Join Sanna in her quest

I received the following email from Sanna on the weekend and decided, on her request, to share it with you word for word. Hopefully Sanna will find some other 365ers who might like to join her in her quest.

Sanna: I just got so fed up with my still cluttery home and set myself a challenge for the next weeks. It would be lovely, if you would share it with your readers, as I’m secretly hoping that someone will (at least in part) join me! 😉

I’ve been busier than usual during the last few months and at the moment it’s an extremely busy time – in job, volunteer activity and home (we’re having a guest for a month soon). It’s a time that is prone to make my home look messy.

I have been decluttering for quite some time now and probably got rid of half my possessions – maybe even more. Our home looks neat and spacious when it’s all cleaned and orderly, but in busy times, it’s still a mess. In trying to conquer that problem, I lately thought a bit about my experiences during the decluttering process and stressful times. I find, there is a direct proportion of clutter and mess in my home – in that clutter will turn into mess as soon as there is lack of spare time for just sorting and cleaning for the sake of it.

So, what is clutter? I tried to find set numbers that help me define what is necessary and searched for definitions of categories of things that are per se clutter. It would have been so nice to have a definition and just declutter accordingly. Alas, to no avail. People are different from one another and so, what is clutter and what’s not is also a very personal thing. However I think, there is one component that indicates clearly if something is clutter: it’s randomness. Clutter is random, while valued possessions have their defined purpose. Whenever you don’t know for sure, how many of something you own, what the specific items look like exactly, why you have it in the first place or when you will use it next, it’s most certainly clutter in your home. All these things tend to not get put away on time, because they’re not really needed in their assigned space or maybe don’t even have one. They clutter up drawers and cupboards taking up space, so the things you actually use don’t fit back in. They prevent you from knowing where things are and have you waste your time searching (and maybe making mess when doing so). Overall, they put an uncertainty to your possessions, for you don’t know really whether you have a certain type of screw/tool/whatever at home nor where it would be.

Over the years, I got rid of lots of things I use regularly and had an overabundance of. Also I decluttered all decorative items that hadn’t been on display. However, there are still these huge, random assortments of buttons, zippers, stickers, rags, thread, screws, pens, … I did go through them from time to time as well, but many of these little things don’t take up much space, even if there are hundreds of them. That is, if you’re putting them in their space regularly. However in busy times, they are what turns my home into a mess, by cluttering tabletops and worse my mind by being out of place all the
time!

So now, I set myself a goal for the next weeks, which is to declutter 20 things a day, every day, for at least three weeks, maybe more,
until there are no more random assortments in my home, just a few selected items of each of these categories. I’m really counting every single little thing, ’cause it’s exactly those little things that drive me crazy.

I already started yesterday and here’s what I got rid of in two days:
4 greeting cards I got for my birthday 3 months back
5 CDs
1 gift bag
2 hair clips
3 brushes
18 zippers
1 piece of ribbon
1 emery board
1 jacket
1 file
2 containers
1 rag

Not that one would see the difference yet, but I’m sure it will show in a few weeks!

So who would like to join Sanna in your quest. choose your own number of things to declutter each day to kick start your decluttering in an effort to simplify the maintenance of your home. I might even give it a try myself at a 10 item per day target. My targeted area will be my craft supplies but may spread throughout the house.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter as many items as possible cluttering up your shower recess. Only keep in there what you use very regularly, as excess items get mouldy and soap scummed which can cause odours and harbour germs.

Eco Tip for the Day

Send you clutter out into the world that it may be of use to someone else. Someone who won’t have to resort to buying new.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. That is quite a quest. Best of luck Sanna!

    • Thank you, Kayla! I’m doing well so far! 😉
      After half a week in there’s still little difference: I have no problem now to believe that we own more than 10000 items on average… Easy!

  2. Excellent post! I really like Sanna’s perspective on “randomness”. I agree wholeheartedly! I think I’m going to jump on her bandwagon. This kinda sounds fun. 🙂

  3. Good luck Sanna. I am just trying to get some decluttering done each week. Right now trying to do it each day has become a burden so I am aiming for weekly. I don’t know how things have become so busy but they have even though I am home most of the time.

