As cities across the U.S. began to issue “safer at home” orders, I felt like the only person I knew who didn’t have an ambitious project or three to tackle during the coronavirus.
Sure, I could identify something in each room of my house I’d like to improve: touching up the paint job on the porch; rearranging the bedroom furniture; tidying every closet and drawer in sight.
But I’m the type of person who starts a home project in one room, only to soon find myself halfway into projects in every single room simultaneously. Instead of feeling organized and accomplished, I spend more time than not feeling disorganized and messy.
On top of that, the coronavirus pandemic is not without its stressors. While the type-A side of me feels like I should be more productive during this time of staying close to home, I know I should focus on getting the rest my body and brain are craving.
To keep my every-project-at-once impulses at bay, I decided to try the Clutterfree app. Developed by minimalism expert Joshua Becker, it promises to streamline the experience of organizing your home by giving you a personalized, step-by-step plan.
The app isn’t free, but offers a seven-day trial before charging $5.99 per month. I decided I would test it out in my kitchen, where my pantry closet and cabinets were looking atrocious after a few unusually large grocery trips.
But first, Clutterfree had me identify the areas in my house to narrow down what I was working with. Have you ever seen a home organization task list that includes a “master” bedroom, kids’ play area, den, and two-car garage, mudroom, home office and shed when you’ve got none of those areas? Yeah, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Clutterfree showed me my applicable areas and my progress for each of them. But that’s not the best part.
The best part is the to-do list it creates specific to each room or area you’ve identified. The first task for each area is to take a “before” picture, which counts toward your progress to complete that area. It’s like getting points for showing up to class.
The to-do list is clutch for people like me who get distracted while cleaning and organizing. Instead of starting to work on another area when moving misplaced items to it, I stayed on track with my one specific zone (in this case, my pantry).
The task I’d been avoiding for more than a month was complete in about 30 minutes. As I checked off each to-do, I felt more accomplished, and when I finally closed the pantry door, I felt a bit more peaceful about what I had decided to store behind it.
I decided not to pay for the app after my week trial because my motivation to tidy up during this international crisis is simply not that strong. But if you feel more motivated than I am, it may be worth grabbing for a month or two while you tackle your home room-by-room. If you have a partner or kids, you can split up the tasks or areas or make a game to see who can get to “100%” on their area quickest.
But seriously, again, a reminder: No one expects you to be achieving 100% in any area of your life right now. Do what you can. Do what you want. Your stuff will be there when this pandemic subsides. And while we’re all safe at home, no one can judge you for your clutter. Because they can’t see it!