A New Challenge: Declutter My Entire Life

If you have read any of my past blog posts, you will know that I like to join or make up challenges in an attempt to trick my brain into doing stuff. It is sometimes successful and sometimes not. So, I just keep at it and try to make progress. Remember the time when I challenged myself to make an extra $1000, or when I quit internet for a whole month? Those were the days.


The Declutter 365 Challenge

If you are anything like me, then a cluttered home and life = a cluttered mind. I get strangely overwhelmed by physical, digital, and mental clutter. I’m constantly trying to optimize my existence through simplification. At my age, I expected to be further along. *shrug* Anyway, I want to tell you a bit about my latest challenge, and how it relates to my journey of becoming financially independent so I don’t need to work anymore.

The Details

The latest challenge I’ve joined is called the Declutter 365 Challenge. This site is run by a woman named Taylor Flanery who has been hosting the challenge for several years. This is my first time actually participating, however! The TLDR of this challenge is that you spend 15 minutes a day, EVERY DAY, FOR A YEAR(!!), decluttering and / or organizing one small section of your home or life. 

There are several things I like so far about this challenge.

    1. Finding 15 minutes a day to declutter is pretty easy.  I have clear direction on what needs to be done every day via Taylor’s VERY detailed calendar.
    2. MOST days, the goals are achievable in that timeframe, unless you have an
      Where I’m writing this blog post from right now. – Photo by Dimitry Anikin from Pexels
      extreme area of your home or life that is going to need more attention.
    3. Breaking the task into small chunks over a long period of time makes the whole thing more appealing.  Every day, I do a little dance of accomplishment when I finish a task. Ok well, maybe I don’t actually dance as I’m a very bad dancer, but you get the idea.
    4. Taylor has amassed a significant amount of content over the years. Every day has one or  more articles to guide you through each step of the process of decluttering your life, all packaged up in to a neat and tidy annual calendar that you can print out and stick on your fridge. If you’ve been here a while, you know I’ve done that.
    5. Knowing that some day I’ll be selling this home and downsizing as part of my financial independence plan, it’s nice to get a little closer to a more minimalist lifestyle now, well in advance of my FI date.
    6. There is a pleasant side effect of making money by selling unwanted things. It probably won’t be more than a couple thousand by the end, but I still feel like this was enough justification to talk about it on my FI/RE blog. I think I’ll track dollars made and do a report at the end, just for kicks. Current balance: +$50.00!

Thing I don’t like about the declutter 365 challenge.

Some of the daily declutter challenges cannot be done in 15 minutes. So far, I’ve been just trying to make up for it on days with challenges that are very quick. For example, it took me much longer than 15 minutes to “put away Christmas decorations”, however on another day, I saved a few 15 minute chunks because my pantry had already been organized and decluttered over the holidays. We’ll see how it goes down the road.

One thing Taylor suggests is that this challenge isn’t really supposed to be a “one and done” type of deal. In fact, she says the declutter challenge should be done EVERY YEAR! So if you don’t get everything done in 15 minutes, maybe that’s as far as you go this year. In theory, each year will get progressively easier, since you’ve touched every area at least 1 year ago.

I like this idea, as it keeps things maintained and for the long term. I would imagine at some point, many tasks could be skipped assuming you have not accumulated much in the past year. One of my goals is to “consume” less stuff generally, so I’m hoping this will ring true in 2023.

Is the Declutter 365 challenge ALL about STUFF?

Emphatically no. Taylor has sneakily added in tasks to also organize and simplify life. She has incorporated ways to help you not forget about some of the important things you may need to deal with. Some examples: In January, there is a challenge to create a spot to house your incoming tax documents  so you are prepared for tax time. Also in January, she has incorporated a challenge to create a running “leftovers” sheet to post on the fridge with the goal to reduce food waste. There are also several challenges to create routines to keep things organized in your life. 

Why did I join this challenge?

Well if it’s not obvious yet, I have issues with keeping organized. Hubs is about 10 times worse. Therefore I need to keep shit together as best possible all on my own, and drag him along with me. Despite loving a clean and organized home, mind, and life, I cannot seem to maintain it to my standards. Therefore I seek help externally. I am surely not alone in these feelings! Ultimately I hope it will help me focus more on my journey to financial indepenence and how to get there faster, considering less time will be spent managing things.

What challenges have you made for yourself this year? Or have you intentionally made none? Tell me all about that in the comments! Also, if you find this post the least bit motivational, do remember to like and subscribe. And share it with your friends. 

4 Replies to “A New Challenge: Declutter My Entire Life”

  1. Great post! I am also doing this challenge and the breaking it down into small achievable goals is also key for me!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I need to do this! My husband and I have started discussing decluttering and maintenance projects we need to do around the house. Now that he’s retired, he can help me with them, so it’s a little less daunting!

    I’m not organized enough to participate in a challenge, but I look forward to following along with yours! It’ll help to keep me going with my decluttering. 👍

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