Decluttering and living with less is not an overnight transformation. For me, it has been a slow and steady journey and even now that I’ve gotten rid of most of my stuff, I have to watch for clutter creep.
Once you begin to enjoy the benefits of living with less, spending a little time and attention keeping clutter at bay is actually enjoyable. That said, no one wants to spend an entire weekend or even a full day dealing with clutter. There are better things to do like:
- taking a walk
- calling a friend
- staring a microbusiness
- planning date night
- trying a new recipe
- going to the movies
- hosting a party
- start a new book
Instead of devoting hours to decluttering, take it in small, manageable chunks. Here are a few recommendations.
3 Decluttering Projects You Can Do in 20 Minutes or Less
1. The Pantry
It’s hard to think about food as clutter, but take a look in your pantry or place you keep food. Set your timer for 20 minutes and remove anything that has expired. You might think canned food and other dry food will last forever, but it does not. Toss the old stuff.
Next remove what you don’t eat. Even though you thought it might be fun try gluten-free pasta, if you haven’t tried it yet, you probably won’t. Pack up any unopened, unused, unexpired food and set it aside to deliver to your local food pantry.
2. The Medicine Cabinet
Advil expires as does everything else in your medicine cabinet or drawer besides band-aids. Set your timer for 20 minutes and dump anything that is expired. Also toss the stuff you’ve used before that didn’t work. Check out the rules for dumping old medications, but most can be thrown away.
If you have extra time, note which OTC meds you take on a daily or weekly basis. Ask your doctor if there is a healthier way to address your ailment and pick up a copy of Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin.
Both men and women carry stuff. Chances are, there are a few Tic Tacs and some old lipstick in the bottom of your purse, old movie stubs in your wallet and pens that don’t work or a half eaten powerbar in your briefcase. Set your timer for 20 minutes and empty everything onto a tabletop. Wash out your purse/wallet/briefcase and then put the things that you actually use back in.
After 20 minutes of decluttering, celebrate by doing something you enjoy, even if that means doing nothing at all.