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How To Organize and Utilize A Cluttered Space--Conclusion

Updated on September 3, 2012
New view from doorway
New view from doorway
Far corner
Far corner
File and shelf view
File and shelf view
All clear--finally!
All clear--finally!

Well, people, it feels like it has taken forever but I've finally finished organizing my cluttered spare room. It took so long to get it back to the way it was when we first moved in. That being because for years we have been "shoving" or "stashing" or "tossing" stuff into this poor room. Like weight loss, it takes time to gain the weight and it takes time to loose it. The same can be said of extreme clutter. You spend so much time carelessly stockpiling "stuff" into a space that you end up having to take many hours or even days to eradicate the mess.

The first step I took was to empty the filing cabinet, which I think I mentioned in the Day 1 hub. I shredded a huge load of paperwork that was just taking up space in the drawers. I boxed all the paperwork that needs to be kept, like income taxes and credit card and bank statements, and put the bin into the basement for storage. As I said in part 1 of this hub, the basement will likely be my next long, involved project.

I had put all my scrapbook materials into a scrapbook caddy—sort of like wheeled luggage for paper crafts—until I got the dresser drawers emptied out and their contents sorted. If I were to leave the craft materials in this caddy, they would be so compactly stored that taking materials out to use would be too time consuming and would the lead to them not getting used at all. That caddy has since been emptied, sorted, and put into the drawers organized by their contents. I am really proud of that bit of work! And the caddy is being given to my mother-in-law.

I found an awesome amount of half used or hardly used spiral and composition notebooks from the kids’ past years of school. I also found some of my old journals. There were also stacks and stacks of unused index cards and some unopened packs of them, as well. I found a decorative box and placed them in there until I can decide what to do with them. As for the notebooks, not to mention the all the loose leaf and perforated paper stacks, I am currently researching different recycle projects for loose and half used sheets of paper, and there are some pretty clever ideas out there. For now, all the loose paper and notebooks are in a waterproof plastic bin, just waiting for me to be inspired. Yes, it is in the basement, too.

On the folding work table, I found so much junk that I made fairly quick work of trashing most of what was there. I never thought of myself as a pack rat or a hoarder, usually leaving that to the various males I have in my life—from husband to father to brother to father-in-law. But I guess some of that male germ has rubbed off on me and now I have to be extra careful.

The chair on the one wall was buried under an avalanche of clothing and picture frames. The clothes have been sorted into bags for donation, and into piles of items that I am going to list on eBay. I have also moved all the usable picture frames to a central location so that when I decide to go through all our photographs (in close proximity to the frames)—yet another project—I will be able to make rapid progress with them.

I removed the ugly covering from the chair. It was quite stained and dusty. I replaced it with a more friendly light green cotton weave blanket. I think it looks nice with the color of the walls and the curtains.

As for the doorway, which was blocked partway before, I removed the old veneer 2-drawer nightstand that was piled on top and inside with stuff. The backer board had holes punched or kicked in it, and so the stuff that was in the drawers, which turned out to be video game cartridges and disks, along with a mess of my youngest son's old, stained socks, was falling out the back. I found a better home for the video game stuff and threw all the disgusting socks in the garbage. The stuff that was piled on top was combined with items that had been sorted earlier, and the nightstand is now out by the curb. Somebody will take it. They always do.

I took the huge desk that was in the corner, and had my daughter help me carry it down here to what will be my new home office. Then I moved the armchair to the corner and brought up an end table that was given to me by my mother-in-law a couple of years ago and was just collecting dust in a corner in the basement. Now it holds a lamp and some pictures and it looks really nice in the room.

The closet has been cleaned out, and that is now where I keep all our loose photographs, picture frames, photo albums and all keepsake memorabilia. Again, when you work on one project, you can sometimes open up a whole other can of worms. In this case, there are photos that need to be gone through—literally thousands upon thousands of them—to be sorted into different subjects. I also have to get all the funeral notices and cards organized in some kind of album for posterity.

All that electronic stuff that I had put in a box turned out to be half junk. I did get 2 electronic items listed on eBay from that stash, though. My father-in-law took most of the electric AC adapters. Every little bit helps, I guess.

Clearing the floor was pretty easy once I had that pink caddy cleaned out and moved out of the way. I threw out so much stuff. There were so many things that I'd had for years and years that I finally allowed myself to say good-bye to. It is actually quite liberating to be able to do that.

I also moved the wrought iron shelves that house my entire CD collection, to the wall that the door opens onto. Then I alphabetized my CD collection and put them back onto the shelves. I hung a mirror just inside that door as well, so when you stand in the room and face that wall, it makes the room look bigger somehow.

The dresser with the bookshelves still looks somewhat the same, but the top of the dresser itself has been cleared off, dusted and polished—as have the shelves. The file cabinet has been cleared off and I put a nice runner across its top. That is just holding a couple of pretty boxes that I will be using to store various personal keepsake items before too long.

I tried to get the stains out of the carpet, but it did not work too well. I may replace the carpet with Pergo--should I ever be able to save enough cash to do so. I did have better luck cleaning the walls with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Those little buggers are expensive, but they work like a charm. The room still needs to be painted, but not so urgently anymore.

This project, while very time consuming and energy sucking, was actually quite pleasurable. I am enjoying the sense of accomplishment for a job well done. There are many projects upcoming that are offshoots of this one, and I may or may not create hubs about them. I shall have to see what interesting ideas and information I can come up with that would be worth sharing with you all. But for now, this project is done and I want to thank you all for reading!


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