Declutter Challenge: Update #1

Since I posted the first blog about the declutter challenge last week I started the process! Writing about it actually motivated me to just jump in and do it. So I thought I’d give an update and hopefully provide a little inspiration if you’re looking to declutter and organize your home as well.

Though our house is not that big we still have 3 levels and a garage to deal with. My plan is for my husband and I to go room by room because thinking about going level by level seems overwhelming. Oh yeah – that’s my other suggestion: if you have a spouse, partner, roommate, kids, etc., you’re definitely going to want to rope them into this project. In fact, you could assign each person a room or level…or even a task. For instance, if your partner works on the weekends when you’re going through everything, maybe s/he could make the trips to the dump or to your donation site. Think about what each person might be best at and decide that way.

It gets worse before it gets better.

There are different types of clutter in my opinion. There is hidden and visible clutter. The goal is to take care of the stuff you can’t see, but when you start going through closets and dressers and cabinets you create a mess (or the visible clutter). At first it was frustratinYoung woman is sorting out her laundry at homeg because it felt like I was just making everything worse. While technically true, I was actually making progress. As I said our house isn’t huge and the piles were taking over the living room a little bit. But, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Because  we got through our piles (unfortunately no sell pile this time), the living room and entryway/closet are clean and organized. Honestly, that space seems bigger because of what we got rid of.

I can already find things more quickly.

Have you ever tried to find something and gave up because it seemed impossible to find – even though you knew “it’s there somewhere”? Yep…me, too. Too many times to count, unfortunately and embarrassingly. So then you have to go without or think about replacing it. While it may not be thousands of dollars spent, it definitely adds up. Because of this project, I know exactly where everything is in at least 2 spots in my house now. (Baby steps.) Where as before I might know where the super glue was, but it was only because I put it there…not because it had a place to go. That’s one crucial piece that seems so simple, but that I just never was consistent about before. I’m finding homes for things so that I don’t have to waste time searching or money to replace something.

So those are my takeaways so far and I’m excited (weird, right?) to keep going. Because of crazy schedules, I’ve determined that my deadline is April 11th. I want to be realistic and make sure that it gets done so I’m choosing a 90-day challenge. Next up is one of our 2 spare bedrooms…and it’s got a walk-in closet full of things we probably haven’t used in a year. I’m predicting a dump run in our future…

Have you thought about doing a financial challenge? Here’s a post about the 1-year no spending challenge. WTake Charge of your life_horzhat do you think…could you do it?

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Elaina JAuthor Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.

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