Friday, August 27, 2010

Goodbye Junk Challenge

So, I've been trying to embrace life, and have more time for my family by getting rid of the junk that has found it's way into our house since moving in three years ago.   The clutter is taking up time I don't want to devote to it.  Time to find things.  Where did I see that ___again?  Time to clean.  It takes more time to clean if there is more stuff  sitting around. Time  being frustrated with how much stuff there is everywhere.  This is big for me, because it robs me of enjoying my day even when I'm not cleaning.

Another thing I'm trying to do, besides get rid of junk, is to make sure that everything that stays has a real home.  Not just some pile on the counter, but a real place to be put away.  I've found that I'm much more successful and consistent about keeping things neat if there is a home for things.  The kids are better at cleaning this way too.  Things that don't have a home inevitably end up in a pile on some horizontal surface in my house.   And stay there.  Not good.

After surfing around and reading some articles about clutter, I decided to host a Goodbye Junk Challenge.  Do you have junk like this that you want to deal with once and for all?  Do the Goodbye Junk Challenge with me!

In reading online somewhere, maybe, I came across this idea to get rid of one piece of junk a day for a whole year.  What a great idea, I thought!  Being the beginning of a new school year, it seems like the perfect time to start a new challenge like this, so here's what I'm thinking:

*Get rid of one item each day.  It must leave your house for good...donate it, trash it, recycle it, give it to someone, sell it on ebay, whatever, just so that you don't ever have to deal with it again.   More than one is fine too, but if you just get rid of one thing a day, that counts!
*Find one item that needs a home, and give it a home!  Maybe something that  you've never known where to put...figure out a place.  Or maybe just put something back in it's rightful home.  Easy!
*Leave a comment or link a post about how you're doing.  Let's encourage each other!!

That's it... quick and simple, right?   Want to join me?  Let's see how much junk we can get rid of together! 
Here are a few other details:
*Feel free to make this challenge fit your life.  Want to do a week worth all on Saturday? Fine!  Want to fill up a box before taking it to Goodwill?  Great!  Just make sure that the stuff you pile up to leave your house actually leaves your house, otherwise, you'll just be going through it all again in the future, and who wants that?
*If you miss a day here and there, or even a whole week, don't give up!  There are no Junk Police to knock on your door, and ask what you've donated today.  You don't have to do the whole year.  There is no right or wrong.  Just clean until you're happy!
*Remember there are lots of sites out there with helpful ideas. and are two of my favorites.
*Just for kicks, meaning, 'because there is a math-y nerdness in my blood', I'm going to weigh the stuff I get rid of.  For example, when I started Monday, I filled up a basket of stuff.  19.2 pounds.  Tuesday, it was lighter weight stuff...about a pound.  Today, I pulled out 5 pounds of stuff from my china cabinet.  You don't need to do this, unless you want to.  I just thought it might be fun to see how much I've donated once I'm done with the year!  I'm sure it will be staggering...I'm shocked that the little pile I've got for Goodwill is already over 25 pounds in 3 days!  You could also make a pile, take a picture of it when you donate, whatever.  Or just be happy it's gone.  Like I said, do what works for you.

It's a win-win challenge.  I/we get a nicer, cleaner, more organized house, and Goodwill (or the charity of your choice) gets to benefit from our donations!

Are you ready to take the 
Goodbye Junk Challenge? 
I hope so!


stacey29lincoln said...

Oh my stars I so need to do this! I think the worst area is kid junk! I may challenge my girls to get rid of one thing each day for a week. Then we can donate it to our crisis pregnancy center and celebrate with lunch out!

Thanks for linking up at 29lincolnavnue! I really needed to read this today!

SomeGirl said...

LOVE it! I'm in! :)

Shell said...

Stacey, I'm so glad you have you visit! I'm thrilled that you're going to join in the challenge. Let me know how it goes, okay? And thanks for making my day with your lovely comment!

SomeGirl- Thanks for all your help! Glad you're in with us. :)

Kristen said...

I am so in! I like the idea of doing it a little bit at a time. It's less painful for my hubby to throw out/donate items in small batches, and it allows me time to really go through stuff and figure out what's a keeper and what needs to go.

Shell said...

Welcome, Kristen! I'm so glad to have you joining us. Let me know how it goes for you!

Jennifer said...

I tend to go in bursts with decluttering, so maybe this will be just what I need to be more systematic and to actually follow through with not only boxing up the clutter, but actually taking those boxes (which then become a form of clutter all their own) to Goodwill. I'm in!

Shell said...

Jennifer, I tend to go in bursts too, so I'm really hoping this will help me be consistent as well. Thanks so much for joining in the challenge. I can't wait to hear how it goes for you!

Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori Now said...

This is GREAT! I still need to go through my homeschool closet. I did a bit a couple of years ago, but IT’S TIME!!! (My kids are now 20 and 25, and, yes, I’m saving some things for my grandkids, but this is ridiculous!) I think former preschool teachers must be the worst for accumulating clutter – we never know when we might need something! And I’m way too sentimental!

Shell said...

Deb, I'm so glad you're joining us in this challenge! I know exactly what you mean about the teaching supplies. I still have a few boxes of teaching stuff, and I left teaching 8 years ago. It's just too good to let go of easily!

Michelle said...

Yes, I need to declutter! I've been watching Hoarders & it scares me. I told my husband, "Don't ever let me get like that!" I will de-junk with you. :)

Marci said...

Good for you! We remain pretty clutter free around here but there are times when it starts to build up. Last week, we went room by room and got rid of stuff we don't want/need anymore. Even the kids got in on it. We do this periodically, so they are used to it. We put everything in the neighborhood garage sale and made some money for our upcoming vacation. What is left is going to the mission. It just feels good getting rid of all that stuff!

Nemo said...

Hi there!
Im new to your blog, but LOVE this idea, just last night I was trying to make lists and schedules to organise my life better. 1 Sept 2010, what better day than today to start with this! It's always more fun with friends so I'm glad to have found others who have the same problems. Reading YOUR about me sounds like its about ME! (except husband and children) So I'm in! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I have lived in my house 14 years this Christmas. After three kids, as you can imagine, the piles have gotten control! I have been working on the decluttering, but what a great way to do it....with a group to hold you responsible! Yes, I CAN do one piece of junk a problem!
Thanks for the tip!

Shell said...

Michelle, Marci, Nemo, & Bigskylifecoach:

Thanks for the comments. I'm so glad to have you along with me for the challenge (in whatever way you decide to participate!)

Can't wait to get to know you better and say GoodbyeJunk together. :)

Nemo said...

How are we meant to let all the other participants know once we've participated? I blogged about it here!

Shell said...

Nemo & Everyone,

I'm working on a linkup and way for us to all support each other. It will be up in a few days. Life offline has been a little busy, but I promise it's coming!