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Sunday, June 6, 2010

How to cut the clutter

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the clutter that takes over our homes! No matter what your family dynamics are I am sure there is a little clutter at least every once in a while. Your natural instincts are most likely to clear it all at one time, and if you are anything like me you tend to put it off because you know you do not have time to get it all done at once. I stopped that automatic thought process a few years ago, and I want to share with you how I did it.

To start I simply picked one room in my house, the room that needed the most attention. I set aside 15 minutes each and every day to spend decluttering that room. Even if that meant spending 5 minutes at a time for 3 sessions that day I made the time to make it happen.

Once I picked the room I found just once surface to work on at a time. If you try to focus on "Kitchen counters" it may be too much for the time allotted.

In the example of a kitchen, I may have chosen one small section of counter to the left of the stove. Once I finished it I moved onto the section to the right of the stove. Next I started on the section of counter to the right of the sink.

When it came to the cabinets I focused on only one cabinet at a time, and I worked one shelf at a time. DON'T empty out the whole cabinet. If you run out of time you don't want the contents of your cabinet sitting out on the kitchen table or counter tops. It will be more visual clutter and may leave you feeling defeated.

I'm going to share a few photos of my kitchen today. It is not nearly as cluttered as it were when I began the process of decluttering years ago. This photo just shows our surface clutter from the weeknd since we worked a lot outside and didn't maintain our spaces very well. Even with only 15 minutes (I set the stove timer) I was able to clear all the countertops, the breakfast table, the stove top, and pick up a few items on the floor.
You'll notice I skipped over that sink of dishes. That is because it's on my daily checklist, and I already have time set out for those later, and also-I think it's the oldest turn to do dishes today ;)

My kitchen looked like this when I started:
This is after just 15 minutes of decluttering
I started with the counter to the left of the stove:

 Then I moved onto the stove top. Notice I didn't deep clean it. Just a quick declutter and wipe down.

Next I did the corner section of counter.

Then I skipped over to the counter to the right of the sink.

I moved over to the right corner counter next...

Lastly I moved onto the breakfast table.

  Okay, so my kitchen is certainly not company worthy right now, but it is good enough for me to justify going back outside to work on the patio project and I now have some space cleared to prepare lunch in an hour. I hope this blog helps you to break down the daunting task of decluttering into manageable bites so that you can start to get a handle on your clutter. As you can see by my photos, this will not happen overnight, but if you dedicate 15 minutes a day on top of your daily checklists and zone work you will be in tip-top shape in no time!

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