Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why Bother!?! Or How Not to be Featured on an Episode of HOARDERS.

We clean and we clean -- 6 months later we have to do it all over again!! Why bother... um, I can think of at least one good reason... 

It could be finding this fella (what's worse, finding a dead roach in the cereal box or encountering a live one?) You might find a trail of ants traipsing through your pantry. Your child runs off to school wearing mismatched socks -- belonging to her dad. Or you would  invite a couple of friends over for drinks sometime -- if only there  clean glasses in the house.  

So there we are -- aren't our very lives worth living clean? Living in a clean house means moving seamlessly and successfully through our day, able to enjoy our lives, our family, our friends and not being tripped up by ugly dirty surprises. 

The first step to a clean house is to clear the clutter. Get a box, get a bag, get a timer. (Set the timer for half an hour -- we are not making a career of this de-cluttering thing.) The box is for donate, the bag is for trash. Start in the left corner of your busiest room. If it's a closet open the door and start there, if it's a bookcase, desk or dresser, start with every shelf or drawer. Look at each object and decide right now -- Keep, Pitch, Donate, Move. "Keep" items stay right where you found them, "Pitch" items go in the bag (and stay there), "Donate" items go in the box, and "Move" items get piled in the middle of the floor. 

When the timer goes off stop. With the "Move" pile remaining in the center of the room you are not likely to leave it there. Sort the "Move" pile into sub-piles : bathroom, garage, playroom -- where ever these things need go, take them there. 

De-Cluttering Day One DONE. Now this room is ready to be cleaned. Wipe, polish, vacuum. Ahhh.   


  1. What a great idea for a blog Jenny! I can't wait to read more. I was just looking at my windowsills and thinking_"I need to get to work". Maybe you'll motivate me!

  2. Hi Jenny -
    I loved your "de-cluttering" tip and it reminded me of how I used to help the boys clean their rooms when they got out of hand:

    We used a broom, and literally swept everything (clothes, shoes, toys, papers, anything under the bed) into a pile in the center of the room. Then we got a trash bag and sat down next to the pile. We sorted the pile by pulling out everything we could find that was laundry, then the blocks, then the balls, then the books, then papers to keep, shoes, and the trash bag caught broken toys and trash. We pulled each type of item out one at a time (not trying to sort all of the toys at the same time). It kept us from walking back-and-forth across the room to put things where they belonged, and the BONUS was, as soon as we swept everything into the pile, the room instantly LOOKED CLEAN. We could work on the pile for a short time, or a long time, but the system worked, especially for young children.

  3. WAY TO GO, JENNY!!! What a pleasure it is to read more about you here. And your subject matter is awesome. I have been a decluttered person my whole life . . . but these last 6 months of more ramping up the art business have left me "in the dust." Thank you for motivating me to get back to my good old ways. I will be chanting your "Keep, Pitch, Donate, Move" mantra as I re-do my whole house this summer.

  4. Jenny, love your tips and from a Grandma who LOVES a clean house... I will be paying attention to your expertise! I don't understand how anyone could live like the hoarders. I have seen the show but cannot watch because they are disturbing to me. Just don't understand, it has to be a mental disorder. I just have always picked up before going to bed and that one thing keeps things in their place. Having a regular cleaning schedule and not letting anything get out of hand is second nature but some people just must not be programmed that way. Thanks for the motivation, a place to start!