10 Minutes + 2 TV Shows = 1 Clean Desk

From now on, every Thursday on the blog will focus on Home Improvement and DIY Projects.  This could (and will) range from rehanging a closet to cleaning out one.  From putting in a new floor to taking the time to mop it.

Our home has become a kingdom of clutter where cleaning consists of moving unneeded and unused crap from one place to another in an attempt to hide or minimize it.   Typically, this is done in a hurry right before guests come over so it’s not even done well.  It’s shoved, piled and tossed behind a closed door until it’s set to the side of the room, taking up vacancy in a place it never belonged to begin with.

Our home is also the place where DIY projects go to die.  Two years ago, I had my parents help cut up and haul wood from massive pallets a glass company was giving away.  We took so much that you couldn’t park in the garage once unloaded.  The goal was to create a wood accent wall in the living room.  The reality is the wood is still in my garage …two years later.  It’s moved so we can park, but it’s still there. This is more common than not.  We have window mechanisms that need repair, gutters that need replacing, carpet that needs patching and the list goes on and on.  And that’s just the stuff that NEEDS to be done to have a fully functioning house.  I haven’t even touched on the things I WANT to do (aside from the wall) to give it a face lift.

So, here we go with Day 1.  I arrived here without a plan, but I’m the master of procrastination in the name of perfection and don’t like that about myself — so we’re starting anyway.

I don’t know how people can be productive at a disorganized desk or feel creative in the midst of clutter.  That’s why I chose to start right here…literally RIGHT HERE where I’m sitting.  For the most part, my desk looked clean from above, but take a step back and chaos! I don’t think I realized how much chaos until I took these pics.

Step 1: Remove EVERYTHING.

And what exactly IS everything sitting in and around my desk?  Well…

Drawings for a painting project
6 Canvases
Make Your Own Stencil Paper
4 Books
Manual & CD for Printer
Set of thin-tipped chalk
iPod/Phone converter in box
9 bottles of paint
Post Its
Old iPod cord held together with tape
Bills to Pay
Leftover Photos from Christmas project
Return Address Labels (we don’t mail anything, ever)
Ethernet Cord
Pen Cap (just the cap)
Empty Glasses Case
Wooden Blocks – still in the store bag
Old Pair of Glasses (in another case)
Empty Case for Guitar Tuner
Insurance Packet
Eyeglass Cleaner
Jar of Pens
5 Journals
A random box with Workout Bands
My Daughter’s shoes
A pair of Gardening Gloves
An empty box from Christmas

Wow!  That’s over 50 items. #RealityCheck

Step 2: Put things that shouldn’t be here where they belong.  Well, that was 90% of the desk.  If it was simple like moving a book to a spot on a bookshelf, I did that.  But for things like my painting supplies which are stored in our equally (read: a LOT worse) cluttered laundry room, I simply put them in a box and set them in that room in order to avoid a project within a project (something else I’m great at doing).  #SQUIRREL

Step 3: Give the desk a good wipe down/dusting.

Step 4: Put the things that DO belong, back in their place.

This process took all of about 10 minutes and look at what a difference it made…

All that was left to tackle was the huge drawer full of unfiled paid bills and random “important” papers.  I knew this was going to take more than 10 minutes so…

Step 4: Put something good on tv and sort it all out.  There’s nothing more boring than organizing papers and my goal in ALL of these DIY projects is to get them done quickly, easily and without too much pain.  TV was a distraction that probably drug the process out a little longer than it would have taken without it, but it was also …a distraction!

A year’s worth of bills sorted, stapled and ready to go for whenever I’m ready to do our taxes (Lord, help me).  And in the process, I learned a lot of disturbing (alleged) facts about Scientology via Leah Remini on the boob tube. (Do people still say that?)

Now it’s your turn.  Do you have a work space in your home?  Take 10 minutes to tidy it up.  Happy Thurs·DIY!



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