Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day:
• Clean out your car.
o During the week in between make a point to remove trash from your car and empty the car of anything that doesn’t belong in your car.
o Today take a damp cloth with you and wipe fingerprints, and sticky stuff off the surfaces.
o What’s in your trunk? I carry bags in a tote for stores including thermal bags. Use care. These bags can become carriers for salmonella.
• Clean out your purse, diaper bag, computer bag, or tote.
o When you finish a project, don’t leave your tote full of papers and supplies for that project. If you need/want to keep the papers for future similar projects, put the papers in a file, label, and file it. Put any supplies and the tote back into your stashes for those items in your home.
• Vacuum the TRAFFIC areas in your home. Except for your Area of Focus, this is simply a quick vacuuming for the areas of your home.
In your Area of Focus—The Entry and Dining Room—thoroughly vacuum the areas. Vacuum over, under, around and behind.
Today or Tomorrow will be your final day in this Area of Focus. What needs to be quickly done to finish up in those areas. On Monday we will be in your bathrooms for the last three days of the month. (29th to 31st). Plan to give those areas some extra special attention.
Today I am including information on Decluttering 101—Decluttering Basics. This is not an exhaustive look at decluttering. There are many types of declutter that are hard to let go of—items of value you don’t use, items that have emotional value, family value, or financial value. The problem with clutter is much of it has value. We need to see that the quality of our lives and space have value, too. Clutter may have value but if it keeps you and your family from living a better life—it needs to go. So get ready, get set, go!
How to Declutter
One of the mistakes we commonly make when we declutter is dragging out the contents of every drawer, closet, nook and cranny. Concentrate on one small area at a time.
Before you start to declutter make sure you are showered, dressed, and have your normal daily tasks completed.
Prepare four boxes, crates, bags or containers. I like three bins and a basket.
Label them PUT AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and THROW AWAY. The basket is for RETURNS.
Set a timer for the amount of time you have decided to declutter each day (5, 10, 15, 30 45 or 60 minutes)
Start near your regular point of entry into you home. Work around each room dealing with each object as you reach it.
It doesn’t matter which direction you work in, you decide.
Decide whether an item is where it needs to be or if it needs to be given away, thrown away or put away somewhere else.
Do not leave the room to put items away in a different room. You will be distracted.
When the timer goes off put the items to give away in your car trunk to take to your favorite charity, or someone who needs them. Do not bless people with clutter they do not need, please.
Put the trash in the trash receptacle.
Put items from the PUT AWAY container where they belong. Do not attempt to declutter areas you have not reached yet. That area will have its day.
Be focused and do not allow yourself to be distracted. Work intently and quickly during your decluttering time.
Do not take out more than you can put away in a few minutes.
The kitchen is one of the most challenging rooms. Save the kitchen for last.
Remember the purpose of each room and what happens in that room. (Bill paying, reading, sleeping, eating, playing, viewing television, etc.) Remove anything from a room that is not related to purpose but remember beauty and whimsy are purposeful. They feed your soul.
Do not go out and purchase organizers until you have decluttered and know what you need. Organizers can become clutter.
Store items closest to their place of use. If you don’t, these items will migrate and settle into the areas where they are used.
Finish one room before you move into the next.
Make note of the place where you stop each day.
When I am finished decluttering a flat surface, I like to place something pretty or interesting on it. If surfaces look attractive people are less likely to put junk on it.