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Here’s a little story about recovering from the craziness that has been life lately, with a little help from the all purpose cleaning power of Fabuloso® Multi-Purpose lavender cleaner. Really.
I can always tell that I have been the bad kind of busy when my office starts looking more like a storage room than a place where any sort of creativity might happen.
My desk (and the floor around it) gets piled so high with books, papers, the girl’s artwork, yarn, goodness knows what else. And after a while I start to lose my mind a little bit.
I can blame a lot of things. My book just came out, the girl was sick for a couple of days, before that there was spring break and meetings and events that have kept me from having time to clean up for weeks.
I’m here to tell you that making a commitment to clearing and cleaning those problem areas takes time and effort but it is so worth it to have it dealt with. And it’s probably not as hard as you think.
Define the Space
The first thing you have to do when decluttering a space is to know what you really want out of that space. Whether it’s your desk, your guest room or a corner of the playroom, you need to know what it’s supposed to be so you can take things out that don’t meet that need.
I suggest asking yourself three questions (my answers for my desk/office follow in italics).
- What do I want this space to feel like? Clean, organized, open, creative, calming.
- What is this space for? Working, crafts, writing.
- What is it not? A holding area, a storage room, a to-do list (as in, I need to deal with this later, so I’ll just drop it on my desk).
Once you know what the area is supposed to be for, remove all the things that are not that.
Books that have nothing to do with my work? Going to other bookshelves in the house.
Old artwork? Sort, recycle the less-precious stuff, store the rest elsewhere.
Yarn not related to projects I’m working on right now? See you later.
This is the hardest part, of course, because if whatever thing is hanging out in your space doesn’t belong there, where does it belong? Which is where clearing starts to look like decluttering and there are more questions to ask:
- Is this something I want/need to find a different place for?
- Do I use it? Will I or someone in the family need it in the near future?
- Do I love it?
- Where else could it live that will not cause a clutter problem?
If it’s not something you use, love, need or have a different place for that’s not clutter causing, consider getting rid of it.
This is not a one-day process. In fact, just clearing off my desk took four days on and off. But that’s OK. It didn’t get messed up in a day, either.
Once the space is clear, it needs to be cleaned, too, right? And with summer coming you might want to clean with something that brings a smell of the outdoors into your space, so you can at least have the fresh smells of the season around you when you have to be inside.
If you’re a fan of strong scented cleaners, Fabuloso® Multipurpose Cleaner is a fun and versatile option. You can use it to clean floors, bathrooms, kitchens, walls, and, it turns out, glass desks.
They have all sorts of fun scents available at Walmart, including the lavender that I used and a cool limited edition Spring Bloom scent. (I found mine on the cleaners aisle, but be on the lookout for an endcap as well.)
And now that the space is clean there’s one more question: how can I keep it looking this good?
For me, I added a to-do box that includes all the notebooks, paper, fingerless gloves (essential because I’m pretty much always cold) and things that used to be all over my desk. I’m committed to making sure that everything on the desk ends up back in there at the end of the day, and that I take a little time every day or two to ensure that I’m not just piling stuff in there and never clearing it out. Sounds like progress to me.
OK, I’m ready for your confession. Where is the most out-of-control spot in your house?