Make-a-change Monday~The Fifteen-Minute Clutter Cleanup


Are you a pack rat? 
I am desperately trying to simplify my life. Learning NOT to be a pack rat is one major change I’m making, and it is not easy. 
For years I’ve read books on decorating, organizing, saving, displaying, etc. and there have been times I’ve spent more effort on moving around the “stuff” in my life than probably anything else. It’s ridiculous. It’s STUFF! 
So today’s “make a change” is short and sweet, and I’m working hard on this one myself. 
Choose one small space and spend 15 minutes cleaning out the clutter. You might choose one of these:

   Your toothbrush drawer
   The hot spot in the kitchen where everyone dumps things as they walk in the house
   Your underwear drawer
   A child’s toy box
   Your nightstand
Now, as you go through items and deliberate what to do with them, ask yourself these questions:

   Has it been a year since you last used/wore it?
   Is it too big or small, or out of date? (Think of clothes and techy gadgets here)
   Could it be easily replaced?
   Do you spend more time moving it out of the way to get to something else than you do actually using it?
   Do you have something similar that serves the same purpose? 

If you answered “yes” to those questions, let it go. 
Now if you’re like me, you’ll feel guilty about throwing these treasures away, so you end up spending even more time figuring out what to do with them. I’ve come up with a fairly easy solution that is working well for me. 
I went to TJ Maxx and bought some of their large, reusable shopping bags (only 99 cents and really cute) and I put two of them in each of the kid’s closets, my closet, and the laundry room. For each set of bags, one is for Good Will and the other is for consignment. 
Each time I do my fifteen-minute clutter cleanup, I have bags ready to deposit the items. When a bag is full, I take it to its destination, and then put my empty bag back in its place to fill again. 
   No huge mess to “clean up” once I’ve “cleaned out” because I never do anything that takes more than 15 minutes. 
   No truck full of stuff to ask my hubby to get rid of when he comes home from work. 
   No procrastinating or dread of the huge clean out project looming over my head.
Just 15 minutes. Once a day, twice a week, whatever you can do. You won’t miss that small chunk of time, and a year from now, you’ll have lots of clean spots in our houses! 
The really cool thing is, once we can spend less time on this earthly “stuff” we accumulate so easily, we can spend more time on laying up our treasures in Heaven! (If you’re not sure exactly what those are, stay tuned. I’ll have a post on that one next Monday.)
Go do your 15-minute clutter cleanup now! 
From my heart, 
Celeste
P.S. Once you start this process, you will automatically think before you buy more “stuff.” Once you get the space clean, you won’t want to clutter it up again. 
P.P.S. For those of us who are really hardheaded, those hot spots may have to be cleaned up more than once.
P.P.P.S. A prayer over a husband and children may also be required if they are the clutter bugs! 

If you want lots of cleaning and organizing tips that make life easy, check out The FlyLady. I found her several years ago after reading her book, Sink Reflections, which is full of great tips to help you make those changes that stick!

If you want someone to walk you through a few weeks, my friend Tsh over at Simple Mom is doing Project Simplify for Spring. She has an easy plan she’ll walk you through!

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