Even though we know how to declutter, our procrastination tendencies kick in when it’s time to get started. We think, “today is the day to start decluttering” and our friend, procrastination steps in and offers the following …
- “There is so much to do.”
- “Where should we start?”
- “Is that really the best place to start?”
- “What’s on Netflix?”
- “Did you exercise today?”
- “This is going to take forever.”
- “Come on, it’s your day off. Do you really want to spend it decluttering?”
- “There will be plenty of time tomorrow to get started.”
The secret to combating procrastination is to build momentum. It also helps to trick procrastination into having fun. Instead of making your decluttering project a big chore, turn it into a challenge. Bonus: a challenge may interest decluttering resistant family members too.
Procrastination will fight our intention to spend a full day decluttering, but 10 minutes? We can do anything for 10 minutes. Choose a space, set a timer for 10 minutes and put 10 items from each space in a box or bag. By the time you finish, procrastination won’t know what hit him. Use the momentum you create by tackling another space, or going for 10 more items in the space you are in.
You may not need to declutter all 10 of these spaces so choose the ones that resonate with you and add on spaces as needed.
Decluttering Challenge: 10 Spaces, 10 Minutes, 100 Items
Dump the contents from your daily bag. Only add the items you use back in. Let go of the rest.
Get rid of old cosmetics (see this for expiry guidelines), expired prescriptions and OTC meds (here’s how to dispose of them). Take a sweep through each drawer and cabinet. If there are unopened items (toothpaste, shampoo, soap) or similar items that you know you will never use, donate to a local homeless shelter.
3. Hall Closet
I’ve never seen the inside of your hall closet, but I can almost guarantee there are things in there you don’t need, don’t want and don’t even remember you have. I’ll be checking my hall closet this afternoon!
If you bought food for a special diet and then never did the special diet or opened the food packaging, donate it to a food pantry. If there are other things you never use, let it go and make space. Or, challenge yourself to use everything in your pantry before buying anything new.
Make the space near where you sleep simple and peaceful.
6. Outdoor space
Tackle balconies, porches, front yards and backyards. Even when it’s outside, clutter is clutter.
From the glove box to the trunk, do a sweep of your car. You’ll probably eliminate that annoying rattling noise in the process.
If your inbox has become a 2 year to-do list, start deleting for 10 minutes at a time. If it’s a lost cause, consider email bankruptcy.
9. Head space
What’s swirling around up there? Write down 10 things that are on your mind, weighing you down, and preventing you from thinking clearly. The simple process of moving your worries from brain to paper will help you figure out the next step.
Open your banking account and see what you’ve spent money on over the last 30 days. Make a list of the 10 things you want to spend less on, and cancel monthly subscriptions that aren’t serving you anymore.
Now that you’ve let procrastination know that you are the boss, consider these other challenges to continue to build decluttering momentum.
- Daily simplicity challenges
- Decluttering Burst: Let go of 100 items in less than an hour
- 21-day video decluttering challenge
- Mins Game
- Minimalist fashion challenge Project 333
The value of personal experiments and challenges goes far beyond clean countertops. Keep asking questions like … “wouldn’t it be crazy if?” and see what happens.
P.S. Music helps! Listen to your favorite music while taking on one of these challenges.