30-Day Organize-athon | Day 1: Declutter Your Living Area

30-Day Organize-athon 01

Welcome to the 30-Day Organize-athon!

In today’s 5 minutes we’re going to express-declutter your living area.

Take a deep breath, and imagine inhaling a sense of clarity, freedom and order. Then get started!

Day 1: Declutter Your Living and/or Entertainment Area

Step 1: Grab a large garbage bag.

Step 2: Quickly make your way around your living and/or entertainment area, tossing these items into the bag as you go:

  • Magazines other than the current month’s
  • Newspapers other than today’s
  • Knick-knacks – unless you really love them
  • Tatty coasters
  • DVDs no-one watches any more
  • CDs no-one listens to any more
  • Games no-one plays any more
  • Remotes and technology no-one uses any more (including old game consoles)
  • Food
  • Books you’ve read and won’t re-read, or will never read
  • Videos, cassettes, computer floppies, camera film – any storage device for which you no longer have hardware
  • Framed photos – unless they’re genuinely special to you
  • Tatty cardigans, socks and other apparel strewn around the furniture
  • ‘Displayed’ items on shelves that collect dust but hold no meaning for you
  • Dead potted plants
  • Threadbare or stained cushions, throws, rugs, etc
  • Anything else that isn’t loved and/or used regularly.

Step 3: Put your bag by the door or take it straight out to the car. (Take it to the tip as soon as you can.)

Step 4: If there’s something genuinely valuable in there, and you’d lose sleep over tossing it, then you can put it into a separate charity store bag. But if it’s junk, just let it go. If it doubt, don’t over-analyze – toss it.

And you’re done!

Got an Extra 5 Minutes?

  1. Return items that don’t belong in the living area to the proper place – the kids’ bedrooms, the office, the kitchen, etc.
  2. Straighten the coffee table and wipe it down.
  3. Neaten remotes, DVDs, and anything else that lives in the living room.
  4. Fluff up the cushions.

Now doesn’t that feel more like a ‘living’ room?

The 30-Day Organize-athon Mantra

Move fast. Don’t overthink. Let it go!

Start the 5-minute timer now.

Leave Your Comment Below…

Please leave a comment below to say you’ve completed today’s task.

And I’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

592 thoughts on “30-Day Organize-athon | Day 1: Declutter Your Living Area

  1. Vera Mizell says:

    Continuation of the living room (Day 1 – 6)
    After a full day of meetings and shopping, I spent another 15 minutes boxing another shelf load of books (4 more shelves + knick knacks to go) At 88, it’s pretty exhausting work, but I’m committed to complete the whole house so I can put it on the market.

  2. Vera Mizell says:

    Today was my day off. I volunteer at the San Diego center for the Blind once a week. Then I had dinner with my daughter and did some shopping. We picked up some more boxes so I can complete the work in the living room. When I move to the day 2 project – closets, things will move faster. I am really encouraged about how musch I have done concentrating on one room.

  3. Vera Mizell says:

    Day 1 (4) After doctor’s appointment, budget and household chores, spent only 10 minutes boxing books. Still have one more book case and a wrought iron knick knack shelf and personal items (pictures, mementos) to go.

  4. Vera Mizell says:

    Day 3 – Found I had two more boxes of cassette tapes with educational programs, so spent two more hours on the living room project. Have six more shelves of books and 10 shelves of knick knacks to go before the living room is cleared of everything but furniture.

  5. Vera Mizell says:

    Day 2 – Still working on the living room. Have 4 bookcases and a china cabimet to go. Worked 15 minutes today and plan to work even longer tomorrow. It’s a relief to see all those VCRs, CDs and DVDs boxed up. Now I’ll work on the books (including many on organizing). Thanks for your encouragement.

  6. Michele Connolly says:

    @Vera: That’s a fantastic start!! We have 29 more days to go so pace yourself. Even if you only scratch the surface, you can scratch a little every day and soon things will start to look VERY different. M 🙂

  7. Vera Mizell says:

    January 1, 2012 – Day 1 – Spent 30 minutes pulling CDs & DVDs from living room shelves and boxing them. This is going to be a challenge, I have barely scratched the surface.

  8. Jolee Bobertz says:

    In the middle of day one. My husband got so excited watching me throw away things that he has joined me and it has turned in to a whole house minimulism make over. Yes on Christmas Day

  9. Gayle says:

    My first day at 5 minute organizing. That took WAY LONGER than 5 minutes, and it was only cleaning up stuff. My house is filled with boxes of my whole life; I moved in 6 months ago and don’t know what to do with all my family heirloom art and photographs. They go back generations. And there’s a lot of it. I need to organize all that so that I can send it off to other relatives, but that’s not a 5 minute job. Looking forward to tomorrow. Did about 20 minutes today.

  10. Nancy says:

    I have decided to make this a monthly routine! Bag to the trash and one to the thrift store. I also decided to make an evening ritual of a 5 minute family cleanup. Set the timer and have everyone stop and pick up their “space” for 5 minutes.

  11. tracy says:

    i think this is a really great read for people. my boyfriends mom is a hoarder (like the ones on tv) and if only she could be helped. either way, this is fantastic information to put out for people to read because honestly it only takes minutes to keep a home in order. 🙂

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