    • Thank you, Deb J! I can understand that there are periods of time when the decluttering doesn’t go as fast as other times. Good luck with your weekly goal!

  4. Hi Sanna, good luck with your quest! I have some emotional clutter to deal with, so will start with that straight away!

    • Thank you. All the best with your mission. Emotional clutter is the hardest, so I feel for you!

  5. Hi Sanna, Great idea! I’m traveling for a long period of time right now (3 months) and packed everything I might need over the three months into my car. I’m doing some camping, hotel stays, short term rentals, staying with family etc so needed a variety of items including some sewing materials, running and yoga stuff, books and such. Anyway, I am about half way through my trip and I am SURE I could do a 20-a-day declutter for a little while and what’s fun about it is: I THOUGHT I packed “only essentials” and it’s only a total amount of things that can fit in my car BUT I am exited to “lighten the load” and keep me on my declutter track even away from home! How cool.

    • Jen, great to have you join us! It’s astonishing how many more things than we need we carry along with us, isn’t it? Having travelled myself I fully believe you! (and I even went per airplane with just a suitcase rather than a whole car – I still packed too much!)

  6. Hi Sanna! I think you read minds! LOL I have been thinking the same things you have, because although I have decluttered a lot of stuff I still feel in a big messy place sometimes. I am all for a good challenge. So I am in with you. I have already set a no-clothes buying for a year and I have to say that I might have not been entirely successful, but it made me think a lot more about the very few items that did come to my house.
    So I will set a 5 item declutter per day.
    Thanks for the inspiration and let’s get to it!

    • Andréia, great to hear that!
      I think in my home it’s really those small things that are the worst clutter source. When I imagine I had just two or three pencils instead of 20 or 30! 😉 How easy to put them away! (pencils along with other “office stuff” are part of a use-it-up-challenge for years, but I think I haven’t even used up one of the pencils in all this time!!) I think I will encounter some limits of my boyfriend with this challenge, but I am determined to get everything down to as few as possible!

  7. While I would never talk someone out of decluttering, what you might need just as much, is some tidying routines in addition to this. It sounds like your place becomes messy when you are extra busy, so this is when you don’t have a lot of time to devote to extra cleaning tasks. Instead of taking an hour or more to ‘clean the house’ try fitting small bits of tidying into your regular routines.

    While your coffee is brewing/kettle is boiling/oatmeal is cooking, take those few minutes to put away any condiments that have been left out of the cupboards, wipe a few crumbs, or go through mail left on the island. While you are waiting for your computer to boot or a friend to reply to a text, clear a few items off the surface of your desk or a nearby bookshelf. When you get up to go to the bathroom, take a few things that belong in other rooms, and put them away on your way there. While brushing your teeth or swishing mouthwash, put bathroom items away, and maybe give the counter a quick wipe. Also a good 5-10 minute sweep of the house for items that can quickly be put away can do wonders.

    Of course, this can go hand in hand with decluttering. As you are doing all of these things, be on the lookout for items that you don’t need. And if you are repeatedly having to tidy an area, it could show you where you need to declutter or reorganize. If condiments are always being pulled out of the cupboard and left out, maybe that is because you have too many to easily put them all way or are pulling out more than you need because you can’t find the ones at the back. Also if you spend small bits of downtime during the day keeping things tidy, this gives you more time to devote to large decluttering projects, such as closets or craft rooms.

    • Jenny, thank you for your suggestions!

      This is very true, but even in a tidy home, there’s enough to do when waiting for the kettle to boil, for example cleaning or washing the dishes which is what I usually do in that time. My “messy” home isn’t necessarily dirty, but chaotic! 😀 I am a lazy chick concerning putting things away. This may not be a great thing, but it’s how I am. Of course I am trying to work on that, but I think, I also better work with it in that I don’t make it harder for me than it need be. When I’m “good”, that means motivated for doing household tasks, our home is tidy, but this challenge is set for making my “bad” times less chaotic. 😉 I found that in areas that have been decluttered well, like e.g. clothes, things don’t get as bad as they used to even if I am lazy as can be: you have to keep up with laundry if there is no closet full of ready-to-wear things. Similarly, if there is just one pen around, there can only be one pen lying somewhere on a tabletop, because I will have to use that one and can’t grab a second, third or fourth from the drawer where they belong. Etc.
      Because, let’s face it, I am not an easy person for having an always orderly home. If I do have time, I am always cooking, baking, canning, sewing or otherwise producing messes and busy to keep them in check.

