Slaying the Clutter Dragon, part 3: Horrors in the Hidden Abyss

I return triumphant, flushed with my most recent victory against the Clutter Dragon! *heroic music*

This week, I tackled the giant mess in front of the overflowing closet–this area has been jokingly named the “Clutter Abyss,” and this picture proves it:

This is where I started; my goal was to clear the floor immediately in front of the closet, and to uncover the old TV in the corner so we can take it to be donated. (Don’t see a TV in this picture? I promise you there is one–it’s just hidden by all the clutter! SAD!)

Task #1: Everything Off the Floor

Just like always, my bed became the staging area for all the keepable items:

Sadly enough, this is just the first layer of junk that I removed from the floor to sort through. When I took this picture, I had not yet waded down to the second layer of keepable items, which was hidden beneath yet another layer of paper clutter and trash. (Side note: that is my computer you see in the background–I needed a little cleaning music to keep my spirits up. 😀 )

As you can see, the layer of trash/paper clutter was quite a bit more daunting than in the last episode–more had been allowed to accumulate, and was actually covering up more stuff. Sigh, such is the life of a pack rat!

The most random things showed up when I began to sift through the mess…like this VHS case for the first Pokemon movie. I have no idea why it was mixed in with everything else; I have a theory that my room’s mess comes alive and just swallows stuff at random. LOL

Once the paper clutter and trash was all dealt with, this was the vista I was greeted with. Still quite a ways to go…my fight was not yet over! I still had plenty of stuff to put up–and nowhere to put it.

The Root of All (Cluttered) Evil: The Closet

I have not yet spoken much of my bedroom closet itself, though it is actually the main reason my room remains cluttered. Having been converted into shelved toy storage in my childhood, many of those girlhood toys have remained on the shelves collecting dust ever since.

The end result:

Um…yeah, it’s kinda bad. The closet was physically unreachable for many years due to severe pack-rat-itis, and when I finally did reach it during the Super Duper Cleanout of 2009, I did not tackle it; the project looked too daunting after finally clearing the rest of the room. My energy flagged, and so I procrastinated on completing this final task.

But the no-storage problem in my room has not gone away; indeed, it led to the Clutter Dragon taking up residence yet again in my room. (Food for thought: if I had tackled the closet 3 years ago, I might not be fighting the Clutter Dragon now. Sigh…)

A Small Closet Side Quest

So, to start using the closet space a little better, I rearranged the middle shelf in the above picture just a little bit, to allow for more things to be stored on it. Then I put up the few things from the floor that would fit onto it, being careful not to overload the shelf in the process.

Now, that shelf is better-used, though it still looks as messy as its brethren. But this won’t be the last you hear about the closet!

Uncovering the Bed

This time, after cleaning up the floor, I was left with quite a big pile of junk on the bed, none of which could leave the room–it was all my stuff and needed to find a home somewhere within the room.

Not to mention that there was still junk to be cleaned off the old TV in the corner. (You can just barely see it, bottom center of the picture.)

Though the sight of all these items left to deal with made my energy begin to waver, I knew I could not quit now. After all, I had this very blog post to write, and I did not want to disappoint myself by doing less than I had planned. So I struck out at the Clutter Dragon yet again, and began to work at uncovering the TV and the rest of the floor in front of it.

In the middle of this effort, I randomly discovered a box full of Christmas presents from about 2 years ago. I had forgotten I even owned these books! :O They were quickly taken from the room and put with my other books, elsewhere in the house, so they wouldn’t get messed up further in the cleanup effort.

Cleaning off the TV also meant that I found several of my colder-weather jackets strewn about. In need of a place to hang them, I finally made use of the six-hook over-the-door hanging system I had bought a few months ago, putting it on half of one of the louvered closet doors. It’s not ideal, but hopefully it won’t be permanent. (Famous last words, at least in my room. LOL)

Believe it or not, there’s a TV under there! With the floor mostly cleared and the random stuff atop it removed, now I can maneuver a dolly into the room to cart the TV off to Goodwill or wherever else might take it.

With that, the second half of the job was complete!

But there was still a problem: the bed was still covered with boxes of random stuff. And, unlike earlier in the day, I was not much in a mood to continue sorting. More than anything, after almost an hour working with little rest (or ventilation in the room, for that matter), I wanted the bed cleared off.

So, I reverted to a solution that always worked well for me in my childhood. I cleaned off the bed…

…and stuffed all the randomness into the next small area of the room, to be dealt with later. 😛 (This junk pile will be part of a future episode of “Slaying the Clutter Dragon,” I promise. :D)

One Small Step for Woman, One Giant Lunge at the Dragon

This is basically what the Closet Clutter Abyss looks like now–it may not look much better to the neat-freak’s eye, but it will enable us to cart away the TV, which will free up the corner space and the closet door. And once that space is open for maneuvering…

…the next phase of defeating the Clutter Dragon will go into effect. I know now that no room-cleaning will ever be effective unless this closet is confronted and conquered–the last three years are living proof of that.

So, next week, I will begin the unenviable task of tackling the closet, one shelf at a time. Though I might be trapped in the Closet Abyss for several weeks, I will not overload myself each week–that will only lead to procrastination and ultimately quitting. The closet must be conquered bit by definitive bit, rather than trying to do it all in one go. Kind of like weight loss, I guess!

Tune in next week for my first foray into the Closet of Childhoods Past! Who knows what I’ll find in there among the detritus of girlhood?

BONUS: The New and Improved Display Shelf

In the first installment of this series, I showed you how I first designed the display shelf for my figurines. I have since improved on it, using the display shelf as a way to store my DVD collection as well as my figurines.

This picture encompasses the smaller of the two Belle & Beast figurines on the left, my entire DVD collection, and my little collection of figurines off to the right.

I freed the Dove figurine from her packaging and set her up on the included stand; I added the small Belle figurine and a newly-acquired Princess Peach figurine alongside, to create a little vignette of some of my favorite characters.

The larger of the two Belle & Beast figurines did get her special display spot at last, sitting atop my dresser. Once the dresser gets cleaned off (in a future issue of “Slaying the Clutter Dragon”), she’ll be showcased properly.

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