Ask my kids and all three will tell you, “Mom’s a clutter freak.”

I hate it. I feel confined by it. I panic about it, and just knowing a pile of clutter lurks behind a closed door is enough to send me into a full blow panic attack.

Yet my house is still filled to the brim with piles of clutter, piles that expand and explode across flat surfaces in a matter of days.

This ongoing war with clutter leads me to the battlefield each and every morning, armed with a new weapon that will finally find me standing on the side of the victors, everything in its place, flat spaces clear, a sense of peace befalling the entire kingdom … until a new enemy appears.

Recently, I have won a few battles thanks to a few carefully selected weapons courtesy of Declutter365,  Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life, and unclutterer.com.

No. 1: Battle of the Unkempt Kitchen

If there is one place in my house in which clutter lurks daily, it’s my kitchen. It’s the gathering place, the holder of food and condiments, mismatched utensils and must-have appliances of all shapes and sizes. It is the home base for homework doers, permission slips, forgotten pens, scrap papers that strategically made their way from school locker to backpack to kitchen floor or island. And it is home to two of my clutter arch nemeses — the refrigerator and the pantry.

In January, I decided to take the offensive and attack first. Armed with my Declutter 365 calendar, I initiated a war plan that included waging small daily mini battles to combat kitchen clutter, and every evening as I washed the remnants of battle from skin I reveled in my success.

First it was the utensil drawers … Kabam!

Then I took on the everyday silverware, and won that battle with ease. In fact, I can’t even call that a battle at all.

Next I set my sites on overtaking Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. Parchment paper and aluminum foil. I left that one with a few cuts and bruises, “battle wounds of sorts” (the toothpicks and metal edges for plastic wrap and aluminum foil put up a good fight), but in a mere 20-30 minutes, I washed my hands of the lot of them.

ziplock drawer declutter 365

The pots and pans mini battle, though a little rough and tumble (and heavy), were easy to contain under the stovetop. They’re confined for now, but I do not thing they like it much at all.

And the soldiers under the sink seemed to multiply as I went deeper and deeper into the trenches.

kitchen sink clutter

Yet once again, I stuck to the battle plan (one battle at a time, one day at a time), and emerged with another couple of victories under my belt.

under the sink declutter 365

Each battle left me a little more bruised and definitely weary, yet as my reclaimed territory began to grow, I began to relax a little.

And that’s when the enemy waged a counterattack from the depths of the spice drawer!

Yikes.

Silent at the beginning of the war, I knew these adversaries would not remain that way for long, and thus the battle began.

This took a lot of strategic planning, and restocking of supplies, as I mounted a multi-step air assault.

First, I attacked these assailants head on, and relieved them of their battle posts, taking great care to sweep and deactivate the minefields of spilt garlic salt, bay leaves and some sticky tar-like substance I believe resembled a fallen soldier, long since past — Worcestershire sauce.

I brought in the big guns in the form of mason jars and emptied the spice soldiers of their contents, holding each one captive with my jars, and then I began the final surge.

Armed with only white duct tape and a permanent marker, I lead the assault, and took out mismatched spice containers one at a time, until finally, the cabinet surrendered, and my success was visible from above. (I wish I had a before photo for you because this battle was epic!)

spices 1 declutter 365

spices 2 declutter 365

 

I am tired. I am sore, and I know the defeated will not stay silent for long, but I am determined.

And I WILL WIN.

Stay tuned for battle No. 2 Battle of the Unwanted Mail and No. 3 and 4, Battle of the Petrifying Pantry and A Refrigerator Run Amok.

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