I know, that's the same title we all give to our posts about cleaning out our desks. I'm lame.
Yesterday I started to take on the task of cleaning out the modular drawer cabinets from our old desk. We have three sets of drawers like this one:
And loads of junk in them. I was organized ...
until I got through the first cabinet. Then I gave up on the neat little piles. I'm already putting stuff on the floor. All hope of being 'neat' is lost. Time to follow decluttering rule #10: just dump it all out. ALL of it. Don't worry, you'll organize it later! Behold, the contents of cabinets #2 and #3.
It's a mess but sometimes that's what it takes. It can be hard to organize when you don't have a good concept of everything that you have in a space. Leaving items in a space and trying to declutter around them works, but only when you don't have an enormous amount of stuff in that space.
Then one item at a time, you can organize things into piles, or put them straight back into the closet/desk/garage/handbag/etc.
This kind of decluttering is also a really good excuse to have some good tea handy or a movie or audiobook ready. I typically get super exhausted on these mass clean-outs and have to stop for a while, sometimes even a couple days. Having something to keep me going or to refresh me during a break is a must. This makes it more likely that you'll get through the whole pile in one go. If you don't, that's okay -- but make a commitment to come back to it within a day or two. Otherwise you can end up making more of a mess for yourself.
One small part of the pile is all that remains to tackle tonight. Why do my husband's dirty socks keep showing up there?