Monday, November 9, 2015

21 Day De-Clutter Challenge, It's On

21 Day De-Clutter Challenge

Today is Day 5 of my 21 day challenge.  I put the word out looking for Friends to join me in getting de-cluttered in time for the holidays. There are now 12 of us working at this and I thought I'd recap how it has been going for me so far.

Techniques I have tried:

Fix broken windows - Author Gretchen Rubin on broken windows "The “broken windows theory” of policing holds that when a community tolerates minor examples of disorder and petty crime, such as broken windows, graffiti, turnstile-jumping, or drinking in public, people are more likely to commit more serious crimes.
As a law-enforcement theory, it’s controversial, but whether or not it’s true on a city-wide level, I think it’s true on a personal level."
In an effort to de-clutter clearing up your own broken windows is a great exercise. Examples of broken windows would be unsorted mail, messy counters, burned out light bulbs. One of my broken windows was a torn ironing board cover.Taking some of my husbands clothes that were in need of repair to the tailor was another broken window that it felt great to fix. Used up, broken items clutter up our lives. Fixing broken windows can mean repairing or tossing out those items so they no longer clutter up your world.

Purge Paperwork - Paper so quickly and easily can take over our counters, desks, wallets and purses. Using some simple rules of thumb to decide if a paper, receipt, booklet or flyer is needed and then tossing out or shredding what is not needed can be a task but once done feels great. So much information is now online there is much less of a need to keep hard copies of things like bank statements, owners manuals, etc. Cleaning out a cabinet where I had stashed the pile that had accumulated on my counter this past Saturday didn't take long and I found some important paperwork and filed it in a place where I'll be able to find it when it's needed. In my book that's a win-win. Less clutter now, less stress later when I need important paperwork.

These next 2 techniques are great for busy lives or reluctant de-clutterers because they are so simple.

1 minute rule - Do any little task that you might have otherwise put off. Hang up a coat, put away shoes, close the door, put the bread back in the pantry... Use the mantra do it now!
The 1 minute rule is great for your car. Throw out trash, empty the trunk, check to see if you have an umbrella and an ice scraper. Removing what you don't need from the car and checking to see that you have what you do need are great things to be doing as we head toward winter. 

Pairing - When using the pairing technique the idea is to take care of a de-clutter task as you go about your day. For example when you head to the kitchen take the empty coffee cups with you. Going out? Take the trash to the barrel you are walking by anyway. This was an easy way to start the challenge and is a great habit to get into or to reintroduce.

What are your tips for creating and maintaining a clutter free home and office? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

All my best, Wendy


  1. Decluttering is so HARD! I just tackled a small area over the weekend and it felt so good to get it nice and tidy!
    Good luck with your challenge! You'll feel so much lighter at the end I'm sure!! =)

  2. Thanks for reading & commenting �� Are you going to keep going with your tidying (maybe you don't need to but I sure do!) now that you know how good it feels?

  3. You are singing my song! Keep on singing this tune. Great steps!!!

  4. loved the tips. ha-ha, now i need to implement these. Thanks for sharing @Wendy.

  5. loved the tips. ha-ha, now i need to implement these. Thanks for sharing @Wendy.

    1. Thanks for reading Ajay. Let me know how it goes :)

  6. My only problem is re-cluttering! My table accumulates stuff before I can say Jack Robinson! So even if I clean one day, so much gets dumped back on it in no time!

    1. Yes re-cluttering is a huge problem for me too. These strategies do help with limiting the re-cluttering. Thanks for reading and commenting Suman.