- Declare your war zone (aka: decluttering zone to tackle). Choose the one area that is bothering you and affecting you the most. For me, it's the 2 closets in the master bedroom - both are a REAL war zone if you ask me. Nasty....
- Arm yourself - With your cleaning kit, assorted plastic bags or storage boxes, garbage bags, etc. You need to get the junk out first before revealing the room, table or closet underneath.
- BE RUTHLESS - If you haven't seen this stuff in over a year, how much does it really mean to you? It'll be far more useful to that local charity you've been meaning to contribute to. Ask yourself: "Why do I need this? Why am I keeping it? Have I really missed it?"
- Invest Time - 1 hour a day until it's done. I know that you're all very busy. I also know that health difficulties make it hard for some of you to do an hour of cleaning at a time. :) So, don't worry -- this is HAPPY SLOB cleaning after all, and we're all about balance. If you can't do an hour at a time, still aim for 1 hour a day, but chopped into smaller chunks - maybe 5 minutes here and there through the day; 6 x 10 minute sessions or 4 x 15 minutes. Whatever works for you. But definitely use your timer to set the time every time you enter the WAR ZONE.
- Make it Up - If one day you really can't squeeze in an hour of decluttering time, make up the missing time on another day so that the total this week still equals at least 7 hours. Keep track on a big piece of paper on the fridge - in big, bold black marker write down every bit of time you spend in the WAR ZONE decluttering. This week aim for 7 hours. (If you get more, treat yourself to something wonderful!)
- STAY Focused - We slobs LOVE lingering and dreaming and generally thinking about anything BUT the task at hand. :) Make it your goal to stay entirely focused on your decluttering efforts while you're in the war zone. As soon as the timer goes off, you're free!
- Recruit help - Family NEEDS to get in on this! Hey, they helped create the disaster and so they should be there for the disaster relief efforts. :) Or, do you have a friend who would be helpful? (Those friends who are strict and will really help you purge the clutter are GREAT for tasks like this.) Offer them pizza, dinner - whatever - if they'll come over and pitch in. The more the merrier!
- Be accountable - We all complain about clutter, and whine about how long it'll take to ever get rid of it. BUT...WE were the ones who got it all there in the first place! Take accountability of that fact, and then carry on and use that whiny energy to clear it out. :) Also, be accountable by coming here to post a comment as often as you want during the challenge. Let ALL of us know what area you're working on, your progress and at the end - why it was worth all the effort. (Keep coming here to post for as long as the challenge takes you...it might take a couple of weeks if you've chosen a huge decluttering project.) Please bookmark this page right now so it's easy to come back to post comments.
- Get encouragement - By coming back to post daily, you'll also read about what other HappySlobbers are doing to make their decluttering efforts work! :) You can't BUY that kind of great encouragement...
- Reward Yourself - Every day you do an hour of decluttering REWARD YOURSELF. Maybe it'll be an extra long bubble bath...or making your favorite batch of cookies. Or staying up late to watch a reality TV show you're hooked on. (Wow, does that ever sound like me.) Make it something special, and then at the end of the decluttering challenge - treat yourself if you get all 7 hours (or more) done. And when you FINISH the project treat yourself to a movie, or a great new book, or a haircut - whatever it is that will motivate you to get this decluttering done.
:) Remember, there is a REASON for doing this -- envision that room, closet, attic, whatever as a more spacious and serene space. Keep THAT in mind while you're grunting and working hard. It is worth the effort -- the end results can be pretty spectacular!
Now, grab that timer, that cleaning kit & get revved up...On your market, get set: DECLUTTER!!!