Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Share your decluttering activities and ideas.
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Harriet
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Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harriet » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:59 am

Do you sometimes think of your friends here, decluttering and having the same difficulties and successes you have? This thread can be a meeting place to see what each one is doing, and where and how they're doing it. We're bound to encourage each other when we meet and discuss strategy!
_____________________

Pam and Peggy, the Sidetracked Home Executives, were great at strategy. Have you ever used their decluttering plan?

Whether we've ever followed their exact lessons, we can learn from looking back at them. They made it clear that decluttering is a big job for ANYBODY. No one needs to feel badly if it seems overwhelming!

If you stall, or think you "should" be able to do this more easily and quickly, remember what the experts taught!

P and P, after suggesting starting at the front door and (skipping the kitchen) working clockwise, began to explain from their long experience teaching it, how long this might take. It was an eye-opener. :shock: They said to expect it to take the average person 6 weeks as long as they were not also working outside the home, and then to expect it to take 12 weeks.

But only then did they advise starting the kitchen, after there was experience under the belt!
And after kitchen was decluttered, THEN and only THEN, it was time to tackle the upstairs. :|
( Had you remembered that.. ... that no one had even peeked up a staircase yet? )
So, depending on the house, the first floor could take even longer than you think.
After the upstairs was done they considered any basement or garage.
And then, finally, storage boxes that had been piling up were stored, with 3x5s to tell contents.

Next time you feel discouraged at the "creep" of clutter, remember that in P and P's classes, students found they were perfectly normal if decluttering at their house took more time and effort than expected.

Jump in and start with us! If it's "starting over again" that's cool - we've done that, too. We'll be tossing!

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Harmony
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harmony » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:33 am

It's been so long since I've read their books. In their time frame, were they still advising only 15 min. a day? 12 weeks to get the whole downstairs (minus the kitchen) done at just 15 min a day seems unrealistic to me. Maybe the 15 min a day is just a FL thing? Anyone remember?

I tend to tackle things by areas. Like, a closet getting too full, desk drawers becoming messy, etc. I can always tell which area needs it most by what bothers me!

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Harriet
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harriet » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:52 am

Harmony, I almost put in there - but thought it was getting so long already - that P and P expected the decluttering to take the time of the weekly and monthly cleaning chores. (Not dailies time, errand time, or desk time, though.) They already had their students used to rotating through weeklies/monthlies on cards, then actually let them slide while switching gears to declutter. I'm sure that's what they are saying for the initial 6 to 12 weeks. They do begin discussing the kitchen, upstairs, basement, garage later, as if it's kind of a new part, so maybe didn't mean this to keep holding true then :

Since you'll also be trying to carry out your card-file system, it will seem as if you're taking a giant step backward because you will need to skip all your weekly and monthly cleaning jobs during this time. You will need to keep up only with daily chores that pile up if left undone, such as laundry and dishes.


They also say:

No matter how long it takes, be sure to take your FREE DAY every week! We don't want you to get lost in a closet and set up camp there, mumbling and babbling forever.)


So for the first, most difficult declutter, they seem to be giving over the 8 cleaning hours they set aside a week (3 hours average on one moderate day and 5 hours average on one full day). They never actually say so in their first book, but it seems they meant that after it was over, time for maintenance on declutter would come out of those cleaning days.

By the time they published "Organized from the Inside Out", they were explaining the two cleaning days' work as, "house cleaning and general home maintenance"

P and P did discuss what they called mini-jobs that could be as small as 10 minutes.

We emphasize Mini-Jobs on the Activity List because if you are side-tracked by nature, you can go through the day unaware of what you could have done with small blocks of time."


The specific 15-minute idea - I think - came out of old online boards, but I don't know exactly how. Maybe P and P talked about it there, but that would be before my time - I barely got there to see just a few posts from Peggy over time. I know it got applied to decluttering by somebody (?) when we were doing the first threaded boards on WebForum, but I'm thinking back when the "main board" ran, moving more quickly, people would be doing TOTH stuff, with three 15s and then back to chat, and one of the 15s would be declutter? Maybe someone else knows if P and P ever discussed 15 minute blocks of time, specifically.

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Harmony
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harmony » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:06 pm

Well that is interesting, Harriet. Is the initial declutter through the house the only one that is to take this much time? I know years and years before I found it all on the internet I'd read one of their books and remember thinking it was entertaining, but that I doubted 15 min a day would do much. I'm more of a use-a-block-of-time person, get in there and tackle something till its done. I don't do this stuff every day, but I do tackle areas until they're done. It's the completed job that's motivating to me.

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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Nancy » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:05 pm

4 fabric bags left the house this week.

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Harriet
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harriet » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:43 am

I finished up closets by reorganizing the shelves in our master closet.

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Harmony
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harmony » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:37 pm

I'd like to recommend a funny informative blog to read about decluttering.

www.nextavenue.org/decluttering-experiment-part-1/

this is a 4-part blog and the above link is the part 1 at the bottom as you go along are the links for part 2 3 and 4. She goes through 4 books, with humor taking the good from them and laughing at the negatives she finds. And talks about her progress (and lack of progress) as she tries to pare down.

I found it very motivating and real.

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Harmony
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harmony » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:31 pm

I guess no one is decluttering these days!

Yesterday's church dinner had me trying on all my clothes again and shoes. Ended up with 3 pairs of high heels in the give away bin. All of these in very good shape and I wiped them off of dust. 1 was 1/2 size too small, all were uncomfortable to wear, and all out of style. I had kept them for dressy occasion but it's like I cannot wear heels any more.

Do not know what to do about my clothes. I'd had my closet all straightened out recently but it's just simply amazing what a difference 5 lbs. makes. Stuff that fit nicely looked frumpy. Shorter stuff isn't good to wear in the winter because no one wears hose any more and I am pale in the winter so don't like the look. I need to make some decisions there, DH too, he has dress shirts he no longer likes and doesn't wear.

ellyphant
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby ellyphant » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:12 pm

I'm still at it, HARMONY! I hear you about the shoes. I put 2 pairs of dressy shoes in the car to donate--noticed my hip would hurt on Sunday afternoons after wearing them to church. Also donating a fancy mop handle since I use generic mopping cloths these days with a different type of handle.

I sat and read the decluttering blog above on Saturday. That's a good one! Thanks for the link.

DH has surprised me by throwing out several pairs of pants that finally had holes in them. Also have a belt to donate.

Finally, I have recycled a college yearbook of mine. I have no ties to anyone from that time period, so no regrets!
How you do your work is a portrait of yourself.

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Harmony
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Re: Declutter Strategy Meeting, February 2017

Postby Harmony » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:26 pm

Good job, Ellyphant!

I threw away a couple purses. One I'd kept because I was going to make one someday and would use it for the pattern. Yeah. Right. Another one cut up for parts and the rest tossed. One that is way too small. One in the donate bin. It was a very nice leather crazy quilt design like a hobo with a leather bolo drawstring at the top. It drove me crazy because it had no outside pocket and I could never find my cell. Somebody will want that one. I appreciated the thought when someone gave it to me...

There is a time to get rid of gifts that just do not work. I've kept the above purse for years.


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