Worth repeating: A key to keeping surfaces clear

19 May 2017

Today I’m taking some inspiration from a blog post I wrote almost three years ago. I wish I could tell you that my bureau has only three things on it today, but the truth is there’s a little bit of clutter. This weekend I’m going to clear it off and get it back to the state that is pictured! Then I’m sure it will be easier for me to keep it clear.

If you click on the clean bureau tag to left on this blog, you’ll see that pretty much every year one of my goals is to put my clothes away properly at night and keep the top of the bureau clear.

It’s obviously been an ongoing struggle with me. But for the past month of so, I’ve been doing it successfully every day, with minimal effort. And I think I know why.

I cleared off the bureau when I did my jewelry reorganization and now only three things, my jewelry box plus two small lamps, reside there.

Before, when the bureau was cleared off, many items actually lived there so it always looked a bit junky. Add some dirty socks or tags cut off of new clothes or yesterday’s jeans and it didn’t make a gigantic difference.

But now if I’m tempted to leave something on the bureau it sticks out like a sore thumb. So I take the extra ten seconds to either put it away or toss it down the laundry chute or in the trash, which is right next to the dresser.

With the three items anchoring the space, it’s become really easy to keep this space clear. It’s clear to me that the key is limiting the items that legitimately reside on the bureau top. It’s been only a three weeks or so, but I feel very optimistic.

The same holds true for my desk in my office, which I try to clear each night. If I leave a pile of action papers on the corner of the desk (which I tend to do when I’m feeling lazy), the pile soon grows (and little action gets taken). Once that pile grows, I might start leaving small items in the middle of the desk. After a few days of this, I have to take a few minutes to put everything away except the few things that legitimately reside there.

Based on my experience with my bureau, I think it’s time for me to take a hard look at the things I store on my desk and make sure that they deserve that prime real estate. I’d be willing to bet that I can move a few things to the office-supply closet just a few steps from my desk. And that will make it easier to keep up my clear-desk habit.

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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