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You’re drowning in clutter!
It’s making you feel overwhelmed and anxious and downright miserable!
BUT BUT BUT …
You ARE too crazy busy juggling life to tackle it. I hear you. I hear you. I really do.
I have so been there.
Watching the clutter mount up and feeling powerless to do anything.
And not helped by tidy up gurus who think I’ve endless hours to fold my socks just right!
And that this would somehow help clear a family home of clutter!! Er hellllooo!!!
BUT this year I came up trumps.
And found a method that helps me declutter my whole house in 30 minutes a week in manageable chunks.
Sounds good huh? It is. It is brilliant!
I mean we can all find 30 minutes a week can’t we? However crazy busy we are.
So what … you demand … is the big secret?
Well, here goes …
(If you’re like me, you’ll skip this bit. DON’T!!!)
It all starts with two bags and a tiny daily habit. And I mean teeny tiny. And seriously easy.
So first you need to root out two bags – plastic bags, old shopping bags, whatever – and put them somewhere accessible.
But NOT under the beady eyes of your family. Mine are hidden behind my bedroom door.
This is your charity bag and your recycling bag.
Then every day you will do 2 things that will take 5 minutes tops.
- #1: Empty your trash. (Trust me. It works!)
- #2: Put just 10 things you will be happier without in either your charity or recycling bag or – if you must – your trash bin
Now these 10 things are ALL the clutter hiding in plain sight, you’re actually ready to let go of.
Pens that don’t work. Old receipts. Dried up mascara. Junk mail. Solo socks. Lone gloves.
The stuff you notice whilst you’re getting on with life. Once you open your eyes.
I’ve got a huge list right here to help you spot them. They are pretty cunning at camouflage.
Now once you start spotting them, they can become overwhelming. They are everywhere. So I’ve also got 100 daily prompts to help you focus on one small area daily.
Now once you have let go of 10 things every day for a week, you need to take bags to your handiest charity shop and recycling centre.
If you stick to that little habit of letting go 10 things every day for a year, you will let go of 100 bags of stuff with almost no effort and no mess.
WOW!!! How amazing is that?
From one tiny five minute habit. And to help you stick to that little habit, I share motivational tips and thoughts every day on Facebook.
But stage two will SPEED things up!
And help you let go of even more of that stuff that’s dragging you down.
All you are going to do is:
- Block out 30 minutes – child free! – time
- Pick a project off the big list at the bottom
Pick which project you like – it’s your home!
BUT it needs to be small and simple.
And NOT – for the first month – have strong emotional attachments.
I would recommend starting with one of these:
- Under your kitchen sink
- Under your bathroom sink
- One small food cupboard
- Mugs and cups
- Kids shoes
- Kids rain boots and wellies
- Your make up bag
Completing Your Project
When you’re ready to start your chosen project for the week …
1. Grab your charity & recycling bags and a bin.
2. Set your phone timer for 30 minutes.
3. Take things out quickly or collect them up.
3. Spot the obvious things to let go and put straight in a bag or the bin e.g. anything …
- Expired or outgrown
- Broken that can’t be mended
- You never did like
- You never used and can’t imagine ever using
- You’ve got 10 of!
4. Have a very quick wonder if there’s anything else you feel comfortable letting go of … do ask yourself whether it is really useful or makes you happy but DO NOT be brutal.
If you are NOT ready to let go keep it!
And I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW – this is totally at odds with lots of declutter advice.
But it’s critical.
Because there are totally humungous psychological needs behind our clutter.
And purging stuff brutally makes them worse!
5. Once you’ve decided what to let go, quickly wipe round the shelf or cupboard.
6. Put what you’re keeping back.
7. Put your charity and recycling bags and trash bin back where they belong.
8. And you are DONE in 30 minutes.
Hmmm … you’re not sure it’s enough are you?
Especially, if you only got rid of 5 to 10 things.
WELL this is the magic bit! You are on a journey.
And I bet you within a month, you will have let go of the same amount again.
FROM the very SAME cupboard!!!
