Whew! Day One of the “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” proved more difficult than I expected. The three areas of emphasis were the master bedroom closet, my desk and the “reception area.” I had recently organized my desk, and purged my closet of clothes I no longer wear, so I thought the only real challenge would be the reception area.  Well, the reception area took me so long that I had to cram in all the work on my desk and closet into the evening hours, which also include feeding, bathing and putting the kids to bed.  Time I went to sleep?  Midnight.  It was worth it though.

The reception area is where shoes, bags, coats, mail and paperwork come into the home and are processed, and what you use for this area is defined by the layout and space in your home.  For us, this area comprises the entryway closet, two junk drawers, a box on the corner of the kitchen counter that we use for mail and other papers, and the “command center,” which is a closet in the pantry that we use to store everyday things like hats, sunglasses, keys, phones, etc.

The strategy I used for organizing was to remove EVERYTHING from these spaces, sort through the contents and decide what to toss, donate, put someplace else or keep.  Then I dusted and cleaned the empty spaces and put the remaining items back where they belonged (in a more organized fashion).  Here are a just a few of the random things I found in the process of sorting: a coupon for jarred baby food (our youngest is now 4), a “phantom” garage door opener – no idea where it came from or what it once opened, a National Parks Pass from 2007, 18 tubes of lip balm, Jay’s ultrasound photos, 13 black Sharpies, stack upon stack of Post-It note pads, and – I kid you not – a business card for a home organizer I met when we first moved here.

Aside from the entryway closet, we hadn’t straightened these areas up since the day we established them, so it was grueling work.  Quite a rewarding finish though, as you can see from the before and after pictures.  It will look even better after I get drawer organizers.  The deal I made with myself, however, was that I could not buy any new organizing gear until I completed the whole process.  My reward at the end of it all will be a trip to Mecca, er, The Container Store.

After the dreaded reception area was finished, I gave my desk a quick tune-up and commenced work on the bedroom closet.  Because I had already sorted my clothes a couple of weeks ago, I focused on dusting, vacuuming and re-organizing.  The biggest problem area was the shoes, as you can see from the photos.  It looks so much better now.  So good in fact, I wanted to roll out my sleeping bag and spend the night in there!

Today, I’m afraid, is going to blow.  I have to do the master bathroom (yuck) and file paperwork.  The only chore I dislike more than laundry is filing.  This evening, I’m supposed to spend time charting out a schedule for chores and errands, but I can tell you right now I will not be doing that.  Phil is out of town and my mom is having us over for dinner.  I am going to allow myself to go, have a glass of wine and let her feed us.  The chore schedule will wait.

Must dash to get today’s assignments started.  Come back tomorrow for results.  In the meantime, enjoy these “before” and “after” photos.

Command Center "After"

Command Center "Before"

Junk Drawers "Before"

Junk Drawers "After"

Entryway Closet "Before"

Entryway Closet "After"

Shoe Area "Before"

Shoe Area "After"

Categories: Unclutter your life in a week · Tags: , , , ,



  1. Congratulations, it looks great!!

  2. I love this Julie – you inspired me so much, I spent all day doing much the same. I, too, now have a beautifully tidy and colour-coordinated wardrobe – thank you.

    Lara xx

  3. Looks fantastic and so worthwhile doing. You are really inspiring me right now – and nesting hasn’t even kicked in yet. At this rate, I’ll have nothing to do by then!

  4. wowie-kazowie. how did you get all that done? where are your kids? they must be school age. i can barely get my teeth clean when my kids are around let alone organize anything. super awesome. can i come live in your clean house???

  5. WOW! You did an amazing job!! I love your “after” photographs. Your command center is brilliant!!

    • Erin,

      Wow, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m practically blushing over your note about the command center. It is brilliant when it’s actually usable, which it is now. Thank YOU so much for your awesome book. I am absolutely certain I never would have dreamed of trying to do so much in such a short period of time, but it’s amazing to see it all coming together!

  6. Looking good! I also have the “Un-clutter your life” book but have yet to read it. Right the book is some nice clutter itself. Ha ha!

  7. Hey guys – I’m so glad I might be providing some inspiration to you. Especially since I can so seldom inspire even myself – lol. Lara, I’m loving picturing you in your nice organized wardrobe now. Congratulations!

    Physically, I feel like I’ve hiked for two days in the desert, but mentally, it is really uplifting to see the places that are now neat and organized.

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software