I actually sketched a layout of this a few times years back before doing it. I had so much clutter in this corner that for years it seemed like I was never going to get to it. I removed stuff, sold it or took it to Goodwill. Then bought more stuff. De-cluttering can be like dieting. Unconscious eating is no different than unconscious consumerism. Before long the weight lost is back plus more and you’ve acquired more than you got rid of and find yourself cluttered again.
We never encouraged visitors. My father lives with me and my mother is here a lot. We never invited anyone over. When no one is around but people who tolerate a thing, it tends to stay that way. It’s embarrassing…and depressing. The cycle of removal and buying again probably would have gone on for many years were it not for a “disruptive event.” This summer a friend offered to come visit. When I got the text I said yes, knowing that a lot of stuff had to be taken out of this room. At first I picked through it, like I always do. I managed to get a few things out. Then I bought a tub and dumped everything into it and moved that into the garage. That allowed me to get at the floor. I spent a few hours most weekends in July and August to get it to the state in the upper image. It still looked like that when my friend was here. A few days after she left I took everything off the shelves, vacuumed several litters of dust bunnies, took a huge load of stuff to Goodwill and put the bookcases and desk in place.
Keeping the space clear will always be the challenge. I’ve never been a constant cleaner. I hate cleaning things. I put it off wishing things would never get dirty. When I do clean something I want to put it in a plastic zipper bag away from the elements and people getting it dirty. Not a rational desire. This is where I live. You can’t shrink-wrap your living space once you’ve cleaned it. Someone has to vacuum, pick up, toss, etc. I’m doing a better job of all that. I probably need to vacuum more often. But I cleaned it just a few weeks ago. I want to see it this clear a year from now. Unconsciously clean is the state I want to get to.