Are You Ready For The Challenge?

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Are you ready for the 30-day minimalist challenge? You remember it’s the one that is starting October 1st.

I hope you are as ready as I am to get started!

You might even find a few ideas I have interesting. One of which might be something you haven’t considered.

If you are reading this and don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my previous post (the 30-day challenge).

Removing Clutter

Since writing the last post, I have been thinking about the word clutter. And that led me to try and find out what clutter means.

Like most things in life, everyone can have their definition of this term. Meaning what I think clutter is and what you feel can be completely different. And that is okay.

Take a minute and think about what clutter means to you. Is it like the Hoarding TV show, an untidy room, piles of dirty dishes, unorganized areas of your home, or having things you never use?

Is this clutter?

What does clutter mean?

If you don’t have a definition, or you have a visual picture in your mind. I will leave you what I think it means.

Anything that gets in the way or does not bring you joy.

I like this definition because it’s pretty simple and can mean different things to different people.

That’s what makes this process, or challenge, if you will, so much fun. We all will have different ideas on how to solve the question.

Day One – Ideas and Considerations

Knowing that clutter can be different for everyone. What are the things you should look to remove?

I wish I had the solution, but this is something only you can answer. But I have a suggestion for you to think about on the first day of this challenge.

You could throw away that random sock you never found the mate to. But I think there is something you should consider.

Scan and then shred the pile of important documents you have.

confidential-red-stampIf you are wondering why and what I shred, it’s simple, anything with

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Social Security Number
  • Bank or account information

I think you get the idea. Just think about the things you don’t want other people to know or get their hands on.

There is a file that I have that says Shred. But honestly, it’s now a pile on top of my filing cabinet.

And every time I see it, I get annoyed.

So, for me, that is a perfect example of clutter that I need to eliminate.

To fix this problem I have, on October 1, I’m going to sit down and get it done!

Side note

I haven’t counted each piece of paper in this pile, but I would estimate at least 100 sheets.

As you know, the challenge is to get the ball rolling on removing items in your home. If I wanted to follow the rules of this challenge, I could technically shred one piece of paper and then keep the rest for each day of the month.

I’m not going to do that.

Instead, I will use the first day of this challenge to shred every piece of paper. I will then put it all in one bag (I hope it will all fit in one trash bag) and count that as one item.

Digital clutter can be overwhelming.

My Favorite Clutter Idea Yet!

Here is another excellent idea for you. Remove the digital clutter in your life.

Again, digital clutter can have many different meanings from apps on your phone, pictures, documents, files, emails, bookmarks, and so on.

You might be thinking bookmarks on your computer don’t count. Well, let’s think about this.

Bookmark digital clutter

How many bookmarks do you have saved because it was something that you were “going to read later.” Only to realize that you never go back to read them.

You had good intentions, thinking you would get to it “someday.”

Let’s all be honest here, “someday” hasn’t come and probably never will.

There is always new content online, and again, do you even remember why you have all that stuff saved?

Unless it was from my blog, then you can go ahead and keep it.

If you find it tough to know where to start, let’s get rid of our digital clutter together.

Just be prepared and allow yourself some time. How you decide to tackle it is up to you. This is your journey, and I’m just giving you two additional ideas.

bombarding-with-emailsEmail digital clutter

This one is even better than the bookmark idea.

If you go through your email right now, how many things do you have saved to “read later?”

As I mentioned, digital clutter can take many forms. I think it’s one of those silent things that are is always there, hindering our inner peace.

Taking this to the next step, how many emails do you get every day?

I bet you get a few every day that you never read and put directly in the trash. So why do you still get them?

Make a deal with yourself, and for this challenge, to clean up your email inbox. If you unsubscribe from an email list, I think you should count that as an item.

If you want to make it more challenging, every five unsubscribe counts as one item for the day.

What Are Your Plans?

Let me know, in the comments below, what your ideas are. Do you like shredding and clearing your digital clutter ideas? Let me know!

Just be ready. Removing digital clutter will take time. That is why I suggest doing it now.

It’s convenient the first weekend in October is when we are starting this challenge. So you have an excellent opportunity to get the ball rolling!

To help get you started, here is my plan.

