Friday 2 September 2022

Different types of decluttering challenges

I always find myself in September with a longing to sort out the house once the children are back at school. I find that a good decluttering challenge helps me to stay motivated and can make a big difference to the tidiness of my home, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite challenges below. Some of them I have tried in the past with great success, and others are ones that I definitely want to attempt in the future!

The Minimalism Game

I love playing the Minimalism Game, and I've done it several times over the years. It's very simple, you just discard the same number of items as the number of the day in the month. So Day 1 is one item, Day 2 is two and so on. It's very easy to start with, but it's pretty tough by the end! It also requires a certain amount of self-policing - for example do you count smaller items in a container as a group, or as individual items? A twist on the game is to play it in reverse, so that you get the most difficult part out of the way first thing. 

A certain number of items each day

This is the challenge that I'm working on this September. It's a variation on the Minimalism Game, but you remove the same number of things each day. For me, ten items per day is a manageable amount.

A particular amount of time each day

Set a timer, for example fifteen minutes or half an hour, and declutter as much as you can during this time. This challenge doesn't work so well for me because I get easily distracted and then panic that I'm not working efficiently, but I can see this being effective if you have a very cluttered house or lots of rubbish lying around.

A different area each day

Plan for this by making a list of all the areas in your house that need decluttering but try to keep it manageable, for example a cupboard or drawer at a time. Then work on one area each day. It's best not to be too rigid about it, and to keep the larger or more difficult spaces for days when you have more time.

Surface cluttered with red objects
Photo credit Elena Mozhvilo via Unsplash

A different category each day

This is the core of the Marie Kondo method and I find it works really well for me when I need to have a big clear out. Sorting by category means that it's easy to get rid of duplicates which might be missed if you are working on different areas at a time. It can be quite overwhelming and messy at times though, and you need to have the space to set aside an area for sorting.

Declutter the things that you don't use

This challenge works really well for clothing but can also be used for other items. Take out all your clothes, and only return them to the wardrobe or drawers once you have worn them. After a certain amount of time you will easily be able to see the clothes that you don't wear regularly and pass them on. Of course there are exceptions for seasonal items and special occasions, but it's a good way to remind yourself just how much you own.

Sorting through piles of clothes to declutter
Photo credit Sarah Brown via Unsplash

One item in, one item out

Every time something new enters your home, something else must leave. Ideally this would be something from the same category, for example a new pair of shoes or a book.

Join in with an online guided challenge

There are plenty of online challenges that you can take part in which can be very motivating and inspiring if you want to share your progress with others. Often there is an attractive printable calendar available for download.

My favourite challenges are run by Apartment Therapy, and they host regular free decluttering challenges using a daily e-mail to keep you on track. The next one starts on the 19th September 2022 and you can sign up here - Decluttering Cure 2022. You can also find the older completed challenges with links to the daily tasks, for example the January Cure which I did this year, or a previous two week Decluttering Cure challenge.

I hope that I've given you some inspiration for a September declutter!

1 comment:

  1. Yes!! I have already starting making a list of jobs that I want to get done while my youngest is at school. I think I would have to do the minimalism game in reverse to get the hardest part out of the way. hehehe I am planning to do a different area each day. x


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