Friday, May 29, 2015

My 20 Minute Clean up Plan

Hello there! I'm so excited for the weekend -- it's our first official weekend of summer (school's out!!) and this girl is going to a NKOTB concert. (I'm guessing it's my 10th?) Whoot! Summer days and acting like I'm 12 again…it doesn't get any better. 

I mentioned yesterday that I'm in a major declutter and decorating mode lately. I haven't wanted to touch a tool for the past few weeks (it happens at times) and I'm more in the mood to "nest" for the summer. 

It feels like the new year in some ways -- I just want to get the house working better before we're all home for the summer. I guess I feel like maybe if the clutter is under control I may be able to keep up better with all of us home all day? 

I've had so many little piles (I'm a piler) just sitting around lately, and addressing each one individually tends to overwhelm me. So this is my method: 

20 minute clean up

Dump it ALL in one spot. For some reason this big mess is more manageable for me than tons of little ones. It doesn't help that I get distracted easily -- this makes me address it pretty quickly. 

It helps that this is the view people see from the front door: 


Maybe next time I'll make the pile on the island instead. ;) 

Speaking of the island -- I used that for my next step. I LOVE timers when it comes to cleaning and decluttering. As I mentioned, I tend to get distracted easily (squirrel!) and the timer helps me to keep things moving along. 

I set it for 20 minutes and made piles on the island. I force myself to make a split second decision on the items when I pick them up -- if I don't know immediately where I want it to go, it goes in the I Don't Have a Clue Pile. 

I don't put anything away unless it's literally steps from the spot I'm piling on. I even made a trash pile so I wasn't running to the trash can for every little bit and wasting time: 

20 minute declutter plan

OK, I know that all looks like a trash pile, but bear with me. My piles were decor to be put away, trash, to-do pile, upstairs, basement, I know exactly where to put this stuff pile and the wonderful I have no clue pile. 

It seriously helps my brain that I have that last section. That's where I get hung up every time with clutter. 

After everything was in piles I took a quick mental break and then set the timer again -- this time I have to move a little faster. ;) I set it for 20 minutes and gave myself that long to put away as much as I possibly could. This part could also serve as your workout for the day. Ha! I got all but the annoying no clue pile done in that time, and then gave myself a few more minutes to just focus on that. 

I also made myself put things away -- no small projects allowed. That's another thing I'll get caught up on…I'll have something to organize or paint or hang and I'll start that little project and then the cleaning up gets conveniently pushed back. I'm no fool. :)

It took about 45 minutes -- maybe a little longer. But all those annoying little piles and bags of stuff that needed to be addressed were tackled and I can't tell you how great that feels!: 

bay window seat in kitchen

And I know, I know…if I just did this every day I wouldn't have to even have this little plan of attack. Some days I do. Some days it's just not in me. The end of the school year kicks my butt, for real.

Do you have a method for quick clean up of those annoying piles? That is if you pile like me? I love this way of doing it -- I think some would much rather address little sections at a time but I like to just get it all done in one fell swoop.

Have a great weekend!!

33 comments:

  1. That would drive me crazy. I was out of the house a lot last week and ended up with a basket of folded laundry to put away, a couple shirts that needed to get into the give-away basket in the laundry room, and a package that needs to be shipped back to LL Bean, all in my bedroom. Combine that with an unmade bed and I felt like I was one step away from an episode of Hoarders with a dead cat under it all.

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  2. You must live in or near Muchigan. NKOTB is playing here in auburn hills tonight!! I took my daughter to a NKOTB concert when she was 8 or 9. She's 33 now!!! LOL!!

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    1. I believe she's in the north suburbs of Indianapolis.

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  3. Ha! As a teacher, the end of the school year ALWAYS results in our home being a disaster area. My current plan is 20 minutes in every room with breaks in between (it is summer after all). I figure doing that for a couple of weeks will get me down to 30 minutes a day for the whole house. THEN I will treat myself to some DIY/decorating projects, which will result in more clutter & mess to deal with. Ahh, the circle of life.

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  4. I feel as though I could have written this exact post! I'm a pile maker. My boys are now done with school, so pile making and putting things away may begin:-)

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  5. I'm a piler as well. I tend to get frustrated, then throw everything on the kitchen counter to force myself to deal with it. After all, I can't prep dinner if the counter is covered in junk! I also have to send the kids away...it's much easier to deal with all the papers and projects when they aren't around to swear their undying love for each and every scrap they've brought home!

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  6. I love your approach, Sarah. I'm going to give this a try. Embracing the timer and sorting everything first, even the trash, sounds like a great way to keep me from getting sidetracked. Thanks!

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  7. I'm a piller too, Sarah! I have much easier time cleaning if I just focus on one task at a time versus the big picture.

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  8. I'm a piler too! At least we aren't alone :) We still have 2 more weeks of school here so I still have to get up and make lunches, etc. But for the fact my back is out, I'd be decluttering and beautifying in a big way. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. Using a laundry basket to go around my house and pick up everything that's in the wrong place has been a game changer for me.

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  10. I'm a piler as well. Everything typically ends up on my coffee table or on THE CHAIR in the bedroom. Everyone has THAT CHAIR.
    Have fun at NKOTB! I'm headed to see them June 10th in Washington DC!

