Q&A - part 2. How to de-clutter when you don't have time

For those of you who think my house is in perfect working order, spotlessly clean from top to bottom and that I have this whole thing running in tip top shape - you are wrong. I still struggle like the rest of you with mountains of laundry, frozen chicken that I forgot to thaw in time, and children up under my feet all the time so that doing my floors feels near impossible. Thus the need for this blog post. Chic Planner reader, Catherine, wants to know how I get it all done and if I have a wand that I can wave over her house so that every drawer and cupboard will be finally de-cluttered. Catherine, if I had a wand, I would use it first, I promise. :)

For those of you struggling with life's distractions then I'm sure you can understand. It may not be little ones up under your feet, but you may be putting in overtime at work. Or maybe you are caring for an elderly parent or a sick family member, sickness and aging can for sure eat up our time. There is always going to be something that we are going through in life. A wise friend said recently, "we are either going through something, coming out of something or about to enter something. It's all cyclical."
To sum it up, we all have distractions in our lives, no matter the form they take and we have all been given the same amount of time each day.

There are some days that I'm so exhausted by the time we finally get our children to bed that even just turning on the dishwasher takes more than what I have left to give. So let's not get into a comparison game with what others are doing or what we think we should be doing. Give yourself some grace and tackle each cabinet or drawer in 15 minute increments. Lately I've been finding time between dinner and bedtime when my husband is playing with the kids and I have a few moments of focused attention. I can generally carve out 15 minutes a day, but if I can't for some reason, then no big deal. I will try again tomorrow. I learned this philosophy from The Flylady, Marla Cilley. Marla says that when embarking on de-cluttering a whole house, stop doing any deep cleaning except for the basics of dishes, laundry and the bathrooms and just focus that time on de-cluttering your whole home. Once it is is de-cluttered, then you start your detailed cleaning that helps you to maintain a clean home. When unwanted items enter my home, I discard them immediately into my giveaway bag that I mentioned last week.

I have been so impressed and encouraged by all the reports that my readers send me about the progress made in their homes. Please keep it up and don't get discouraged if it doesn't happen as quickly as you want it to. Rome wasn't built in a day. :)

Please continue to send your questions through for our Q&A series. I love hearing from you so please keep me updated on your de-cluttering progress.