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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): How to Declutter and Clean a Room the Right Way

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How to Declutter and Clean a Room the Right Way

Have you ever walked in a room that looked like a windstorm blew through there overnight? I actually had a friend, who didn't even realize she was robbed...for almost a week...because this particular room was so messy! Isn't it disheartening to walk into that room...look around...realize the clean-up would be too overwhelming...and then walk right back out of there. As with anything else, you know I'm going to have an easy to follow system that will make the task less daunting and find you patting yourself on the back in quick order. Here's how.

Step #1: Get two boxes (or laundry baskets) and one LARGE trashbag.

Step #2: Label one box as "Items out of Place" and the next box as "Donations".

Step #3: Start on the floor and then work clock-wise; pick up each item and put it in the appropriate box or bag.

Step #4: Do not stop to admire, read or reminisce...there will be time for that at a later date.

Step #5: If you have many small and loose items, whip out a piece of paper and write down how many storage containers or plastic bins of various sizes you need. For the time being, store those items in grocery bags, and stack them in the corner. Be sure to come back the next day, with the storage containers and put that stuff away!

Step#6: For items you want to keep in this particular room, go ahead and place them where you want them.

Step #7: If your "Items out of Place" box gets to overflowing, it is time to take a break and grab a soda, cup of tea and snack. When you start back up, you are going to put those out of place items where they belong, throughout the house.

Step #8: Now go back to the room. Haul your trashbag (or bags) and "Donate" box into the garage or somewhere near the front door...temporarily. You are going to leave the trashbag there overnight. If you break into cold sweats at the thought of something you put in the trash, go take it out, and put it in the "Donate" box.

Step #9: Two days later (or on the next trashday), throw out the trashbag or bags.

Step #10: Get a big black marker and put the date on the "Donate" box. Get it out of the way somewhere, and let it sit for at least a week. If you are really unsure of yourself, then keep it for 6 months. If you haven't used anything in that box, donate it and get rid of it. Read A One for One Closet Exchange . If you have no problem getting rid of things, just carry the box to your car and drop it off at Goodwill or any other donation place the next time you are out. If you itemize your taxes, be sure to get a receipt for your goods.

Step #11: If you still have time, go ahead and dust and then vacuum. If not, do this the first thing the next day.

That's it...you're done...and it didn't even take as long as you thought! Even though I do my nightly ritual of Before You Go to Bed Tonight, I still frequently complete this exercise every few months per room. I just pick a room and have at it! Do this on a regular basis, and your home won't become a disaster area.

What tips do you have to keep your house and clutter under control?

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2 Comments:

Blogger tootie said...

I especially liked step #10. Donating items you don't need is rewarding. You can get rid of some clutter - and help someone else in the process!

October 27, 2007 at 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! I needed this! You must know what my living room looks like!

November 5, 2007 at 3:44 PM  

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