Declutter Your Home with the 2000 Things Challenge

Posted on 01/19/16 by Kathi Lipp


Are you constantly fighting the influx of things coming in, and then having to deal with getting things out of your house? Are you tired of talking about living simply and want to really feel lighter as the year goes on? Do you want to be able to close your closet and not be afraid the door is going to pop open and attack the next person walking by? Do you want to be able to park a car in your garage?

It doesn’t have to be that way. Come… live the dream with us.

I’d like to challenge you to get rid of two thousand things in a year. 

Will it be hard? Yes. It was excruciating at times for us. But the trade-offs are totally worth it.

Here’s how you get started getting rid of two thousand things:

1. Find two friends (at least) to do this challenge with you. 

It doesn’t matter if they’re phone friends, Internet buddies, or face-to-face girlfriends you meet with at Starbucks down the street. Find someone to keep you accountable.

2. Pick a room—any room—to start the purge. 

I would pick the room that’s giving you the most stress and start there. You’ll feel better when some of the pressure is taken off.

3. Evaluate your plan. 

This is where people often give up. If something doesn’t work, they will scrap the whole idea. You decide what steps you’re going to take each day. Then after trying it, see if that is a good goal. Feel free to change it, but just keep your focus on trying to organize areas of your life.

4. Be flexible. 

The intention of the 2000 Things Challenge is not to add stress, but to make your life simpler by removing the clutter from your life and helping you stay organized. Just do something, intentionally, every day. If you can be flexible in the day-to-day goals, you will learn to be flexible when things come up that you cannot control. 

5. Come up with some ground rules. 

First you need some ground rules, especially if you and your spouse don’t see eye-to-eye on the types of things that are “necessary” to running a house. Which means that if he can’t throw away your yoga pants that have holes in the seams, then you can’t throw away his recliner that has been decorating your house since you got married. You both have to be in it together.

Here are the rules that we set up for our house:

- Consumables are not counted. (Doggy waste bags don’t count—the plastic doggy-waste-bag holder does.)
- If a piece of a set can be used on its own, it’s counted. (For example, each piece of silverware counts, but a thousand-piece puzzle counts as one thing.)
- We will donate or get rid of things in the most responsible way possible.
- We will work together to be thoughtful and intentional in the process so no one is upset. 

Two thousand things seems like an overwhelming number, but I’ve never had anyone say they couldn’t do it. Start small (a hundred things) and get the feel for processing your stuff. You’ll feel lighter in less than a day as you declutter your home.

I promise.


Find other helpful tips and encouragement for decluttering your home in Clutter Free.

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