The holiday season is coming, and as magical and wonderful as it is, it can also get cluttered quickly. Between gift exchanges, decorations, parties, and other festive things, you can undo a year of decluttering efforts in thirty days or less. While you could stick with the one in, one out method, chances are you’d rather pay attention to other things right now.
While I generally prefer slow, steady change, occasionally a radical challenge is necessary.
Eighty-Six Your Clutter
The phrase eighty-six or 86 simply means getting rid of something and is commonly used in restaurants. When the kitchen runs out of potatoes, they tell the servers to “86 potatoes” and let customers know that there are no potatoes available.
The Challenge – Get rid of 86 things in 2 hours or less.
Keep the potatoes and 86 your clutter 86 times. Speed is your friend in this challenge. Collect the clutter and get it out the door asap. If you can’t remove it from your home in the same day, box or bag it up and tape it closed. Combine this with other simplicity challenges you might be attempting now for maximum momentum.
I’ve decluttered so much over the past few years, that I was able to move from a 2000 sq. foot home to a 750 sq. foot apartment with no storage options. I took the 86 challenge to identify the easiest places to find 86 items to discard. I was also curious to see how quickly I could do it and what I had left to clear out. I eighty-sixed 86 in 40 minutes.
Where to find your 86 fast
My number is next to the area mentioned. The more you own, the easiest this will be. If you want to get rid of even more, consider two passes or challenge your family to see who can find 86 the fastest.
Bathroom – 18
86 Lotions, make-up, nail polish, and anything else that you haven’t used in a while.
Freezer – 5
86 anything with freezer burn, expired food and any packages that have been open for too long.
Pantry – 3
86 stale items. Donate food in unopened cans or containers that hasn’t expired but you will never eat.
Kitchen things – 8
86 doubles like measuring cup sets and spoons. If you have 6 mixing spoons or spatulas, could you get by with 4? How many drinking glasses do you really need?
Office/Work Stuff – 6
86 extra pens, old notes, computer software you are holding onto for no reason, and staples if you don’t have a stapler.
86 anything that doesn’t fit or still has tags from a Labor Day sale. Dump the single socks and the workout shirt that hasn’t been to the gym in months.
Hall Closet – 5
86 extra coats and donate them to a shelter. Check the top shelf too. No one owns this closet so things you forgot about end up stuffed in the back. Get rid of the unknown, the hiding and the unnecessary.
Purse – 8
86 extra chapstick, old receipts, expired gift cards and grocery lists.
Phone – 3
86 apps you don’t use, even if you paid for them and you thought they would make your life better.
Computer – 9
86 files that you’ve been saving just in case that you haven’t opened in months or years.
Other places you might find your 86 – garages, attics, storage units, dining rooms, living rooms, dens and any other room in your home.
Just like that, you are 86 things lighter and can enjoy the holidays without worrying about complete clutter chaos waiting for you at the end of the year.