Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 1: Let's Start.

Read the introduction to this series here.

Sometimes I worry I will never be on the other side of the clutter--the confusion, the mess, the chaos. Sometimes, I think it's just all too much and I deserve a day off and would somebody just get over here and put this d*mn thing back where it goes?

A clean and calm house seems impossible--as soon as I clean the kitchen, my daughter bakes cookies, as soon as I make the bed, the dog jumps on it and pulls down the pillows.

You know, life.


You know the advice out there--write blog posts with titles like Clean Your House in 3 Easy Steps, or 5 Ways Clutter Costs... (that was the intro to this series, by the way, and where you will find all the posts in the series and printables to get you started) but sometimes I feel like I'm poised on the diving board over the pool of pretense. I'm no expert. Not even close. I am fumbling around here folks. And I can't be the only one. I want to be alongside people, my people, on this journey, too. Fellow fumblers, welcome.

I want to grow this blog in readership because I want the fumblers to know they're not alone. I'm here. And there's hope. Really, though some days it's harder to find than others (I know it's right here, somewhere) ---as long as we keep trying--as long as we keep picking up and putting away--even if the best we can possibly do is tread water--then, hey, that's OK, at least our heads are above water. At least we're breathing. And that's a good thing.

So, I want to encourage, I want to be encouraged. I don't want to be a poser. I don't have all the answers--sometimes things work for me, sometimes things don't. Sometimes I do what I'm supposed to do, sometimes I don't. Doesn't really matter. You learn the most from the fails. You can't quit smoking unless you keep on quitting. You'll never have a clean, calm decluttered house if you don't keep cleaning and decluttering. And you'll never have people come alongside you unless you invite them.

Consider yourself invited.


I made up two printables to help us on our decluttering journey. This one has  daily assignments. Every Friday is "your choice." Here is the link to that.

The second is a blank daily schedule so you can customize your decluttering to fit your own situation.
Here is the link to that one. (You will be taken to google docs. Please let me know if you have any trouble.)

Or, you can just look around and do whatever you want. Whatever works.

Me, I'll be jumping in and out of the scheduled tasks. I promise this, though: I'll do something everyday, for at least fifteen minutes and I'll let you know how it goes. I'd like to know how it goes for you, too.

So, let's start.

Day 1: The Kitchen Counter

If the whole house is not trashed or you just need a nudge to get things done, the pre-planned decluttering schedule has us in the kitchen today, clearing off the kitchen counters. Start with the easiest thing. What was mine? That big empty juice bottle--straight to recycling. (Confession: I tossed it down the stairs. I'll put it in the proper spot next time I go down.)

Here is my kitchen counter:

Yes, folks, really real life.

After 15 minutes (well, if we're being completely honest, it was more like 20.):


Now, it's your turn.

Let me know what you're working on today and how it went. What was your super easy thing to declutter?

Read the next entry in the series Day 2: Your Choice.


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Linda S said...

Hello Alana! Your first post in this October series must be providential - I'm cleaning off the kitchen counters! I'll be checking back often this month, for progress reports and motivation. You can do this!
The accountability aspect of your series is a terrific idea. It'll be a help to so many.

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks, Linda! Clear counters are a wonderful thing.

Rita Ramstad said...

I am certainly no master of clutter, but I think I'm with Marie Kondo on the importance of everything having a place and then actually putting things in their place. It's the second part I struggle with--especially when I'm bugged by the clutter (made by others) and want to do things like just throw their crap down the stairs. :-)

I think the having a place might even be more important than getting rid of. Not sure, but maybe.

Alana in Canada said...

Rita--I think you're right. I've watched my Mom declutter her house for the last few years--and she can get rid of things! Bags and bags. BUT. She has not yet done the work of assigning homes to the things she has left. We never ever know where to look for anything. She has a hard time clearing up an area because she has no idea where to take the things that don't belong. In fact, we're not sure whether certain things belong where they are or not. (I'm thinking especially of her kitchen table where she spends most of her day.) It is extremely frustrating to try and do anything at her house. Things MUST have home--or it is ALL clutter.

MMarie said...

So, my counters are completely full of everything that belongs in our upper cupboards due to a big problem with ants (it's a thing where I live, everyone has them this time of year). I will skip down your list to another area of my home for now!

Alana in Canada said...

Oh, Marie, I am so sorry to hear that! How awful. Skip to the linen closet--or take it easy on yourself and do the medicine cabinet or something. You can always come back to the counters then--or any time.

MMarie said...

My work backpack / computer bag desparately needing cleaning out so I did that as well as my purse and car! My back thanks you!

Alana in Canada said...

Yay Marie! You got yourself on a roll! Tell your back you're welcome.

Beverley Baird said...

Your series comes at an opportune time. I am so tired of the clutter, or spending time looking for something I know I have. I started reading the "Magic of Tidy" book but that is a bit extreme. Will certainly enjoy your series. Thanks

Alana in Canada said...

Beverly--thank you so much for joining me! Let me know if there's anything specific I can do, or talk about that might help.

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