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Furniture That Declutters
Old 03-27-2015, 10:30 AM   #1
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Furniture That Declutters

Clutter happens because we put something down on the table because it's not convenient to put where it belongs. Yes, in part it's laziness, but also sometimes you are busy with something, and it would be inefficient to take the time to put the thing in its place.

Here (oh, this is embarrassing) are pictures of our two clutter piles (not posed):





One solution is to periodically (every morning) make a point of putting those things away.

The problem is that in the meantime, those things are on display. That is, the storage location is highly visible. It's a display location. So, I've thought that if the temporary dumping ground were out of sight, the house would look less cluttered.

I've implemented that idea with drawers and enclosed side tables



But here's the problem: Once the stuff is out of sight, it never gets put away.

We're going to get something for our front hall (I moved my desk), and I'm wondering if there's something that might help. Maybe a chest of drawers (this for upstairs, this for to the garage), and a rule that every week they must be emptied.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:38 AM   #2
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Everyone has current projects that take a while to complete. There is nothing wrong with putting things in a drawer to tidy up between sessions. That's why they invented the sewing box, for example.

One idea that I use is fabric boxes or baskets on wire or wooden shelves. Like this. http://images.property24.com/FetchIm...hx?uid=2723450

If you have many projects on the go, can you allocate a spare bedroom in your empty nester home to them?
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:43 AM   #3
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A chest of drawers would solve the problem. I've done this in the past, and added dividers to keep things organized. The dividers have really helped me to keep stuff out that doesn't belong in the drawers.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:45 AM   #4
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I tend to leave things on the "coffee" table, because it's visible. As soon as I hide in it a drawer "temporarily", then out-of-sight, out-of-mind...
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
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No great ideas, but I sympathize with the situation. I think we've got a worse problem than you've got--I've got lots of cardboard boxes stashed here and there full of half-completed projects/tools that I "cleaned up" when people were coming over--and there they sit.

I've thought of modifying our kitchen table (the major junk magnet) so that once per week it tips its top and dumps everything on the floor. At least I'd be prompted to deal with it then.

The best furniture I can come up with to deal with our issue would be an old-fashioned portable room heater--the good ones without all those fancy tip-over switches and guards in front. They stand a good chance of setting the whole house ablaze, and sometimes I think that's our best chance to finally declutter.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:55 AM   #6
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Al, I have a couple of collapsible baskets to handle clutter. That works for me. When they get full, I put the contents away (or toss them) and start over. They are about 13"x13", and 6" high. I got them at World Market but lots of places sell nice baskets of varying dimensions.

One thing to be concerned about, is that as you age some day one of you might trip on those clutter piles on the floor/stairs and hurt yourself! I'd suggest putting them up on a table somewhere.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:10 AM   #7
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someday one of you might trip on those clutter piles on the floor/stairs and hurt yourself!
Too late!
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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Too late!
Better do something pronto! Maybe a small waist high table (like one of those old phone tables), with a basket on it, right by the stairs? If the visibility bothers you, I suppose maybe you could find a basket with a lid.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:39 AM   #9
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This looks like a good idea:

MID CENTURY MODERN DRESSER DESK CHEST SECRETARY

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

MID CENTURY MODERN DRESSER DESK CHEST SECRETARY
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:51 AM   #10
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Al, that looks nice. I really like the dovetail on the drawers. Only suggestion is "stuff" expands based on the size of area it exists in(imo). So set a limit on what you collect before forcing a hard reorganization.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:59 AM   #11
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Al, that looks nice. I really like the dovetail on the drawers. Only suggestion is "stuff" expands based on the size of area it exists in(imo). So set a limit on what you collect before forcing a hard reorganization.
+1

Also, Al, it concerns me because of my (perhaps incorrect) pre-conceived notion that you and Lena live in a fairly small place. The more large furniture you stuff into it, the smaller it will seem. It is pretty, though.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:06 PM   #12
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What I do with temporary clutter is utilize the small cardboard boxes that I get from Amazon orders. They don't hold a lot of stuff. I fold the flaps down into the box so the stuff is visible. These small boxes are great for sorting and holding temporary to-do projects instead of leaving the associated stuff where it does not belong (tabletop, couch, counter, etc).
I've also used those plastic milk carton crates, the ones with the solid bottoms. They stack nicely.

My kitchen peninsula is ready to be attacked as part of spring cleaning. It is almost completely full of stuff I never got around to discarding or storing elsewhere. Some of it belongs to Mr B, so he has to help.

Lots of rainy spring days coming here soon, so it will not survive the onslaught of me cooped up in the house by rainstorms. I like to get it all done before summer starts and I'm outdoors all the time.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:17 PM   #13
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I made the mistake of trying to organize clutter with furniture (shelves, cabinets, etc). The cabinets and shelves filled up and the clutter never stops.

I have no answers for the problem.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:08 PM   #14
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I made the mistake of trying to organize clutter with furniture (shelves, cabinets, etc). The cabinets and shelves filled up and the clutter never stops.

I have no answers for the problem.
I've found one piece of furniture that controls clutter.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:13 PM   #15
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I've found one piece of furniture that controls clutter.

That is my favorite piece of furniture. But I am single. If I was married I suspect the frequent use of that piece of furniture would get me in all types of trouble.


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Old 03-27-2015, 02:25 PM   #16
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That is my favorite piece of furniture. But I am single. If I was married I suspect the frequent use of that piece of furniture would get me in all types of trouble.


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Seems to work for my DW. Where that go? Oh I thought you were done with that, dear.
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:42 PM   #17
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Seems to work for my DW. Where that go? Oh I thought you were done with that, dear.
Yep. My stuff is all junk, clutter whatever.

Hers is all decoration, keepsakes, etc.
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:13 PM   #18
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My space was always meant to accommodate my clutter. When I need more space, I find the clutter I don't care about anymore and get rid of it in one of my archives. Cleaning the house is a matter of moving a large garbage to a large archive and shoveling.
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:43 PM   #19
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I sweep all the clutter on tables and stairs into a laundry basket that gets plopped down in the house entryway. When it's full and untouched by others, I dump it into a box, tape it shut, and write "Destroy after <DATE + 1 year>" on it. The box moves to a stack in the garage with the date turned to face the car, so it gets noticed.

When the date arrives, out goes the box.

Passive/Aggressive of me, but this seems to have influenced the amount of clutter over the years...
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:07 PM   #20
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I didn't grow up this way, but we have always uncluttered surfaces every evening before going to bed. It takes only a few minutes at most because we are focused on it.

T-Al, you probably already have a place to put everything you show in the photos. An interim place to put stuff will only make your life more complicated, not less.
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