We introduced it in October and I completed it in November.
What am I talking about?? This challenge. You can get all the details in that post (I encourage you to check it out!), but the short of it is this: declutter every day and don’t bring anything new into your home. Simple enough.
Through the course of the challenge, I decluttered 465+ things. Wow! That’s a lot of extra stuff that was just taking up space and energy.
You may have followed along with this contentment challenge journey on my Instagram stories where I documented my decluttering every single day. In case you missed it, they’re saved to my highlights as inspiration and encouragement for you.
Throughout the process, a lot of you had questions about what I was doing. You may be thinking you could never do it. That certainly isn’t true, but continue reading to help overcome objections you may have. If you still have questions to hurdles to jump that I didn’t discuss, let me know in the comments and we’ll work through them together.
How the challenge went
The challenge went really well! I honestly enjoyed it, especially once I implemented the tips I will share next. It wasn’t easy, hence the word “challenge,” but I believe it was well worth the effort.
I was 100% for the decluttering portion. The no spend aspect was harder for me. In this challenge I determined that “no spend” meant not buying new things, so dinner with a friend, gifts, or buying extra food for a gathering was totally okay.
As we all know based on the insane amount of emails and commercials, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in November. I did spend money, but I think they were super reasonable purchases and the sales definitely helped. We purchased a new vacuum (much needed since we were still using the one I had in college), and new cups and a blade for our Nutribullet that we use daily (the others were super old and weren’t working anymore). I’d say that’s a win!
I feel more peace in my home and like my spaces better because there’s more room and less junk. Most of the things we have left are things that we actually like and use. It’s amazing what a difference a month can make.
Tips for your challenge
- Make a list of all the areas to declutter in your home: I did this before the challenge began because I’ve been trying to declutter anyways. It was helpful for me to see a big picture and helped me formulate a game plan. It also made me feel better because it was all down on paper instead of being an abstract idea in my head 🙂
- Set aside a space out of the way for sale/donation items: For me, this was our guest room closet. It’s best that this space is not one you need to declutter (since you’ll be adding more things to it) and ideally out of sight. This is where your sale and donation items will live until the end when you can drop off or put together a yard sale.
- Go area by area: Start in one area of your home and declutter in that space each day until it’s totally decluttered. For example, your bathroom or your closet. Don’t forget about drawers and cabinets — get into all the nooks and crannies.
- Get ahead if needed: You may not have a lot of time each day to declutter or you may know you have a really busy day coming up. If I had free time, I would use it to get ahead of the game and declutter in advance. I still stayed on track for the challenge, but I didn’t stress myself out by adding more to my plate on an already busy day.
- Have accountability: Accountability can be internal like a tracker or external like a friend or social media. Being able to see your progress will help keep you motivated to continue. A tracker would be especially helpful if you don’t start on the first of the month.
What I learned
We have way too much stuff. I have been decluttering little by little over the last few years, but I still had SO much stuff to get rid of.
New things are always coming in our home via mail, gifts, purchases, etc. With this in mind, I can be more intentional about what I bring in. I have a much better idea of what we have and what we need, so I can purchase based on that.
I have found more contentment through this challenge. Buying things still make me excited, but that happiness is usually short lived. I can wait to buy things in order to make sure it’s worth bringing in. You have a choice about what you fill your space with.
It was helpful to have the set number of items to get rid of each day because it helped me be more ruthless. There were things that were easy to part with, but there were also things that felt sentimental and it was harder. I can release emotional ties to things because they’re just things. Letting go of something doesn’t mean the sentiment goes away too. I can appreciate whatever that thing was and the purpose it served and then make space for more joy and peace.
We are blessed to be able to have a lot of nice things, but some of these things don’t benefit us anymore. What has become clutter for me can be used to bless someone else. If it’s still in good condition and useful in general, it was important for me to set that aside to be used by someone else in the future. We are blessed to be a blessing.
Now it’s your turn.
I think it’s always a good time to reevaluate what is “living” in your home. This time of year is especially great as we’re bringing lots of new things in and thinking about a fresh start.
If you’re up for it, I challenge you to take on the Flourishing Contentment Challenge in January. Let me know if you accept. I’d love to cheer you on and be a resource to help you.