A few months back I created a cleaning schedule for myself. No one is more shocked than I am to report that I have actually stuck to it pretty religiously! Aside from the daily tasks included in the schedule, I also created some monthly deep-cleaning tasks. In doing so, each month I have taken on a different room/area of our house to scrub, organize, purge, donate, etc.
This month's task was our office, laundry room, playroom, and craft closet (which may seem like an odd combination, but they're all essentially one big room in what is a converted garage). And after all the dust had settled from my cleaning and all the extra goods had been taken to Goodwill, it was clear that we had some problem areas that needed to be addressed.
None of my solutions were particularly novel, but they are what worked for me, so I figured I should share them in case you're facing a similar dilemma.
1. Gift wrap...used to be thrown on to the floor of the craft closet, but now they're stored nicely in a clothes hamper.
2. Desk clutter...our desk was so bogged down in papers, project in progress, and other junk that there was no actual space to work. Adding a simple shelf seems to have erased that problem.
3. Speaking of projects in progress, I am almost always working on something...for the house or for a party or something. A lot of times the projects take me multiple days to complete and it doesn't make much sense to store the stuff away officially when I'm just going to need it again so quickly. I'm now using a simple crate to store my in-project necessities (ribbon, glue gun, etc) and a wall letter tray for the larger items (scrapbook paper, fabric, etc).
4. Colton's artwork. The boy brings home quite a lot of stuff from his preschool! I honestly can't even keep up with it, but, at the same time, I don't want to throw it out. So, I got a binder and some page protectors and I'm now storing all his masterpieces there...hopefully, one day he'll enjoy looking through them (especially considering I plan to continue this throughout his school years!).
5. Paper, paper, and more paper...holy crap, we have a lot of paper!!! Most of it was mail...both past and present. So now we have a new system to control the amount of mail that we actually keep. There are two baskets at the front to door...one for incoming stuff (ie: stuff Josh should look at each day) and the other is for outgoing (stuff to mail, take to school, etc)
Each day I have requested that Josh review the stuff in the incoming box, trash what he no longer needs (although I take the liberty of pre-screening most of our mail and trashing what appears to be junk without even putting it in the incoming), and then take the bills that need to be paid down to its holder in the office. There is also one for coupons down there.
And finally any invitations, announcements, etc. get put on our handy, cute bulletin board.
So, there we go..clutter conquered (at least for now!)