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Posted on Aug 12, 2013 in How to simplify | 8 comments

Simplify De-cluttering: End-of-Summer Cleanup Part 1

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Today is day 1 of my End-of-Summer Cleanup.  Fall is coming, along with the students returning, classes starting, and seasons changing.  I am committing to a whole-life recharge, starting today.  This was inspired by a friend who told me yesterday about a similar project she is just finishing up, with a giant garage sale planned in the next few weeks.  Lives can change during a free outdoor concert.

Join us in the EOSC!  Add your challenges and progress in the comments, and let us know how you are doing.

Think about it first

Before you start, though take a moment to think about why you are doing this, the size of your undertaking, and how long it will take.  It might be better to take this in small steps rather than turning your house upside down and running out of energy.  Think about how you will get rid of trash and donate or sell what you don’t need.  My neighbors are doing some work in their house and have a waste bin that they brought home folded up. It’s a giant reusable grocery bag that a truck will come haul away.  If you have a lot to throw away, you could schedule a pick-up for Monday, and spend the weekend filling the bag.  If you are doing a deep clean in addition to de-cluttering, maybe you want to schedule a professional service to help.  You know yourself—make it work for you and your family.

 

 

You don’t have to do this in any particular order

If you are tired of your closet being too full to see what you have, start there.  If you are having house guests, and the guest room is storing Christmas and Halloween decorations, start by clearing space in the garage and basement.  If you just want to clear out the closets and cabinets, start wherever you are standing.

This is not about deprivation

You can think about making your home serve your life the way Michelangelo described carving a statue from the block of marble.  He just took away the unnecessary bits and released the figure. You are choosing what you want and love, and releasing them from the mix.  This is very personal.  Some people find my house a bit bare, and want more color and display items.  Others might find my basket of dog toys messy.  Meh.  Decorate your own space.

Maintenance is more important

Even if you do a huge whole-house reorganization, de-cluttering and deep cleaning, your house will return to it’s present state eventually unless you put some systems in place to keep shopping to what you truly need, manage laundry and mail, and have places to collect your bags and keys. The things you do daily have a bigger impact than big projects like the EOSC.

 

Here is the plan for the EOSC:

Week 1

  • Simplify your de-cluttering
  • Entryways and closets
  • Guest rooms
  • Gifts of food

Week 2

  • Bathroom storage and linens
  • Clothing and closets
  • Kitchen and food storage
  • Cooking from the pantry

Week 3

  • Dining room and dishes
  • Bedrooms
  • Living areas and bookshelves
  • Food shopping and menus

Photo credit: internetsense

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8 Comments

  1. My summer cleanout is taking longer than expected because, after I clean a space, I’m inspired to redecorate and/or re-purpose the space. So, I’ve been cleaning and redecorating, cleaning and redecorating, cleaning and redecorating. I’ll still get it all done this summer, but I’m having a lot more fun doing it by breaking it up with fun payoffs… like our new family hobby room with all of our arts and crafts supplies perfectly organized!

    • Yay! The hobby room is the prize for all your hard work. You probably found a few treasures along the way too.

  2. I’d never get so much done in one week! I’m so impressed by people who do. Want to hear my tree & bush pruning plan? I cut a few limbs while I wait for the dogs to pee. Yes, it will take all summer. And maybe all fall too.

    • I love it! Those daily things add up, and take almost no effort, right?
      And, you don’t have to do it all at once! I think some areas need more work than others. For me the biggest job is getting control of all the food in cabinets. I think I have 4 kinds of rice. In starting this, I found things like this that need more work that I can do later if necessary.

      • When I did the food, I piled all the stuff I wanted to use up and not replace (which happened to include 2 kinds of rice) on the counter. It was messy for a few weeks but that was incentive to plan meals around that stuff.

        • This is a great idea. If I leave it on a counter, my dog will eat it while I’m work, but I could put it in the fridge in front of the bread and eggs.

  3. I feel like a fluffy, spring kitten after spending several months decluttering our home – from bookshelves to closets to all the things we thought we “must” keep. Our living room is sparsely decorated, and we love the peaceful feeling we have each night when we sit down and listen to the silence. (We also got rid of our TV!)

    Thank you for sharing your process with us!

    • You’re right, it does feel great! I don’t think things will look too different in most rooms, except cleaner. So far, the closets look very different. Now there is more room for guests to hang their coats. I’ll have to throw a party when it gets cooler to celebrate!

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