Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Declutter Challenge: The Declutter Series

Spring has sprung, and we all know what time it is...

This marks the beginning of my declutter series. Posts include tips and tricks on:
Be sure to subscribe to my RSS Feed so you don't miss out on some great tips!

My Decluttering Goal Achieving Action Plan:

1. Write down your positive goal in concrete terms.

Pare down enough items to fill just two truck loads when I move next week.
Note: not including furniture, because I honestly don't have that much furniture. 

2. List your reasons for setting this goal.

Moving: I'm moving in the next few weeks and I have so much stuff. I do not want to have to move it.
Moving: Further, I'm moving to New York in the fall, and I need to fit my things in my boyfriend's tiny Manhattan apartment.
Personal Improvement: Minimalist is beautiful, and something I've never been very good at.
Exploration of Consumer Culture: While I was in Cambodia I was perfectly happy living out of my suitcase for 3 months. Do I need all this "stuff" to be happy? No. So why do I have such a hard time throwing it out?

Be sure to read the rest of my Action Plan!

3. Do your research.

Check. Tips on decluttering to be included in following posts.

4. What are you going to do to achieve your goal?

Achieving my goal of two truck load of 'things' requires getting rid of approximately half my stuff. I plan on pairing down my things by 50% by closely following the tips I have compiled.

5 and 6. What are the obstacles to achieving your goal? How will you overcome them?

Sentimentality - I keep lots of things for very sentimental reasons. I will remind myself that throwing something out will not erase the memory tied to that particular object. Or, I will take pictures of the things I don't need but want to remember.
Love not Lost - I have things I still love, but will never use again. I will give these things away to friends so they are still in my life, or will donate them so I know they are actually being used (by someone who really needs them, no less).
What if I need it? - I will make a special box for things I have not used in some time but worry I will need again. That box will go in the closet, and after 1 year I will get rid of it for good.

7 and 8. What are your triggers and what postive habit will you do instead?

See numbers 5 and 6.

9. Who will help you?
My mom and brother - Both ruthless when it comes to throwing things away. My mom will definitely help me when I pack, so I will trust her judgment when she says an item should be tossed.
My friends - They will be quite helpful when it comes to purging clothes.

10. Create a mantra or positive saying to repeat when you get stuck.

Do I need this to be happy?

Do not keep things out of guilt.

Throwing this out will not erase the memory.

Do I want to keep this simply because I have it?   - I am reading a great book called Nudge, and in it they discuss how people assign higher value to things when they posess them than when they don't.  

11. Set rewards.

When I declutter my closet I will buy an awesome closet organizer (space for shoes, for belts, the works!)
When I declutter my kitchen I will purchase a new set of stainless steel measuring cups to replace my mismatched set.
When I declutter my bathroom I will buy Leo Babuata's book, The Power of Less.
When I sell the things I mean to sell I will buy a replacement item of clothing for something I had to throw away.

12. Set a start date and achievement date.

Bathroom: May 13
Bedroom: May 20
Kitchen: May 27
Sell/Donate/Give away "decluttered items" by June 1

13. Keep track of your progress.

That's what the blog is for!

To get your own goal achieving action plan visit my Achieving Goals Page.

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