Hi there, are you up for a money saving challenge? Are you ready to chuck out some clutter too? Excellent, then you’ve come to the right place, because our latest Tenner Week Challenge starts tomorrow and there’s a general theme of daily decluttering. So it’s out with the old, and let’s ring in the new with some creative clean-ups and brave budgeting.
If you haven’t done a £10 Challenge before, the rules are simple. You take out £10 in cash to last the week, and it has to cover your personal discretionary spending (food, toiletries, socialising). It doesn’t include essential spending such as getting to work, prescriptions, things for kids, food for pets, or regular subscriptions, and if there’s anything you’ve already paid for in advance such as event tickets then make sure you use them up – it’s all about preventing waste. Click here for more about the rules if you’re a beginner, or you’d like a refresher.
There’s also an optional Sunday Stocktake today (scroll down the page to find out more), to make sure you have plenty of good things to eat during the week and so you hopefully won’t need to buy too many groceries. If you’re anything like me then you’ll probably still have some Christmas leftovers on your shelves, in your cupboards, the fridge, the freezer, or randomly sitting around in bowls or boxes on kitchen countertops, and it’s the perfect excuse to use some more of it up.
The January 2019 Tenner Week schedule
The aim is to get unwanted clutter out of your home, clear some space and streamline everyday life. If you’re lucky you could also end up with a few things to sell so you might even end up making a profit.
Each daily declutter is designed to be small yet effective: they’re easy to fully complete during a short period of time, which is a nice confidence boost and gives you a feeling of progress. Here’s the day-by-day schedule:
- Monday: Under the kitchen sink
- Tuesday: Bathroom cabinet or shelf
- Wednesday: Address book & marketing emails
- Thursday: Shoes & accessories
- Friday: Underwear or sock drawer
- Saturday: Financial filing (bills, bank statements & more)
- Sunday: The art of completion – something important that stops clutter coming back
These quick declutters are all meant to clear space, allow cleaning, streamline your life and make room for better things. Be warned, it’s common to find that you need to add structure, such as baskets, folders, boxes, new shelves and so on, so to stay within budget you’ll probably have to improvise in the short term and put anything essential onto a shopping list to buy at a later date.
You might also want to allow some time at the weekend for taking unwanted items to the charity shop, recycling depot or tip, depending upon what you decide to get rid of. If you have anything saleable then you could create some sales listings on Saturday or Sunday too, which might be a useful boost to your January finances.
I’ve set myself a personal target of getting rid of a minimum of 30 items this week, so you might want to try something like that for yourself. If that sounds like a large number, don’t forget it could include a few dried up biros, some chipped water glasses or a bundle of old takeaway fliers – it can add up very quickly. Something tells me that 30 will be easy enough here, but you might need to pick more or less depending on your personal situation.
The (optional) Sunday Stocktake exercise
The aim here is to avoid waste, use things up before they go off, and give yourself the best chance of making a good menu for the week. To do this properly, make a list of all the food you have in your home that you could use up during the week.
Include any of the following:
- Contents of kitchen cupboards
- Anything on kitchen shelves
- Fridge contents
- Freezer contents
- Fruit bowl & vegetable rack
- Bread bin
- Biscuit or cake tin
- Worktop canisters
- Baking box
- Larder or pantry
- Food stored in garage, cellar or shed
- Veg, herbs or fruit ready in kitchen garden / allotment
- Wine rack
- Drinks cabinet
- Secret chocolate stash
If you have time today, try to make a menu for the week as well, including packed lunches, snacks and breakfasts. This will save time, money and stress later, and can give you some favourite meals to look forward to.
The picture above is a quick snap of the vegetable drawer in our fridge that was taken last night. I can see that I need to use up those tomatoes first, and maybe chop up and freeze the root ginger since there’s no way I’m going to be able to use all of that up in cooking before it goes off, even if I make a stir fry and a curry this week.
It’s a good reminder to me to freeze some milk and bread too, just to make sure there’s some left in good condition for the weekend. My Monday night menu is basically going to be leftovers from Sunday dinner plus some grains, and I think we should be okay for the next six days if we also include cupboard food, freezer contents, and kale and spinach from the garden.
A quick glance around the house suggests that a bit of post-Christmas decluttering would be very welcome too. Stuff seems to migrate around the house at this time of year and it could do with being found a new home. I’m sure there are a few things we could take to the charity shop as well, which is a task for this coming Saturday.
Where’s the worst clutter in your home? See you tomorrow for the start of the Tenner Week Challenge, plus some decluttering tips.