When I was growing up my Papa called me his princess. My husband and son treat me like one to this day. Yet, for the longest time I was a pauper to the clutter in my every day life in my home and my finances. Then one day I decided it was time to stop living like a pauper and to be the princess everyone thought of me as. This is the journey I took to de-clutter all aspects of my life and become a true PRINCESS!

Friday, February 14, 2014


Or any office for that matter.  If  you have an office you have the possibility of massive paper clutter, lost files, disappearing desktops, computers burdened with excessive files. If it is also the center of your crafting, as is ours, then it adds even more clutter to the mayhem. 

Ours was even worse it had been a collection point for things that were to be put up for sale, in fact when we started this project we hadn’t actually been in that room for a few years for more than a very short period to “store” something else in there. As a result we were near the “goat trails” syndrome in the room.Trying to work in there would be miserable because this is an upstairs room that is toward the end of the duct work for the furnace and air conditioning.  There are also no windows, just a sliding glass door.  The number of days anyone could comfortably work in there were therefore limited in number.

We started on this room in June of 2012, then it got hot, very, very hot.  Yet we doggedly worked at in on and off through the hot summer and almost comfortable fall to slowly weed things out.  

The room had eight years of mystery shopping paperwork in it.  Anyone who does mystery shopping will tell you it creates cases and cases of paperwork for just one person and there had been three of us shopping at one point.  There was also paperwork from various businesses we have ran over the years so just the paperwork alone required burning numerous feed sacks full of non-essential paperwork.  We burn here because we are allowed to and it really stops a potential identity thief in their tracks.  Stirred up ashes are really hard to get information off of.

Then there were the stacks of boxes of things “for sale”.  The Webfoot Tub Designs materials and much more.  

The room was totally out of control.  So was the temperature in there.  It was just too hot to get it cleaned out, but we doggedly kept at it a little at a time, between everything else that filled our always busy plates.

We each chose a section to work on and used the following sorting method:
1.     Keep, you better have a very, very, very good reason for keeping it.  We might need it some day did not qualify. We had to have an IMMEDIATE need for it.  When in doubt throw it out! The only exception, of course, was tax records.
2.     Donate, good enough to sell, only we were NOT going to be the ones selling it. Local charities would benefit from our need to clean and organize.
3.     Recycle.  This included anything we could recycle from corrugated cardboard to old electronics.
4.     Burnable trash-this was all those years worth of paperwork from mystery shopping we did not need for tax purposes.
5.     Non-burn.  This was loaded up and taken to the dump as soon as we had a complete truck load. 

By the holiday season we had enough cleaned out we could safely put a space heater in there while we worked, so a lot of progress was made.  We hauled pick-up loads of “for sale” items to the donation boxes rather than to continue to hang on to things to list “some day.”  

Two runs to the dump, and hours at the burn barrel as we continued to work.  Because of who we are (humans) we of course did not work non-stop.  After all it was the holiday season. 

Soon the room was clear enough that we started converting this storage room back to an office.  Our goal was to create three work stations, one for each of us. It is a very large room that could easily be divided up.  

The two men built one computer from scratch, and Frankensteined two others for that room.  Each of us would have our own to work with.  We would also each have the type of work area we needed for our individual needs.  

Sean is working on a graphic novel, so he needed a drafting board and a flat table to work with along with his computer.  The men stopped cleaning to build the easel for the drafting board and the three computers.  I plugged away slowly for awhile, but then became a S.H.E.

For those of you who don’t know what a S.H.E. is it’s a Sidetracked Home Executive.  This is not an original thought.  It is actually from the book  Side TrackedHome Executives from Pigpen to Paradise” by Pam Young and Peggy Jones.   A very good home organization how to book that I read years ago and recently re-read to review.

The acronym says it all.  I got sidetracked.  Oh I planned on finishing up the office right then, it was actually down to the “pretty up” stage, almost.  But then that avalanche of cans from the pantry fell on my feet and I pitched such a fit we three decided it was time to get the pantry under control.  So we abandoned the office project to tame the Pantry Monster. Which of course segued into Corralling my cupboards. I told you I was a S.H.E.

Our logic was we used the pantry daily, the office we had done without for years.  So what was a little longer before it got completed. It was after all straightened enough Sean could work in there on his graphic novel and artwork.
So we started trying to tame the Pantry Monster,  that project drug on and I got side tracked in the middle of it by what to do with all my spices and ended up Corralling my Cupboards before I could slay the Pantry Monster.  

Now that both of those projects are completed I’m back to working on the office, in mid June a year later. Guess what it was HOT again.  Only this time we were prepared and purchased a portable air conditioning unit that could be vented out the sliding glass door.  

So it was time to stop stalling and finish this room.  After all I was over one year behind on my total clean-out of the kingdom, which makes me that much more determined.  There is still a lot to do not only in the office, but in various other rooms and outbuildings.  Although we have made a lot of progress I still had a long journey ahead of me to achieve the Princess Plan.

First of course I had to get a little sidetracked for a day or two.  Uploading blogs, tidying up the main downstairs rooms and working on our new family evening plans…yet another blog post to work on.  Not to mention gardening.  Excuses, excuses.

The truth was there was so much left in the office I hadn’t a clue what to do with I was stalling.  I had to force myself to really settle down and sort by the five boxes we had previously worked with.  Some places to clean are simply harder than others to clean.
This room was one of those.  It had been simply a storage room for so long and until we purchased the air conditioner it had been too hot to work in there most of the year I just had trouble getting enthusiastic about it.

This worried me greatly because I knew the basement and sunroom still lay ahead of me, both were basically storage rooms at that point as well.  These would be followed by all the out buildings and that was downright scary.  We are determined though.  So onward and upward. Time drags on…

What follows is a series of posts that will go up about every two days documenting the journey from the photo on the side, to a clean and organized room. We are REALLY doing it.

Jan who is determined that room will be organized sooner or later.

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