In March when I asked you all, “What’s working for you?” I got a response that combined so many great strategies, I asked if I could share it.
I appreciate your articles so much! You asked what works for us. This year I am decluttering for Lent. I took 40 before photos. Each day I pick one and take an after photo when it's done. I have a friend who is doing similar projects her own way, with me, and I send my photos to her daily for accountability. We take Sundays off.
I started out taking the before photos as I went, but I'd be well into a project before I remembered, so I thought I'd just go ahead and take them all. The unexpected benefit is that I can pick at areas not scheduled for the day as I pass by, and sometimes by the time I get to a photo, its area is already almost done.
So, one drawer, one corner, one pile of clutter at a time. I could probably take another 50 photos, since they are fairly specific. I hope I will continue after Easter until it's done, but for now, it seems to be fairly do-able and I'm enjoying the progress. The combination of a plan, Lent, and accountability is actually working for me.
Marie [Kondo] is about sparking joy, but I am finding it to be more about peace. I used to feel overwhelmed, but now I can just do my daily task and be done. The clutter still stresses me, but I can tell it that its day is coming, and I know that it will. I started with easy projects, and it's getting harder, but I've also gained some experience.
I'm finding it's good to do drawers first, so that I can put things away that I want to keep, but a tidy dresser drawer doesn't give me the little thrill in the morning that my nearly bare nightstand does, so I sprinkle in some projects that show. Last night I got rid of the whole pile of clothes that need mending or altering in one swoop. It is such a relief to not have to procrastinate all that sewing anymore! --BD
Timely Tips - BD's Ten Steps
BD's organizing venture can be broken down into 10 easy-to-follow steps:
Choose a start date. “Someday” is not a day of the week. Put your start date on the calendar.
Choose an end date. When we know there’s an end coming, we persevere more easily. BD chose the 40 days of Lent.
Schedule in some days off.
Choose small, one-day projects-- “one drawer, one corner, one pile.” List them on the days you’ve chosen for your over-all venture. Begin with easy tasks and don’t schedule overwhelming ones.
Take before photos of each project area.
Secure an accountability partner. Preferably one who is simultaneously working toward a similar goal.
Daily – do the organizing and send the before/after photos to your accountability partner.
If desired, keep going. If you’re on a roll and want to organize an area not on that day’s agenda—go for it!
Do some drawers first, so you have places to put things you’re keeping, but sprinkle in some areas that show to keep yourself motivated.
When stressed by the remaining clutter tell it, “Your day is coming!”