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Thread: 40 Hours Decluttering Using Flylady's Timer Method - Nov. 11, 2021 - Feb. 22, 2022

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    40 Hours Decluttering Using Flylady's Timer Method - Nov. 11, 2021 - Feb. 22, 2022

    Hi All,

    I'm a teacher who is on a reduced schedule for about four months a year, mid-December through mid-February and mid-June through mid-August. 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 (usually 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/

    This past summer, I stumbled a bit and didn't finish that 40 hours until last night, but then I decided to start my winter 40 hours early since I am able to manage some hours right now. So I am just now starting this winter's 40 hours.

    Though clutter is still an issue, over the years of focusing on decluttering, I've also discovered I need to spend time on making my home comfortable and pleasant which involves putting in time on things like repotting plants into pretty containers, picking out a nice bureau scarf and a "jewelry tree" to make the bureau in my bedroom pretty, and finding a nice tray for the containers of salt, pepper, and olive oil by my stove. I've learned that decluttering is not all it takes for me to finally enjoy my living spaces - figuring out what's pleasing aesthetically to me is super-important too - and really fun.

    In any case, since I started these batches of 40 hours of decluttering in winter of 2017, I've made a lot of progress. My home isn't perfect, but it is MUCH less cluttered and MUCH more comfortable to me than it was five (!!) years ago. And recording my progress here has really helped.

    I know for some people setting up a home is kind of second nature, but I've always struggled with it and always lived in cluttered, uncomfortable spaces, so these batches of 40 hours have been a real breakthrough for me.

    I started this batch of 40 hours just with one hour last night and 4 hours this morning, so my total so far is 5. I'm hoping to complete them all by the time my spring semester starts on Feb. 22, 2022.

    In any case, thanks for "listening" and for the encouragement so many of you have given me over the years. Your support has kept me going and made a tremendous difference in my life and I think in my daughter's too.

    And, as always, if anybody else wants to join in with a decluttering/homemaking goal of their own for a certain number of hours, that would be great!

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    So great to hear about your progress! I, too, have lived too cluttered for a long time. I hate to say it, what helped was moving into much smaller house! I was just thinking about this a second ago. I have a wonderful mica lampshade on a bronze floor lamp--it has silhouetted images of NYC on each of 4 sides. It's so unique. I bought the lamp at my favorite consignment shop.

    When we moved up here, I brought only my favorite things. I had SO MANY "not-so-favorite-things" but didn't have the heart, or the energy to get rid of them, until we were forced to. I think it's great that the 40 hour system has worked so well for you, without having to move!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    So great to hear about your progress! I, too, have lived too cluttered for a long time. I hate to say it, what helped was moving into much smaller house! I was just thinking about this a second ago. I have a wonderful mica lampshade on a bronze floor lamp--it has silhouetted images of NYC on each of 4 sides. It's so unique. I bought the lamp at my favorite consignment shop.

    When we moved up here, I brought only my favorite things. I had SO MANY "not-so-favorite-things" but didn't have the heart, or the energy to get rid of them, until we were forced to. I think it's great that the 40 hour system has worked so well for you, without having to move!
    I know what you mean about how having less space helps you declutter! Our house is relatively small, and it has very little storage space and only one full closet among the 3 bedrooms. It's plenty of space for my daughter and me, but just small enough that we can't afford to have much that we don't love or really need, so that's definitely helped me focus.

    Just yesterday, I was trying to decide whether or not to keep a wine rack I'd gotten from someone in my Buy Nothing Group. It was a nice rack, but 1) I don't drink much and 2) There's just no space for it in the kitchen at the moment, so I let it go.

    I know what you mean about "favorite things." When my daughter and I travel back east at the holidays and in summer to see my family, I always just pack my favorite outfits of mine and hers, and it does make me realize how unnecessary it is to have many more outfits than those!

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    I agree with the other poster (forget who it was) who said you are very motivating! Thank you for sharing your 40 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by ejchase View Post
    Though clutter is still an issue, over the years of focusing on decluttering, I've also discovered I need to spend time on making my home comfortable and pleasant ...

    I know for some people setting up a home is kind of second nature, but I've always struggled with it...
    These two statements are definitely me as well. I've been decluttering for years, but have not moved forward in the "comfort" part of the equation yet. But, I'm trying and, again, your posts are very motivating. Congrats and thanks.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Making the move into a condo by myself helped me with having just the right amount of stuff. After I was unpacked I still ended up donating 4 boxes of stuff. I have 3 closets and my son uses one of them. I do have a small storage closet on my balcony that’s only partially full. I love everything I have. I enjoy following your progress and am glad that your house is much more enjoyable 5 years later.

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    I am definitely in on this new 40 hour plan and will begin today. Thank you for the motivation and inspiration.

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    Thanks, all!


    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I am definitely in on this new 40 hour plan and will begin today. Thank you for the motivation and inspiration.
    Tybee, I'm glad to have the company! I have four more weeks in my semester so may not do much for a while, but I'll get back to it eventually.

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    Hi All - well I’m finally getting back to this. I took my first few baby steps yesterday - decluttered the car and took it to the car wash and went through all the clutter on the DR table which is now clear and dealt with other piles of clutter around too. Only 2 hours, but it’s a start. New total: 7.
    Last edited by ejchase; 1-7-22 at 5:16pm.

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    Congratulations on getting going again. I bet it feels good to have a car that’s clean inside and out. And, oh those flat surfaces that catch the clutter! Good for liberating them again.

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    Hi ejchase,

    I would like to come back and join you again. The use of my house has changed a lot since we started the addition 7! Years ago. My kids have all moved out permanently, two are married, I have a grandson, the addition has become an attractive and well used gathering space, but there are still slabs of “elephant” throughout my home.

    I also am starting to make additions for comfort these days - toddler focused changes, and upgrades to spaces that are now used by visiting adults rather than crashing college students. This week I bought real bedspreads for all of the downstairs beds on super sale. (Personal growth - the downstairs beds are no longer used as storage platforms!) - so it is a mix of downsizing and additions. The elephant has been restricted to certain areas, but I want to keep pushing back its territory.

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