Three uncluttered activities you can do on a lazy Saturday

All along the east coast of the U.S. today, we’re getting blanketed with snow. As a result, I’ve declared that I’m not leaving the house unless it catches on fire. I’m spending the day in my pajamas, nursing this awful fever-cough-runny-nose ick I’ve caught from my son, and taking care of some unfinished items on my home’s to-do list.

Three of these to-do items are great tasks to complete on a day you’ve decided to stay at home. From my home to yours, I bring you three uncluttered activities you can do on a lazy Saturday:

  1. Sort through your magazines and catalogs. Curl up on a comfy corner of the couch, pull out your giant stack of reading materials, and take an hour to read and then recycle all of these materials. Any articles you want to keep, rip out of the magazine and then scan them to your computer. Farewell, July issue of Vanity Fair!
  2. Backup your home computer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — There are two types of hard drives: those that have failed, and those that have yet to fail. If you’re not regularly backing up your hard drive, you’re tempting fate. Open up an account at Dropbox.com and securely upload all of your important data. In my opinion, a non-backed up hard drive is clutter because it’s a distraction to your life the same way dirty socks are in the middle of your living room floor.
  3. Clear the clutter from your laundry room. I’m not really sure how it happens, but laundry rooms are clutter magnets. There are piles of loose change, random receipts and pony tail holders pulled out of pockets, errant socks, used fabric softener sheets, and three bottles of partially used detergent haphazardly strewn about the room. Go through the items in this area and create a more organized system. The more you enjoy being in this space, the more likely you will be to keep up with your laundry chores. A nice drawer organizer can be repurposed to hold buttons, safety pins, and change. And, a large plastic shoe box can become the permanent home for your detergents and fabric softeners.

Now you all know how I’ll be spending my Saturday at home. What uncluttered items are on your to-do list for the day?

28 Comments for “Three uncluttered activities you can do on a lazy Saturday”

  1. posted by serenknitity on

    Thanks for the tips – it’s pretty bleak here in the UK this weekend so I’m going to tidy my bedside cabinet and go through my wardrobe using your eight tips (yes, I’ve been reading through the archives). Love the site – I’m big on deleting clutter!

  2. posted by Sheryl on

    We just spent the last month painting our kitchen (thank GOODNESS it’s done!), and as I’m putting stuff back I’m purging, both in the kitchen and in the rest of the house.

    Right now I’m waiting for a truck from the thrift store to come and make me very happy by hauling the pile of stuff away. :-)

  3. posted by DJ on

    I’m going for a walk, and then, later in the afternoon, helping one of my daughters declutter and organize her closet. For years, she’s refused to do so, but the last time she opened the door, everything fell out… now she’s up for having a good clean-out and installing some kind of closet organizing system. Huzzah!

  4. Avatar of

    posted by Sky on

    Sounds like a plan. It is cold and rainy here and a good day to stay in and clean up. I have a toolbox sitting on the floor in my laundry room (was my Dad’s and I don’t want it mixed up with DH’s tools) that needs a home somewhere inside.

    I’m going to need a bigger plastic box for my detergents!

  5. posted by tabatha on

    that drop box thing looks really cool, i might have to try that out!

  6. posted by Jon M on

    I’m cleaning out the closet and listing some stuff for sale on craigslist/eBay today. But this DC snow isn’t going to do much in terms of motivating local sales :(

    Too bad this snowstorm didn’t come on a weekday!

  7. posted by Christine Simiriglia on

    It is snowing in South Jersey so I’m having hermit day. It is the perfect opportunity to tackle the cabinets in my laundry room that hold everything from cleaning supplies to alpaca fiber for spinning. I feel a purge coming on!!!

  8. posted by Rosie_Kate on

    I’m stitching a sleeve on a vintage dishtowel to hang as a covering for an electrical panel, putting up my kitchen utensil hanger that I picked up at IKEA, doing laundry (should add to that your laundry room tip!), and making cherry-cheese turnovers. :-)

  9. posted by steve crane on

    Snowing here on the East Coast of the UK-great opportunity to unclutter and re organise my filing system-a task that needed a day like today.!!!

  10. posted by Marie on

    It rarely snows here in NC, so I am taking the day off from decluttering. Lots of walks and playing with my cat in the snow, hot chocolate, bowl of soup, and a good book. I’ll get back to work when it melts. I promise!

  11. Avatar of

    posted by kbfenner on

    We only have very cold drizzle so far, but possible ice later down here in Columbia,SC. My husband and I went out for breakfast and then spent a few hours on the garage–unhh–and I pulled some things from the laundry room floor to fill out a Salvation Army donation load, including a bead loom new-in-box. I get unrealistic about my actual craftiness when I go to a craft store to buy some actually useful thing. I still haven’t given up on teaching myself watercolors or weaving a wire bracelet, but next trip to Goodwill, if I haven’t opened the box….

    My husband is a computer science professor whose beloved G5 Mac died this week. He really didn’t lose anything of importance since everything he does academically is stored online somewhere, except for iTunes—he had uploaded our entire CD collection….more than would fit on my big ole iPod Classic.

  12. posted by Another Deb on

    Isn’t this “Seed Catalog” season back East? Time to plan and dream of summer tomatoes.

  13. posted by Handy Man, Crafty Woman on

    I like taking a big pile of magazines/catalogs and reading through them so I can finally recycle them. VERY windy and cold, below zero wind chill here, so its a perfect day to catch up on reading.

