Declutter Your Home - Checklist And Challenges

Last post- Minimalism was an intro to minimalism and how it allows us to live intentionally. To start with minimalism, we need to first look at all the things we own with a critical eye. Instead of cleaning up and reorganizing all the stuff every season, we first need to evaluate each and every thing, so that we can let go of the clutter. Decluttering can be cathartic!

It's useful to prepare a rough inventory of all the things you own, even though it may seem like a tedious process. Posting on social media about your progress especially when you are taking up the declutter challenges can help you to stick with it. Here are a few ways to declutter your house!

Note: When I say discard, it can mean donate/sell/recycle/throw away.

Declutter Your Home
Declutter Your Home - Checklist And Challenges

Declutter Challenges :

  • Take up the minsgame - discard 1 thing on day 1, 2 things on day 2, 3 on day on till you discard 30 things on day 30. At the end of the month, you would have got rid of 435 things(466 if you do it for 31 days)! This challenge really exercises your minimalism instincts, as you keep discarding things every day, feel the benefits of it and be willing to part with more things the next day. This can also get tough as the days pass by and as you struggle to find things which you can discard. 
    • When I took this challenge, I ended up discarding many worn footwear, clothes, expired food/meds/makeup, broken items, CDs, sentimental items after digitizing them, duplicate and useless photos/postcards and giving away so many stationary items, accessories, party supplies, old desktop, old phone, soft toys and so much other stuff. It was challenging and I haven't missed a single thing so far, including the sentimental items.
  • If the above challenge is a bit too much for you, take up the alternative "one thing a day" challenge, where you just have to part with one thing every day for 30 days. Done it for 30 days? How about an year? (By the way, one year of this challenge is actually equivalent to about one month of the minsgame).
  • If you hate to make a decision every single day about the thing you need to send to the gallows and you would rather rip the band-aid off in one go, try the KonMari technique by Marie Kondo -  "tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go."

  • Live off on few basic things in a rack for a month and see what things you have actually missed and needed.
  • Keep away unused items on a top shelf/attic for 3-6 months and see if you miss them. Otherwise, get rid of them.
  • Take up the no repeat wardrobe challenge  and see what clothes you hate or dread to wear.
  • Take up the hanger-flip wardrobe challenge. All clothes that are worn in that year face opposite side of those not worn. You know which ones to discard.
  • Take up the 60 things in 60 minutes challenge - pick up 60 things and discard them under an hour.

Questions to consider while decluttering:

  1. Utility : When was the last time you have used the thing?
  2. Sunken costs: Are you holding on to the thing just because you have spent a considerable or huge amount of money on it?
  3. Borrow/Rent: Can a low utility item be borrowed or rented?
  4. Sentiment : Are you holding on to the thing because it's sentimental or nostalgic?
  5. Buy now? : If you see it in a store, will you buy it? Is this still your style?
  6. Duplicates: Do you have similar items that serve the same purpose?
  7. Future utility : Do you see yourself in need of it soon?
  8. Condition : Does this broken thing really need fixing or can you do without it? How long has it been broken now? Is this beyond repair? Is this in good condition? Shabby?
  9. Spark joy : If it's not there in your house for functional utility, is it beautiful enough to spark joy?
  10. Free: Is this a freebie you got at some event or gifted to you by someone? Do you have any particular affinity towards it?
  11. Digital : Can this be digitized and discarded?
  12. Maintenance: How much time, money, energy are you spending on this thing? Is it worth it? Are you willing to do this forever?

How does decluttering it impact your life?

  • Does it make more space?
  • Does it close the mental tab - where you always self notify to fix it whenever you see it?
  • Does it free up your time as you won't have to spend time caring for it?
  • How expensive and difficult is it going to be if you have to replace it?

What can you do with it?

  1. Sell it on ebay/olx/classifieds/facebook groups. 
  2. Give it away to your friends/family who actually need it.
  3. Donate it to local non profit organizations or to homeless people around your area.
  4. Exchange it for another item with a friend. e.g: Books are great choice for this.
  5. Repurpose/ DIY it into something else. e.g: An old seating bench is perfect for placing all your plant pots outdoors.
  6. Throw away - beyond hopeless.

~ Happy decluttering!


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