Why I’m Okay With Failing January’s Goals

I had a huge goal to declutter my entire house in January! And on January 31st I still had two closets, the main bathroom, and the entire basement left to organize. I started Saturday morning with organizing the holiday storage closet because I knew that would be an easy win.


Then I moved on to the main bathroom.


I was working fast and just knew I’d be able to finish the house before the day was over. And then… the power went out in the bedrooms. And the garbage disposal switch broke. And I remembered that we had plans on Saturday evening. About that time, I realized I probably wasn’t going to meet my goal of decluttering my entire house in January.  I was disappointed but decided not to focus on that just yet because I needed to keep moving.

After several hours of work, Nathan had our outlet/switch issues fixed and the bedroom lights were back on!

So my family went to our Saturday evening event, then Nathan and I put the girls to bed and got to work in the basement! In less than 3 hours of work, we finished the entire basement other than the laundry room!


Even though I’d really hoped to finish the entire house, and was tempted to berate myself over not meeting my goal, I chose instead to focus on the positive.

For example, the only two areas in my house left to declutter  – the laundry room and Nathan’s spare closet – aren’t even terribly bad. We got rid of 1o trash bags full of stuff on Saturday alone. And even though I didn’t fully meet my goal to declutter my entire house in January, I did make huge progress and my house is so much cleaner than it would be if I hadn’t even bothered trying! I’m considering that a HUGE success!


I’ll post updates about the laundry room and spare closet after we clean them out! For now though, check out last year’s declutter article if you’d like to see how I decluttered my entire house in just six days.

How about you? How did you do with your January goals? Leave a comment or email me to let me know – I’d love to hear!

Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite transformed space – there are some really awesome before & after photos to see!

January 31st Crunch-Time Summary:

  • Spent 4.5 hours decluttering the holiday storage closet, main bathroom, and basement.
  • Filled 4 trash bags for donation.
  • Filled 6 trash bags with trash.


  • Time spent cleaning, decluttering & organizing my home in January: 51 hours (not including everyday maintenance)
  • Bags for donation: 22
  • Bags of trash: 18
  • Plus we purged 1 huge Christmas tree, a bag of egg cartons, and a broken bookshelf.
  • Areas left to declutter: laundry room & Nathan’s spare closet.


Yes. It was that bad.

I don’t always enjoy cleaning but I LOVE how amazing it feels to have a clutter-free room! Look at the difference some purging and organizing can make:


Also, curtains in a bag at the bottom of a closet are clutter. Curtains on the window are not. Our curtains were clutter for 4 months. So glad we fixed that!


And one of my favorite things about decluttering is that less stuff = more usable space. Like in this kitchen cabinet:


Next on my declutter list is the rest of my kitchen, and I’m going to Instagram it LIVE on Thursday! Join me, okay? We can help motivate each-other! Let’s just hope I don’t have any more cabinets filled with egg cartons 😉

And don’t forget to get my book – it’s only $2.99 until the end of the month!


My Dresser & The Kitchen Summary:

  • Spent 3 hours decluttering (I’m halfway done in the kitchen).
  • Filled 0 trash bags for donation.
  • Filled 1 trash bag with trash.
  • Filled 1 bag with egg cartons to give to a friend who actually owns chickens.


  • Time spent cleaning, decluttering & organizing: 29.5 hours
  • Bags for donation: 14
  • Bags of trash: 8
  • Plus 1 huge Christmas tree.


When Decluttering Feels too Hard

I thought it would be easy this time. After all, I’ve already decluttered my entire house from top to bottom twice before. I wrote a book about it. I virtually declutter other people’s messes. This time will be a piece of cake I told myself.

I was so very wrong.


I’ve been battling discouragement and fatigue since I started this project. At times, I feel incredibly overwhelmed. Making decisions about what looks like a huge pile of junk is ridiculously hard.

I’m desperately tempted to just give up. I tell myself, it’s just stuff. Why does it matter? It’s only a closet. It’s not hurting anyone.

Only, I know those are lies. The stuff that “isn’t hurting anyone” is taking over our house again. I’m late because I can’t find my shoes and I’m digging through piles of laundry to find clean clothes and I really have no idea where I put my keys.

And then company is due any minute and I’m panicking as I start shoving clutter into corners and I really hope they’re late.

