Time Management: Just Fifteen Minutes!

Time management has been a challenge for me for as long as I can remember. And keeping my house clean?

(Excuse me while I go have a good laugh)

Okay. Anyway, yes, the day job makes a convenient excuse. Not sayin’ it’s a good one, but it’s mine, and I’m sticking to it. Actually, I no longer worry about it, because now that my husband’s retired, he does a lot of it, and trades work with a friend to do some too (don’t hate me!). But when I was laid off a few years ago, I knew I had to step up.

Enter Flylady.

Before: My shoes were out of control!

Flylady’s website is full of tips to get your house (and other aspects of life) under control through routines. She sends out motivational emails every day, and sells products on her website that she’d personally used and determined to be the best value for what they do. She also has a lot of great sayings:

“Your house did not get messy in one day, it’s not going to get clean in one day!”

“You cannot organize clutter, you can only get rid of it!”

“Baby steps get the job done!”

“Just fifteen minutes!”

What a difference ten minutes makes!

Words to live by!

While I was out of work, I did a good job getting clutter under control, and I kept up with the house fairly well. But reining in clutter is an ongoing task, and I haven’t kept up with it since going back to work several years ago. Yesterday, I tripped over shoes in my walk-through closet and decided enough was enough. Surely it wouldn’t take that long to declutter my shoes, so I noted the time and figured I’d spend fifteen minutes on it and see what I could get done.

Buried in that junk, I found three pairs of boots I hadn’t worn in at least two years, and five pairs of shoes that were worn out (and I also hadn’t worn in a year). ┬áThose went out. Behind them, way in the back of the closet, were a cleaning bucket I’d thought was lost, and a laptop I had from my first software development job, that I bought in 1997! Even if it could run modern software, the screen was just about shot the last time I fired it up. So I found a place that recycles computers for free, without using toxic chemicals or shipping it over to China, and I put the boots in a bag for the next AMVETS pickup.

Time? 10 minutes!

Okay, five more minutes. I decided to tackle my husband’s shoes, since his size-14s are even more of a tripping hazard than my shoes. He didn’t have any to throw out, but I did move a few he doesn’t wear often to the back, behind his slacks.

Fifteen minutes total, and I was done!

The rest of the closet awaits for my next fifteen minutes, some other day, maybe tomorrow!

Have you ever put off something because you thought it would take a long time – then when you finally jumped in and got to it, found that it didn’t take long at all? Have you found anything as ridiculous as a non-functional, 14-year-old laptop??? Got any decluttering tips? Please share!