Day 31: What Now? {Decluttering From A To Z} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 31: What Now? {Decluttering From A To Z}

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day 31: What Now? {Decluttering From A To Z}

This month I hosted the Decluttering From A To Z challenge.  It's been a fun way to help you declutter items in your home that you may not have thought of decluttering.

If you've missed any posts you can find them all here.

You might be wondering, what's next, now that the challenge is over?  Today I'll share some tips to help you continue your decluttering journey so you can enjoy your home :)

How Did You Do in the Decluttering From A To Z Challenge?

I know many of you were participating in the challenge this month, based on your comments on the blog posts and on various social media sites.  And I know for as many of you commented and shared there were many more of you who decluttered on your own.  We also had a lot of new people join the
 365 Items in 365 Days group throughout this challenge and it was so fun seeing you share what you were decluttering and cheering each other on.  

There were 2 common comments I read this month about the Decluttering From A To Z challenge:

  1. You found items to declutter that you hadn't thought about decluttering before.
  2. The challenge was a fun way to declutter.

Well, those were my two goals for this challenge, so I call it a success :)  Just knowing you were all decluttering this month is so rewarding to me!  

Reward Yourself!

You've worked hard and you deserve a treat!  That may be a nap.  Or a long relaxing bubble bath.  Maybe you reward yourself with a mani-pedi with a friend who will celebrate with you.  If you decluttered a lot of clothing this month, maybe you treat yourself to one (and I mean one!) new shirt (although I don't recommend this if shopping is a typical way you reward yourself... it's better to replace that habit with something that won't result in future clutter).  

You know what will be the best reward for you.  Choose something and celebrate all your hard work.


Remember Your Motivation for Decluttering

Do you remember back on day 2 when we talked about your motivation for decluttering? What did you say back then?  Is it still your motivation today?  Did you achieve the decluttering goals you set on day 2?  Can you see progress after your hard work this month?

I hope you can see a huge difference after decluttering all month!  Obviously, if your clutter has built up over many years, it's not going to disappear in only one month, unless that was all you did this month.  But hopefully some of these things are true for you:

  • You're more relaxed in your home
  • You can find things when you look for them
  • You're able to have people over without being embarrassed by the clutter
  • You can eat at your dining table again
  • You're more productive
Whatever your motivation is, continue to keep it in mind so you can keep your home clutter-free.  You could even create a little poster or sign with your motivation on it and hang it someplace where you will see it regularly and be reminded of it.  You could even include some pictures of your clutter-free spaces that you worked so hard on this month, to remind you how it feels to have less clutter in your home.

Develop New Habits

This is the time to establish a few new habits to help keep the clutter from coming back.

  • Follow the "one in, one out" rule.  Or if you still have a lot of clutter, maybe "one in, three out" would be better.  So if you buy a new sweater, give away one you don't wear.  If you buy a new kitchen gadget, donate one you don't use as much.  It sounds simple, but you have to be very diligent with this to maintain the level of "stuff" you have in your home (or continue to decrease it if you're doing more than one-to-one).  Especially if you have kids ;)
  • Put things away every single day.  Don't let surfaces get cluttered by leaving a couple of things on them that doesn't belong.  Believe me, surfaces are clutter magnets... once something is there, you'll be tempted to add more, and then more, and then more.  And before you know it you've got piles of clutter.  Keep those surfaces clear by putting things where they belong right away!
  • Entertain on a regular basis.  The best way to keep your home uncluttered is to have people over.  It will force motivate you to tidy your home.  If you need to do this every week then do that.  Or every 2 weeks.  Whatever works best for you.  And don't just hide everything in a closet before your guests arrive... that's not decluttering :)
  • Start giving clutter-free gifts to the people who live in your home (or anyone really!).  Consider giving consumable gifts or experiences.  These won't result in more clutter entering your home.  You can't control what other people give your family members, but at least you can reduce what you give.  

If you work on these habits, you'll continue to enjoy your clutter-free home for years to come!

What's Next For You?

If you still have clutter in your home, keep decluttering!  You're all warmed up now, so it should be even easier to let go of things.

Here are a few ways you can continue your decluttering journey (you've seen these at the end of posts all month, but maybe you were so focused on decluttering by letter that you didn't really consider doing any of them and now they will be more applicable to you).  Oh and I added one at the end of the list so at least scroll down to that one :)

1.  Sign up to receive my blog posts in your email inbox.  If you haven't done this yet, you still can.  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 and the 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group!   The Decluttering From A To Z challenge was 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.  And the Facebook group is a really encouraging and supportive place, full of other declutterers, just like you!

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.

5.  Do the Decluttering From A To Z challenge all over again!  This was the third time we did this challenge in the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group and every time people found new things to declutter.  You'll find the same I'm sure!  In the menu at the top of the blog, you'll see "Decluttering" and then in that menu you'll find a link to this challenge.  So whenever you want to start the challenge over, or just have a bit of fun, check out the posts up there!

Share Your Decluttering Progress!  

I hope these all the ideas from this series helped you declutter this month!  Inspire all of us by sharing your decluttering pictures in any of these places:

Thank You!

I want to say a big huge thank you to all of you for joining in this month and sharing what you've been decluttering!  It was so motivating for me to continue writing the series, knowing it was helping you declutter your homes :)

And now I'm off to enjoy a glass of wine to celebrate the end of this series (don't worry... I'm not drinking at 7:00 in the morning... I'm writing this post on Friday night!).  And I scheduled the post to publish in the morning so I can sleep in :)

How do you feel about your decluttering efforts this month?  What are you most excited about in your less-cluttered home?  Which of the habits do you think will help you keep the clutter from returning?  How are you going to continue on your decluttering journey?

Happy decluttering!

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Here are all the posts in this series!