Thursday, January 7, 2010

What’s your problem area?

 

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Perfect decluttering weather out there today! We haven’t even left the house!

So what’s your problem area? NO…not on your body. In your house. Even the most annoying organized people have a spot that they can’t keep up with. Rooms or areas where things collect, piles are created, things get out of hand. Slowly but surely the irritation starts, then the hyperventilating. The hives pop up. Then there’s the itching…

I digress.

I know I go on and on about decluttering and organizing, but seriously people, I’m human. I have issues too. (Many.) For the most part our closets I showed you here stay that way all year. The basement, notsomuch. During the holidays I try so hard to keep it organized as I make trip after trip down there, but about five bins in after the holidays, I throw up my hands and just pile. And pile:

025Told you.

That’s problem area number one for me. A third of this stuff is holiday decor. A third is general decor and the last part is baby Bub stuff. I plan on going through every inch of this space and getting rid of at least half of it within the next few weeks. This spot will be hubby’s “office” and I have some great ideas in mind to make it more cozy and warm – as cozy and warm as cement walls and floors can get.  ;)

My second area is not even in the house -- it’s the car. A looooong time ago I used to be able to keep my car relatively clean and organized. Then I worked for marketing and PR for ten years and that meant tons ‘o clutter in my car for events pretty much constantly. When I started the decorating gig a few years ago, I thought I may get a break from that, but I was INSANE. It was worse than ever.

Now that I’m not working with clients “live,” you’d think it was better. Nope -- the older my kiddo gets, the worse my car gets. It’s atrocious. Really, I’m not even going to show you pictures cause it. is. not. pretty.

Problem area number three – our master closet. I hang my head in shame on this one because our closet is ridiculously huge. Like, you will hate me when you see pictures. It’s the size of a bedroom for goodness sakes. But I can’t keep it organized to save my life. Here’s just a peek:

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This is hubby’s side and I blame it all on him! OK, not really. I wish. I blame it on the fact that I cannot stand doing laundry. Hate it with a burning, searing passion. Mounds of clothes do not make for an organized closet. I have to say, this picture looks pretty darn good compared to how it usually looks. It’s BAD.

My last problem room? The laundry/mud room:

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Lanterns from the deck and Christmas decor? Check.

Jigsaw from Christmas waiting to be opened and used? (Thanks Dad!!) Check.

Rope lights? (?!?!) Check.

Margarita from the Fiesta that was supposed to go out to the fridge two weeks ago? Check.

Note on the chalkboard Stink Eye Sister left when she finally moved out ummm…two months ago? Check.

This area is my catch all for everything. Stuff that’s going to Goodwill sits here till I have a carload – which could be weeks. (Hence the toys.) When I’m too lazy to take the trash out another ten feet to the garage, I throw it here. (Hence the Wii boxes.) Gifts I need to give, or things I need to drop off to friends sit here as well – and sometimes I find them later…much later.  :)

It’s just sad. And annoying. This is what we see first thing every time we come in our house. Thankfully, this is one spot it only takes about ten minutes to pick up:

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It’s still not perfect, but it’s much better. And I left the note on the chalkboard cause I’m lazy it’s cute.  ;)

So what’s your problem area? Tell me I’m not alone! The car? Closets? Do you hate laundry as much as me? Ick. I’ll share the transformation of the basement “office” and our closet soon!

Stay tuned this weekend for a great giveaway! Woohoo! If you are dealing with all of this snow, be safe!!

140 comments:

  1. Our closet is horrible...however our basement and garage are even worse right now...and my office/craft room tops the list...so embarrassing I will never show anyone!! I try and keep the basement organized....but I just wanted to get Christmas Decor down and so I just kind of put in in the basement and don't want to organize it! LOL! And well..my crafts just got carried away for Christmas and I can't seem to find the floor!

    Oh well...maybe some day!

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  2. I'm soooooooo happy to see all of this! It makes me feel so much better :) My main problem areas are the school room and our bedroom, that's where everything that doesn't have a home eventually gets put...working on that this week :) By the way, I love your blog :o)

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  3. Ha! I was going to go with "hips and thighs" until I read further :). I would definitely say out of control paperwork. I'm working on that though as I redo my guest room/office/sewing room, etc this month. It will feel sooo good to have that room under control.

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  4. My problem area is my entire house. I'm a neat freak and a perfectionist, but since I had baby #2 who is now 5 months old and I started working (teacher) I can't get anything done. I'll make a run through my house in the evening, but the lack of sleep is really catching up. I'll be off in May and plan on doing a lot of decluttering, but I still don't know how good it will be then because we rent and don't have a whole lot of space. I was actually thinking 2 years ago that I was jealous of my little sister because she had so much stuff. I'm not so jealous anymore. We've accumulated so much since we've had babies. I can't seem to throw anything away.

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  5. All of the problem areas you listed are problem areas in our home too. I looked so long and hard for a more affordable version of the Pottery Barn bench and shelf set I loved so. When I finally found it, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I spent days painting it and choosing just the right decorations for the shelf and baskets for the bench. Not one behind has made contact with that bench. It has become another surface for collection of various items. My eye is twitching just thinking about it.

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  6. I have clutter at my house! Stuff, stuff, and more stuff! I have a ton of baby stuff, baby clothes, my clothes that I can't wear anymore, toys that don't get played with anymore, Christmas decorations...the list goes on and on. Another problem area is the kitchen counters...some how they are never cleaned off for long...mail, papers, class room art, and coupons!! Thanks for letting me vent its been a day:)

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  7. My desk, the coffee table, the kitchen counters...hmmm must be horizontal surfaces for me!!! ugh I too feel so much better knowing there are "others' out there like me! lol

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  8. Where do I begin? Our basement is finished, but I let the kids run wild down there and I don't even to peek to see how messy it is. The kids' rooms are constantly messy...even right after they clean them. I DO have laundry baskets all over our house full of clean laundry. My worst spot is our storage room which, like your basement, holds all our misc-not-currently-in-use stuff. We all have it. We sometimes get around to clearing it. Then it returns. It's the never ending circle!

