Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not seeing the clutter

Slowly but surely... that's how I've been decluttering the house in the past two days. I sat on my sofa in the living room yesterday morning, while enjoying my morning quiet time (which I've neglected lately). While reading, I kept getting this sense that something just wasn't... right. Finally, I took a good look around the room and saw books on the floor that I'd sorted and a grocery bag of toddler clothes I'd purchased at a garage sale for Matthew at least six weeks ago.

The hutch was full of seasonal items that needed attention and the dining table held stacks of books (a perennial challenge in this house). The items on the living room carpet, between a chair and the bookcase, have been there for weeks. Unfortunately, one gets so used to objects in a room that they become almost invisible... except to anyone else coming into the house.

I immediately straightened everything and put them where they belonged (except a few items on the table). It didn't take long and I was wondering why I didn't do it sooner. Of course, I was busy at work but even then... they had been there long before that. It is just that the eye started looking past the clutter.

For most of the year, I keep a bowl of nuts in their shells on the corner of my family room coffee table. Yesterday, I decided I needed that wooden bowl to place some fresh Michigan apples in... not only to look pretty but to encourage healthy snacking. So I placed the nuts that still looked good in a Zip Lock bag and threw away the rest.

I mentioned it to my husband that evening and he asked me, "what nuts?". Honestly, he didn't remember that bowl being there at the corner of the coffee table! Which explains why they had not been touched in the past couple of months. They've been there so long that they, too, became invisible... just another knick knack to be dusted, I guess...

This has made me look at each room as if I were a stranger. The very next thing I did was to downsize papers and magnets from the side of the refrigerator where I keep... papers and magnets. I think they propagated on their own.

I'll be starting some more deep cleaning to prepare for the new season but everything already looks much better just by seeing the house through a set of "new" eyes. :)

Photo: Country Armoire;


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Well, decluttering is certainly something I need to think about all the time! Today because my monitor uptairs wasn't acting right, I sat in the family room at the dinner table using the laptop. Now normally I sit on the other side of this table and don't notice things, as you were just posting about. but my goodness! Sitting in a new place makes a lot visible! I do tend to make stacks of things all the time.....Books, mail, magazines,photographs. I'm getting up to do some straightening right now!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

It's amazing what sitting in a different place does for seeing what is out of place!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

This is one of my tasks for today...getting things back in order. I am setting the timer and taking 15 minutes catching up on my blog reading...I miss everyone so! Then I tackle the house. I may take a before and after as way of encouragement. Ha!

Susie Q said...

It is a job isn't it> But it is very freeing and I always feel so good after it is completed.
I love to de-clutter and deep clean in the Fall. That way I feel ready to enjoy my favorite season and the upcoming well as the nesting at home Winter months!

Just take your time and don't work TOO hard!


Lyndee said...

I have been alternately de-cluttering and finding treasures. Sigh. It is a battle for sure but I do love searching and finding goodies, gifts and collectables as well as books. I always stop at the Half-price Books, Frugal Muse and other book stores with reclycled goods. I recently found a wonderful Thrift store that supports Hospice and am trying to limit my collections but it is very fun to stop and browse. At home in my little one bedroom home I share with two people and one inside doggie the clutter fight is continual. I will keep it at bay and love the fight!