In a couple of weeks, you’ll welcome the New Year with champagne, confetti, and a list of resolutions that will make you healthier, smarter, and nicer. You’re going to eat less, exercise more, perform random acts of kindness, read one self-help book a month, and stop wasting time watching mindless (but funny!) Instagram reels. Right???
Those are commendable goals, and I’m sure that you’ll attack them diligently for a few weeks. By mid-February, however, you’ll not only feel guilty but defeated because you didn’t have the discipline to maintain your motivation.
With all due respect, I have a much better idea for a more attainable resolution. Once you’ve attained this goal, you won’t have to repeat it every week. Do it once, and you’re done. It’s called the One Hour Decluttering Challenge. This is not the KonMari method where you spend hours sorting and organizing, only to spend even more time thanking your possessions for a job well done. This is a fast and furious one-hour burst of decluttering.
Self Storage and The One-Hour Declutter Challenge Resolution
Before you start your one-hour challenge, it’s essential to lease a safe, convenient self storage unit. No matter how well-intentioned your motives, there will always be those sentimental items that you are not sure you want to surrender.
While blasting through your rooms in one hour, be sure to delegate some extra boxes for those precious possessions that you aren’t ready to let go of. As you move through each phase of your decluttering project, you’ll be so relieved that you have that self storage unit waiting to give your belongings a new home. With 365-day access, you can visit them daily.
Time to begin. Grab three boxes – one for trash, one for donations, and one for self storage (or the “I’m not quite ready to say good-bye” box). OK, it’s time to get started. Next, choose the recommended areas and enough items to equal 100 (or more).
To avoid wasting cleaning time, write down the areas you want to attack and the items you want to declutter from each area. Once you’ve completed these tasks, set your timer and GO!!
Below is an example of an already completed list. This is only a guideline designed to motivate you. You can use this list or create your own.
(1) 10 Items From Your Bathroom
- Expired cosmetics
- Unopened boxes or samples of toothpaste, soap, shampoo, or toothbrushes that you won’t use
- Worn towels and washcloths
- Nail polish that is no longer usable
- Overused emery boards
- Hairbrushes and other hair accessories that you no longer want
You can donate your unopened samples to homeless shelters and your old towels to animal shelters.
(2) 10 Items From Your Junk Drawer
- Broken meat thermometer
- Pens that no longer write and pencils that are too short to hold
- Empty scotch tape dispenser
- Random plastic utensils that look like they may have been used and not washed
- Batteries that haven’t worked since 1980
- Mapquest directions to your obstetrician’s office (your youngest child is 40)
(3) 10 Items From Your Kitchen
- Expired food
- The canned goods you bought on sale that your family will never eat
- Extra dishes and utensils
- Small appliances that are collecting dust because they’re too old or you’re too lazy to grind your coffee beans. That’s what Starbucks is for.
- Tea towels and dishcloths that aren’t even nice enough for the animal shelter
- The teakettle that no longer whistles
- Fancy jello molds because you don’t do “fancy jello” anymore
If you do have any non-perishable food that you don’t want, donate it to a local food bank.
(4) 10 Items From Your Laundry Room/Linen Closet
- Sheet and towels that are marked for the rag basket but still sitting on top of the dryer
- Clothing that no longer fits and never made it back to the bedrooms.
- Extra blankets and quilts
- Empty laundry soap and cleaning containers that you thought you might use someday
Don’t forget that those extra blankets, sheets, and towels can be donated to homeless or animal shelters. There are countless organizations that accept donations of used clothing.
(5) 20 Items From Your Crafts/Hobby Room
- Items in this room are too numerous to mention. Let’s just say anything that you no longer use.
If you have unused yarn, beads, thread, felt, or any other craft materials in good condition, ocal nursing home or preschool would enjoy them.
(6) 10 Items From Your Bedroom
- Nightstand clutter, including extra books and papers
- Decorative items that you no longer enjoy
- Extra furniture than found a home in your bedroom because you lacked space elsewhere
(7) 20 Items From Your closet
- Clothing that no longer fits (including those 10-year old skinny jeans that you think you’ll wear again someday)
- Anything that you haven’t worn in the last year
- Any items of clothing that you don’t enjoy wearing
- Shoes that aren’t worth the blisters and discomfort they cause
- Clothes with the price tags still attached
- Handbags and accessories that you no longer use
These items can be donated to numerous charities.
(8) 20 Items From Your Kids Rooms
- Clothes they don’t wear or have outgrown
- Toys they no longer play with
- Games and puzzles with missing pieces
- Baby toys that you’re not ready to let go
- Classwork, announcements, and any other school materials that are no longer needed
- Moldy food hidden under the bed (please don’t donate this)
Give your children an empty box and suggest that they donate their outgrown toys to children in need.
(9) 10 Items From Your Car
- Shoes, jackets, and extra clothing that you stashed in the car in case they were needed
- Travel cups, snacks, and paper clutter
- Toys and any other scraps that you kids left in the car
- Don’t forget to check the glove box, and get rid of last year’s insurance information, flashlights that don’t work, dirty tissues, and miscellaneous debris.
(10) 10 Items From Your Computer (digital disorder counts as clutter, too)
- Junk email
- Documents you’ve never opened
- Empty you trash
- Blurry photos or duplicates
(11) 20 Items From Your Garage, Attic or Shed
- Holiday decorations that are past their prime, including burned out Christmas lights
- Broken lawnmowers and gardening tools
- Damaged patio furniture that you were going to fix, but never had the time or the inclination
You’re finished and, if you used this plan, you have 150 items to discard, donate or store. Furthermore, if you lease a self storage unit, you’ll have a safe, secure place for those “I just can’t let this go yet” items. You know you had fun – admit it. You kept your resolution and you don’t have to spend the rest of the year feeling guilty. There are lots more decluttering projects that you can tackle in the coming months. Happy New Year!