Yesterday, Day Three of the “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” process, I had to wave the white flag and cry “uncle.”  I couldn’t finish the set tasks for the day – not even close.  I knew that trying to do the kitchen, dining area and bedroom would be a particular challenge for me due to the size of my kitchen and the disorder in my bedroom, but I didn’t expect that I wouldn’t even completely finish the kitchen.

Lest you think I am a slacker, let me take a moment to explain the process.  As with the bathroom and reception area, the book’s instructions tell you to empty the contents of every drawer and cabinet in the kitchen, throw away or donate things you don’t use or need, group like items together and replace.  The one thing I had going for me in this process is that the contents of my cabinets and drawers and their locations make perfect sense: utensils by the stove, mugs and glasses over the dishwasher, etc.  I spend half my life in the kitchen, so I got the overall organization sorted long ago.  While there were plenty of items in each drawer or cabinet that I no longer used or needed, there was no need to do a major reorganization of where things are in general – thank goodness!  Having said that, if I were to empty the entire contents of my kitchen it would be the home equivalent of urban sprawl, spreading into all the other nearby rooms.  Instead I had to work by zones, or in some cases, cabinet by cabinet, drawer by drawer.  One suggestion in the book is to get rid of “unitaskers,” or things that can only be used for one purpose.  I refused to do that, however, because I use those things.  Don’t get between me and my grapefruit knife – especially when I’m this tired and cranky!!

Partial contents of Post-it Cabinets

So take a look now at the photos.  In the first one above, you see one wall of cabinets.  The green post-it notes indicate which cabinets have not yet been completed (I remove the Post-it once I’ve finished).  Now look down at the counter with all the stuff piled high.  That stuff represents maybe one-third of the contents from just the cabinets with the post-it notes.  The remaining two-thirds is shown in this next photo, with all of the stuff piled onto the dining room table.  You can’t see it from the pictures, but there are an equal number of cabinets, plus many drawers on the other side of the kitchen that have all been completed.  “No Your Honor, I did not finish the project, but I made a damn good start!”

So now what, now that I’m behind?  I will finish yesterday’s assignment today: the kitchen, dining room and bedroom.  In the book, Friday is set aside for work organization and productivity rather than physical clutter removing.  Instead, I’ll spend it doing what was supposed to get done today: living spaces.  The weekend is meant for reflection on longer-term goals like maintaining order, planning travel, social events, time for yourself, and so on.  I could really use to do that, but I won’t be able to since National Picture Book Writing Week starts on Saturday.  I’ll come back to all of the productivity and planning points in the book.  In the meantime, after this week, I’ll be very happy to turn my focus to creative pursuits.  After NaPiBoWriWee is over, my only plan so far is to spend one day reading and napping!

Now, to leave things on a positive note, here is the “after” photo of my main pantry.  This will be my inspiration to keep going…

P.S.  Tooth Fairy update:  She did come last night, and in penance, left Em a nice note and $5 instead of the usual $1.  Em was very pleased with both.  It turns out I was right – she was sick. 🙂

Pantry "After"

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



  1. VERY inspiring!

  2. WOW! Nice work. Want to do my kitchen, next? 🙂

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