Declutter Your Home is a series of mini decluttering projects while we continue decluttering our major project, our basement. This weeks mini decluttering project was our “off-limits” shelf and part of our kitchen counter.
The “Off-Limits” Shelf
We started calling this the “off-limits” shelf when the boys were toddlers. This was the place we put anything that was dangerous or “off-limits” to them. They couldn’t reach it but we could easily get to it if needed.
This shelf and the part of the kitchen counter that isn’t used for food prep, has become the dumping ground, as most flat surfaces eventually become in our home. Whenever the boys are asked to clear the table before dinner, they usually end up sticking anything left on the table here.
The papers, receipts, chargers, small toys, cleaning supplies, random smaller items find their resting spot here. This is one of our “hot spots” that needs constant attention or else it becomes…like this, or worse.
I have mentioned how we have more than enough pens from all the free things we have picked up in the past. The majority of the pens and markers have a home in a plastic drawer organizer, next to our unfancy command center. If we’re not mindful, however, this area becomes a graveyard of pens and wires.
The questions and statements I’m using to declutter are:
- Can I throw this away?
- No, really, do I need to keep this?
- If yes, then find a home for it – immediately! Do not put it in the box and tell yourself you will “sort it later” Angela. Sort it now! Anyone else have boxes of things around the house that need to be sorted?
Ahhh…so much better. It really does make a difference not having the dish dryer rack up on the counter all of the time. I may eventually find a place for these items that I have on the counter now, but for now they feel essential to keep in this place.
This project took me less than 15 minutes.
One of the things I’ve noticed while spending time in the basement is the large amount of art work being shoved into corners. I was sharing with my husband that it felt wrong to have these pieces down there gathering dust. One of the tenets of minimalism that I love is: if it’s worth keeping then show it, don’t store it. He agrees with me.
We are talking about a few ideas to get the art work out of the basement and into homes that will appreciate them. Etsy shop? Massive giveaway with local friends and neighbors? Donating them to local fundraising auctions?
What are your “hot spots”? Can you spend 15 minutes today clearing that space?
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The only reason I don’t have a counter like your before picture is because my kitchen is teeny and I don’t have a lot of counter top in the first place. All my ‘stuff’ goes in ‘that’ drawer that everyone has lol
Hi Claire! The only reason we have a cluttered counter is because we don’t have a lot of drawers! I think we have 2 – 1 large and 1 small one in our small kitchen!
I have an off limits area in my house too. I really need to declutter it and get it organized. You did an awesome job tackling your counter too. Thanks for the motivation!
Thanks Danielle. It was definite progress…now to maintain!
Megan Gonzalez says
Wow! That is a world of difference! We have an area on our counter that gets the same way. We have to declutter it about once a month. Then papers and whatever else start collecting again and… well, you know the drill.
I do know the drill Megan! Thanks for the kind feedback Megan!
CHelsea Damon says
I ask myself these questions all the time! I LOVE throwing things away. Absolutely love it.
I’m learning to love it Chelsea – and I’m learning to actually do it!
Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc. says
I too am a keeper of stuff that I do not need… i have many boxes of “stuff to sort later” and several big tote bags! You are so right… just do it and get it done! Your counter looks fabulous!
Thanks Betsy! Yes, I am no stranger to boxes and totes to “sort through later.” I’m learning that now is better than later.
Liz Jo says
I am in love with your counter!! We have so much clutter in our house…it’s hard to sit down and remove things. I wish we had that kind of counter, it would probably be easier to have a house like that.
liz jo @ sundays with sophie
Hi Liz! It’s definitely hard to get started but once you do it’s pretty rewarding.
Christina @ Juggling Real Food and Real Life says
Hi Angela! I’m stopping in from Let’s Get Real today. I love watching the progress you are making. I’m working on decluttering my house also and I find that as I declutter an area, I really feel more relaxed in the space. I had no idea that clutter was causing me so much stress.
Thanks for stopping in Christina. I agree with you that a uncluttered space is a relaxing space!
Vashti Quiroz-Vega says
Hello Angela! Great post and it couldn’t have come at a better time because I’m in the middle of decluttering one of the rooms in my home. Thanks for the tips. 😀
Hi Vashti! Thanks for dropping by! Glad the tips were helpful.
Heather @ Simply Save says
I like the 2 questions and a statement approach! I think we all have a drawer, shelf, of bin that seems to accumulate like that. Thanks for sharing on #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!
Thanks Heather! It’s true – clutter can get out of hand for sure somewhere in everyone’s home
Stella Lee@ Purfylle says
We had a kitchen counter hotspot and it took me a while to conquer it but we got there. I cleared everything off and created homes for the homeless and then I filled the hotspot up with things that should be there. A really big fruit basket, an onion an d garlic bowl, that sort of thing. By having things that weren’t envelopes and dog toys and goodness knows what in that space made the spot less attractive for dumping everything there. I can actually have space in that spot now and we still don’t dump stuff there.
That’s great Stella Lee! We’re still working on it but it’s getting better!