Monday, May 01, 2006

The Big, Bad DECLUTTERING Challenge (#2)

I promised you guys this would be coming today...It's Monday. It's Spring. And it's TIME for the Biggest, Baddest DECLUTTERING CHALLENGE ever! Read through the instructions first and then get to it slobbos!

  1. 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....
  2. 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.
  3. 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?"
  4. 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.
  5. 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!)
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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 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.
  9. 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...
  10. 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!!!


HappySlob said...

P.S. You guys - DON'T forget the music. :) Put on the funkiest music you have with an irresistible beat to make the cleaning time just zoom on by...

Christina (who is thinking of buying that Gypsy Kings CD for this reason alone...and also because that beat is good anytime! lol)

Elsie said...

Ummmm...sounds challenging! But, I'll try.

After lunch.

Or maybe this evening.

After the kids go to bed.



Anonymous said...

Okay, I am in. I am new at this and need to hit the morning and night routines also. My WAR ZONE is my master bedroom. We moved in December, but I never got my room up to speed, still has boxes, etc.

Wish me luck!
Jan in Georgia

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! Love the idea of setting the timer and making it focused time. Watch out garage-you have had it! :)

stampindoc said...

Okay, busy day at the office, but I will begin in the living room for this challenge. My DD will be home from college in 11 days, and I want the LR to be ultra-tidy so she can have guests in at anytime. So I will start now and work for an hour.

Anonymous said...

What if you are so depressed? That you don't care. I get living room done and then I let it go. Anybody have that problem? I am trying to work on it.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if my note went through or not. So will repeat it.
What do you do when you are dpressed?
I get one room done and then I let it go and have a hard time doing it again. Anybody out there have this problem? Any ideas. I will try the timer.

elsie said...

Well, I blew it. It is now 11:30 p.m., and I still have 5 items unfinished on the endless to-do list, including this challenge.

My war zone is the formal dining room, which has been unusable for far too long. Last time I attempted to declutter (many weeks ago), I found stuff from the preschool. My youngest is now in 1st grade. *sigh*

I guess I can make a 5-minute stab at the challenge tonight. However, my more pressing task is to finish sewing a costume that is needed on Wednesday night. I've got to get to that tonight because tomorrow I'll have even less time to work on it.

The remaining 3 items on the to-do list are just not going to get done today.

stampindoc said...

I did my hour tonight. It was spent going through and organizing papers from the graduate studies course that I teach at a local extension of a major university. The last class is Wednesday, and I had not done a very good job of managing the paperwork over the past 10 weeks (stacks of hand outs, power point presentations, papers to return, etc.) Well, they aren't done, but I do have the graded papers ready to return for the final class and every thing that I will use next year is in one box, ready to be categorized and filed for the next teaching session.

That was a big job. The sad thing is that the living room really doesn't look much better yet. I will do my best not to get discouraged.

Linda said...

Great idea, my room would have to be my master bedroom. Its a huge collection of junk or things that should be good for something someday :}

HappySlob said...

Anonymous -- if your health is preventing you from doing all that you can - just take tiny steps. Instead of an hour a day, try 10 or 15 minutes. :) You'll still get a lot accomplish in a week's time and we'll all be hugely proud of you.


HappySlob said...

Elsie & everyone (including you, Doc!)...

Don't beat yourselves up. You're on a mission here, true, but we all waste a lot of energy feeling guilty when we feel 'we can't do enough housework.'

:) That's what this blog is all about - helping you and guiding you and encouraging you, but MINUS the guilt!

Elsie - we all have days like that. It's called life, right? Just try to catch up a little each day for the rest of the week. And even if, let's say, you get only 3 or 4 hours of decluttering time logged this week, it's still a massive accomplishment!

Okay, no more beating yourselves up and feeling guilty. :) Hugs to you Happy Slobbers.


Elsie said...


I have a similar problem. I get one room under control, only to see that the rest of the house has fallen apart while I was busy. So, I go tackle another room. When I look up, the first room is a disaster all over again. It is extremely discouraging.

On the bright side, I had to clean the living room so that the Easter Bunny could tread safely. It's still clean! Er, clean enough, anyway. ;-)

Another long night awaits...maybe I'll get started on this challenge on Thursday.

stampindoc said...

I am planning to make some 3X5 card laminated signs that say "NO PILE ZONE" and put those on the areas where I tend to pile up stuff.... like on the fireplace hearth, the coffee table, certain horozontal surfaces (actually, all horizontal surfaces). Maybe that will help me to not let stuff accumulate. I am a piler, not a filer.... that is an area that I really need to work on.