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The 15 Minute Purge: Just Do It.

The kids are eating a snack. The dryer is running with your fourth load of the day. The dog is napping. Your coffee is hot. Now what. Well, you probably sit and take a deep breath, because you are a tired mama, having just gotten home from a day of work at the office, or having just finished your third kid-bath of the day while spouse-less for another five hours. Either way, 15 minutes of pure ‘me time’ seems to trump everything else possible in your life right now.

I hear ya. I am there a lot. I also want to challenge you. Did you realize that there is a hidden power in those 15 ‘free’ minutes you have? Yup (refer to my 2015 post The Power of 15 Minutes). Mind blowing power. Day altering power. I am not kidding. If you need that 15 minutes of rejuvenating-rest, please by all means, take it mama. If in fact you can sacrifice the rest, for a tad more work, which in the end will result in rest, then here we go. This post is for you.

I am talking about the 15 minute purge.

In our home we just ended a radically crazy season of life. Five Christmas celebrations, a 10 year anniversary, two holiday baby birthdays, and my birthday (which by that time all I care about is the free meal at First Watch I acquire, and I must say, thoroughly enjoy). So, as you can imagine, the toy section of every major department store vomits all over our home, followed by my version of anxiety calmed by only one thing. Purging.  January for me, like I am sure many, is my purging month. My ‘get that out of my face before I pitch it straight up in the garbage’ mantra. My ‘give it away, I don’t care, just give it away’ psyche. It’s my problem. It’s my unicorn.

In our effort to minimalize, which we have been on for some time now (and I must say, is amazing), comes my appreciation for 15 minute increments in my days. Some think I’m nuts, but you would be amazed at the amount of purging and/or reorganization/organization one can accomplish in 15 minutes. 

Just hear me out, mama. I’m not losing it. Pick that one kitchen cabinet that is driving you bonkers. That one shelf in the hallway closet that has collected every odd ball scarf and hat (mind you, your kids wear the same one every day), the linen closet shelf that has expired after expired over the counter medication just staring at you, the appliance cupboard where your pans and muffin tins and cookie sheets look like they are having some sort of after hours party. Pick one. Empty it all over the floor. Figure out what you NEED vs what you WANT and what can be GIVEN AWAY vs THROWN AWAY. And just do it. 15 minutes gone. Sanity gained.

To prove I am not just making up the ability to do such amazing damage in no time, I purged and organized 2 major cabinets in my house, on New Year’s eve this year (because that is how we party in our house), in just a tad over 15 minutes. I conquered my mish-mash under the counter cabinet of stovetop pans, cutting boards and random cooking dishes, as well as my spice cabinet. I will say, the pan organizer (gift from the hubby, because if practicality was a love language, I would be all over that) and the 3-tiered spice organizer (a little gift to myself), definitely aided in my ability to do so. My hubby and I did a quick ‘do we or don’t we use this’ pan inventory, ended up with a few to giveaway, and then did a quick reorganization with the help of the pan organizer (though not necessary), and waahlahh. Only the items we used are left. The same with the spices. I did a quick look through, pitched the ones that were way expired (you know you still have that dried basil in there from 2014 also, mmmhmmm), and condensed some that were duplicates. I ended up with a pile to pitch and a nicely organized spice cabinet that required no throwing of little jars around to find the much used garlic. It felt great. Those 15 minutes of purging were worth every second, and now I am not wresting with old pans or expired basil. Simple. Fast. Done.

Now, back to putting away the Christmas and birthday gifts…..

How do you go about purging? Reorganizing? Any good ideas to share?


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