What are purging moments? Have you ever found yourself late in the night inspired to clean everything all at once and go on a cleaning spree?
Is there a way to make the most of the sudden urge to clean?
Listen: Purging Moments – What Are They?
Watch: Purging Moments – What Are They?
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
What are Purging Moments?
What are purging moments? And how do you get the most from them? Well, truth be known, purging moments are connected to your biorhythms. And there are up days and down days, and then there are days when everything is kind of not feeling so great. Then mysteriously, one night, it might even be 2:00 in the morning, you’ll go to do something, get up to go to the bathroom and you have this weird idea.
You might move something in the bathroom, and that makes you move something else. And then you mysteriously move something else. Next thing you know, you’re cleaning out your bathroom. It’s 2:00 in the morning. Then you say, “While I’m doing this, I might as well put this underneath the bathroom sink.”
And you open the bathroom sink and lo and behold, there’s some stuff there that needs to be moved. So, you move, and you shuffle it around a little bit. And then that needs to be thrown away, and you start throwing something away. And then you’re like, “But why is that there?”
Purging Moments Come Out of Nowhere
Then you think, “well, that needs to go on the sink”, so you move that out on top of the sink. And you say, “I wonder what else is underneath here.” And you start purging. You start cleaning in a mad frenzy, and you’re not paying attention to it. It’s that suddenly everything is connecting.
Then you start moving things around and cleaning. And the next thing you know, it’s 6:00 in the morning. You’ve cleaned the entire bathroom. You cleaned out the linen closet. You’ve scoured out the tub. You’ve cleaned out the toilet, you’ve mopped the floor. You cleaned the grout. The entire bathroom is spic and span. It looks amazing.
Then you moved some stuff out into the hallway, like the towels, because you were going to take those to do the laundry. And lo and behold, you thought to yourself, “Well, I could run a load of laundry while I’m cleaning the bathroom,” so you started a load of laundry.
Purging Moments Happen When You’re in the Zone
Before you know it, you’ve cleaned lots of things in your house, and we call those purging moments. You are kind of in the zone. So how do you get the most from the zone?
Well, the zone doesn’t happen every day. But what happens is we know those moments are coming. We’ve all had them. We know they’re coming again. So, what do you do to maximize the purging moments?
Make Checklists to Help You Get in the Zone
The best thing to do is get a three-ring binder or to use your smartphone in a note-taking app, like Keep, for example, Google Keep. Absolutely free. And you make checklists.
So, either keep a notepad handy somewhere or use your smartphone and use Google Keep. Make a list of the things that you want to do during a purging moment.
So, it might be that you want to clean out the mudroom, or underneath the bathroom cabinets. You want to do this so make a list. Because what happens is this, if you are in the mood to clean out the bathroom cabinets, and that purging moment hits, and that’s the mood you’re in.
So, you might go from bathroom to bathroom, and hit all of those bathroom cabinets on a purging moment. So, boom, you’re successful. You got a whole bunch of things done simultaneously.
What Do You Do to Maximize That
But what do you do to maximize that? So if you’re planning on cleaning out the bathroom cabinets, and you know that is on your purging moment list, what you might do is you might say, “What am I going to need?”
And think through the process. “I’m going to need some garbage bags because I know there’s some stuff under there that I’m no longer using. I know that there are some cleaning supplies that I don’t use, that are underneath each of the bathroom sinks, and I want to consolidate it. Keep a thing of dry powdered cleanser, one no scratch scrub sponge, a roll of paper towels, and a garbage can with some extra liners in there. That’s all I’ll want underneath my bathroom sink.“
Stop Storing Unnecessary Underneath the Sink
So then what you want to do is you want to stop storing stuff underneath there. Don’t put anything unnecessary or new under there. To take advantage of the purging moment, stop putting stuff underneath the bathroom sink. And then you want to be very crystal clear about what it is you want under the sink.
So, then you can make a little list. And you can do this one day while you are a passenger in a car. Someone else is driving, you’re sitting there twiddling your thumbs. Instead of checking Facebook, make a purging list, and say, “Underneath my bathroom sink, this is exactly what I want under there.”
So, when that purging moment hits, what are you trying to do? You’re trying to clean out everything except these four things that you wanted on your list.
Purging Moments Make it Easy to Take Everything Out
Purging moments make it gets easy to take everything out. And because you’re in that purging moment, you’re going to get rid of all the other stuff. You’re going to wash it, move it and, find a new home for it.
And all that’s left underneath those three cabinets are the four things that you said you were going to have. So, you maximized it by preparing in advance what the finished outcome was going to look like.
That is how you take advantage of the purging moments. You make a list. You have the desired outcome. And then you are crystal clear on what it looks like.
Getting in That Mode Moves You From Thing to Thing
Now when you get in that mode, and the mode moves you from thing to thing, you may end up starting a load of laundry. And then you start in the mudroom. And then you change the kitty litter and all these things. You might have a purge list for each of those areas.
So, when you go into the mudroom, you’re in the mudroom right now, and you take a look at your list. And you say, “What else is in here? Oh, yes, I was going to hang up the coats, or I was going to remove the coats because it’s summertime. I was going to remove all the coats and put them in the winter closet.”
So you take out the coats very quickly, go put them back, and then instead of getting distracted in the coat closet and organizing all the hats and the mittens you finish the other stuff on your list. That way, you don’t have lots of little pieces of things you’ve done around your house.
Have a List of Things You’re Going to Do
And so, you have a list of the things that you’re going to do, and then you keep coming back to that list because right now, you’re in purge mode. And when you are in purge mode, that is the best time to go ahead and maximize that time.
So, what are you going to need to clean the mudroom, for example? You might need a non-scratch scrub sponge, an all-purpose spray, a vacuum and a mop.
Now, of course, your vacuum and your mop closet are right next to your mudroom, or it’s part of your mudroom, and so it’s already there. You already know you have access to that right there.
Take Advantage of Your Access to Your Materials
And so, you’re going to take advantage of that stuff. Or if you need to add trash can liners, or add a sponge, or all-purpose spray, you have it right there, so when that moment hits, you’re ready to rock and roll. We’re done.
And make your lists simple enough that if you do eight or nine things in there, that they’re simple things that you can cross off your list. That way you can see progress, and then move on to the next thing, because there’s nothing worse than ripping everything out of a closet because you’re in purging mode, and then, whoops, the mode left.
It Can Be Discouraging When the Mode Goes Away
Now there’s this big stack of stuff, that you never achieved, and you never finished. And now you’re discouraged and depressed because you tore everything out with this ambition of finishing. And now you’re so tired, and you don’t have the energy to finish it. That happens too.
So, make a list, stick to the list. Make them quick, easy-to-do items that are big and visual, that will say, “Oh, yes, I can see that I made some progress in here.” And then the items you didn’t finish, put back on the list. And the next time you hit that purge mode, you come back, and you finish the rest of the list. That is how you take advantage of a purging mode. That’s what a purging mode is.
And pay attention to your own biorhythms and make a list of when it comes because for a lot of people, it comes once a month. And for other people, it comes twice a month. And for some people, it only comes once a year.
Realize Your Purging Moments
So, make a list of when your purging moments are. And if you find yourself randomly cleaning a bunch of stuff, stop and realize, “I’m in purging mode.”
And then grab your list and attack your list with a vengeance because you’re going to get the most done during that period of time.Resources
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