Chirped by Cass (with chirpettes by Tina)
We all have somewhere in our home, a place that becomes a dumping ground of stuff. Items that we don’t have time to put away properly, don’t have room to put them where they belong, or simply don’t have a place for at all. A space where you put things when you’re cleaning up to have a party, or when you’re rearranging your piles and don’t know where to store them. If you’re lucky (and more organized) maybe it’s just a drawer or a closet. Often this catchall area gets overwhelming to clean up because it becomes such a big mess, and when you do start going through it, you’re easily side-tracked by all the unrelated pieces in the pile.
If you read the “Our Broods” page of our blog, you saw me described as a “high-functioning hoarder”. Mostly I can’t bear to part with all the little creative bits of feathers and fluff from my kids’ childhood. Guess that makes me a nostalgic hoarder, or something like that – if I could find my “Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding” book, I would check the terminology, but it’s lost somewhere in my craft room!! – Tina (-;
Hence, Tina’s craft room…it used to be a great place for friends to gather and work on crafts, etc. But it became that dumping ground. When the accumulation of items started creeping out of the craft room into the adjacent room, it was time to tackle it.
Ok, ok, ok, before we go any further, let’s focus on how beautiful my bedroom looked after Cass helped me pick new paints last fall… which partially explains how the craft room got so bad – decluttering all the rooms that were getting a paint job! Look at this lovely master bedroom retreat I have now (this was before I got the artwork back up, but you get the idea…) – Tina
Fine, back to the hoarder blog post…
Now I have not been allowed into the craft room for several months. But with the curtain on the door… I knew Tina was embarrassed that she had allowed that space to get so bad. So we got to work last week!
Step 1- Really assess the room. Survey the whole room so you have an overall picture of items you can spot that don’t belong in the room, items that need to be donated, etc.
Step 2- Make a game plan. How do you want the room to function…what items do you really want in the room?
Tina has a bulletin/whiteboard that we are going to use to help her visualize her space and display her micro goals . We drew a quick sketch of the craft room and listed all the places she wanted items in the room to be stored and where certain work areas would be.
Step 3- Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Only tackle what you can complete in the time frame you give yourself. Depending on the size of the area and amount of clutter, don’t get in too deep or you will get frustrated. Work on big items (or easy items) first.
So she would not be completely overwhelmed, we are breaking down the clean-up/organization into small steps and giving Tina micro-goals to complete between our de-cluttering sessions.
Step 4- Gather tools and supplies needed for the declutter– boxes, garbage bags, labels, markers, tape, etc. Grab a drink and turn on some inspiring music.
Step 5- Create a temporary staging area. Place your boxes in a designated area outside of the room- give them labels like “Donate”, “Relocate”, “Trash”, “To Do”.
The first thing Tina and I tackled was a pile a boxes right inside the doorway of the craft room that were going to be donated…either to teachers, Care ‘n’ Share, scouts, etc.
We first took all the donation boxes from the craft room so we wouldn’t be distracted by the rest of the stuff. Then we separated and put all the donatable items in separate boxes, so Tina could take them to their appropriate destinations. Any micro-goals…such as actually going to Care ‘n’ Share, taking the box to teachers for their treasure chests, etc…we made a tag for and pinned it on the bulletin board.
I like to break things up into bite-sized pieces, and I read an article recently about the benefits of “micro goals”, which are words I put on my vision board. It’s so easy to get distracted from the area I’m clearing, so I almost feel like completing a micro goal is actually a reward of sorts! It gives me permission to do that distracting thing later, once I’m done with the task at hand. And it doesn’t have as many calories as a cookie. c(-; -Tina
We set up a time-lapse video recording while we worked, for your viewing pleasure! If you watch it, you’ll note that we kind of got hung up when we came upon a pile of Tina’s kid’s school binders. Next session, we’ll label two boxes, one for each kid, and just plop school and art stuff into the boxes to be dealt with in more detail later. During this first phase of the decluttering, we’re going big to small, and we’ll come back for the details once we have room to work!
Day 1 of the Overhaul is complete! It’s not much, but we did clear a small area of carpet so we can walk into the room to pick our next area to declutter! More to come…
Can you relate to Tina’s little problem? Feel free to share some words of encouragement or solidarity in the comment section below!