Tidying, Instead of Decluttering…

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  I enjoyed a very relaxing day with family, and am now attempting to get myself organized for the new year… 

A couple weeks ago now, Anne Lene over at Minimalist Sometimes finished up a 7 day decluttering and blogging challenge.  I was inspired to declutter, until I went home and looked around my messy mid-renovation chaos of a house, and then sat down on the couch completely discouraged to pout…

But, instead of a decluttering challenge, I decided to just try and reign in some of the chaos of my house… Each day I would try to do at least 20 minutes of tidying.  Some sort of tidying…

I recently finished reading the book “Unf*ck your habitat : you’re better than your mess” by Rachel Hoffman.  It wasn’t anything ground breaking or mind blowing, but it was a funny read and it was refreshing because she understands that we are human and have lives and might not actually enjoy the act of cleaning… She also has a website.  The book and the website have all sorts of challenges to help get you going on the road to a nice clean home.  Maybe some day I’ll go through her challenges, but for now… 20 minutes…

One of the mainstays of Rachel’s method is the 20/10.  20 minutes of cleaning or tidying, then 10 minutes of rest.  The idea is that 20 minutes isn’t a very long commitment, so it should be easy enough to get enough motivation to get off the couch and *do something* for 20 minutes, and then you reward yourself with a full 10 minutes of rest or fun…

I decided that for the month of December, I would try my hardest to complete 1 x 20 minute tidy each day.  In a hopes that it will at least keep some of the renovation chaos at bay, and allow me to feel somewhat relaxed in my renovation-chaos-ridden house.

Well… How have I done, you ask?  We are currently 27 days in to December, and I’ve completed my daily 20 minute tidy only 12 times… Not exactly a resounding success… Especially when a lot of those tidying times were repeating something that was “tidied” the time before…  But I still have a few days in December to improve…

Anyway, I thought I’d share some of my before and after shots of my 20 minute tidy sessions…

The UfYH tumbler page has a wealth of before and after photos… Cause you know we all love a good before and after comparison.  I’ve done a few on my blog… (Kind of like when I posted about my “adulting” way back…)  They are always popular.  Rachel Hoffman encourages the before and after shot as a way to actually see your progress and keep you motivated… So I will do as she says, right?

So let’s get right down to it.  Sorry for the crappy quality of photos… With the renovations we don’t exactly have a lot of light in the house, and with the short winter days and working all day, I don’t see the house in daylight much these days…

Living Room:


Then a quick 20 minutes of tidying and putting things where they belong… And giving the dusty surfaces a quick wipe…


Bedside Table:

With all the renovation chaos, a lot of things ended up on my bedside table because I wanted to have them handy, or keep them safe, or they we things I was using or needed to deal with… It was getting to the point that I couldn’t find a safe flat spot to put my phone at night…


Bedside Table_Before

And after just a quick 20 minute tidy where I actually dealt with some of the items and such… It became not 100% clean, but better… And at least I can put my phone down easily enough…


Bedside Table_After

Dresser Top:

Similar to my bedside table, my dresser top has become a place to store things that I need to deal with, but can’t really deal with because of the renovation chaos.  As that chaos is beginning to subside, I am now able to start dealing with a few of the items…





Okay, I know its not a huge difference, but it was 20 minutes of going through papers and deciding which needed to be kept, which needed to be recycled, and then actually dealing with a few of the items.  I don’t want to just shuffle things around to make it look tidy… So that always takes a bit longer than just straightening things up… In any case, a quick 20 minutes of tidying and there is now room (albeit dusty) to put something down if needed…

And now… 

Well, things have gotten to a point where we can actually start putting some things back where they belong, so my recent 20 minute sessions have been cleaning out cupboards, washing dishes, and organizing the kitchen stuff… I’ll try to post a renovation update soon!

Have you done any tidying?  Or decluttering?  It always feels good to start the new year with a clean and decluttered house.


14 thoughts on “Tidying, Instead of Decluttering…

  1. I’ve been struggling with tidying lately. I keep thinking that I need a box for stuff I want to let go of and then I think “I don’t have a box the right size” and I do something else. 🙂 Pretty silly excuse.

    I have been dusting a bit, though, and I have the dirty microfiber cloth to prove it (oh and a clean desk and shelves).

    Liked by 3 people

    • I find a lot of my procrastinating is because I want to post all my progress on here, and then I don’t have time to take photos or something… But dusting is something that I need to do more of… I didn’t dust off my dresser top after I tidied and it’s pretty bad with renovation dust!


  2. Good on you for tackling it. I’ll check out those resources.

    I’m in an end of year decluttering (de-owning) flurry. I accumulate things over the year and periodically need to pare down. The less I own, the fewer things I need to keep track of and keep clean.

    I don’t have a house, only a rented room, so space is at a premium and it doesn’t take much added stuff before it’s noticeable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like the size of our house can definitely be a downside to decluttering… We have so much stuff that is hiding in the basement that we just don’t see on a regular basis… I could probably get rid of most of it without missing much, but I have such a hard time with that…


  3. When I get stuck, I have to take pictures to see the clutter. I haven’t figured out why that is yet but it sure helps! And your before and after pics are great! Good job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After coming home from visiting family (and bringing home double what we left with thanks to gifts), I did a ton of tidying last night. And today I’ll continue that with a bit of decluttering that I’m sure will end up with a trip to the donation center tomorrow. Our kitchen and office are a bit of a problem area so I will definitely be trying the photo trick the next time I feel unmotivated to do some tidying.

    Liked by 1 person

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