Do you ever look around and think “what is all this stuff”? Where did it come from and why am I still hanging onto it? I think we’re all guilty of “stuffitis” sometimes. Quite frankly, there’s a lot of cool stuff out there to catch your eye! It can be anything. A hobby that has overrun your home but you really don’t do much with it anymore. A good intention that never happened (like my scrap booking endeavor years ago). Kids. Self explanatory. Well I’ve been feeling a little full of “stuff” lately. I like to decorate. I like to create and DIY things. So over the years, I’ve acquired quite a bit of stuff. And maybe you have too. And maybe it’s time for a change. Here’s how I decluttered my whole house in 8 weeks!
8 Week Declutter Challenge
Now let’s be clear. This is not a major overhaul or transformation of one room. It IS NOT going to cost you hundreds of dollars. In fact, you might even make a little cash in the process. You can certainly buy things to help you and I’ll suggest things along the way, but it won’t be necessary. I’m all about working with what you have and figuring out a way. Or as my son says, “mommy, you’re the biggest cheapo I know”. Yes kid! I am. And one day he will understand why. You don’t need to spend a lot to make a big impact. I used to get so bummed when I would see these dreamy spaces on blogs or Pinterest that I thought were perfect, but then realized they come with a several thousand dollar price tag. Don’t get me wrong. There is a time for that kind of transformation and I don’t begrudge anyone for spending money to improve their homes. But that isn’t what this challenge is about.
I’m going to break it down into 8 weekly challenges. 8 spaces that need your attention. Spaces that are full of stuff – stuff that is just sitting there collecting cobwebs and taking up precious real estate in your house. And I’m doing it right along with you. I’ll show you my 8 spaces in all their cluttered glory before I start. No Pinterest worthy pics necessary. And I want to see yours! I want to see what you’re working on. And I want to see your progress. Email me or comment and let me know how it’s coming.
First you need to figure out if you even want to declutter your house. If stuff doesn’t negatively impact your life and you are content, then this isn’t necessary for you.
But for me, I start to feel overwhelmed when I look around and realize I’ve added one more thing to a shelf, one more book in a playroom, one more crafting supply, another pillow, another mixing bowl, another can of paint, and on an on. I did this recently. I was at the hardware store and I always check the “oops” paint section. That part where they mix a color that someone doesn’t buy or whatever – it gets marked down significantly. There was a good quality gallon of paint in a gorgeous color for $12. So I bought it. Months ago. It’s still just hanging out in the garage with all it’s other paint friends wondering when it’ll get used. I don’t need it. It was a great deal so I bought it. And now it’s one more thing I have that I don’t need right now.
If you feel overwhelmed at all the unused stuff, then this declutter challenge is for you. I don’t believe that anyone has to follow certain rules for their homes. Your house is yours. It’s meant for fun, love, and memories. If stuff is getting in the way of any of those things, then this challenge is for you.
Do you feel embarrassed if people come over? Do you have to move 20 things just to find a particular pan or baking sheet? Are you tired of picking up a million toys every night? Yes? This challenge is for you. Do you have hairspray from 1995 in your bathroom cabinet? This challenge is for you!
How’s it Work?
Each week we’ll tackle a new room or space. The goal will be to get that particular space free of anything that isn’t serving a purpose in your house. There’s 3 basic questions we’ll ask for every single thing in the space:
- Do I love it?
- Do I need it?
- Do I use it?
If it doesn’t fall into one of these categories (here’s looking at you 1995 hairspray and scrapbook materials), it’s gone. It’s either trashed, donated, or sold. Or I guess in certain circumstances it could be stored appropriately. And one big key factor. It’s gone now. Not 3 months from now. Now. As in right now. Can you sell it? List it on the online yard sale, craigslist, whatever you use. If it can be donated, it goes into a box straight into the car. It doesn’t sit around for months. Or guess what? It’ll still be sitting there at the end of the 8 weeks. Now I realize it takes time to get things sold. Give yourself a lowest price and a timeline. If it isn’t sold by then, it gets donated. And if it needs to be stored, designate a particular box for it and find a home for it.
When we start a space, everything needs to come out. And it can’t go back in unless it falls into one of the 3 categories above. Love, need, use.
