Welcome to the 30 Days to Less of a Hot Mess Challenge! We’re decluttering, reorganizing and taking a breath of fresh air to create a home we love. If this is your first time at the challenge, you may want to start here at the beginning.
Now that we’ve defined our why, we need to set achievable, yet challenging goals for decluttering. This step is equally as important as defining your why, because it will give you the action plans behind why you’re doing.
Goals will help you be inspired, decisive and focused when you’re going through the 18th drawer and ready to throw in the towel.
There are several things you need to do when making goals:
- Make the goals specific and quantifiable. Be able to ensure them out! Don’t just say, “I want to declutter my house.”
- Write them down.
- Put them where you can see them.
Post them right there alongside your why statement, or even write them on the same paper!
I love to make goals at the beginning of every year, because I find that when I write them down and post them where I can see them, they become a part of me. And even if I’m not always intentional about them, just the fact that I wrote them down and posted them, I find that at the end of the year, they have seeped their way into the corners of my life and home. Some links in this post are affiliate links for your convenience.
Here were my goals for decluttering this month (and forever 😉 ):
- Have ONE place for everything in my home. I wanted to eliminate all of the various places that I tend to keep papers, jackets, school supplies, office supplies and the list goes on and on. And if something comes into my house, I either need to have a place for it, MAKE a place for it, or get rid of it. No exceptions.
- Simplify Organization. I wanted to actually eliminate as many storage pieces as possible, reinvent them or change them out completely. If one piece isn’t working for me, I wanted to either get rid of it, or replace it with something that does double duty or functions at the maximum capacity for my space. I’ll show you an example of this in my office soon!
- Really dig deep with the KonMari method and eliminate things I’d held on to for years, but never looked at or used. Things that fall into this category include: owners manuals, old photos, random electrical cords and broken sentimental items. (This required changing my mindset completely about the things in my home. See below …)
A little note about the KonMari method. This method is outlined in the popular book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I love this little book and the extreme perspective that Marie Kondo has on clutter. I’ll never be as clutter-free as she is, but I find that her ways work for me. They are the only thing that I’ve found to really work when it comes to eliminating the unnecessary things in my home. No, I’ll never empty out my purse when I walk in the door each day and thank it for its service, but I do appreciate her strictness in her decluttering approach. It has truly been life-changing for me!
OK, back to goal setting! I made a simple yearly goal-setting printable last year (click here). It’s an all encompassing goals sheet, but you could write your decluttering goals in the spot for your personal goals.
One more thing before you start …
Before we start with the actual organizing, we need to discuss one more thing.
For this whole challenge to work, you have GOT to change your mindset about stuff.
I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to let go of things.
Why is that? I think it’s because I grew up middle class with a lot of siblings (5 brothers to be exact) and we didn’t have a ton of money or stuff. We lived in a decent home and had plenty of food and clothes, but I remember that we didn’t just have money to throw around.
Fast forward to when I got married. We were making decent money for a married couple without kids, but we were also paying off debt, which meant we didn’t have a lot of extras.
I naturally wanted to scrimp and save everything for “just in case.” Nevermind that we hadn’t used it in more than 2 years and probably wouldn’t for the foreseeable future. But I was bound and determined to keep everything we could ever possibly use.
I had to let go of this mentality of scarcity.
While I’m not a psychologist and I can’t delve into all of the issues surrounding the scarcity mentality, I think so many of us live in this space of “what if I throw this out and need it tomorrow??!?!” And having that “not enough” perspective lends itself to keeping way too many things in our homes.
Here’s what I tell myself when I find myself having thoughts of scarcity. I say outloud to myself: “Laura, there’s more where that came from. You can get another one tomorrow if you need it again.”
So what if you haven’t used your hot glue gun in 5 years? Set it free and I promise you that next week you won’t even remember what you let go. And if you do need to use it again someday, ask a friend or neighbor if you can borrow one. It’ll be fine! (P.S. The likelihood that you’ll need something that you haven’t used in years is slim.)
The Messy Work: Today I want you to write down your goals and post them where you can see them regularly.
Bonus Work: If you want to dig a little deeper into some of the issues that may be behind the clutter in your home, I highly recommend these resources which discuss the scarcity mentality in more detail. They don’t necessarily speak specifically to clutter, but I think you’ll see how they can relate when you are operating from a perspective of “not enough.”
Tomorrow we’ll be talking about organizing your daily schedule! See you then!
In the mess with you, Laura
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