Conquer Your Clutter

Spring brings with it such an inner drive to clear out and renew ourselves and our HOMES!!  It is so exciting!  You wake up, label a few boxes with “keep”, “donate” and “recycle”, push play on your favorite playlist and you are ready to get busy….but, HOW do you start?!?

  1.  Don’t get overwhelmed!  Pick 1 area to focus on and start small:  a bathroom drawer, a kitchen cabinet or even a closet shelf.  When you start small you build confidence and a sense of accomplishment that helps you take on the bigger projects.
  2. It is always best to work in 3-4 hour chunks of time.  Having a set window of time helps you maintain focus and motivation.  Set a timer to remind you that when time is up you need to stop and take a break.  Reward yourself with a nice spring afternoon walk!   
  3. Be prepared for the attack with the following:  bags, boxes, marker, pen, paper towels and cleaning products. 
  4. When deciding what stays or goes ask yourself:
    1. Have I used this in the past year?  Will I use it in the next year?
    2. Is this a duplicate? 
    3. Is it broken?  If so, is it worth fixing?
    4. Does it belong somewhere else?
    5. Do I love it?
    6. Place that item in the labeled box or bag it corresponds to (keep, recycle, donate, repair, return to original location, maybe).  Here is where you see some progress…purposeful piles!!
    7. Once your space is nice and empty, you distribute the piles of goodies to where they belong (donation and repair items should go to your car, so you can have them ready for when you run errands). 
    8. Store your maybe pile in the attic or garage and revisit in 6 months to make a final decision.
    9. And now you are headed for the finish line!  Clean your beautiful, empty area and put away what stays.
    10. Wasn’t that easy!  Take a sigh of relief; and, before you know it your whole house will be nice and FREE of CLUTTER! 

Last little tip:  To prevent the clutter from creeping back, make sure that everything you buy has a designated location in your house.

Chore Chart
Daily Load and unload dishwasher
  Microwave your sponge for 30 seconds to kill germs          
  Wipe down countertops and stove
  Move newspapers and magazines to recycle area
  Put toys and games away
  Return clothes to closets and throw dirty clothes in hampers
  Make the beds
  Clean cat litter box
  Sort through mail
Weekly Pay bills and file paperwork
  Drop-off/pick-up dry cleaning
  Vacuum rugs and mop floors
  Clean all kitchen surfaces and appliances
  Empty wastebaskets
  Clean bathrooms
  Wash bed linens
  Take out trash and recycling
  Buy groceries
  Sanitize cat litter boxes
  Wash and sort laundry
Monthly Dust blinds
  Clean windows (One or two each month)
  Clean mirrors
  Disinfect trash containers
  Clean the refrigerator inside and out
Quarterly Dust the ceiling fan blades
  Replace air filters in central AC
  Replace water filters on tap and coffee makers
  Purge magazines and periodicals that are no longer relevant
  Declutter cabinets and closets
  Drop-off items to charity
Source:  How to Organize (just about) Everything by Peter Walsh


How to Stay Tidy in 15 Minutes Each Day
Monday Put away books, games, CD’s and DVD’s
  Sweep, mop or vacuum the kitchen floor
Tuesday Take newspapers, magazines and catalogs to recycle bins
  Check the supply of toilet paper and paper towels
Wednesday Pick up stray clutter and put back where it belongs
  Dust all flat surfaces in living area
  Clean all mirrors and glass tops
Thursday Clear the clutter from dresser tops and put items away
  Put away books, games, CD’s and DVD’s
  Vacuum all carpeted areas of the house
Friday Pick up stray clutter and put back where it belongs
  Sweep, mop or vacuum the kitchen floor
Saturday and Sunday Return shoes to the closet
  Return stray clothes to laundry room or bedrooms
  Clean the bathroom sinks and toilets
  Vacuum the main entry areas and halls

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