Simplifying My Life - 3x30 De-Cluttering Challenge

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Maybe this is just me, but I have closets (yes, more than one) full of clothes and shoes, most that don't see a light of day. While packing for Europe this year it hit me just how many things I own, and in part it made me sad. Yes, it is weird thing to be sad about having things but I was going home to Bosnian where there are still hundreds of thousands of people that didn't have enough to survive after the war and here I was with all these things - that I didn't need or use. I am understand that I am fortunate enough to have good job so I can support my (unhealthy) shopping habit but this was just too much.  

I made a wow to myself, that after coming back from Europe I would  simplify my life. I prefer simplify over de-clutter because the latter seems like I am on a giant cleaning quest versus trying to achieve a state of mind. I love a good challenge, and if you are reading about de-cluttering everyone says give up one thing every day, I decided that 3x30 challenge, where you give up 3 things every day for 30 days straight would be a better fit for me. So I got started.

I started in my room closet, this is where the clothes I do wear most live and started pulling things - before I knew there was way MORE than 3 things I pulled out to donate. I bought huge moving boxes for this project and started putting things into boxes, once it was in the box there was no going back. In a week I managed to go though my entire closet, and even though I pulled more than 3 things every day, I did just what the challenge suggested, pulled something out of my closet to give up, every single day.

From there I moved into drawers, make up and book shelves, this was still relatively easy to find enough things do throw out. Somewhere around day 10 I moved to my shoes and this where I instantly hit a wall - thinking to myself "I cant do this".  I did eventually pull three pairs of shoes, almost cried but I did it. Second day working on the shoes closet wasn't any easier, nor was the third but I got it done.

Here is why 3x30 worked for me:
It's simple. Its take 3 things, every day and put them in a box or throw out.

Its timely. You only have to commit a little time to take 3 things away.

This is a starting point. Simplifying or  de-cluttering is a journey and one of the hardest things is starting. After 30 days I was in a habit to take 15 minutes to organize one thing/room.

Donate over selling. I m first to admit that it physically hurts me to just give things away after knowing how much I spent on it but selling  things takes so much time, and at that point you still have the things just waiting around to be sold. There are so many people, shelters and organizations that are in need of every day items, so give back where you can.

Few tips on cleaning, especially if you are looking to do a major de-clutter:
Start with 15 minutes a day or 3X30 Challenge. Whichever you pick, start a habit and stick to it. I used an app to remind me at 8:30PM to go pull 3 things to throw out.

Start with one room, don't move on until you are done.

Start at the door. Work your way around the room.

For things you are not 100% sure on - follow the 6 month rule. (many people will say a year, but in my opinion a year is too long,  I would personally fall of the wagon if I gave it that long) For example: Turn all your hangers backward - once you wear an item turn the hanger around. At the six month mark, give up all the things that have the hangers facing the wrong way. For household items, put them in a box, if in 6 months you haven't used it, give it up.

Everything needs a spot. If you are keeping it, it needs to have a spot to live. This means you don't have boxes under bed, vacuum sealed bags full of clothes - those things don't have spot, so you prob don't need them.

Have a donation box at all times. I put a donation box in the shoe closet where I put items I don't need as I go.