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  9. I haven't figured out where the problem area is yet because we just moved, so it's pretty much the whole house right now! UGH! We're supposed to have nasty winter weather this weekend, so hopefully it'll force me to stay inside and clean up. :)

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  10. Our guest bedroom!!! And my boyfriend's "Man Cave" but I have pretty much given up on that room - he can do what he wants there. But the guest room I have completely ignored in the decoration department and I just throw everything in there.

    http://katiehommer.blogspot.com

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  11. Our Master closet is HUGE too and I sometimes wonder why in the world we have that much stuff to put in there! It's almost like since its larger its harder to keep organized?? Our basement is 3/4 finished and 1/4 storage. The finished part has been taken over by some very young and sloppy monsters (our boys) and the storage side is much like your "pile". There is also one area of our kitchen counter that is a catch all. Some day I shall concur thee. Great post!

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  12. Thanks for keeping it real as always. We can't always be perfect ;-) BTW~thanks for the pendant light idea, awesome!

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  13. With a smaller overall living space (and no storage area!!), the room that actually collects most of the "where does this belong" kind of stuff is the master bedroom. It's horrible! Two small kids like to add their collections to the mix as well... which doesn't make for a very relaxing room. The garage used to be bad, but we just did a bunch of donations to Goodwill and some purging. The master bedroom is the place things...papers, random things, end up going when we have 'last minute' visitors a lot of the time. No fun!

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  14. My garage is a nightmare. I'm storing a family member's belongings, so there's not much I can do about it. My kitchen counter is the landing spot for anything I bring into the house. And I really need to stay on top of things in my office. However, I will say that being a single gal on her own, my idea of clutter is leaving my shoes out.

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  15. Like you I despise doing the laundry. I taught my 2 boys to do their own laundry when they were 9 and they have done it ever since (now 20 & 17). I even told my husband when we married that he was in charge of his laundry - my mother chastises me for it everytime she visits but it makes me a happy camper (she's old school). After many, many, many years of trying to figure this out I think I finally have a system that works pretty good. My office is the dumping ground and from there everything gets sorted out about once a month. The rest of the house is in fairly good order. But like I said, it took y - e - a - r - s and my kids growing up!

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  16. We had a snow day today and between me and two crafting, spa playing girls every room is a problem area. We also just moved to a new house about 2 months ago, so not everything has a home. But it looks like the kitchen island and side countertop are going to be a nemesis. Then there is the basement craft table. Oh I ca't forget the car (yikes that is really bad one). Don't even get me started on the kids' rooms. Maybe I should try to list the areas that stay clean...that list will be the short one!!!

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  17. Where should I start! The mudroom/laundry room between the garage and kitchen is awful. There is such a pile of shoes, boots, coats, hats, mittens, etc. You would never know that there are bins there for all of these things with all of the piles in the way. Then the kitchen counters are a catch-all for all mail, school papers, coupons, newspapers, etc. The list is endless. I'm so glad to hear that others have the same problem areas.

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  18. Well, I hate doing dishes... even though I have a dishwasher. Lol. But then my bedroom tends to get messy too. I don't have an office or even a desk so all my important papers and bills wind up in my bedroom in piles... Grr. And the car. Whew... Won't even go there.
    xx

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  19. Definetly have problemo areas, Let see: 3rd car garage, craft room, laundry room (sometimes). With 3 kids 4,5,& 8 how do I keep up? I am going out of my mind crazy! But at least we have a nice house, right?!

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  21. My THIGHS.... but unfortunately that's not what you were talking about. Would it be too broad of an area if I said my HOUSE? :)

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  22. Funny... I just posted a little while ago about my organization this week http://frugalmomx3.blogspot.com/2010/01/purging-organizing-and-cleaning.html
    I have way too many trouble spots to mention. Your laundry looks like heaven compared to the way mined NORMALLY looks. My van... yeap there too! And my kitchen island!!! It's the dumping ground for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!!! I am with you

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  23. You definitely are NOT alone on this. I think my problem area is well...the entire house to be exact. I cannot keep anything clean. Wait....yep...not anything. Although the bathrooms are usually always clean, if you don't count my make-up bag, deodorant, and others constantly strewn on the master bath counter. It is sad I know and it drives me nuts! It seems like everyday I have the same goal which is to get organized and have that oh so wonderful house fit for company. I do manage little feats that last for about five minutes then I turn around and find it back where I started. But oh the joys those two munchins (who are the source of the chaos) bring, outnumbers the stresses. Thanks for your post.

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  24. I was just thinking about our problem area this morning! i can clean up - and i do - but it goes RIGHT back! I think I will try to take pics tonight and post it tomorrow! So stay tuned!
    Our problem area is when we walk in...we walk through the laundry room and to the kitchen. And there you will find a corner cabinet area and also a little "bar" area. And we pile CRAP on it! TONS of crap!! The adults are just bad as the kids, probably worse! I wish I had a good solution! It drives me INSANE!!!

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  25. Like yours, our master closet is the size of a small bedroom. And it still has the junky "shelf" that the builder put in. We haven't done one single thing to help out that room not to mention that the data closet for the house is in there so there are usually tools and spare parts on the floor as well.

    My car I clean out with a laundry basket about once a month and then the basket gets forgotten in a corner of the house somewhere.

    Oh, and the kitchen counters. The "drop everything" spot for all of us.

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  26. I'm embarrassed to say that I have an entire bedroom of messiness. It's where I hide all the junk I don't want anyone else to see. But, I will be tackling that project this year...it's been a year and a half of my huge walk-in-closet-bedroom. It relieves me to hear that others are in the same boat as I am.

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  27. my son actually asked if that was OUR basement in the photo! so you know my problem area!
    the other-my love handles/muffin top! 80)

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  28. For me it's the closets and our basement. Terrible.

    Danielle

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  29. I just discovered your site last night and have been enjoying it greatly! What an inspiration you are and what great ideas! I have so many proplem areas...the front coat closet, the car as well as my pantry. Ughgh!!!

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  30. I really do enjoy following your blog! I also so hate doing laundry, but mostly folding and putting it all away. My bedroom looks like a laundromat with all the baskets of clothes needing to be folded, ugh! The pic of your laundry room makes me feel more inspired to keep it more organized as mine is the outlet in and out as well and the catchall for everything. Thanks for all your great ideas!!

