30 Minute Sweep

We just completed the week two assignment for Joshua Becker’s Uncluttered online course. The first part of the assignment was to move through the house and assess the level of clutter in each room. I did this on Saturday, taking pictures as I went.

The second part of the assignment was to move through the house again, gathering up “anything you see that you can easily get rid of”. So Sunday afternoon, while my daughter was at a Girl Scout event, my husband and I went through each room with a laundry basket, gathering up trash, donations, unwanted items, and things we don’t use any more. (We did not include any of our daughter’s things, since she was not there.)

Each time we filled the laundry basket, we took it downstairs and dumped the contents out into the middle of the living room floor. We probably filled the basket five or six times in the upstairs area alone.

The whole process took a little over a half an hour. The point was to grab the low-hanging fruit, not to dig into drawers and closets or start sorting through papers and photos. Once we had gone through each room, we began sorting the pile in the living room floor into donate or trash. We threw out two large garbage bags of non-donatable items. These are the remaining items, which we immediately packed into the car and took to donate.


Obviously, Bridget, next to the monitor in this picture did not get donated, but she inspected everything very carefully to make sure we were not getting rid of any of her things.

The thing that amazed me most about this exercise was how much stuff we were able to quickly look at and choose to get rid of. It gave us a lot of encouragement and momentum for the more thorough decluttering that will happen in the coming weeks.

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