In 2017, I took on a decluttering challenge. I’ve always believed that our environment affects our health and well-being and my clutter-filled, disorganized home was beginning to frustrate me. I felt like I wasn’t in control of my things, and I hated the feeling.
A quick Google search will return a number of different clutter-clearing philosophies. Some recommend working in small chunks, where every day, you throw out 10 things, while others suggest you work hard for 15 minutes and that’s it. Still others recommend setting aside a day or weekend to tackle the project all at once.
Inspired by Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I decided to go for the big purge. I spent two full months discarding, recycling, donating, and organizing. It was hard work, but I was ecstatic with the end result. I loved looking around to see clean, empty spaces. It was easy to find things when there were less things to find, and easy to put things away when you knew where they belonged.
Sort through your things category by category, and make decisions about what stays, what gets donated or sold, and what gets thrown out.
Don’t allow yourself the luxury of a “maybe pile.” The only thing you
gain is a delayed decision that you still must make.
Only after you’ve completed the sorting process can you begin organizing and putting things back in place.
*Schedule the work in advance; decide what you will work on and when.
*Begin with categories that will be easy to make decisions about (like clothes and books).
*Work on sentimental items last. The hardest part about decluttering is letting go of sentimental items because of the memories attached to them. Remind yourself that you are not your stuff, and replace the guilt of parting with the object with gratitude and appreciation for the memory.
- Day 1 – Organize your bedroom
- Day 2 – Clean out one closet
- Day 3 – Donate unused clothes & toys
- Day 4 – Rid your fridge of expired items
- Day 5 – Purge your kitchen cabinets
- Day 6 – Buy functional storage items
- Day 7 – Remove old apps you don’t use
- Day 8 – Find an app that can help you
- Day 9 – Clean your car
- Day 10 – Sort through your mail
- Day 11 – Organize your living room
- Day 12 – Purge personal accessories
- Day 13 – Update & organize your calendar
- Day 14 – Clean out a second closet
- Day 15 – Clear your mind with meditation
- Day 16 – Clear space off your computer
- Day 17 – Empty one junk drawer
- Day 18 – Get rid of old and worn out shoes
- Day 19 – Empty the freezer
- Day 20 – Celebrate your progress
- Day 21 – Organize your bathroom
- Day 22 – Delete old emails
- Day 23 – Clear your wallet of unused items
- Day 24 – Empty a second junk drawer
- Day 25 – Organize your cleaning supplies
- Day 26 – Clear off your kitchen counters
- Day 27 – Give away old furniture
- Day 28 – Discard old books
- Day 29 – Sweep your entry way
- Day 30 – Commit to staying decluttered
- WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW OFTEN – list the details of the challenge on the Accountability Tracker.
2. DOCUMENT IT ON THE CHALLENGE CALENDAR:
3. THE REWARD – don’t forget to document your reward on the accountability tracker! How will you reward yourself? Do you respond better to milestone rewards or are you holding out for the big daddy upon completion? What will it be? What motivates you?
4. KEEP TRUDGING FORWARD – don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, keep moving forward! Ask for help. That’s what family and friends are for!
5. REFLECTION – reflect on the challenge – what went well, and what could be better. Learn from this and use this to improve on yourself and your future challenges!
What’s your Challenge? Get started today!