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  31. My WORST clutter areas? My office and my car. NEVER can seem to keep up with either. :-(

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  32. Our closets and kitchen table.

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  33. It's so nice to see that someone else has clutter issues. Sometimes I think I'm the only one with a clutter issue sometimes:)

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  34. BTW I put a link to your post in my blog today. You were inspiration for a post of my own. Thanks!

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  35. I have two major areas.
    1. office/sewing room/classroom
    I do embroidery and am currently in my last week of my masters. I am taking all of my classes online. The floor is covered with thread, paper, notebooks, fabric, christmas wrapping papper, etc.
    2. Our phone area upstairs. It is where all the mail lands and anything else brought in the house that doesn't make it directly to it spots. So needless to say a lot of mail and random things.
    I am planning to tackle these two areas tomorrow! We will see.

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  36. My problem is just about EVERY room is cluttered! I will clean out one room by moving things to another room and so on and so forth. Here lately I have been so sick of the clutter I've started trashing it all! I don't want to, but I'm tired of looking at it and I don't wanna end up on that show "Horders"!!

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  37. OH...lets see...def. the mudroom, the master closet...and the laundry room...geez I can go on and on!! :s

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  38. Is it my worse problem area if it's my husband's closet? He seriously goes through SO much laundry. We have two hampers full right now in fact. It's ridiculous considering he wears the same uniforms every day of the week and hardly ever wears his civilian clothing...second to that is probably our office. Again, his clothes everywhere (not sure why considering only MY closet is in there...) and other things he likes to leave about. Lovely.

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  39. hey sarah... thanks for letting me see it is not just me!
    i am so looking forward to your basement ideas... i am in the process of creating a space in my basement to craft and it is so not pretty in fact i even posted a full disclosure about my "craft" area a few days back on my blog.
    each day i have been going down there and organizing... so it is much better now but still... ugghh!!
    oh and i hate laundry too!!!

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  40. My problem area WAS our master bathroom. I spent a better part of my snowed in day today pulling things out of drawers. We do not need to buy toothpaste, shampoo, bodywash (or tinted moisturizer) for at least 6 months...I had no idea we had so much on hand! From unopened bottles to small travel sized - we will use it all before buying new! It is all organized now and it feels great!

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  41. Mine is my studio. I always have a project or five going on and none of them use the same parts.... it gets cluttered easily

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  42. You will seriously hate me after I tell you this. I have none.I know I am a real clean freak. My family used to call my bedroom the "museum" when we were growing up. LOL!

    I think having children makes a difference. Both my sisters have two young sons each and it is crazy how messy things get at there homes.

    Good Luck! You can do it Sarah.
    How bought lot's more storage bins?

    Hey we are getting SNOW tonight!!!!
    Yes I am a tad bit excited....:)

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  43. Right now it's my craft desk! Then the bonus room closet...doesn't seem to matter what I do that thing does not stay clean! Oh and don't go in the guest room closet! That is my catch all. I am hoping to get some things done tomorrow and then next week too!

    I just finished reorganizing/getting rid of stuff from both of my kids rooms! Now they look great...wonder how long that will last! :-)

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  44. My HUGE PROBLEM is seasonal decor storage. I LOVE to decorate my home for each of the 4 seasons, but I store them away then can't find half of the stuff the next time I need them. Woe is me.

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  45. Every. Single. Spot. Allofit! My entire house! I dream of the day I get snowed in here and my 5 kids get snowed in somewhere else and I can clean and clean and clean. That might take a full week! But it would be worth it! Then I would set the timer to see how long it would take for the chaos to resume! AGHH!!! ☺

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  46. UM, everywhere?? Mostly, the mud/laundry room is serious dumping ground. I'm workin on it.

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  47. Thank you, thank you for reminding me we are all human! Too funny... All my problems areas are the same as yours!(Except I don't have a basement, so the first is my craft/storage room.) And yes, I DESPISE laundry and all it's little laundry babies! My closet is horrible. Ahh, you are a woman after my own heart. ;) But thanks for the inspiration, suddenly knowing I'm not alone makes me feel empowered!

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  48. My beautiful, precious, much loved office is my catch all. I finally have my own space and I can't keep it organized to save my life. And as it is off of the main area of the house it seems to collect all the cast offs of the house that I quickly throw in when company comes over. Like Monica's closet on "Friends." Except worse because it has French doors (Dreamy) that show off all my crap. Seriously. Right now sitting on my beautiful Pottery Barn desk is a swim diaper (unused), bills for 2009 that I need to shred, holiday cards I'm keeping, a million pens, my camera, bills I need to pay, a dishrag, a CD case sans CD, an empty wine glass (red wine no less), and 5 pairs of scissors. And a lot more. But grrrrr...

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  49. I thought right away of my entryway closet because I just cant seem to make it cute, organized, and hold all of the things I have stored in there. But then as I read your post I thought "Car, yep me too! Master closet, yep! Laundry, hate it!" =)
    I am pretty proud of how organized my pantry is...oh wait that isn't either. Ha! I have an organized laundry room (probably because I don't go in there much). =)

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  50. Butt & Belly! and in the house, it is what I like to call "the monica" (did you watch friends?) It is the closet where I store all the holiday & seasonal decor bin and tons of misc other "JUNK" I am working on a remedy though!

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  51. yes, I have to say my closet is the absolute worst. It catches EVERYTHING that doesn't have a home, and it gets messed up like crazy. Thankfully I don't have to share it with hubby; it's on my TO DO list once again!

    Suzanne

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  52. When I read the title I said, My Hips...but I know what you were referring to. The Garage (boxes place there the day we moved still sit unpacked) and the backyard. My husband is tackling the garage this week!! Backyard...I'm not holding my breath.
    Janell

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  53. Thank you for showing us your problem areas. It makes me feel a bit better. While I have tons of junk in the basement, it has to be up on shelves because we sometimes get a little water, so it stays pretty neat. But, our office. The poor office. It's full of junk, constantly. No sooner have I organized it, it's piled up with fabrics, paper, magazines, books and craft supplies. And, the garage has also become a dumping ground this winter. Everything I don't want in the house, I put in the garage. I've promised my husband that I'd help him clean it out when it gets warm.

