30 Day Challenges - Are they any good for decluttering ?
Time to Read : Around 3 minutes
With the rise of social media, 30 day challenges have really taken off in the last decade. You’ve probably seen them for all sorts of things and maybe even tried a few. They seem to mostly revolve around fitness and nutrition but there are a whole heap of others too ranging from a photo a day through to laughter yoga ! “Google” the phrase and you come up with over 28 million results and you can even now buy “The 30 day challenge book” which offers up 500 ideas !
I have to admit I do like a 30 day challenge. I’ve started quite a few core and press-up ones but never quite managed to get to the end. I had better success on the cold shower front though !
Having recently started a new organising business I began to ponder if one of these missions could really help people with their clutter at home. As I delved into it I could not believe how many variations on a theme could exist to detox your house ! I decided I wanted to give one a go and invited others to join me. I settled on a progressive 30 day declutter change. Day 1- 1 item, day 2 - 2 things, day 3 -3 pieces and so on. Get to the end and you will have cleared a whopping 465 bits of clutter.
You might be wondering at this point if a professional declutterer is able to do this on their own home-Isn’t it already “done” and completely clutter free ?
Whilst many areas are pretty well sorted, there are still places for improvement. I think of it a bit like gardening. Even when you’ve got your garden in great order, those pesky weeds keep popping up or plants die or something just grows too big. You have to keep on top of it !
Back to the challenge. There proved to be quite a bit of interest in the mission in the first week and a number of people had declared themselves “up for it”. I also noticed a real surge in friends who now wanted to chat about “getting rid of stuff” whenever they saw me !
Some folk got really excited in the first weekend and filled bags full of household clutter. Others went the slow and steady route. A few didn’t quite get off the ground. However most, who did any level of decluttering, did experience that uplifting feeling you get from getting organised. And once they had started they did want to carry on. (Perhaps not always in the style the challenge suggested !) Along the way lost items were found, surprises turned up and some more tricky decisions had to be taken.
The biggest barrier that I heard (from those who got going) is the lack of time available in busy lives to put towards this every day, along with a reluctance to let some things go.
For me undertaking a 30 day challenge on something I am passionate about and genuinely enjoy was fun. I did find it tricky to keep to the numbers. It did not feel a natural or efficient method for deciding on what should go.
In conclusion, a 30 day declutter challenge has a fantastic ability to raise awareness and get people taking some action in their home.
This particular challenge style can work for some. However, it might be better to find an alternative that fits with your lifestyle.
* Maybe doing it the other way around i.e. Day 1 you start with 30 items, then 29 , then 28 etc. This way really does harness that early energy we all have at the start of something new.
* Setting an overall target for the month may also be a useful tool if you can’t or don’t want to commit to decluttering everyday but still want to make a difference over the 30 days.
* Another option is to declutter by type instead of number e.g. day 1 - socks, day 2 - cook books, day 3 d.v.d.'s etc. Right from the onset you will be getting that emotional boost that sorting out gives you.
As you can see in the pic I decided to keep all the items until the end to see what 465 bits of clutter actually look like.