Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why DeClutter for 15 Minutes a Day?

A few people have asked me why I'm cleaning up the clutter for only 15 minutes a day. Some people have commented that it doesn't seem possible. There's too much clutter or too little time. Here are the reasons why I am cleaning up the clutter for 15 minutes every day.

I don't have time to declutter for more than 15 minutes a day.

I've got three kids and a pretty busy life. A major household decluttering project would normally involve working from morning until night for several days or even several weeks. I can't devote all day, every day to decluttering and spring cleaning. I've still got to change diapers, cook meals, feed kids, pack backpacks, supervise homework, do laundry, do the dishes and countless other things every day. Decluttering for 15 minutes lets me work on thoroughly cleaning my house little by little, when I have a few extra minutes each day.

I want to develop a life-long habit of decluttering for 15 minutes every day.

I'm convinced that people who are naturally neat and tidy stay that way by spending a few minutes a day sorting, organizing and throwing away excess clutter. They never let it build up because they deal with every thing as soon as it comes into the house.

Decluttering for 15 minutes a day keeps the idea of decluttering the whole house from being overwhelming.

When I think about all I still have to do to have a completely clean, clutter-free house, it seems like a lot. Breaking it up into 15-minute chunks makes it less daunting. I may not be able to clean the whole house in a day, or even a week, but I can certainly do 15 minutes a day. I'm taking baby steps towards my ultimate goal and that's not overwhelming at all.

I know from experience that 15 minutes goes a long way towards controlling clutter.

Just two months into my project, I've put a major dent in the mess. I'm actually surprised at how much I get done in each 15-minute segment. My kitchen is almost completely decluttered, a few closets are tidied and the utility room has seen a lot of improvement.

I can always find 15 extra minutes a day.

Even on the busiest of days, I can squeeze in 15 minutes of decluttering. Sometimes, I have to plan ahead and get it done first thing in the morning. Once in a while, it has come toward the end of the day. With the exception of one sick day, I've found fifteen minutes to declutter each and every day. I don't think it would be so easy to find the time if I had planned on an hour of decluttering a day.

I avoid creating a bigger mess than what I started with by not pulling out more than I can handle cleaning in 15 minutes.

It's easy for me to get in over my head when decluttering and spring cleaning. I used to empty a closet completely, sort everything at once and replace only what I wanted to keep. This type of decluttering can't possibly be done in 15 minutes. I've learned that the trick is to stick to one small section at a time. If I finish the first section quickly, I can start another.

Probably the most important reason that I'm sticking with my daily 15-minute decluttering sessions is that it's working.

My home is slowly starting to have a cleaner, tidier vibe. When the house is clean and tidy, I can relax.

It's definitely possible to clean out the clutter a little at a time. I've found that it's even been fun. But, the bottom line is that it's effective. If I can do it with my busy life, anyone can clean up the clutter 15 minutes at a time.


  1. I posted on my blog about this tip. I think it's great!


    I'm moving in less than a month and will need to be doing this!

  2. Cool! Thanks, Rachel! I love the rants and raves post. I can relate.

  3. I used to read the flylady's site and got similar ideas from her regarding finding 10-20 mins a day for decluttering. It works when I stick to it. I'm also decluttering, and I probably work on it about 5 days a week...and, like you, find a big difference so far :) Keep it up!