2017 Clutter Buster Challenge Week 38: School & Office Supplies

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I may have gone through and gotten rid of a huge portion of my craft supplies but now I can’t find anything because of condensing! I keep thinking I have scissors in one of the drawers because I used to have a drawer solely for cutting instruments but because of donating all the fancy scissors I moved my one pair of regular scissors up to the kitchen where I do a majority of the cutting – but I can never remember that! There has been lots of browsing and will continue to be until I can figure out my new system. 

If you are just joining us, here’s the deal: 

I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn’t belong, isn’t needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life – that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.

When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.

Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!

You can read more about the challenge on the week one post.


Week 38: School & Office Supplies

Okay, so we’ve already cleaned off the tops of our desks or work surfaces, gone through the office paperwork, and sorted through drawers,. What could possibly be left that would fall under school or office supplies that wouldn’t have been touched in this area? 

Great question, Jan! Alright, there isn’t a Jan, I just threw a name out there. But really, it’s a good question. And there may not be another area that houses school and office supplies in your home. If you are able to keep it all in your desk and you sorted it all already, I am so happy for you! You can take this week off, or catch up on a week you missed. For the rest of us? We’ve got work to do. 

I like to buy ahead when it comes to school supplies. When Target starts marking supplies on clearance I go a little nuts and start buying ALL THE THINGS because um, hello? Five kids that will be in school at some point. Plus doing random projects at home that need markers and paint and glue and whatever else their brains require to make this magical creation happen. And then there are the partial bottles of glue and half boxes of markers and crayons that come home at the end of the year. Oh goodness. I have school supplies stashed all over. I made a point this year of buying a bin to keep it all for in the crawl space but first I needed to sort through my current stash. 

See this drawer? I’ve had it since I was in middle school. Twenty plus years of use and being hauled from home to dorm to home to apartment and wherever else I lived. I also wasn’t ever great at cleaning things out of it before shoving more supplies in. I would bet that some of the items in this drawer are just as old as the drawer itself. 

I roped my kids in for this week’s challenge. First they needed to sort all the writing utensils into piles – markers, pens, and pencils. Everything else they found went in a separate pile. Then they got to test each and every pen and marker and toss anything that was dried out. I’d say at least two-thirds of the collection went into the trash. 

We also found a broken eraser. Why was I hanging on to it? What purpose did I think it would serve? And again, so many dead pens and markers. 

Look at this beautiful drawer. I put all the markers, crayons, and colored pencils in their own bags so they wouldn’t end up creating a mess in the drawer again. Now we can pull out what we need easily and without disturbing everything else. 

Do you buy school supplies ahead of time? Do you have big stashes of school or office supplies around? How do you keep them from turning into clutter?


Share a picture on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.


Come back next week for week 39 – we are moving into the kid or guest bedrooms to see what we can declutter from the dresser tops. I’m going to attempt to make some sense of our older boys’ dresser but I’m a little afraid of what I might find! 


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