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  54. My bathroom closet is always a mess. I think I need more organizing totes in there.

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  55. You make me laugh! I love it! I have many problem areas as well.. My first is directly in front of the door, in our entryway. People walk in, and toss shoes, bags, backpacks, you name it directly in front of the door! So annoying! My garage is worse then your basement.. trust me. Add some sawdust to the floor, and left out paint everywhere.

    Happy New Year!

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  56. My problem area is the van! I have two kiddos, ages 4 and 2...need I say more. OH , and also, today was the first day I had ever laid eyes on your site, and you totally inspired me to use this snow day and give my laundry room a little bling. I did the table between the washer and dryer, with black/white toile fabric tacked on, put a huge star over my washer and dryer, a lamp on the table, put the powders in clear thingies... If I wasnt so computer challenged, I would upload a pic for you. Nonetheless, just wanted to say THANKS!!!!!!!!!!

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  57. My thighs,my belly...oh you mean in my home. My kitchen counters and my kitchen table (which is my husband's mess). I am working on it, have set up some organizational tools to help, just have to use them. Oh, and my spare bedroom bed is a huge dumping ground for preschool stuff and thrift stores finds. I need to have company come stay more so I keep it clean!

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  58. Okay, fess up ... you just *staged* these pics to make us all feel better, didn't you ?! LOL. Actually, it's so humbling to hear other peeps tales of disarray demons in our humble abodes. Please mark this as one of your favorite posts so that I can get back to it regularly when I'm about to scream over toys that seem to breed all over my son's playroom floor ... clothes that multiply in the mudroom and accessories that form a commune under our bed !! Take care, Becca (Adventures in Decorating)

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  59. Oh I have to say this was a great post! To be brutally honest it is hard to look at all of these awesome decorating blogs, see the beautiful rooms and projects and not feel discouraged. I have three teenage boys and, believe me, ALL I DO is follow them around cleaning up afer them. It's all good though and I am blessed but sometimes I would love my house to stay clean and spotless.

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  60. Okay...only YOU will find this totally hilarious, BUT while reading this post...my daughter's Cairn Terrier (GG and Grandpa are temporary guardians because she can't have her in her apt. on campus) has literally taken EVERYTHING out of her crate underneath the desk my laptop sits on! Guess she got your message on decluttering!! LOL However, all her "things/toys" are now scattered ALL OVER our kitchen! ROFL
    I would say the spot we deal with the most or have trouble with I should say is our basement...it is the dumping ground! It's easy...no one goes down there except to dump things!! However, my youngest is REALLY wanting us to clean it up and make it somewhat habitable so she can have friends over and actually USE the space! This is a huge goal of mine this year. While we may not "finish" it due to the expense...I do hope to make it a space she can use and enjoy! Our master closet was a mess too until we installed hardwoods (meant EVERYTHING had to come out, and I refused to put it ALL back in!)
    Yes, it is EVEN snowing here in Atlanta!! Stay Warm!!

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  61. You are awesome for showing US your home's problem spots!

    We don't have a basement, garage, OR walk-in closet...I guess people who designed Colonials in the 1970s didn't see a need for any of that. ;) So with not a whole lot of storage space to begin with, the rest of the house can get bad quickly.

    Our "master" closet? A wreck. It is long and skiiiiiinnnnyy....impossible to reach to the stuff in the sides. So it just stays back there.

    The bathroom wall cabinet thingy? Also a mess right now.

    I let Goodwill stuff pile up in our laundry room too...I don't want to make a trip over there with a box of 2 things!

    Oy...I need to get off the computer and go organize. ;)

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  62. Are you sure you didn't sneak into my basement and take that photo? I swear it's a match. Anyway...I hate laundry too. It's the most horrid thing to have to do. HATE IT! And it never stops. Someday, I will have a laundry room thats finished and not dark, dingy and ugly. Maybe I would like doing it more if my laundry area looked bright and cheery like yours.

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  63. Definitely the laundry room, not with laundry so much as the things that do not have a home. My closet (also huge) is a close second. At least I don't keep the Christmas decorations in there any more....

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  64. Closets, hands down!!! The spare room closet is full of my crafty and sewing things, and every clothing closet I have ever used is too small. I know January is a busy time for closet organization tips in magazines, but I never actually implement any of their great ideas...

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  65. I believe it is my craft, sewing, ironing, sewing room. Plus it has a twin bed in there too which holds stuff. I am trying really hard to get it together, but it is eaiser to stuff "new" things in there!

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  66. I'm in PR too and I can totally relate to your messy car situation (it's so embarrassing!)

    I love your blog, all your tips, and the way that you write. Yours is one of the only sites with projects I can do in my tiny LA apartment (we tiny, apartment dwellers like nice homes too!) Keep it up!

    ~Beth

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  67. I am so glad that your beautiful closets are always so tidy and that your decorated laundry room isn't enjoyed 24/7! You are normal!!! And I still love you! My problem area is our guest room. The perfect place to tuck away things that are out of sight and out of mind. I will conquer it on Tuesday!

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  68. Hmmm. This is tough because I had to clean up all our clutter when we had our house on the market and now that the holidays are over, it goes back on. I would have to say my car trunk. As you were saying, I work with "live" clients so I have a lot of stuff I keep in my trunk but I'm trying to control it with a large basket in there.

    The main area that makes me break out in hives is the kitchen counter where my husband leaves his "stuff". It's the first counter he comes to when he comes in. This area can get so out of hand with his prescriptions, receipts, mail, little doodads that I have no idea what they are. I do have a two-tier wicker tray that I used to use for my kids' school stuff that I'm thinking of repurposing for him and his stuff.

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  69. Ok, I'm guilty on the car thing too!

    There's also one area in my kitchen that drives me crazy! There's a small table in there that has baskets on it for cell chargers and to charge everything. It also becomes the dropping area for EVERYTHING!!!

    Grrrr!

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  70. Our office! I HATE IT!! We have to keep every single piece of paper since hubby is in the Military. Did I mention he is a pack rat? I'm currently working on organizing this space..::sigh::..