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  11. Great tips! Have fun at the concert!

    Http://www.bluelabelsboutique.com

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  12. I do the laundry basket method too. I walk through each room and throw in everything that doesn't belong. Then I pull pieces out of the basket as I enter the correct room. I can get it done so quickly that way.

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  13. I am a piler too! I love your idea to make a big pile and then a bunch of little ones before putting things away. I have cleaning ADD and when I start putting one thing away, I see something in that room that needs cleaning and I get hung up on that and before I know it, I have forgotten all about all the little piles I was originally cleaning up.

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  14. Oh I am a big piler too!! I get distracted like you as well. I need to set a timer, I think. ;) I do sort into different piles. But then I end up all over the place, getting distracted by other things. LOL

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  15. The laundry basket routine has worked for me for the last twenty years. I also open my post over the rubbish bin and recycling bins. I toss the non essential, sort the remainder into action now, date to action and file. Most people have a file for bills and things that need to be done by a certain date I use an ancient accordion file. I put the post straight away so I no longer have piles of paper.

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  16. I have to stay organized or I literally can't find a thing. I have learned that my best strategy is to pick a cabinet or closet every few weeks and gut it...literally take everything out...if I haven't used it or needed it in the last 12 months, it goes. Everything gets organized and put back neatly. I just featured a little "makeover" I did on my kitchen drawers. I'm still walking in the kitchen and opening the drawers just to look at them...lol! I have discovered too that the "prettier" I make it, the more likely I am to keep it clean. I redid my laundry room 2 1/2 years ago and I still make sure the laundry stays put away to keep the room looking pretty ;)

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  17. The "I have no clue" pile is a fabulous idea!

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  18. My biggest issue is the I Have No Clue Pile! Will I need this? Will I wish I hadn't thrown it away? Will someone else need/want this? And where should I keep it in the meantime? I'm starting to tell myself my mothers old adage "if in doubt throw it out". She was referring to food in the fridge but it works with a lot of stuff. Love seeing the other side of your beautiful home. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. I tend to declutter to the point of throwing things away we need. My husband always teases me about it! I like your idea to put the clutter in one space (away from the floor) and to work on it there.

    Your house is absolutely lovely by the way. I love the colors you choose!

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  20. I do this same thing. I'll collect a whole box of misplaced items then put them all back where they go. It helps me a lot. I hate clutter, but it just happens.

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  21. I feel like I found a therapy group! I didn't realize I was a piler until I read this. It's my first weekend in a month where I'm actually home, so I've decided to catch up on some organizing and cleaning. But then I started looking around a felt a bit overwhelmed, so got on my computer instead. I think you just gave me my plan of attack! Thanks for that. I'll do one session today downstairs, and another session tomorrow upstairs.

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  22. I will admit to being a piler as well. But,...it's the easily distracted part that gets me every time!! That and the dreaded, "Now why did I come into this room????" Hopefully I can get some help/ideas from your post, as well as the helpful comments of your readers.

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  23. I feel your pain! Just like you, the hanging, painting, arranging, etc. totally distracts me from the job at hand. Sometimes I'm glad of this but it doesn't help the decluttering! Like the idea of using the timer, think I'll give that a go.

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  24. I'm a piler too. And I came to the realization recently that I like seeing the big transformation from a huge mess on the dining room table to a clean, clutter-free one and that's why I tend to not put things away as I finish them. If I put things away as I go, I don't get the big transformation moment. LOL! I use an app that has a 20/10 timer on it and I'll work for 20 and rest for 10 and back to work. I need to time my rest breaks too or I would do 20/300s. :)

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  25. This is pretty much how I handle all messes and even organizing the house. Everything else has to be complete clean and emptied out before I can contemplate the idea of putting things away! I do love that you time yourself. I'm really bad about drifting away to do something else for an hour or so before coming back!

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  26. Oh my gosh!!! This is exactly how I take care of the piles!! I thought I was the only one, it's nice to know I'm not alone!!

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  27. My home isn't as organized yet as I'd like it, so I've turned into a piler because not everything has a home! I love your method though. When my sister and I were little and shared a room, my mom would come in and through everything in a pile in the middle of the room so we were forced to put everything away and not just on random surfaces. Your little clean up plan is the exact same method! I need to incorporate that back into my life, because it really does work!

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  28. Congratulations to the site it is very nice to be more interactive and more originale.De it has a lot of content and links.

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  29. I learned some few but good things from your cleaning tips. It would be great for our annual spring cleaning. There's just too much clutter in our house so we clean it thoroughly every 3 months or so.

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  30. That's the way my house looks when I clean. I saw NKOTB a few weeks ago in NOLA for either the 8th or 9th time. Love them so much! Got a hug from Jordan!

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  31. I've been a piler all my life but don't get to organizing as quickly as I'd like. I tend to pile things on the floor and with the wet weather we've had and it getting warmer outside, those pesky spiders end up in my piles. Scare the heck out if me! Do you have some ideas on where/how to pile things up with limited counter space until I can get to it? Thanks and your home is beautiful.

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