Today, I’m sharing our secret weapon – the 15-minute task we use to cut clutter every day in our home – and it’s a game changer.
If you had a chance to read yesterday’s post, you know we transitioned our Christmas mantel into a winter inspired mantel in 5 simple steps. What you didn’t see was our clutter catcher (the secret weapon) waiting to be used just outside the shot.
Let me back up for a sec, ok?
How many times have you been working on a project that takes a little longer than you thought it would? Before you know it, you’re running behind with dinner and now there’s a big mess to clean up and all you want to do is leave it right there on the table or in the hallway or wherever you stash your stuff and deal with it later.
Or maybe projects aren’t really your thing, so what about this situation…
You’re hanging out with your family and everyone is having a good time in the living room. You guys are watching movies, someone has pulled out a game, there’s a bowl of popcorn and drinks on the coffee table, socks and shoes piled up next to the couch, everyone has a blanket, there are pillows on the floor and a stack of magazines with a candy bar wrapper nesting on top and all of it’s piled up on the end tables. Oh, and the dogs have pulled out all their toys adding to the mess – just a typical Friday night, right?
Or maybe you’re a blogger that makes a lotsof messes like when you change up your mantel from the holiday season to the winter season (this is just a portion of what I could fit in the shot).
If you dread dealing with situations like these or a whole host of other scenarios I could give and you’re overwhelmed with the mess – you need to institute the 15-minute clutter catcher into your life every day. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean your house, now, but it will help you keep things tidier each day.
Here are the steps that will get you started…(Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
Step #1 – The 15-minute clutter catcher is something you can do with almost any project on any day no matter if you’re at home or on vacation. The only exception is for food and/or drink related items. You can use a compost bowl and/or the waste bin for those. For the 15-minute clutter catcher, all you need to get started is a sturdy basket and a kitchen timer or you can use the timer on your cell phone.
Step #2 – When I was working on the mantel, I pulled out all sorts of items to try….books, fillers, containers, plates…and they were all from multiple rooms. The coffee table was my staging area and it was a mess. Instead of walking each of the items back to their rooms, I placed all of the items that needed to be put away into the basket so everything was contained at once. As always, use caution and care if you’re working with items that are breakable.
Step #3 – Set the timer for 15 minutes.
Step #4 – Carry the basket into each room and start putting the items away until the timer goes off. Remember not to pile so much stuff in the basket it becomes too heavy to carry safely. This step is THE most important because it would be super easy to leave the basket in the room, walk away and deal with it later. Fight through the temptation to do that and take care of business!
If you find you need more time, set the timer for another 15 minutes.
Step #5 – It’s a big deal to finally kick the habit of procrastination or letting things go until you feel like dealing with them so remember to Reward yourself if you need some extra motivation!
Step #6 – After your basket has been completely emptied, return the clutter catcher to its designated storage spot so it will be ready to use the next day.
No playing, you guys, I used to dread having to put things away. At times, I would even leave the mess and deal with it the following day as long as it wasn’t food related. But every time I did that I would wake up, see the mess and immediately become frustrated I hadn’t made a better choice or set a better example.
Things are totally different now that we use the 15-minute clutter catcher though. If I’m working from home, I’ll use it throughout the day so the house stays tidy. We also use this same system each night before we go to sleep as part of our nightly routine which makes a huge difference each morning.
This is something you can definitely get the whole family involved in helping too! If you have multiple people in your family you may want to consider getting a clutter catcher basket for each person then storing them all together in a common area like the laundry room. Depending on their ages you may have to check to make sure they actually put items away appropriately.
I’m always surprised at how much we can get put away and tidied up in 15 minutes because 15 minutes doesn’t seem very long. I’ve come to realized it’s being fully focused and intentional for those 15 minutes that makes the biggest difference though. Having a clean, tidy and organized home takes commitment but you guys, we’re worth it!
Ready to get started with the 15-minute clutter catcher? Here are a few baskets in different shapes and sizes to consider…
Do you have a favorite organization tip or trick you’re exited about? We’d love to know!