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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring Cleaning Challenge - Countdown to a Clutter-Free Life

I've decided to take professional organizer Julie Morgenstern's Spring Fling Countdown challenge and ditch 55 pieces of clutter from my life this week.

You can read more about the challenge on Morgenstern's blog at Franklin Covey, or you can follow along here as I detail my own progress.

This week, I'll be ditching:

10 articles of clothing that don’t fit, don’t flatter and will never be worn.

9 books or magazines you’ve already read or know you aren’t going to get to.

8 excess items from your bathroom – anything from outdated makeup to old cleaning supplies and near empty bottles of lotion.

7 unloved DVD’s, CDs, or VHS tapes that you haven’t listened to or watched in years.

6 items from your fridge or pantry that will never be eaten or have passed their ideal freshness.

5 useless pieces of kitchenware – anything from old pots and pans, outdated appliances- or that weird wiry thing you’ve never been able to identify.

4 items on your to-do list that you keep avoiding. Dive in headfirst and either do it, or delete it (if it’s really not worth your time after all).

3 regular chores (at home or work) that are no longer necessary, or that someone else can and should do instead of you. Yes, this means delegate, even if you live alone—look for low-cost services, hire a teen, barter with friend.

2 obligations in your schedule that make you cringe when you see them. I.e.- committee work which is no longer rewarding, meetings you regret having booked, or a social engagement you are genuinely dreading.

1 time-hogging habit that is no longer serving you. I.e.- procrastination, chronic lateness, or constantly checking email. You may not slay your habit monster in one day, but make the commitment today and comment on this post publicly proclaim your resolve.

At first, the prospect of getting rid of 55 bits of clutter seems a bit daunting. Throw away 55 things? No way! But broken up into small tasks, taken room by room, this list is really manageable. Of course, I'm sure I'll have trouble with items 1, 2, 3 and 4 -- as they're less about stuff and more about time. That's where I really have trouble -- in managing my time, letting things go and getting help and/or delegating certain tasks.

Check back daily, as I'll be posting my progress and detailed lists of what I've gotten rid of this week.

Please join me on this challenge and post your progress here. I'm interested to see how much clutter and time we're able to clear in a week. (My husband has signed on for the challenge, as well, and he'll be posting about his experiences, as well.)

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