Cleaning Out the Corners

I have so many unfinished projects! This post is a good reminder to deal with clutter that's been building up around my home.

This post is part of the Monday series on simplifying that inspired my book, Your Simple Home Handbook. The series began with 10 Reasons to Start Simplifying Now.

I have a habit of keeping things in the Outbox for too long. Not just papers or things to be mailed, but projects that are half dealt-with or waiting to be Goodwilled.

I’ll have a good session of purging and I’ll pretty much finish a project, and then it will be time for supper or a shower. I stack up whatever I’m doing and push it against the wall or into a corner so it will be out of the way. “Tomorrow,” I think to myself, “I’ll finish it.” (Or take it to Goodwill/put it back where it belongs/clean it up!)

Weeks (or months) later, the projects and objects are still there, pushed up against the wall waiting to be finished.

I get used to seeing the clutter and forget it’s there, stagnating. Eddies of stuff pooling in corners instead of being sent downstream.

This week I’m determined to break up some of the logjams. I might not complete all of my unfinished projects, but I will start.

I walked around the apartment with my iPhone today, snapping pictures of the clutter lurking in corners. This is what my scavenger hunt uncovered:

cd caseitems to put away

In the living room I found a CD case that I had intended to sort through. It also contains a CD player encrusted with battery gunk–yep, definitely procrastinated on that lovely job. Along the wall behind the table are things that need to be put away from Christmas (or, um, before) and items that need to go to Goodwill.

Christmas cardsornaments

The bookshelf has a stack of Christmas cards that need to be dealt with. Usually I keep them set up nicely throughout January, but last time I dusted I stacked them up and left them. Another bookshelf has Christmas ornaments that should be put away, and papers and coupons to sort.

box of booksscratching post

A shoebox in the bedroom was a holding ground for loose items on their way to a permanent home. Alas, the box became that home. The cat scratching post was purchased new, but the cat was more interested in our couch. We need to list this one on Craigslist. (The post.)

books and folders

Sophie cat helped me on my mission. Here she’s discovered a stack of empty folders left over from when I simplified my papers.

Those are my logjams; what are yours? You might want to go on your own scavenger hunt now. Identify those pockets of clutter that you’ve been avoiding and start working through them.

I said it in this post, but I need reminding: When you get the excess items out of your life, you are truly simplifying. Because if those cast-offs stay in a box by your door for a month, they’re still cramping your style. Sell, donate, organise, or put away–just finish. And start enjoying the benefits of a simpler, more peaceful home.

300x250 Regular Price Ad

Do you want lots more simple living ideas? Check out my brand new book! Your Simple Home Handbook is a 100+ page guide to decluttering your home and simplifying your stuff. Work through 30 different areas of your home–at your own pace–and enjoy the benefits of a space that breathesClick here to learn about my book!


  1. I also have pockets of clutter all throughout my house. My frustration is that just as I deal with them, another pocket crops up somewhere else. I have a sinking suspicion that just like dirty dishes and laundry, this is part of life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *