31 Day Clutter Free Challenge

A while back, when I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t kept up with my decluttering tasks, I came across Living Well, Spending Less‘s 31 Day Clutter Free Challenge.  Thinking “why not?”, I signed up for the emails that started on July 1st.

Living Well Spending Less - 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life
Living Well Spending Less – 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life
You are probably thinking  something along the lines of “Are you crazy?  Or stupid?”  And I’m with you there… why would I take on something else when I have a wedding to plan, lots of goals on the go and an already crazy hectic schedule.  But here’s the thing… I am having trouble keeping up with my decluttering goals, and I think it is because I want them to be so big, so successful and have awesome before and after photos, that I just don’t do anything… which is totally not going to work.  So… If I am given a task a day, and I know I don’t have time for something major, I’ll just take a small portion of that task and actually do it.  Seems a little backwards, but I’m hoping it works…

I don’t have to be an “active” participant of this challenge, so I don’t have to post photos and link to them on social media or anything… But I did create an Instagram account for this blog so I can post the results on there using the #LWSLClutterFree tag.  I’ve never used a “tag” on Instagram before…

And I figure I would post on here every so often with an update on how it is going…

And since it is now 8 days in, I guess I should do an update:

Day 1: Ground Rules

Basically, the email went over the ground rules for the challenge, and asked us to sign a sheet committing to a month of decluttering.

IMG_1563
My signed commitment to decluttering.
Day 2: Entryway

We enter the house through one of two ways, and both tend to collect stuff… This one is not going to be a one time deal… The habit of leaving stuff there will be hard to break… but at least it is clean now…

31Days_Entryway_2

The front hall had a collection of shoes that just needed to be put away, plus a few items that I kept forgetting to take to my car.  And a shoe box from my fiance’s new shoes… that he got a few weeks ago… There are still a few items that I need to return to their rightful owners, but it’s better…

And Big Cat helped me with the shoe box:

Big Cat likes to help declutter.
Big Cat likes to help declutter.
The back hall is where I was leaving stuff that needed to go in the donate box in the basement, and where we dump our soccer gear when we are too lazy to take it all the way downstairs.  I don’t see that changing any time soon… but at least it is clean now, and we can work on the new habit…

31Days_Entryway_1

Day 3: Mail

In our house, mail doesn’t really have a specific spot that it collects… it used to arrive on the kitchen table, but I’ve been pretty diligent about keeping the kitchen table pretty clean lately… although, as I type this I know that there are two big boxes of wedding stuff and a bunch of other junk on the table… but eventually, all the paper ends up in one corner of the kitchen counter… So I decided to tackle that corner for this day’s task.

31Days_Mail

I don’t know if I cheated at this task or not, but I now have a small stack of papers on my office desk to file… I probably should have filed them right away… But I did shred quite a few papers right away, and put a bunch in the recycling box, and also put a bunch of the random other items (tools, hardware, baseball, golf tee, etc) where they belonged. (I admit that I folded the two t-shirts in the before picture before taking the before pictures… still not sure why two t-shirts were on the kitchen counter…)

So, there are my first few “days” for the 31 day challenge.  I hope to get caught up on a few more over the next few days and I’ll do an update again sometime next week.

Have you ever done a decluttering challenge like this one?  Am I crazy to try?

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16 thoughts on “31 Day Clutter Free Challenge

  1. I really need to get on top of my clutter. We’re moving soon, so I’m hoping to set up the new place in a more organized fashion. Good for you for taking this on!

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    • A move is good motivation to declutter for sure. Just don’t put anything in a box that you don’t want to unpack… You should join me in the 31 day challenge. I’m already behind, so it’s not too late to join! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks! The mail/counter area was definitely the one with the most traditional decluttering… the other areas were really just putting things away that I was too lazy to do before… but hopefully with the spaces all nice and clean, we will be motivated to keep them that way. Fingers crossed!

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  2. Loving the progress you are making! I know what you mean about getting overwhelmed with decluttering, and I think your strategy tackling one spot a day is a good one. Sometimes I even just two one drawer or my beside table top, anything is better than nothing!

    Keep up the good work.

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    • Thanks! My issue is that I haven’t actually been keeping up every day, but if I tackle a couple small spots every few days to catch up, then it should be better than nothing… Right? πŸ˜‰

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  3. Love the 31-day idea! Might have to check it out. We have an issue with our entryway too – it’s the default place to put everything. I need to figure out better storage solutions!

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    • You should totally join me in the challenge! If we listen to Marie Kondo, we don’t need better storage solutions, we just need less stuff… But I’m with you, I just need to find a way to contain the mess until I have time and energy to deal with it. πŸ˜‰

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  4. It is great that you are doing this challenge. Recently, I have tried to de-clutter un-needed accounts and subscriptions that I have on various websites to get rid of unnecessary data. This has been fun and it also is freeing. I deleted my Facebook account and while it is always fun to “creep” on your friend’s pages, I haven’t missed it in the least!

    I’m excited to read what your experience is after a month. Good Luck!

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    • Thanks! I have done a declutter of my email once, but I should probably revisit that… I’m sure that one of the days this month will be some sort of email or electronic data decluttering. Good on you for deleting your Facebook! I don’t spend too much time on it, but one of my sports teams uses it for communication, so it would add some hassle for me to delete it completely…

      I’ll try to keep the updates coming pretty regularly…

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  5. Decluttering is my favourite! I mean when it actually comes down to doing it, I don’t really want to. But I love when a room or area has been decluttered. I couldn’t agree more about getting overwhelmed by doing a huge declutter transformation that I just give up. Doing a small area at a time is a great (and manageable) way to do it!

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  6. I love the 31 day idea to just start making progress. I noticed there was a theme in your update of putting things where they belong. If it’s hard to put things away, it won’t happen. Consider changing where things go so they have a home closer to where you tend to put them. For example, could you have a pretty wicker hamper (with lid) in the entry way that all the soccer stuff lived in?

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    • That’s a good point… making things easier would help… It really isn’t that hard, and if I tell myself that I need to go put my things away, I do… but perhaps having an easy place to store stuff nearby might be a good solution. Or not letting ourselves sit down and get lazy before we actually put the stinky stuff in the garage to air out… Procrastination has always been a downfall of mine.

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