Week 2 of the 40 bags in 40 days challenge has come to a close. Another corner of the garage sorted, a time booked for the local council to haul away the junk, and a trip to the local charity shop to donate items in good condition but no longer used … phew! At the end of week 2 … decluttering my life one bag at a time, I’m about one-third of the way through the five and a half week (or 40 day) challenge.
As I head into week three, the mid-way point, staying motivated and on track becomes a test in itself. As with any long term goal or challenge, you start with a bang! After signing up, joining the Facebook group, and filling out my declutter plan the energy levels are high … there is nothing I can’t achieve. I can almost see my decluttered (or decrappified) home gracing the pages of Home Beautiful!
Then the half way point comes, and the start (as well as the end) seem far away. The energy levels start to drop, and there still seems so far to go. Will the crap never end! So how do you stay motivated as the mid way point looms? Here are a couple of strategies I’m using to try to stay on track.
1. “Before” and “After” Photos
I take “Before” and “After” pictures of each space I’m decluttering. It great to look back and see the small difference I have made … or in the case of the garage, quite a large difference!
2. Find motivation from others
I joined the official Facebook page and also follow along via instagram #40bagsin40days. I post my “Before” and “After” photos, and check out how everyone else has been going. A couple of people even found lost diamond rings among their clutter! (I haven’t lost a diamond ring but I’m not giving up hope of finding one!).
3. Keep a tally
Write out your plan before starting, put it in a prominent place (mine is on the fridge). I mark off each day as I go and keep a record of how many bags I have got rid of. I was very surprised at the end of week 1 just how many bags were gone. While the challenge is to get rid of one bag a day … I have given myself permission to throw out less (or more).
4. Be Kind to yourself
It’s a long challenge, so be kind to yourself. Don’t expect too much, especially after a long day at work (or with the kids). I schedule the harder jobs (like the garage or my wardrobe) when I know I’m home for the day. In the evenings after work I just focus on one small(ish) area … a single kitchen cupboard. On Monday I cleaned out one wicker blanket basket which took me 10 mins, with only one blanket gone … but it all adds up in the end!
5. Take it One Day at a Time
Like any challenge, you’ll have good days and bad. I was supposed to tackle the kitchen junk cupboard on Friday night. This went awry when my husband Paul come home with a bottle of red wine.
All thoughts of decluttering the kitchen vanished! So I made Friday my night off instead of Sunday. I amended my plan (always write in pencil), woke up Saturday, regroupped and kept going. No one will ever know (I know you’ll keep my secret).
These are my tips to stay motivated while decluttering. In summary … take it one day at a time. If you have a bad or unmotivated day … regroup the next day and start afresh.
What tips have you got to stay focused … for any challenge? Are you currently decluttering … how is it going?