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Thread: Setting a Decluttering Goal in Units of Time Using Flylady's Timer Method - Dec. 2017

  1. #1
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    Setting a Decluttering Goal in Units of Time Using Flylady's Timer Method - Dec. 2017

    Hi All,

    I'm a teacher who is on a reduced schedule for about two months mid-December through mid-February and mid-June through mid-July. I also have a REALLY cluttered home. In the past, I've had some success with setting myself a goal of doing a certain number of hours of decluttering during my periods of reduced work. I set one overall goal (last winter and summer, it was 40 hours), then chip away at it in smaller increments of time. Some days I aim for an hour; others for four hours (with breaks!). I basically use flylady's timer method described here, but with longer periods of time than 15 minutes:

    http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-sta...ng-15-minutes/

    It's also helped me a lot to keep track of progress towards my goal here, so here I am setting a new one: to complete 40 hours of decluttering in my house by Tuesday, February 19 when my regular work schedule resumes.

    If anybody else wants to join in with a decluttering goal of their own for a certain number of hours, I would love company!

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    I did this after retiring but I did it in huge chunks such as 6-8 hours/day. It allowed me to make huge progress that I could quickly see. To maintain I try to take out an item for everyone I bring in. I don't shop much at all anymore which has helped. Now when a charity wants donations I have to work at it to get a box for them. YOu will get there. Good luck)

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    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    ejchase, when are you starting? Will you check in daily or how would you/others report and be helpful? I have a "sewing room/woman cave" I really need to tackle. It's becoming a high anxiety area for me since we cleaned out my mom's home when she died. I took a good bit of her sewing materials. Bags and piles here and there, and not only her stuff, but the unfinished projects of my own!

    ETA: I have procrastinated on organizing this room for some time...I think I might be successful if I take on a schedule plan like 15 min. increments several times per night or something like that weekdays, then longer periods on the weekends (I have a f/t job).
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am decluttering things, difficult things. If you think books are hard, what about old letters. So I made progress with 90% of them, reading and burning them, but could not destroy 8 of them.

    Also I attacked an old “collection” for which I no longer have sentimental attachment, and since I ascertained that items are of little to no value, I chucked most of them and put the rest into use.

    A good 200 items left my house over tha past two days. I greatly cleared out my trunk of “sentiment” and am keeping a few clothing items, things from my babyhood and childhood, and family genealogy documents and a few things from my parents.

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    IL: you are making great progress. I actually started 10 years before retiring and decluttered in spurts. However, being retired makes it much easier as you have so many more hours to do it. A few times we had the Salvation Army send a truck to our house. I have helped a few friends declutter their homes too. It was fun. It is also funny to see the type of junk that people actually keep. It is good to laugh at ourselves sometimes. It's funny that we spend a lifetime accumulating and then years getting rid of stuff. I wish I had some of the $ that I have wasted on things.

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Before I sold my house, I spent five years decluttering. My wife used to leave the house and tell me no to to be so ruthless with my throwing away things. Finally, she looked around and said, You’ve done a good job, there’s not much left.” I’m staring to feel cluttered again. The other day she was looking for a combo radio/cd player. She asked me where it went. I said, “Um...it’s got to be around here somewhere.” I think I threw it away!

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    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    Before I sold my house, I spent five years decluttering. My wife used to leave the house and tell me no to to be so ruthless with my throwing away things. Finally, she looked around and said, You’ve done a good job, there’s not much left.” I’m staring to feel cluttered again. The other day she was looking for a combo radio/cd player. She asked me where it went. I said, “Um...it’s got to be around here somewhere.” I think I threw it away!
    Your story reminds me of my mom's long regretted tossing of my John Lennon doll from the 60s. She used to "clean" our rooms while we were at school.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  8. #8
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Me, mom, & sister all worked on getting rid of and organizing stuff this week. Tues, DS and I worked on my basement; Weds, the two of us helped Mom with her crap; and today, DS and I spent the morning in her condo and the afternoon in my cellar again. A family affair! Many donations to Savers and a lot of stuff in the trash.
    We have reached the stage of life where we don't buy each other stuff for the holidays, we get together and help each other get rid of stuff!

  9. #9
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    I cleaned out the freezer, tossing out stockpiled soybeans someone gave me that I do not like. I will tackle bigger projects once there is room in the trash. The aluminum siding is gone but I still have lots of old insulation and other items piled up to go out.

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    Teacher Terry, thanks so much for your encouragement. It *is* hard for me to believe I will EVER be completely decluttered, but just committing to 40 hours at a time when I'm on a reduced work schedule gives me a nice, finite goal to work towards, and I have made some good progress the last two times I've done this.

    KayLR, I started today! I only did one hour, but it's nice to have begun. Just reporting here as I complete the hours really helps me - it's just the right amount of "peer pressure." Good luck with your sewing room. I have found that the timer really helps me deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed. When I'm looking at big piles in a particular room, I just say to myself, "Just give this four hours and see where you are then." And then I break that up into little increments of time with the timer. Maybe give the sewing room 5 hours and see where that gets you?

    Iris Lilies, Yppej, and williamsmith: it sounds like you have all made incredible progress!

    KayLR: I've decided the occasional regret about the loss of a tossed item is inevitable, but the cost of spending a lifetime feeling stressed about being surrounded by clutter is too damn high.

    rosagugosa: That sounds like such healthy family support!

    One hour down! 39 to go!

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