Sunday, April 24, 2016

Preparing for a Junk Raid - Part 2

Let's review....

A JUNK RAID is a planned out, well-executed dejunking venture that could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on you and your dedication to it as well as the amount of stuff you have!

We've already discussed that this war on junk is a WAR and thus needs a well-designed PLAN to help make it successful. 

Previously we talked about steps 1 and 2:

1. Prepare your Family

2. Set your space priorities

And now we can move on to Step 3!

3. Make a schedule

One of the problems people have with Dejunking and Organizing their homes and spaces is they make it a low priority. It's an undeniable and universal law that we tend to do easy tasks first and postpone or put things off that are more difficult or we deem less than enjoyable.  A lot of people say that they want to get a handle on their junk and spaces but it is the executing of this job that we stumble. 

I believe one of the best ways you can make it happen is to break up the job into "bite-size pieces" and write down these small jobs on your calendar like you would a doctor's appointment or job interview (remember how we talked about how powerful making written plans are?).

By the way, if you are ready to break up the job into pieces but are wondering where exactly to start, here is a tip:

Start in your master bedroom closet.


Some say that going through and dejunking your OWN personal stuff is the hardest part of the whole experience! It's like Boot Camp for new recruits in the armed forces. And why is Boot Camp so hard? Because the powers that be want to push their new recruits to see if they can make it through the absolute hardest things they can throw at them. Then they know they can make it through the rest. It's the same with this. If you can dejunk your own clothes, your own keepsakes, your own books, shoes, momentos and STUFF than you can do the rest of the house NO PROBLEM!

Also, another reason you would ideally dejunk your master bedroom first is that when you do it serves as a great motivation to keep going through the rest of the house. It gives you a place that is CLEANed-OUT and WELL-ORGANIZed to go to to relax, refresh yourselves and be inspired by. Going into the master bedroom spaces and seeing what can be done and how good it feels is great motivation to keep going throughout the rest of your spaces.




Look at this made up but otherwise real example :)

April  2016






Dejunking Class 7:00


Todd’s Birthday



Dejunk Master Closet 10-12:30

Dr. Nelson 3:00


Dejunnk Master Dressers 11-1

Bishop Interview 6:45


Dejunk Master Bath

Talk in Church
Laney’s Birthday

Dejunk Linen Closet  1-3

Art Class 7:00

Little League Tryouts 4:30-6

Piano Recital 7:00

Dejunk Guest Bath  10-12

Dinner Group here

Ice Cream at Porters  6:30


Womens Event Meeting 10:00


Set up for Womens Event  10:00
Stake Womens Event

Can you see how I put in JUST the Master Bedroom Closet on Monday, the 11th? And just for 2-1/2 hours?   You might say "Ummm...that's not going to be nearly enough time" and maybe it isn't for you. You might need two or three 2-1/2 hour session for your master closet. If that's the case, schedule it in! (but I think it might be if you let me tell you exactly how to do it and how to avoid it taking keep reading)

AND, do you see how I gave myself a couple of days off and then scheduled in the dressers on Thursday, the 14th?

The idea is schedule small dejunking jobs in on your calendar, just like you would an appointment with any other important person doing important work, and then you MAKE IT HAPPEN (just like you would for an appointment with any other important person doing important work). 

You keep your appointment.

If you are a stay-at-home parent and have small children with you during the times you are scheduling dejunking sessions, may I make a suggestion. DON'T ATTEMPT to do this with little people present. They will be demanding and needy and distract you.  Hire a sitter or trade babysitting with a friend. (How about she dejunks her master closet on Tuesday, the 12th and you watch her kids then?)

Also, here's another tip. Figure out ahead of time exactly what you are going to have for dinner on the nights you are dejunking. Write that meal plan on the calendar and get it out of the freezer and arranged for it to be cooking or prepared ahead of time. The point is to get serious about look at ANYTHING that is going to distract or worry you and thus keep you from your task of dejunking and eliminating it as best you can. Make sense?

4. Collect and Label Containers

To be successful in dejunking your spaces, the next step you need to accomplish is collecting and labeling containers for your dejunking session.

