Away with the clutter, ahhhh

I knew my mess was spreading too far and wide in the Little Bitty I share with my dear wife Karen in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood.

Ottoman as a desk.

Ottoman as a desk.

I saw it every moment I sat writing in my recliner/work chair. The wide ottoman that we’d bought because it serves as seating-in-the-pinch had become completely covered with freelance writing pads and folders and magazines, and even my new ukulele and lesson book.

Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on a gallery photo for an enlarged slide show.

I saw it in the bed bookends, a cherished table from my dear wife’s past that I’d overrun with cousins of the stuff from the living room, plus the old Rolodex I couldn’t give up after my three decades at the big daily, no matter the ease of digital storing and recall.

This past weekend something in my brain went tilt.

I told Karen it was time to shop. I grabbed a tape measure so we knew what would fit.

Our second stop, we found the perfect pieces to put on each side of the bed.

They’re not a matched set, but they match the colors of our master bedroom.

They have a lot of drawer space to get my stuff out-of-sight. And for the big open shelf at the bottom of one table, we bought a nice basket.

For those of you keeping score at home, I am not a hoarder. The reorganization was a good time to get rid of unneeded magazines, pads and folders. Into the recycling bin they went, out to the curb with the old skinny tower and Karen’s three-legged table. (Her decision.)

I vow to keep it clear.

I vow to keep it clear.

The reclaimed seating space in the living room makes me breathe easier.

Call it pre-spring cleaning, physically and mentally.

What’s your first spring-cleaning project this year, and why? Do you tend toward clutter, or keep things clear every day? What’s your one household sore spot, and why?

43 thoughts on “Away with the clutter, ahhhh

  1. Had to laugh, Mark . . . I tend to gravitate toward clutter, especially paper!! It’s got to be a writer thing . . .
    I work hard to keep it under control, but it usually gets the best of me until I’ve had enough & really focus on clearing it. Then my husband has all his art stuff, and add to that the jam inventory at times . . . yeah πŸ˜‰


  2. Well done Mark. i enjoy a tidy place but it never stays that way. I have a spot between my desk and the TV stand that I continually battle to keep organized and generally fail. it started out with a carry type tool box, then a friend did some shopping for me and I ended up with a bunch if reusable Walmart and store bags. I have a storage place for them but it is full. So they ended up on top of the tool box. Then I had medical supplies arrive in these really wonderful boxes that I could not throw out when they were empty, I could just see having a use for them when I move. They got added. then a friend who knows I am moving donated a suitcase and there is really no home for that so it got added to the pile. Then another friend was at Goodlife and they were giving out these wonderful sports bags and he got me one – that’s right, on the pile. I’m contemplating it right now as I write this – it has grown again.


  3. Looks way better Mark! I have an old dresser on my balcony. It’s been there for two years. I want to strip off the many layers of paint, sand it, paint the top and the fronts of the drawers white and put it in my kitchen to hold the microwave and store towels and other items in the drawers. Talk about procrastination! ❀
    Diana xo


  4. I think as we get older, we simply accumulate more things. Not garbage necessarily, but things we need or want. It is hard for me to part with something I have bought, since I tend to like my stuff, each and every one, LOL.

    So, our solution is lots and lots of shelving, which my husband builds or those giant clear plastic containers with lids that we get at Target. Between those two, everything is neat.

    But, our house is stuffed to the gills. So, some day, I will have to part with ‘loved ones’. I may need a drink that day, for the first time in my life.



  5. We have many sore spots in the house. That’s actually one of the good things about moving…it forces you to keep the clutter down. I try to get rid of stuff but it’s hard when there are things that my kids and husband let accumulate and I don’t want to throw their stuff out if they want it. Anyway, the coffee table is always filled with books but, like my mother always said, books are not clutter.


  6. I’m not a hoarder but clutter is everywhere — there are three “non-hoarders” of my ilk living in the house. Please come and de-clutter for us…

    I’m going to write a story about one of the things I stumbled across…


  7. Between moving and getting a year older, I have been in major nesting mode for a few months now. Goodwill, IKEA and blogs on downsizing/creative storage are all my “thing” now….just waiting to have the money to actually implement some of these ideas that I have πŸ˜€


  8. Oh – I am a total neat freak. Everything has it’s place. Leave a pile of clutter in the house and I will go completely ballistic. I do need to clean out my closets though, not having moved in 8 years, I can hear the unused clothes and linens chattering at me behind the closed cabinet and closet doors. Must make a clean sweep of things. I think I will do that this weekend. Must call the DAV to arrange for a pick-up. Thanks Mark for reminding me to do this!!!!


  9. One plus to having our house storm-damaged and then repaired was that it forced us to get rid of a lot of “stuff.” Then when I replaced the downstairs furniture, I made sure to get pieces with lots of drawers and cubbyholes. Upstairs is a different story, though – the master bedroom looks a lot like your “before” picture. Hubby’s supposed to be working on that since it’s all his mess. We’ll see how that goes.


  10. Well…Terp in your case you have a small dwelling so everything is more pronounced in every nook and cranny. Things tend to pile up (pun intended) glad you found a solution for yourself! Gatorette. Pet peeve of mine is Clutter and it is non-existent in my home PERIOD…


  11. I try to keep everywhere neat and put stuff away but (you knew that was coming!) paper seems to multiply! To say nothing of the wool for crochet projects and the lego! Glad you kept the rolodex πŸ™‚


  12. Well done!
    We had an oversize ottoman a long time ago, and mostly we changed diapers on it, ahaha!
    I de-clutter after the holidays. I mean, seriously de-clutter all the closets, the cupboards, go through books and linens and every little thing. It usually takes about a month to do that and the deep cleaning. But then, when spring comes I don’t need to do it and I have time to work in the garden. I’m a purger overall, but sometimes things still build up and a purge is necessary!


  13. i totally get this. i’m a minimalist at heart, and as the years have gone by i’ve become more so, but it does seem to somehow pile up every so often and when that happens, i do what you did. one day, it just occurs to me to change it. i tend to donate, give away, find a place out in the universe and it makes me feel good.


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