Drive away and leave some of your troubles behind.
When it comes to decluttering, I tend to work in insane spurts. As in, my chaos gets to the point that it’s driving me crazy and I go nuts trying to disassociate myself from every previously precious item I own.
It all must go!
This particular state makes my hubby pretty nervous, because I start eyeing his stuff too. It would be even easier to get rid of.
What’s disturbing for me about these junk-it-all jags is that they’re not sustainable. Our old house holds a lot of stuff, stuff on stuff, and it’s not long before I get overwhelmed and my burning desire burns itself right out.
Poof. Crazed, fried woman hits the couch in defeat.
Please know, I am making light of myself, not true mental disorders. I struggle with anxiety, and I’ve learned that my surroundings affect how calm I feel. Thus, my bust-clutter schemes and all the mind and chore games. They keep me both grounded and moving. Now that’s a trick, huh?!
So, after needless buildup and suspense, I have a new game up my sleeve: The Car Clutter Challenge.
You know that satisfying feeling you get when you pull up to donate items and you clear all the stuff out of the back or trunk of your car?
Last time I dropped off stuff, I wanted to give the guy who took it all a big hug. I love you, man.
That’s the feeling we’re going for here.
How it works
1. Set a goal. Give yourself a deadline to fill the trunk or back of your vehicle with donations. You can base your goal on what seems doable for you. I usually aim for a week or two to get a full load.
Is your car already hosting it’s own collection of crapola? Well, there you go. Start there.
2. Gather not-so-goods as you go about your life. Set a box or bag in a place where you can drop stuff in as you go. Sure, you can attack the most cluttered areas of your home if you want to get off to a big start, but you don’t have to.
Just for example, small strategies work too:
You’re looking for a t-shirt to put on and spot a couple you never wear. Score! You don’t have to sort everything right now, just grab and go.
You’re unloading the dishes and one more mug is not going to fit on the shelf. Since it’s unlikely you’re ever going to have 25 people over for coffee, pick one or two for the car clutter box.
3. Cruise for big wins. Hey, you got a goal. You need to load up that car. Look for bulkier items to take you across the finish line, like old luggage, artwork or small furniture that doesn’t fit your space or style any longer.
4. Load as you go. Each time you fill a box or bag, or find a larger item to donate, take it to the car. Get it out of your space.
Recently, I was motivated to complete this challenge because we were leaving soon on a road trip, and I only had about half a load of stuff ready to go. I scrambled for a couple of days to fill ‘er up so I could get my donation done before our vacation.
5. Declare: No take backs. Once something goes in the box, bag or car, you're not allowed to reconsider your decision.
If I am tempted, I remind myself that someone else will appreciate my castoff. It may be a cold word, but that's a warm and fuzzy feeling.
6. Treat Yo' Self. On the big day when I deliver my donation, I like to reward myself with a coffee or smoothie run. It feels great and I earned it. And ... donate sounds a bit like donuts, am I right? There's no hole in that theory. OK, I am stopping.
What I like about this game:
Why yard sales aren’t for me
I’ve done my share of yard sales. I’ve hosted hoards of bargain-seekers as they sorted through our painfully let-go possessions and haggled for an even lower price.
Sure, I’ll take a nickel for that adorable baby sweater my daughter was wearing when she first smiled up at me. No, I don’t have change for a fifty. Do you even have a soul?
I can’t do it anymore. There’s all those little price stickers and all those bigger strangers … nope, nope, nope.
My friend Wanda, she’s a master of the yard sale. She won’t need The Car Clutter Challenge. She has her own methods. All year long, she gathers items and tucks them away for her highly organized annual sale.
You know what else she does??! Wait for it ...
She pre-prices stuff as she collects it. Mind-blowing.
Wanda takes care of her future self. She does that woman some serious favors.
You may want to follow her lead, but I am no Wanda. No haggling with humanity for me … unless you’re interested in a suitcase full of old albums from the 60s and 70s. Then we should talk. Or my son’s baseball card collection.
Just kidding, Kiddo. Did you read this far? ;)
I am Margie Reece. I am here to help you rock your chores and have some fun doing it.