Declutter Challenge | Results

My declutter challenge officially ended on October 1, but I am only now getting around to writing the recap. I guess I was a little hesitant to write the recap because I didn’t reach all of my goals.

Review the Goals
Declutter all bedroom closets and dressers
Declutter kitchen cupboards, drawers, and fridge
Clear off flat surfaces
Clean out garage
Declutter basement closets and storage areas

And Now, Let’s Recap!

Wins
I was able to declutter all bedroom closets and dressers (my closet and drawers, my husband’s drawers, both kids’ rooms), kitchen drawers and fridge, cleared some flat surfaces, and decluttered two out of four basement storage areas.

The kitchen utensil drawers, amazingly, still look great! I really thinned the utensils out, bought an appropriate sized storage tray for big knifes, and have been putting things back in their appropriate places.

I cleared off flat surfaces in the living room, dining room, family room, and master bedroom. Those areas look great! I still struggle with the kitchen counters.

I pulled several boxes of keepsakes out of storage (both mine and my husband’s things) and managed to thin them out. I made the case to my husband that keepsakes should be displayed or let go, and he actually agreed. The only thing he couldn’t let go were four boxes full of sports cards. We placed some special souvenirs and keepsakes on bookshelves, on top of dressers, and in the china hutch. The rest were donated.

Losses
I did not declutter all of the kitchen cupboards. In fact, one catch-all cupboard and the pantry don’t even look like I touched them! I need to do some major thinning out in those cupboards.

I only cleaned out two of my four storage areas in the basement. The laundry room is rather large, and in addition to the laundry area, it also contains the deep freeze and a some bulk food storage shelves. I haven’t touched this area, and I’m really dreading it. I did manage to throw out some boxes full of old paperwork that were stored in this room, so that was a small victory in a very crowded space.

The other basement storage area is in the office and is full of office-related stuff. An old printer, a box full of cords, and a lot of stuff that belongs to my husband. I haven’t touched this yet.

And lastly, the garage. My biggest defeat. Just this morning, I was cursing my husband’s name while I looking for a hammer and nail in the garage. It was lucky for the long-term happiness of our marriage that he was at work. My husband has promised me that he will work on the garage this spring when he builds some new storage shelves. For now, I have to trust that he will fulfill his promise.

Next Steps
I still want to tackle the laundry room storage area and the office closet. I plan to work on that this winter.

I want to take another stab at the linen closet; I feel like we still have way more blankets than one family could ever need.

I also need to redo the kitchen cupboards. I will have to be more ruthless in letting things go.

Lessons Learned
One of the biggest surprises for me with this whole process is how liberating it feels. Opening up a tidy but sparse closet feels amazingly good! Also, there is such a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

I’ve also been really careful to keep the boys’ rooms uncluttered, and I think their rooms feel relaxing. Toys are kept in the closets, so at night, the toys are out of sight and out of mind – perfect for sleeping.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and this tendency has been a hindrance with this process. I noticed a couple times that I was unusually upset about untidy rooms or spaces. I need to practice letting things go a little bit better, and also to accept that I live with other people who don’t share my love of tidiness.

Also, the saying “if organizing worked, you’d be organized by now” continues to ring true for me. It really is about having less stuff if you want to stop picking up clutter.

 

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