One container is for garbage...very self-explanatory right?

The next is for Charity (and like we talked about before there are a lot of charitable organizations that are willing to take whatever you bring them and find good homes for it all.  So never take that job on yourself! )

The next container is labeled "Somewhere Else." 
This container is often overlooked by "rookie dejunkers" but oh so important in your quest to be successful.

The somewhere else bag is where you are going to put things that you find in your dejunking work that are not things to throw away or get rid of...they are things that are useful keepers and needed but just do not belong anywhere in that room or space you are dejuking.

The reason this bag is so essential is that if you stop in the middle of a dejunking session to go and take something out to the garage or in to the kitchen or wherever it might belong, chances are REALLY GOOD you will get distracted on your way there or back and might not return for a while to your original dejunking job. 

So, if you want to be can't leave for any purpose and that includes something good like putting things away.

So stick with dejunking and then, at the end of that specific dejunking job that day, you will take this bag and go around the house and put everything away where it goes (remember your written space priorities plan? if you've done this for the  majority of the spaces in your home, putting things away will be even easier!)

 The 4th bag is labeled "Emotional Withdrawl" and is another one few people think of as a necessity.

What an Emotional Withdrawal bag does is hold things that you know, in your heart of hearts, should probably go to Charity but you just can't quite do it.  You are emotionally attached!

Maybe it's the little stuffed bear your high school boyfriend gave you?

Maybe it's the stack of generic birthday cards your Grandma bought and signed for you every year?

Maybe it's the little Victoria Secret nightie you wore on your honeymoon (that you really hope your 15 year old won't ever find in your drawer)?

The truth is, we all have things that have "emotional ties" in our lives. The funny thing is that the object is usually something that would be of absolute no use to anyone else out there.

And yet we hold on to it and let it fill our spaces.

When you dejunk with an "Emotional Withdrawal" bag and come across something that you just can't quite get rid of, don't stop to get emotional, upset, and argumentative with yourself about it. Just put that item gently in the "EW" bag and know it is "safe for now." 

At the end of your dejunking session (or two or three if it's not totally full), take care of getting rid of the garbage, charity and somewhere else bags and close up the "EW" bag and write a date on the label. Then put it somewhere out of the way and let it stay for a bit. If, in your day to day life, you keep thinking about something in that bag that you just can't seem to part with (AND you feel like you have a reasonable place to keep it in--maybe there's room in your limited-size keepsake box?) then go out and rescue it.

However, after 6 months from the date on the bag's label, it's time to take the "EW" bag and drop it off at your local "accepting donations" site. The key, however, in this entire process, is that when the 6 months are up, you CANNOT OPEN OR LOOK IN THE EMOTIONAL WITHDRAWAL BAG!  By now, you've forgotten what's in there or you do remember but have been able to detach yourself emotionally. If you open it, chances are all of those emotions will flare up again and your 6 months will start all over again! You don't want that, do you? Of course not.  So don't open the bag!

The 5th and last Container is a box rather than a bag labeled "Papers."   

This box is going to keep all of the papers you find that you need to keep and should go somewhere else but you don't want to just toss them into the somewhere else bag with the toys, binders, tableclothes and cans of spray paint. The other reason you need a PAPERS BOX is you will find papers that you don't need to keep as well and you need to take the time to shred most of these papers. The Papers Box is a good place to keep them separate from your regular "garbage" that will be going straight to the landfill where personal information might be easy to find.

OK, so our labeled bags/containers are:
1- Garbage
2- Charity
3- Somewhere Else
4- Emotional Withdrawal
5- Papers (box)

Just as a side note--if you have family members that you are worried about "rescuing" items from any or all of these bags, having them be black instead of white or clear (easier to see through) bags would be a great idea :)

Are you ready now??

It's time to go on a JUNK RAID!
I can't wait!

Next Post:  Going on a Junk Raid


  1. This is so fun to read your posts. It's like a really great book but I have to agonizingly wait for the next sequel to come out every couple of days. Keep em coming!

    1. So happy you enjoy it!! Thanks for the encouragement!