Do you find yourself spending too much time and effort cleaning your house only to have it be a complete disaster in a matter of days? Or does it seem like there is only one clean room in your house at a time: the one you cleaned that day?
Or do those scenarios just happen to me? It’s frustrating. And it feels like I’m just spinning my wheels. …which I kind of am.
The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
I’ve been hearing people talk about the KonMari Method for some time and decided to check it out. This method comes from Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant, who wrote “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” translated into English by Cathy Hirano.
We all know the basics of cleaning. You make a mess, you clean it up. So how come your house doesn’t always feel clean? It’s the STUFF.
Stuff is everywhere and adds up. Stuff can be gifts you’ve received, but don’t really like or know what to do with but you keep it on hand in case the giver comes over. Stuff can be mail or paperwork you keep thinking you’ll “get to” sorting or have sorted, but don’t really have a filing system in place so it just sits in a pile. Stuff can be clothes you hold on to for “when you finally lose that weight” or because it has sentimental value. Stuff can be so much more.
What I loved about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing was Kondo’s reminder that this stuff are just objects.
Objects are easy to discard and move around. (p. 30)
The KonMari Method has an abundance of information and tips that are incredibly helpful to me as I want to escape my clutter rut.
The First Step
Up until this point, decluttering happened in my home when someone was coming to visit. But it wasn’t actually decluttering. Not really. Because I would move papers from the dining room table to my office. The office has a door that closes and remains closed when we have guests. I like that door. But you know how it goes… Out of sight, out of mind. It’s still clutter. Just in a different location. Kondo has some thoughts on this too:
Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved… This is why tidying must start with discarding. We need to exercise self-control and resist storing our belongings until we have finished identifying what we really want and need to keep. (p. 23)
True decluttering includes getting rid of objects. Recycling, donating to those in need, or trash. If you don’t use it, then lose it.
Some people take a weekend and just go to town decluttering their whole home. I have a toddler, so I guarantee that’s not going to happen. I’ve heard of some people tackling a different area in their home every week to last the whole year. That would solve nothing for me because it’s too spread out. I would never “catch up” on my clutter PLUS I need to see more immediate results to stay motivated.
Enter the 30-Day Challenge! For 30 days in a row, we’ll tackle a different room or area of a room and go through each item removing as many objects as we can. See the FREE printable below!
My goal is to actually get rid of 1000 items! Sounds impossible, but I know people who have set out to do this and have actually removed much more than the 1000. I even made a handy graph you can print out to see all that you accomplish!
I’ve seen a variety of these 30-Day Challenges, but decided to make my own in an order that makes the most sense for me. My Challenge starts in the Kitchen. I did this because the Kitchen is usually the least personal room. I LOVE to cook and bake, but I don’t have any sentimental attachment to spices that have a best buy date from last year.
Starting in an impersonal room means that I’m more apt to get this decluttering ball rolling. And I don’t know about you, but I stay motivated by seeing results. I bet you’ll be surprised at all you find to get rid of on your first day!
There’s power in numbers! I’m going to be sharing my results each day of the 30-Day Declutter Challenge on my Facebook page. I’d love to have you join and share your results too! I’ve included a free downloadable chart where you can color in one box for every 5 items you donate, trash, or recycle. Let’s see how much “stuff” we can get rid of!
Pick up a copy of Marie Kondo’s book through the Amazon link below to read more specific insights on decluttering and organizing.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my disclosure policy.