When I decided to challenge myself to declutter 2,020 things this year, I wasn’t really sure what the results would be. Would I start and then give it up? Would I be able to find 2,020 things? Or what if I found way MORE than 2,020 things?
As we approach the end of March and are almost 1/4 of the way into 2020, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my progress and what I’ve learned as I go through this challenge.
To jump back a bit, I want to talk quickly again about why I even decided to do this. Because having a why is what keeps us going when we’re faced with another closet, basement, or attic to tackle. I have two big whys…
1. I want to have a simplified house that is easy to keep clean & organized.
2. We want to downsize our house in the next couple of years and I do NOT want to move anything we don’t truly love, want, or need.
What I’ve learned from decluttering so far…
I’ve been actively decluttering our home for a few years now. I didn’t take the approach to do a drastic, massive declutter in 6 months. Instead, I have worked progressively on it. Taking off one layer, then coming back around to take off another.
The 2,020 in 2020 challenge has been attacking another layer, but I’ll admit I have been more aggressive with what I’m getting rid of this time around. I’m asking more questions of myself and really evaluating every item. Here’s what I’ve found so far…
I don’t need to keep things for hobbies that I really am not going to do
I’m not a crafty person. It’s taken many years to come to this realization. I’ve done various crafty things over time, but most I didn’t really enjoy. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t something I looked forward to or got excited about. The only craft I really enjoy is knitting.
Yet I had piles of printed ideas or projects clipped from magazines. But how likely was it that I would do these things? (hint: very unlikely) Neither of my teen daughters is a big crafter/project maker either. So other than keeping a few things on hand for any school projects, we let go of a LOT of things.
Additionally, I let go of a pretty decent bead collection that I had been holding onto. As a girl who has always loved pretty gems & rocks, it was still a bit hard to let those go even though I knew I wouldn’t be making jewelry (I really had no interest). But they were so pretty! I hope they can bring someone else joy who will actually use them.
Holding things for “someday” just clutters up your space
I spent a recent afternoon cleaning in my basement. I had some bins of things stored from when I used to run a handmade soap business. It’s just been sitting down there for years, taking up a whole 6 ft tall shelving unit. I thought maybe someday I’d use a bunch of it, but after being real with myself, I decided to only keep a few essentials so that I could make small amounts for our family. And nothing fancy! All the colors, fancy molds, etc were decluttered. Now I have 2 small bins left (and some very full trash bags…).
Moving takes SO…MANY…BOXES
My mom is in the process of moving right now. We helped unload some trailers at their new place recently and I’m thankful that she has worked to keep just what they need as well! It went quickly and wasn’t too much work.
As I was carrying boxes I remarked to my husband to make note of the boxes we carried. I reminded him that every box we get rid of is one less we’ll have to move when we do downsize! I later said I wish I would have kept track of the size of each box we’ve donated so far (or trash bag we’ve trashed). It would be interesting to see how much of a moving truck all of that donated stuff filled! My goal is to have as little as possible to move!
Getting kids involved helps in more ways than one
My kids have loved marking off circles on my 2,020 in 2020 chart (get yours here!). This alone inspired them to go through things in their room and declutter. But I’ve also found that they can be the voice of reason for me when I’m debating about whether to keep something or not. My 18-year-old helped me go through my soap making supplies in the basement and she was great about helping me think about what I really needed to keep when I was on the fence. Plus she helped with some cleaning tasks, getting new garbage bags, etc. as I went through things. And it’s just nice to have someone to do these things with! It makes you less likely to give up during the process.
Filling in circles on a chart makes things fun
I know this may not work for everyone, but for me and the others who have joined the 2020 in 2020 challenge, filling in the circles on the chart is a really satisfying way of seeing your progress! My kids loved coloring in their own circles too (we color-coded ours by family member as you can see in my picture). We’re now at 1,117 items! And seeing all those colored circles is pretty awesome.
Want to start counting your items and filling in circles? Get your free tracker below and join me and many others as we declutter 2,020 items this year! It’s definitely not too late to start. And if you’ve been decluttering already, leave a comment below about what you’ve learned through the process so far.