How to beemind preparing my parents’ house for sale by decluttering/cleaning

TL;DR How would you use Beeminder to finish decluttering, start and finish cleaning to help prepare parents’ house for sale so they can retire?

The ultimate goal is that my parents are retired.

They’re both 77, 78 years old and are still working in a manual labour job.

They were off from work for months.

Their mortgage’s renewal came up in March 2024 by $470 CAD ($343.22 USD as of today, June 22, 2024) every 2 weeks.

They’ve been having a hard time working every day since their bodies weren’t hardened up and also because of their old age.

I’ve been paying the mortgage amount increase since March 2024 which I’m also going to need to learn to use YNAB to help me budget for.

I recently bought a 1 year YNAB membership.

I’m going to use Beeminder to beemind what I buy, that is, the YNAB subscription and also to budget.

We started back in April of this year decluttering our parents’ house to show our parents that we are serious about them retiring.

I still live with my parents and I’ve accumulated 20 years of stuff such as books, paperwork, DVDs, CDs, etc.

I’ve been applying Alejandra Costello’s SimpLESSity course and Organize & Flow membership to declutter my stuff in my bedroom and garage.

I’ve managed to donate at least 3 medium sized Home Depot boxes and 1 bankers box… majority being books and other stuff.

My mom this week texted me to help them speed up preparing the house for sale by cleaning which I myself haven’t done my part as I’m still decluttering.

She said they cant work anymore.

The reason why I’ve been slowing my family down is because I have boxes of stuff in the garage that’s been rodent infested and the rodent infestation is triggering my OCD.

We had pest control months ago and he found a dead mouse in the garage.

I didn’t know about my stuff in the garage being rodent infested until I started decluttering there weeks ago.

At first I threw out 2 of 4 boxes of books that’s been contaminated due to my OCD into a bin we rented.

But there are sensitive documents and paperwork that has personal information that I can’t just throw out nor recycle because of fear of identity theft which is perhaps exacerbated by my OCD.

I’ve been disinfecting some books by spraying Lysol , air drying them, then wiping them with Clorox wipes in order to donate some and keep some.

I’m also going to use a shredding company for my sensitive docs, paperwork.

How would you use Beeminder to beemind helping your parents retire?

How would you use Beeminder to beemind preparing your parents’ house to be sold so they can use the profit to pay off the mortgage and other debts?

How would you use Beeminder to beemind your decluttering?

How would you use Beeminder to beemind your cleaning?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

how about just starting with beeminding time spent per day decluttering/cleaning ? (can create separate beeminders for each or just one to cover both categories)

could start with 60 min per day, and set post derail safety buffer to 0 days

and set auto ratchet to 0 days as well, so that you make sure to get 60 minutes minimum per day

since the cost of the mortgage and the cash associated with selling the home are both very high (sounds like multi $1000 for the mortgage and was just raised $700/m, i would assume the house is worth $500k+ ?) it sounds like you should have a high pledge cap as well, id say $30 at a minimum, since its such a high stakes financial outcome !


In the spirit of Beeminding inputs and outputs, the 60 min decluttering/cleaning day goal would be a good start in terms of measuring input.

Then, for output, you could do something like sort through one box of documents per week, fill one box and bring it to the garbage dump per week, and boxes of paperwork brought to shredding company per week.

For me, it is sometimes motivating to have layered goals for a specific outcome. For example, if my goal is to fill one box with stuff and then bring it to Salvation army, I might have three goals:

  1. Spend 10 minutes per day finding stuff I no longer need.
  2. Fill one box with stuff per week.
  3. Drop one box of stuff to donate off at Salvation army per every two weeks.

With regards to your parents retiring it seems like the first step would be a clear overview of your parents current expenses. I am sure you could find a sheet for retirement planning which asks you to fill out living expense for different life categories, savings, and expected income and so on. Maybe you could beemind “fill out three cells in retirement sheet” per day and eventually have enough data to show to your parents that retirement is feasible. Maybe just a do more goal of “review finance stuff with parents” for sixty minutes per week would also be a good start.

Good luck with figuring everything out!

1 Like

Hi @napkin , I’ve been doing at least 1 Forest session (Pomodoro) per day especially during my workweek—I work Mondays to Thursdays 10 hours a day.

I try doing 2 25 minute sessions before and after my 10 hour shift, but it’s difficult as it affects lack of sleep.

I could beemind reducing my time spent on dinner in order to do 2 25 minute sessions on a weekday since I watch YouTube on my iPhone while eating.

I could also beemind using the Freedom app during dinner.

I just created declutterandorclean – experientiallearner – beeminder to do 2 Pomodoros of decluttering and or cleaning.

I applied your advice of setting the post-derail respite to 0 days, ratchet to 0 days, and auto-ratchet:

I also updated privacy to make this goal featured, make the data points public, show hashtags from comments on the graph (which I’ve never done or don’t know what it is) to make my goal public:

I also added 3 friends as Supporters. I texted them about this Beeminder goal and I’m waiting for them to confirm.

How do you set the pledge cap to $30 minimum?

I think that $30 will be my minimum because I’m not good with managing money and I need to learn YNAB to make sure the $470 CAD ($343.22 USD as of today, June 22, 2024) every 2 weeks is budgeted.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it, @napkin .

1 Like

You have the pledge cap at $30, which is what I was referring to when I said $30 minimum. You can also raise that to $90 or $270

The only way to get it to go up is to derail a couple times (or force derail with negative data) Or you can buy the $60/month beemium to increase pledge cap. However, I’d recommend just letting yourself derail or seeing if the $5 amount is motivating enough in the short term.

Also, I’d highly recommend turning no excuses mode on, if you are comfortable/understanding of how the deadlines and data logging works.

Good luck !

Now, the only thing that could hold you back is being honest about your time logged… so if you have trouble with that you may want to sign up for boss-as-a-service or use the forfeit app in conjunction with beeminder. Both options you can set it up so you must “prove” what you did…

For forfeit app they have a timelapse recording feature so it actually proves you did the thing for a specific amount of time.

Also, following with @felixm 's outcome based beeminding, I’d say if you had specific tasks you wanted done each day, you could use boss as a service, or forfeit, or even task ratchet (or some combo of these in conjunction!) to hold you accountable to some set of ad-hoc tasks for the specific day.

ie: declutter kitchen cabinet 3, clear out garage left corner, open up and empty context of 1 box

I’m someone who needs to weaselproof my goals as much as possible, so I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of beeminder, boss as a service, taskratchet, and forfeit - and together these tools can fill in the gaps to create a very powerful self-management system, so if you struggle with weaseling your way out of the accountability, let me know and ill see if I can give any advice about what specific combo of platforms worked best for me so far…

also I completely forgot to mention earlier, but beeminder has integrations with several apps that offer pomodoro like toggl, so you can use those to automate your data entry

1 Like