It’s that time of the year when we all feel this need to purge, clean, and start fresh. We make resolutions to eat better, exercise more, clean frequently, and declutter everything. These are all great intentions but without a plan in place it’s incredibly easy to fall off the bandwagon and back into our habits.
I’m right there with you. I’ve set and forgotten resolutions over and over again. I’ve also kept resolutions - the ones that had specific ways to achieve success. I’ve learned that arbitrary goals and plans don’t work for me. I need to know exactly what needs to be done if I have any chance of reaching the end.
With seven people living in our house clutter and random items seem to multiply on their own. I swear we don’t bring that much stuff into our house but then I turn around and I can’t see any flat surface! And drawers become dark breeding grounds for things like pens, rubber bands, and little pieces of paper.
Enough! I’m determined to cut through the clutter in our house!
In other years when I’ve thought of de-cluttering the whole house I would get almost overwhelmed. Where do I begin? How do I find places for all of it? How do I make sure it stays organized once I’ve gone through it?
I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn't belong, isn't needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life - that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.
When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.
Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. In fact, I've even created a simple printable so you know what to expect! Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!
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I’m going to snap pictures of everything I find to declutter. The garbage, the donations, and the no longer needed things. I know some people set goals of certain numbers to purge but I don’t want to limit myself or push myself to reach some arbitrary number. I want to be ruthless and get rid of as much as possible but I don’t want to throw something just because I need to hit some number. I’ll share my pictures along with a reminder of the challenge for the next week.
If you do the challenge with me you can share your pictures on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge so I can see what you are up to! You can also upload pictures into the comments to share all the clutter you are clearing out of your lives.
Week 1: Living Room Furniture
Well, here we go, week one. I decided to start with the more prominent areas of the house. If I’m going to bust through some clutter I want my progress to be obvious! And then I go and choose in and under the couch for the first week, ha! Well, I know it’s an area of our house where LOTS of things disappear. Between the kids toys and just random items it seems to suck them all in.
Here's what I found UNDER the couch.
Oy. Gross. We usually only let the kids eat upstairs once per week - on Friday nights for Pizza/Movie nights. When we have company we let them eat upstairs because our kitchen doesn’t really fit more than the seven of us around the table. We can squeeze a few more in if we move the table and take up the whole floor but it’s easier just to sit around picnic style. Well, that means bits of food go everywhere and then there’s the kid lifestyle habit of dropping things wherever they feel. Um, behind the couch is not the dirty laundry hamper! Goodness.
We actually got really motivated and moved the couch to make sure we got everything under and behind even though when I originally told Micah about the challenge I said all we needed to do was scoop out underneath. But I figured if we started out doing the bare minimum it was going to continue and I wanted to do it right. So we spent time during the kids' naps moving the couch and cleaning. We are a fun couple, I tell ya!
We found a few toys to get rid of (cheap plastic fake food and some broken toys), lots of garbage (mostly wrapping paper), and several dishes and dirty clothing items that went to their respective cleaning places.
I know that more things will find there way under this couch in a few days because that’s what toys do but at least it’s clean right now!
What did you find under your couch to get rid of? Were you amazed by how much you found? Did any items catch you off guard?
Share in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.
Come back next week for week 2 of the clutter buster challenge: Coffee and side tables. Under, in, and on - I'm sure we can find things to get rid of!
Scroll down to find links to every week of the Clutter Buster Challenge!
Week 1: Living Room Furniture
Week 2: Coffee/Side Tables
Week 3: Books
Week 4: Movies/Video Games
Week 5: Spices & Baking Ingredients
Week 6: Kitchen Utensils & Silverware
Week 7: Pots/Pans/Baking Sheets
Week 8: Food Storage Containers
Week 9: Other Kitchen Drawers
Week 10: Pantry/Dry Food Storage
Week 11: Fridge/Freezer
Week 12: Small Appliances
Week 13: Kitchen Surfaces
Week 14: Cleaning Supplies
Week 15: Master Bedroom Nightstands
Week 16: Under Master Bed
Week 17: Master Dresser Tops
Week 18: Master Dresser Drawers
Week 19: Master Closet Racks
Week 20: Master Closet Shelves
Week 21: Make-Up/Beauty Products
Week 22: Bathroom Shelves
Week 23: Bathroom Drawers
Week 24: Bathtub/Shower
Week 25: Under Bathroom Sink
Week 26: Sheets/Pillowcases
Week 27: Towels/Washcloths
Week 28: Medicine
Week 29: First Aid Supplies
Week 30: Tools
Week 31: Outdoor Space
Week 32: Inside Vehicles
Week 33: Desk Surface
Week 34: Office Paperwork
Week 35: Mail/Magazines
Week 36: Desk Drawers
Week 37: Craft Supplies
Week 38: School & Office Supplies
Week 39: Kid/Guest Bedroom Dresser Top
Week 40: Kid/Guest Bedroom Drawers
Week 41: Kid/Guest Bedroom Closet Racks
Week 42: Kid/Guest Bedroom Closet Shelves
Week 43: Kid/Guest Bedroom Under Bed
Week 44: Shoes/Boots
Week 45: Coats/Jackets
Week 46: Seasonal Gear
Week 47: Board Games
Week 48: Kids Toys
Week 49: Junk Drawer
Week 50: Holiday & Party Decor
Week 51: Wrapping Paper/Gift Bags
Week 52: Email Subscriptions