My Success with Declutter Your Life in 21 Days
Putting a routine on paper is easy. I can whip up a perfect routine in just a couple of minutes. Just don’t ask me to put that perfect routine into action. Once I attempt that, the routine fizzles just as quickly as I came up with it.
Recently, I was diagnosed with the inattentive type of adult ADHD. While this is not an excuse, it does explain why I’ve had such a hard time over the years with routines, no matter how hard I tried to keep up with them.
Even though I struggle so much, I really want to be able to develop good habits that will form a good routine, which will keep my home and my life running smoothly. Therefore, I’m willing to try anything that can help me reach that goal. That’s why I was so excited to discover the 21 Days Declutter Your Life Journaling Challenge. It combines two things I love and need to do daily—journaling and decluttering! It’s a great concept. You journal in order to gain insight and motivation, and the act of writing it all down inspires you to do the actual work of decluttering.
Now, I wish I could say that this challenge went perfectly from day one and that I finished it exactly 21 days later and that my home is now spotless and I’m stress-free. But…this little thing called reality got in my way. It’s not called a challenge for nothing! I was dealing with several issues at once on top of trying to keep up with this challenge. My own personal and financial struggles; trying to be there emotionally for my best friend, who lost her father last week and has been going through her own version of hell; witnessing my coworker’s near-breakdown over his personal issues; and probably a few other things I’m forgetting due to my constant state of overwhelm.
Despite all this, however, I choose to call my experience with this challenge a success. Why? Because it’s not about perfection. It’s about motivating yourself to do what you need to do, and discovering some things about yourself along the way. In other words, it’s a learning process.
I didn’t fail because I didn’t finish the challenge within the time frame. I succeeded because the exercises that I did manage to do really helped, and just because I didn’t complete the entire workbook in time for this blog post, it doesn’t mean I can’t ever finish it!
In some ways, I did this challenge out of order. There were some days that I didn’t do the journal entry, but I did do a 10-minute (or longer) burst of cleaning or decluttering. (By the way, that’s how each exercise in the workbook is structured. You’re supposed to do the journal entry first, then set a timer for ten minutes and work on decluttering one area of your home, be it a drawer, a corner of a room, the top of your desk, whatever you choose.) Then there were other days where I didn’t do any decluttering, but I wrote three or four journal entries in a row. I even ended up doing some exercises ahead of their place in the workbook—today I worked on my kitchen, which is discussed in detail on Day 18, but I’m only up to Day 12 in my journal. I discovered this after I’d already worked on the kitchen and sat down to catch up in the journal!
Although I didn’t follow along with this challenge exactly as it was written, I can say it has definitely fulfilled its intended purpose, which is to help motivate you to declutter your home and your life. It’s exactly what I needed (and still need). If you’re like me, struggling to form good habits and routines and needing to declutter your life, I highly recommend taking this challenge. It’s not an instant cure for your clutter woes, but it is a very effective tool that will help you on your personal journey to becoming less stressed and more organized.
Mary Wimbley is a 40-year-old single mother from LaFayette, Georgia. She works as a computer lab tutor at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. She is also a writer, currently working with her best friend on a novel series. She loves to share what she learns as she learns it!
Your home should be a place of solace and comfort, but too often is a source of stress. Our Declutter Your Life in 21 Days self-paced journaling course shows you how to take charge of your physical (inner and outer) space, create harmony in your life, and end the battle with clutter for good.