We're currently living through a worldwide pandemic and the advice from the health experts is to stay home as often as possible - or not leave the home at all for 14 days if there's a chance you have been exposed to Covid-19.
So why not take this time to declutter your home? You must have had your fill of decluttering tips by now so what about decluttering challenges?
Here are 10 to try this long weekend.
An item a day
Pick one thing each day that you can either give away or throw in the trash. Think about it this way - you can easily remove 365 items a year if you do this. That sounds impressive, doesn't it?
The 12-12-12 challengePHOTO: Unsplash
This is an easy one to follow - choose 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 to be returned to where they came from.
This task will clear 36 items from your home and it's also a way to finally return those items you've borrowed that you've been meaning to give back to their rightful owners but never got round to doing.
Fill a trash bag
The task here is to fill a trash bag with items you either want to throw away or donate and you can't stop until this is done. If you want more of a challenge, set a time limit too.
The junk mail challengePHOTO: Unsplash
If you get a lot of leaflets, flyers and restaurant menus in your letterbox and leave them in a pile 'to look through later' instead of throwing them in the bin straight away, this is the challenge for you.
They might be in a stack on your kitchen counter or coffee table but even if they're hidden in a drawer, it's good to get rid of them if you don't need them.
Sort through the pile and keep only what you need. If you're the type who has leaflets scattered all over your house - instead of in a pile at one spot - you can go on a fun scavenger hunt to look for then throw them away.
Pick a small area in your home and take a 'before' photo of it. Clear or organise the cluttered items then take an 'after' photo.
Once you see the difference you've made in a short space of time, it'll give you the boost you need to want to tackle the rest of your home too.
The closet cleanoutPHOTO: Unsplash
Whether it's your wardrobe or linen closet you'd like to go through or even the kitchen cupboard that needs a reorg, your task is to clear out one cupboard at a time so it doesn't seem as daunting.
Give yourself a time limit to make it more challenging.
The pantry challengePHOTO: Unsplash
It's not unusual to have a pantry full of products, half of which you don't even remember you still have.
Sorting through your pantry is also a good way to keep stock of your food so you know which essentials you're running low of and which ones you could probably give or donate to others if you're not going to use them.
And, of course, throw away any expired food.
Clear your work desk
If you work from home or have a desk at home where you catch up on work in the evenings or weekends, make sure you clear this often too - even if nobody else is going to see the mess and judge you for it, like they might in an office.
A clutter-free desk will also lead to a clearer head so this will help your concentration levels when you're working too.
Get a friend to help you
Sure, it always helps when there's someone else to help you with the physical task of cleaning up but this isn't what we mean by getting a friend to help.
Instead, invite a trusted friend over and ask them to suggest what you could throw away or donate in your home, as a fresh perspective is always helpful.
It could be a straightforward conversation or you could do this in a fun way by each of you arguing your case as to why that item should stay or go then deciding after hearing both points of view - or getting a third, neutral friend to be the decision-maker (just don't fall out if you don't agree with their decisions).
Use the FlyLady techniquePHOTO: Unsplash
If Marie Kondo-ing your house was a 2019 phenomenon, then 2020 is for the FlyLady technique. Invented by Marla Cilley, this technique basically involves doing household tasks for 15 minutes at a time.
You don't need to spend all day making your house look tidy and it's more manageable too when you do it in 15-minute spurts.
So set a timer and declutter an area in your house for 15 minutes at a time and you'll be done with the entire house sooner than you think.
And, with breaks in between, you won't be as tired and the task won't seem as daunting either. Baby steps is the way to go.
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This article was first published in Her World Online.