If you’ve got a goal to begin decluttering your home this year, but don’t know where to start, join in on our #DeclutterTheYear challenge and declutter 2,019 items from your home in 2019! This easy to follow challenge will inspire you to cut through your clutter and accomplish a big, audacious goal!
Decluttering Your Home, 2019 Edition Guidelines
While there aren’t any set rules, people often ask me how I count this or that. Some people like the freedom of making their own guidelines for the challenge while others want to follow specific “rules”. So, if you’re a checklist and rules kind of chick, here’s the process I used last year. I am following the same guidelines this go round.
Track all items that leave your home
- I downloaded an app called Counter+ from the iPhone app store. Any time I discarded something, I added it to my record. I didn’t track what I was discarding, just the number of items.
Count anything you declutter that you were inclined to keep for a future purpose
- I’m notorious for keeping things for future purposes. Anytime I discarded something I thought about keeping, I added it to my list.
How to handle multiples:
- I count multiple items as one if they entered my house as one unit. If I get rid of a box of markers, I count it as one item, not 8, 12, etc.
- If something took a lot of effort to discard or find a home for, I counted the items individually. We discarded about 40 beautiful pieces of old barn wood that we just hadn’t made time to repurpose yet. It took a lot of effort to find a taker, so I counted them individually.
Count every item as it is recorded in your app
- I’m a rule follower, so if I was going to record an item as discarded, I needed to feel totally honest about the count. I didn’t estimate items because I wanted to feel completely truthful when I stated I accomplished my goal by the end of the year.
- I didn’t count discarded consumables I used up, such as shampoo, makeup, or toiletries. Rather, I only counted these items if I parted with them before they were used, like cosmetics I no longer used.
Decluttering Your Home Challenge 2019 Started with a Bang!
The Great Kondo Closet Purge
Thanks to binge-watching Marie Kondo on Netflix during midnight feedings, I got the itch to declutter like crazy! After one week of purging in January, I had decluttered nearly 700 items! Much of this amount can be attributed to decluttering our clothes- all four of us went through the wardrobe purge process!
Ryan & I both went through our master closet & I went through some clothing I had in storage in the basement. Anything we didn’t like, or that didn’t fit, was donated. EJ already had a pretty streamlined kids capsule wardrobe, but I was able to revise a few things in his closet as well.
Between our purged items and the excess family hand-me-downs we were passing on, we had quite a pile to donate!
Tackling Our Random Room
Another huge area I made progress in was our home office. For years our office had been a dumping ground for paperwork, miscellaneous technological goods, and household gear. Anything that couldn’t find a home in another room of our house was left in the office. This is a major reason why I suggest every room should have a purpose. A room without purpose is a breeding ground for clutter.
Our office was filled with random stuff. I had a huge file cabinet filled with papers I wasn’t sure I even needed but was afraid to part with. Cables that paired with who knows what. Old technology items that I knew I couldn’t just throw in the trash but didn’t know how to discard.
After a few days of work using my empty a space decluttering method, I reduced everything in the office storage down to what you see here.
I also spent a lot of time shredding old papers and documents. I reduced our files down from two file cabinet drawers to less than one file box! This was a huge win for me because paper has always been my nemesis!! I cannot tell you how much lighter I felt after accomplishing this task. It was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders. If paper clutter is a struggle for you, as you begin decluttering your home, I encourage you to prioritize some time to tackle it once and for all. You’ll be so glad that you did!
Side Effects of Last Year’s Declutter Your Home Challenge
One thing my 2018 Declutter the Year challenge taught me was that I needed to be more mindful of the number of items added into our home. It doesn’t matter how much you purge if you don’t stop the flow of stuff back into your house.
To be more intentional about this, I’m tracking every non-perishable item we bring in this year. The post will be updated monthly, so check it out and see what I’m learning through this experiment!
Another way to ensure the number of items in your home isn’t growing faster than you declutter is to remove an item each time you bring in something new (one for one). When my cousin gifted us with boxes of hand-me-downs, I knew I had to be mindful of what I kept. The baby already had lots of leftover items from his brother, which were hand-me-downs from his cousins. He had waaaay more clothing than he needed. Especially because it was winter and he lived in his pj’s!
I decided to go through all the items she gave us and find the things I liked best. Then, I would declutter that many items from his already generous supply. After reviewing items, I decided to keep 29 articles of clothing. Before adding them to the dresser, I reviewed the items he already owned in those sizes and reduced by removing clothing with duplicate functions or clothing of similar styles.
By the end of it, I was able to declutter 56 items from the baby’s wardrobe for a net loss of 27 items. Not bad!
Decluttering Your Home with the #DeclutterTheYear Challenge
While it may not be January 1st anymore, it’s never too late to join our decluttering challenge! Grab a bag, a box, or a bin and begin tackling the clutter that is weighing down your home and stressing out your mind!
While there’s no rule that says you have to remove a certain amount each month during the decluttering your home challenge, knowing what the average pace would be for decluttering 2,019 in 2019 could be helpful to some folks. So, I present to you this handy, dandy chart that shows what number you would be at if you decluttered one item every day. Join in at any month and keep pace with this easy to follow reference guide.
Need more decluttering help?
If you’re ready to join in the challenge, be sure to join our Declutter the Year Facebook group for inspiration and support!