I'm not going to tell you it'll be easy if the clutter is really deep and out of hand, but I will say it's probably going to be easier than you expect. But, you have to have faith and be persistent. This method works, but results are not immediately visible.
When I tried this approach - which is really a "cleaning and organizing chart-based plan" - in a really chaotic house trailer, a case of clutter hoarding actually, it was about the third week before it really started to show, but once it started to show, it showed a lot - with daily improvement visible after that point.
Steps to Get Organized in 30 Days
- Make a list: This can be the hardest part... Either grab a notebook or use a computer program such as Excel, whichever you prefer. Make a page for each room in your home - don't forget closets, basement, garage, and the attic - any space you use needs to be recorded in this step. Now record every cleaning step you need to do in each room. For example: vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, laundry, changing linen, shining mirrors, cleaning over door trim - you get the idea - list everything - even the smallest details.
- Make a plan: Look at your first page. Pick the easiest thing to do. Mark it down as a Monday task. Go to the next page - pick the hardest thing to do. (In some rooms the hardest task might be only a two or three minute task - so don't worry that this will take all day to do - it only takes about half an hour to an hour a day - and then - only until the clutter is under control - then it's mere minutes a day.) Mark it as a Monday task. Go to your third page, pick the easiest task and mark it as a Monday task. Go through the rest of your pages, alternating between the hardest and easiest tasks - mark them all as Monday tasks. Start through the rooms list again, in the same order - this time starting with the hardest task and marking it as a Tuesday task. Alternate between easiest and hardest until you finish the last room. Now every single one of your hardest tasks are out of the way before Wednesday without doing them all on one day. Fill in the rest of the tasks on the remaining week days. It's up to you if you want to spend your weekends on this too.
- Put your plan in action: Go to your plan for whatever day of the week it is and do the cleaning and organizing chores listed for that day. You can start on any day of the week because you have a plan for every day. You can do extra if you want - but this organizing plan is about making daily progress without getting burnt out on the cleaning and organizing process.
- Congratulate yourself: You just made progress in every room in your house. Does it show? probably not, but that's ok, because it will soon. I don't recommend telling anyone in your real life about what you are doing just yet. Here's why... if you were getting the understanding and support you need in life from them, you probably wouldn't be here looking for organizing help at the Get Organized Club, though I'm glad you are. That doesn't mean they are the problem... it just means - wait... let yourself feel good because you just accomplished something. Share your success in the comments here if you like - because we get it. We wouldn't be here if we didn't.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat: Go through your checklist each day - week after week... Add things you might have missed in your original planning session as needed. You will quickly learn which days are the easiest for you and how long your daily cleaning and organizing chores take.
After a month, as long as you stick with this, expect to look around at a cleaner, more organized home that is EASY to maintain in a short amount of time each day by following your daily checklist.
Hopefully, you'll say, "Wow, I really did get organized in 30 days without tearing my hair out!"
Let me now how it goes and feel free to ask questions about any unclear parts, as I now this is kind of long and wordy.