When my spouse it away, I like to poke around and investigate the piles of clutter than turn up around the house. It is fun as I often rediscover items that I had been searching for.
I started by changing the sheets in a couple of bedrooms. This is a routine task that is unfortunately not routine in our house. My goal would be to change sheets once every two weeks. When it pushes past a month it is going on too long.
I went through paperwork on the dining room table. This is a dumping ground and the piles are usually a mix of the kid’s artwork, coupons, mail and my paperwork.
I went through the armoire. I moved empty boxes, outdated computer peripheral and trinkets from India downstairs. I then made room for the piles that were on top of the armoire and on top of the china cabinet. The china cabinet is my own personal dumping ground for items I want to keep out of the kids’ reach. On this pass, I removed a shoebox, extra parts for a light fixture, craft supplies, a couple of electronics boxes and a package of loose leaf paper.
I straightened up the coat closet. As it approached 94 degrees on Saturday, I thought the likelihood of using the winter coats had dropped sufficiently to move coats upstairs into the bedroom closets. Our coat closet also hosts cleaning supplies, grocery store plastic bags, and soft-sided coolers. It is typically overflowing as it is designed for about 8 coats and we usually have 16 crammed in there.
While I was on a roll, I also evaluated the coat hooks in the entry way. Again, I took most coats and sweaters upstairs, but left hats and a couple of multiple use grocery bags. We probably have about 20 of these in the house now, but I only have a 50% success rate on bringing them with me to the grocery store.
Finally, I started co-locating all of the kids’ books. It is hard to believe that two kids who don’t know how to read and whom I read to about once a week can have over 300 books. These were scattered all over the house with pages torn out and as much custom writing as printed writing. A follow-up stage would be to sort by reading level or some other technique. For now it is good enough that we have a few empty corners in a couple of rooms.