Weekend Projects

This Weekend: Declutter These 5 Stressful Spots Before Monday Morning

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Fresh start, clean slate, new beginning, whatever phrase tickles your ears, it’s so very nice when Monday morning feels like one. It’s not going to, though, if your home is littered with clutter hotspots. Devote a bit of time this weekend to addressing a few stressful micro-spaces and enjoy a Monday morning that’s a bit less draggy.

#1: The Kitchen Counters

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

In my house, the kitchen counters become the temporary home of everything that nobody wants to (or knows where to) put away. Recently, it bore a plaster volcano my kids and I planned to paint, a bag of my daughter’s hair bows that were unpacked from a recent trip, the tip of a kaleidoscope my son made at summer camp, lavender I harvested from my herb garden, and a pile of receipts, lotion, and chargers. Cue hair-pulling. No way around the mess but for each item to get put away, one by one.

For kitchens that have actual space to cook and that beg to be kept in order (remember, cleanliness begets cleanliness), clear off those counters.

#2: The Bathroom Counter

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

It’s easy to leave out the tools and toiletries you use every morning and every night, but then you start out the morning and end the night looking at piles of stuff — in double, because of the mirror. Put each item where it belongs, making sure to discard anything that you no longer need as you do it, and see how your empty counters make you feel ahhhhh.

#3: Your Car

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

I too, forget that my car needs to be cleaned out as soon as I get out of it. Until I get into it again. Make it a point to clear junk out of your car this weekend and create a peaceful space in your “home” on wheels. More so than in your home, much of what you’ll be cleaning out of your car is actual garbage. Approach the task with a trash bag in hand and put the things that need to be put away in your home away right away, lest you add to another hotspot in the house. (Do not even think of putting the car detritus on the kitchen counter.)

#4: Mudroom or Entryway

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

I do it too, dump all my bags and water bottle and keys, etc. in the entry hallway when I get home. I get caught up in other things and before I know it days go by and there are bags still there and shoes still strewn. Take a few minutes to unpack purchases, make lists of returns you need to make (put receipts in your wallet and items in your car), straighten shoes, and make the last place you see when you leave and first place you see when you get home a pleasant sight.

#5: Your Desk

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Even if you can’t actually deal with everything on your desk (for instance, call the doctor’s office about that duplicate bill you received), you can still set yourself up for success during the week. Sort through paper piles, filing what you can, taking action on what is possible, and creating a designated spot for papers you’ll have to deal with later. Anything else strewn about on your desk’s surface should be put away, or at the very least placed in a visually appealing manner.

By decluttering hotspots, you’re eliminating a pretty annoying task from you week’s to-dos. Even more so, you’ll harness the subtle power of cleared surfaces. Especially when they’re all over the house, they add up to an overall, whisper-soft feeling of I’m on top of it, a feeling that, with a little luck, will snowball into a whole week along the same uncluttered lines.

Remember, as with all of our Weekend Projects, just do what you have the time and energy to do. This is a marathon, not a sprint!

  • Help motivate others by letting the rest of us know how things are going! Share your tips and photos of your Weekend Project work on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ATweekendproject.
  • Check out 2017’s entire Plan for a Healthy & Happy Home to access all Weekend Project ideas, so you can pick and choose what to do this weekend.
  • Download our September Home Checklist. It’s a free, downloadable, low-pressure list of things to try this month if you want to keep your life and home running like a well-oiled machine. Pick and choose what and how much you want to tackle, and have the satisfaction of crossing them off the list!