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  71. Sarah!! Thank goodness that you're human like the rest of us!! ;) My clutter zones are the counter tops and the tops of the washer and dryer. Also, I will not do dishes. EVER!! That is hubby's one's job. We have an agreement that he doesn't ever have to change diapers if I never have to touch a dirty dish. It works for us. :) But since he is often very busy with work, sometimes the dishes only get done once or twice a week at best. With a fam of 5, those pile up quite quickly. It's not pretty.

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  72. My whole entire house is one big problem area....especially after baby number #1 and the suprise of baby #2 on its way...thats a goal of mine to organize it all before the next additon of choas is born!

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  73. You see! I simply do not have a problem area. Problems are only in the eye of the beholder. HA HA! Actually, our areas take turns, our problem areas move around, today it's the laundry room, tomorrow it'll be the foot of my bed, the next day...well, you get the picture.

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  74. Love your blog---have followed since we closed on our house back in Oct and I need IDEAS!! Your blog is an inspiration! Now I have plenty of "storage" but my problem "area" is getting DH to give up his pack-rat tendencies! I live like a nomad - ready to go at the moment...however (retired military) DH needs to keep EVERYTHING and he loves BOOKS!

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  75. Can I just say, I HEART THIS POST! It's so nice to know that your house gets cluttered too :) My problem area is our master bedroom closet too! I always said "If only it was bigger, it would be easier to organize" And now I'm like you -- I have a huge closet and no excuse for the mess! I'm excited to see what you do with yours!

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  76. Oh, so many problem area in my house. Toys with two toddlers are a constant problem. I do a pretty good job with my basement because my kids can't go down there. And I am totally with you, Sarah, on the laundry. I love all things home making. I'll clean a toilet, I'll steam a carpet, I'll wash dishes...I hate doing laundry. But, I have to do it every other day whether I want to or not. That's love.

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  77. I can totally relate to your problem areas! Our laundry room in our basement was a disaster, but I organized it last weekend and feel sooo much better! We also tend to have piles of crap in our rarely-used office, but we're working on getting that un-cluttered as well (it's amazing what you can get done inside when it's 9 degrees outside :)

    Looking forward to seeing your basement and closet!

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  78. Me, me! I hate laundry! It's not so much the washing part, but the putting away. Luckily I have a small bedroom dedicated just to my mess of clothes. Otherwise this house would a disaster. Well, more of one.

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  79. My problem area is my kitchen. I hate doing dishes. Like right now I should be washing dishes instead of blogging. And dishes don't even take that long. But I have found that if I don't keep the kitchen clean the rest of the house just falls apart. Laundry isn't so bad as long as I fold it and put it away straight out of the dryer. If I don't do it right after it comes out it might be two weeks before I get it put away or just wash it again bc I hate ironing more than I hate doing dishes. Good luck with your basement and closet.

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  80. I have one spot in the kitchen which is a catch all spot and I have no idea what to put there to solve the problem ~ then there is the front entry by the stairs as I tend to pile stuff there that needs to go UP the stairs.... and then the craft room or as I like to call it right now ~ the disaster area! There is still wrap and bows and ribbon and tags abound. It is on my to do list for this week-end!

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  81. Oh do I have some of those rooms. One is our den - I literally keep the lights off in this room so our neighbors can't see inside. I really blame most of it on my hubby but that's where we are keeping our three dogs right now. I've got bins of stuff for goodwill, dog toys, combs, first aid kits, dishes, training tools - and real tools - pheasant wings (pheasant wings?! They are for dog training but still!) and a dryer (in it's box) in there. It's a nightmare. Did I mention that piles of papers? Or the pile of papers cluttering my dining room table? My hubby is messy - and a bit of a paper packrat. Seriously. I tell him I'm going to call "Hoarders". Thankfully he's going away to trade school for two months and I will have the chance to DEEP CLEAN. I'm really excited that my hives and twitching eye will go away along with the clutter. But honestly, seeing your photos, I just wanted to give you a hug and say thanks for showing me that I'm not alone. My house looks like that too. Can't wait to see your transformation.

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  82. Ok, gotta tell you that I was reading through the comments here and wanted to hug all of these ladies too. I've got so much inspiration right at this moment to get up and get some organizing going. So that's what I'm going to do! Ta ta!!

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  83. I have a few problem areas... one being our dining room table. Hubby throws the majority of his clothes there (coats, jackets, shoes, pants...) between coming home and going to bed. I leave stuff there because it's between places and needs to be sorted. It's a mess. Problem area number 2... our basement. Laundry, storage, our slowly dying plants that have to winter over inside... you name it, it has it. Then there's my dresser. The TOP of the dresser.. the catch all for every little item - jewelry, old photos, receipts, knick knacks... Good luck with your organizing!

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  84. Umm...the mud room/front closet. It has enough storage and is pretty organized, but my 3 kids love to come home THROW their coats, hats, backpacks, lunch boxes, WHATEVER right on the floor! I don't even make them hang things on hangers, I put hooks up for them! H.E.L.P. M.E.

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  85. My problem area is my kitchen counter that catches the mail, the keys, coupons, newspaper, etc. I try to de-clutter it once a week and that helps a great deal.

    Other clutter area is my office since when I buy something I usually drop the bags from the store in one specific corner of the office. Still have things there that should have been blog giveaways but life just got in the way. *sighs* SO now those items will go in the closet in my office which is filling up fast. UGH.

    Time for an intervention.

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  86. I have given you an award...you can go here to check it out
    http://lifewiththegrovers.blogspot.com/2010/01/guess-what.html

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  87. How in the WORLD could you be alone?! The clutter in my house drives me to drink some days. My problem is that Hubs is in grad school and we are in the tiniest apartment known to man. It's for mice really. Or hobbits. So we don't have storage space. It is non existent. I literally have dreams about storage rooms in my dream home someday (no REALLY) So the back corner of our living masquerades as: the ironing room, my craft and sewing room, the office, thrift store pile, linen closet, luggage closet, library of books and whatever else I feel like throwing on the pile. It's so embarrassing that I can't hide my clutter in a closet or basement! I want to throw a sheet over it anytime someone comes over....

