A Thing a Day Challenge

In the Unclutterer Forum, there is an amazing challenge going on that I’ve greatly enjoyed following. Unclutterer reader and Forum member EternalVoyageur started the A Thing a Day Challenge to track daily uncluttering efforts in a fun way.

In less than two months, there are more than 400 posts in the discussion with 59 people already participating in the ATAD Challenge.

An explanation about the challenge from EternalVoyageur:

The challenge is about getting rid of one object a day, for … a month? A year? It’s up to you how long you want your challenge to last.

Whether you give away, trash or donate the object is immaterial, but it must be gone from your life and space. Putting it into storage doesn’t count; though you are allowed to, say, collect the things in a box to donate them at the end of the month.

Oh, and you’re also allowed to cheat and fill your quota ahead of time, like throwing out 7 things on Monday, making that a week’s worth of ATAD.

By telling us on here what you got rid of today will not only help with the accountability issues, you’ll also help others rethink their possessions (He got rid of his xyz? Come to think of it, do I really need mine?)

Want to join in the fun? Check out the ATAD Challenge in the Unclutterer Forum.

16 Comments for “A Thing a Day Challenge”

  1. posted by Linda Gabriel on

    What a simple idea! So doable. I love it.

  2. posted by Sarah on

    Sounds like a great way to get rid of books.

  3. posted by Dawn F on

    Sarah: One way to get rid of books is to donate them to your local public library or a school/churc library. Perhaps you had already thought of that, but if not I wanted to offer you a solution.

  4. posted by Cynthia Friedlob, The Thoughtful Consumer on

    On January 1, 2009, I posted “The 365 Item Toss Challenge” on my blog to help me stay motivated (http://bit.ly/cBRGAi). I think it helps to go public with that kind of plan. That challenge worked for me (and several other people) so I applaud all who are participating in the “A Thing A Day” challenge!

  5. posted by Meg on

    This is a wonderful challenge. For additional inspiration, check out http://www.365lessthings.com/ and see what Colleen is doing.

  6. posted by Stephanie on

    I think I will start the one thing a day challenge and post results on my website! I already started on the bathroom…

  7. posted by Shalin on

    Great, simple idea! I think I may need to jack it up to 3-5 things a day to get that satisfactory feeling at the end of a week…


  8. posted by Another Deb on

    I even uncluttered while on my vacation! I had read four paperbacks while on the road and dropped them off at a Goodwill we passed by!

  9. posted by Sharon on

    FlyLady has the “27 Fling Boogie” – 27 items at once.

    My favorite way of decluttering clothing is to wear it on a business trip, either on the plane or to sleep in, and then throw it out. This is for clothing that is not in good enough condition or worth donating, of course. I love, love, love coming home with less clothing than when I started.

  10. posted by jan on

    One way to get rid of books is give them to the library when you give your own books back. Get rid of magazines by donating them to a doctor’s office or clinic waiting room. I put things in my car so they are always ready for giving away when I am in the neighborhood of goodwill. Whenever you paint a room, rearrange the pictures and keep only the best ones.

  11. posted by Robyn on

    Last night I gave away 2 whole bedding sets (flat & fitted sheets, pillow cases, bed skirt, shams, & comforter) AND a stereo to my brother. He is moving, and wants them for his new place.

  12. posted by agentshmalan on

    Today is my first day. I threw away a VCR. It’s a small step.

  13. posted by centaurfilly on

    Saw the comments about book donation suggestions and just had to comment. I recently decluttered about 1600 books (got rid of the majority of them and switched to digital on non sentimental ones I thought I would be likely to reread). Anyways, an awesome way I found to get rid of books that were pretty cherished to me was sending them overseas to soldiers in places like Iraq and Afghanistan!! They have several places you can go to to obtain addresses for sending. The one I used was http://www.operationpaperback.org/ which didn’t require notarized registration to obtain addresses like one of the other ones did. They don’t want hardcovers or large books due to space constraints, but they love picking up paperbacks and it gives the soldiers something to do. All my paperbacks went to them and hardcovers/oversized went to Savers (similar to Goodwill). I also donated a children’s book collection to a foster care organization.

    Just wanted to comment on one thing in regards to donating to libraries. I used to work for a company that resold books for various library systems across the nation. Many times those books depending on subject matter/age/popularity etc do not end up selling well for them. Anything they can’t use in their circulation gets sold in their personal local sales and then those they cant sell or don’t have room for were getting shipped to the company they sell through to be sold online through various mediums (Amazon, Ebay, Half.com etc). If something is only sold for a penny online many times items are “discarded” (recycled or thrown out in some cases). As an employee I was able to take a lot of things home (part of the reason I ended up with so many books). Anyways, this is one of the reasons I was picky about where I donated my items. I wanted my items to be enjoyed rather than just end up in a landfill somewhere.

  14. posted by centaurfilly on

    Sorry I forgot to add also that depending on subject matter, the soldiers also really enjoy magazine donations as well :). I’ve seen several heartwarming letters on the site from soldiers that got collections of car magazines, civil war magazines etc.

  15. posted by k8et on

    I’m game! Doing this for the month of August and documenting it, ala Susannah Conway’s “August Break”!

  16. posted by sandie on

    This sounds just what I need!! I have been trying to unclutter my home since a major rebuild. It is torture at times as I feel overwhelmed and it is much easier to turn my back on it. I have made several recent
    ‘attacks’ and and today I will be spurred on to do more. I will start with my wardrobe. I have bought lots of new clothese and shoes recently so I will take unwanted ones to charity shops 🙂

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