    • This is the key for me – the two minutes that my oats cook, I can empty the dishwasher. Or I can tidy the (big) benches, so I come home to ‘tidier’. I also make a habit to straighten my (work) desk before leaving of a day, so I walk into a fresh slate. I also added 3M hooks above an ottoman in my bedroom, as I realised hanging my ‘house’ clothes looked better to me, and ‘tidier’. Thankfully, it’s the wall you don’t see from the doorway!

      It’s funny how you build habits – unrelated to clutter, but I’ve been meaning to read the whole bible. I kept finding reasons not to etc. When I moved from driving to work to catching the train, I told myself ‘you can read then’. Then I made it a bit of a rule – no facebook or blog reading or email reading. Would you know it? I’m almost a whole month ahead of my target to get it finished! Linking one routine (train catching) to another non routine (reading the ‘boring’ bible compared to bedtime reading) has worked so well. Now I just need to add this to things I don’t work as well at!

      • Snosie – a friend of mine set the same goal and in the end downloaded an audio book version as she has a lengthy drive to work each day. Not reading per se, but I thought it was a clever way to utilise her time.

    • I agree with your idea of tidying as you go along. Something I always try to do. My mother used to encourage us to put things near the bottom of the stairs so that on our next trip upstairs we could take those items up with us and put them away immediately. It worked and I still try to do the same now. As the mail comes in: junk mail straight into the recycling bin, plus envelopes from the rest of the mail. Anything requiring shredding put on top of the shredder ready for the next shredding session, anything needing filing, try to file right away before it becomes ‘a pile’ waiting attention. However, when you’ve been away, there is a ready made pile to deal with! So you can’t always keep on top of things!

  8. I have been doing a very similar challenge since finding this website 19 days ago. I have gotten rid of tons of bags and boxes of “stuff”. I am really noticing a difference because its getting harder to find things to get rid of (we have a lot of stuff still but 1)we are remodeling; 2) have only been able to decorate 2 rooms so far; 3) my husband is very slow at letting go of his things; 3) we are hoping to adopt 2-3 kids this winter (don’t know gender yet); 4) I have been decluttering for about 2 yrs now). I declutter everyday but Sunday. Out of everything that has left my house in the last 19 days, there is only 1 item that I wished I hadn’t donated. But I did find something still at my house that works almost as well. I have a bag of stuff ready to go to charity tomorrow morning. Hoping to find some more “randomness” to throw in there before its dropped off. It is SO MUCH easier to clean, maintain, and find things now.

  9. I’ll give it a go too. 25 items a week – but there’s going to be resistance from hubby, I think 😉

    • You go, Tracey! I expect resistance here, too, but so far I have only touched so small things that he didn’t even realize!

  10. Thanks for the inspiration, Sanna! I can definitely relate to this – when I don’t have other things going on, I fall into a lovely little routine of cleanliness…but throw something new in the mix, and I fall apart. I’ve been stumbling along the decluttering and minimalism path for a few years now, and it’s been difficult as a recovering shopaholic and avid crafter!

    Well, the time has come for that big change because I’ll be moving in with my fiancé later this summer…I currently have a 1250sf with two-car garage all to myself, and we will be moving to his 850sf with one-car garage farm house. The kicker: it has no closets. None! We are currently converting an extraneous little hallway into two little reach-in clothes closets (his and hers!), but will otherwise need to devise some serious storage solutions and/or declutter like there’s no tomorrow. I’m both looking forward to and fearing the challenges to come…but it’s time to abandon that fear along with my extraneous possessions! I know that paring down now is the best way to reduce the stress of the move and the new cohabitation, and so I’d like to join your challenge – 20 items a day, I’m in!

    • Tracey, good luck for you!