How to Start?
First, decide if you want to do it. If it’s important to you to donate items to worthy places, start researching donation sites in your area. Find out where the drop off locations are and the times. That way, when you have a box to get rid of, you’re ready! For example, lots of animal rescue organizations or doggie daycare places will take your old towels or sheets. Call first though. You don’t want to take a load of stuff they can’t/won’t use. Where I live there’s an organization that provides clothing to homeless individuals. They have a donation bin outside of their facility so this is where I take clothing. If you feel strongly about making sure your donations go to good places, now’s the time to check and make your plans.
I have a sweet friend with a son that’s only a few years younger than mine. My kids don’t have a ton of clothes, but we all know how fast they outgrow things – plenty of perfectly good pants or shirts that get worn a few times. When my son outgrows his clothes and if they’re still in good shape, I message her and ask her if she wants anything. I love knowing they will get some more mileage from someone else and several times we’ve traded clothes for some cool item she has that she’s selling. I had two friends that did this for me when my kids were smaller and let me tell you! It was a lifesaver. I had the clothes grouped together in sizes and just pulled out a new box as he grew.
What’s in in for you?
- Less clutter
- Less to clean
- Donating to good causes
- Getting rid of that item that you’re hanging onto just because you think you should – I think we’ve all done this. We feel like we should keep it because it was special, or it belonged to a relative. But it you don’t love it or use it, it needs to go.
- Maybe you’ve had your eye on something that you really do love and would be useful – sell some of the unwanted stuff to get it. Now I don’t love advocating for bringing something else into a challenge that is all about decluttering, but maybe you ditch 4 things that are just taking up precious real estate in your house and get one thing you love.
So get ready – this is challenge is going to help you. It’ll free you of that “stuff” that you don’t need. And it’s not about overhauling spaces or spending money. You can overhaul a space once you are rid of all the stuff that’s just not necessary anymore.
What To Do To Get Started:
- First things first, get on the email list so you can follow along and participate. And no hard feelings if you want to bail after the 8 weeks. If it helps you out to follow along for 8 weeks and you don’t read another thing I post, I’m good with that. Don’t wait until you need a roll off waste container to start loving your home. Sign up below and I’ll send out a weekly newsletter with lots of goodies, including the next space on the list!
- I’m picking 8 spaces over 8 weeks that need some help. Ideally, you can devote a few hours a week to each space and get it done. Maybe you can get it done in one day. The biggest thing is not to get overwhelmed. Don’t go into it thinking everything has to get done at once. Make it manageable by focusing on one area. I know I’ve done this when cleaning before. You start on one room and before long, you’ve picked up a toy from one space, moved a glass to the kitchen, changed the toilet paper in the bathroom and one whole space didn’t get done. One space a time and it’s completely doable. If you have little ones, maybe you can tackle it during nap time. If you work full time, maybe you can spend 30 minutes a day in a space. You’ve got a whole week for each space.
- I would love to hear from you – tell me what you’re working with. Show me your progress. I would love to feature some of your awesome changes on the blog!
- It’s a new year. Perfect time to get it together and get out the clutter. And don’t worry, I’ve got some great organization tips for you along the way!
Thanks for joining me and I can’t wait to see what you do!
It’s a weekly challenge, but don’t worry if you don’t get in on the first week! You can always go back through the different spaces and start whenever works for you! We’ll get to closets, bathrooms, kitchen, kids rooms, and more! I know once I finally start purging stuff, I’m amazed at how much is just unused stuff and taking up space in my house!
For the first week in my own house, it’s the master bedroom closet! Details next week with before and afters!
UPDATE: Here’s the links to what I accomplished. I’m done!! I’ve freed my house of so much junk that we just didn’t need!
WEEK ONE: Master Bedroom Closet Makeover
WEEK TWO: Kids Rooms
WEEK THREE: Zero Cost Pantry Organization
WEEK FOUR: Craft Closet Makeover
WEEK FIVE: 10 Guaranteed Ways to Control Paper Clutter
WEEK SIX: Kitchen Organization Ideas
WEEK SEVEN: Bathroom Organization Ideas
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