the shoe box effect

Lately i have been looking at a lot of before and after pictures online of personal spaces decluttered. and comparing them to my own successes and failures….uncluttering that has worked and not worked, places where i had to REdeclutter.

Now I look at other peoples UNCLUTTERED spaces, thinking …nope that won’t last. especially bedrooms, kitchens or offices where a lot of little things take up more room on flat surfaces than they need. if you have a bunch of little things, they always get cluttered…or shoved over to make room for some larger object…they also BREED and attract more other small items.

But i have found through a little trial and error and from some of the AFTER images…is that if you group things smaller that a shoe box into a container of approximately the same volume. It LOOKS and STAYS cleaner longer. You DO have to unclutter inside the containers from time to time..like drawers and storage boxes, but you don’t get that constant EBB and FLOW of clutter than takes a sideboard and turns it into a sea of items all needing a permanent place to live.

When i see a bedroom that is considered CLEANED all i see is that lotions notions and nailpolishes all lined up like tin men, waiting to be swept aside to make room for the newest pile of CDs or books, or other clutter.

I recently removed EVERYTHING from my kitchen counter. It took about a year, to find homes for everything..i put in a set of shallow cabinets along a wall to take the CANISTER set..which we really don’t need in the modern age… and the toaster and the mixer. All the small items…specifically the animal medicines went into a small toolbox and all the barkeeping tools went into a clear shoe box all kept in the cupboard and not ON the counter. When I cook, i bring out what i need and when i’m done it all goes away. The clutter has NOT reappeared.

I am working on the shelf in my bedroom where all those things from my pockets end up. I added a couple of plastic mesh boxes to unload things into..but they constantly need sorting..i am thinking of parsing the boxes into categories… one for electronic attachments, one for office supplies, one for personal care items… if i were to just unload these items onto the top of what i use for a dresser, it would need cleaning every day and i’d loathe doing it, but the mesh boxes LOOK neat and orderly.

In conclusion..i’m going to give myself a new rule…anything smaller than a shoe box, i will try to gather into a container with other similar items. Right now I have a clear plastic container with tape, pushpins, and similar items, so NONE of that category of item goes into JUNK drawers, they go in that shoe box. I have another with writing implements, when they come out of my bag or pocket, they go in there. etc.

i feel good about this new rule.

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