Week two of 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life (aka #LWSLClutterFree) brought more surprises, more challenges, and more clean corners! I’ve been continually impressed by the impact I’ve made in areas I didn’t think needed work.

For example, my kid doesn’t have an overabundance of toys, but I was able to take our toy area from this:

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to this:

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It wasn’t crazy before, but it looks so much cleaner and calmer now — and not just because R. and his blocks are missing from the “after” picture!

Let’s take a look at this week’s decluttering progress by the numbers:

Days 6-12: Summary

Current projects

 Backlog

Total time and project completion

  • 7/12 current assignments completed (58%)
  • 4:13 total time spent this week (average 36 minutes per day)

Highlight: books and magazines

I spent nearly half of this week’s decluttering time on books and magazines. It’s the only partially completed project and the only one that’s significantly over the time budget.

I don’t think we own more books than the average household, so it’s probably not possible for many people to complete this challenge in one day.

However, my work thus far has been unmedicated and let me tell you, books and magazines are no small organizing feat for the ADHD adult. First of all, look at all the pictures! And the words! I caught myself several times paging through a book to find out if I really wanted to donate it. Cookbooks, especially, provide lots of romantic pictures that beg us not to let go.

#LWSLClutterFree Day 5: books and magazines

I kicked off Day 5 with an insomnia-fueled attack on my cookbook shelf. I’m already loving how easy it is to grab my most-used cookbooks. R. has a collection of board books at the bottom to look at while I cook dinner.

Speaking of cookbooks: letting go of a reference book of any kind means letting go of a project. Sometimes these projects and ambitions feel very special to us, and sometimes they remind us of our countless unrealized dreams. Getting rid of these books can be painful.

For these reasons and more, I think books and magazines have been the most difficult challenge so far. Most ADHD adults will need to work on this one over several days.

If you’re working with multiple ADHD book owners, the picture below illustrates one strategy that worked wonders for me. I knew my husband — already feeling short on time and behind on his own projects — would be overwhelmed if I simply told him, “sort through your books.” Instead, I asked him to take books from the pile on the left one by one, placing each on top of the “keep” or the “give away” paper. Then I left him alone. When I came back into the room, I was pleasantly surprised by how many books he’d put in the “give away” pile!

ADHD-friendly hacks

Conclusions

Project scope became a real issue this week. There are several bottlenecks and ADHD weak points that I’ll be interested to watch over the course of the month.

While I love the daily checklists, the checkboxes aren’t always single actions. To “create dedicated storage space for any specific functions” of my dining room is an admirable goal, but it’s a discrete project of its own, not a checkbox. To do this well, I’d need to:

  • think about what that storage should look like
  • figure out out how it would fit into the room
  • rearrange, eliminate, or acquire any furniture/supplies to make this happen, and
  • actually do it.

For now, I’ve solved this problem by spending a few minutes thinking about it, then adding any necessary storage solutions to my home organizing/decorating shopping list. I also skipped the china cabinet when I decluttered the dining room because it warrants (at least) its own day.

Regardless of my objective success — how many daily challenges I complete — I’ve moved a lot of furniture, cleaned a lot of baseboards, and gotten rid of a lot of stuff I wouldn’t have thought twice about otherwise. That’s a win no matter what!

Want to join me? You still can! Catch up here and start enjoying a calmer, cleaner life.

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