attraction, it also resulted in me dumping my stuff next to his pile and failing to clear it…because I couldn’t achieve that nice clear look for the whole sofa so I think a kind of ‘why bother’ attitude snuck in without me realising. And we both stopped seeing it.

Yesterday however, we were due a visitor while my husband was at work. This event has made me realise how visitors can be a very good thing for keeping on top of clutter and seeing things with fresh eyes! Suddenly, the state of the sofa really bothered me.

I went through all of my stuff, re-homing or shredding and moved his pile to our bedroom until the visitor had gone.  Once gone, I didn’t put it back on the sofa but on top of a old storage truck we have in our living room this was still a temporary home but had  the positive effect of we were both able to  ‘see it’ again: the pile had become invisible to us.

30 hrs later and they have now been properly re-homed on a bookshelf with a little juggling of poorly used space on there. I am currently lounging in the sun on the sofa writing this 😀

clutter 002

This is our sofa now:

I shall be reverting to my ‘nothing stays on the sofa overnight’ rule. Is there any clutter in your home that has become invisible to you?

Today’s Mini Mission

Today’s area is as Cindy dubbed it The Black HoleThis is that area in your home where you dump things when you walk in the door and or need dealing with but not right now. Hall tables, kitchen benches, dining tables seem to often fall into this category. Read Cindy’s post that I linked to above, determine your black hole, deal with what is lingering there and try to come up with a better or organised system so the black home can be eliminated once and for all

Eco Tip for the Day

Using electricity off-peak doesn’t save electricity but it can lessen the strain at peak times which can result in a reduced necessity to  increase infrastructure.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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  • Owning your life skill ~ By Doodle One of our long time regular readers Doodle has kindly agreed to help out here at 365 by writing a blog post for me every other Wednesday. Today is her first regular post although not the […]
  • Fourth Thursdays with Deb J ~ Your Input So you are ready to declutter but you have some issues. There are problems with decluttering some things in your home. What would you do in the following cases? You have over one […]

Comments

  1. Great post, Doodle! Nothing like “company” coming to motivate a person! 😉 The one place that does become the “Set here for further thought” is the fourth seating place at our dining table. I cannot seem to get out of the habit, but when company comes, I can shove it in the (*gasp*) junk drawer!!

    This a.m, I went through our closet and removed for donation:

    3 ballcaps,
    1 tank top,
    9 tee shirts,
    4 long-sleeved shirts
    2 purses
    1 passport holder
    2 cardigan sweaters
    2 sweaters

    I discovered that I am super good in the departments of: shorts, tee shirts, work shirts, work pants. No need to make any new purchases.

    I am expecting hubby to argue with me over 1) a long-sleeved work shirt with holes and 2) a ball cap from Salt Lake City (where we’ve never been). We shall see, eh? 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Ah.. .the ubiquitous junk drawer…where would we be without it?
      Here’s a very entertaining clip of comedian Michael Mcintyre on the junk drawer, aka ‘the man drawer’

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPTtQz5TfH0

      Good luck with that baseball cap 😉

      • Doodle!! That was absolutely HILARIOUS! I’m pretty sure Michael Mcintyre has been in my husband’s man drawer!!

      • Doodle, that video clip is sooooo funny. I was laughing so hard my husband asked me what was up. I forwarded the link to him to watch when he has the time. I think I’ll foward to a few other people.

        • Good idea Donna B! I forwarded it on to my husband as well. He’ll get a kick out of it.

  2. Great idea! This is the case for me too. When clutter sits in one place too long in my home I no longer see it. Moving it so you can see it again is an interesting idea 🙂

  3. Doodle, what an interesting idea–moving something so you see it again. My desk is a mess but I see it. I’m trying to do too many things at once and my desk has become the staging area. I have too many things on it waiting for answers, someone to come pick it up, etc. I need to find a way to get it out of here and cleared off faster.

    • Hi DJ, I actually got rid of my desk last year because it just was a permanent heap of clutter that always looked a mess and I never used it for it’s intended purpose, preferring to work from my chair.

      • I have had a long piece of melamine board with two craft drawer units as my desk. It’s too much surface area because I no longer need it for computer “extras”. So I am looking for a smaller desk with built in drawers because I also do not need the craft units any longer.

  4. The “roaming pile” is a situation I know all too well. Stuff that can’t be put AWAY because it has no real home, and yet can’t be tossed for some good reason or other. I’ve got a roaming pile that makes it’s way from my office to my bedroom when clients are due to come over.
    I have tried putting the pile into a box, but then it languishes for months without being dealt with… school notices, homework and seasonal items have been lost too long when I try to just contain it.
    The good news is that the “roaming pile” at it’s peak was an easy 2 feet x 2 feet x 1 foot before…. but now it a letter sized pile about 10 inches tall. A VAST IMPROVEMENT!
    What changed for me was finding blogs like this one and really SEEING the pile’s effect on my background stress.