      I live in the land of no closets (Germany): we only have wooden wardrobes, dressers, cupboards etc. I’d love having a real big closet, but it’s probably not going to happen until I build in one myself (and at the moment we rent!).

      Let me know about your progress!

      • I forgot that closets aren’t normal everywhere! That will be a good thing to keep in mind as we get the new house sorted out 😉

        As a help to my progress, I’ll be keeping track of the challenge on my blog (http://minimalmouse.wordpress.com)…I suppose it helps with “accountability” knowing somebody might be reading it, ha! It’s mainly for me to keep track of my occasional stray thoughts, but I suppose the challenge will be an excellent thing to use it for! 🙂

  11. Sanna,
    You go girl! You will make it happen. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when clutter in most homes was non-existent. It was the time of a “place for everything and everything in it’s place”. The homes were small. There was no room for randomness. It was a wonderful gift to grow up in that era of time.

    • Yes Kimberley -so did I ( grow up in the 50’s and 60’s) and that’s just the way I remember it too – “a place for everything and everything in it’s place “.The houses were small and kids shared rooms and there was usually only one” living space “. We are all supposed to need two “living spaces” now . But there just wasn’t a lot of “stuff ” around anyway – and no easy access .The department stores were in the city – a bus trip away -(with my mother in hat and gloves!).We had one car -but only to be used for weekend outings. We walked or rode our bikes to school. There were no supermarkets or variety stores or cheap stores on every block. And definitely no clutter in any of the houses that I remember. I do remember carefully placed ornaments that never moved from one year to the next other than for weekly (yes weekly ! ) dusting- which is a bit boring – but I think my mother would have thought it frivolous to change things around just for the sake of having bit of fun and changing the visual horizon. Thanks for the little trip down memory lane ! Better stop now before I sound very very old- not that there is anything wrong with that ! ☺

      • Jez,
        I so agree with you. Us “oldsters” remember how sweet life was in simpler days 🙂

    • Thank you, Kimberly!

      My granny still has her trash can from the 50s/60s in her garden (the one you put on the street for collecting). It’s tiny – smaller than what many people have for a kitchen garbage can nowadays. And it was collected only once every six weeks!

      I really try to avoid supermarkets nowadays and shop at small shops like greengrocers, butchers and bakeries, because the whole food industry kind of freaks me out. Still, I fall for the supermarket trap ever so often. And you buy a whole lot more crap (and a whole lot more packaging) there than at the small shops.

  12. Sanna – it’s an awesome goal and you will make excellent progress in a short time I’m sure! I have already committed to working thru the contents of a cupboard – one of those flat pack ones – when we were moving it for painting the garage it broke apart and so the contents were shifted to boxes and storage bins. My husband took that as a sign that all the stuff in the cupboard needed to be decluttered and re-housed and bestowed the honour on me. Cos I know what I’m doing, apparently. I must say now that the cupboard is no longer in the garage I’m liking the space. However, the boxes and bins were dumped by my dear husband in our bedroom (we had visitors coming at the time) and I hate having them there it probably is the best place for them to goad me to great action. So I can’t manage X number of items per day but I am working solidly on photos, family videos that need editing, the last of the DVDs, etc etc

    • Sanna – it occurs to me that I may not be able to get 20 items out of the house over 21 days, but what needs to go may add up to the same amount but will be leaving closer to the end of the three weeks. So I’m in. I’m getting my wisdom teeth out in three weeks or so and it would be lovely to have all the storage bins and boxes out of my room – as in fully dealt with and not just moved to a new spot in the house. So if you’re ok with a variation on the idea I’m pretty confident I can get 400 items out of the house.

      • Great to hear that, Moni!
        I meanwhile think, it will be no problem to keep at it longer than three weeks… so far it has been an easy challenge.

        • Wanna – this has been a great idea, having a goal and a deadline!
          So much of the stuff I have to deal with has been in my ‘too hard’ pile for a couple of years now ie it has been better use of my time to declutter the rest of the house than get caught up on a huge box of photos – and although I know it needs to be done I do admit than I have bee reluctant to dig in and get underway, so this at least will get a few boxes done.

