On Wellness Wednesdays, I post about something related to wellness.  Today’s topic: clutter.  (I know a LOT about clutter.)

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I’m no Suzy Homemaker.

In fact, I’m so not Suzy Homemaker that sometimes I look around and think, “Who lives in this mess?”

I mean, seriously, sometimes people apologize for their homes, and I just can’t figure out why.  What, there’s a glass beside the sink?  My dog hair has its own labor union, that’s how bad my mess is.

When we moved into the house in Texas, I swore it was going to be better.  I don’t think I’m suddenly going to turn into an excellent housekeeper or anything, but I wanted less clutter.  I know that de-cluttering is good for me.  Mentally, there’s something very positive about being able to look around a neat home, or being able to find something when I’m looking for it.

Over the past several months, I’ve been working on making sure there’s a place for everything.  See, it’s easier to put things away and keep them clean when you know where everything belongs.  I’m a fan of Ikea’s Kallax shelves.  They come in multiple colors and you can customize them with bins or doors.  We started off with a few for the kitchen with the overflow small appliances (like my food processor and juicer), and we liked that solution so much that we now have one for the living room.  Living rooms seem to be huge clutter magnets, aren’t they?

3M hooks are my other savior.  I used them to hang things like a step stool from the side of my kitchen cabinets, a funnel on the back of the pantry, a small bin with dry erase markers.  I’m feeling almost organized!

It feels really good to be able to have pretty things out in my house instead of clutter.  We hung up a ton of pictures this weekend and got out my Dia De Los Muertos paper machie dolls.

Pinterest has a ton of wonderful ideas that can be customized to meet your needs.  Because, the fact is, that what works for one person isn’t going to work for every person.  I really think that having less clutter around is a mood booster.  Even though I don’t like to clean, I feel good when my house is cleaner.

The Truth About Housework

The cat put herself in the box; she's not for sale!

The cat put herself in the box; she’s not for sale!

I’m not a good housekeeper, and I don’t really enjoy it.  I’d much rather be doing pretty much anything else, and one of my favorite poems is Dust If You Must.  My next three weeks is going to be devoted to houseworky type things, and I’d anticipated not being pleased about it.

I turned on my Jambox and started blasting an iTunes playlist.  I had my dogs underfoot, and it was a nice sunny day.  As I sang alone at the top of my lungs (the dogs don’t complain), I realized that it wasn’t horrible.  I actually kind of, sort of, maybe had… fun.  I surprised myself.  I’m in the process of getting ready for my yard sale, purging items I haven’t used in a long time, things that were boxed up to come here and hadn’t seen the light of day again.  And it felt good.  It felt really good to organize and get ready to get rid of things.

I actually like to organize and dispose of items.  Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy it.  Music, sunshine, and dogs… a pretty good recipe for a successful Sunday!

Day 5 of 30 Days of Gratitude


This is my before picture.  Scary, huh?

This is my before picture. Scary, huh?

1. I’m grateful for this very weird burst of organizing gusto I’ve gotten. I’ve wanted to re-organize my office for a long time, and put in my lovely, wonderful, long awaited desk… and that’s as far as I’ve gotten, until today.

2. I’m grateful for whatever force it is that’s allowing me to get rid of things. I don’t throw things away, mostly ever. But I am freecycling, ebaying, and Goodwill-ing.

3. I’m grateful for my book club, which has been exposing me to books I would have otherwise NEVER picked up.

The Desk

IMG_1311I was 20 years old, and I fell in love.  Hard.  I was searching for a desk and went to a used office supply store.  There, I found THE DESK.  It was priced at $250, which was a lot of money for me, but which was a steal for this huge monster.  It was cherry wood, L shaped, with a hutch holding a light.  I knew I had to have it, but I wasn’t sure it would fit in my parent’s house.  My friend and I went home and measured.  It would fit.  Barely.

So we went back to the store, and the price had been raised to $400.  I almost cried!  Apparently they had heard me talking about what a bargain it was and decided to raise the price.  When I told them I was there to buy it, they gave me the original price.

We got it home, and my dad almost had a fit.  You see, we didn’t do a good job of measuring.  We lived in an old farmhouse with narrow doorways.  No way would it fit.

I don’t remember who came up with the idea of cutting it in half, but we got the saw out, and performed an alteration.  The desk fit into the house and upstairs, where my parents warned me it would be permanently installed.

I moved out and left the desk behind.  When I informed my parents I was moving to Arizona, they reminded me that the desk was never leaving.  When I got out here, I searched Craigslist for something like the magical desk, but I never found it.  Most people have heard of THE DESK at some point.

Then, several years later, my parents decided to move out here.  At first, they didn’t think they could bring my desk.  But my husband told them to disassemble it.  It’s real wood, and he believed he could re-assemble it.  He can reassemble almost everything.

Currently, it’s in pieces in my garage.  The desk made the trip, and we’ve been reunited.  Now all I have to do is clean out my office so that I have a space for it.  You see, the desk will need to be reassembled upstairs as it’s too big and heavy to carry intact.  In the process of organizing and cleaning up, I’ve made things worse.  Much worse.   Lucky for me, I actually like organizing.

I’m so glad my desk has come home.  🙂

*I don’t have a picture of the actual desk… yet.  It’s in pieces in my garage.