Hi. I am alone in my guest room and I am happy in this moment instead of hyperventilating in clutter-induced panic (see: yesterday) so something is working. In the words of Tyler Perry, HALLELU-YER.
All the crystal-clear acrylic boxes I yammered on about the other day arrived and I spent a glorious morning taking the random piles of keeper stuff out of bags and old cardboard boxes and organizing it to perfection. These bins were so expensive it made me nervous pressing the buy button, and yet they are so much better than hoped for. Each box arrived in pristine shape with no chips or cracks and they have a great look to them, the lids are hinged and open easily. I can see everything. All that research I did paid off because the sizes worked together and they stack up nicely. My doodads and whatnots have never looked so tidy and inviting.
I started this task around 8 a.m. and now it is just past noon and for the first time in weeks (months?) I can see the light at the end of the clutter tunnel. During this process I also managed to discard more items and eliminate about 24 old storage boxes.
Those boxes are cute, aren’t they? Of course they are, I have great taste! But they aren’t helping me one bit. Once something goes into a cardboard box it no longer exists thanks to my severe case of out-of-sightitis. Over the course of this project I have been pulling little cardboard storage boxes out of my deep and never-ending guest room closet and unearthing all kinds of finds.
Does anyone need two Blockbuster video cards and eleventeen Vons cards? How about some bacon-flavored floss or a calendar from 2014 or a flip cam that holds five seconds of video? No?
In the midst of all this ridiculousness, my sewing supplies have been sitting unused, unremembered, in tidy piles of cardboard organizing boxes for at least two years. And I had no reason to go dig them out because my sewing table looked like the clearance section of the Salvation Army so there was no place to set up my machine.
Today I have cleaned out all the boxes, sorted the items, and restored my notions to their proper place in my life.
I am so happy. Or maybe the right emotion is relief. There have been moments when real worry has touched my shoulder, concerned that I am driving down a one-way street to Hoarders: Buried Alive. Today I feel I am in control of my stuff not the other way around. Oh it is a satisfying feeling, friend.
Knitting supplies (excluding yarn) had been stored much the same way — all the items I use regularly were in a carry case and everything else had been stored in a cardboard “organizer” box on a shelf. Now it’s out where I can see it and use it!
For the divided containers, I used two of the mDesign Baby Nursery Storage Box Organizers. There is another box online that has the same exact dimensions and it’s branded for use with vitamins, lotions, and bath supplies and it was $3 more expensive so I picked this one. Before I bought it I drew the dimensions out on a piece of paper, but even so when it came it seemed even a bit bigger than I expected.
I love having all my sewing and knitting stuff properly organized! Now I can fix the pile of pillowcases stacked up for mending. And I can actually make things, which is what I really wanted all along. I don’t have guests very often. In fact when Drew arrives next month he will be the first guest I have had since the last guest — which was Drew — back in January of 2014. And at that time he was the first-ever guest. So you know. This room is also supposed to be my home office and sewing space and until today it has been neither.
Today I can feel myself getting closer and closer to the goal of having a functional office/sewing/guest room. It’s a much better emotion than the panic and anxiety and fear of clutter.
Here are the links to the boxes I purchased if you are interested:
- Small boxes with dividers
- Large boxes with hinged lids
- Medium boxes with hinged lids (tall)
- Medium box with a hinged lid (short)
The only downside to this (other than the price) was that some of the boxes had labels that didn’t remove cleanly. I hate that. No one can abide with the sticky.
Removing sticky labels
The best all-natural way I know to remove label residue is to use oil. I used olive oil from the kitchen but I am pretty sure any oil will do. Let it sit on the sticky area for a few minutes and then use a paper towel or tissue to rub the residue off the item. Then wipe with cleaner or soap and water. Et voila, no more glue.
The TL;DR: Great day so far, lots of good progress. Still more to do but I’m more energized now than I have been. Also got rid of enough to make a full carload to the Goodwill.
Read the whole Greek Tragedy: The tale of my guest room declutter-athon.