30 Minutes or less Decluttering challenge

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Everyone would love their home to be spotlessly organized.  You all know the homes I am talking about, the pictures of the perfectly organized houses that look like an advertisement for the "Container Store" or a photo-shoot for a magazine.  I am like the rest of you, I look at those pictures and get insanely jealous, wondering what I am doing wrong in my life. I must say some of those photos are beautiful, a house to die for,  and when I look at those perfectly organized closets, it makes me feel super inadequate.  How can some of these women have 3-4 kids, a job, a full time blog, yet their homes look like the Queen of England, can pop in at a moment's notice and nothing would be out of place? Am I the only person that has the tops to the Rubbermaid containers fly out at me when I open a cabinet?

I will be the first to tell you, I have great intentions of decluttering my life!  No, really I do, except I am the queen of being side-tracked.  I have a little problem called Attention Deficit Disorder, nothing new, it's been an issue in my life since I was a child.  Now living with A.D.D. is like a double-edged sword.  In order to get through my day, I need to be organized or things can quickly spiral out of control pile up, but in order to be organized you need to focus not start tasks and then quit in the middle.   It's definitely a problem, but by no means am I using it as an excuse.  I do have some perfectly organized areas in my house, and others not so much.

 I am one of those individuals who begins cleaning a kitchen cabinet with great intentions, I pull everything out of the cabinet and then go to put something away in a draw and BAM right in the middle of cleaning the cabinet, I begin cleaning out the draw.  See, I go from one project to the next, without finishing the first task.  In a matter of an hour, I can tear my whole kitchen apart - and then I look at the disaster I have created and BOOM I shut down.  I get overwhelmed and bored quickly.  So for me, I need to break things down into realistic mini tasks.  This way I feel accomplished empowered, that I actually finished something quickly!

So why don't you join me in completing some mini tasks each day.  We can all find 30 minutes a day in our busy lives.  Put on some music and together we can declutter all that junk in our lives one day at a time.

What are some areas of your home that you would like to declutter?  What are the major trouble areas of your home?  Maybe together we can all find a quick way to break down those taunting tasks.

Baby steps friends.....baby steps :-)

Head over to my  Facebook Page and add your before and after photos - we promise this is a "no judgement zone."

Day 1
Here is your first task....yup get on your computer, tablet, phone, whatever device you use and clean out those in-boxes.  I get a ton of useless email a day, that adds up really quickly.
Now, I have a few accounts, one for work, one for my personal life, one for my blog & business, and then one account I keep specifically when I sign up for something online.  This is the one that gets loaded with all the "junk" emails.  While you are decluttering your in-box, make sure you unsubscribe from those annoying emails.  Some companies send out 1-2 emails a day!  Why do they think sending out so many emails a day will entice me to buy something?  It has the opposite affect on me --ugh!

Day 2
Today let's see what's lurking in the depths of the refrigerator.  Take 30 minutes to toss anything that has expired.  Wipe down the shelves, then head on over to the freezer and do the same.

Helpful Hint:  Grab some shelf liner from the Dollar Store, the kind that is very flexible.  Just cut down to fit the shelves, what a time save when something spills in the frig.  You can check out my older post here to see how I added the shelf liner

Day 3
We all have that dreaded junk drawer (or two or three), you know the one in the kitchen where everything winds up.  Take some time today and empty it out.  Wipe the inside of the drawer down.  If something doesn't belong in the drawer,  find it a home.  Toss out anything you don't need or if you're like me what it belongs to.  I have a habit of throwing in pieces to something that are broken or belong to something else,  and then I can't for the life of me remember what it belongs to.

Day 4
Take some time today and go through you medicine cabinet, box, closet, or wherever it is that you keep you medicine and vitamins.  Take a look and see what has expired. Dispose of unused and and expired medicines properly.  This would be a good time to look over your inventory and replenish any cold meds for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.  Better to be prepared and have the items on hand, than having to run to the store when you or the children are not feeling well.  I know as the new school year starts, I always come down with a huge nasty cold.  It's better to prepare in advance.

Day 5
Today's challenge is the linen closet.  Take 30 minutes and organize the closet. Wipe down the shelves, get rid of worn linen and towels.  You can donate old bedding and towels to your local dog shelter, a nice way to give back.

Day 6
Today's challenge is your entertainment center or whatever space you hold your music Cds, Dvds, or game system.  After years of a losing battle with this entertainment system, I finally took all the Cds out of their boxes, bought plastic sleeves and organized them alphabetically.  I did the same for my movies as well.  The amount of space you gain is amazing, not to mention how quickly you can find something when you're looking for it.  You can see my original post here.  I do need to laminate my dividers, but I save that for a snowy winter day!

