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January Decluttering Challenge Roundup — Tips for Getting Organized

Here at Grid & Glam, one of my favorite things is hosting organizing challenges and bootcamps — and I loved kicking off this year with an epic January Decluttering Challenge!

I wanted to share the results of the challenge with you, not just to cheer on the amazing participants but also to share some of my top tips for starting your organizing journey. As you’ll see from this recap of our decluttering challenge, getting organized doesn’t have to be the complicated, tedious process you think may think it is. 

Graphic with a phot of a neat kitchen and the title, 'January Decluttering Challenge Roundup'

Context on the January Decluttering Challenge

January is a perfect time to start (or re-start) your organizing journey. Home organization makes a great new year's resolution, and we’re usually at home more during those cold winter months anyway! So, it only felt natural to do a decluttering challenge in January.

Here’s a little bit of context on how the January Decluttering Challenge worked.

Every Monday through Friday for the entire month of January, I challenged a group of participants with a 15-minute task that they had 24 hours to complete. Over the course of the month, participants completed 23 challenges. That’s 23 areas of their lives, routines, and homes that they organized!

The participation and enthusiasm were beyond anything I could have imagined. But far more important was the transformation that participants felt. They were amazed at how 15 minutes a day could make such a huge dent in organizing their homes and lives. And, of course, that dent has a huge impact on reducing their overall stress levels and improving their attitudes.

Reading corner in a bedroom with a floral chair and basket on the floor

If you’re wondering how to get organized, a decluttering challenge or organizing bootcamp might be just what you need. Curious to find out more about these challenges? Check out The G+G Membership, where we transform a different room in your house every month!

6 Learnings from the January Decluttering Challenge

The truth is, the participants could have done all these decluttering challenges on their own. But without a little bit of guidance, I’m not sure every challenge would have been as effective.

So, what made the challenge so successful — and how can you achieve the same kind of success in your own organizing journey? Here are the six factors that I believe made the difference:

1. Create a Roadmap

Deciding to organize your entire house is too big of a challenge. Having that as your sole goal can feel far too overwhelming, leaving you with no clue where to start. 

The January Decluttering Challenge gave participants a clear direction on where to start and each subsequent step to take. It was fully spelled out, so there was no guesswork or decisions to make.

Neatly made bed with neutral colored throw pillows.

Do plenty of research before starting your own organizing journey, and create a roadmap for success. If you’re looking for more tips, you can check out my blog post on where to start decluttering.

2. Keep your Challenges Bite-Sized

It’s no secret that setting bite-sized goals can help you make progress faster. In this decluttering challenge, each daily challenge was small and manageable. In reality, some of them did take more than 15 minutes, but most of them didn’t take much more than that. 

Since participants didn’t know what challenge was coming next, they couldn’t waste time stressing about the next task or what was yet to be accomplished. They were forced to simply focus on the task at hand.

While it would be difficult to take that same approach in your own decluttering challenge, you can make sure each daily task is small and manageable. Be realistic when setting goals for yourself.

3. Create a Form of Accountability

The decluttering challenge was set up so that participants got a point for every daily challenge they participated in. In order to get that point, participants had to report their progress. Each point translated into an entry for a raffle, and at the end of the month, I chose one grand prize winner. 

Closet organization system with matching grey baskets on the top shelf.

Accountability is so important when we are trying to achieve our goals. Often, just wanting something so badly is not enough to get us there. We need someone or something to hold us accountable for our actions.

If doing a challenge of your own, you could also set some kind of reward for yourself, which you then claim at the end of your decluttering challenge or for each day you successfully complete.

4. Adopt Group Mentality

Of course, I thought all of the challenges were fun! But I’m certain there were some participants who didn’t find each of the daily challenges quite as entertaining as I did. 

Well, misery loves company. We were all in it together, and that helps! Having a group of peers to cheer them on and go through the motions together really kept challenge participants motivated.

You could join a group (like The G+G Membership) to help you find that kind of community, or you could buddy up with a friend or even your partner to complete your decluttering challenge.

5. Create an end goal

This particular decluttering challenge had a beginning and an end. Participants could push through for the entire month, knowing that they would get a break at the end. 

Sometimes, the reason we don’t start something is that we don’t think we have the stamina to sustain it for a long time. Setting a specific time frame sets you up for success.

Pink polka-dot wall inside of a neatly organized closet.

When creating your own organizing or decluttering challenge — or any challenge, for that matter! — give yourself a time frame. Will it be a 30-day challenge? A 21-day challenge? A week-long challenge? Find out what works best for you to keep yourself motivated.

6. Seek Out Professional Tips

Throughout the challenge, I offered professional tips to help elevate the participants’ organizing game. This made the biggest difference between participants trying their best to implement what they think is correct, versus applying proven best practices.

Ready to do your own decluttering challenge?

The tips I outlined above can be applied to any goal you’re trying to achieve. Next time you have something really big you want to do, apply the six steps above and you are guaranteed to do it more quickly, more efficiently, and while having more fun!

If you’d love to join a community of like-minded people who want to not just get organized but stay organized, so you can make space in your home and life for more fulfillment and joy, be sure to check out The G+G Membership. We have a LOT of fun in there (just like with this decluttering challenge!), and the members’ progress never fails to amaze me.

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