I’ve got a bit of a declutter challenge for you.
This is something I’ve been doing for the last month with a friend of mine. And she suggested it. It was brought to our attention by the minimalists on Twitter, so I’m not taking credit for this one at all!
I’ve heard about it before but I’ve never done it myself, and I have now, and I want to share with you what it’s about.
Basically it’s a month-long challenge.
On the first day of the month, you get rid of one thing.
On the second day of the month you get rid of two things.
Third day three things.
Fourth day four things,
and on you go…
Until you get to the end of a month where you’ve got to get rid of quite a lot of things in a day!
It’s been brilliant. But it’s also been a real challenge.
At the beginning of the month it was fine, I was thinking “oh this is easy, this is no problem whatsoever.”
Now I’m on day 28 and it’s like “Ah okay I’ve got to find all these items”
But actually it’s not really been a problem, it’s helped me realise that a lot of the stuff in my home I don’t use. I’m noticing more of the things I don’t use and that’s just sitting there.
One of the biggest areas I tackled was books, and a lot of people have problems with books. When I read a book, I then keep it. I might loan it out to people, but I tend to keep it.
I looked at all these books that I’d got, and I thought about the ones that were there and I thought “well they’re brilliant, they’re fantastic.” But I couldn’t even remember what it was about.
The reality for me is that I needed that book at that point in my life.
And now I’ve read it, it has served its purpose and wouldn’t it be so much better if it went to somebody else now?
I’m off to a networking event this evening and I’m taking all my books for a book exchange swap, library type thing. So passing it on to other people who need it more than I do.
But I also realised how much I was holding on to stuff, and a lot of stuff from my past as well. A lot of stuff from childhood. A lot of stuff from when I’ve been on trips to places, and things like that, that I had collected.
A lot of it was just in boxes, I didn’t use it.
It was just trying to hold onto those memories.
I’ve let go of a lot of it and just decided to move on a little bit.
There are some loose rules around it;
The idea is that you get it out of your house by midnight that night. (Now I haven’t completely adhered to that because I’ve been saving things up to go to the charity shop, and go to the right places.)
But it is important that you are not taking it back out of the bag again.
So making sure that you’ve made that decision on that day, so that you’ve consistently got some change going on and that you’re doing it everyday.
Also not counting things like rubbish. So just throwing some things away, it doesn’t really count. Mouldy vegetables isn’t going to cut it.
It is about items that you’ve been hanging on to a little bit and about shifting those.
So make up the rules yourself.
I think one of the key things for me was doing it with somebody else and having that accountability. So me and my friend doing it together was just brilliant because we could support each other, we could talk to each other about how we felt, and we weren’t on our own doing it.
Some days we would have both have given up, if we didn’t have to post that picture to each other on WhatsApp going “I’ve done it” So that was huge as well.
So why not try it?
Try the declutter challenge, see how you get on.