It’s about to be the end of April. Easter has come and gone but yet the Easter baskets linger out in plain sight. Yes. You can plainly see them sitting on the top of this beautiful chicken coop that Nick found in an antiques store in Singapore.
What is wrong with this picture?
Every time I walk past the chicken coop, I think to myself I should do something with these Easter baskets and yet they linger.
Does this ever happen to you? You see something in your house that you know you want to do something with. Every time you see it you think that thought but still nothing happens.
Why is this?
Let me tell you how I solved this problem with the Easter baskets and maybe that will help you with your lingering clutter because I know you have some – everyone does.
Easter baskets and lingering clutter
I realize that part of the problem with the Easter baskets was that I had not decided where to keep them when they were not being used which is 364 days of the year. I bought these 2 baskets just before my grandchildren arrived in early April. The baskets I used for my children were long gone.
The other part of the problem has to do with the contents of the baskets. My grandchildren are too young to know that part of the fun at Easter is eating the candy as you find it. Consequently, each of the baskets still have the Godiva chocolate Easter Bunny in them in addition to other chocolates. I don’t want to throw them out, nor do I want to eat them. I wonder if I can freeze them and use them again next year?
Then there is the stuffing in the basket and all the colorful plastic eggs. What do I do with that stuff? My options are to put it in plastic bags and keep it somewhere or toss it.
Do a little investigating
I don’t like it when my clutter shouts at me. It bothers me that every time I see these Easter baskets, I know that I am procrastinating.
Doing some investigating always helps me conquer a problem, so I put myself to work. I decided to investigate the closets as potential storage spots for the Easter baskets. As it happens, I needed to get a raincoat out of the coat closet, and I looked up.
There it was. The perfect storage spot for the Easter baskets. It is a shelf above the coats that has lots of vertical space available for the handles of the baskets.
I decided to keep the colorful shredded stuffing for the baskets in a Ziploc plastic bag and the colorful plastic eggs in another much larger plastic bag. Then I put both of these bags in a clear plastic box which I labeled Easter on the shelf in the coat closet.
I decided to toss the chocolate bunnies and other random chocolates. I learned that if I put it in the freezer, I could only keep it for 6 months. Easter is a year away. Maybe I won’t buy so much chocolate next year.
The case of lingering clutter
When you have lingering clutter ask yourself these questions:
Does it bother you?
If it does, does it bother you enough to do something about it.
Do I want to keep it?
If I keep it, when will I use it again?
Where will I put it?
Is it easy to access?
If I don’t want to keep it, is it something to give to a friend, donate, recycle, or toss?
Once you have answered these questions, schedule time with yourself to address the lingering clutter.
In the case of the lingering Easter baskets, once I figured out where I could keep them and what to do with the contents, I was able to get them put away until the next time my grandchildren visit at Easter.
If you have a lingering clutter problem that you would like to solve, sign up for the Clear Space for You clutter support group. Jonda Beattie and I will work with you to determine your next steps to clear lingering clutter from your home.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.
I love this excellent illustration of your thought process about “lingering clutter.” I also love that term because it’s so fitting. Clutter does precisely that…it sits around until you are ready to ask questions like the ones you proposed. Getting stuck happens when you don’t know the fate of the object. Should I keep it or let it go? And if I do save it, where and how should I store it? What seems like simple questions can feel elusive. Thank you for demonstrating how to walk through the decision-making cycle and coming to a conclusion you are happy with.
Thank you, Linda. Things are never quite as simple or easy as we think they should be.
That’s a great term, lingering clutter. For me, that is the items that I’ve decided to “tolerate” in my space, for some reason or another. I find that what happens is eventually I’ll just snap to attention and decide enough is enough, and then I’ll get rid of it. But other times, I sort of like a thing or two, and I let it hang around because it is making me happy in some way. I snipped a few blooms from the backyard and kept them way beyond their usefulness. Today, I pitched them. It was (finally) time.
I love that you recognize that sometimes things hang around just because you have decided that’s OK with you.
My Easter baskets sat on a chair in the guest room until just last week. I knew where they were to be stored but that was in the attic, and I kept putting off the simple chore of getting them up there. Finally, I actually wrote this small chore down on my list of things to do and scheduled a time to do it. That’s all it took to make it a priority and get it done.
Happy to know I’m not the only one with Easter baskets sitting around for a time!
I can relate to this post. I do find that holiday things linger after the holidays. There are always a few things that are forgotten after I put away the holiday decorations. To get them out of the main house, I move them to the garage; they linger there for a few weeks until I open up the attic to move them into their bin. It’s frustrating, but it eventually gets put away. Thank you for sharing your tips.
I love that you move things in stages, Sabrina. Thank you for your comment!
You’ve hit the nail on the head to say that a big reason why clutter lingers is because it represents one or more decisions we haven’t made yet. The physical items represent these unknowns and until we investigate them, as you say, they will keep lingering.
First, what? YOU THREW OUT CHOCOLATE? Diane, who does that? Think of the depression you could have conquered by handing candy to randy strangers or friendly acquaintances or the mail carrier! I’m aghast!
Second, I would have never known that was a chicken coop. It sure looks like a china cabinet to me. Singapore must have had some really fancy chickens in the olden days!
Third, while I don’t ever have hangover clutter from holidays (I didn’t even know anyone but toddlers got Easter baskets!) I do sometimes have hold-over clutter after returning from a trip or after my birthday (when I have extra gifts and mail). You’ve presented wise questions for investigating the situation and getting the clutter managed!