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Welcome to the first day of my Six-Day Challenge for Book Lovers.
Today is all about purging your living space of unnecessary things. Living in a clutter-free environment can do wonders for your ability to focus.
Your first assignment for today is to choose three areas that need to be decluttered and organized.
To get started, you'll need four boxes or bags labeled thus: "trash," "recycle," "donate," and "keep but move." Don't skip the step of labeling, because, otherwise, it can get confusing.
Choose a small area for your first attempt. Don't start with your major problem areas, because you risk giving up. It's a problem area for a reason, right? So, maybe start with one drawer, or the area beneath your bed, or your kitchen counter. You will be surprised by how energized you will feel when one area is completed.
As you work through the space--whether it's a drawer or a closet--ask yourself these questions about each item:
1. When was the last time I used this?
2. How often do I use this?
3. Can I use something else in its place?
4. Is it a duplicate?
5. Is it expired or outdated?
6. Why am I holding onto this?
If you haven't used something within the past year, get rid of it. You can always rent or borrow it if you need it in the future. Get rid of handbooks and instrucions, because you can find them online. Get rid of magazines, unnecessary papers, cords, broken things, and stuff you rarely use.
Excuses to avoid:
1. I might need it someday. (You probably won't.)
2. It's sentimental. (Take a photo of it and let it go. The person who gave it to you will understand.)
3. I'm saving it for my kids. (It will probably be outdated. Kids likely won't want it.)
4. It's an antique. (Then sell it or give it away, if it doesn't belong in your decor.)
5. It's still good. (Then give it away.)
6. It was a bargain. (Then give it away.)
7. It's broken, but I plan to fix it. (Get real. You're never going to fix it if you haven't by now.)
Completely declutter one area before you move onto another. When the boxes/bags get full, get rid of them immediately. Take the trash and recycle bin out. Take the donation bag or box to Goodwill.
As to the "keep but move," this box is for items you find that aren't in their rightful place, or that were loaned to you, or that you want to sell. Instead of getting rid of these things, you should put items in their rightful place or return them to the person or place from which they were borrowed.
1. Today, I would like you to work on three small areas, or one small areas, like a drawer, and one big area, like a closet. (Don't work on your pantry, cupboards, or refrigerator. Save that for day three.)
2. Post to the group about your accomplishments.
3. Comment on someone else's post with words of encouragement.
If you find your living spaces will require more than a two-day overhaul, or if you'd like to learn more in-depth strategies for organizing your spaces, I recommend Marie Condo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.