I was going to save this post for later this week, but I thought maybe it would take a few days for people to decide if they want to do this along with me! Last year, starting April 1st, I asked my mom and sisters to join me in a challenge I saw somewhere on the internet. If I could remember where I saw it, I would give them credit, but I don’t! Just know that this is definitely not my own original idea. The goal is to get rid of one thing April 1st, two things on April 2nd, three on April 3rd, etc. until April 30th. By the end, you will have gotten rid of 465 things! Now, this sounds like a lot, but I think you can get creative. If you start to run out of stuff to get rid of at home, you could get rid of stuff at work, or get rid of digital clutter. I say this to make you feel more comfortable joining me 🙂
Last year I made it to somewhere between April 20th and 25th. I didn’t make it the whole way, but I still got rid of lots of stuff we didn’t need. We cleaned out our junk drawer, got rid of old cell phones, got rid of clothes we no longer wear (I try to do this each season anyway), and went through drawers we rarely open in our entertainment center and wine cabinet. These are the few things that I can remember, but I got rid of a minimum of 210 things.
This year I would like to actually finish! I don’t think I made it into our basement during last year’s challenge, so I’m sure there is plenty down there that I can purge! To up the ante, I am going to attempt to read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m not really sure her method will jive with the April 1st to 30th method, but I am going to wing it and see what happens. I can course correct as I go.
I love this idea because I have truly realized that my stress level and thus my happiness is highly affected by the state of my home. Life feels out of control when the house is a mess! Yet, I am not naturally a super tidy and organized person. I am a procrastinator with a million things going on in my brain on a regular basis, which makes it hard to focus. I have responsibilities and interests that compete with being tidy. In addition, I have a lot of guilt about throwing things away. So, I have to make an effort to keep up with the house. I think that is why minimalism is so intriguing to me. It makes so much sense. The less stuff you have, the less you have to tidy and clean. This April project is a perfect way to work toward living with less stuff. It’s especially perfect for me because I start spring break on April 1st. I often use my school breaks to get my home life back in control. I am so thankful for these breaks and don’t know how I would survive without them!
A few tips:
- As I was working on this last year, I often worked ahead. I had a donation box that I put the correct number of things in. However, if I found extra stuff to get rid of on a certain day, I would put it next to the box to be added the next day.
- If you are like me and have guilt about throwing things away, here are a few donation/selling ideas beyond Goodwill:
- Old textbooks can be donated to Better World Books. There are donation boxes in retail parking lots. Check the map. If you are a recent student, there are also lots of places online to sell your books.
- Donate bras you don’t use to Bras for a Cause.
- Join facebook marketplace groups to sell stuff.
- Check local homeless or women’s shelters to donate unused toiletries that you won’t use.
- Donate working lighting, building materials, appliances, hardware, furniture, and many other things to Habitat for Humanity Restore.
- Recycle old cell phones, TVs, batteries, computers, etc. at Best Buy
- (New addition based on feedback) The library also takes donations of books, movies, music, etc. Whatever is not added to the collection is sold, and the money is used to buy summer reading prizes and other things the library isn’t allowed to spend tax money on.
I’d love for you to join me in this! I’ll be tweeting my progress and also checking in back here on the blog. If you are on twitter, you can follow me (@ourcornerblog) by clicking on the twitter icon on my sidebar. If you are not on twitter, you should give it a try! I’m loving that I can follow my favorite HGTV personalities and my favorite bloggers. I’ve tweeted at a few of them and gotten a response, which is fun. I’ve held off on following some of my favorite celebrities for now, but that’s coming 🙂 #JustinBieber #alltheKardashians #Imasuckerforpopculture. Comment below if you want to participate!! We can encourage each other and give each other ideas. Also let me know if you want to join in on the Marie Kondo book! We can make it a virtual book club of sorts if there is interest.