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  88. It's nice to know, so many people have clutter! There are a few spots in my home, but the worse for me is the kitchen table! For the life of me, I cannot keep that darn thing clear! It bugs the heck out of me. Only my husband and I eat at it, so it's easy to clear room for 2. There will be times I get it clean, but a day or two later, it's cluttered again. The fruit bowl has become a holding station for stuff I don't know what to do with. :)

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  89. OH GIRL!! Every room in my house has a corner that drives me nuts - but I'm totally with you on the car (I'm a frequent thrifter and curbside browser, and I have a 5 year old), the laundry room (can you say cat boxes plus TOO much laundry?, the garage (which is like your basement). My biggest frustration is my master bedroom though - hubby wanted to go through some boxes that had been in the garage before I put them in the attic, and the contents have been all over the floor on his side of the room for the last 3 or 4 months since he emptied them. If you read about a woman in NWA going postal over a clutter challenge, you'll know who it was...

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  90. We have a spare room-- we call it the room where things go to die. It's holds all the extra stuff we don't know what to do with.

    I wish I had a basement or an attic-- I would pack those babies full of randomness!

    Our closet also looks pretty bad... especially if I need to do laundry!

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  91. I've never been to your blog before and I literally laughed out loud at the "annoying" crossed out replaced with "organized" people. Also, I was wondering how you got a picture of my garage!? :) I feel like I'm constantly blogging about cleaning, so love to see others in the same plight!

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  92. I would rather scrub our toilets than do laundry. I would rather dig a ditch than do laundry. I would rather not do laundry ever. Oh, the towels are that bad. Yesterday, I told my daughter that I would not be matching her socks any longer. I threw them all in a "bin" in her room. It will be up to her to find the mates.

    There our lots of problem spots in our house:

    1) my car;
    2) the office/junk room;
    3) the attic;
    4) the basement;
    5) my daughter's room (lost cause);
    6) the shed.

    I am getting rid of all of my extra junk, but my husband and daughter are pack rats too! What a mess!

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  93. I enjoyed reading your post. It can be frustrating to keep up when no sooner do you tidy it, it's a mess again. I feel that way cleaning up after my hubby. ;) His idea of clean and mine are totally different. Since we don't have a garage (we have a carport) most of our stuff winds up in our very large laundry room, it's sort of a catch-all. Right now it feels worse because I have all of our 'garage sale' items. Can't wait to get rid of those.

    For anyone struggling with keeping on top of your car's clutter, read this post on 'How To Keep a Clean Car:

    http://theclassywoman.blogspot.com/2009/08/classy-woman-drive-clean-cars.html

    Hope it helps! :)

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  94. My back yard! We built our house on an old orchard/horse pasture. And our backyard is HUGE! And is a weed magnet! I have redesigned it over and over on paper and I just cant figure out what to do with it on a budget! Uhg!

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  95. um, the ENTIRE HOUSE! I live with my mother in law, whose a bit of a....hoarder. yikes. I'm determined that this year, we're going to declutter, redecorate, and make her a home that she can take some pride in :)

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  96. One drawer in my kitchen is the "stuff in there before someone comes and it doesn't really have a spot and I don't want to deal with it". Also, my pantry suffers...I have the smallest space and have to keep my old college books in there and my food storage and it is busting at the seams. I need some good uses for 1)plastic bags from Walmart (I use them for trash bags but not fast enough) 2)old college textbooks and 3)water storage in gallon jugs...other than that...:)

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  97. Okay, I just LOVE that you showed us all the junk in your trunk! :) I'm pretty anal about the car, so if it's gets to many toys, cups, etc, I kind of freak. I don't wash it or vacuum it as often as I should, but I shake or wipe out crumbs and mats & stuff. I'm a nut about the car.

    Our garage is a lost cause. We're living in my parents house & they're living in ours {long story} but they have A LOT of stuff in the garage here. So it's hard to get a grip on it when it's not our stuff. But that's gonna change soon!

    My other problem areas:

    A spot of the counter in the kitchen where I let things pile up.

    The dining room tends to get a lot of misplaced things too.

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  98. Oh man! If you walked in my house you would think I have it together. Everything has a place, there are no piles of stuff, not clothes, not boxes, nothing. But baby DO NOT, I reapeat DO NOT open a closet door. Please, do not open a closet door.

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  99. Hey Sarah,

    My problem area is also the basement. One thing that helped me was getting a whole lot of rubbermaid storage SHELVES. We all have the bins, but then they just pile up and it's a pain in the neck when you need to reach a specific one.

    We have at least 6 sets of these (most from my Mom & Dad when they downsized), but I think they cost about $50-60 each. Sounds like alot, but they really help keep your bins organized.

    I also use my handy dandy labeler. My parents got me a new p-touch for Christmas. As you might say "I lurve it".

    Good luck!!!

    Michele

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  100. 1: I love to read your blog. I check it daily, your posts go well with my "crackbook" addiction!
    2: My major problem area's are my buffet and computer desk in my dining room (which also is where we enter the house). I had my husband build shelves above the desk in hopes of decluttering. It didn't work, it's worse than ever!!! The couch is another one. We rarely sit on it because it's piled so high with laundry that you can't see it!!! I'm not sure when my hatred for laundry started but I'm sure it happened after my family grew to 6 :o)

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  101. Oh my! I am sooooo glad I am not the only one with a mountain of crap. :) Thanks for showing us that you too are human. ( I was beginning to hate you just a teensy bit for all of your perfection. just kidding!) I am tackling my entryway, or lack thereof, in my decrapification (love your word BTW. Spell check hates it!)

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  102. Typical Arizona homes don't have basements but we do have a good sized closet under the stairs, this would be my catch all closet. Friends coming over? Closet. It is loaded with home accessories, baskets, pillows, you name it. It is in need of some MAJOR purging. If I had a basement, I'm sure it would resemble yours. LOL!

