Tag Archives: 15 minutes

De-Clutter the Excuses

There is so much written about decluttering. There are books and blogs and TV shows about letting go of the physical, mental, and emotional clutter holding us back in life. Even I have written about clutter in a previous post. (You can read that HERE.)

I am finishing up Tommy Newberry’s book, 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life. Day 39 was about clearing the clutter. With all of the valuable info about our thoughts, emotions, and actions throughout the book, this emphasis on clutter caught me by surprise and also convicted me greatly.

How, in spite of all my knowledge and commitments about clutter, can I still find myself stuck because of clutter? My personal forms of clutter are paper and disorganized spaces. I have tackled both of these before, but just like brushing my teeth, taking my vitamins, or exercising I can not expect to do these things once (or even 100 times!) and have the results last forever.

DeclutterI realize something about myself in all of this: I like to do projects when I can see a difference. For example, I prefer to clean the bathroom when I can see the change from dirty to clean. It is difficult for me to choose to clean when I can’t tell that it’s really dirty. (This sounds so lame as I write!) I would be a terrible worker at DisneyWorld for this reason. At DisneyWorld they paint everything all the time. It never looks old and run-down because there is a constant process to keep things looking pristine. They catch the dulling paint job before there are obvious signs of wear and tear. In fact, of the 62,000 employees at DisneyWorld 650 of them are painters!

So how do I become more like a DisneyWorld worker when it comes to the clutter in my life?

Honestly, it brings these thoughts to my mind.

– Moving along with window cleaner right next to the kiddo with sticky fingers on the sliding glass door.
– Attempting to vacuum up popcorn pieces after they fall from the table.
– Relentlessly replacing the couch pillows off the floor and back onto the couch. (I do this a lot!)
– Yelling at the kids constantly to pick up their things.
– Cleaning the bathroom floor three times a day to remove every little piece of hair. (Ewww!)

Some of you might be saying, “Yes, and Amen!” but this honestly causes me to feel a little stress. I may end up with a spotless home, but I don’t think anybody else in the home would like me very much. There must be some balance.

Here is the bottom line for me and, probably the challenge to all of us in this area or another: We love our excuses!

Is there something that nags at you (a pile of laundry, stack of bills, unfinished project, broken relationship), but every time you see or think about it, you make an excuse? The excuse might even be good, but the next time you see or think about it, you are reminded of yet another excuse. The excuses become comfortable until they become crutches that hold us back. Even the fact that I operate better with projects where I can actually see the progress can become another lame excuse.

The extraordinary life is about progress, not perfection! So, don’t let perfection keep you from making progress today!

Be Extraordinary!


(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)


Do You Want More Junk?

What do you want more of in your life?

create space sunriseDo you want more papers, piles, unpaid bills, overflowing closets, puzzles with missing pieces, broken games or toys, clothes that don’t fit, weight, stress, or chaos?

If you love everything on that list, you can stop reading now!!

Honestly, when I read that list, I want to immediately clean my closets, clean my pantry, and go run 3 miles. I don’t want more of any of those things!

Most people don’t dream of excessively adding junk (seemingly precious treasures) to their lives that will one day sit in the driveway on a Saturday morning to be sold for 50 cents. Most people don’t aspire to put 10, 20, or 30 pounds on each year until they can no longer run around with their kids, no longer fit in an airplane or movie theater seat, and end up hospitalized with disease and chronic illness.

That may sound kind of brutal, yet, how many more days will we avoid the small tasks (the 15 minutes) or the big overhauls that will help us avoid bringing more of that debilitating excess into our lives?

Life is hard. Stressful situations happen. Dealing with difficult people is not easy. Bills are often bigger than we expect and money less than we hope for. Difficulties are not going to end. We live in a broken world and we were never promised that it would be easy. So if difficulty is bound to come – and we know it – then the only thing left to do is choose our response.

Let’s break it down this way:

#1 Take Inventory

Get out a piece of paper and write down the top three areas of your life where you have excess ‘junk’. Some possible areas may include, but are definitely not limited to . . . weight, clothing, debt, stuff (anything that doesn’t have a place to go), trash (actual garbage), toys, busyness (things that make you feel like you have no time), water bottles (these multiply in my house), papers that need filing, etc. I think you get the idea and you probably knew at least the top two without any prompting.

#2 Get Specific

Now, under each of those three areas, specifically define the excess. For example, if you chose clothing as one of your top three areas, what specific clothing do you have in excess? Do you have clothes that don’t fit? Clothes you don’t like? Clothes that have sentimental value, but are never worn? Old kid’s clothes in boxes?

#3 Make a Plan

It is difficult to be specific here because, depending on the area you choose to tackle, the plan will look very different. So, rather than trying to pick and choose I would like to encourage you to do one of two things:

– Find an accountability partner. Do not choose someone that will make you feel good and tell you what you want to hear. You must choose someone who will hold your feet to the fire and not put up with your excuses. (Yes, you will make excuses!)

– Hire a coach. A coach digs deeper than an accountability partner. A coach will help you create a plan, hold you to that plan, and give you firm and loving encouragement along the way. Coaches do not put up with excuses – they are hired to help you WIN, not to make you feel good about your sorry excuses. Remember, a good coach will do this with love! I love coaching my clients to make changes in their lives. If you’d like a free 30 minute consultation, fill out this contact form and we’ll be in touch: 

Part of the extraordinary life is eliminating the junk that is keeping us from being and doing all we were created to be and do. Don’t wait another day to get started.

Be Extraordinary!


(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)


15 Minutes

I am convinced that most issues and attitudes can be changed in a mere fifteen minutes. They won’t necessarily be completely resolved, but radically changed.

1515 minutes.

For example, imagine your kitchen is a disaster and the sink is piled with dishes. We also have a corner of our kitchen counter that is often stacked with mail, school papers, books, and today there is a pair of binoculars. When I look at the kitchen it can seem overwhelming — it seems like it would take an hour to get it back in shape.

15 minutes.

Here is where fifteen minutes comes in to save the day. Set a timer (thank you Fly Lady) for fifteen minutes, pick something (i.e. dishes, counter, or table), crank up some tunes, and get busy. This isn’t even about hurrying, but work on the kitchen for the full fifteen minutes. Every time I do this I am blown away by how quickly things turn around. Usually I easily finish within the timed fifteen minutes. Often I accomplish more — recycling out, garbage out, dishwasher started, etc.

15 minutes.

I have seen this same thing work with other areas of the house, my work time (working at home requires self-motivation that is sometimes lacking), solving a problem, and even my attitude.

timer15 minutes.

One area of my home that requires fifteen minutes of consistent attention is paper and clutter. I gave this one the first fifteen and then realized it would serve me and my family to give those papers fifteen minutes of each day. You can read about this decision in Moomers, Candy Crush, and Paper Piles.

15 minutes.

It’s not much, but fifteen minutes a day could improve your marriage, change your financial situation, clean up your clutter, put dinner on the table, flowers in the vase, veggies in the garden, artwork on the walls, and much much more.

15 minutes.

What area of your life could use a fifteen minute turn-around? Is there something that is in desperate need of fifteen minutes of your attention? The journey of an extraordinary life can begin with just fifteen minutes.

Be Extraordinary!


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