Monday, July 18, 2011

1000 Items Decluttering Challenge

I love that Daryl from Vermont Cottage has given herself a "countdown to simplicity" challenge, to get rid of 1000 items from her home this year. She says she got the idea from the 100-things-a-month challenge at the now-defunct Simple Living Network (not to be confused with the currently-en-vogue minimalist 100 Thing Challenge from Dave Bruno). There are still people posting about the challenge on that website's cousin, the Simple Living Forums - search on 'decluttering' and you'll find them. There are lots of other decluttering challenges out there, but I really like the simplicity of this approach. As a mom with kids of a certain age, I always have a box or a bag going that's collecting stuff to donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army or whoever, anyway, but keeping track of the numbers online could be a great motivator.

Maybe I'll get it together enough to have a studio that looks like this. Via: Ali Edwards on Flikr.

For my purposes, I'll not count consumables or paper as part of my item count. I have ridiculous amounts of paper to purge, as if it multiplies when the lights are off, and even with a 20 sheets = 1 item clause I'd get to 1000 before my home office was cleared out. I'd also rather focus on items that take up more psychic and visual space than a box of old papers, at least at this stage of the game.

I'm going to let myself count things that are leaving because they're being replaced - but I'll also subtract the number of items purchased. Hopefully I won't ever end the month with more items purchased than donated. =P

Oh, and for now, books will get a free pass, since (a) you can never have too many books, (b) we did a huge bookshelf purge a couple of years ago when we built-in bookshelves in our office/library open space, and (c) we're mostly buying digital editions these days.

Rather than waiting til the start of next month, I'll start counting from today. You'll be able to watch my progress in the box in the sidebar, and from time to time I'll do an update post to talk about what's working for me, what isn't, and which things I find I have real trouble letting go of.

1 comment:

  1. Happy to hear you're doing this too! I have a thing for counting, I guess. It really does keep me going :).