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Thread: 40 Hours Decluttering Using Flylady's Timer Method - Dec. 4, 2023 - Feb. 29, 2024

  1. #1
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    40 Hours Decluttering Using Flylady's Timer Method - Dec. 4, 2023 - Feb. 29, 2024

    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:

    https://www.flylady.net/d/getting-st...ng-15-minutes/

    This year, my regular schedule has changed. I wasn't able to do 40 hours last summer, but I am on a reduced work schedule now through May. I have had a lot of health issues this fall, though, so haven't been able to start a new batch of 40 hours until now.

    Though clutter is still an issue, over the years of focusing on getting rid of it, 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. So I'm giving myself credit for time spent on those kinds of activities too.

    Also, this year, I have some big home improvement projects to do: getting the exterior of my house repainted and getting my front and back yards landscaped, so any time spent on all the logistics around that I'm going to give myself credit for here too.

    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 six (!!) 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.

    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 iris lilies's Avatar
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    That is a great report, I’m so happy to hear it! And I so agree that making little areas of your house pretty is important.


    I will spend hours figuring out which knobs to buy for my bathroom cabinet. Hours! Car in five minutes. This car is my daily driver. It’s not pretty and I don’t think about it before buying it.

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    Happy that you have found a system that works for you ejchase!

    I hate decorating. Once I get a space decorated, I don’t change it. I don’t just hang things on the wall nillywilly but try to coordinate a room. I hate spending hours looking for just the right thing. As mentioned in previous posts, I have recently moved and am redecorating the place. I am down to redecorating the 2nd bath. Wallpaper has been removed, room has been repainted and new medicine cabinet has been installed. New towel bars are not yet up and undecided on wall decor. My goal was to be done with it all by the end of November. The new furniture for the living room will not be delivered until mid-month and , hopefully, it will look ok? I can’t wait for this to be over and I can get back to my life. It is stressful to me to have the place in disarray. People have said “you have plenty of time”. I want it done now. One of us could die tomorrow and the other would be stuck having to finish on their own. It is staggering how many things DH has had to put together or fix. I did the ordering or locating and he assembled. I know I would have had to hire someone and he would have had trouble deciding on what was needed. I am thankful to be near fruition! I know he is too!

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    Congratulations EJ and Frugal one. EJ you have made so much progress that is its great to be able to take time to do some "pretty" spots. I try to keep the spaces in my line of vision when I'm sitting neat and attractive. Clear is the first step. We haven't had to redecorate since we had the interior painted 9 years ago (and I just had the rooms all painted the same color they were)But, I did remove LOTS of stuff that I thought at one time was necessary. Turns out, they're not. I then selectively put back pictures that we missed (it was all up in the attic in boxes...leftovers are still up there, but that's another job.) China closets were emptied and I only put back a few items that my husband or I loved. I find some things are creeping back in, but I am pleased with the feel of a less full house.

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    Congrats to you too nswef!! I like the minimalistic look as well. It is easier to maintain and clean IMO!

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    Thanks for the encouragment, everyone, and the company!

    I did my first hour today, just walking around and dealing with the most visible clutter. It's amazing the difference one hour can make.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    Congrats to you too nswef!! I like the minimalistic look as well. It is easier to maintain and clean IMO!
    Yes, much easier to clean.

    Back when our Hermann house was just a weekend house I didn't mind cleaning it because we hardly had any “stuff” and also we had no damn carpet. The floors in Hermann were a mismatch batch of hard surfaces but they were easy to clean.

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    I did 90 more minutes today, focusing mostly on the dining room table which has become a "hot spot" and a real source of shame when it gets cluttered. Now it is cleared off, and I feel so much better.

    As I work on overall decluttering, I'm also thinking about what daily habits to prioritize - in other words, when I don't have time to do a lot, what spaces should I focus on, even just for a bit, daily? I think my answer is my bedroom (making my bed in the morning and hanging up any clothes lying around), the bathroom (giving it a quick one-minute swish and swipe once I've put my contacts in in the morning), the kitchen (do the dishes and keep surfaces clean), and the dining room table (clear off paper and other stuff that accumulates there). Even though that seems like a long list, if I do those things daily, tidying them doesn't take long at all, and having them tidy does wonders for my mental health and the overall feel of the house. And just having a list in my head of the most important spaces to focus on is helpful. Instead of thinking, "Ah! My house is a mess! It's too overwhelming for me to think about!" I can think, "Clean these 4 spaces, and if that's all you can do today, that's fine." That's a big shift for me.

    Total so far: 2.5 hours.

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    That's great EJ.

  10. #10
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    I managed to do an hour more today. New total: 3.5.

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