Project: Declutter, Simplify & Maintain {31 Days}

“Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify”

                                                        ~ Henry Thoreau


This mildly neurotic, type-A, control-freakish, list-loving organized gal has a thing for, well…organization.  I love it!  Cleaning house, especially without little loin-fruit under foot, is wildly therapeutic to me.

With the right music, the right tools {gotta love Mrs. Meyer’s cleaners} , a little sunshine and a lot of tea…it’s downright extravagant.

So with Spring in full fling, it’s time to purge the heck out of my home.  And I’m giddy with excitement at the thought of it.  My husband, on the other hand, is somewhat terrified.  Pray for him.

The best part of this project is…I’m not doing it alone!  There are over a dozen of YOU joining me in this adventure.  How cool is that?

I’m starting this Saturday, May 12th – 31 days before my 31st birthday.  Because I love goals, I love the significance of numbers, and the beauty of birthdays, and yes, admittedly, I’m just sort of a dork.

So, are you ready?  Let’s roll!

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”

                                                                                             ~ William Morris

 Project Printables

I designed a few printables for my in-the-works home management binder {which I’ll share with you soon!} in preparation for this clutter overhaul, and have modified them as best I can to work for you too.

Simply click on the links below to access each PDF file:

Project : Simplify ~ 31 Bags in 31 Days

Project : Declutter ~ 15 Minute Hotspots

Project : Maintain ~ The Weekly Clean

31 Bags is launching this Saturday {or whenever you choose to start}, so here’s the low down on how it works.

I would suggest grabbing a cup of tea and a piece of paper.  Start by dividing your home up into 31 manageable chunks – and by manageable, I mean: don’t lump your kitchen into 1 bag on 1 day.  You know where your worst clutter areas are, so if your kitchen is an issue for you, divide it up into 5 chunks (for me, my spice cupboard and baking cupboard are atrocious…so they get their own bag & day).

Project Simplify 31 Bags

Once you’ve worked, and reworked, your 31 areas to best fit your level of chaos, take your 31 Bags printable and scribble them in.

I don’t plan to work in the order they’re listed as I realize certain days will afford me a couple of hours to invest into this project, while others will only allow 15 minutes.  Be flexible, and wise {read: purge your kid’s rooms when they’re not around – it’s astounding how they will suddenly claim an old, broken toy as their favorite once they catch wind of its Goodwill destination}.

Create a battle plan that works for you and your home.

You’ll find too that your bags will vary greatly in size.  Different areas will require different levels of purging.  Have ziplock baggies (for drawers and jewelry purging), plastic bags and garbage bags on hand.  And be ruthless, my friends.  I plan to be.

Remember as you prepare to pick through your belongings that if it doesn’t have a clear purpose…if it doesn’t make you blissfully happy to look at and dust…and if it isn’t incredibly sentimental…get rid of it.

The 15 Minute Hotspot printable is modeled after a decluttering trick I learned from the Fly Lady and is intended to be a follow-up “ritual” to the 31 Bags project.  Don’t attempt to do them at the same time.  Unless you plan to consume large quantities of valium.  And not sleep.

I again divided my home into “hotspots”…areas that seem to attract clutter and disarray, and my goal is to select a hotspot every day {maybe one in the morning, and one in the afternoon, as time allows}, set the timer for 15 minutes and then focus on clearing the clutter and reorganizing the area until the timer goes off.  This is a brilliant technique to make an overwhelming project more manageable {like that spare room you avoid at all costs}.  Here’s a look at my Hotspots, to help you figure out your own.

The Weekly Clean printable is self-explanatory and will help us maintain the new level of organization and order we’re about to create in our homes.  Maintenance is half the battle.

I think that’s about it for now.  Just 3 days until we launch with sucker!

Can’t wait to completely simplify and purge the chaos from my home.  How about you?  Are you in, or are you IN?!

Any questions?

I’d love to hear about your progress, thoughts, struggles, successes, and…if you’re brave…some before and after photos of the process!  I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours {wink, wink, nudge, nudge}.  Accountability is key.

Alright, folks…let’s get to work!

“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life,

and the labors of life reduce themselves”

                                                                            ~ Edwin Way Teale

*As always, please note that this is exclusively for personal use and is NOT to be reprinted for resale purposes.  Feel free to share the link, pin it, or head over to Facebook and visit Simply Bloom.