the spring cleaning hustle extravaganza jubilee

This is part of my Spring Cleaning series that runs on Wednesdays through the end of Spring. In this series, we’ll explore the things that clutter our lives (especially, mental and emotional clutter) and how to let it go.

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Spring is rushing by at the speed of light. Are you keeping up?

I’m not. The last month has been filled with a lot of travel, the Mom 2.0 Summit, speed coaching at a career event, and a whole bunch of I don’t remember.

All that travel, networking, and face-time took a lot out of my introverted-HSP self so after recovering and plenty of rest, I’m just now getting back to “normal life” (is there such a thing?).

And now that I’m home and I’m awake, I notice that the little bits of clutter around the house have grown, reproduced, and been super-sized while I wasn’t looking.

When the clutter gets this bad (seriously, my computer monitor hovers over a mountain range of papers), it can feel overwhelming. And I have those days when I just want to close the office door and go sit on the deck (which needs sweeping but at least isn’t overtaken with boxes, magazines, and stuff).

The reason clutter can feel so overwhelming is we often see it as one big massive thing.
As in: I just don’t know where to start.
And: There’s just so much of it, it’ll take me forever to clean it up.
Or: Can’t I just move and leave it here?

I hear you. I definitely have those days when I’d rather lie on the sofa and watch Psych. But at some point, if what you want is an uncluttered home, you gotta do some uncluttering.

There’s just so much, where do I even start?

I’m a big believer in starting small… just take one tiny step and then another tiny step, and before you know it, you’re at the top of the mountain.

The Spring Cleaning Hustle Extravaganza Jubilee

It’s a decluttering party and you’re invited!

To be part of the party is simple, this weekend:

  1. Pick one thing or one small area, not a whole room or the whole house. Something so small it feels silly even calling it an area. Something like “the right side of my desk” or “dresses”, not “bedroom” or “office” or “garage” or even “clothes”.
  2. Set a timer for 30 minutes and dive into that area until the timer goes off.
  3. Take a break. Treat yourself to a few minutes in the spring sunshine. Do something fun.

And then, if you feel inspired, do it all again.

This is not a formula for perfection.

Let’s say you decide to declutter your hanging clothes. You set the timer, and then pull all of the hangers out and lay the clothes on your bed. You sort for 30 minutes, putting the keepers back in the closet, and setting the donations to the side. The timer goes off, and you have only gone through half of the clothes. What do you do?
A) Leave the clothes on the bed and use them as an extra layer of warmth when you go to sleep.
B) Throw your hands up and say “I’ll never get through it all!”
C) Set the timer for another 30 minutes and sort through some more clothes.
D) Pack up the donations pile to drop off at Goodwill, and return what’s left to the closet to be sorted when you have time on another day.

If you answered C or D, you get a cookie!

I’m going to repeat myself now: this is not a formula for perfection. Perfection is an all or nothing proposition, and if we strive for perfection, we never get started because it feels impossible.

This is a formula for gradual progress.

Enjoy the process. Celebrate the small victories (did you clear off half of your desk? Awesome! Your desk is way cleaner than it was 30 minutes ago, keep up the good work!)

Bonus: Create a 30-minute playlist and shake your groove thing while you bust some clutter.

I’ll be spending at least two 30-minute sessions in my office this weekend in hopes that I’ll find the surface of my desk again. What will you spend 30 minutes decluttering this weekend?

Photo Credit: Éole vi Flickr

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