  • Friday, October 1: Shredding all the documents I’ve been putting off for too long
  • Saturday, October 2: Unsubscribe to at least two email newsletters I don’t read anymore.
  • Sunday, October 3: Deleting all the bookmarks that I planned on reading (there are a lot). If I have time, I’m going to continue deleting emails too!

Depending on how I’m feeling, I might highlight all of the files and press DELETE. We shall see what happens.

My Overall Game Plan

I’m not sure if you are like me, but I like having a game plan.

My idea, after the first weekend, is to start tackling sections of my home. Up first will be my dresser, then cleaning out my closet.

Next will be my bedroom as a whole, bathroom, then finally heading to the kitchen.

I also have a storage unit and plan on tackling that sometime in the mid-month. It’s loaded with stuff I haven’t used in over a year, so this will be so nice to go through.

Grab a few empty boxes

Three box approach

Suppose you don’t know what to do with the items you are removing during this challenge. Consider the three-box approach.

The idea here is to have empty boxes that you will fill up with items as you go through your home. Labeled the boxes as follows:

  1. Trash. Which will be emptied in the dumpster at the end of each day.
  2. Donate. Again, this box will be emptied before the end of the day. In this case, before the donation location of your choice closes.
  3. Sell. A box that will have things that you could make some money.
    Side note: these items are only to be counted when they leave your home, such as when you sell them, donate the item or give it away.

Let me know if any of this helped you out.
If you have ideas on what you’re going to do, let me know in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Are You Ready For The Challenge?”

  1. I am ready to take on this challenge!

    October 1 is almost here…

    I have some ideas of what I will tackle first. One thing I discovered is that I have a lot of unused coupons that have expired. That’s a good place to start.

  2. So far, so good!

    Day 7 and I have removed 28 items from my home!

    It is surprising to discover how many things we have that are no longer of use to anyone.
    Like handi wipes that have dried out, expired coupons, old business cards, and remotes to devices I no longer own.

    This challenge has been fun so far because removing these things makes me feel happy.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more!

      I would post what I removed every day, but I figured that would be too much. Instead, I made a Google document that I numbered from 1-31 (the days for October) and wrote down everything I was getting rid of.

      What’s been funny is that when you start to get in a groove, you forget to write down what you are getting rid of! Thus, I have a list, which I might post at the end of the month.

  3. Day 17 and I have removed an amazing 153 items!

    I am still enjoying this challenge as it has been rewarding to bring joy to others.
    As I take inventory of things I have not used in a long time, I think of people that would.
    Although they are not expensive items, little things can brighten someone’s day. Like a fun game, or pretty hair pins.

    As I look at the calendar, I realize we have completed the easy half of the month.
    Let’s see how the second half goes…

    • That is so awesome to hear! Congrats!

      I understand about giving things away too. It’s still surprising to me how many things I forgot that I have.

      I also posted a quick update here, if you want to read it.

  4. I survived the 30 Day Challenge!
    465 items gone from my home!

    Before you ask … NO … I am NOT doing the “Bonus” 31st day tomorrow!

    “Challenge” is the perfect word to describe it. In the final days, I counted every single tiny item. This included documents that I shredded, and creative counting of digital clutter. It was a great experience, but one I am sure not to repeat.

    I read a comment [elsewhere in the minimalist world] that one person said she was addicted to purging her home. Somehow it became an obsession for her and could not stop thinking about what to get rid of. I am happy to learn through this experience that I do not suffer from that obsession. Although I enjoy keeping my home simple and free of clutter, I prefer to remove items at my own pace. A weekend is best when I can take my time and focus on one closet. This every day situation was exhausting and felt like an obligation. So, I guess what I am trying to proclaim is that I am of sound mind. LOL

    Honestly, if it wasn’t for you doing this challenge as well, I would have given up. Thanks for that!
    Overall, this experience was positive and cleansing. [no pun intended]

    Note: I will also post this comment in your other blog on the subject.

    • Congratulations!

      That is such a remarkable accomplishment. Thanks for pointing out that the 30-day challenge is 31. But let’s be honest, 465 items is a TON! This was a challenge, and after the 15th, it proved to live up to the name.

      Being someone that is addicted to purging? And I assume that is for items (and not the other) is a crazy concept. I struggle with, “What if I will need this someday.” But I’m sure we all do.

      Thanks for doing this challenge, it was fun and challenging, but I’m happy to know someone else joined me on it.
      (I’ll share later if I completed it too).


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