The Magic Bit
These weekly declutter projects help us to:
- Reconnect with what we’ve actually got – we stop being blind to specific clutter
- Practice letting go – without our world coming to an end
- Believe – subconsciously – that decluttering is simple and doable – rather than a monstrous mountain to be conquered
- Discover what we value most – and this is personal, and it changes
- Become really mindful of clutter – so we stop letting it in
It seems too simple. But it really is magical.
Spending just 30 minutes every week on one of these projects has transformed my home.
AND amazingly is actually healing some of the deep, deep reasons that lie behind my clutter.
Keeping It Up Is Easy
Unlike, any other declutter programme I have tried, I have found keeping this up easy.
Very quickly it becomes a habit.
And with very little effort you see results:
- You can actually find stuff
- The whole family start putting stuff away
- You can clean quickly without a major military operation to shift piles of clutter
- You start doing stuff you’ve put off
- And feel less anxious about life generally
That’s a super powerful feedback loop!
And gives us inner strength to tackle monsters like the garage or paper clutter.
Can I Speed It Up?
Now, if you’re a jump in quick kind of girl you may want to speed things up.
And you can. If you want to do 2 or 3 or 4 projects a week, you can.
If you’ve got time.
BUT you must do at least one NEXT WEEK and the week after and the week after that.
Because we’re nurturing a habit.
And you really want to avoid the PURGE and SPLURGE cycle! Because it’s vicious.
Are You Ready To Start?
RIGHT after my waffling are you good to go?
You just need to …
- Grab your bags
- Let go of just 10 things
- Empty your bins
- And pick a project for the week …
… and you’re off.
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Every week I share the insights and practical advice that most help me.
30 Minute Declutter Projects
- Cutlery drawer
- Under kitchen sink
- One small food cupboard or one shelf of a large food cupboard
- One drawer of freezer
- Mugs & cups
- Baking ingredients
- Cooking utensils – bowls, jugs, spoons, whisks etc
- Cooking pans
- Plastic storage stubs
- Around the bath
- Under bathroom sink
- Towel cupboard
- Cleaning stuff
- First aid kit
- Bath toys
3. Paper & Stationary
- One small file – OK pile! – of paper
- Box of photos
- Pots of pens, felt tips, crayons & pencils
- Tiny stationary – paper clips, safety pins
4. Books, Films & Music
- Recipe books
- Travel guides
- Children’s fiction
- Children’s non-fiction
- ONE book shelf
- A pile of DVDs
- A pile of CDs
- Sock draw
- Make up bag
- Pillow slips
- Duvet covers
- Duvets – don’t drag them all out, just make a quick inventory
- Bedside table
6. Outdoors Clothes & Shoes
- Hats, scarves & gloves
- Rain boots and wellingtons
- Shoe polish stuff
- Swim stuff
- Christmas decorations
- Party decorations
- Sewing stuff – fabrics & ribbons
- Sewing stuff – needles, pins & other small things
- Kids crafts materials – paint, glue, beads, felt etc
8. Toys & Games
- One shelf or small basket of toys
- Family games
- A pile of jigsaws
- Colouring & sticker books
- Buckets & spades
- Bats & balls
9. Shed & Garage
- Garden tools
- Plant pots
- Domestic tools – hammers, screw drivers
- Deck chairs, beach mats & sun umbrellas
10. Your Clothes
We all have so many issues around clothes – body shape, spending guilt, changing careers.
And with clothes so cheap now – it’s too easy to purge … and quickly after splurge to fill the gaps
I put a few things – I’m totally ready to let go of – in my charity bag every week.
But I held off on everything else till later
Like clothes, electronics is another area I would treat slightly differently.
If you’re like us you have random electronics scattered around your house!
You don’t even know what half of them do, for cripes sake.
You don’t know which ones work.
You don’t know where the discs and batteries are.
And letting go of them can involve painful conversations you’d rather not have.
So I put a plastic box next to my charity bag.
And any random little electronics spotted lurking round the house were dumped in the box.
You can then break down into these separate projects which need an hour each:
- Quick sort for any obvious stuff that can go the recycling centre
- Battery testing – get a cheap battery tester and go through and check
- USB drives and memory sticks – checking for important stuff, consolidating and deleting
Excellent post! Will be trying this on Sunday!