Confessions of Cluttered Countertops, Cabinets & Closets

This is one of the most unorganized areas in my house that makes me crazy! My head feels cluttered just looking at it, wondering what is buried in there. This counter top is the catch all for everything – mail, bills, receipts, school papers, phones, grocery lists, forms, broken things that need to be glued back together, etc.

This is a box-thingy to hold Christmas cards. Look closely and you’ll see the word “Merry” written on the little chalkboard front. I erased it and started adding other things with the Christmas cards. Yes, there are still some Christmas cards in there from 2009. There’s even an old Christmas photo of our family from 2008. I have no idea why it’s there. I think I took it with us to Great Clips to show how I wanted my boys’ hair cut, and then I stuck the photo in the box with the old Christmas cards and who knows what else.


This is a pile of receipts and smaller papers I want to save. Some receipts include business expenses, some have items on there I might want to return, others are notes or something. Then there are coupons in that stack and other important pieces of paper that I’m going to go through one day when I have nothing to do. I love my cute black wooden organizer thing to the right that I have stuffed full with items that won”t fit in the converted Christmas-card-holder box. If only I could see and enjoy it’s potential to be a pretty organizer.


To the left of all that mess we have more papers. As you can see, I’m also a piler not a filer. Well maybe I’m a wanna-be filer. You can see I have a wicker filer thingy with files in it.

It’s just a little full with overstuffed files from all my piles.
Oh, and then there is the cabinet above all my piles and overstuffed files. This is where I hide things like milk duds and cocoa covered almonds along with flashlights, post it notes I don’t want my kids to use, boxes of check refills and envelopes. We stuff things in there that we don’t want to lose in the organized mess below.


We’ll now that I’ve confessed my mess-i-ness, I feel better. Actually, I don’t. I’ve got to do something about this. It frustrates me. It makes me feel all cluttered inside. It’s been like this for almost a year. And no one is going to do anything about it but me. It doesn’t bother my guys, but it drives me bonkers. So, I’ve decided after taking these photos that it’s time to say “no” to something or someone else so that I can say “yes” to organizing my mess.
I’ll keep you posted. And I’ll be back Monday afternoon to show you my progress and announce the winner ofThe Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized”, a $10 Target gift card and a box of chocolates!
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpringโ€™s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, โ€œEveryday Life with Lysa & Renee.


  1. I have too many 'areas' like that in my house. I scribble notes on papers with intentions of going back to read them. Then I get so overwhelmed, I stack them up and forget about them. Ha! Too be organized … a hefty goal, but one I'm always striving for.

  2. Oh, Renee…I wish I lived near you because I would LOVE to organize your little area. Seeing those pictures makes me want to quit my job to be a full time organizer. Can't wait to see the after pictures!

  3. Hi renee, thanks for posting that. It kinda goves the comfort knowing that I am not the only one like that ๐Ÿ™‚ Have fun sorting everything… looking forward seeing your the new uncluttered look!

  4. Renee,

    Thank you so much for sharing this and being so transparent! We all struggle with keeping up with the organizing, as women. I know I sure do…being a homeschool mom of four! ๐Ÿ™‚ This is so important for some women to see this, as they may think you would never have these type of struggles. Thanks for being real. Happy organizing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am also a piler, not a filer. ๐Ÿ™‚

    One of the things that sounded great about Karen's book was that she offers help on how to not only get organized but to also STAY organized. That's one of my problems. I get my piles all filed and next thing I know, they are back! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was already feeling like I needed to tackle some problem areas in my house this week. Thanks for motivating me more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I have waaaayyyyy too many of those kinds of areas in my house! How do we get all of that stuff? I use my children and my husband as my excuse but really it's me! I just don't know what to do with it so instead of putting it somewhere neatly, I just keeping watching it pile up…higher and higher!

  7. You're so brave, Renee!

    I can't stand paper messes, either. I literally cannot think straight when a mess is staring me in the face!

    I try to purge at least twice a year, if not more often. The real problem, for me, is that my husband doesn't want me to throw anything away. Eventually it became overwhelming. My idea? I filled three brown paper grocery bags with all of those papers, etc. and asked him to please make some sort of decision within three weeks. It actually took him about six weeks, but he did it. Yay!

    Now the key seems to be staying on top of it. It's a never-ending battle, that's for sure!

    I'm looking forward to seeing your "After" pics!

  8. It is good to see that I'm not the only one with a countertop like that, but yours looks very organized when compared with mine! ๐Ÿ™‚ That's actually one of the projects I've been tackling today- it's a little better, so far!

  9. It looks like home to me! If you were to walk into my office right now, which might be chore in and of itself, you'd find all that and more and most of it on the floor!!!

    I have been so incredibly busy lately and I wake up everyday thinking this is the day I'm going to have time to tackle the office… the cleaning closet…the master closet…whatever, but try as I might it just hasn't happened yet.

    I wish you well!

  10. Oh my goodness…i was just wondering this weekend if anyone else has this clutter problem as i do. I go through the piles and separate into catergories such as receipts, bills, file away and then….I stack it all back up into a neat little pile to be dealt with later. UGH!!!! I've got to do something about it. It's driving me crazy. At least you have cute little stuff, i just have junk. I must find some motivation to go through it and I believe you've inspired me.

  11. Boy, I know this sounds bad….but misery loves company. I'm surprised of how many of us have this same dilemma!
    This totally overwhelms and stresses me out to see my house this way. Amazing how I'm the only one in the family that seems to be bothered by it. My biggest challenges are our bedroom (this is our catch-all for clearing off our kitchen counters before company comes over) and our den.
    Please, any prayers would be appreciated, I'll do the same for each one of you!

  12. It is so funny that you are posting on counter clutter, I just tackled mine (which was a big deal) and shared pictures on my blog. Crazy! I am so happy you are doing a series of posts on organization…and I truly believe that anything we do in life that requires discipline (cleaning, organizing, running, eating healthy…)has a huge impact on our spiritual discipline (devotions, prayer, memorization of scripture…). God uses all that to make us more like Him!!!

  13. Just to get through my piles of papers and get them to the file cabinet, I created a file labeled "To Be Filed" – LOL

Share Your Thoughts