Twenty minutes a day is all it takes
Hey, girlfriend. I am so excited to talk some more about clutter. I am not Marie Kondo-level clapping and exclaiming “I love mess” because truly, that’s not my jam.
I don’t love mess. Do I have mess? Yeah, but once it hits my tipping point, I deal with it.
But I don’t really love that it exists, and I don’t even like dealing with it, if I’m truthful. However, I do have a number of tactics I can and do use to deal with tidying and decluttering.
What I like to do is provide concrete tips on how to declutter your space, because when you reduce clutter, you increase space for positive energy to circulate.
It’s about clearing clutter from your space, which lowers your stress levels. And that makes it easier for you to relax in general.
Decluttering lifts weight out of your house, and some people have found that it makes it easier for them to get rid of some of the weight they’ve been carrying physically. I think it’s because when you can see everything you have, and not have to dig through drawers and closets that are a mess, you feel less unhappy and stressed-out about things.
Here’s one of those useful tips I mentioned.
First: Get yourself a timer.
It could be the one on your cell phone, a kitchen timer, or the one on your microwave. Set your timer for 20 minutes.
Yes, that’s all. And yes, that can feel like a lot.
Oddly, 15 minutes isn’t quite enough—it can leave you too rushed. Thirty minutes, on the other hand, can feel like too much of a time commitment to do on a daily basis. After playing around with different time periods, I found that 20 minutes is pretty much the sweet stuff.
And hey—20 minutes is all the time you are going to devote to decluttering today. Then you can be done until tomorrow. You can give yourself 20 minutes, right? I thought so.
Next: Pick one room to work on.
Pick one thing in that room. Pick one part of that thing. Then press start on that timer and get to work.
Here’s how it works:
Say you have decided to work on your dresser.
Start with the top.
Throw out any trash. Chuck any dirty laundry into the hamper (or your laundry basket—whatever it is you use).
Put any stuff that goes someplace else in one spot. So if you have a cup that belongs in the kitchen and another item that belongs in the living room, set them together somewhere to return them where they go later.
If something on the top of the dresser is supposed to live inside one of its drawers, chuck it in the drawer for now. You will get to that drawer later if you still have time left on the timer, or you will get to it in your next session.
Clear the whole top of the dresser off, dust it, and put the things that are supposed to live on top of it back.
Take any stuff that you set aside to wherever it lives (cups or glasses to the kitchen, dental floss to the bathroom, stuff that belongs to other people to their spaces, etc.).
Check your timer. If you only have a minute or so left, high five yourself and quit early. If you still have five minutes or more, move to the next space, which could be a drawer in that dresser or it could be a nightstand or other piece in the room. Get as far as you can with it until the timer goes off, and then you can be done for the day.
If your goal is tidying, you may want to stick to the outsides of all the furniture in your bedroom (or whatever room you may be in), and in addressing any piles of stuff you night have in your space. If your goal is decluttering, you may want to focus on one drawer or shelf at a time in each piece of furniture, in addition to moving around a given room.
It is fine if you drag yourself through the process. If you want to sprint through it to see how much you can get done, that’s also fine. You do you!
If you want to add a bonus session now and then, that’s great—finish the thing you’re in the middle of if you want, or push play for another 20 minutes on the timer.
If you can’t bring yourself to do anything extra, that’s 100% cool. Your 20 minutes is a big gift to yourself.
If you feel stoked one day and miserable about it the next, that is okay. It’s even normal. But if you spend 20 minutes a day, you will see amazing progress in just a week’s time (which adds up to 2 hours and 20 minutes, in case you were curious).
The Declutter Course
The Declutter Course and The Declutter Course PLUS are about decluttering, about uncovering who you are and what you want to do, and about coaching you along the way. Find out more HERE.