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Are you ready to get serious about breaking up with your clutter piles for good? I know I am and I have hatched a plan that I think will help me and you both.
The Room A Month Extreme Decluttering Challenge
If you are a regular reader here at Snail Pace Transformations you know that currently I am on a 22 week RV trip with my family. This RV trip has given me lots of time to think about what I really want my home to look like–and I want it to look a whole lot less cluttered than it does now.
The trip has also given me the opportunity to live with significantly fewer possessions for just over 5 months–and I don’t miss more than a handful of the items we left at home. I miss my couch, my bigger kitchen counters and oven, my toilet and shower and a real bedroom door (our RV just has curtains). Those are pretty basic things. Not one of them could be considered clutter. There are a few other things I miss from time to time, like my bread machine, and during colder parts of the trip my warmer winter coat. Still my list of things I miss is significantly shorter than the list of things I left behind.
Yet I still can’t bring myself to just call a friend and say, “Hey, can you empty my house before I come home?” That seems just a bit too radical so here is what I plan to do instead.
I am going to box up one room each month and what items don’t come out of those boxes by the end of the month are either going to be sold or donated.
How The Room A Month Extreme Decluttering Challenge Works
Box up all items of the room for that month except for the basic needed furniture of the room. I am talking bare bones furniture. For example, if you are doing your living room then leave just the couch and TV and perhaps an end table or two.
Finding an area to store the items might be tough. I suggest thinking about where a week or so before you start this challenge and then use that time to make room in that area of your home to store things. Perhaps you have a guest bedroom? Room in the basement? A storage shed? A garage? Wherever you choose try your best to make sure it is some place out of sight so you don’t feel like you are living in chaos for months and so that you are not tempted to take things out of the boxes every time you pass them.
Do nothing! Simply let the stuff sit in the box, bringing out only those things you truly need or miss. Example, perhaps you really do need that table lamp to read by at night, or perhaps you really miss seeing those cute pictures of your kids. Dig out those types of things, but nothing else.
Repeat what you did week two.
After two weeks of doing nothing now comes the bigger task. Go to the boxes you stashed and divide the piles up between those items you want to sell and those items you want to donate. You haven’t seen any of these items for almost a month now so your attachment to them should be significantly less than what it once was.
The hard part is going to be not getting reattached to those items. Here is what I plan to do to limit that and I suggest you do it too. Purchase a good sized tote like this one and make it your keep box–or you can use one you already own. You can keep only what fits in that box (you can decided if the lid has to shut or not) the rest has to be sold or donated.
Remember: you lived without those items for a full month now. How badly can you really need something you haven’t used in a month?
Repeat this one month challenge room by room until each and every room in your home is done.
A Few More Rules To Keep You Honest & Successful
In order for this challenge to work you have to be truly honest with yourself and set rules that will keep yourself in check.
After the first month of the challenge is done you should find yourself with items to sell. What I want you to do with those items is place a date on the outside of the box that is four weeks from the day that you decided you would sell them. So if April 1st was the day you did your sorting then write May 1st on the outside of the box.
Now sell, sell, sell and if items are left in that box after the date passes then it is time to donate, donate, donate.
Let’s face it, we all have good intentions about reselling our items, but often those items just become neglected, gather dust and clutter up our homes. We want a 100% decluttered home when we are done so the sell pile at the end of each month must go.
Need some help with reselling items? Check out my Reselling Tips page where I share everything I have learned about reselling items.
Can’t decide whether to resell an item or donate it? Check out this post that offers guidelines to follow that will help you answer that exact question.
If you would rather donate items than sell them, that is 100% okay. However, you still need to give yourself a few rules so that you do have a clutter free home at the end of this challenge.
Here is the most important rule to follow when donating items: get the items for donation out of your home as fast as possible. I suggest putting the donation boxes into your car the day you pack them and then head straight to the thrift store when you are done. The longer donation boxes sit in the home the more temptation there is to grab something out of them. Plus, a stack of boxes in the corner becomes clutter really fast and again–the aim of this challenge is a clutter free home.
How To Stick To The Room A Month Extreme Decluttering Challenge
In order for this decluttering challenge to work you need to stick to it for as many months as you have rooms and if you have a garage, garden shed, or attic you need to add a few more months to the challenge.
Decide ahead of time what will help you stick to the challenge. Do you need accountability? Join my Snail Pace Decluttering Facebook group. Do you thrive on rewards? Then decide what you can give yourself each time you finish a room. It could be something simple like allowing yourself the time to just sit and enjoy the newly clutter free room for an afternoon without feeling guilty about sitting that long or it could be something bigger like a weekend away once every room in the house is completed.
When I Plan To Begin My Own Room A Month Decluttering Challenge
I plan on getting started with my own Room A Month Decluttering Challenge in July. I will blog about my progress on Mondays here on Snail Pace Transformations and would love to have you join me.
Who is in? Tell me your start date in the comments below. Together we can transform our homes!
Other Posts On Decluttering
- How To Stay Motivated And Kick Your Clutter To The Curb For Good!
- How To Stop Being Embarrassed By Household Clutter
- How To Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed
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