Organization Starts with Decluttering

15 plates (2)I am not a caterer, but you might think I was one by the amount of small plates and wine glasses I have – strike that – HAD. Why was I keeping 15 mismatched small plates and 14 wine glasses?! No clue! I have NEVER used all of them in one single day, let alone one single setting.  Following Clutterbug’s 30 Day Decluttering Challenge, along with hundreds of other like-minded people around the world, has been the perfect ticket to help kick start my journey to becoming more organized! What was more helpful was posting my purge pile, or my new organized and decluttered space, to Clutterbug’s Facebook page. The social support here has been amazing! At the end of the first week, I had two boxes loaded for charity and one bag for our local Food Bank.

Starting with the Kitchen Cupboards

I am a visual learner and this is one of the main reasons I am drawn to following Cassandra from Clutterbug on YouTube. Each day of the challenge she posts a few minutes of her process in decluttering that days assigned space, followed by a personal story or inspirational message. (trust me, Day One’s story will have you in stitches!)

In addition, her highly organized home is providing great ideas that I can adopt in my own. I found her recycling system under her kitchen sink to be a great idea, one in which I wanted to implement. Efficiency is the goal! Although our outdoor recycling bin is about 15 steps from my kitchen sink it was a real chore to continuously travel there while cleaning the kitchen. This idea reminded me of Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management  I learned in Business school. Applying those principles to the task of cleaning my kitchen should certainly save me a lot of time and energy. (Side note: Sadly, I didn’t just invent this notion. Apparently, Christine Frederick did almost 100 years ago!)

Finishing under the Kitchen Sink

It was late last Friday afternoon and I decided to tackle the installation of my new recycling bin under the sink. My mom was scheduled to come over to assist. Why my mom? She is super handy! But I decided I was going for it – alone. I grabbed the cordless drill, two Halloween candies, the instructions and went for it. The instruction sheet said it should take 15 minutes. I laughed. An hour and a half later….

I figured using an electric screw driver… um cordless drill… would be easy enough, so I didn’t bother YouTubing a “How To” video. This might have contributed to the longer than predicted time to complete the installation. I ran into a couple frustrating moments that might have been prevented had I watched Bill on YouTube.

First, tightening a drill bit in the keyless chuck is counter intuitive. You need to turn the chuck counter clockwise to tighten it. Righty Tighty doesn’t apply here! Second, stripping a screw can be avoided by adjusting the torque. How do I know I was stripping a screw and that it is bad thing? I remember the high pitched sound and my mom’s reaction: “ROBERT, stop! You’re stripping the screw!” In his defense, he is a bit hard of hearing. Thanks to Bill I now know one way to prevent it!

The drill will be an essential tool with the upcoming organizing systems I plan to install. In light of the little I have learned so far on YouTube about the drill, I certainly plan on tapping into other resources to become more efficient.

The Dark Side of Sharing on Social Media

Sharing a personal journey to becoming more organized requires vulnerability. In my exuberance to share on Clutterbug’s Facebook page the momentum I have gained in my own journey, I did not for one moment expect that others may be Facebook shamed. This past week I witnessed a mother, who posted a photo of her over cluttered kitchen to seek advice, shamed for the way she lives. Online shaming is real my friends, and it is ugly. What is more shocking to me is that most, if not all, the people sharing on this page are adults.

While this incident was ‘contained’ to Clutterbug’s Facebook page and didn’t go viral, it still happened. Shouldn’t adults know better? It is increasingly becoming apparent to me, as an adult educator, that there is a need to promote appropriate digital citizenship in adult education. Online shaming is being done by adults, not just the youth. And that is a shame.

Goals for this coming week

  • Continue to follow the declutter challenge with/ Clutterbug’s
  • Share my daily progress on Clutterbug’s Facebook page
  • Continue to identify areas that would benefit from organizational systems
  • Implement organizational systems
  • Identify ways in which my little people can help

Thank you for respectfully sharing in my journey!

The link to comment is below the title of this post. 





4 thoughts on “Organization Starts with Decluttering

  1. Awesome job Coralee! I’m sure we could all use a little help in the decluttering department! I find my under the sink spot just dirty and I never actually want to get down there and touch it. After reading your blog and watching the video, I might just finally have to tackle it. I know I’ll feel much better when it’s done. Also good for you to tackle using a cordless drill and don’t feel bad – I would also be completely lost using one. Thank goodness for Youtube and moms! 🙂


  2. Love this post! I tried a decluttering challenge before but did not succeed. I read Marie Kondo’s book on tidying up, last year, and since then, I donated many objects to the Thrift Store. Nowadays, I take pictures of the objects I like but not necessarily need, so I don’t buy them. LOL
    Congratulations on the garbage can installation!!!!


  3. Pingback: Mindful Decluttering and Organizing – A Work in Progress | Coralee Czinkota

  4. Pingback: Journey to Home Organization: Learning Summary | Coralee Czinkota

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