My First Success with De-Cluttering

The first project on my list was to tackle the drawers in our built-in kitchen desk.  There are five drawers, all of which are full of stuff that we use.  Maybe not every day, but we open them and use the items inside quite frequently.  I chose the desk project because I wanted something that I could start and finish in less than an hour.

In the left-hand drawer is where we keep our battery stash.  There are AA, AAA and 9V batteries for things like the TV and DVD remotes, smoke detectors, video game controllers, label-makers, etc.  By the way, this is a reminder to check and/or replace the batteries in YOUR smoke detector.

It only took a few minutes to handle the battery drawer.  They are corralled in little plastic baskets/bins.  This seems to work very well and keeps them from rolling all over the drawer.

The center drawer is the pencil drawer.  I emptied the contents onto the island counter-top in the kitchen and was amazed at how many pens, pencils, highlighters and markers that little drawer was housing. We use the narrow baskets/bins to keep these under control, too.  I sorted through the pile of objects and kept only a few of each.  The ink pens went into one basket.  Pencils were placed in another and highlighters and permanent markers were placed in the third.

During my sorting process, I came across several colored pencils.  You know the ones.  The kind the kids use for art and school projects.  Those did NOT go back in the drawer.  They were taken to the school supply cabinet in the basement and found a new home in a plastic pencil case.  They will be much happier there.  And I am much happier to have them there.  :-)  There’s nothing worse than needing to write a quick note only to grab a chartreuse colored pencil out of the drawer.  Those days are over.

I found a few stray  ink pen caps in the drawer too.  Those ended up in the recycling bin.  The two paperclips that I found went into the paperclip section of a multi-sectioned box that sits in the far right-hand drawer.  What is the saying?  “A place for everything; and everything in its place.”  Amen.

And that was it.  Did I get to the right-hand drawer or the two drawers under it?  No.  I didn’t.  It was getting late and the kids needed to go to bed.  And so did the parents – it was a long day of work followed by dinner out and a trip to the hospital to visit with my uncle who just had major surgery a few days ago. We were pooped.  The other drawers will wait.

Normally, I would be very upset with myself that I didn’t finish the task I started.  However, I felt REALLY good to have accomplished SOMETHING.  Those drawers had been left unattended for a long time.  It felt good to replace chaos with order.   That’s my new mantra:  “replace chaos with order”.

I have plenty of opportunities to make that happen.  Trust me.

Your turn:  What was your first de-cluttering success story?  How did it make you feel?

About the Author

Michael Hawkins

While I am NOT a hoarder, I keep WAY too much stuff. I'm on a quest to de-clutter my home, my office, my car, and my mind. Join me on the journey, won't you? You can learn more about me and the purpose of this blog on the "About" page.

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