Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cutting through the Clutter

I tend to accumulate clutter...well flat surfaces really - table tops, floors, and especially the kitchen bench. It is a constant battle and some days I win and some days I lose. I was alerted  to a great book called 'Cut the Clutter' by Cythia Townley-Ewer and a website called

I found that I fit more than one of the profiles of a clutterer - 'Hoarder - "I might need it one day"; Perfectionist - "Next week I'll organise everything perfectly""; Deferrer - I'll think about that tomorrow"; and Sentimentalist - "That belonged to my....". Four out of the five listed personality traits were I was in BIG trouble.


Yesterday I tackled the dreaded corner cupboard...always a difficult shape...but I had seen a great idea using an old cd rack on Pinterest and I put mine ("I might need that one day) to use. It turned out well. 

I also used an old Elfa shelf (see that came in handy too!) that was orphaned in our garage.


During the recent school holidays, a lovely friend gave us her old fridge for FREE, we in turn gave our skinnier version to another friend (love the 'pay it forward' attitude). But I was determined to make a fresh start. 

Using another  Pinterest idea, I bought some plastic shelf boxes with handles and made a tidy fridge. After 6 weeks, it is still holding up well under the demands of a family of 5. Can I also say that it is such a bonus to have more door shelves for jars and bottles too!


Our dvd and cd shelves were prettied up with a couple of purchases from vintage stores...the tree and birdcage. 

Our sideboard top was covered in Christmas decorations and it got a clean and dust.

It has been 2.5 years since we moved in and I finally felt confident enough to unpack the good crockery (usually we find out that we have a new posting soon after I do fingers crossed!) and hang a few pictures on the walls.

And I put the tea and coffee cups into the drawers. The two on the right come from my mum's crazy tea set collection. They include cup, saucer and a dessert plate. Beautiful.

About 2 months ago, we bought some Ikea 'Billy' bookcases for only $69 each. I decided to keep some topics together (Pre-Raphaelites, North American Indians, cookbooks, Tolkien etc.) but for the rest I sized and colour-coded. Having 2 bookcases meant that I could also break up the book stack with some frames (original painting by my preschooler) books on display.

My 'La Passion D'Adonis' J.W.Waterhouse frame was a bargain from a second-hand store.


After 9 months, I finally got around to having the computer guy come and 'fix' the computers. It turns out that my computer  wasn't on the blink, but I had the monitor cable plugged into the wrong socket on the back of the CPU. 
Our Expedit comes in handy everyday. On hand are things like address books, envelopes, board games, scrapbooking pages, OT, Speech and visual aides. 

Lower left basket for cardboard boxes for preschool, centre left for wayward toys, centre right for playdough and mats and lower right for receipts. Upper right magazine holders have notes from Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade 2 respectively.


  1. Hello! I just found your blog through the Gen X Quilter blogroll, and I LOVE this post of yours! We are having a kid in a couple of months and I have been tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to declutter our one-bedroom apartment before Baby arrives (it doesn't help that my sewing stuff has completely taken over our only dining table). I am afraid to look up that clutterer book because I probably fit most or all of the definitions too! You have a ton of great ideas here--like using an old CD rack to store those pesky, always-getting-lost-plastic container lids--so thanks for sharing your tips!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Natalie...I am just new to blog-land. is never-ending battle...and it is an everyday thing. I think one of the most helpful tips is "a place for everything". When we don't know what to do with things, they tend to accumulate because they don't really have a "home". That is where the humble square basket can be a handy 'out of sight' transitional place until you have time to find a home or return the item to it's home.

    All the best for your apartment de-clutter (your nesting instinct will kick in hopefully and you'll be unstoppable)...and even more best wishes for your last trimester and delivery.

  3. wow! you did such a great job, fiona!!! and while it's so much work, it feels so great once everything is said and done.

    thanks for coming by simply organized. i'll be checking in around here frequently!!! thanks again!!!



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