The 20-Minute Purge

20-Minute Purge

The urge to purge usually comes with New Year’s resolutions. But the need to organize comes in fits and starts pretty much year ’round.

In the summer we’re overrun with a gazillion used towels and flip flops but also the need to keep everything easy and breezy.

In the fall it’s new school supplies and backpacks and going through the old, outgrown school supplies and winter coats.

And in January we’re overloaded from the holidays. We need to find places for all the new things that arrived from the North Pole and the general pile-up of cold weather gear around the house. But we’re also in the midst of ski season and with two kids racing and one in ski lessons on Saturday and Sunday (plus the hockey games and practices), we’re pretty much not home on weekends again until March Break, which means no day-long organizing sessions. So I have to fit it in during the week, which is tough to do after work, driving kids to after-school programs, and all the other nighttime duties required to keep things under control around here.

But I can’t wait until spring (clutter causes me pain, it really does). So I have come up with a simple plan. Before I go to bed, every night, I resolve to spend 20 minutes attacking one clutter-filled spot in the house. It might be under the bathroom sink, a shelf full of sweaters, or one box of toys in the basement, but whatever it is, it’s something I can start and finish in 20 minutes. I get that sense of satisfaction from completing an organizing job.

So far, I am three for three the last three nights. I will have made a lot of progress.

Exciting stuff, I know (well, sadly, it actually is for me…). Do you have any tips for purging and maintaining control over your clutter?

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