Day 1 - Introduction {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 1 - Introduction {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge}

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day 1 - Introduction {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge}

Have you ever felt overwhelmed during the month of December with all the stuff that enters your home? The trick I've found helps me is to declutter throughout the month. Will you join me in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge?

Today I'll introduce the challenge and how it will work, and then each day this month I'll share some decluttering tips and ideas for different types of clutter or areas of your home that may need to be decluttered.

Why Declutter in December?

December is traditionally a month when we notice our clutter more than any other time of year.  Does any of this sound familiar?

  • We decorate our homes for the season and feel like our home suddenly shrunk a few sizes
  • We have guests over for a Christmas party and we hide our clutter and hope no one opens that bedroom door or closet
  • We do some holiday baking but get frustrated trying to work in our cluttered kitchen
  • We love all the gifts our family members received but aren't sure where we'll put them all now that they are unwrapped

The holidays are a time when we want to enjoy our homes with our friends and family so it's extra frustrating when we're also dealing with clutter.

I've noticed the last few years that I don't feel as overwhelmed as I did in years past when we had much more clutter in our home.  But I especially feel better when I spend some time decluttering in December.

So when I saw an idea this week for a Net Zero month for weight loss, I thought why not do that for clutter?

And if I find decluttering helps me feel less overwhelmed during the holidays, I'm sure many of you will find that too!  So today I'm launching the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge!  Will you join me?

What Do I Declutter?

You can declutter anything you want to during this challenge, just like in the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge.  If you're already doing the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge, this is kind of a challenge within a challenge.  And a good opportunity to finish the year strong :)

But if you'd like ideas, each day I'll suggest an area of your home or a type of item that you can declutter. Hopefully these ideas will help you end the month with the same number of items in your home (or maybe even less!) than what you started the month with.

Here's my plan for the challenge (but again... feel free to declutter anything you want... whatever will help you feel less overwhelmed this month!).

Did I mention, you can declutter anything you want this month?!  You don't have to follow this plan.  Or you can change up the plan to better fit your home, your available time, and most importantly your clutter.  

Make this challenge work for you so that at the end of this month you have the same number of items (or less!) in your home as you do now.  The goal is for you to feel less overwhelmed during the holidays so you can enjoy them with your family and friends :)

Free Printable Tracking Sheet

In order to know if you're reaching Net Zero, I've created a tracking printable for you!  Just fill it in as you declutter and as items enter your home so you can see your status.

Just click on the image below to download your own copy.

Tips for Using the Tracking Sheet

December is a month when most of the items will enter our home near the end of the month so I'd recommend doing more decluttering in the early part of the month to compensate for that.  

You also won't know exactly how many gifts your family members will receive so I'd suggest estimating that, add about 10-20% because you'll probably under-estimate, and then make that your target for decluttering throughout the month.  

Think about all the possible gifts you may receive during the holidays.  Look at your list of who you give gifts to as a starting point, look back at any lists you kept of gifts received in previous years, and don't forget about gifts you may receive from work colleagues, neighbours, associations you volunteer for, parties you may go to, etc. 

If you underestimate, you can always do some extra decluttering after Christmas if you need to catch up :)

Guidelines for this Challenge

The simple thing about this challenge is that there really aren't any guidelines!  I'm not "policing" your tracking sheets. You can decide what you count or what not to count.  Maybe you want to count every single item as an item in or out, maybe you want to count some things by categories, or maybe it will depend on the type of item you're counting.  It's up to you.  

One point I want to raise is whether or not to count gifts you are giving to others this Christmas.  You can decide how to deal with this yourself, but I'd suggest the following: don't count gifts you're just buying to give away right away this month. But, do count gifts that you've had in a gift bin or gift cupboard for a long time (without a specific person in mind to give them to) if you give them away this Christmas since those have been cluttering up your home for awhile and now you're giving them away.  

Today's Suggested Decluttering Task

This will normally be where I share an idea of what you can declutter each day.  But for today, here's how you can prepare for the challenge:

  • Think about why you want to declutter this month and what you hope will be different this Christmas by doing this challenge {this will help you stay focused if you get discouraged}
  • Share what you hope will be different this Christmas by doing this challenge - use hashtag #NetZeroClutter
  • Estimate how many gifts your family will receive this month and any other items you anticipate will be entering your home this month.  
  • Print out your free printable tracking sheet so you're ready to go tomorrow
  • I'd love for you to join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group as you do this challenge!  You'll be able to share with others what you're decluttering and feel encouraged and inspired by everyone else who is also decluttering!
  • Sign up to receive my blog posts by email so you get each day's post in your email inbox every morning.  You can unsubscribe after the challenge is over if you don't want to continue receiving my blog posts by email. 

If you'd like some decluttering ideas to get you inspired, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

So that's the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge!  I'm so excited to do this myself and to have you join me.  I can't wait to hear all the stories of how much more you're enjoying your holidays because you're not overwhelmed by all the stuff in your home!

Why do you want to declutter this month?  What do you hope to gain by participating in the Net Zero decluttering challenge?

Happy organizing decluttering!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!

Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!