  13. Ah, I could use such a challenge right now. I feel stuck in my appartment as it hasn’t sold although it has been on the market for 1,5 years and I feel I should give karma a push by being prepared for a move. I did get rid of a lot of stuff over the last few weeks, as my ex took a lot of it, and then I boxed everything that reminded me of him. He came to pick the stuff I boxed later on. Now it’s just me and my daughter.

    Don’t know if I can do 20 a day but I’ll challenge myself to 10 a day.

    @Kimberly: I would have loved to have lived in the 50’s or 60’s. life seemed to be less complicated back then, maybe because peoples lives didn’t evolve around aquiring stuff?

    • Exactly. I grew up and entered adulthood prior to the conspicuous consumption craze and I have lived to tell the tale, haha!
      It was a much simpler time. You are spot on…our lives did not evolve around acquiring things you did not need. The occasional treat was few and far between. So many things were built to last. We made so many things from “scratch”. From cooking and baking, vegetable and fruit gardening, to sewing our own clothes, knitting and crocheting. And, I grew up in San Francisco, not on a farm 🙂 I still do most of those things. I guess old habits die hard.

    • Hunter xs, all the best for your decluttering and for selling your apartment! I’d love to read about your progress.

  14. I’ve been in a rut with decluttering as well, I’m struggling with books…put 3 in the donate box yesterday, will try for a few more today. I think your post will give everyone a boost to restart our efforts!

    • Deanna – I used to struggle with books too. I found an article on the web about decluttering books and it showed me that I was looking at my books as an entire collection so instead to look at each book individually. That made it a lot easier for me and once the I’d donated the first box of books and survived it without any trauma, it got easier and easier over time.

      Thank you for reminding me of this method as I have several big boxes of CD’s that I have to move out, my husband has been adamant that they’re not going anywhere but I’m pretty sure that by time we go thru them individually he won’t want Mariah Carey’s first album, early 2000’s hip hop/rap, his Best of Michael Bolton cd and so and so on and he can keep the ones that we’d actually still enjoy.

      • Moni,
        What a great suggestion on decluttering books.
        Perhaps you could suggest to your husband that he keeps only the cd’s that he absolutely loves.
        Even I have kept albums, 45’s and cassette tapes from my childhood and young adulthood, a combined total of about 2 dozen. They have so many wonderful memories for me and give me so much positive energy that it has been worth it for me to hang on to just a few of my all time favorites.

        • Kimberley – yes that is the plan. Most of our cd’s were bought by me either for myself or the (then) kids. I’ll get him to look thru one or two boxes each night.

          • Hi Moni. Looking at CDs never seemed to get any of them out of the house. We took a pile of CDs in our car on a long trip. As each one was listened to it went into a Keep or Sell pile. When we got to the city we sold all the ones we didn’t want. We leave tomorrow on another long road trip. Think I’ll do this with another bunch and see if we can’t get rid of more.

          • What a smart idea Wendy.

          • Wendy B – great idea, however, he knew on sight that he didn’t want to keep the Hannah Montana (Mylie Cyrus) cd nor the Barbie Slumber Party mix. Not sure whose then Engelbert Humperdinck cd was – one of the grandparent’s maybe?

    • Good luck with your books!
      I absolutely second Moni on that. I had problems getting rid of books of authors I cherish, but one day I realized, I am not a public library, so there’s no obligation to keep “complete works” and if I didn’t like one particular book of an author I love otherwise, there is no need to hang onto it, because I’d rather read one of the real favorites again!

  15. I would like to join the challenge with 5 items a day to go in my donation/sale box or in the trash. Thanks for providing the motivation!

  16. Similar situation, Sanna!

    I have been getting rid of things for about 2 or 3 years and I am super happy with the progress and results. But the same happens to me, even though I don’t have many things and I can say that my home is quite minimalist, there are moments that is messy. I have to say that we are recent parents, our son is 5 months old, and we have new items around. And we want to keep being minimalists! 🙂

    Before reading your post, we were thinking of renting our flat for the summer, and then is when I started to think again about some of the possessions I still have. I want to make space in my wardrobe and drawers for the family that will stay here. I want to have very few items that are easy to put in their place and to have empty surfaces, shelves and cupboards.
    And this is what I was doing, going again to places that I had looked other times. I got rid of some of old paperwork, kitchen items, decorations… And then, your post! I love your idea of having a goal. I need to think what fits for me (a number? Categories?…), but I know that I am going to declutter at least a thing every day.

