Tackling the Tiny

My garage and attic remain the two big albatrosses around my neck. But it’s been horrifically cold here, and neither space is insulated, so those are both on hold. Yesterday it was -11 when I woke up; it’s a little warmer today but still below freezing.

Because the weather’s been cold and snowy, I’ve been hesitant to schedule any donation pickups. There’s so much ice and I worry about someone falling, so for now I’m not really trying to donate anything except books, which I take to an area library.

So my bigger plans have to wait for the thaw, but I still have plenty of tiny projects. Today I decided to deal with two drawers. Small projects are great because they call for little time and yet their completion still makes a difference.

Disaster Drawer

Disaster Drawer

A few years ago I took Peter Walsh’s One Month Cardboard Box Test, which really helped me pare down my kitchen utensils. Today I considered each item in my utensil drawer, and sorted things based on how often I use them. I kept the things I use often and things I use somewhat often in the drawer, and moved everything else into another cabinet. The only thing I decided to donate was my potato masher, because I seldom make mashed potatoes and when I do I prefer the hand mixer.

Re-organized and efficient

Re-organized and efficient

When I finished the utensil drawer, I decided to deal with the bathroom vanity. There are two drawers, one is mine and one is my husband’s. His drawer is never messy. I cannot make the same claim.

A collection of random stuff

A collection of random stuff

The lime green leopard print thingy is a wristband from my daughter’s dance recital costume. From 2013. I have no idea how it got there. Lime green is not my color.

I moved quite a few things into our linen closet, which also has shelves for bath products. Now this drawer only has the things I need every day.

Pared down and neat

Pared down and neat

I feel pleased with the results. I also feel annoyed at myself, because these messes have been needing attention for a while. I dragged my feet because I thought it was going to be difficult and time-consuming. But I dealt with these two drawers in less than twenty minutes. My track record for maintaining reorganized spaces is not great, so I want to remember how quick and easy this process was.

I also wanted to say thank you for all the great comments on my last post! I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to personally respond to them. There were a few unintentional holes in that post. I do have an e-reader, and I love it. My local public library system has an excellent selection of e-books, and I’ve been able to borrow books during snowstorms, and at midnight, and when I’ve been out of town. Borrowing e-books is the coolest thing ever. I have cut way, way back on buying books, but I am trying to work my way through unread books I’ve purchased, because I feel guilty about giving away books I haven’t tried to read. I am hoping to share my progress on this front in the next week or so.

9 Responses to Tackling the Tiny

  1. It looks like you are making some really good headway! And yes, I can identify with not wanting to tackle any decluttering jobs that are in uninsulated spots in your home, because we have been have frigid temperatures ourselves, in New Brunswick, Canada, lol! I know what you mean by some tasks are so small, yet, in your mind, they seem like they will take a long time, so you put it off. One system I have, that seems to work pretty good for me, is to make a list of all the little and large tasks, that I can think of. Then, I set a goal of tackling one thing off the list each day. So, the days when I don’t have as much time, I choose a very quick job off the list, and the days that I have significantly more time, I tackle one of the larger tasks. The satisfaction I get from crossing off the last item and disposing of my list is wonderful!

    • I like your list idea- I recently made a list of everything I need/want to do in my house and it was HUGE! I think I am going to break it down by room so it feels less overwhelming.

  2. Had never heard of the cardboard box test. Currently trying to downsize due to moving in a few months and I am trying this to get an idea of what actually needs to go with us, thanks for the inspiration!

    • I have a feeling it will take less time than you think, if that’s what’s been holding you back.

  3. I love the topic of clearing up the little stuff – this is where I get stuck the most! It’s very easy for these small drawers to get cluttered. I have a large Rubbermaid tote of misc small items that I’m hoping to tackle this weekend. Stay warm!

    • Thanks! I have a lot of ‘little clutter’ too, which has no ‘home’ so I need to work on that.

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