Clutter Removal Challenge: The Deep Clean Challenge Week 1

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An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion will remain in motion.

Today, we’re creating that motion. We are kicking off The Deep Clean Challenge with an exercise that encourages you to move around your home and clear clutter.

Why do we start The Deep Clean Challenge with clutter removal?

If you are anything like us, you need an easy win, and easy wins give you the motivation you need to keep going.

What counts as clutter?

Any item that you no longer like, need or want. And, because we are all human around here, we are pretty sure there may be some actual trash, too.

A quick note about family “heirlooms”:
If an item is of no value to you or to anyone who lives in your home, you have no obligation to keep it. If it is valuable to someone important to you, arrange to give that item to them as soon as possible. Boundaries, people, boundaries.

How do you get started with this week’s clutter clearing challenge?

You can do a Marie Kondo exercise for this week’s challenge if you would like, but we find it much easier to clear the decks with ruthless abandon. With her six children, Heather finds it simpler to keep only a couple of items from each kid’s babyhood rather than trying to store many sentimental objects. Teenagers take up enough space. They don’t need to compete with the things they have outgrown.

You may want to take a more measured approach or your child/children’s personalities may require this. Know what you need before starting, so you don’t regret your strategy later.

How do you find motivation?

Try some accountability.

Call or text a friend a link to this challenge and tell them what time you will be done. Tell them to text you at that time to perform a check-in.

Don’t like the pressure of a deadline? Try a technique called body doubling. This technique works really well for people who may have ADHD. Body doubling is when you have another person in the same spaceā€”or virtually in the same space. That person does not have to be participating in the activity, but their presence can keep you on task. Quick tip for those without any available volunteers, sometimes ambient conversation like an audiobook or podcast can be a stand-in.

Prefer to work alone?

Try the Pomodoro method, this is a method with 25 minutes of work followed by a five-minute break. If you need a shorter sprint that works, too. Try 15 or even 10. The important part is to get that first round done; that initial success can be the inspiration you need to keep going.

Put on a playlist you like or maybe a podcast. Some of our favorites* include:

*Please note you should probably put in earbuds if you have kiddos around, as our tastes tend to run a little dark/NSFW

What do you need for this clutter purge?

  • Large trash bags, large plastic bins/totes, or what the heck, what about those cardboard boxes from Amazon to separate items bound for different destinations.
  • A timer, btw you have one on your phone.
  • A little motivation.

How long will getting rid of all your clutter clearing take?

How much stuff do you have, how big is your home? We really can’t answer that one for you. We also don’t want you to spend all day on this challenge. Pick your goal, it could be 30 minutes, but no more than 2 hours.

Remember the spirit of the challenge:

Progress, not perfection.

Set a timer.

Take breaks.

Reward yourself at the end.

Your stuff isn’t going anywhere, and frankly, neither are we. You didn’t get here in one day. At the end of this challenge, we will have a rinse and repeat option to restart.

Where do you start the clutter clearing challenge?

Your choice.

Here are some ideas from a previous organization challenge. Don’t try to do them all this Saturday; it’s just inspiration. Pick one as a starting point and then grab your bags/bins and begin.

Get rid of junk mail immediately. The entryway or dining room table is a great place, as a lot of unnecessary trash piles up in both areas.

How about that shoe closet or coat closet? How many yard work shoes do you need? Do you even do the yard work?

Head to your kitchen, can you see your counters? Open your pantry; how much of that is way past its expiration date? Dare you open your storage container cupboard? Will an avalanche happen?

Your closet? What clothes are you never going to wear again?

The laundry room? The linen closet?

This clutter clearing challenge is not about turning into a minimalist.

Week One is only about getting rid of as much of your home’s excess as you can in a maximum of two hours. The linked articles above are just for brainstorming, not a suggestion to do them all.

Donate what you can, recycle* what you can’t, and get the rest ready to go straight to your county’s convenience site or set them aside for trash day.

*By the way, you know that box or bag stuffed with a tangled web of cables you have? Best Buy typically has some boxes near the front of the store where you can take all those cords so they don’t end up in a landfill.

Finally, don’t forget to share the most epic thing you find with us on Facebook.

Ready?

Set.

Go!

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