Monday, September 12, 2011

Declutter Day 1: Set a Daily Goal

Having a goal is the key to success, and I've heard that if you don't write a goal down, it doesn't count! Here's my daily goal for decluttering my house this week:

Declutter one bag's worth and for 15 minutes.

I"m allowing myself quite a bit of flexibility here, because I need to make it easy to succeed, or I will easily get discouraged and fall off the bandwagon. I know myself. But I also need to demand something of myself for the same reason--it's easy for me to fool myself that I'm making progress when all I'm really doing is shuffling papers.

The article refers to purging, but I'm not limiting myself to just stuff I throw away--I'm counting putting stuff away properly, and using some of the allotted time to establish "a place for everything" is completely allowable. I have plenty of things lying around making a mess, but that I legitimately need or want, but I can't use it in the shape it's in, or can't get to it, or just can't find it. Of course, I have plenty of stuff to throw away, too. Either one will do.

"One bag" is loosely defined. It can be a box, or a garbage bag, or my purse that need cleaning out. Usually I mean a grocery bag's worth of stuff--if you have ever gathered a grocery bag's worth of sundries and tried to put it away, you know that it has the potential to take every bit of 15 minutes and then some. Of course, it doesn't have to. One of my decluttering tricks is to use my time to collect like items from around the room, so putting them away is a simple minute. I will sometimes choose to clear a space of all the little things that have collected there, but it does take a while to go through the house putting everything in its home.

Sometimes knocking that one bag out is a cinch, and I have maybe ten minutes left of my time. For example, I recently left out a big pile of fabric that will easily clear two bags' worth as well as a good-sized corner of the room. In cases like this, that time is a bonus I don't want to waste--I will take this time to just grab whatever's low-hanging fruit and declutter it without having to keep track of it for my quota.

And (being flexible) if I get pressed for time, I don't have to feel guilty for turning away from the task. My challenge is to do both; but if I achieve either my time or my quantity, that's good enough.

Have you set a daily goal to clear your clutter? What is it?

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