Great Clutter Clearing Results: Come in Through the Side Door!

Clutter clearing can take on a life of its own!

Mission accomplished by accident!

Mission accomplished by accident!

I think many of us expect ourselves to be able to tackle clutter clearing head on, full steam ahead. The truth is that many times clutter clearing happens by sneaking in through the side door. We slide into it while attempting to accomplish another task.

Today I made time to unpack a big box of shampoos and other toiletries. I had been putting off this task because I knew I’d have to do some rearranging of my bathroom storage areas to find room for all the items I had purchased. I’m not a fan of digging out under bathroom sinks and working in bathroom drawers. Those spaces tele to melt down into rather icky, dirty spaces over time. But, I had so much product to put away that I had no choice but to bite the bullet and dive under the sinks in our two bathrooms. When I began I really had no intention to do any clutter clearing.

However, once I got started under the sink in our main bathroom and began clearing out items that had been there too long, I was on a clutter clearing roll. In the process of putting toiletries away I identified items to be tossed and took a few minutes to create a new order in that space. This task took less than 10 minutes.

High on the success of cleaning out under the sink I next went to my drawer in that same bathroom to put away some lip balm. When doing that I noticed that the container holding the lip balm was dirty with makeup and hair. Out came the storage containers to be washed. Into the trash went some old lip balms and other miscellaneous items that were never used. The finishing touch was to wipe out the drawer, ridding it of makeup powder and hair. This task took less than 10 minutes.

In the process of emptying the drawer I found some things that should be stored in the bathroom off the master bedroom. So, off I went to that bathroom.

I think I mentioned that I don’t enjoy clearing out under bathroom sinks. My first instinct when I opened the cabinet under the sink was to toss the toiletries from the other bathroom into a bin  and called it quits. However, I had more supplies that needed to be stored somewhere. So, I persevered.

While under the sink I found travel size toiletries that could be stored with our travel supplies and some supplies that were outdated and could be tossed. Out they came! I rearranged the space to hold my shampoo supplies and left that area holding only those things I am very likely to use in the future. This took less than 10 minutes.

While I was in clearing mode I decided to take a look at the single drawer in that bathroom. It held lots of little items which made me want to slam the drawer shut and save the task for another day. Little stuff can have that effect on your brain! But, the professional organizer in my head reminded me that the task would only take minutes, and then I’d know what was in the drawer. As I pulled things out I realized I had all kinds of creams that I never use and some that were outdated. I decided to keep a few and the rest went into the trash! Once those “dead” items were gone it was much easier to reorganize the drawer. Mission accomplished in less than 10 minutes.

The travel toiletries that I found under the sink led me to a storage cabinet in my bedroom where I had the opportunity to do some clearing and rearranging as well. The space was a jumble of little items just tossed in there one at a time. I put all  the extra travel toiletries in a single container to make them easy to find and reorganized that space. Done in less than 10 minutes.

Finally I checked the other drawers and sections of that cabinet to reacquaint myself with what I had stored there. In the process I found a large magnet I use for lower back pain. I thought I’d loaned it to someone and hadn’t gotten it back. What a great find! It was like the reward for my bathroom clutter clearing.

What started as a mission to put some toiletries away ended up being a one hour bathroom clutter clearing experience that left me with 5 spaces cleared and reorganized. If I had planned all that clearing I might have estimated about 1.5-2 hours to accomplish all that clearing — a time investment I might have put off indefinitely. But, because I needed to make space for a large quantity of supplies I was able to slide into that clutter clearing, without the angst that comes with committing to a big project. I slid into it from the side door and then kept rolling on fueled by how good it felt to toss old supplies, make space for new, and create new order for good visibility and easy access of things I am likely to use.

Look for those opportunities to do little bursts of clutter clearing by coming in through the side door, having the clutter clearing happen in the process of getting another task done. It’s a great way to experience the benefits of clutter clearing without ever having to face the “I’ve got to clear clutter” monster.