    Thanks for sharing and the same all the people that commented. I am looking forward to knowing your progress in some days! 🙂

    • Hello Estela! It really is a long way to being really decluttered, isn’t it? But luckily the process is fun as well! 🙂
      As I wrote this email last Sunday (I think), I am now doing the challenge almost a week and so more than 100 items have already left. That did include about 15 pencils, 8 paint brushes and 30 rawlplugs/wall anchors (no idea what to call them correctly), but also some more single items like postcards, rulers and so on. As it’s mostly drawer-content you still don’t see the difference, but it sure feels good to know that so many unnecessary bits and bobs left the house!

  17. Hi Sanna, I have to go out soon so don’t have time to read all the comments. However I wanted to chime in and say that I will join you in your quest as I already mentioned. I will start next Thursday after my sister has gone home from visiting me. Thanks for the inspiration and good luck with your quest as well. Thank you also for your post it has made my busy week easier by giving me the day off. 😉

    • Thank you for sharing the post, Colleen! 😀
      I’m really happy that so many including you are on the bandwagon! I hope you enjoy your free time!

  18. Great minds think alike. I just decided that in July I will get rid of 10 things a day in the guest bedroom. It’s been a dumping ground for far too long. So count me in, Sanna!

  19. Joining the challenge for the month of July…10 items big or small per day.

  20. Hi Sanna,
    I just told my sister tonight, after some serious decluttering since the new year that I really don’t have too much left to declutter. After dwelling awhile and reading everyone’s posts, I know this is not the case. Although I have made quite a dent, there is more decluttering that needs to be done. I’ll go with 10 items per day to get me moving again. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Anna, I know that feeling, when you think your done and just a few days later you realize there’s a whole other layer underneath that is worth considering as well! Let’s go for it! 😀

  21. I’m joining in too – though I’m going to say that my goal is to fill our huge recycle bin with paper all the way at least once and halfway the other two weeks for the next three weeks. I have a HUGE pile of paper that came out of our old filing cabinet as well as a stack of magazine pages (why do I need those?) and a few other piles of papers, newpapers, and magazines around the house that NEED TO GO. I’m quite frankly embarrassed at how much paper we have piled up in our house! In the process, I’m going to try to get rid of 5 things each day Monday through Friday too (I try to do this anyway but I’ve kind of fallen off the bandwagon lately).

    Thanks for the challenge Sanna!
    Lea

    • Lea, good for you! Sometimes it seems getting the stuff out of the house is the biggest challenge of all. We also have a huge stack of paper that is saved for notes etc. – I think it could easily be reduced by half or more!

  22. I’m going to join you but with 15 items per week. Mostly, I will be focusing on our office/sewing room/tool room. I’ve already offered a clothing rack, two plastic drawers, and two wooden shadow boxes to my niece. Her and her boyfriend have a lovely little house but it lacks storage. Especially for clothes. And my niece loves clothes. And shoes. And books. LOL.

    Oh, and my mom decluttered a number of magnets and little knickknacks. It was a productive day.

    I hope I can manage to keep this up because I’ve been in pain (thank you, sciatica) and that can make accomplishing basic tasks difficult. I’m sure any number of people in this community understand.

    • Rachel W, no need to be hard on yourself if you’re in pain. Nevertheless, I wish you good results with your mission! But above all a relief of your pain!

