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Dear Friends,

Here we are at the end of February and we have been practicing our habit of De-Cluttering 15 Minutes every day. If you are new or maybe didn’t jump in on this habit, that’s ok because you are NEVER behind!

The main reason we practice these habit each month is to help build routines. So, even though the month has come to an end, we are still working on Decluttering 15 minutes a day. This means we will make the commitment that every single day we will throw away, give away and put away for 15 minutes. We can do this 5 minutes at a time for a total of 15 minutes or any combination that works best for you. Taking the time to work on this habit every single day will change your life.

This commitment sounds easy or overwhelming depending on your perspective however actually doing it and remembering to do it is what is key. If you want to change how your home feels and operates every day you have to declutter. There is no moving from one side of the room to the other. Moving it from one floor to another. Moving it from the attic to the garage. If you do not get rid of the clutter you will stay in the constant state of CHAOS that brought you here to us in the first place.

I challenge all of you to step out on faith if nothing else and commit to decluttering 15 minutes every single day. To have the most impact on your home and how it feels start at the front door and work your way through the house. Work on the main living areas first so that you can see and feel a difference from the minute you walk in the door. Once you have gotten rid of the clutter that has held you down, you still have to maintain. It’s like going on a diet and then thinking once you have lost the weight you can eat anything you want. It doesn’t work like that for any kind of clutter. It has to be a routine to get rid of the clutter and then to keep the clutter from piling up again! You can do this! We know you can!! Make this commitment today that you will practice the habit of decluttering 15 minutes every day! Are you in?

FlyLady and Kelly

Below is Declutter 101 for those that have never seen it or to refresh your memory:

This is how to De-clutter an area of your home. If you are new to de-cluttering then start with a room that you most see the need. This could be your living room, your dining room or your kitchen. Work on the main living areas of your home first. The rooms that you use the most often that are keeping you in CHAOS. (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)You will need garbage bags, 3 boxes, a timer, magic markers, a feather duster or dust rag, and some extra boxes. Label the boxes Give Away, Throw Away, and Put Away. Line the Throw away box with a trash bag so when it is full you can just scoop it up and toss.

1. Set the timer for 1 hour,30, 15, or 10 minutes , I don’t care just as long as you do the job as fast as you can and do not pull out more than you can put a way in that length of time. This means one drawer, one closet or even one shelf in the closet, one magazine rack at a time, under the furniture. Not all of them at once.

2. Start at the entrance to the room. Work your way around the room clockwise. Do not skip an area. What ever happens to be next, just take a deep breath and jump in. Remember to not take out more than you can put away during the timer. BabySteps!

3. With boxes at your feet and dust rag or duster handy. Start with throw away box first and get rid of the things that just need to be thrown out. It is amazing how things just accumulate in a space that your really don’t love, use or need that is just plain junk or trash. Don’t feel guilty just toss.

4. As you work your way through the trash first you will come across things that don’t belong in the room this is where you will make decisions to give away or put away. The put away box is where you will place the things that have a home somewhere else in the house or you will need to create a home for them. The give away box is for the things that you no longer love or use but are still nice and in good shape to give away to a donation center such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. Do not donate items that are not in good enough condition to go into someone else’s home. If it is trash toss it!

4. When your garbage box, lined with a garbage bag gets full, close it and take it to where you put your garbage. Don’t procrastinate and say that you will get to it later. Recycle what you can. Put in a new garbage bag and keep going until the timer goes off.

5. When the give-away box gets full, take it to the car so that the next time you are out you can donate to your area charity donation center. Do not save for a yard sale. You will be blessed by giving it away. The value can be deducted on your income taxes. Remember you are trying to get rid of clutter. Not relocate it somewhere else in your home. Grab another box, label it and get to work.

6. When the put away box gets full, take the box in your arms and run around the house and put the items in the room where they belong. If they have a place, put them there, if not put them in the room where they logically belong. By the time you have finished you will have a place for everything and everything will be in it’s place. You will get there 15 minutes at a time with BabySteps.

7. When the timer goes off, You are required to put away all the boxes, but first you have to empty all of them. As fast as you can.

8. Decide how often you are going to de-clutter a section of this room. Make the commitment to yourself to do a little every day. 15 minutes every day will change your life. Let me warn you; this can become compulsive. Once you get started you will want to clean like a banshee. Don’t burn yourself out. Only do small amount at a time. When you set the timer you can only do 2 sessions at a time. Trust us you will get your home de-cluttered this way, 15 minutes at a time!

9. Things to ask yourself as you get rid of your clutter. Do you love the item? Is it garbage? Have I used it in a year? Do I have another one that is better? Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it? Or does it give you guilt and make you sad when you see the item? Cleanse the rooms of everything that does not make you SMILE.

10. Sing this song. “Please release me let me go” as sung from the stuff point of view. It needs to be loved by someone and if you don’t love it. GET RID OF IT!

11. Be proud of your accomplishment! Do not look at the room and see all that you have left to do. Look at the room and see how much you did do. The house did not get messy overnight and it will not get clean overnight. It will happen with BabySteps.

PS – We have a De-clutter Kit in the FlyShop that makes de-cluttering fun http://www.flylady.net/pages/FlyShop_declutter.asp

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