Monday, October 4, 2010

Time to Declutter



This is a corner of my basement that's been making me nuts for quite a while.  I'm in  the process of organizing my basement studio.  But before I could even get at my paintings, I had to convince my husband and son to drag a bulky loveseat out.  That's where we finally found the Scrabble game, underneath the sofa:)  My space used to be organized.  Until my college age kids decided to move back home for a while.  My son no longer lives here but some of his stuff does.  Like the weights on the floor.

What to do with some pieces that are too good to give away or throw out?  Like my daughter's old wardrobe next to the painting trolley?  Don't know.  But I'll figure it out.  (And maybe start sneaking things into the garbage.)

After all the clutter space makes a cluttered mind.  Does anyone else have decluttering rules that work?  I would love to know.  

12 comments:

cmv... said...

oh gosh janelle we've been decluttering for a year now. unreal how much we gather up. i've been using freecycle.org to list and give away items that are still usable. love it. people come and pick up the stuff and it's a treasure to someone else. happy cleaning out! LOL

Marion said...

My clutter problem is always too many books! Fall seems to be my declutter time, too.

Something I learned a few years ago was to get an egg timer and set it for 15 minutes (or use your microwave timer), then spend only 15 minutes each day decluttering. That makes it manageable and not a huge task and in a few short weeks you'll be amazed. Good luck!!! Blessings!

Casey Klahn said...

Har! I cleaned my studio this weekend, and since I hadn't been in there for a while, I had mouse sign!

The trouble for me is, I have multiple rooms, and now the kitchen area is jammed - and what I desperately need to do is some filing.

Good luck!

SamArtDog said...

By definition, clutter and/or declutter have no rules. If they did, there would be such a thing as orderly clutter. Oxymoron alert! Clutter is eternally unruly while order is but a moment in time. I guess we've got to learn to love our clutter; it is us!

willow said...

Oh, I hear your. I have a college kid who is living here right now. Your clutter doesn't look so bad, compared to mine!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Good luck Janelle! I have such problems with clutter. It gets worse when I'm working on a project too.

One thing that works for me is to set a timer to 30 minutes, or if I can indulge, 60 minutes. I am amazed how much a can clear with being forced to focus and stop at the end of the time period. The rule during this allotted time is "Only touch an item once, it must find its home or it is gone". Helps prevent moving the same thing 2 to 3 to 10 times!

I share your clutter woes.

Merisi said...

Oh, how I empathize with you!
Been there, again and again. ;-)

Wishing you successful decluttering sessions,
cheers,
Merisi

P.S.: I came here from Willow's,
simply could not resist the "declutter" word. ;-)

Judith Reidy said...

I enjoyed listening to everyone comment on clutter. I am continually de-cluttering. I do a draw or an shelf a day. Yet I am finding that is still crazy.

I am beginning to think clutter is a sociopolitical-economic statement.

In view of the rest of the world, as an American, I can afford to accumulate so much stuff, more stuff than I use, so much stuff I need to crawl over it to find something. Its really quite nuts.

I have been wondering if there is a point where keeping stuff I "might need" interferes with productivity.

Perhaps the statement less is more applies to more than art... but to our stuff...our dear stuff.

One of the great pleasure of taking a vacation and moving into an empty hotel for a week is the lack of stuff we need to survive.

I am not rummaging through 20 pains of pants to find one pair. I have a choice of two. I put them on an walk out the door.

I had an art professor in college who was quite the eccentric. He dressed in grey. He wore a grey suit, grey tie and grey shoes. When he found a pair of shoes he liked he bought 5 pair. Everything he owned matched. He gave little thought to dressing, shopping etc. ....but he was a terrific painter. That is where he placed his time and energy.

I did say he was eccentric.

In view of the fact that the clock keeps ticking, I ask myself, what do I really want to accomplish in the short time I may have left. Is this item contributing to those goals or is it a distraction?

Do I really need this or does someone else need it more. Will I really sell these paintings, or would I be better off sanding and then painting over these panels?

I am more productive in a less is more environment. I know others are not bothered. I would love to have a Japanese style home where I imagine minimal furniture, storage under the floor, simple clear spaces, with a view to nature. The crowded nature of Japan have forced families to streamline their homes to accommodate people. I am inspired by that.

Our opulent wealth has its own demise for us it. Can we redirect our energies so that we rather than stuff reigns?

Betsy said...

Have a yard sale..and be really tough about what stays and what goes...don't get sentimental. :)

I've hear OF Marion's 15 minute game, too...and that's fun! I just store it all if I'm having a sale...or put a bag in my car so next time I'm out I'll stop at the thrift store. Decluttering actually becomes kind of addictive...at least it was like that for me. It's liberating!

I'd love to look through that stack of paintings! :)

neetzy said...

I don't have any suggestions. I am guilty of clutter. Every once in a while I have to de-clutter and then the urge goes away. I'd rather paint!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Christine, I've never heard of freecycle.org. What a great idea!

Hi Marion, The 15 minute timer idea is probably a good one in the rest of the house. In my basement, that would barely make a dent:) Thanks and blessings to you too!

Hi Casey, Oh dear, I haven't thought about mice. Eeeeek!

Hi Sam, Sigh, clutter is us and order most definitely is a moment in time. I love the insight!

Hi Willow, We do love our kids but not their clutter, right?

Hi Kathleen, I'd rather be painting, but dealing with the clutter must come first right now. I am making some progress and will post about that soon. Thank you!

Hi Merisi, Thanks for visiting. Willow is the best, isn't she!

Hi Judith, Oh dear, I can see we share some of the same insight on the clutter issue! Thank you!

Hi Betsy, You've managed your clutter, so why can't I? A yardsale would be a great idea (and making money a great benefit).

Hi Neezy, Funny, I feel the same way. It's so much more fun to paint!

Carol Lee Beckx said...

I was forced to de-clutter earlier this year because I moved from South Africa to Australia. When your worldly goods have to fit into a 20ft container you have to be ruthless.( It also gave me a topic for a blog post!)
It's really quite satisfying. However I know that when I unpack I will have squeesed in too many unnecessary things!
Be strict with yourself is my best advice..