I love the summer holidays but spending all that extra time at home with the children does lead to more mess than normal. Although I’m not terribly house proud, I do know that having a few calm and tidy areas does massively reduce my stress and anxiety levels. Even if the rest of the house looks like a bomb has hit it.
This drawer is one that I’m in and out of a hundred times a day. As well as being the designated storage area for some kitchen equipment, it also holds daily essentials such as hairbrushes and bands, makeup, Sellotape, pens and the first aid kit. As it’s the most used drawer in the house, it does also become a dumping ground for STUFF.
And as I use it so often, I can feel my anxiety levels rising when I can’t easily find the things that I need to, especially when we are running on summer holiday time (ie 10 minutes late) and need to be out of the house NOW.
Lisa Cole’s excellent ebooks give lots of support and guidance on gentle decluttering, walking you through step by step to help you create calm spots in your home without getting overwhelmed.
Following her advice, I embarked on a 10 minute gentle declutter of just this one drawer. No worrying about the rest of the kitchen, let alone the rest of the house.
Gentle 10 minute declutter with Less-Stuff
First I tackled the pile of papers to the left of the drawer. This is a mixture of receipts, takeaway menus, bus time tables, vouchers, notepaper and greetings cards.
The only papers that SHOULD be there are the notepaper and greetings cards. Easy access for when a note to school is needed or a birthday suddenly remembered. It may not be everyone’s choice to keep them there, but it does work for me.
Most of the vouchers were out of date, so straight in the recycling/bin as appropriate. The takeaway menus went too – there’s only 1 takeaway we ever order from and their menu is on line. Following Lisa’s advice, I skimmed the receipts. The bulk went in the bin and anything I wasn’t sure about went to the designated receipt folder to be sorted another time.
The kitchen stuff was next – a quick tidy of the storage box to remove the debris at the bottom and a wipe over and back in the drawer it went.
The odd bits of snack food were put in the larder cupboard where they should have been all along (though the girls did manage to declutter some permanently before they made it there).
Random toys, glue, batteries, screwdrivers and junk were all quickly put back into their proper places, a task that took no more than 2 minutes in total.
Next up were the hairbrushes and bands. I don’t know if you can see from the photos, but there are storage pots made out of old tissue boxes and cut down milk cartons. They just needed a sort and then could be put back into place.
A tidy drawer!
Then onto the makeup. Again, I know it wouldn’t be everyone’s choice to keep their makeup in the kitchen drawer but I’ve never wanted a dressing table and there’s not much storage in our bathroom, so this is the perfect solution for me.
The big bottles of toiletries don’t need to be there though, so I’ve put them into the teen’s room where they belong. After that it was just a case of slotting things into the storage boxes so it’s all neat and tidy.
The sellotape, first aid kit and sun cream are all used super frequently in this house, so again it works for us to have them in this drawer. A quick tidy, with duplicates being stored elsewhere and there you have it! A much tidier drawer that will enable me to find the things I need in super quick time, without adding to stress or anxiety levels.
Plus even the small will be able to find hair bands, sellotape and plasters when she needs, which is great for her growing independence so all in all a great way to spend 10 minutes.
If you want more tips visit www.less-stuff.co.uk or sign up to the less-stuff mailing list. You get a whole bunch of freebies including a reusable decluttering calendar, a free A-Z of Leftover Food Ideas and a money off voucher for another ebook.
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