Do you have a drawer or two or ten in which you stuff all your I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-that papers? Is your closet overflowing with sweaters that are too small, too old, too big, too stained? Shoes that need to be polished? A basket full of unmatched socks? Do you have a room where you hide all your messes? A dining room table covered with unopened mail and things that ought to be put away? Bills that are piled up and unorganized? A mudroom full of coats? A dish (or two or five) with spare change and mini-erasers and throat lozenges and paper clips? A basement that you are afraid to step into?
Been there, done that.
Got ten minutes? Just start.
If you are nervous about taking up too much time, set an alarm on your smart phone for ten minutes from now, or use this free program (www.marinaratime.com) to keep you on track. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in ten minutes if you set your mind to it.
STEP ONE: Grab a piece of paper (or notes on your phone), and take a walk through your house, room by room, and noticing and making a list of the tasks that are necessary in order to clear the clutter.
STEP TWO: Pick just one room–maybe the one you are in most of the time. In your planner (or on a piece of paper), write down what you can realistically do this week, and the one after, and the one after until all the tasks have been assigned to a week. Decide how much time you will give to each task every week and when the time runs out, you are free to be done for that week. When you are done with room #1, start on the next one. And then the next one.
Here is a start for you: Your closet!
- If you and your husband have separate closets, start with yours. Gather all the clothes and shoes you are never going to wear again–if you have not worn something for 12 months, there is a good chance you never will wear it again. Make three piles: throw out, donate and sell. Throw out right away, decide who you will donate to and make plans to do it, google consignment shops in your area for what you plan to sell and drop it off, or sell it on Ebay* (Ebay is great for any name brand clothing).
- Pile up what needs to be mended. Do it, or give it to someone who can do it for you.
- Wash what needs to be washed. If at all possible, do it yourself instead of going to the dry cleaner. Put away the money you would have spent.
- Go through your pockets and empty them. Put loose change in designated jar.
- Then go on with your husband’s closet, and your kids’ closet. And the chests of drawers. You get the idea. Don’t get frustrated if the job seems endless. It is absolutely attainable, ten minutes at a time.
And you are welcome to join my closed facebook group where we dig in deep and find the joy of reclaiming our finances and time.