Decluttering is a powerful tool for achieving organization and reducing overwhelm in our lives. One of its primary benefits is the immediate sense of control and order it brings to our spaces. When we systematically go through our belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or discard, we create a more streamlined and efficient environment. This not only saves us time searching for things but also reduces the mental stress caused by a cluttered and chaotic setting. As we eliminate unnecessary items and simplify our surroundings, we gain a clearer perspective on what truly matters, leading to increased focus and reduced mental clutter.
Furthermore, decluttering has a profound impact on our emotional well-being. The act of letting go of items we no longer need or cherish can be incredibly liberating. It symbolizes a fresh start and a break from the burden of excess possessions. As we declutter, we also confront our attachment to material things and learn to prioritize experiences, relationships, and personal growth over material accumulation. This shift in mindset fosters a sense of freedom and contentment, ultimately reducing the overwhelm that often accompanies the quest for more.
Decluttering extends beyond physical spaces; it can also apply to digital clutter, such as emails and files. Tackling these digital areas can alleviate the mental weight of a disorganized digital life, allowing us to better focus on tasks and responsibilities. In sum, decluttering is a transformative process that empowers us to regain control, find clarity, and reduce overwhelm in both our physical and mental spaces, ultimately paving the way for a more peaceful and balanced life.
For this 30-day challenge, I’d recommend breaking up areas of your home and either spend all 10-minutes each day in that 1 area or tackle 30 smaller projects. Below is a 30-day challenge that I’d recommend using to clear the clutter and get organized in a way that is practical for your space. I’ve also created this downloadable template that you can use to complete this 30-day challenge.
Step 1: What are you going to declutter?
Write a list of 30 tasks to tackle for the next 30 days. My advice is to pick small tasks that you can do in less than 20 minutes. This will help to minimize overwhelm and stress and you might even find that it builds momentum to take on larger tasks later. If you do pick a task that will take longer than 20 minutes to complete, break it up so that you’re working on it over several days. And don’t forget that you can also extend these efforts to your car, shed, yard, storage unit, office or digital world.
I would also recommend writing your plan for that area of your home next to the task – especially if you want to purchase organizing supplies. I know we are trying to get rid of items, but we are also aiming for organized spaces where items have a specific place to live. As long as you’re getting rid of far more items than you are purchasing for organizing, you’ll be in good shape.
For example, if you want to declutter and organize the junk drawer, your plan might be to buy some drawer organizers. Target, Amazon, HomeGoods (the storage and office aisles are my fave!) and the Container Store are excellent places to buy organizing supplies.
Here is an example using the template I provided:
Step 2: What are you going to do with the items you remove?
The process of decluttering requires deciding what to do with the items you find in that space. The first decision is to decide if you want to keep it or get rid of it. If you do keep it, are you going to allow that thing to stay in this area or is there a better area of your home that makes more sense?
If you choose to get rid of an item, decide whether it’s worthy of selling or donating. If not, then trash it in the most environmentally responsible way.
One thing that I like to do before I start decluttering is to have a trash bags nearby for donating/trashing, and another container or box for items that I want to keep but that go somewhere else. And my task isn’t complete unless those items have been relocated to their proper homes. So make sure you factor that into your sub 30-minute activity.
Step 3: Follow through with each task.
Now that you have the plan and schedule, it’s time to follow-through. You’d be surprised how much clutter you can remove from your space(s) in less than 20 minutes a day. If you do end up missing a day, because life happens, then be sure to double up on a day that you have some extra time. I find that I sometimes gain a lot of momentum after completing 1 small task that I end up doing multiple tasks anyway. If that happens to you, let it! If not or you don’t have the time, then stick to your schedule. And this is also a great project to do with family members, especially if it’s their stuff in question.
If you find yourself challenged by the thought of getting rid of things because you’re too emotionally attached to them, recruit a friend that doesn’t have that same connection. They can help you let go of the item and enjoy your freedom from a material item. Remember that stuff is just stuff but memories last forever!