Who Else Wants Less Clutter? Plus a Giveaway!

Hodgepodge! Jumble! Chaos! Muddle! Holy Mess!


There are many words to describe clutter—but it all boils down to one thing: a state or condition of confusion. And that is what most of us should be trying to avoid. Life is stressful enough without adding more, right? Yet even though studies show that clutter contributes to stress, many people live with it.

  • Do you have more than one ‘junk’ drawer in your home?
  • Is your email inbox clogged with messages you don’t even open?
  • When you open your closets, does stuff fall out on you?
  • If unexpected company comes, do you rush around, clearing books, papers, and other items?
  • Have you had a late fee from an unpaid bill because it got lost in the mess on your desk?

If you answered YES to any one of these questions, it may be time to take control. If you are a parent, organization is especially important – those last minute searches for missing homework or a lost shoe are no fun at all!

This is my plan:

  1. Get a big shopping bag for each room…clear off every counter/desk/shelf/chair of anything that doesn’t belong. Ahhh…now that looks much better. When I have time, I can go through each bag and decide whether the items should be stored, given away, or thrown away.
  2. Use a letter file holder to keep bills and important mail…if possible, set up auto-pay.
  3. Set aside 15-30 minutes every day to go through one drawer or one closet or one cabinet and divide the contents into three piles: keep, give away, throw away. If you are a fan of Craig’s List or garage/yard sales, you can have a fourth pile…you might even make some money!
  4. Do the same thing with my emails—15-30 minutes every day to delete and unsubscribe from unwanted spam.

Are you ready?

It’s really as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. CLEAR
  2. CLEAN


I’ve got a busy year ahead of me, so it’s really important that I get everything in order now.

  • Participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge.
  • Signed up for a Pro Membership for Rate Your Story.
  • Excited to continue exchanging manuscripts with my critique groups.
  • Can’t wait for Kristen Fulton’s WOW Retreat in July.
  • And so thrilled to have my agent, Essie White, by my side as I continue my writing journey.
  • Reach out with a school visit program for the local Pre-K, kindergartens, and first grades.
  • Continue reviewing picture books every Friday to link up with Susanna Hill.
  • Continue the Will Write for Cookies series which posts every third Saturday of the month…please check out December’s featured author, the hilariously funny Artie Bennett. With the holidays, I think many people missed reading that one: https://viviankirkfield.com/2015/12/19/artie-bennett-will-write-for-cookies/ I’m extending the deadline for commenting on that post – you have until Friday, January 8 – and then we will do Random.org to pick the winner of a copy of a lovely middle grade anthology, Kissed by an Angel.
  • I’ve even signed up for a free online class offered by WordPress…it’s called Blogging101…I’m hoping it will help me create a better blog.

Yes, it’s going to be an exciting year!

How about you? What are your plans for the year? Do you have any tips that help you keep your life in order? Or any special frustrations concerning clutter? Why not share them in the comments and at the end of the month, we’ll do another giveaway.

See you back here on Friday as we get into the swing of things with our Perfect Picture Book Friday review and activity for kids. And don’t forget to leave a comment on Artie’s post!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on January 4, 2016, in clutter, Goals for 2016 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. My office needs to be decluttered. I let it get piled up over the holidays. School begins Wednesday, so I hope to catch up some this week. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like a great plan, Stacy! My problem is that I sit down at the computer to check emails, respond to comments…and then pull out whatever story/stories I am presently revising…and that’s all she wrote…because I’d much rather be writing/revising than de-cluttering. BUT, I did do my desk…and got the notebook with to-do at the front and expenses at the back all set. And so today, I can check off a couple of items on that list. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I started decluttering my house before the holidays. Only two rooms and a pantry left! I do them a section at a time and it’s been working for me. As for my email inbox? Well, let’s not go there. LoL!
    Good luck on your journey this year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good luck to you as well, Tracey! As soon as I finish responding to the comments here, I will delete a bunch of emails…it’s got to be done. And I love your section at a time decluttering plan…deep breath…I can do this! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You are set for a great 2016, Vivian! I need to declutter my office, which I hope to do this week. Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I ❤ organized space. Been living in a construction zone for a couple of years, and finally made some real headway the last month or two. Relief! I've also made progress organizing my writing time – and actually stuck to it for several weeks in a row. I'm hoping to keep it up through 2016, as well as continue with 12×12 and SCBWI, doing some serious agent research, revising like crazy, and more. Good luck with your goals, Vivian. Your blog is already great. If you improve it, it'll be AMAZING 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, you are so kind, Christie…I love my blog…but I want to encourage more readers (parents/teachers/librarians) to be a part of it…that’s what I’m hoping to learn.
      I’m excited for 2016…and so happy we are journeying down this writerly road together. Best of all good luck for you..and I’m happy you have found more writing time through organization and scheduling. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Vivian, Great advice. This must be the year for it. I’e been like a mad woman trying to get “everything” in this house organized. It’s was easy, all these years, piling “stuff”, little by little, bit by bit…but the bulldozer has hit!!! This is going to be a busy year. I’m so excited that our writing journey is crossing paths.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Mona…little by little it builds up. My problem is that when we moved from Colorado 2 years ago, we brought with us LOTS OF STUFF…and it is mostly stored in the basement…and most of it should be thrown out or sold. And closets tend to be another space that gets packed with STUFF…hubby is a book fanatic…and, well…so am I…so you can imagine we’ve got books in every nook and cranny. Here’s to a more streamlined 2016…and a successful one!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent tips! I’ve been in declutter mode myself (although I gave up on the inbox long ago). You’ve got a great year ahead, Vivian!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Marlaina…I’m glad the tips were helpful…I wanted to go public on my declutter desires…that way, I can be held accountable…just like with 12×12. 😉 Here’s to a beautiful year for both of us. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I do need to organize stuff, get rid of stuff and and replace old stuff with better stuff. But I also need to organize my time. I need to figure out a schedule to actually write, illustrate, design, blog, learn and do social media. (Wow. That sounds impossible!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup…it always seems overwhelming when we look at the big picture…maybe you can break it down into smaller segments…time management is one of the biggest issues for all of us, whether we are writers, teachers, plumbers, or the President. 😉 😉

      I just started a free class called Blogging101, offered by WordPress…I’ve been blogging a few years…but need to find out how to better reach my audience…teachers like you! And librarians…and parents. There’s lots of free instruction on blogging and social media out there…but of course, as you point out, you have to find the time to do it.;) I tend to get caught up with Facebook interaction…that can be a real black hole of time usage. So right this minute I am going back to my to-do list and then, one by one, completely what needs to get done. 🙂
      I’m so happy your stopped by…and hope you come again soon, Kari.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh clutter, you hit it on the nail alright.
    I’m shifting at the end of March, start to remove some of the hoards of stuff saved after fourteen years, what a mess, it will certainly take the next three months to get it sorted. Have fun, semi-retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for all the tips, Vivian! As you can see, I’m a bit behind on reading emails. But, I’m trying to catch up and I try to never miss one of your blog posts!!! You are an inspiration. Best of luck with everything in 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

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