Sunday, October 7, 2012

Handling Clutter: More On the Den Area Number Two


Have to

Make It

Look Easy

Staples has an easy button, but they don't have that vertical file from Office Depot that is helping me organize temporarily . Organizing is not easy. The commitment in The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark is to do that HARD WORK so you can have EASY. Having a loved one with Alzheimer's is hard enough--at least the house can be easy and simplified.

Mrs. Clark has many principles that I am applying. One is stations so you do not run around the house getting what you need and then having to put things away--or not and then it is cluttered again.

She also says to put things on the wall. My iron and ironing board are now in an unobtrusive corner of the den between a bookcase and a door leading out to the workshop.  I use the iron and ironing board in the den when I sew and sometimes for ironing clothes. EASY! I do not have to go far to put them away now. We had Sally and Jim's son over for repairs and he put them up for us. The iron is on an holder from Ikea that I had for several years, never deciding where to put it.

Their son also solved a huge problem in the den-- very small ants who seem to get worse during the rain. He got up on a ladder and found where they were coming from and sealed those places with silicone. Fortuately these small ants never invaded our kitchen and pantry closet.

The hardest work in the den and maybe the whole house is paper clutter. FlyLady talks about it here and she hits me right where it hurts. How I wanted to be able to tell you, readers, that  the den is done, but it is not because of that paper clutter.

Who do I think I am--an historian of my own life? A librarian collecting magazines and books in case someone needs something?

Beyond pool table: File/sorting station, sewing cabinet, pub table
What has been done? 
  • Furniture has been moved. One piece went to the large master bedroom we have and on it is a bomb box and an iPod player. Inside are CDs and tapes. An small end table with storage is now available to hide kids toys. On top of it are coasters for drinks for those playing pool. The four drawer file was moved. The half book case that used to be in that master bedroom is now in the living room temporarily by the piano for putting books that may be donated or traded in at a used book store in Plant City. A pub table is available in the corner. The sewing machine and sewing projects used to be there.  
  • The pool table is now free. I can play pool with my husband! When it is his turn I can work on paper clutter! He needs something he likes to do beside watching TV. He doesn't like to get on the riding lawn mower to mow the lawn, but that is another story.

  • There is a clutter sorter station, a sewing cabinet that doesn't look like one, and a nearby pub table that seats four!
What would you like to drink? Pool anyone?

What needs to be done?
  • Paper clutter.
  • Clean the rug.
  • Sort through books.
  • Get rid of my overhead projector I used to use to teach DUI classes. I now use an LCD projector with a Power Point on my small notebook computer for speaking. Get rid of other stuff or find it a home in our home.
  • And did I mention paper clutter!
  • The bins under the pool table need to be sorted through and moved. Mrs. Clark is so right. Don't buy those suckers--they just keep you from solving problems.
  • Make the four drawer file contemporary, not historical. Keep only the paper that will go in there.
  • Use Mrs. Clark's system of the one collection bin for the week while I substitute teach and the weekly filing and monthy filing to keep on top of that paper clutter.
All of this is not so easy yet. LORD willing we will play more pool and I will get there with this room.

What is also not easy is the death from Alzheimer's of Dolores' husband and the death of my last relative in the older generation; my aunt had dementia in her last years.

I do have a serious rap I give at the end of good classes.
Educated, dedicated, motivated, college-bound
Where are those students?  We need them found.
Hey you hims and hers
Think pink--no more cancer
We need cures.
Hey you hims and hers
Think purple--no more Alzheimer's
We need cures. . . .
The next generation will undoubtedly come up with cures. Let's hope so.


  1. You are making progress, girl. I did one thing yesterday. Still not too energetic from broncitus but one thing is good... sorted out some summer clothes to stow away. Today I will tackle something else.

  2. You are an inspiration! And not just because you are kicking a$$ in the organization department.

  3. Looking good!
    I am sorry to hear of the death of Dolores' husband.

  4. Your den looks great and I don't see any clutter. I can't wait to read the book. I have no choice but to keep on top of the clutter since I live in 748 sq. ft. I'm continually evaluating what can be tossed. :-)