Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Commercial De-Cluttering

Have you ever heard of the term "commercial cleaning"?  No it's not when you hire someone to come in and clean your whole house!  It's when you get up and clean during the commercials of your favourite television programs.

I have to tell you that I am not a big TV watcher but the one thing that truly helped me get my whole home de-cluttered was that I did a lot of it in front of the television set.  If the junk drawer needed to be cleared out, I would pull the whole drawer out and carry it to in front of the TV and start sorting.

Over 10 years ago Mr. P took over the family plumbing business.  With that came 20 bankers boxes filled with papers from the previous 20 years that company had been in business.  There were 3 filing cabinets filled with papers, 2 tall 5-drawer ones and a small 2-drawer one.  Slowly I began to go through all those papers.  While 99.9% of them could be shredded, I still had to make sure that I kept certain ones for tax purposes.

I would sit myself down in front of the television with a shredder and some recycling bags and I would start to sort.  While the TV show was on I would sort and I would shred during the commercials.  What worked nicely with this is that, by giving the shredder a rest while the program was on, I could continue to shred papers longer because it had time to cool down between uses.

I would do this until I had filled a rather good sized shredder 3 times or until it started to feel warm.  I have to admit that it took a long time to finally get rid of all those papers but it was rather painless since I did it all while watching TV.

There are so many things that can be done while watching TV.  I regularly sort my filing and even file a lot of if because I made sure that my files are portable.  I have emptied a drawer in the bedroom into a laundry basket and sorted through the clothes.  I have taken boxes of odds and ends in the basement and sorted them in front of the TV.  I organized all of our DVDs and other movies while watching some of them.  I've organized my photos and my online photos while watching movies and 3 weeks ago I organized my Pinterest boards while watching a Lord of the Rings marathon with my family.

Now this may not work if you are organizing sentimental items or things that are very difficult for you to let go of, but it works well for those mindless tasks that take a lot of time.

Start with organizing your coffee table so that you have room to work.  Dedicate the first half hour of a program to sorting something and then put things away where they belong during the commercials of the second half hour.

At this point I almost never watch TV without having some other task in front of me.  Being stuck somewhere else in the house organizing or cleaning something while the rest of my family was watching their favourite TV program was not fun.  By bringing my work in front of the TV I was able to spend time with my family and the job I was doing didn't seem so much like work any more.


  1. Those little chunks of time really do add up to big amounts of time. I love doing things in small snippets!

    I've added your blog to my RSS feed! Please come over and drop by mine too~ we have quite a bit in common!


    1. I checked out your blog Lil and it is lovely! It is now on my favourites list!

  2. Haha I watch TV while blogging or folding laundry. Makes it so much better. I tried to watch TV while doing homework - didn't work so well, haha.