      I think it’s great that you are providing your niece with decluttered storage containers, that way you’re making two homes more organized in one go! 😉

      • Thanks, Sanna! Sometimes I push myself too hard even though I’m already hurting – though I am getting better with chiropractor visits, anti-inflammatories, and being careful not to lift heavy objects. My family has to remind me to take care of my back since it is the only one I’m gonna get – at least in this lifetime. XD

        I never thought of it in quite the “two homes more organized in one go” way but it’s true! Plus, we love helping my niece and her boyfriend. They’re two of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. ^___^

  23. Sanna, maybe some of us might be able to manage a sliding scale like 2 to 5 items per day. I know I am headed for a real busy time this month, but a challenge sounds like fun. And I seem to keep “stumbling” on more stuff that I had forgotten. Today it was items–shampoo, etc.– we used on visits to relatives, container neatly put away from our last trip, but that trip was not all that recent, so those items will be used up and replaced with new ones if necessary.. Trying to keep items where they belong is hard, isn’t it. Our office supplies have a bad habit of migrating, especially ball point pens. I never leave one room to go to another without something in my hand, but that doesn’t mean everything stays neat. But I have been keeping count for 2 years, and managed to declutter about 1,000 items each year. Right now I’ve almost reached 800, so this challenge will be a good shove to continue. At least no one will ever accuse us of being “perfect housewives” lol. I think over the years I have known 2 for sure and 1 possible.

    • Nana, I think your challenge sounds great!

      You know, I am a professional baker and therefore I already spend some hours of my workday cleaning up! It’s really not that much of a hobby that I need to do it for hours in my free time as well! 😉
      (Baking now is a different thing, I’ve got no problems whipping some extra cakes or bread loafs at home, too… 😉 )

  24. Hi Sanna – I am currently de-cluttering my in-box be un-subscribing to all the websites which clog my inbox. I get overwhelmed and don’t read them all – but I would leave them there because could be something fabulous in there -either “stuff” or, information that I might miss!!! (really!) But I’m missing it anyway by not reading it . So that’s my mission- keep it simple – unsubscribe and chose carefully . Since reading the post I am also going to go through small drawers and cupboards again . I don’t have much left to de-clutter any more but I still found some old candles and expired oils in the second bathroom when I looked today .

    • I think that’s a great challenge there, Jez! I really should do something about my email inbox as well!

    • Jez, I’ve been doing the same thing with my inbox since Monday morning. All because I was trying to go back to sleep after a rough night and my phone kept buzzing with email alerts, none of them important. I almost threw my phone across the room. Instead I checked my email and unsubscribed from 10 of the 13 sites that had sent messages. The side benefit is, since many of the emails were from shopping websites, I am also avoiding temptation in terms of “good deals”, “sales”, and “promotional offers”. 😀

  25. Like lea i have a sizable amount of paper to go through. in my case i have been wanting to digitilise it for years. so count me in for 20 pages a day to scan then dispose of.

  26. Some of the comments above had to do with growing up during a simpler time, from the 50s to about the early 70s, and I agree that it sure was different then.

    There really did seem to be a difference in the amount of “stuff” in most people’s homes, and shopping didn’t seem to be as “recreational” then as it’s become over the last 20 years or so.

    The thing that strikes me about homes today is that if you go into one that’s cluttered, many times the majority of the clutter is some kind of plastic item, from tons of plastic toys to plastic decor to plastic cups in the kitchen.

  27. I have downsized and I really did a good job. However, I am still learning about decluttering my sewing area. I cannot get it organized. So, now I am going back and decluttering more. I have called my summer a summer of “Letting It Go!.” The house is still not the way I want it to look. So I will jump on and try to get 20 things a day out of the sewing room. I did grow up in the 50’s and 60’s and I lived in a very small house. My family kept nothing. I tend to keep everything. The past 4 years I am realized that cannot happen anymore. Thank you, for the challenge in keeping me going.

  28. I tend to go in spurts when I declutter – usually I do quite a lot at one time and then not much for days. But today I got inspired by this post and decluttered over 50 items. They don’t mound up to a big pile but it all counts! Some of the usual/unusual things that I got rid of were a hole punch and staple remover – I’ve had them for years and so very rarely if ever use them. They just seem like things I “should” have in my desk. I also got rid of 9 soup bowls – we have so many other bowls that I don’t need specific bowls for soup – I never make soup anyhow! I also got rid of 10 cassette tapes that were sentimental but I’ll never listen to them again. Five dressy dresses that were I’m sure I won’t be wearing again. A cake plate and cover – I’ve used it so rarely.
    Amazing how much you can declutter and still find more!

