How to Take the Declutter Challenge! (Plus Updates)

declutter-challengeHappy New Year, everyone! I just wanted to announce that I’m joining the Declutter Challenge from The Single Saver. You can read more about it and sign up on Single Saver’s page. The idea is simple:

1) Declutter and remove 366 (or more) items from your home/apartment.

2) Items may be donated, sold, or given away to count towards the 366 item total.

3) Trash doesn’t count towards the 366 item total (but it will still help declutter!)

4.) Items don’t count towards the 366 total until they actually leave the house.

What I’ll Get rid of

I’m going to concentrate on a few areas of my apartment and get rid of as much stuff as possible.

1) Bookcase – I have wayyyyy too many books, and many of them I don’t intend to read again. I do lend some out to friends, but that doesn’t happen as much as I hope. My bookcase is almost full now, so I’ll be looking to get rid of a few dozen books.

2) Closet – I have a pretty small closet (think the width of a bedroom door), but I’ve cluttered up the bottom of it with random clothing and shoes that I rarely wear. I just need to get in there and toss this stuff quick.

3) Junk drawers – I have a few spots that are catch-alls for random stuff like power cords, mail, and other things. Much of this stuff can probably be thrown away, but there are some useable items that I just don’t use.

4) Storage areas. I’ve been living in the same apartment for nearly a year now, and there’s some stuff in storage that hasn’t been touched since I moved in. It’s probably a longshot that I’ll ever need or want to use these things again, so I might as well toss em.

My Strategy

I covered much of this before in my own post about clutter (also my first ever post!) This is the order of priority for each item I’ll get rid of:

1) Sell on eBay. I prefer this method for items that are worth at least $30 and are easy to ship. I feel I get the best return in price with the least amount of time and stress needed.

2) Sell on Craigslist. This works best with things that I can’t ship. I’m not a huge fan of responding to emails and meeting with potential buyers, but I’ve done it dozens of times in the past with good results.

3) Donate. Basically all of my clothes will go this route, along with a few other suitable items. I tend to just drop them off at Salvation Army or Savers (although they’re a few miles away and not owning a car makes this a little more difficult).

4) Curb it. This is my favorite method for getting rid of stuff fast. It might not be as useful as donating, but it’s still better than trashing perfectly good stuff. Basically all I do is put stuff out on the curb at my house with a “free” sign. Then I create a listing on Craigslist saying what I’ve put out and where it’s located (note: I purposely leave out my email address since I don’t want to bother responding to emails over free stuff). Oftentimes the things I put out are gone in as little as a half-hour.

5) Trash. I doubt very many things will make it into the trash (Yay!), but it’s going to get thrown away if all else fails.

I encourage you to take the Declutter Challenge, too! I’m not even sure I own 366 things (nevermind have 366 items to declutter), but it will be a fun experiment nonetheless.

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My First Giveaway!

I’m planning to host my first giveaway on Money Spruce to mark the one year blogiversary! Stay turned for more updates.

Carnival

My post on finally being debt free was featured in the Yakezie Carnivalย  at the Ultimate Juggle this week.

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Comments

  1. aloysa2000 says:

    Awesome challenge. I think if I start de-cluttering my drawers, I will complete the challenge in one day! I think I have THAT much junk in my desk drawers. I will be following you and your de-cluttering. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good Luck!

  2. Hey Jeff,

    Two questions:

    1. Why are you doing this?

    2. What’s the time limit?

    I’m intrigued…

    Tom

    • Hey Tom, I’m doing this for a couple reasons:

      1. I’m moving in May and want to cut down my stuff as much as possible.

      2. I’m always seeking to get rid of clutter and I thought this would be a fun way to do it.

      The time limit is simply by the end of 2012, so essentially one item a day. I don’t know if I have that much to get rid of, but I think it’s a good opportunity to really pare things down.

      @tomewer

  3. A declutter challenge?! That’s right up my alley. I am constantly decluttering and cleaning out my apartment (gotta love being OCD) so I’m not sure if I even own 366 items to get rid of, but I’m still going to try.

    I’m sure I have lots of trash but I enjoy selling items on eBay for sure! It will be a fun challenge.

    • Yeah I’m hoping to dig up a few items I can sell for some extra cash, too! It’s definitely gonna be hard if you don’t have as many things to start, but I think it’s worth it even if you don’t hit 366. @Carrie

      • That’s a good point. Even if I can’t hit the 366 mark, I can still try and who knows. By the end of the year I’m sure I could reach that milestone! @Jeffrey Trull

  4. This is a great idea for getting organized in the new year. Since I’m such a collector (sounds nicer than packrat, doesn’t it?) I think I can meet this challenge easily. Happy New Year, Jeff!

  5. prairieecothrif says:

    We are also on the mission to declutter and clean up. It has been a chip on my shoulder for a while. Hopefully we can make some progress this month since the holiday stuff is now over.

    I might not have 366 things to get rid of either but I sure there is a decent amount. Hopefully I can donate a bunch of it and help out some people.

  6. moneycone says:

    I too have a lot of books I need to get rid of! How many times can one read Harry Potters! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. moneycone says:

    I too have a lot of books I need to get rid of! How many times can one read Harry Potter! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. MyMoneyDesign.com says:

    Good luck! It feels good to be out with the old. I just decluttered my dresser drawers and closet – not 366 items, but quite a few. Time to let go of those clothes I haven’t wore since college.

  9. financialsamura says:

    Love this Challenge! I will fail b/c I went to Goodwill 13 times today and gave away 26 bags already. Although, I could get rid of about 12 text books!

  10. hankcoleman says:

    I love selling books and DVDs on Half.com. I have way too many DVDs that I never watch. You can make some serious money especially selling box sets from TV shows.

  11. I gave away 20 bags of stuff on Dec 31st ๐Ÿ™‚ I am always late. We are still planning to cut down the clutter. Other than books I think I have pretty much given away most of the non essential stuff. Even books, according to my donation receipts I entered in itsdeductible yesterday, I have given away 171 books and I still have another 500 of them I guess. Usually in other things me and my husband are complete opposite so if I start hoarding a lot of cups for example, he will step in and drive sense into me. But with both of us loving books, we are going to drown in it one day ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Whoa, that’s a lot of books! Have you read them all? I know they’re hard to get rid of, and there are definitely worse things to collect. @Suba

      • @Jeffrey Trull We have read most of them (they are not just mine). My husband took quite a few books from my father’s library (yes we had a small library worth of books at home growing up). I don’t think he has read them all. We have been really picky about what we keep and donating the rest to the library. A good side effect is they love me at the library ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Good luck, but I don’t think we can do this. We are too attached to our stuffs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll sell some things on Craigslist, but not a lot of things.

  13. realTourIstria says:

    Man, I wish I could get my wife on the same page as this. I could throw out 366 items per week. My first baby step is to get everyone else to NOT make clutter in the first place – trash it or put it away.

    • Haha I know what you’re saying. Unfortunately not everyone thinks the same way. Avoiding the start of clutter is key, but that’s definitely a hard step. @realTourIstria

  14. My parents need to enter this challenge… I bet they could find 366 items in each room of the house to get rid of! I would enter too, but I doubt that could find 366 items in my room…. But then again… I might surprise myself. Very nice idea!

  15. I have a bunch of old books that I need to give away. I was thinking either donate or perhaps giveaway, but I gotta see what the shipping would be for the giveaways. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Thanks for joining. I am excited to follow your progress!

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