    • Woohoo, that s a vast improvement creative me – well done. Similarly, I know I will always need a dumping area – I am often shattered when I get home and need a rest before I can sort stuff/put away/action post. So I don’t pretend I will no longer ever dump stuff, I just work on clearing it each night.

    • Hi Creativeme, I find that putting everything in my calendar that isn’t immediate but needs to be remembered and soon to be dealt with, and then filing it away in a Current file, is a good way to keep it our of the way but hard to miss. Google calendar with email reminders is a very effective way to stay aware and be remembered to deal with something. I also find that the best place to hang a physical calendar is behind the toilet door where you will scan it every time you are in there. I can be very forgetful but these methods work very well for me.

    • LOL “Roaming Pile”.
      At one point we had an entire herd of those living here. I try to keep it to one or two piles these days.
      Calendar? yes indeed. Filing? Hmmm…not so much.
      I definitely have the sort of brain that renders clutter completely invisible. Unless it is in the background of a photograph I have taken of something else. In a photo I REALLY notice it.

    • I will admit, I do have a “roaming pile” or two around my house too. But its getting better all the time 🙂

    • One thing I do with school papers that I’ll need for a while but not forever (for example, teacher’s instructions for homework packets, upcoming events, etc., is scan them. I have much better luck finding those papers on my computer than I do in a pile. I also use a bulletin board if it’s a paper I have to turn in at some point or that has a schedule of some sort on it.

  5. Doodle….This is something I constantly struggle with in my art studio. The small table I journal on, has become a dumping ground for in-process projects, mail, mags to read and shelve away, etc. Therefore, I have nowhere to journal when I have the urge….so, I do one of three things….I move everything onto the floor and work (and put it all back), work in another location in the house, or not work at all. #3 has been the winner for weeks and it makes me sad. The problem I have is I don’t have a place for the excess AND have too much I want to do AND too many things in progress at the same time. Right now, I am working on the in-process projects and finishing them one at a time to move them along. My work takes weeks and months to complete so it slow to see progress. I totally agree in that the clutter becomes invisible as I have known this for a longtime but didn’t think others knew this. Thanks for the reminder and push to do something about it! 🙂

    • So Kim, can you break down the steps you need to take to change this? Perhaps trying to image you’re advising a friend in this situation might help.
      One strategy that is useful for creative types/studios, is to spread all you projects out on the floor and place them in order of importance to you. And by importance I mean, make you feel energised and happy and truly express ‘you’.
      Once they are spread out in order like that (and that can be a fun game in it’s self) it may help you decide there are one or two that you can let go off now, unfinished.

      • Thanks, Doodle, for the suggestions. I notice when I go to tackle clearing the clutter, I get overwhelmed quickly. I realize I don’t have a place for everything so I give up. I let myself off the hook too soon, so I will persevere with your post in mind. 🙂

    • I’ve also read somewhere that if you don’t have room to keep all the projects out in sight (and who does?) it might work to put each project into one of those reusable shopping bags and have a set of hooks to hang all of them up. This probably depends on if the project is crushable or not, and if you are a visual person who needs the projects out in plain sight or not. In the case of needing something in plain sight, a simple list of projects may work and take less room.

      • Jo H…..you gave me some great ideas, thank you so much. On the smaller projects, I do have each one in a tote. But larger pieces are a problem. I’ll think on it more….. 🙂

  6. This is a great idea Doodle. I am really trying to question why I have certain things out on surfaces in the house, usually decorative things. I am always pleased when I decide to remove the things, but often they sit there for ages and it has just become a habit for me to dust them without asking myself whether I really want them there at all.

    Thanks for the youtube link, that was very funny. I think my husband will enjoy it too.

    • Hi Christine – glad you enjoyed the clip 😀

      It never ceases to amaze me how we can suddenly see things with fresh eyes and not just ‘messy clutter’ as such, but things like ornaments or kitchen utensils and suddenly realise wonder why we still have them.

  7. Because I’ve had a number of trades people in and out of the house over the last couple of weeks, I’ve wanted the house presentable as possible when I walk out the door in the morning. I’ve fallen into the trap of knocking bits and pieces, papers, books, etc etc into neat piles and then later in the day…….not going back to sort or re-distribute them. I will go and deal with a couple now.