Slaying the Clutter Dragon, part 5: Nitty, Gritty, and Dirty

This post about didn’t happen–but determination (and frustration/anger) won the day. 😀

Despite feeling generally awful all week (again, I was not about to let this project down in the middle. I’m a little bit infamous for that around the house–I get all gung-ho about a project, only to quit in the middle of it because I begin to lack the energy, support, and time to keep moving on it.

So, having conquered one shelf in the closet last week, I resolved to strike at the next shelf down, which you’ll see pictured below from left to right.



…Yeah. THAT’S what I had to tackle yesterday. I thought, “Well, okay, this will probably be a little more involved than last week’s effort, because there’s more stuff on this shelf, but I can still manage it.”

The (Gross) Discovery Lurking in the Closet

Well, I thought I could manage it easily, until I took the first big bin off the shelf. Below the big bin, which I thought contained everything on that part of the shelf, was a layer of junk. And not just any junk. Mouse-poo-covered junk.

I wanted to laugh, and then I wanted to cry. I used to love mice…now I wish I’d let my indoor cat run wild in my room and kill all the little critters so they wouldn’t poop all over everything. I really wasn’t prepared for the sheer amount of mouse poo, either. (I know this is disgusting to read–it was even more disgusting to confront!)

I was disgusted with myself for having let the closet get this way, and disgusted that I had to deal with this RIGHT NOW…ugh. I stood there thinking, “Really? I have to get into THIS and make sense of it? I have to TOUCH all this?”

Anger Takes the Place of Determination

After a few moments of mental whining and cringing, I finally just started pulling stuff off the shelves in a mad scramble for cleanliness–the things I was mumbling under my breath aren’t fit to be written here (LOL). The disgust and shock of what I had found had resolved itself into anger.


In the process of going all RAWR at the closet, this small avalanche of junk happened. In that angry state, I was just tearing toys and junk off the shelves, shaking off the dust and debris as best I could, so inevitably some of the stuff began to free itself of its own accord. I kept working, picking up the fallen stuff off the floor as well, until finally…


…I was left with these random little items. I didn’t really have a good place to store them all, but there they were–obstacles to wiping down the shelf and really getting it clean again.


*heroic music* But never fear! A random shoebox is here!

During one of my earlier episodes of Slaying the Clutter Dragon, I had found and kept a lot of small boxes like this one, knowing that I’d probably need them for organization and storage purposes. I thanked myself for this, now that I’d found myself in need of a tidy way to store these little knick-knacks.

A Tip for Fellow De-Clutterers

As you de-clutter, keep any sturdy empty boxes just for situations like this; you’re probably going to run across tons of little itty-bitty stuff that needs to be moved and sorted later. This way, you can store the small things neatly until you have time to sort them all out. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later, just like I did!


And this is what the bed looked like, after only half of the shelf was cleared. SIGH…junky, dusty bed, yet again… :c

Half The Shelf Conquered–The Other Half Remains!


With the aid of a couple of paper towels (one damp with cleaner and one dry), I finally had half the shelf dusted and wiped down of all the mouse poo. Now for the next part of the shelf, which consisted of two old closet storage system units. (Forgive the blurriness of this pic–didn’t realize it was this bad till I uploaded it from my phone. :/)


After moving one of the units, look what I found–two random, tiny laundry detergent boxes stuck behind it. *shrugs* Who knows? This is just more evidence that the mess in my room randomly gobbles stuff up and spits it out in the most unexpected of places. LOL


Once I moved the other (surprisingly heavy) storage unit, I finally had a fully clean shelf to work with (once I had wiped it down, of course).

Using the Newfound Space

Now that I had yet another empty shelf in the closet to work with, I was temporarily at a loss as to what to put on it.



As you can see, that temporary uncertainty was quite temporary, indeed! LOL!

For this shelf, I chose to store some miscellaneous items that keep getting lost in the piles of junk in my room. This shelf’s contents, like the rest of the closet in general, will likely change as I work with the other shelves and areas in my room, but for now these items are up and out of harm’s way.

Last Step: Dealing with the Bed


As always, the bed held all the junk I’d removed from the closet. But I learned my lesson from last week–this pile of junk was going downstairs to the basement immediately, so that it would not stand in my way of doing the next shelf.

About 10 minutes of hauling boxloads and armloads of junk downstairs ensued, in which I sweated about as much as I do at Zumba classes (LOL). But at last, the bed was clear, and the floor was clear. The stage was now set for my next challenge in the Closet of Horrors:


…Um, yeah. There’s a reason I’ve waited to tackle this until now. xD But I have less fear of it now. After all, if I get this closet floor cleared, I can actually close the closet doors for the first time in 20 years! GASP! :O


And all this closet clearage IS having an effect–the piles of junk are slowly getting smaller. Soon, all that junk will either be donated, thrown away, or stored in the closet. Oh, what a day that will be when my carpet I shall see! 😀

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