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Facing the Clutter in That One Dreaded Room

Facing the Clutter in That One Dreaded Room

Don’t we all have them? That one dreaded room full of clutter? I’d like to think I’m not alone. The time has come for me to face the clutter in the one dreaded room in our home. There are a couple of little areas in my home that need my attention, (and a big garage) but for the most part, the main areas stay decluttered. These are not the ‘dreaded room’ I’m talking about.

How to Paint a Deconstructed Chevron Wall

{the home office before it became a room-sized junk drawer}

The Dreaded Room

For me, the dreaded room was our home office. I’ve posted before about this room, about how to do the deconstructed chevron paint treatment on the wall, and how I organized the desk drawers, and the office closet.  Honestly, I’m embarrassed to admit how bad it got! The organizational systems I set into place worked really well for at least a couple of years, but then… life happened.

A year-long fight with anxiety, raising 3 teenagers, a blog that became a business our budget depends on, and medications that take me on an emotional roller coaster ride every 3 months…these are the reasons that come to mind when I think of why our office became a dumping ground. Yep, these are my excuses and they are quite good ones if I do say so myself!

If you have a similar room, have grace for yourself. You are certainly not alone, and it is ok to not have any good excuse. I just like to make myself feel better by listing mine. {grin.}

The office is on the main floor of our home. Until the last 2 days, it was full. Imagine an oversized junk drawer–it was a place to stash things that do not have a home. That was what our home office became and it was driving me crazy.

 

Clutter Attracts Clutter

An additional problem–the office is a room that one must walk through to get to my oldest daughter, Teagan’s room. She has always been my creative-minded daughter, who sees beauty in a lot of beautiful things, and likes to keep those things. I have to say, she has become much better releasing some of those things the last couple of years.

{door to my daughters’ room, must walk through the office}

Teagan has the ability to be organized, but it is not easy for her. She loves all the things but has the smallest room in the house with the tiniest, most dis-functional closet. You literally have to step up about 2 feet to get into the tiny closet. Once inside the floor slopes and makes it hard to stand straight and reach anything. She does NOT enjoy this.

Ironically, she choose her tiny room when she was little because of this “fun” step-up and slanted closet…it made the perfect private fort! I found her a few times using it as a place to pout about her ‘annoying’ little sisters or when she got in trouble for reacting to that annoyance! I picture her all tucked into the closet with her favorite yellow fuzzy comfort blanket, and it makes me smile..she was so little!

Now it is overflowing with clothes, high heels, and past homecoming and prom dresses. My baby has grown up and needs more usable space in order to live more organized.

Prom dress

Because of her lack of space and her love for all the things, I would often find her stuff overflowing into the office area. We all know clutter attracts clutter, so I take responsibility for how easy it was for her to add to my piles with her stuff.

 

Facing the Clutter

Teagan and her Grandma came up with the brilliant idea of clearing out the office and giving Teagan the space. It made sense since the rooms flow into each other, but I was immediately resistant. I feared a few things: giving up space where I stored a lot of my stuff, facing my room-sized junk drawer (who has the time?), and fear that I would just be trading my messy clutter for Teagan’s.

The last few weeks I have softened to the idea for a few reasons. I know it would force me to declutter and get rid of stuff that has been overflowing the office and office closet. I also recognized that Teagan (being a senior) has at least a year left with us, and has been talking about living at home for her first year of college, so we might get her for 2.

Over the summer, she worked so hard, saved a ton of money and showed so much responsibility in many areas. She is such a good kid. During the school year, she studies her cute little head off and needs a calm, clutter-free, quiet place to do it, especially as she enters college. She is amazing, and could use more space…and I have the ability to give it to her!

After communicating with her about my expectations for the ‘office turned Teagan’s extended room’ area, (which really is just to keep it orderly enough for me to easily dust and vacuum it with the rest of the house once a week), I decided she could take it.

I’m ok with just shutting the door to her main bedroom, but this second room I truly want her to keep orderly. She understands this and part of our agreement is that I can take the room back if it is not appreciated and taken care of.

Teagan has all kinds of plans to update her room and create a great space for her extended room. She and her boyfriend (who is super handy and helpful in these projects, and who has already helped by clearing the room) came up with a list of things that need to be done, from taking down wallpaper and painting/updating her room, to buying a few things to make the old office space beautiful and functional for her.

 

Clear Out the Clutter

She started clearing out the office clutter–another part of our agreement. She had to help by clearing the clutter, or really just transferring it to a place where I would be forced to deal with it. I wanted her to be a part of the process of making this space her own, experience hard work, and frankly, I needed the help to get it all up the stairs!

I had her carry it all upstairs to our landing area, an area that I pass to get to my bedroom. I could not handle having it strewn all over the house, and was purposeful in choosing where to gather the clutter. A single area, and a place where I would be forced to deal with it ASAP.

She made a bazillion trips up the stairs and commented on how great a leg workout it was. Ha!

I have a post coming out very soon titled ‘How to Declutter When Overwhelmed’ which will walk one through the process of tackling overwhelming clutter. I plan on making quite a bit of progress on the transferred clutter mess using the steps in the upcoming post. One thing about me is when I finally face the clutter, it has no chance. I’m good a tackling it and getting it done!

My anxiety rises every time I pass the transferred clutter. It is jolting to come up my stairs and walk through it to get to my nice, clean, de-cluttered and peaceful bedroom. It doesn’t feel good….talk about motivating!

Sometimes all it takes is to pull clutter out of closets and drawers (or entire rooms!) and place it in a space where you have to come face to face with it. It is definitely working for me, and I have already had two 20-minute sessions of decluttering in the area. Progress! I have a lot of tips and tricks I’ve learned when decluttering over the years, so watch for my upcoming post. I may even take a before and after photo of the mess!  I will also do a follow-up post on what the old office space looks like after Teagan takes over. Sign up for my email newsletter so you won’t miss a post!


What about you?

Do you have a dreaded room or area that you need to unclutter?

Tell me all about it…it will make me feel so much better about mine!

  • Andrea September 8, 2017 at 8:33 am

    I am the same way! What I get are spots. Usually where I’ve put things that I need to “deal with later”. When I decide I need to rack.e them,, I.e. When they start to really drive me crazy, I will often do what you do – a limited time attack. 10 minutes and do t stop and then you get to rest. That will work if I’m lacking motivation. But, if what I’m really feeling is overwhelmed, that doesn’t always work. Then I shift to my 1 thing approach. At set intervals often it’s every very time I walk by if it’s not a spot behind a closed door,, I have to deal with one thing. It can be anything. Put away the pencil in the pile. But it’s amazing how quickly the pile goes down. And as the pile goes down, it becomes less overwhelming and I become more able to deal with it. (This is also the method I use for making the bed in the morning. A task I hate. Each time I walk by I do one thing. Put the pillow at the top, pull up the sheet. Even I can do 15 seconds of a jib I hate!)

    • AmyNewNostalgia September 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Yes! Breaking it down helps so much. I really like that you break even the most dreaded jobs down to the very minimal just to get it done!

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