The mess is hurting me – and I think it may be hurting you, too. When we’re late and embarrassed, when we can’t find stuff or have people over, and when we can’t do the amazing things we want to do because we’re buried under stuff – that’s when we want to make excuses, but deep down, we know. It could be better.

I promise you – there is so much beauty at the end of the clutter. It will be worth every difficult, struggling second. Yes, we’re going to feel discouraged and maybe even hopeless at times, but let’s not give up. We can keep making progress as we press forward.

And you know what else? Discouragement thrives in solitude, but it withers when there’s support. Find support. Open up to a friend, email me, or join the Facebook group. Let’s choose to surround ourselves with people who will encourage us.

My Update:

Day 10: I spend two hours cleaning out part of the master bedroom on Wednesday. I start with the easier piles because I feel very overwhelmed and need a few quick successes to help re-motivate myself.


Day 11: The master closet… I dread this job and pull in all the encouragement I can get. I post photos on the Facebook Challenge page, I call my mom, and I text a desperate message and picture to my friend Katie. The encouragement I receive from the people I reach out to is enough to help me get started.

Plus, Lily puts away some things for me and tells me to toss several items I’ve been debating over. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that it’s okay to let it go.

After three hours, the job is finished. I’m so happy that I keep the closet door open for the rest of the evening just so I can see inside.

And when Grace tells me there’s enough room in there for an entire (stuffed) puppy store, I know exactly where she’ll be playing on Saturday afternoon. When we lose clutter, we gain usable space.


Master Bedroom Summary:

  • Spent 5 hours decluttering (still have my dresser left)
  • Filled 1 trash bag for donation.
  • Filled 2 trash bag with trash.


  • Time spent cleaning, decluttering & organizing: 26.5 hours
  • Bags for donation: 14
  • Bags of trash: 7
  • Plus 1 huge Christmas tree.


Davonne’s Live Declutter

You're invited to see my mess as I declutter LIVE on my blog! The good, bad, and embarrassingly messy are all shared to help inspire you to organize your own home!

I’m so excited to offer a huge peek into my house as I live-blog about my full home declutter project this winter!

What you can expect to see in this series:

  • Before & After Photos. Because who doesn’t love to be inspired by a transformed room?!
  • Time & Stuff Breakdowns. I’m adding up the hours spent decluttering & the number of bags I get rid of.
  • Realness.While I’d really prefer for everyone to think I have a perfect house, this world needs honesty, not perfection. So I’m opening my home and inviting you into my mess!
  • Updates! Regardless of whether I meet – or miss – my goals, I plan to post updates about this project each week.
  • Motivation. I hope this series will inspire, encourage, and motivate you to organize your own home!
  • A vlog to two! That is, if I get brave enough to talk to a camera 🙂


What you shouldn’t expect from this series:

  • A magic formula. Cleaning isn’t always fun! There’s no magic wand. No fairy godmother. Just old-fashioned hard work.
  • How-to articles. This series is more for inspiration than anything else. I very specifically cover the how-to part of decluttering in my eBook, Chaos to Clutter-Free, so make sure to read that if you need help with knowing how to declutter your home.

Pretty simple, right? And now that you know what to expect, you can go here to see all of my live declutter posts, or you can click on any of the titles below:

Preparing our Hearts for Decluttering:

Part 1: The most important thing to remember in 2015 (hint: it isn’t organization)


Part 2: Why I’m decluttering my entire house again (plus info about the secret Get Organized Facebook group!)

Declutter Projects I’ve Finished:

Day 1: Getting a head start on the school & toy room


Days 2-5: Preparing my home for a full declutter project

Days 6-8: My house is READY!!! (Part 2 of preparing my home for a declutter project)

Day 9: Kids’ room & living room

Days 10 & 11: When decluttering feels too hard (and master bedroom update)

Days 12 & 13: Yes. It was that bad (Master bedroom & kitchen)


Days 14 & 15: What you didn’t know about cleaning (with kitchen update)

Days 16 & 17: Top 10 ways to make cleaning more fun (plus the school/toy room reveal!)

Day 18: Why I’m okay about not meeting my January goals (storage closet, bathroom, and basement update)


Day 19: Why I stopped waiting for perfect (Nathan’s spare closet is done!)

Day 20: FINAL PROJECT – The Laundry Room (I’ll update this day with a link after I declutter it)!


Are you excited to get started? I know I am! And if you’d like to see details about a completed home-declutter project, then make sure to check out this article about how I decluttered my entire house in six days last year!