Now I don’t want to appear boastful, but so far so good. My new year’s resolution is still intact, and I have decluttered one thing a week since Jan. 1.

I can’t say these have been Herculean tasks to date, but I’m working my way up to the big stuff.

First was the kitchen table. I know everyone has “the spot” where you put things you need to take care of, things you want to read, and things you can’t trash just yet, just in case. In my case, it’s the corner of the table closest to my right elbow.

This area can attain mountainous proportions, and it has been known to happen that I will make the archeological dig through the pile and find stuff I really should’ve taken care of weeks ago, but plumb forgot about. Thankfully this current pile was of no immediate significance, so I gleefully trashed most of it, and found kind and generous homes for the rest – all to be decluttered at a later point.

The next week saw me decluttering the potted plants looking none too flash out on the deck, where I ruthlessly pruned and tugged so now there are four pots looking very bare, but obviously eager for their next incarnations in the spring.

As my dear friend Sooz is coming for a visit in February, and she being a gardener of note, I really couldn’t have her gazing out the door at last summer’s trailing whatever-the-hell-it was, looking now brown and, well, let’s be frank here, quite dead.

This week saw us – yes indeed, Sir got involved, marginally – in the junk drawer. Sir needed to wield a tool in order to tighten up some loosening nuts in our table, so it was I who approached the junk drawer looking for the perfect item. On reflection, I knew I was looking for an Allen key. You know those right-angled jobbies that abound in Ikea furniture kits? You can amass thousands of them in your lifetime, but when you actually need one, it lurks beneath a pile of stuff, always moving its position so you can never find it.

Consequently, the contents of the junk drawer were dumped unceremoniously in the direction of out, until the rotten thing could be unearthed from its corner. I figured an Allen key is the same sort of deal as your old skate key, or the key to the sardine tin (am I aging myself or what?). The point being that none of those three keys can be found when you need them.

The table now righty-tighty, I decided I couldn’t give up this golden anti-clutter opportunity. It’s amazing what one can stuff in one small drawer.

As you know, neither of us is remotely handy, so what we were doing with approximately 16 assorted screws was quite beyond me. We have more screwdrivers than I can poke a stick at, and various tools we need approximately once every twenty years.

Bottom line, I know have a very logical and neat junk drawer, the rest being rendered to the trash, or our new tool box.

How sad it is when you boast a tool box, but it’s actually a Tupperware. Sigh. One can aspire, can’t one?

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at