Day 7
Today's challenge is to organize your paperwork.  We all have that one hidden pile stashed away.  I guess if we don't see it, it's not really there right?  You know the pile I'm talking about.  The one that gets shoved into a bag and then stuffed in a closet somewhere when someone is coming over to your house.

Your Task:  Make 4 piles, to file, to do, to trash and to shred.  Quickly look at each piece of paper and put it in one of those 4 piles.  Put the "to-do" into a file folder and work on it later on.  The shred and trash piles will be the easiest, don't shred as you go, because it will take too much time.  Leave it in one pile and then shred after you take care of the other three piles.  The last one is "to file" pile.  Grab you pile and group "like" (bills from the same company) things that will be filed together.  Make this a quick and painless as possible.

Happy Weekend Everyone - we had a few days off from organizing (actually I was on vacation) - went to Long Island, visited with some friends, went to the Hampton's and Montauk Point with my daughter.  We had a wonderful time.  On the way home we saw a billboard for "The Container Store" and I've never had the chance to go to one,  so my daughter  yells "YOLO" (you only live once) so let's go!  We put the directions into the GPS and off we went!  I have to tell you I was in heaven in that store.

Enjoy the rest of Sunday - tomorrow I will begin with Day 8 of the organizing challenge :-)

Day 8
Today's challenge is to clean out that coat closet or entryway closet.  Now is the time to throw anything that needs to be cleaned (mittens. scarves, etc.) into the washer.  Take any coats to the dry cleaners, and check to see if anything needs mending (missing buttons, etc.)

Go through the boots and shoes in the closet as well.  Have your children outgrown their boots and coats?  Remember to donate anything that no longer fits.  After this mini project is done, you will be ready for the winter weather that seems to always catch us off guard.  There's nothing more frustrating than digging around looking for missing mittens and stuff when you are in the morning rush.  Be prepared :-)

Day 9
Organzier your dresser.  Go through and toss or donate items that you no longer wear.  Make sure all your socks have a mate, if not toss them!  You would be surprised to find out how much stuff we actually accumulate in our dresser drawers.

Dresser Clipart Courtesy of www.furnitureclipart.com

Day 10
Clean out underneath your sink.  It could be the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or if you have time both sinks.  Clean out products you no longer use.  If you keep your garbage can under the sink (as I do) scrub down the can.  Combine products - I am guilty of this - I have many duplicates such as glass clean that may be half full each, I combine them and get rid of one bottle :)  

If you have products that you purchased such as shampoo or other incidentals that you haven't used and may never use, see if you can donate them to a local shelter.  These could be items like toothbrushes or dental floss that you get when you go to the dentist that you haven't used.  You get to clean out your cabinet and help someone in the mean time, it's a win - win situation.  

Day 11
Clean out your nail polish.  Today is an easy challenge, grab that box where you keep all of your nail polish and go through it.  Toss anything that is no longer useable.  This is a quick challenge, which may free up some time to get caught up on other challenges.

Day 12
Purge old make-up.

Time to go through your make-up.  Get rid of anything that you don’t use, that is too old, or out of style.  Most make-up has a short shelf live.  Masacara is only good for 3 months, so make sure you toss the outdated ones. 

Day 13

Happy Monday!  As you can tell I skip Sunday's from the challenge - so here we are again.  

Organize the car.  Sometimes I feel like I live in my car.  Stuff can accumulate rather quickly.  I am so guilty of this.  If I need to run an errand and the mailman comes by, I will grab the mail (especially junk mail) on my way out and toss it into the car.  I guess I am too lazy to go and walk it back into the house.  I have found that by keeping empty store bags stashed in the car getting rid of trash is much easier.  If I stop to get gas or anywhere else that has a trash can, I just grab the bag and toss it, this is especially great when traveling.  I also use a car organizer to help contain things; such as paper towels, glass cleaner, blankets (in winter)  window wash, canvas bags when shopping, etc.  Having an organizer is great especially when you need to take that stuff out if you need to load your car for a big item.  

Day 14

Today's challenge is to clean out your nightstand.  If you have 2 better yet to clean them both.  Nice and quick job today!

Day 15
Super easy challenge today - go through all those old magazines you have lying around the house.  If you've been saving them for an article, take out the article, put in a folder to read at another time.    Get rid of any catalogs while you're at it!

Day 16
Clean out your baking cabinet.

Fall is rapidly approaching.  It will be time for apple and pumpkin pies.  Take 30 minutes and clean out your baking cabinet, the one will all the supplies.  A few years ago, I went on an organization kick and purchased some plastic shoe boxes.  In my cabinet I have sprinkles, extracts, etc.  My easier to grab a shoebox then knock out half the cabinet every time I reach my arm in.  It has worked out great.