This month I'm hosting the Decluttering From A To Z challenge. It's a fun way to help you declutter items in your home that you may not have thought of decluttering.
If you've missed yesterday's introduction to the challenge, you can find it here.
Before we start decluttering, I want to help you think about why you want to declutter. Thinking about your motivation will help you make decisions on what to let go of throughout the challenge.
Everyone's motivations for decluttering are different. Here are some ways that clutter may be affecting your life:
- You are embarrassed to have friends over because of the clutter in your home
- You are often frustrated because you can't find things when you need them
- You frequently pay bills late because they get buried in a pile of papers on your kitchen counter
- You can't eat at your dining room table because it's filled with stuff
- Your kids have plenty of toys but rarely play with them because there are too many of them all over the playroom floor
- You often run late in the morning because you can't find thing to wear in your overstuffed closet
- You can't relax in your living room because there are piles of clutter on every surface
- You're not productive in your home office because there is paperwork and clutter piled up on the desk, shelves, and floor.
- You get overwhelmed when you walk in the door and see all the clutter everywhere
Do any of these sound familiar? Please know that you are not alone! That's the purpose of this challenge. So we can all declutter together.
You may find other reasons to declutter in those posts:
The First Step - Your Goals & Vision
Today I want to you to think about why you want to declutter this month. Then set a goal of what you want to accomplish. And take action towards achieving that goal.
Here are some examples:
- If your goal is to declutter your entry area and living room so you can have guests over, then send out invitations for a date in early November. Nothing motivates me to declutter as much as having people coming over!
- If you want to declutter your playroom so your kids can enjoy their toys more, then book a playdate for early November. You can even get your kids involved in the challenge this month and use the playdate to keep them motivated.
- If your goal is to be able to get ready quickly in the morning, schedule a charity pick-up for early November to pick up all the clothing you'll purge this month. It will be easier to let go of things when you know they're going to a good cause and having that deadline will keep you going through the challenge.
These are just examples, but you get the idea. Goals are much more likely to be achieved if you have a deadline :)
If you choose a specific room to declutter, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you want your room to look like?
- How do you want to feel when you're in that room?
- What is your vision for this space?
Write down the answers to these questions and refer to them throughout the challenge. Your choices of what you keep and what you declutter should be based on your vision for the room. Keep things that will help you achieve your vision. Let go of things that don't.
A word of caution... don't set a goal that is too lofty. Most likely your clutter didn't accumulate overnight and it won't go away that quickly either (unless you're planning to park a dumpster in your driveway and toss everything in).
If you're just starting out, just choose one area of your home to focus on. And then throughout the challenge, look for items to declutter from that area from the daily suggested lists (or whatever you want that begins with the letter of the day!). I promise you, you'll see more progress and stay more motivated if you focus on one area.
If you've been decluttering for awhile and have done a "first pass" of your home already, then feel free to declutter from any areas of your home as you go through the challenge. You may find you're ready to part with some things that you weren't ready to let go of before.
What's Next For You?
Ready to declutter? Want more decluttering ideas, tips, and inspiration? Need some motivation and accountability to keep you going? Here are some ways to get the most out of this challenge:
1. Sign up to receive my blog posts in your email inbox. You'll get a new post every day this month with the latest Decluttering From A To Z post. Once the challenge is over, you'll receive an email whenever a new blog post is published (usually 1-2 times per week). I share decluttering tips and other organizing tips on the blog. You can unsubscribe at any time and I won't spam you. I promise.
2. Join the 365 Items in 365 Days decluttering challenge! The Decluttering From A To Z challenge is really a challenge within a challenge. You can start the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge at any time and declutter whatever you want. More details here. There are details in that post about our great Facebook group too. Many of the posts in this series will help you define your vision and goals and motivate you to declutter your home!
3. Check out my 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series. This was my 31 Days series from 2 years ago and each post gives tips to declutter different items or areas of your home. If you're focusing on certain areas of your home this month some of the posts may help you out.
4. Follow my Decluttering/Organizing Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest. This is my most popular board and I share tips there frequently.
Share Your Vision and Goals!
I hope these ideas will help you prepare for the Decluttering From A To Z challenge today! Inspire all of us by sharing your vision and goals for this month. Tell us what steps you're taking to help you achieve your goal too. The accountability will increase the likelihood that you'll achieve your goals!
A great way to stay motivated when decluttering is to take "before" pictures of the space you want to declutter this month! As you declutter through the month you'll be able to see your progress. And if you share them with us, we'll all be there to cheer you on!
You can share your goals and before pictures in any of these places:
- The 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group (ask to join if you're not already a member)
- The From Overwhelmed To Organized Facebook page (there will be a new challenge post every day and you can share your pictures in the comments)
- On Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #DeclutteringFromAToZ
- In the comments section below
Please don't feel embarrassed by your before pictures... we're all in this together! If you want to share them in a safe place though, join the closed Facebook group above... only group members (fellow declutterers) will see your photos. And it's a very supportive group :)
What are your reasons for decluttering? What do you want to gain after this challenge is over? What do you think will be the toughest part of the challenge for you?
I link up at these great parties - Check them out!
Here are all the posts in this series!