How GK Conquered Her Cluttered Garage and Built a Framework for Crossing Other Big Tasks Off Her To-Do List
We finish what we start. —Jenny GK
Jenny GK tackles the daunting task of cleaning out her cluttered garage by implementing ruthless guidelines, accountability, and a deadline, and in doing so, created a framework for getting all of those other big items from “to-do” to “all done.”
From this episode, you will be able to:
Master the art of managing overwhelming household projects with actionable tips.
Balance emotional attachment with practical decluttering when handling sentimental items.
Understand the emotional investment in large-scale tasks and celebrate every milestone achieved.
Create accountability for any big project. In Jenny’s case, she scheduled and prepaid for a roll-off dumpster to be delivered to her driveway and only had 14 days to use it.
Activate deadline mode by setting a specific date to complete the project. (See 14-day limit.)
Employ body doubling by bringing someone along on a task that you don't want to do.
Separate cleaning, tidying, and organizing as separate small projects to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Purge damaged or unused items that have not been used in a long time.
Donate only clean and undamaged clothing and toys.
Use storage bins to organize memory items.
Consider keeping one or two weird items that you may not be ready to throw away yet.
Finish what you start by not leaving items in the garage and creating a game plan to continue organizing.
Accept non-closure and non-completion as part of the process of organizing and cleaning.
Jenny GK recently took on the challenge of cleaning out her own garage, and she's ready to share her tried and true tips for success. In her conversation with Caitlin Kindred, Jenny will dive into the importance of setting clear parameters, building accountability, and creating deadlines to keep you motivated throughout the process.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
On Reclaiming White Nail Polish:
Additional Thoughts We Have About
Tackling Big Household Projects
1) Defining The parameters & Setting Priorities
Define The Parameters
Tackling big projects like garage purging can be a daunting task, and it's essential to approach it methodically for the best results. Defining parameters helps set boundaries and prevents getting side-tracked—particularly important for persons with ADHD. And, creating accountability and deadlines is crucial for retaining motivation and progress, especially when the task feels overwhelming.
During the episode, Jenny shared her personal experience with defining parameters, setting deadlines, and building accountability in the process. She also discussed the importance of having a body double and creating a game plan. By sticking to these guidelines, Jenny managed to successfully purge her garage. Sharing the process she followed, her experience becomes a relatable and motivating example for listeners dealing with similar big projects.
Execution of big projects demands prioritization of tasks and clarity on what needs to be done. Setting priorities helps to stay organized and make sure that the most crucial tasks get the most attention. In the context of garage purging, understanding which items to keep, discard, and donate or sell is key to reclaiming your space.
In their discussion, Jenny voiced her difficulties with letting go of sentimental items during purging and shared how she made decisions on items. She also stressed the importance of communicating expectations with any partners involved in the project. By addressing their challenges in setting priorities during organizing, they inspire and give listeners perspective on how to overcome similar dilemmas.
2, 3, & 4) The EXTREME Importance of Setting Up Accountability & deadlines
Accountability means taking responsibility for one’s actions and committing to completing a task. Setting up accountability ensures follow-through, commitment, and focus on the project. You can set it in a couple of ways:
Create buy-in for the project
Create a deadline
Get thyself a partner or body double
Jenny created buy-in for herself by renting a massive dumpster (which sat in her driveway) for two whole weeks... yeesh). She paid for it upfront. If she didn't use it? Poof! Money, wasted.
She also knew that the fish tank project—the one that her entire family was excited about—couldn't happen without a way to clean up that tank, but that required use of the garage. And in the state it was in, that garage was unusable.
The deadline? That dumpster would sit in her driveway for two weeks. That's it. That was all the time she and the family would have to make this happen. Another concern: her husband was about to go out of town for work travel, meaning she'd have to do that entire project alone if the family didn't get it done during one particular weekend.
Partnering with someone to hold yourself accountable is a powerful way to maintain progress, especially when your motivation starts to, um, wane. Her husband and son all wanted that tank, so everyone was accountable for completing that job.
In the podcast, Jenny discussed building accountability into her garage purging project. She and her husband worked together to tackle the task, making mutual decisions on items they came across. The personal experiences of Caitlin and Jenny serve to demonstrate the importance of accountability in the successful completion of big projects, making their conversation truly insightful for listeners.
5) The Importance of a Continuation Game Plan
While tackling big projects, Caitlin HAS TO finish everything all at once. (Understandable and relatable, IMHO). However, all this does is put immense pressure on herself (oneself) and potentially lead to burnout.
Instead, breaking the project into smaller chunks and planning for a continuation is key. Accept non-closure and look for a reasonable stopping point. Creating a continuation game plan allows for tackling each segment of the project over a period, helping maintain sanity and focus.
Jenny and Caitlin strongly emphasized the importance of developing a continuation game plan and not aiming to complete everything at once. This struck a chord with Jenny's personal experience, as accepting a lack of full closure in the initial attempt at organizing their garage made it easier for her to manage their space systematically over time.
Finding Joy in Small Wins
When taking on massive tasks like garage purging, it's normal to get overwhelmed or discouraged along the way. To keep yourself motivated, it's important to realize that progress is a series of small wins rather than just one big victory. Acknowledging and celebrating each small win can help maintain motivation and a positive mindset throughout the journey, making the process more enjoyable and approachable. You got through that entire closet? AWESOME! You took care of one shelf that’s been making you crazy! WELL DONE! Celebrate that, friend!
During the podcast, Jenny emphasized the value of taking breaks during such projects and making sure not to take on too much at once. Caitlin, on the other hand, shared her experience of feeling overwhelmed and emotional during similar projects. To keep their spirits up, both Jenny and Caitlin agreed that it’s essential to celebrate small victories on the way to project completion, which, in turn, brings them a sense of accomplishment and relief.