Tackle a Hot Spot

Weekend Challenge – Tackle a Hot Spot

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Dear friends,

After a long week, it’s a wonderful feeling to have the weekend stretching out ahead. We have snow in the forecast today in Colorado, and I’m looking forward to a cozy day at home.

I want to send out a special thank you to Crystal, Kara, Yolanda, Katie, Steve, Danielle, Emma and other readerswho shared tips and ideas in the Facebook JMD Group related to yesterday’s post, “13 Ways to Save Money On Your Energy Bill.

It’s always great to hear your strategies and questions.

Let’s dive in to this weekend’s challenge, shall we?

Transform the Hot Spot

Most of us have a “catch all” place (or two) in our homes where things get dumped. For our family, it’s a small kitchen counter that seems to attract papers, mail, magazines, and other odds and ends. Readers have written about tables, desks, closets and spare rooms that are stuffed with stuff.

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to get the Hot Spot or Dumping Ground down to Zero this weekend.

My favorite decluttering technique is to remove everything that doesn’t belong in the space and make it instantly look great with no clutter. If it’s a counter, for example, you might transfer all the papers and miscellaneous stuff temporarily to, say, your family room coffee table.

Wipe down the counter and make it sparkle. You might place something lovely in the new space, like a small potted plant, to remind you of your commitment to keep the spot uncluttered in the future.

If the space is a spare room where everything gets dumped, remove all the things that don’t belong and put them in the middle of your living room floor or somewhere out in the open where you will be highly motivated to put the items away. Vacuum the room and clean the surfaces until everything shines.

Decisions and Solutions

Most often, clutter is the result of a postponed decision or lack of a “home” for the item.

Now that you have the stuff removed from one space and temporarily residing in another space, deal with each paper and item one at a time.

Make a decision:

1. Deal with it now, (i.e., pay the bill and mail it off.)
2. Recycle, give away or discard. (Less stuff = more time, more peace, more breathing room.)
3. Keep and store. (Find a permanent storage place for the item.)

Develop a plan moving forward, so that items don’t gravitate back to the Hot Spot in the future.

Document Your Success

If you like, take a Before and After photo once you’ve cleaned up your Hot Spot, and post it over in the Money Diet Community Facebook Group. We’d all love to help celebrate your accomplishments. 

Enjoy the weekend,

Eliza Cross's signature

P.S. I’m so grateful for the 2021 January Money Diet’s generous sponsor YourMoneyFurther.com and the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign. To find a credit union near you to stash your JMD cash, use this handy Credit Union Finder.

Eliza Cross is the author of 15 books, including recent titles like Bacon Beans and Beer and Small Bites. She blogs at ElizaCross.com and is the founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society. Her articles have appeared in publications like Sunset, Parents and Writers' Digest. Eliza lives near Denver with her family.

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