A decluttering challenge can make the sometimes mundane process of decluttering a little more fun.
I’m all for the slow and steady approach to change and simplifying. It took me years to completely declutter our home, donate our stuff, empty our closets and drawers, become debt-free, resist filling our calendars and over scheduling myself each week. Each change took longer than I thought and there always seemed to be more piles of paper and clutter to sort through. Once it was complete though, I knew it happened at just the right pace.
Simplicity experiments and a decluttering challenge
Even though my usual pace when it came to decluttering and simplifying was slow, I did add in a few simplicity experiments and a decluttering challenge here and there. Interspersed in all the slow and steady were little bursts of fast and furious action. While it was the exception, these little bursts helped me maintain motivation to stick with my tiny shifts that were contributing to years of massive change in all categories of my life.
My little bursts of fast and furious …
- While we were decluttering, we had our “last yard sale ever” and donated everything we didn’t sell that day instead of dragging it back in the house to sell at another yard sale.
- Instead of TV free nights, we called the cable company and cancelled our account.
- When I got a bonus from work, instead of shopping or treating myself to a weekend getaway, I applied it all to debt.
- I started minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 instead of slowly decluttering my closet.
The bursts weren’t the norm. The norm was day by day, dollar by dollar, shirt by coffee cup by book, inch by inch progress.
Decluttering Burst: Let go of one hundred things in less than an hour
This decluttering challenge is going to help you move closer to your clutter-free goals. Unlike a 30-day declutter challenge, I recommend trying this decluttering burst once a month instead of every day.
If you are in the long process of simplifying your life, try this decluttering burst. Set your timer for 60 minutes and get rid of 100 things from various areas of your home. Grab trash bags, and a box for donations. Next, choose from the recommended areas and items below that resonate with you (or create your own) to equal 100 items. Write down what areas you are going to attack and how many items you will declutter from each. When you start the timer, use your list so you don’t have to waste time thinking about where to start.
Declutter 10 things from your bathroom
Suggested items: expired makeup and medications, products you never use in the medicine cabinet or other bathroom cabinets, extra towels and toiletries. Recycle or dispose of items in a safe way. If you find unopened boxes of toothpaste, soap, shampoo or toothbrushes that you won’t use, donate them to a local homeless shelter or distribute in your homeless community. This decluttering challenge may help you serve your community too!
Declutter 10 things from your junk drawer
Suggested items: If you haven’t used it in months, don’t know what it is, or are saving it “just in case” (because just in case means never). Old receipts, notes, paper clips, keys and things you don’t care about can go in the garbage. If there are things that don’t belong in the trash, donate to Goodwill or a neighborhood facebook group.
Declutter 10 things from your kitchen
Suggested items: duplicate measuring cups, small appliances you don’t use, clutter from the kitchen counter, cabinets, bins, fridge, etc. Go through old condiments and spices too. Declutter the cleaning supplies you may store under the sink. Look for extras: dishes, cups, dish towels. Even if they are in good condition, if you don’t use them, you don’t need them. Food: trash expired food from the refrigerator and freezer and donate anything unopened from the pantry you never use.
If you have extra time, remove these 10 things too.
Declutter 10 things from your car
Suggested items: shoes and clothes you stashed just in case but never wear. Travel cups and paper clutter. Your car is not a storage facility. Check the trunk. If there is a box of stuff that you put in your trunk to donate but instead just drive it around, this is a sign that now is the time to actually donate it.
You might not have a car or find other categories of this decluttering challenge that aren’t a match for you. Adjust to make it work for you. Choose other areas or more items in some areas than others.
Declutter 10 things from your computer
Suggested items: Junk email like sales offers or newsletters you never read. Documents, printables and downloads you haven’t opened (ever). Blurry and duplicate photos, people you follow on Facebook or Instagram, Clutter isn’t always visible.
Declutter 10 things from your coat closet, linen closet or laundry room
Suggested items: Linens, towels, sheets blankets, coats you never wear, accessories you haven’t seen in forever, extra hats, scarves and gloves stuffed in a basket. Old laundry soap and other products you never use.
Declutter 20 things from your arts/crafts/hobby room or office
Suggested items: Anything you aren’t using that is taking up the space you need to create.
Declutter 10 things from your bedroom or living room
Suggested items: extra books, decorative items you don’t enjoy, extra furniture, nightstand clutter.
Declutter 20 things from your closet
Suggested items: Clothes that don’t fit, shoes that give you blisters, anything with a price tag on it and things you don’t like to wear. Include jewelry, accessories and a purse or ten too. If you are ready to end closet chaos, try Project 333.
20 things from your kid’s room
Suggested items: Clothes they don’t wear and toys they don’t play with. Include your children and ask them to fill a box with things they’d like to donate to children who have much less than they do. Ask them to help you pickup the things they love and keep them in an area that’s easy for them to maintain.
20 things from storage (garage, attic, storage shed …)
Suggested items: anything in a box that you don’t use, miss or remember. Things you are saving “just in case” and aspirational items – get rid of things you a bought for a life you thought you wanted but don’t.
More about this decluttering challenge
Try the decluttering burst to inspire long-lasting change in your life. If this decluttering challenge goes faster than you thought it would, consider using the motivation and inspiration you created to do another round.
Big change takes time and can sometimes feel heavy and frustrating. Find ways to have fun along the way. You’ll be so glad you took time to enjoy the journey.
I hope this decluttering burst helps!