Friday, May 22, 2009

Decluttering Made Simple (27-17-7)

A post on the FlyLadies & More forum was very useful so I am sharing it with you all here.

It's called 27-17-7.

As you can see on the link above, the original idea was to do the first part of a 27 Fling Boogie by going through your home and finding 27 items that need to be thrown away. Repeat daily. Once you've cleared the home of the obvious trash, the next step is to choose 17 items that you don't need, love, use or want and donate, sell or otherwise get to a home that is not yours! Again, doing this every day "Until there is nothing left to donate...not even an extra pair of shoes." The final step was to find 7 homeless items and return them to their home or designate a home for them.

And, as we all know, decluttering doesn't have a stopping point. The last part from the post is: "When you've done that, start again." Oh man!

Inspired by these 3 simple steps, I've begun using the 27-17-7 plan in my home.

--> As I collect bits off the floor, empty junk mail off the desk, etc. I put the items into a small bag. At the end of the week, I've usually collected more than 27 things. It's amazing to realize that. Taking the time to do this extra step has reminded me about how doing a little here & there can accomplish so much!

--> I put items that I've defined as clutter in our Donation Station every day, as usual. At the end of the week, I count them as I move them from a temporary bag to the one that I take to the charity. There's always at least 7 items; for one item a day. What can I say? I've been trained.

--> As I live with a messie for a husband and have 2 small children, I can easily find 7 items a day to bring back to their homes.

Each of us is taking a different decluttering journey based on our starting points. None are less noble than another.

If you are completing a 27-17-7 every day, wow, look at you go! If, like me, you've decluttered your life to where it's a weekly event, that's terrific. Or maybe you live more simply (kudos to you) and can not finish a 27-17-7 in a week's time. The important part is that you celebrate your efforts once you have done so.

Every single one of us is taking action towards reducing the physical and mental clutter in our lives. For that, I am so proud of you. Keep going!

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  1. Oh yeah! I love this post, this great idea, your wonderful coaching! I'm going to do this (she says with conviction). I've been doing much, much the old potting shed completely cleaned out, and that's saying something - given that it was full of stuff left by the woman who used to own it (we bought the property next door where it stands), and she lived in the house in front of the potting shed for over 25 years! I sure wish I'd been counting 27-17-7 that weekend....

  2. Thanks for the enthusiastic feedback, Lydia. Always appreciated!

    I'm thrilled to see that you are still going strong. WTG on clearing the shed!

    Counting the clutter is only useful while you are motivating yourself to do the task, to help you move forward. Afterward, it doesn't matter...because you're not looking back. Now your focus is on the present and living in the beautiful, uncluttered space you've created!

    TCOY! (take care of you)


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