Tip #28 – Pick a number, any number. 28 Days of Decluttering
My friend Shannon asked me the other day – “how do you get started with decluttering?”
This is a great question. As you can tell by all that I shared this past month, it seems that all I really have time for is running the vacuum and washing the dishes. I certainly don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to decluttering. That is unless I am doing a series on it and find some inspiration.
I think the easiest way to make a little impact without too much time invested is to pick a number – let’s say FIVE – and try to trash, put away or organize that many things. It might be five toys, five books, five pieces of paper on your desk, five shoes, five worn t-shirts, five throw pillows. Go around your house and just find five things in different categories that aren’t in their home and put them away. If needed, give them away. Or throw them away.
Maybe do this every day for a week and see where it gets you. I would think that after a short while you will see a big impact with very little effort.
PS – I hope you enjoyed this series, I know I got a lot of out of it for sure. Over the course of this past month, I’ve sorted through my closet, cleaned my junk drawer, am applying the 30 Day Method to my kitchen utensils, and cleared away a corner in my office that hasn’t seen the light of day in months. Thanks for coming along with me on this ride!
What’s up next – stay tuned to tomorrow – I’ll announce our next 28 Days Series.
Tip #27 – It’s not me – it’s them – – 28 Days of Decluttering
Whew – it’s spring break out here and I’ve fallen behind with stuff. Talk about distractions – I should have included in that series – “don’t plan anything when the kids are out of school for a week“. Geez! I can’t get ANYTHING done with them around.
But I digress – because I am determined to finish up the 28 Days of Decluttering series – so I can quickly jump into April’s series (it’s a good one – stay tuned to tomorrow to find out what it is).
Sonya wrote on my Facebook page the other day – “I’m doing this thing that asks me to declutter my home as part of a bigger process. My own stuff is daunting enough, but here’s my problem: My wonderful husband has a case of the what-if-I-need-it-someday-itis. I assume kids are the same way.”
I’ve been thinking about this and yeah, it’s a hard one.
Confession: I used to over buy boxes of chicken stock and canned tomatoes. Like – a lot. At one time, I think I counted that I had over 22 boxes of chicken stock in my pantry. Every time I went to Costco, I would buy another case.
What was I afraid of? Running out of stock? Because if I used up the last box today, would I not be able to go to the store tomorrow and buy some more – assuming I would be using chicken stock two days in a row?
And I live in a suburban area – Costco is literally less than six minutes away. And there are two grocery stores closer than that.
I think when you get into the mindset of “what if we need this some day” and are trying to declutter – it is a snowball waiting to happen. Unless it is emergency supplies…really – do we really need it?
Here’s is what I would suggest to help combat this concern:
- Employ the 30 Day Method. As a reminder – – this is where you place said questionable items in a box for thirty days. As you need the items, take them out, use them and put them away in their normal place. At the end of thirty days, whatever is left in the box can be discarded or donated.
- If the 30 day rule is too short – lengthen it to six months. This should take away the concerns for seasonal items.
- Create an “only one” rule. Do you really need three step stools, four crock pots, six dustpans, eight bottles of hairspray. Probably not. And really, one of each of these items will be sufficient.
My situation is the opposite of Sonya’s. My husband tends to get rid of things too quickly in my opinion. What about you – do you battle with your housemates about clutter and what to keep and what to discard?
Tip #26 – Pick a corner
That’s my dog in there too.
I feel like I’ve been over sharing all of my dirty secrets of my house and how much clutter is in it. And here I thought I was pretty neat and tidy and pretty well-organized.
I’m not going to beat myself up about it. It happens. Life happens. And junk drawers, Tupperware drawers, kitchen utensils and more take a back seat to the other demands of our days. I hope you have gotten some benefit out of this series and tried your hand decluttering the space around you. I know, I have. And I’m inspired to do more of it! I’ll probably keep going even after our 28 Days.
So for tip #26 – pick a corner. Or a table, or a counter and just get started. Order a pizza and put some tunes on and tackle that one section. Even just a little project and a little decluttering can make a huge difference in your outlook.
The picture above is a corner in my office. In all honesty, it will probably take me less than an hour to sort through the stuff here and figure out a game plan for the items. Nothing in there is important and nothing is time sensitive. And probably because of that, I’ve forgotten about it – so much that I don’t really see it anymore.
But it is still clutter. It needs to be handled and cleaned up. So my weekend project is to declutter this corner and get it clean it up. Stay tuned to Facebook and I’ll post a follow-up picture soon.
Tip #25 – Put your clothes away
I promise – all of these are clean, they just need to be hung up and put away.
I don’t know why I do this. A few years ago, my New Year’s Resolution was to make sure all the clean clothes get put away. I am really good about putting my kids’ clothes away – or having them put them away. My husband is really good about putting his clean clothes away. Yet – I am the culprit here. Why do I do this? I have not a clue.
OK – for the record, I do eventually put them all away. And typically, it is only my hanging clothes that don’t get hung up. Usually, I will hang everything up as I start the next round of laundry. In fact, right after I took this picture, I hung up everything in this pile. But why do I wait? I dumbfound myself.
And it totally makes things look cluttered. It is hard to work around this giant pile of clothes. It probably drives my husband crazy, although he never says anything.
How about you – how successful are you at putting your clean clothes away after laundry day?
Tip #24 – Don’t let your purse become a trash can….
I feel a little bit like Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club when she dumps the contents of her purse for all to see.
…like mine does. So, remember when I said I empty out the trash from my car every time I get out. Well, lately, I’ve been trying to avoid that step and I have found myself putting the trash in my purse instead.
So tonight, I cleaned out my purse. Here’s what I found:
- trash – including gum wrappers, an empty toothbrush holder from my last trip to the dentist, a whole bunch of receipts, a Milky Way wrapper – luckily nothing gross
- a used up manicure set
- a brown marker
- a spoon
- old business cards that I don’t need any longer
- the paper backing to an Olive Garden gift card
- and some other stuff too that is now out on the curb waiting for trash pick-up tomorrow morning.
UGH! I need to clean that out more often.
How about you – post a picture of the contents of your purse for 10 extra points!