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Rhonda Herrington Bulmer
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October 21st, 2009
Do files and frilly underwear go together?
by Rhonda Herrington Bulmer

I suppose the clutter wouldn’t be such a problem if I crawled out of bed in the morning and didn’t see it again until I crawled into bed the next evening, but I work in my bedroom. (No, no—don’t be silly, I’m a writer.)

I know I’ve broken the cardinal rule of organizers and Oprah’s advice-givers: no electronics in your bedroom. Your room is for sleeping and for…you know.

But there’s no other place for our computer! We bought our house four years ago because of its convenient location, and we love it here. Unfortunately, it’s smaller than we would like…it’s about 60 years old with no family room and no office. Just a living room, kitchen, dining room, four bedrooms and one bathroom. (And three kids to fight over the one bathroom! That’s another blog.) Our basement is unfinished.

As bedrooms go, the one my husband and I share is quite large, but even large bedrooms have their space limits. The room bulges with stuff because it fills three roles: it’s a bedroom, a home office and a family room. The kids use our computer for homework, and watch television on the sofa. It’s difficult, in fact, to kick them out.

Our 13’ x 14.5’ room holds:

–A king-size bed with piles of pillows flanked by a bookcase on one side and a night table on the other;

– Our entire home office: a chair and computer desk topped with two monitors, a scanner, a printer, a CPU, a telephone and loads of office supplies;

–A wide bookcase crammed with files, textbooks and reference material;

–a large blanket chest supporting a fat 27-inch television and DVD player, piles of DVD’s and more files;

–a two-seater sofa;

– an acoustic guitar on a stand and a bass guitar in a heavy case;

– a mirrored antique dresser undergirded with 3 baskets filled with music books, more files and frilly underwear (don’t ask).

Maybe you think we haven’t examined the options? In the last four years, the computer has been in the front hallway, the dining room and the tiny fourth bedroom which used to be the home office. That space now provides a sleeping area for our youngest son. The television and sofa took over the dining room, but then the kitchen was too tight.

Wait, I’m not finished. There’s stuff spilling out of our two small closets, also.

HERS: Art supplies, a broken sewing box spitting straight pins, a basket brimming with loose photos, my whole wardrobe (recently purged, but I suppose I could do it again), and several sets of king size sheets. (We no longer have a full linen closet due to a bathroom reno.)

HIS: College textbooks; stacks of novels and hardcover non-fiction; a couple of large framed photography pieces; the giant wooden fork and spoon that decorated the kitchen in his childhood home and he just can’t give away; about 30 sweaters piled on the shelf that he never wears, separated coins in mason jars; a small dresser; Boston Bruins paraphernalia; hooks overflowing with ties, belts, and the jeans he wore yesterday. His towel is hanging on the doorknob. Oh, and a full rack of clothing.

So what’s a girl to do with closet doors that won’t close and a bedroom partner who’s reluctant to get rid of any of his crap? Recently I located a resource DVD called “Organizing the Bedroom,” from a set of three at www.organizingconnection.com and I wondered if their Clutter Code Six Step System could help transform my “cluttered nightmares into sweet dreams,” as the cover claims.

The project will begin Monday, October 26, and I don’t know how long it’ll take. I think I can guarantee the story will have something for everyone: kicking, screaming, complaining, and hopefully, conflict resolution. And less clutter.

I’m going to follow the instructions on the DVD, step by step. At the end, I’ll give the experience my full review. Stay tuned and don’t forget to leave your comments.

In the interests of full disclosure, please note that I have not been paid to test this product.

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