Keep clear – 15 minutes a day

I recently completed an audio-book about de-cluttering. It is a very engaging book that discusses various aspects of clutter, organizing styles and tips.

My key take-away is the 15-minute-a-day that I have started to apply.

In short, the 15-minute-a-day directs that, you spend 15 minutes daily on a small area or a specific task that will put things in their right place and prevent clutter from building up.

15 minutes – short and sweet

Oh yes, it is good to have a clock in sight or a timer on, so you will stop at 15 minutes. This is important because keeping it short and sweet makes repeating easier. I start with 10 minutes and will move on to 15 minutes once I am ready.

So, here is what I have done so far:

Day 1:

Discard the idle mailers on the coffee-table. Remove the pens and paper that were left there after my random scribbling.

Day 2:

Sort out the toy dump for my pets. It is a large recycled carton box containing almost anything. There were a number of lovely colored balls buried deep underneath. I extracted them all and placed them into a laundry basket. The rest of the dump, I left it to the next day. 10 minutes is up.

Day 3:

Part 2 of the toy dump. Dump whatever is beyond safe use. For instance, one soft toy had both its eyes ripped off. Another one has its stuffing dangerously spilling out. Whatever good toys that remain go into a smaller box with a cover. The large carton box is dumped.

Day 4:

Wipe the surfaces of the coffee table, TV console and arrange the remote controls neatly.

Day 5:

Clean out the first drawer of my study table. I had 3 empty bags ready to sort the items.

Bag #1 – Trash.

Bag #2 – Unsure: Discard one month later from (date).

Bag #3: Belong to somewhere else.

I threw away Bag #1, and 10 minutes is up.

Day 6:

Work on Bag #3, and put the items at where they belong.

Next challenge

It is often said, the most difficult part is taking the first step. I have taken the first step but keeping up is the next big challenge. This is a continual journey along which I am certain to take breaks.

Not too long a break though, lest the stuff builds up. An overhaul is the last thing I want.


My new found habit also makes me rethink about working SMART. The well-known acronym of goal-setting goes by

S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Realistic, and T-Timely.

The 15-minute-a-day works for me because it is

S-Short. M-Manageable, A-Actionable R-Repeatable, T-Transferrable.

I could apply it to my wardrobe or workstation. I might also want to adapt it to other goals, such as fitness and self-improvement.

That’s it. I am off for my 15 minutes. Are you, too?

Aarssen, Cassandra.Real Life Organizing
Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day. Mango Media Inc. 2017.

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