Sunday, May 3, 2015
Clutter-Buster Challenge: Day 3
A few days ago, two large shelves in our laundry room fell.
Off the wall.
And spilled a can of paint.
We were within an hour of having our entire youth group (and families) descend onto our property for a bonfire and had no time to deal with any of it.
We laid down some paper bags over the paint so we could have access to the items we needed for that night. We stacked the remaining paint cans in the corner. And we made plans to come back later and clean it up.
Only, later, the paint had dried and caused the paper bags to stick to the laundry room floor. We peeled up what we could and re-stacked the paint cans a little further out of the way. But the whole room has become an impractical storage area that needs a few hours of concentrated work.
Eight days later, it still sits like that. The only evidence of our presence is the increase in the trashcan lint from cleaning out the lint trap.
So why am I doing things like de-cluttering a corner of my kitchen cabinet when I've got that mess going on?
One: I don't have hours to dedicate to a big project. I have minutes. And our temptation when we have minutes, and not hours, is to do nothing. Because, really, what can we do in minutes when there are so many hours of work to be done? But minutes make hours, my friends. Two days ago I spent 20 minutes organizing my cleaning closet. Yesterday, I spent 20 minutes de-cluttering some counter space. Today, I spent 20 minutes on a drawer under my stove. And you know what? In the last three days, I have spent a total of one hour de-cluttering my home. Over 20 days, that's a minimum of 400 minutes. A little more than 6.5 hours.
So let's suppose I do suddenly have a free Saturday, where I can dedicate hours to a project. Instead of splitting those hours clutter-busting my house, I am free to dedicate them to the big project of cleaning out the laundry room. See how that works?
And Two: Willpower is a muscle. We often think it's something we "do have" or "don't have." But the truth is that it is something we build. So maybe I don't have the willpower today to tackle a huge task like reorganizing the laundry room. But I do have the willpower to clutter-bust for 20 minutes. And maybe tomorrow it will be 30 minutes? Or even an hour! Soon, tackling that mammoth project will feel normal, maybe even easy? (I'll be sure to let you know when/if that happens.) Regardless, we don't have job-specific willpower. Building that muscle affects other areas too: eating, exercising, daily quiet times, patience with our children (and spouses). So let's flex those muscles, people! You can do anything for 20 minutes!
Day 3 Challenge: Do something just for you! Clutter bust an area that no guest will ever see, but you know needs work. For me? It's the pots and pans drawer under my stove. It seems to be a magnet for crumbs and food; so I emptied it, washed it out, and reorganized it. For you? Maybe it's a jewelry box or "unmentionables" drawer. Maybe a linen closet or the bottom of your clothes closet. Do something that will make you smile to look at, even if it's never seen by anyone else! Be sure to jump in the comments and let us know what you're tackling today!