The 31-Minute Purge

It’s best to start with just a half-hour; any longer might be overwhelming at first. In true Proverbs spirit, let’s make it thirty-one minutes!

Decide where to start. If you are faced with the task of de-cluttering your entire home, begin with the easiest area to build up momentum and get the feeling of instant gratification. Once that area is cleared of clutter you must strive to keep it that way, while at the same time working on other areas.

Begin by placing five boxes in the center of the room. Label them as follows:

  • Throw away: Anything that is missing parts, broken or no longer usable.
  • Give away: Anything that is in good shape but hasn’t been used in at least a year, is a duplicate, or is cluttering up your room. Share it with a friend or donate it to charity.
  • Sell: Items for a yard sale.
  • Put away: Anything that belongs in another room.
  • Store: Seasonal items or those that will be used again within a year.

Place as much into these boxes as you can in thirty-one minutes. Plan to return to the job again each day until the entire room is finished.

At the end of each thirty-one minute session, put everything in the “put away” box where it belongs.

Deal with the “throw away” box immediately.

When the “give away” box is full, place it in the trunk of your car until you get a chance to drop it off for donation. Don’t let these items back into your home, or they may take root again.

If you don’t plan to have a yard sale, don’t use the “sell” box. Simply place those things into the “give away” box. Yard sales take some effort to set up, and you cannot expect to get for your items the price that they are worth. Yet, many people enjoy the satisfaction from letting go of their unwanted objects and making a little extra cash at the same time.

Find an out-of-the-way spot to place the “store” box until it is needed again.

 

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