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  103. My problem areas is my spare bedroom/office that I just can't figure out where to put everything & its making me sick! Also our mudroom could use some major work. :-/

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  104. I have so many problem areas! The largest is currently the "spare" bedroom. This was my ex's daughters room. Once we split up about 1/3 of her items remained in an unholy mess, I slowly keep piling more things in there to take care of. Craft projects 1/2 completed, bins of clothes from my son, toys that I was tired of seeing in the rest of the house. I need to get motivated.

    I HATE putting away laundry so I have a basket full of folded laundry sitting at the end of my bed that never goes away. At the bottom there is likely my bathing suit and shorts from this summer... and I live in Michigan where I haven't worn them since August!

    It makes me happy inside to know that others have the same issue :).

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  105. Thanks for sharing! Where would I begin? I don't mind doing the laundry, but I'm not so great at putting it away. One of our living room chairs is constantly covered with folded laundry. We also have this butler's pantry/counter just off our kitchen and it has become the place to pile mail. And magazines. And things to be filed. And cords for charging things. And batteries. Yikes. I clean it and a week later, disaster strikes again... :)

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  106. Sarah, my OFFICE or what should be an office, hands down. Help:(

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  107. Oh yeah . . . my problem areas are a few of yours as well - unfinished side of the basement and our walk-in closet. Our bedroom and master bath are not so much because of clutter, but worn out, tired, just yuck decor. The decluttering can be easy, but I can't get my head around what and how to redecorate the "staleness" of those two rooms.

    Oye . . . if only there were more hours in a day!

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  108. I'm a grandmother so I have considerably more experience with clutter than most of you. I still haven't solved the problem but I've learned a few things.

    1. If you can change your standard operating procedure, then you can reduce clutter. For instance, if you remove trash from your car every time you get out, your car will be less of a problem.

    2. Smaller closets are better than larger ones because you can't keep as much stuff. Less stuff, means less laundry which seems to appeal to many of you.

    3. Anyone that leaves things out in public areas has indicated that this is something they don't want any longer. You only have to toss stuff once to get their attention and cooperation.

    4. Doors, especially to kids rooms, are meant for closing. Shelves with bins rather than toy chests make it easier (not easy) for kids to pick up. It takes time for kids to know what 'picked up' means. Do the job with them, setting bedtime earlier in order to have the time to do it before you read a story and get them in bed.

    5. Everything needs a home. (I still haven't even come close to mastering that one.)

    6. If you can come up with a procedure for entering your home and automatically putting things where they belong, please contact all newspapers and TV stations. Everyone wants to know.

    Now back to searching for the top of my desk.

    CT Granny

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  109. If I had to pick a spot, I would say it's the room my hubby uses as an office. In one corner is my ever-growing "yard sale pile" which, in reality, may never even see a yard sale! Other than that, I'm a "neat and tidy girl" by nature. My REAL problem is that I'm decorating challenged. I clean/organize like a crazy woman - especially when I'm feeling stressed, but when it comes to trying to decorate a room...I cry like a little girl. Sad, but true.

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  110. Clutter clutter everywhere and this month is my mission to get rid of it! I would like to think the main problem is that we've outgrown our tiny house and have nowhere to put stuff (and part of it is), but we all know that a lot of it is just the lazies and having TOO MUCH STUFF. My biggest clutter catcher is the desk in my bedroom - it's worse than any of your photos! We never ever use it for anything than to pile stuff on. So I'm clearing it off this week and getting rid of it. Other bad areas that never seem to stay clean: our kitchen island, the laundry/mud room (of course!), and yes, my car too!

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  111. My sewing room! I can't believe how disorganized it can get. My room is kinda on the smaller side which makes it hard. It is bursting at the sheetrock! It makes it hard to sew when all I can think about is the mess.

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  112. Sarah, I think you've been in my basement...those pics could have been taken there. LOL I've been trying to purge stuff from that area, but somehow more stuff keeps ending up down there! Yikes!
    Susan

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  113. Technically my problem area could be any room in my house, or sometimes all of them at once. Uuugh! Clutter seems to build up fast and sometimes I don't have time to get it cleaned up because of other priorities, (laundry, grocery shopping, errands...and the fact that I work part-time), but I would say the worst areas are our laundry room and the one spare room we have in our basement, we call the "junk room". It is where everything seems to go that we store, but still need access to enough that we don't want to stick it in the attic. We do not have a garage. Hubby and I have vowed to somehow clear out and organize that stuff soon, you can barely walk in the room right now. Oh...and the car, seems to get full of junk and toys quickly too.

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  114. snow days and hurricane days are good days to stay in to declutter. gladly we dont have enough of those days. have fun cleaning! and hope you have a great weekend!

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  115. oh I love you so much! I saw the title (I will not lie) and scoffed a little bit. Like how bad could her house be... I want a clean house but double ugg it doesn't last very long and I give up. So thanks for posting the bad and the good! You are a real person - hugs! Mine is still worse but I can deal a little better!

    problem spots: upstairs, downstairs, garage and car.

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  116. Are you ever, ever, ever not alone! Thank you for showing these photos. You're so organized, and it's easy for someone like me to assume that all parts of your home just stay nice and neat. It's reassuring that even YOU have some places that attract piles. Boy, I sure do. Too many to count. But seriously, what is it with laundry? You'd think I had to scrub things on a washboard and peg it out on a clothesline, the way I act about it. I'd like to develop a better attitude about laundry and a better system for just keeping it done and not worrying about it. I swear it has too much power in my life! Please share if you come up with any brilliant solutions. :)

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  117. I suddenly feel very normal and it's such a relief! Thank you for being so honest! Our master closet stays a wreck. It's a good size, but not very well thought-out or functional. I'm plagued with guilt every time I step through the door. It makes me feel lazy, but the truth is, until I can figure out a way to make it work better (as in a total remodel), there's just no winning that battle.

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  118. My problem area is the front room. Sad. But I have been busy cleaning out one of the spare bedrooms!! I will be done this weekend. I love your decluttering posts!! They always inspire me to clean something out.

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  119. The tupperware drawer. I hate that place!

    I just conquered the spice cabinet.

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  120. After reading all these comments it is good to know its not just me..but I think a good question is WHY do we have so much 'stuff'. Ladies, what's the answer out there. I am seriously needing to get rid of stuff, I feel like it's an albatross hanging on my back...and it's real heavy...