    • I agree completely! I’m amazed at how easy it is to find my 20 things a day as well!

      • I didn’t count how many things I got rid of yesterday but it was a bunch. I large pile of plastic wall plugs – mostly the extra ones that come with fixtures you buy. They usually throw in extra. We had dozens saved over the years. I saved a few and tossed the useless ones. Also, got rid of a small stack of photos and the paper dividers that go in between the photos in photo albums. They really add to the bulk of the photo albums. Now my albums don’t look like they are bursting and the pages stay in better. Yeah!

  29. I will join you, Sanna! I have been trying to get rid of stuff and declutter before my son starts back to school. I homeschool my high school daughter, so I have to do this around our school schedule. I will challenge myself to get rid of 5-10 things/day. I have a lot of files to go through, so I might be getting rid of a lot in one day! I donate office/school supplies (pens, notebooks, papers, file folders, etc) that I don’t need or use to my son’s school teachers. They always appreciate these extra supplies during the school year. Good luck with the challenge!

  30. I am so proud of myself. I got rid of 60 things in my sewing room. Some things will go to charity and some of it goes to the garbage. For those of you who have crystal or pretty things you don’t want anymore, I have an idea. My granddaughter is getting married next spring. She will not be able to have pretty things so for her engagement party I gave her my cake plate and top, and two crystal bowls. I asked her before hand if she wanted them and she did. I wrapped in all in an antique tablecloth she did not like that but my daughter wanted it. Ok enough rest back to the sewing room and see what else I can get rid off.

    • Wanda, congratulations!
      I find, my challenge is going well, too, although it doesn’t really show yet as it’s mostly tiny things I’m getting rid of.
      Good luck with your further sewing room declutter!

  31. Sanna, great post, very inspiring! I seem to go in spurts when it comes to decluttering. Lately, I haven’t seemed to find the time to do much clearing out, then we went on a trip and were gone for a couple weeks. The trip was good because it gave me time to think about what things really matter and what things I’m just holding on to. So, after reading your post, I rolled up my sleeves and got busy listing some things on eBay. I only listed about 10 items but they were part of a set of lovely Haviland china dishes that I inherited. I figure I’ll see how a few of the items do before listing more. Hopefully, I’ll get some takers. I try so hard to keep new things from coming into the house, it is a constant battle but at least less gets passed “the gates” than used to. I am going to try and declutter 5 things a day – I would love to do 20 but don’t think it’s realistic, 5 is a number I think I can manage. Thanks for giving me this nudge in the right direction.

    • I hope you can sell your dishes well!

      For me, 20 is very doable, as I am just grabbing into a box of paper clips, envelopes or similar and remove 20 of them, when I’m having a very busy day. I would have thought it to be more difficult, but when I think I got rid of 140 things already and you don’t notice at all, it’s quite baffling.

  32. Hi Sanna, it’s nice to see that I am Not the only one still “fighting” after years (and After having oh so many successes and revelations, often through this Blog). Having a toddler Makes decluttering harder because of having so Little Time but all the more necessary because the Kid Makes a mess of everything it can grab, so obviously less stuff would mean less mess … I probably can’t do 20 a Day but we’ll see

    • Ideealistin – wow your baby is now a toddler. Yes kids equal mess, that’s just a reality. Remember with kids they pass thru phases and sizes quite quickly, so when you do have a clear out it will probably be quite a bundle in one hit. So you might not be able to do 20 a day at the moment, but down the track when we’re all doing one item a day again, you’ll be the one shifting out bags of stuff.

  33. Like Lea and Kristina, I too have lots of paper to declutter. I emptied my filing cabinet over a year ago and spent a good chunk of last summer going through the files and only putting the papers back in that I needed to keep. I still have several piles to go through and they are all in my spare bedroom. I have guests coming next Tuesday, so I am going to work on going through a pile a day. I hope I can get through it all! I don’t think I can use a number of pieces of paper as a goal as it would take me forever to get this done. Each pile is about a 12″ high.

    After I get through all of the paper, my next goal is to shred the confidential stuff, of which I have a big box from last summer!