Just Clean Up One Area

Mar 25, 2013 by

Like many others you may have resolved to be a little more organized this year.  Part of many new years resolutions is the notion to clean up the mess and be more organized.  The problem with this resolution is that its too vague.  Be honest, if you’ve made that resolution this past January first, have you done anything about it yet?  Are you organized?  Are you on your way to being more organized?

Big lofty goals like this one are nice, but they are too big and lofty and can easily be forgotten as you don’t do any meaningful action to work towards them.  If you’ve read any of this site, you know we are all about the meaningful action so today we take some.

Your Truly Simple Action for this week is to clean up just one area in your house.

Pick an area.  Any area.

Clean out that junk drawer.  Organize your closet.  Get rid of some junk you don’t need and make some money doing it.

Just pick one area that is cluttered and aim to tackle that area this week.  Start small.  Don’t aim to clean out the whole house because you will never do it.  Just pick one small area and get it done.  This will not only feel awesome, but set the path toward your goal of being organized.

It’s a good idea to pick an area that you see often.  This is good for two reasons.  First you no longer have to look at that cluttered area once you’ve cleaned it up.  All those nagging reminders of, “oh yeah, I need to clean that up”, will be replaced with awesome feelings of accomplishment.   Second, those positive feelings of seeing that cleaned area combined with the great feeling of accomplishment for getting it done with lead toward more opportunities to clean and get organized.

So that is it.  So simple.  Just clean one area.  Its not hard.  You have time.

Write down on a sticky note right now the area that is popping into your head to clean.  Put that note somewhere you’ll see it.  Schedule a day in your calendar to clean that area.  Do it tonight.  Just get it done and let those positive ripple effects start to happen.


Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:


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TSA#2 – Get organized part 1 – Clear your space to clear your head

Jan 7, 2013 by

I hope you had fun with the first TSA of the new year.  There is nothing quite like that feeling you get from it.

Now onto the second Truly Simple Action and your little project this week.

Simplifying your life involves a great deal of being in the right state of mind and being in the right state of mind requires you simplify your physical space around you.

When you are constantly surrounded by a space that is cluttered and in disarray it taxes your mind. No one likes taxes. No one likes to be in a constant state of stress and chaos, but often that’s exactly how we live. We all have those friends who chaos seems to follow them around. Visiting their house and catching a glimpse of how they live is a revealing tale of the chaos they surround themselves with. I once visited a friend who was having a problem with fly’s in their kitchen as evident by the fly strips hung everywhere, yet there was no attention paid to the HUGE pile of dirty dishes stacked up in and around the sink causing the fly problem in the first place.

Often we put bandaids on the problems never seeking to fix the root cause of the problem. We move piles of clothes from the bed to a chair to a dresser to the floor, but never take a minute to put the clothes away. We shift papers from one stack to another, but never take a minute to go through them or just recycle them and get them out our space.

Having these piles of “things to get to” or just crap everywhere is a constant stress. Whether conscious of it or not, just seeing these things every day causes your brain to think, “oh yeah, got to put that away” or, “must clean up that mess…later”. It’s these subconscious thoughts that nag our brain every time we look around causes feelings of anxiousness and stress that you don’t need. So were going to fix it, and it will be easy.

You’ve vowed to simplify your life. You’ve decided that you want less stress and more happiness and that state of mind requires a space that will allow those emotions to exist and thrive.

Your Truly Simple Action for this week is to clean one room.

That’s it.  Easy huh?

This room needs to be where you spend the most time. This may be your bedroom, or your kitchen, or living room. Close your eyes for 5 seconds and think about your daily routine and think about where you spend most of your time. That is the room you will clean.

First purge everything from the room that does not belong in that space and put it way. Don’t just put it somewhere else to be put away later. Put it where it goes. If it does not have a space, decide if you need to keep that item or not, and if you do, find it a home where it can live. Next with everything that’s not supposed to be in that space, clean the room. This doesn’t take as long as you think it does. Get out the iPod and put on your favorite album and take 10-15 minutes to just clean. Clear off all of the flat surfaces. Dust and wipe them down. Pick up everything off the floor and vacuum. Keep as many things out of site as possible.

Having a clean minimalist space is a wonder for your mind. All of a sudden when you spend time in that room you will notice yourself being more relaxed. Your mind won’t’ be racing with all of the things you need to clean or fix or put away. Your mind can slow down and take a breath.

It’s an amazing feeling.

Now take a few moments to pause and relish in that feeling. Look around. Take it all in. Breathe deep and enjoy it. If you want to increase this mental peace, repeat this process to your other rooms. I recommend doing your bedroom as well. Having a clean and uncluttered bedroom where you can relax in the space that you see last thing before you go to sleep and first thing in the morning is wonderful. Imagine going to sleep with a quiet mind and waking up with a clear head ready to tackle the day. This space is important and can set the intention and mood for the day and thus your life.

Now if you’ve got junk piled to the ceiling and no where for it to go you might need to do a big purge.

Try this:

  • Put everything away that has a place
  • Take everything else and put it in a big pile in another room.
  • Once that room is clean go back to the big pile in the other room and start grabbing items and ask yourself a few questions:
    • Do I need this?
    • Have I used this in the last 6 months?
    • Can I just get rid of it?

Make a few smaller piles from the big pile. First pile is trash and its helpful to just get a trashcan and throw any and all trash in there. Second pile is the pile to sell. If you’ve got stuff you don’t need, but others might, put it aside and put it on eBay or Craigslist and make some extra cash from that stuff. Third pile is the pile to give away. All old clothes and such go in this pile and you will donate it to the Goodwill.

Clean that room.  Clean a couple if you can.  Once you get started you’ll realize how easy it is.  Just get started.


Previous TSA’s:


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Cleaning out the closet

Jul 20, 2010 by

Paper Clips

I recently finished up a remodel of my office.  It wasn’t a big huge project compared to other remodeling projects, but it gave me a good excuse to clean out the office closet which had become a catchall for a lot of stuff.

Now that the room is (almost) done, the closet is clean, organized, and I was able to donate, give away, or sell so much stuff.   My office is clean and organized and its an amazing feeling.  Here’s how I did it.

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