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Thread: 40 Hrs Decluttering and Making My Home Nice Using Flylady's Timer Method: 1/21-2/15

  1. #1
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    40 Hrs Decluttering and Making My Home Nice Using Flylady's Timer Method: 1/21-2/15

    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 a few weeks ago (January 2021!). So I just started this winter break's 40 hours last week.

    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 four 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.

    So last week, my daughter and I spent an hour repotting a bunch of plants and cleaning up our backyard - which is like a room in our house now since we are entertaining out there these days. And yesterday, I did another hour rearranging our storage shed and putting some things away in there (Christmas stuff). So the total so far is 2 hours.

    In any case, thanks for "listening" and for the encouragement so many of you have given me over the years.

    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 rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are off to a good start for 2021! I remember the lovely picture of your decluttered bureau.

  3. #3
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    Nice start for this new year!

  4. #4
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    Thanks, rosarugosa and mschrisgo2!

    I did another hour today, mostly in the backyard. I had some dead plants in pots out there, and my daughter and I put new succulents in the pots which should be lower maintenance. And I rounded up some items to give away and posted them on our local Buy Nothing group.

    New total: 3 hours.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    You are doing a great job!

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    EJ, I admire your persistence and your successes. Finding what makes you comfortable and happy in your space takes time. You seem to be enjoying the challenge! You inspire me....then I stop. Bravo to you!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    You are doing a great job!
    Thanks, Teacher Terry!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nswef View Post
    EJ, I admire your persistence and your successes. Finding what makes you comfortable and happy in your space takes time. You seem to be enjoying the challenge! You inspire me....then I stop. Bravo to you!!!
    Thanks, nswef! All of you here really inspire me too. And I stop too. Sometimes for MONTHS. But the structure of this group really helps me get back to it eventually, and that imperfect, three-steps-forward-two-steps-back process has been transformative.

  9. #9
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    I'm trying to do a bit of a marathon this week: 4 hours a day for 4 days, Monday through Thursday. Today, I spent 4 hours on the kitchen pantry.

    It was the first time in a long time that I actually took everything out and saw what I had. I threw out a LOT. Fortunately, tomorrow is trash day.

    I feel guilty about wasting food by letting it expire, but at least I now know what I have, which hopefully will prevent further waste. I made a list of items I need to use up which I will probably post on my fridge.

    New total: 7 hours.

  10. #10
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    Hi ejchase!

    I admire your perseverance!

    I have been doing ok with keeping the new area of my home in order (generally it can be “company ready” in half an hour or less - even through virtual school, which I pray is over now.

    my biggest problem area (as far as the living areas go - we won’t discuss rooms that don’t really get used right now) is the room that used to be my kitchen. Someday it will be remodeled into a proper mud room, but for now it is just partly through the demo portion. My dishwasher is still there, along with a sink and most of the original kitchen counter and lower cabinets. The counter becomes a drift of “moop” (material out of place - burningman) Dh dumps everything that is “my” domain on the counter - recycling, things he can’t identify, things he asked me to get him but he doesn’t know where to put them away (like a bottle of word glue yesterday) that is another problem, but....

    I’m finding that most of the moop is stuff that would be “one and done” but is just too small to pay attention to - example - one hair band, oh I don’t want to walk all the way upstairs to put away one hair band, I’ll probably grab it later - later it’s hidden under the envelope I need the address off of.....

    I also find I am lazy about unloading the dishwasher and putting away clean laundry.
    So I have started a challenge to put 100 things where they belong every day.

    also I signed up for an online class that I will need to “attend” at my counter. So I have until Feb 20 to completely clear it off.

    i would like to check in here.

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