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Decluttering “challenge” for November

Posted by on Monday 24 October 2011 in decluttering | 14 comments

I’m going to set myself a decluttering “challenge” for November – and I’d love it if some other people joined in.

It seems a good time to do it – the season has definitely turned now (to cold up here in the northern hemisphere, to warm down on the flip side) so we can sort through our summer/winter gear to put it into storage and clear out the surplus at the same time. In the northern hemisphere as well, we’re retreating into our homes more – more time to get annoyed with all the junk and more time to deal with it. And for people who celebrate Christmas and other holidays, it’ll help with the pre-family-descending tidying preparations and a reminder about how this year’s new gifts can be next year’s clutter if not chosen with care.

The “challenge” will be a pretty simple one: get rid of one thing every day In practical terms for me that’ll mean consigning one thing every day to our “to go to the charity shop” box, actually giving it to someone else in person or, for the odd thing, list on eBay/Gumtree.

I’m calling it a “challenge” rather than an actual challenge because, to be frank, it shouldn’t be too hard. I’m going to set myself mini-“challenges” each week too, in addition to the main one, to focus my attention in a few specific areas – but even still, it’ll probably be quite easy. The reason I still want to do it though is to help start to form a habit – to change how I look at things around our home. I don’t know about you guys but I get really blind to certain things around the house then suddenly I see them and think “why on earth have we left that there for so many months?”. Instead, I want to be see everything and think “do we need or even just want that in our lives still? could someone else make better use of it than we do?”. That change of outlook has to start somewhere.

I also want to actually do it every day, rather than just saying “get rid of 30 things in the month” because I think that’ll be more useful for building the habit. With the mini-“challenges”, it’ll probably be about 50 things in total – and if I get my partner John on board, he has to find his own dang 50, no sharing ;)

Anyone else up for it?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Gemma

    I will definitely be joining you in with a decluttering challenge for November. I have already decided to set myself a ‘no-spend’ challenge on anything but necessities in November, so this will really help with giving myself a fresh viewpoint when it comes to things. Good luck with it!

  2. John Leach

    Yeah I’m on board with this! I’m sure I can find 50 things. Do the cats and dog count?

  3. Lynsey aka Swirlyarts

    Oh good lord, yes! I cleared out two drawers in the kitchen the other day (smaller than average drawers too) and I ended up with a whole carrier bag full of stuff to go to the charity shop! Out of two small drawers!! So yes please :) Mine will more likely be a section of a room done at a time with hopefully multiple goodies to give away rather than 1 thing per day but we will see :)

  4. Louba

    Hell yes! Just back from holiday and a beautiful clean minimal holiday appartment……….my house is looking even more cluttered than normal and ready for some drastic action!

  5. Jules

    I’m in! Just started unpacking the last boxes from the house move more than 2 years ago so this should be no problem. I’m longing for the day when there are no packing boxes lurking in corners of the house…

    • Linda

      I’m in. Same situation but move was 4 years ago. I don’t think I need the notes from a degree conferred 15 years ago anymore. There I said it, now to recycle LOTS of paper!!

  6. Su

    Well I would, but I have spent all of October decluttering. Daughter joined in too, so we sent about 30 boxes of ‘stuff’ to charity last week! Considering we live in a 2 up, 2 down that’s not bad going. Actually with 2 of us doing it, it was easier, not the actual work involved, but the decision making. There were a couple of things that transferred ownership during the process, but the other person immediately found a use for the item, so that was ok. Boy,, does the house look better and boy do I feel better for having done it!
    I have now invoked a strict one in, one out policy for myself, it doesn’t have to be in the same category, but just knowing I have to get rid of something may stop me buying unecessary things. Well fingers crossed.

  7. Gigibird

    I’m planning a good declutter which I plan to ebay (suitable things) and any money I make I shall use for Christmas presents….homemade gifts don’t swing it with some of my friends and to be honest I’m not going to spend 2 weeks knitting a scarf when I know it will end up in the charity box!

  8. Sam

    Count me in! Moved in with my fella 18 months ago and we’re still suffering from trying to fit 2 homes in to one syndrome! Have already started by putting some things on to ebay, but there is so much more, so very much more to be done.

  9. sara

    I’m in..christmas is a coming and we have to clear out toys,books and clothes to make way for the presents that santa is bringing..now that sounds like my girls have lots of things but they don’t,the toy box has about 8 things in it…but every year we donate old toys and bits to the salvation army..6 bags have gone already..but thats from the whole house..toybox is next..i think coz they don’t have many toys they appreciate the ones they have got..

  10. Courtney

    I would except the past year of slowly decluttering has left me with such a clean house that there is no clutter to de anymore…. nor are there countless “I don’t wannas” when it comes to tidying up because its so easy, and the remaining items are so precious I want to keep them clean! I have recently found this lady …. and I think you’ll dig what she’s doing and how: http://www.rethinkgood.com/

  11. Rachel

    *Takes deep breath* – OK, I’m in. I’ve a feeling this is going to be a much bigger challenge for me than for you. We have quite a few things that fall into the ‘maybe valuable to someone’ (electric hob, gas fire…) category, but we’re not sure whether to try selling them or just give them away. Facing big bills for central heating, the money would be useful, but does anyone actually want these things…? It all feels quite difficult, and that’s before we even get to the ‘but it might be useful’ category.

  12. Ellen Perrin

    excellent idea! As we’ve been living in a semi-building site for 5 years, I have developed opaque blinkers, and because there’s not much in the way of cupboards I am now exceedingly good at ‘ignoring’ stacks of paperwork/books/unworn clothes/potentially useful ‘stuff’!!! Count me in!!!!

  13. sarah

    Juat stumbled across your blog, I am declutterig for November too, and making some extra cash to buy bikes so we can cycle more, drive less :-)

    I will have a proper nosy around your blog in the morning.

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