Spring Cleaning: Tackling A “Problem Area”

There is always that one place…that one drawer, that one closet, that one area that we continually overlook, ignore, push to the side. Many would call them problem areas.

Why do we have Problem Areas?

Stressed woman

For most, it is one of the following.

  1.  It is too overwhelming
  2. It takes too much time
  3. You dont even know where to start

First of all, ladies, breathe. Dont worry, I have a room like this. It is supposed to be my office.

However, right now it is a catch all for Christmas Decor, office supplies, owners manuals, and other papers, some of my husbands football trophies and sports memorabilia, some photos….you get the idea.

3 Boxes

3 boxes for a problem area

Outside the room, set 3 bins, boxes, or crates.

  1. Garbage
  2. Goes in another room
  3. Donate

First, go through the room from top to bottom, left to right and remove all garbage. For me, this is very old bills, coupons, other papers and unusable craft parts. Do this with items you sure are garbage. This will give you space to think.

Next, just like in my article “Everything Has a Place”, think about the purpose of this room, pile, drawer, closet, or area. (If the pile has no purpose, that means it doesn’t have to exist. Make a meaningful space for whatever is in that pile.)  For now, my office may have to double as a bit of storage until my husband finishes building the shelving in the garage. This means, I must get the most out of this small space. With that in mind, box 1 (garbage) and box 3 (donate) become very important.

Questions to Ask

With each item in this problem area, ask yourself.

1. When is the last time I used this item? When is the next time I will use this item? For most items, I give a 6 month threshold unless it is a seasonal item or a meaningful possession (a picture my children colored or heirloom)

2. If I am getting rid of it, should I use it in another room, donate it, or toss it?

Now, put the item in the box you decide and move on.

Pro tip: Do not spend a lot of time on each item as far as keeping it or not. The more time you get sentimental about every little thing, the less likely you are to purge trash. I’ve seen this happen to people with the best of intentions.

Organize What Belongs

Now, all items that go in another room, are donations, or are just garbage items should be out of this project. All that is left in the room will be items that you ARE keeping and BELONG in that room.


Now is the time to organize those things in a way that makes sense to you. For me:

  • It is getting these boxes on one wall,
  • Making it a priority to get a microfiber recliner chair back in good clean, working order.
  • Organize the papers I need to keep until I purchase a filing cabinet next time I am at the store.
  • Close my craft box, but begin to think about how all those supplies could be better organized. But, that is another project.
  • Organize my desk

Now, plan a time to take those donations into a thrift store or a time for a thrift store to come pick them up. Don’t let them sit around your house.

Take the trash and put it where it belongs.

If you are too tired, it is okay to wait for the “goes in another room box” until the next day. However, don’t let it go. By letting it go you would be adding yet another problem area. If you cant hold yourself accountable to get it done at another time SOON, just get it done same day as the rest of the project.

This article should get you well on your way to an organized space that is a usual source of trouble for you.

Problem Areas for the Soul


As mentioned, Spring Cleaning can be a time to clean our souls too! Take time to breathe, and in those moments, think about one thing you would like to change about yourself. It could be as simple as eating more vegetables or as deep as reacting with more grace under pressure.  Address your problem areas, not just the ones in your home.




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