That’s how long I’ve been working on my quest towards minimalism AKA purging.
And no, it’s not because we have SO much stuff that it has taken me every day for two years to get the job done. It’s because I started then stopped. Sometimes, I went for weeks without purging anything. Sometimes I did a marathon five to six hours to clean/purge an area.
I was super motivated and then got overwhelmed, so I quit. I started again in January of this year with a better plan and the realization that all the purging doesn’t have to get done in one day.
Then, we evacuated for Hurricane Florence and it totally shifted my mindset. There was more of a sense of urgency to get all the stuff we own down to basics. Why? Because when we left, everything that was truly important to me – with the exception of my husband who stayed behind – was in the Prius.
So I went back to Thursday Purgeday and started getting things done.
Since I’ve been blogging out Thursday PurgeDay, I’ve had some people ask,
“How do you have time to get all this done?”
My answer is simply this: time blocking. But it’s more than that. I have two older children – they are 13 and 12 – and they are at school during the day. I have a husband who helps with the purging projects and I have a very flexible schedule since I own my own business.
I realize that if you work in a corporate job or have small kids at home that spending a lot of time on purging isn’t possible.
So I had an idea and I tested it out this week – I call it, The Ten Minute Plan.
Can you guess what it is?
That’s right – intentional, concentrated effort on purging/cleaning ONE area at a time for ten minutes.
I cleaned out the fridge in just under 9 minutes.
My 12-year-old son helped – he pulled everything out of the fridge and set it on the counter.
Once that was done, I wiped down all the shelves ( this is not deep cleaning, just surface cleaning)
Then, I put each item back in the fridge, organizing as I went.
Old leftovers got put in the trash.
Containers from the leftovers went in the sink (to be washed later, not within this ten minutes)
Dates on bottles of sauces, dressing, condiments, etc. were checked.
In less then ten minutes, the fridge was purged and cleaned.
I cleaned off the top of our bar in ten minutes.
We have an open floor plan and part of that is a bar in our kitchen. It’s about 6 feet long and two feet wide and very quickly becomes the catch-all for clutter – mail, papers, laundry, etc.
I started by collecting items that were trash and put them in the trash. (junk mail, etc.)
Then I started at one end of the bar picking up items and putting them away in their place. NOT just moving the items from one area to another.
Lastly, I wiped down the bar top with some cleaning solution and dried it.
Other things I think you can do in ten minutes or less.
Purge clothes in your closet – stand in your closet and look at the clothes. If you haven’t worn it or it no longer fits, take it out of the closet and put it in a donation bag.
Clean out a drawer: Open any drawer in your kitchen or bathroom. Take everything out, clean it, put everything back neatly and throw items away.
Clean out the car: Take a trash bag and a bin/box with you. Trash is trash, everything else goes in the bin/box to be sorted later.
Clean out the freezer: Same steps as cleaning out the fridge.
Clean out a cabinet: Open any cabinet in your kitchen. Take everything out, sort it and put everything back.
Clean off your office desk: Sort/file papers, throw old papers, etc in the trash, make a pile of papers to be shredded.
Remember, this is a getting started blog post. Will you get an entire drawer, cabinet, closet, etc done in ten minutes or less. Maybe. Maybe not. The idea is that you get started –
Set a timer for ten minutes and see how much you can get done.
Have more time? Continue with the project.
Need to move on to something else? Then go do that thing and come back to purging later.
Here’s one thing I know for sure. If you are ready to get rid of your stuff, downsize, have less, etc. you need to get started. I’d love to know what areas you purged using this plan!
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