Change your Life in just 10 Minutes at a Time
A drawer full of undies and you reach for the same favourite pair every time. A pot full of pens and you reach for the same pen every time. A shelf full of mugs, but every morning you reach for the same tall white mug your best friend gave you. One set of favourite sheets, one pair of favourite jeans, one eyeshadow I use every day. So, why do I hang onto so much stuff so that I can have choices?
Most of us admit that we have too much stuff and that some of the things we own are not adding value to our lives. In fact, excess usually slows us down and makes life more difficult.
· We waste time looking for things that are lost
· It takes longer to put things away in over-stuffed shelf space
· It’s harder to make simple decisions like what to wear, and what to cook for dinner?
· We are anxious about visitors dropping in, and when we have guests over it is a stressful whirlwind to prepare the house
· It's hard to clean with all this stuff everywhere
It's Time to Declutter
I usually look at my cluttered spaces with dread and put off tackling these disasters quietly festering in the dark corners of my home. But, I am always surprised when I actually get the donation box out and begin the process, just how quickly I can make a huge impact.
So, give yourself 10 mins in each of these areas of your home. You could set aside a day and do it all in one go, or you can space it out at your own pace. You’ll be amazed at just how much progress you can make in a short period of time.
A quick note to those who are scared of getting rid of too much stuff. There are a few tricks that can take the fear and anxiety out of the process.
· It's easier to find and care for the things you love when the excess is out of the picture.
· If you love it, keep it. No questions. If you have an object in your home and its only purpose is to remind you of a happy memory or person you love, keep the object and enjoy it. Remove all of the things around it so that it doesn’t get visually lost.
· Not sure about something? Box it up and put it away in an attic or garage for 3 months. If you don’t miss it, let it go. If you need it back, all good!
· Need a hand? Ask a friend over for a cuppa and ask them to help you out. You’ll get better with practice. Decluttering is a skill that you learn and get better at.
Okay, let’s get to it! Set a timer for 10 minutes. Get a bag for trash and a box for donations. Put some music on; something fun and energetic, and just give it a go!
Spend just 10 minutes in each of these areas
1. Linen Cupboard
Put aside one spare towel and one set of sheets for each person/bed in the house. I’m assuming each bed already has a set of sheets on it, and each person already has a towel in the bathroom. Out of what is left, quickly bag up everything you haven’t used in the last 6 months. It should be easy to put the frequently used linen neatly away with all the spare space on the shelf!
Throw away everything that is past its use by date; spices, sauces, condiments. Collect the items you bought with the intention of making something that you haven’t used and donate it to a local food bank. With what is left, put all like items together and neaten the shelves.
I have been guilty of getting sucked in by make-up advertising and buying different products to try. Usually, I go back to a few favourite products that I use every day, with a few special occasion items. Go through your make up and be ruthless. Toss anything you don’t love and use regularly.
4. Bed Side Table
It may be just me, but I tend to empty my pockets of random items that accumulate on my bedside table. I collect hair accessories, medication, half-read books and electrical cables. Spend 10 mins and put everything away where it belongs. I really need to do this on the weekend!
5. The Kitchen Utensils Drawer
Do you have knives you never use? A melon baller you got as a prize from a Tupperware party 20 years ago? Take out the things you use all the time, donate everything that’s left. This was truly liberating for me! How many potato peelers do I need anyway?
6. Undies Drawer
This is revolutionary! I grab the same favourite pair every time they are clean. I’m pretty generous with myself. I have enough to last me 2 weeks, just in case I miss wash day one week. The rest can go.
Remember, 10 minutes! Grab a donate bag, and in 10 minutes, fold up all the clothes you haven’t worn in the last year. Include the clothes that don’t fit, the mending pile that you never get to, the shirt that you never wear because it’s too hard to iron, the top you bought on sale but only wore once. You get the picture.
Need more help with clothes? Read my post about The Benifits of Owning Less Clothes here.
I used to have a shelf that was over-full of mixed mugs, many of them gifts or one-offs I’d accumulated over the years. Then I had the set of 6 matching that I always use when guests are over and my favourite mug for my morning coffee. At a minimum, keep what you use every day. At a maximum, keep the amount that comfortably fits in the shelf or drawer where they live.
Do you have a notebook collection like me? A big pot of random pens and pencils? Do you have an assortment of dried up felt pens, sticky notes that don’t stick and staples that are the wrong size? Keep the things you use and love. Let the rest go.
10. Choose your own adventure
Everyone’s different, so this one’s up to you. It could be a toy cupboard, bookshelf or china cabinet. Do you have a stash of old magazines or newspapers? A shelf full of old recipe books you never use? A sewing or craft corner? Set your timer for 10 minutes and see what a difference you can make!
Sound simple? It is! The worst part about decluttering is thinking about it, and I am always amazed at the impact I can have in a few short minutes of focused decluttering. I hope I've inspired you to simplify one area of your home, 10 minutes at a time.
I fall into old habits easily. These resources have really helped me keep the clutter-bug at bay.