Week 2: All That Stuff in Your House


We’re moving on in the 2016 Clutter Cleanse challenge but you can find posts about creating capsules wardrobes, finding your style and what to do with all that clothing you really don’t wear in the archives.

This week is all about those things you can never seem to find a spot for and that you keep wondering, why do I have this again?


You get it as gifts, you pick it up on the fly when you misplaced the original, your kids brings it home, you get it when you sign up for a new bank account. You wander a store because you had twenty minutes to kill and you came away with a lot of cookie cutters but you don’t bake and loads of those over the door clothes hangars but they don’t fir your doors and besides, you’re Kon Mari-ing your closet and capsule wardrob-ing so you don’t need them anymore. Yeah, that kind of stuff. Insoles we bought for a heel problem but never used. Things we lost the receipt to but really wanted to return. Paper. So much paper.

Love, and stuff, are all around us.

If you’re thinking about all the stuff you threw into the TV cabinet before your last dinner party, or that bag of things you tossed in the guest bedroom, you’re on the right track.

That’s what we’ll work on this week: all the little things clogging up our homes.


Task #4 in the Clutter Cleanse: choose one drawer or closet and spend thirty minutes unpacking it and reviewing the contents.

Take pictures. Make lists. Nothing like writing out that you have 43 pens, 12 of which do not work, to motivate you to get rid of some and to stop taking the free pen at the bank/hotel/etc. Post them on Instagram with the hash tag #cluttercleanse16 – love seeing your posts! – or tell us about them on the Minimalist Mom Facebook page.

My clutter hot spot: our office/den/the room the baby is currently sleeping in at night (spoke too soon!).

I still haven’t completely moved in to the office because, wait for it, I can’t commit to buying a book shelf. Related: I still can’t commit to buying a side table so I often just pull the kids little table over and use that.  So we have a box of text books and a box of books and other book shelf type items still unpacked from our move back from the UK.

The only grace I will give myself is that while we moved six months ago our boxes only arrived three months ago. Plus, you know, Christmas? That’s always a few weeks written with no household tasks checked off. One if my tasks for the week is to right the office and see if there is anything in there we paid an exorbitant amount to ship home but that we really no longer need or that my husband should be taking to his office.

More to come…

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  • I need a bookcase for my daughter’s bedroom and a new diningroom table so that the small table can go back to being a desk. Then my life will be perfect and I can declutter the office and children’s books from all over the flat. It all comes down to a ew bookcase and a table – and for some reason I am resisting buying them.

    • Furniture phobia. It was easy to get the basics when we moved in, beds, a dining table, couch, but I am a procrastinator on storage furniture. I wonder, if I got rid of a few more things could we store the books in the somewhere else? I think I need to do another pass on our cabinet under the tv and see if anything could go to make room for books.

  • I’ve just gone through my bedside table and tossed all the out of date medications, half empty travel size bottles of stuff that I know I will never use up and general detritus that had been stuffed in there!! Not managed to do the wardrobe yet though although 5 things did end up in the charity shop box this morning!

    • Numbers don’t lie. I’ve found that when I count I can clearly see if I can pare those items down. It’s easy to look at thirty pairs of socks and think, that’s not too much, they take up half a drawer. But count out thirty pairs of socks and you feel the actual number of them.

      • Good idea. I actually have no idea how many jackets I have for work, despite regularly going through them and asking if they really bring me joy. I’ve managed to send a few back to where most of them came from (the charity shop/thrift store), but I am now at an impasse, so maybe making a list in Evernote of what I’ve got and what I might actually need…and seeing if I can close the gap over time would be just the push I need!

  • Furniture phobia….I love that description!

    I really like furntiure pieces that double up. Like your childrens’ table. We have a coffee table which has a double life as kids art table, dinner table, jigsaw puzzle area and my husband even uses sits on it when playing xbox!

    • Multi-use furniture is such a win. I guess I could just keep using the kid’s table. The only time I need a side table is for a mug of tea or glass of wine after they are in bed.

  • After 6 plus years of trying to get completely decluttered a miracle has happened. But I needed help to do it. It was uncomfortable at times (try downright painful) but the more I did, the easier it got. I am going to have to write about it, but not yet – I’m on the final push currently. Good luck to everyone doing your Clutter Cleanse 2016!

  • We don’t have any side tables. Actually, the only tables we have are the dining table in our nook and a small one in our dining room. I found that tables tend to accumulate stuff so we got rid of them. My clutter hotspot right now is a closet under the stairs. It’s accumulated stuff and I need to get in there and declutter!

    • No side tables and no coffee table. I’m intrigued. I love to curl up on the couch with a tea or some nights a glass of wine. I need a table for that!
      Great tip about surfaces accumulating clutter. :)

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