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  121. The basement is most definitely our problem...specifically the unfinished storage area. Since no one else sees it, we take that as a sign to throw as much stuff in there as possible with no regards to organization. We swore we would clean it up before Christmas boxes went back in there....but as of today that has not happened because honestly it is almost too daunting.

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  122. Our basement is our biggest headache - the storage areas AND the "finished" areas. I've got to get it on that over the next few weeks but it's overwhelming!

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  123. Thank you for keepin' it real! I don't have one room that piles up, just a little pile in every room. But it's a relief to know I'm not alone.

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  124. Just found your blog yesterday. Is it wrong that I love you? In a blog-stalker sort of way. Love love love your organizing tips and you've inspired me to empty my house of clutter this year! Awesome blog. Can't wait to see more!

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  125. I am 3 hours into organizing my boys closet and dresser drawers! Everytime I do laundry it just sits becasue the closet is full of stuff they don't wear. You know how it always getw worse before it gets better!? My back is sore and I'm still in p.j.'s. Had to take a break so they could take a nap but feeling motivated and accomplished! Hopefully this will be the start of organizing project 2010!!!!

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  126. Sarah, I have a kitchen island very similar to the one you have. I am very curious of how you have your organized. I have always used it for pots, pans, and other various appliances, however it becomes a huge mess because it is such a huge box! Recently I have switched the pantry and this area to see if that helps keep it organized. I would love to see a picture of the inside of it! I love how you have added the bead board to it! Great job!

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  127. sarah, we're on the same wavelength. I just posted a process this a.m. on an easy way to declutter - not organize - just get the junk out.
    check it out if you have the time.
    http://muralmaker1.blogspot.com

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  128. okay, miy problem area is my craft table and master bedroom. It's where I throw all my crap when visitors are coming.
    PS: You might want to check Hobby Lobby...Here in TX, I got garland for $.79/9ft pkg!! I don't want to add to the madness, but I know how you 'luuurve' your garland. ;)

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  129. The master bedroom and my hubby's "man cave" tie for the worst in the house.....I'm hoping to tackle them both in the next couple weeks (maybe even doing the closet tomorrow!). I did really well tackling a couple big rooms (master bedroom, scrapbook room and both bathrooms) between Christmas & New Years, and then cut the holiday decor pile down by 3 rubbermaid tubs, but I've not done any decluttering in about a week, and I'm going crazy! Tomorrow sounds like as good a day as any!

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  130. Love your blog, it brightens my day to come by and get ideas for my home.

    My problem area has to my laundry area. It's in a closet in the hallway. I've removed the doors to accomodate my Duet washer/dryer set (with four kids a smaller set isn't an option).

    So w/o any doors you can see all the tacky laundry necessities, and since I don't have a "room" I always have a hamper of dirty clothes out in the open waiting for the wash.

    Tacky Tacky I know...but no idea what I can do to fix it!

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  131. I’m with you on the laundry, well maybe not so much the putting it in as the FOLDING. Ohmygaww I HATE folding. That makes my bedroom the problem area (till I can’t stand it and fold the clothes) and then my art/craft/office desk I swear has a magnet in it to collect junk. I just justify it with “at least it’s not in the living room” logic.

    Oh and since I read the comment above me, maybe you could try hanging a pretty curtain over it so you could pull that closed when not doing laundry. Just a thought. :)

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  132. Love your blog! Glad to see someone else has junk issues. My junk issue is my whole house. Mom moved in, and with her came all her junk. Then she moved out, leaving all of her junk. Hers, along with mine has created horrible chaos in my house. Due to a couple of auto-immune disorders, it has been almost impossible to put a dent in it. However, I have faith that it will be accomplished one day.

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  133. Anonymous, thanks for the tips. What do you do about teenagers rooms? My girls rooms are awful & we are thinking of putting our house up for sale & it can't be shown like that!
    I can keep the main floor of the house tidy, but the upstairs is difficult since I rarely go up there. The basement storage rooms get messy, but I periodically tidy them. The garage is where I want to scream. I have a great husband, but he is a pack rat & is extremely unorganized & puts stuff wherever there is room instead of in its "home".
    It is difficult to keep the house neat & clean when you live with 3 messy & unorganized people. It's like standing on the beach trying to hold back the tide with a small bucket :(

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  134. My whole house needs to be decluttered.. haha I am trying so hard to start this year off in decluttering and doing some renovation to my house. Take a look at these pictures and you'll see.

    http://peachypapaya.blogspot.com/2010/01/declutter.html

    Love your blog....

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  135. Well I commented last week about my problem area, and this weekend I did something about it. Maja' organization!

    http://crib-tales.blogspot.com/2010/01/office-sans-pam-and-michael.html

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  136. Oh, boy, I feel your pain. After Christmas, when we started hauling stuff back down to the basement, we couldn't find enough spots to put it all. It was one of those moments when I'd just had ENOUGH.

    Every night for the last week and a half, my husband and I went down there after dinner and worked to clean it out. We bought 6 new storage shelves and tons of new Rubbermaid boxes and finally got everything sorted in a nice, orderly fashion. Love that I can finally walk through the basement without tripping over anything!

    This morning the Vietnam Vets are coming to pick up all the bags and boxes of stuff we cleaned out. It feels so good to restore some order down there! :)

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  137. I love this post and have been thinking about it the past few days. Thanks for sharing your problem spots and keeping it real. Decluttering is FREE. love that! I've been following you for a while-you hooked me with your hate of gold door knobs and I've been waiting patiently to see what your thrifty solution is! I have about 30 gold door knobs and I try not to think about how much I hate them. Sometimes I look at the glass knobs at Lowes and think about switching out at least a few....

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  138. my bedroom is my problem area! no matter what I do or how often I clean, I always end up with loads of clothes all over the place!

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  139. I know this is an older post, but I wanted to comment anyway. My problem area is my entry. It's not much of an entry, and it's a weird shape. The kids tend to throw their coats, backpacks and shoes in the entry so everything is thrown about. It's chaotic. I need to seriously organize this area or make it into a brick wall so I can bang my head against it. Repeatedly.

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