  14. posted by Christine on

    It’s 13 degrees here in NY so my husband and I stayed home and went through a lot of his stuff – he decided to start selling a lot of it on eBay. We spent the day listing items for sale!

  15. posted by Karyn on

    I back up my important files on a regular basis, but I have what is probably a question everyone else knows the answer to: How do I back up my OS (in this case, Windows XP)? My computer came with the OS loaded onto it, and if it ever crashes, won’t I need to reload the OS before I can do anything else with it? Please advise.

  16. posted by Dorothy on

    Here’s an idea for your loose change. Place a jar or two strategically to collect it. I have a jar in my closet where I empty my pockets when I take off my slacks, and can empty change from my wallet regularly. If there are multiple people in the house, it might help to have a jar in the laundry room, too, so you can collect coins when you check pockets at laundry time.

    When the jar is full take it to the Coinstar machine at your grocery store. You’ve seen those green machines but you’ve been reluctant to use them because they charge a commission to convert your coins to bills, right? Well, yest, BUT if you convert your coins to gift certificates for certain merchants (Amazon and Lowes among them) the merchant pays the commission so you get 100% of the value of your coins. Check out the details including the minimum value of coins for this sort of offer at http://www.coinstar.com

    I’m not affiliated with Coinstar — just a happy customer.

    Cheers!

  17. posted by Dawn F. on

    I’ll be cleaning out, straightening up and re-organizing my gift wrap/paper/bags storage totes. I have 1 long tote that holds our rolled wrapping paper, tissue and gift bags and then 1 square tote that holds all of our bows, ribbons, tags and pens. A few times each year I like to go through the boxes and see if anything needs to be tossed in the recycling bin and/or to see if I can share anything with my mom and/or to see what I have for upcoming holidays (Valentines is fast-approaching)!

    I LOVE wrapping gifts – making them extra special and personal is fun for me and hopefully makes the receiver’s smile even bigger.

    LOVE this blog! Unclutterer rocks!

  18. posted by Jaky Astik on

    Depends dear. It’s who you are that defines your Saturday unclutter activities. A student has some other thing to unclutter while his mom has something else to unclutter.

    Nice advice though! Like it.

  19. posted by Gianpaolo Pietri | The Optimalists on

    If I went through all my old magazines. I would be here a month. Not to mention scanning articles I like into my computer. I should probably get started.

  20. posted by Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com on

    Backing up your home computer is a great one that hardly anyone does but we all know we should! Good post.

  21. posted by Kara on

    I have folders for receipes I want to try, and they were overflowing.. went through and tossed the ones I don’t think I’m really going to make.. or have made and didn’t like.

  22. posted by Ish on

    @Karyn: Depending on the brand of the computer, many have a “hidden” partition that allows you to reload the machine to “factory state”. Check the manufacturers website online.

    Today is audition day, and I will be reviewing bills and filling out benefit applications while the girl child is performing. I keep the “undone” stack in a zippered case that I can take with me easily.

    Later, it’s sprinkler system review day where I run the system on manual and check every sprinkler head for existence (!), direction and leakage. A royal pain, but very necessary. Then, this evening, retrieving the boy child from a weekend jaunt and preparing menus for the week ahead. Looking forward to going to the market tomorrow evening – fresh vegies!

  23. posted by From Now Till I do on

    Useful post! I spent this weekend sorting out laundry which left me feeling so much more relaxed, no more clutter.

    Also agree about Dropbox, once I signed up I no longer had to spend time worrying about whether my precious pictures were okay and now I know everything I do gets backed up.

  24. posted by Sue on

    I saw this called “Gnat Killing” in an article–those annoying little tasks that aren’t hard, but are annoying while unfinished. That’s why I love snow days–I putter, sort, purge, tidy, toss and organize. I don’t plan the tasks, just settle in a room and start. I have enjoyable music playing, and always reward myself when done.

  25. posted by Sandra Wilde on

    Better than scanning the articles from Vanity Fair – realizing that you can find them on the magazine’s website should you want to read them again. Not true for every magazine, but true for many.

    When my old magazines pile up, I try when possible to just pitch them without looking through them.

    I solved the issue of laundry room clutter by moving from a house in Oregon to an apartment in NYC. The laundry room is for the building, not in my apartment. Better yet, several months after I moved in, the washer was out of commission so I took my clothes to the laundry a few doors down and have done so ever since. $10 or so a week for wash and fold. NYC is a splendidly easy place to live.

  26. posted by Michelle on

    I definitely need to catch up on going though magazines. And putting some things on eBay sounds tempting as well.

  27. posted by Scott Chandler on

    I love Dropbox.com. For me the killer feature isn’t the 2-3 gig of free internet storage, it is the fact that it will automatically sync up files on multiple computers. Anything stored in the Dropbox folder gets copied to all of your computers every minute or so.

    Dropbox.com has a referral program where you can get an extra 250 mb free for every person you sign up (limit 4). Both the referrer and the referree get the bonus space. I have one invitation left so only the first person who signs up can get 250 mb free from this URL:

    https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTE2MTQ2NTQ5

  28. posted by Shandos Cleaver on

    Going through magazines, old cards and other bits of paper is quite a fun way to pass a lazy afternoon or evening. At the moment, here in Sydney, it’s been raining a lot, so I wrote a post about your article linking to it
    (http://declutteryrlife.blogspo.....ekend.html).

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