I found this at SAHMmy’s blog and she said I could pass it on. These are some really great tips so read on!
Want to celebrate a Happy Halloween in a clutter free home? Want that home to be yours? It’s October 1–you have 31 days to accomplish your goal. The plan works off the premise that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. Follow these 10 tips, one each day, for the first ten days. Practice and maintain them for the next 21, and you’ve got yourself a clean house. Some may seem a little strange, but if what you’re doing now isn’t working, give ’em a try! Anything you already do means you’re that much closer to success.
- Find a place for your keys. A place where you will put them each and every time you enter your home. A place where you will always find them when you leave your home. (2 seconds.) Bonus: start putting your keys in the same spot in your purse when you’re out.
- Bring a bag in, take a bag out. Just got home from Target? After putting away your loot, take 5 minutes to fill one empty bag with trash you find around the house. Take 5 minutes more and open a closet; fill one empty bag with items to donate. Dump the trash bag into your larger kitchen trashcan, or run it outside to the big can. Write “Donation” on the (duh) donation bag with a marker; stash it in the garage. (11 minutes.) Bonus: put the donation bag in your trunk to be tossed into the drivethru window at Goodwill next time you’re out.
- Don’t overeat. I warned you some of these are weird! Eat just until satisfied. You’ll be able to go directly from the table to the kitchen to do the dishes without needing to sack out on the couch for an hour due to indigestion. Where the kitchen goes, the rest of the home will follow. (15 minutes.) Bonus: dry and put away all pans; get the coffee ready for the next morning–you’ll need it to fulfill tip #4.
- Set your alarm to Painfully Early. Get up and get showered before the kiddos wake up. Even if you have a 5:30 earlybird. Cuddle with said earlybird, or if you’re blessed with sleepyheads, blog until they wake. [10 minutes (to shower, not to blog!)] Bonus: put on makeup and do your hair; enjoy sleepy smiles and “Mommy, youw bwootifuw” compliments.
- Visit your money. Keep your regular bill pay day but take 5 minutes each day to check account balances, count your cash, note your purchases. Anything that causes you to make a real connection to the money you have–or don’t, as the case may be. (5 minutes.) Bonus: commit to a no-spend day once a week.
- View your stuff with a stranger’s eye. Are your collections really clutter? You may have become inured to your antique hat collection, dusting and fussing every so often, but generally forgetting it’s there. Open your eyes and ask yourself, “Self, what does this prominent display of antique hats reveal about me?” You may be keeping items out because they’re a reminder of better times, bargain triumphs, past interests. Remove those hats from your living room wall; store them in a bin in the garage for dressup fun, or better yet, unload the lot on some other clutterbug via Craigslist. (5 minutes to remove, 5 minutes to scrub their dusty outline off the wall, 5 minutes to post on Craigslist, 12 minutes to drive from your home to Starbucks, hand off the clutter, grab the cash, order a latte, and drive back home.) Look around your home with a stranger’s eye every day and weed out clutter. Bonus: use the money to fund your next vacation instead of buying more stuff. Just take it easy on the souvenirs.
- Sentimental crap is still crap, just dressed up with an emotional tie. Is nostalgia keeping you chained to clutter? Let it go. God gave you a memory; do you really need physical evidence of every experience? Take a moment each day to reflect on an object, enjoy the memories it elicits…then mercilessly throw it out. For those new to decluttering, write about it in your journal or snap a pic to make the ousting easier. (1 minute to decide: should it stay or can it go?) Bonus: lead your kiddos by example.
- Less is more. Do you really need 12 sippy cups? 34 bottles of nail polish? 12 boxes of pens? We own exactly two sippy cups: one for juice and water; one for milk. I threw the rest out when I realized that having more than enough allowed for cups rolling under the bed, left in the car, lost in the store. Pare items down to the minimum necessary to survival. You’ll keep better track and take better care of the few items you have when you know there’s not a backup. (5 minutes to whittle it down.) Bonus: buy one ridiculously expensive lipstick in a shade that makes your teeth look whiter and flatters your complexion. Throw the rest out.
- FIFO: Full hands In, Full hands Out. This is the trick restaurants use to keep their busy establishments clean and clutter free. Don’t take a step without grabbing something to return to its proper place. See more details at Clean Like a Restaurant. (10 seconds.) Bonus: repeat this mantra until it sticks: If I don’t pick it up, no one else will.
- Offer up a prayer of Thanksgiving. Have a thankful heart for your possessions. Strive to become a good steward of what you have been given. Things are just that–things. People are more important. Have respect for your belongings, and for your family. Your home is a refuge from the world. With that outlook, repelling clutter will become second nature. (1 minute to pray, as often as it takes.) Bonus: read Jesus’ Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30.
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