The 30 x 12 Challenge: Toss Clutter & Gain Time

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Last year I spent 52 Weeks tossing clutter. Near the end of the year-long challenge I went on an FYI app Tiny House (TV show) binge  and decided that even though the 52 week declutter challenge was over, I still had way too much stuff.

The 30x12 challenge: toss clutter and gain time.

After all, if people can be content living with only what fits into 400 square feet or less, surely I should be able to fit our belongings comfortably into our almost 2,000 square foot house. I should not have to stuff or pile a single thing when I live in a house this size, even if there are 5 of us living in it.

And with that thought in my mind I came up with a new decluttering challenge for 2016, one that would stretch my pile loving ways to their maximum.

I am hoping those of you that joined me in the 52 Weeks To A Simplified Home challenge will join me in this new challenge. I need your support!  If you haven’t joined us yet, jump over and join the Facebook group. You can post pictures of your updates there.

The 30 Times 12 Challenge: Toss Clutter & Gain Time

This challenge is pretty simple–each and every month of 2016 I am going to rid our home of 30 items.

That means over the course of a year I will rid our home of 360 items! And if you join in, you will rid your home of 360 items too.

The Rules

The items can be given away to charity or a friend, sold, recycled, or simply tossed in the garbage if that is truly where they belong.

The items can be as small as a magazine or as big as a couch (but I am pretty fond our our couches so I think they are staying! 😉 ).

The rate in which you delegate your 30 items each month to toss, sell, or donate is up to you. You can do all 30 in one day (being a snail pacer, I probably won’t choose this method), you can do one a day, or 7 1/2 items each week. OK, it is hard to toss a half of an item, so it would be more like 7 one week, 8 the next, 7 the following, and 8 the last week of the month.

Try to stick to 30 items each and every month and forget about the 360 number, otherwise you are going to be overwhelmed and get behind and it is going to be hard to catch up.

How to keep track of the clutter you are tossing

To keep track of my items I will be keeping them all in one donation box, boxes, or area depending on size of item, until the end of the month where I will photograph them and then share an update on the last Monday of every month of 2016.

You can do the same and share it in the Facebook group, or you could grab an inexpensive calendar and put a check mark on each day you toss an item. One check mark per item. Then add the check marks up and see if you reached 30. If not, spend some extra time the last day finding enough items to make it to the 30 goal.

Another great way would be to grab two jars and fill one jar with 30 buttons (coins or marbles work too) and each time you toss an item, move a button to the other jar. When the first jar is empty, you know you have made your goal for the month.

Do whatever charting method works the best for you.

Less Stuff = Less Mess = More Time

The Rewards

After 52 weeks of decluttering I am noticing huge dividends for all my hard work.

  • It takes less time to get the house in company shape.
  • I don’t feel so overwhelmed–even on my most stressful days.
  • I am not spending as much time searching for items.

See that key word in the first and last dividend? Time. I cannot believe how much time our family is gaining by having fewer items. Time we used to spend dusting those items, maintaining those items, moving those items, looking for those items–the list goes on and on.

That reward right there is a huge motivator for me to do this new challenge and succeed at it.

How To Make Time For This Challenge

Does the thought of attempting one more challenge overwhelm you? Are you afraid to start one more thing, only to fail at it because you simply can’t seem to find the time?

You would benefit from the Make Over Your Mornings course. Crystal Paine, the course author, isn’t going to tell you how early to get up. Instead she is going to show you how to prioritize your to do list in a way that will make time for what matters most.

Complete the 14 day course in just 15 to 20 minutes a day, apply what you learn, and you will start finding time to reach your goals and finally join in challenges like this one with success.

Grab your copy here.

Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Organization on Pinterest.

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  1. So glad to have spent time during winter break to declutter at my home. Nowhere near perfect but I feel like my family is slowly making progress

  2. I love this challenge!! However, I have a lot of friends who seem to never be able to actually part with an item because they have a sentimental attachment and over-inflated sense of it’s worth when they want to sell it. I tell them to try to sell it, but give a deadline. If it isn’t sold by XX/XX/XX, then off to the donation center!! Good luck!!

  3. I absolutely love this idea! I’m definitely going to work on this in 2016. Thanks for sharing.

    Lexie Robinson

  4. I am the same way – love watching any “tiny house” show, not because I could ever live in one but it is inspirational to see what one actually “needs” to live and function. My family is a family of four and last year I set a goal to declutter 1000 items. We reached over 700 and are looking to declutter the remaining 300 this year (already have started). We are not remotely hoarders but it is amazing how much “stuff” can accumulate over time, stuff that your family never uses or has outgrown. I will have to check out your Facebook group – it will be nice to stay on track and reach the 1000 items decluttered goal.

  5. 30 items a month seems reasonable. Decluttering is at the top of my household project list as well:


  1. […] My friend Victoria at Snail Pace Transformations has a box that she fills every month. She just randomly declutters around the whole house all month, as she sees things that need to be gotten rid of, and she fills the box as she goes. Then at the end of the month she takes the box to the thrift store and starts with a new empty box the next month. How simple is that? She started it as a challenge to declutter 30 items each month, but she tells me that now she just fills a box without counting how many items are in there. Here’s her post about it: The 30×12 Clutter Challenge. […]

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