1 Mar 2013

Conquer The Clutter: Week 1

Are you ready?  Ready to start the de-cluttering revolution?  Let's do this thing! 

(pause for cyber cheers....)

I can tell you are pumped.  Or not...but at least you are here, and you are committing to gaining control of 5 neglected spaces this week.  Cheer for that!


Here's the deal....

The goal is to purge, clean and organize the spaces throughout the week.  You can do it Monday-Friday, tackling one each day/night, or you can leave it all for the weekend.  It's what works for you, and what you feel you can handle without getting overwhelmed.  Each area should hopefully take you 30 minutes or less.  The goal isn't to suck up your whole night - it's to get 'er done and then have time to watch some TV (and maybe have a glass of wine to celebrate???).  

Be ruthless.  If you haven't used it in the past 6 months, or if you forgot it was hiding in depths of your cupboard then get rid of it.  Donate it to a thrift store so that someone else can enjoy it, or if it's in rough shape just toss it out.  Remember, the goal is to minimize our stuff.  Keep only what you use and love.  

Also, try really hard to avoid just moving things to a pile, and then moving that pile to another place.  I am very guilty of this.  I can organize all day long, but then all I end up with is a nice organized pile in another room.  I am that person who does laundry, puts the dry laundry in the basket, then moves the basket to the bottom the stairs, then a day later moves it to the landing, then a day later moves it to my bed....then when I need to go to bed I move it to the floor.  Then I wear the clothes out of it for a few days before I finally put the clothes away.  I'm serious here.  The truth is not always pretty!  

I heard a tip once that has stuck with me....even though I am not very good at implementing it.  The tip was to only touch things twice before they find a permanent home.  Let's take the newspaper for example.  You touch it to bring it in the house.  Then you touch it when you read it.  Then you find a home for it (which should be the recycling).  Touch twice and you are done.   Obviously in my laundry basket example above I touched it way more than twice.  If I had touched it twice I would have loaded it into the basket, brought the basket into my closet and hung everything up.  Touched twice.   

My goal this week it to actually follow the tip.  When I unload an area to organize it, I am going to find a home for everything - even if it's in the garbage. 

Here are the 5 areas for this week.  If you don't have one of these areas (or your area is already clean), then of course feel free to adjust as needed.

1.  Front entry.  Or back entry, whichever you use most.  Purge the closet, organize the shoes,  mop the floor, throw out odd mittens, hats with pom poms, etc.   
2. Important papers/bills.  Gather up all of your papers and file them, shred them, pay them.  Throw out papers that you have been hoarding.  
3. One closet.  Pick one clothes closet and tackle it.  It can be your closet, your kids closet, whichever one you choose.  Purge the clothes, hang or fold everything, do your laundry.
4. Microwave and oven.  Clean them.  Nice and shiny and clean.  I am going to use the self cleaning feature on our oven for the first time.  Wish me luck...for some reason it scares me.
5. Utensil drawer.  Empty it, clean it, straighten it out.  Make sure to throw out any of those odd forks and spoons that you don't use any more (the ones you may have 'borrowed'' from the lunch room at work and forgot to return....).

Doable?  I know in my life the front entry and the one closet will be the most time consuming.

**I think my Mother is slightly embarrassed that I am sharing this photo with the world, but I told her that I had to be real...and this is VERY real!

Remember, you are not alone in this.  There are a bunch of us out there tackling these same areas right there with you.  
Make sure you 'like'  A Swell Place to Dwell on Facebook so that you can share your success.  Post pictures (before or after), complain, show me the wine you are drinking....it's all good.  Facebook will be our way to connect throughout the week.  I promise that I will be your cheering squad through the whole week.  I'll also post the 5 areas on the Facebook wall so that they are easy to refer back to. 

In case you don't know how to post on a Facebook wall, here's a quick low down.  When you visit the fan page, you will see a little box that says "write something...".  

How to post to a Facebook fan page

You can type your comment in there, or click on the little icon that says picture to upload a picture.   Then just click enter and it's posted to the wall.  

I thought about forming a Facebook group just for this challenge, but thought I'd keep it simple for now by keeping everything on my fan page.  If this isn't working for you please let me know and I can create a group. 

If you aren't on Facebook, you are also welcome to comment on this post with your successes, send me an email, or tweet.

I'll be back next Friday to reveal next week's list, to show you my spaces and to share your stories/photos.  I am so excited to see how you do!  Really, I am!  I bet you guys are going to blow my socks off.

Please feel free to pin the badge below to Pinterest or share it on your own Facebook wall so that we can grow our group and have a bigger cheering squad.

4 Weeks. 20 Neglected Spaces. Conquer the Clutter! // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

GOOOOO.........really.....go.  Go now.....

p.s. I like to clean to music.  I'll be listening to Inner Ninja by Classified this week, in case you like to clean to music too.... release your inner ninja on the clutter!  You can download or listen to a preview here (US) or here (Canada). 


  1. Cant wait to get started, Ill be on vacation the following week, so I have a lot to do this coming week!

    Please tell your mom that your closet on a bad day looks a lot better than ours currently does on a good day.

    Yeah, its waaaaaaay bad here. My pictures, if I can summon the nerve to post them will be very um, embarrassing/shaming. Im talking piles of stuff, clothes, etc.

    1. I will for sure tell her that its not that bad! She proof reads all of my posts and told me I should probably remove that picture! Well it can only get better.....good luck with your areas this week. Dont be scared to show pics :)

  2. Yay! I dont have Facebook or Twitter but Ill follow along right here! =]

    1. Sounds great. Glad to have you along for the journey!

  3. This seems like a good idea. I dont know if Im brave enough to share my clutter with the world, but Ill definitely work on getting rid of it!

    1. Awesome! You can just share the clean spaces :)

  4. Hi I found your blog last week through Welcome Wagon Friday @ cozy little house...
    I cued right in on this post. why? Because...Im in desperate need of Decluttering!
    Ive had an Empty Nest (of my own children) about 4 1/2 years...I have my "Little" here everyday... and I have Etsy, sewing, computing, paperwork, canning, dishes... you know, all the routine stuff taking over the house!

    I hope you post another list...cause Im doing this one and I AM GOING TO POST ABOUT IT TOO! Im fearless like that. :P

    So nice to meet you, Im your newest follower.


    ps: I dont tweet or FB...so Ill follow along and post here too!

  5. You said to post a link if I blogged about it... this is week 1


    thanks for inspiring! :)


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