The Six Month Challenge

Before I started working in thrift, more than 15 years ago, I had the tendency to keep stuff “just in case”. Now, after years of being around everyone else’s excess, I am ruthless when removing things no longer being used. If I haven’t touched an item in the last six months, it doesn’t need to be in my house.  This principle supports my Six Month Challenge for cleaning out my closets, my basement, my garage and any other area where “stuff” accumulates.

The Genesis of the Six Month Challenge

I hate clutter. My wife cleans, and I declutter. (We make a good team). If I open a cabinet or closet and something falls out, it drives me nuts. If I can’t find something in a crowded drawer, I go crazy. So I find myself in this constant mode of declutter.  I have even been accused of throwing away “good” stuff but that comes with the territory.

The Four Steps

Here are my steps to the Six Month Challenge.

  1. Divide your house in to areas that are manageable by you and pick your starting point. It could be one drawer at a time. It could be one room at a time. Even I don’t attack my whole house at one time, as awesome as that might be.
  2. Create three designated areas: a place for items to donate, a place for trash, and a place for items to keep. (Hint: Snap a picture of the ” before” to see you progress.)
  3. Separate all the contents from the drawer, closet or room into one of the three designated areas.
  4. Put back only those items used in the last six months from the area designated “keep”.

The Leftovers

You may be surprised by what doesn’t return to the original space. From your closet, you may have a bag for your dumpster and one to drop off at your local non profit. If you chose the garage or a large room, you may want to schedule a donation pick up of large items. For those large items to toss, you can contact College Hunks Hauling Junk, who will pick up large items or trash for a fee.

In this processing, we are throwing away what is trash, giving away items that may have value to someone else, and neatly putting back what we are going to keep. The key is remembering this process is ongoing. If you do a little each week, month, and year, you will maintain a clutter-free home full of items you use. And may help someone in need in the process.

Happy Cleaning!


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