Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Little Thing

A small confession: I am losing decluttering momentum! Like many projects I start, this one was most exciting when I first began. Now I am getting a little tired of it, and also fairly embarrassed about how much stuff I have given away, and how much I still have.

Thank goodness I started this blog, because I feel like I am accountable to the three or four people who are reading it (thanks guys!), and I have to keep going.

Here is my solution: just do one thing at a time. Decluttering the whole kitchen is completely overwhelming, but one cabinet or drawer is no big deal.

Yesterday, I started under the sink:

This area is another catch all for things that don't belong anywhere else. The drain pipes from the sink and the garbage disposal make this a weird space for storing anything tall or putting anything in the back of the cabinet.

It only took 20 minutes (during which time I was also talking to my aunt on the phone) to get rid of the expired cleaning products, consolidate duplicates into one bottle, and arrange items so they were all visible.

In fact, this project was so quick and easy that I started on the cabinet above the stove as well:

The problem here is that the cabinet is high and deep, so lots of expired baking products, cough drops, and dust-coated Tums were lurking in the very back.

I took everything out, wiped out the spilled honey and vanilla extract, and arranged things so that they are only one row deep (anything behind gets lost forever).

A big improvement, plus no more expired baking products.

The idea of doing one little thing actually came from a book that I read last year, called Do One Nice Thing by Debbie Tenzer.  The book is about how you can feel better about yourself and the world by taking a little time every week to do something nice for someone else. It can be as small as letting someone pull in front of you in traffic, or a big as donating money or time to a cause you like. This is not a book about decluttering, but it introduces the concept of taking control with one small act at a time. If you want a little taste, you can check out Debbie's website at
With this concept in mind, I have also started making my bed every morning. It only takes 60 seconds, but it makes the whole room look better. It also seems to help the room stay neat. Apparently I am less inclined to drop clothes on the floor or earrings on the dresser if the room looks tidy to begin with.
And just like that, this evening's "one little thing,"- this post- is done!

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you mean about making the bed, it's one thing Patrick refuses to help with, but it makes me feel like everything is a little better if the bed is made.


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