Quickly and Slowly… Both for Week 6 (Decluttering and Simplifying 2010)

Decluttering the house is moving very quickly when I have the time to do it, but because I have so many other things to do, it’s actually coming along very slowly.

Still, I’m making progress. With the living room stalled a bit until David clears the desk and table by the door, I’m working on the room that was made for clutter — the utility room, a small room off the kitchen that’s home to the washer and dryer, the back door and lots of odd bits that we shouldn’t have kept.

I only had a couple of hours this week to devote to cleaning and clearing, but I did manage to completely empty a shelf unit in our tiny utility room. It was home to a lot of half-used repair items like glue and caulk and a couple of incomplete projects like the terrarium I abandoned when I discovered how much our water stains glass. Most of the repair items were dried up or partially missing and the abandoned projects aren’t likely to be resumed, so nothing there needed to stay around.

Meanwhile, David cleared and dusted the TV stand, making that corner of the living room look presentable. Other than the two tables covered mostly in his things by the front door and some boxes and storage crates , the living room is looking quite livable.

I’m also establishing the new habit of clearing any dishes, mail or other clutter that I find on the three tables we actually use in the living room every time I pass them. Discarding yesterday’s clutter does no good if new clutter comes in the mail or from the store.

I think I’m detecting a trend emerging, too. The first stages of cleaning a room go very quickly. The large items that aren’t being used can quickly be trashed or donated. Then, a bit of cleaning and some additional decluttering get the room in decent condition. Things stall, however, when I’m down to a few remaining items that don’t need to be thrown out but aren’t very useful either. What do you do with a high-quality hummingbird vase that’s beautiful yet useless?

A true minimalist would give it to a friend or the charity shop. I’m just not sure I’m a true minimalist yet.