Declutter Your Home: Wellness Challenge
Declutter for 15 minutes each day this week
“Get rid of clutter and you may just find it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for.” – Katrina Mayer
Simple instructions for the declutter challenge
- Identify areas in your life that need to be decluttered. Choose areas that are causing you stress, anxiety and/or hindering productivity.
- Spend at least 15 minutes each day organizing, cleaning, and/or purging items in these spaces.
- Choose areas that are causing you stress, anxiety and/or hindering productivity.
- The area(s) you choose to declutter can be physical or digital.
- Physical areas include: Closets, desks, cabinets, drawers, pantries, journals, calendars, cork boards, cluttered countertops, rooms (like bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, living rooms, garages, attics, playrooms, workout areas, libraries, offices, entryways, mudrooms sheds and basements).
- Digital areas include: Email inboxes, iCalendars, electronic to-do lists, computer desktop files and folders, computer documents, iTunes, smartphone apps, digital photos, contact lists, eBooks, etc.
- You may choose a large project (like your garage) or tackle a few smaller areas (like your kitchen drawers).
- Start with the areas that are the most problematic for you and break tasks down into manageable projects that will fit the time you have available.
- The space doesn’t need to be large nor does it have to take long to clear up. With a plan in place and focused effort each day, you will achieve a more peaceful and organized home.
- Complete one project before beginning another. For example, if you start organizing a kitchen drawer one day but don’t finish, revisit that drawer the next day.
- After seven days, choose whether or not you will continue this wellness challenge. You can choose a different area in your home to work on each week.
Helpful decluttering tips
- Make a plan. Identify the cluttered spaces in your life and choose which area you will work on each day. Will you tackle one room/area or take on mini-projects each day?
- Choose your time commitment ahead of time. Decide how much time you can and will spend decluttering each day. Spend at least 15 minutes on your daily projects, but do more if you can. Choose what time during the day or night you will declutter.
- Get boxes and bags ready. Gather and label five boxes, baskets or bins defined for these five purposes:
- Put away: This box is for items that need to be placed back into their storage spaces. This could mean a glass in the bedroom or a soccer ball in the living room.
- Trash: Designate one basket or bag for items that are garbage and need to be thrown out.
- Donate: Create one bin for items you want to donate to a charity or another person.
- Recycle: This bin is for things that need to be recycled, such as paper, plastic or glass.
- Fix/Mend: Use this container for items that need repairing, such as a jacket you love that has a broken zipper.
- Gather your cleaning materials. If you are going to clean while you declutter, have cleaning supplies on hand.
- Prepare to let go. Don’t let decluttering paralysis get in your way. Reorganizing and decluttering can be a difficult task to accomplish and it may feel time-consuming, overwhelming and physically draining. If you suffer from paralysis, you may have to overcome emotional hurdles (like guilt, sentimental attachment, grief, etc.) before you can let go of belongings. Whatever the cause of your decluttering paralysis may be, it’s important to understand why you are having so much trouble before you can finally move past it. Here are some tips to overcome this paralysis:
- Before you begin this challenge, ask yourself what’s standing in your way.
- Take a deep breath, visualize all the good that’s associated with the end result of decluttering. Imagine how you will feel in and around your newly decluttered space.
- Tell yourself that you have a solid plan in place and can and will overcome your fears.
- Chisel away at your organizing projects bit by bit… one day at a time. Decluttering may feel difficult at first, but with each step you make, it will get easier and you will learn new habits to help you along the way.
- Follow Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. The 5 Second Rule states, “If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.” This rule crushes excuses and forces you into action so that you do the things you are avoiding, the things you don’t feel like doing, and the things you are scared of doing. The moment you feel an instinct or desire to act on any part of this declutter your home challenge, use this rule. When you feel yourself hesitate before starting, count “5-4-3-2-1-GO” and move toward action. The counting will focus you on your commitment and distract you from the worries and excuses in your mind.
- Cherish memories, not objects. Items often remind us of special times. Tell yourself that you don’t have to keep every single object to hold onto your memories. Memories live within your mind and heart.
- Be honest with yourself. While you declutter, evaluate each item with an honest eye, mind and heart. If you don’t love it, use it and need it, place it in the trash, recycle bin or donate box.
- Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of progress. Done is better than perfect. Don’t let yourself avoid something because you’re worried you can’t get your space to look “Martha Stewart perfect”, don’t have the right storage bin, can’t find cleaning supplies, or need someone to help you move the furniture. It doesn’t matter how you do it – it matters that you do it. Work around your obstacles and do the best you can with what you have on hand this week.
- Make it fun and set the mood. Play your favorite music, light a candle, and when possible, open a window for fresh air.
Why this practice is important
When you declutter, you rid items that you no longer love and/or use. The decluttering process is about letting go of the past, enjoying the present, and making room for the future.
Decluttering your home will not only make your space feel less cluttered, but it will also help to clear your mind. There will be less things to take care of and store, less running around trying to find objects you’ve misplaced, and more time spent on what is most important to you. Benefits to my declutter your home wellness challenge include:
- Tackle the small to manage the big. Organizing small, manageable items gives you useful practice and readies you to manage and straighten out larger, more daunting tasks and projects at home, work and socially.
- Decluttering improves your health. Studies show that performing at least 15-20 minutes of daily exercise (including housework) benefits your physiological and mental health. Also, when you have tidier homes and organized kitchens, you are more likely to make healthier food choices and home cooked meals.
- Uncluttered space is calming and encourages creativity. Tidying up the environment in which you spend a lot of time in and around invites clarity into your life. When you surround yourself with uncluttered physical and digital spaces, you declutter your mind. This can provide a sense of calm and invite creativity and productivity. When your mind is free, new doors open for you.
- Less clutter means less obstacles. Messes and chaos around you can create obstacles that prevent you from doing more important tasks. Feeling paralyzed by the clutter in your work and living environments makes it difficult to tackle the larger tasks that need to be addressed. Less clutter frees your space so that you can be more productive.
- Getting rid of clutter boosts self-confidence. Clutter can create stress, anxiety, embarrassment and despair. When you declutter your living and working spaces, you remove the source of your stressors. This allows you to achieve a sense of accomplishment and improve your self-confidence. Letting go of certain things can also create a sense of emotional freedom.
Join me in this “declutter your home” wellness challenge!
All you have to do is commit to decluttering areas in your home for at least 15 minutes each day this week. Join me in this challenge. What will you tackle and how will you feel when you’ve declutter that area or space?
I plan to tidy up my bedroom as well as organize my email inboxes, which have gotten a bit out of hand. Clearing my bedroom space will free my mind so that I can go to bed calmer, sleep better and feel more rested when I wake up. Knowing my emails are under control will invite a sense of calm and authority over my work tasks.
Talk to me – what do you think of this declutter challenge?
- What will you declutter this week?
- Will this challenge be easy or difficult for you? If difficult, what obstacles are in your way? What can you do to overcome these challenges?
- Do you have any decluttering tips or tricks?
- Is this a wellness practice that you continue after this week? Why or why not?
Past wellness challenges
If you like this week’s wellness lifestyle challenge, please share this post, Declutter Your Home: Wellness Challenge, with your friends and family. 🙂
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When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.