Staying Productive In Quarantine With This 7 Day Decluttering Challenge

The community quarantine has confined most of us in our homes, and it seems like the familiarity of the normalcy of work and productivity is something longing for – at least for me, in my case. Being stuck at home for over three months doing schoolwork, commissions, and editing was a daily routine, and doing Humble’s 7 Day Decluttering Challenge was a welcome break from this. To know more about the specifics of this challenge, check out the videos and entries I made as I did the challenge throughout the week!

Day 1: Planning

Doing this challenge is spot on with timing because I just moved out of my dorm, and my room is finally done being repainted. I’m doing this challenge because I feel like I should declutter all my items and sort them accordingly. I’ll admit that I’m not exactly the best person when it comes to organizing: I always find myself busy, on-the-go for work and events, and I haven’t tried to take a moment, sit down, and fix my stuff. Now that I have gotten all my items from the dorm, now is the perfect time to thoroughly declutter and organize them again.

Ideally, once I am done with this challenge, I’m hopeful that I can find myself more organized and efficient.

I’m also hopeful that I get to somehow destress from sorting out all my stuff. Doing this challenge would be beneficial for me and my clutter-filled house because although I haven’t fully sorted out what I need to fix, I’m honestly really sure that there’s a lot of unused and misplaced items to either rearrange, donate, or dispose of.

Day 2: Closet

Decluttering my closet was personally one of my favorite parts of this challenge. This is because I haven’t fixed my closet for a long time since I stay at the dorm for most of the week. In this challenge, I’ve removed all my items and clothes, both from my closet and from my other clothes in the dorm. After cleaning the organizers inside, I then put the clothes that I often use and grouped them accordingly, from jackets, suits, pants, slacks, with my other tops, dresses, and uniforms.

I then folded all the other clothes using Marie Kondo’s folding method and kept most of the clothes that I still use both inside the house and going out. I’ve also kept some of my older uniforms and shirts from previous events. I’ve also decided to donate some of my older clothes, especially those that don’t fit anymore. I’ve also rearranged my camera equipment into one bag, so that they are snuggled and safe in the depths of my closet, given that it’s going to be a long while before I can start going out and shooting again.

Day 3: Books

Over the past years, I’ve accumulated several books: most of them in digital format, some of them in physical copies. These books were either required in school, books that I bought from book fairs, impulse buys from thrift bookstores, or books that were given to me. Some of these I’ve already read. Others, however, I haven’t even finished halfway. I’ve sorted out these books according to some factors, most especially if it is still of help for me as reference material, and if I haven’t finished reading them.

I’ve divided these books into two sides: the left for books that I would still like to use, and the right for books that I would donate.

The books that I’d like to use are books about a myriad of topics that I feel are still relevant to me today, such as books on design, writing, or collections of essays about different subject matters. The books that I would like to donate are textbooks that I’ve already gone through or books that I have already read. We have a portion in this house where we compile all our used textbooks from way back when, and we plan to donate these after COVID is over.

Day 4: Papers

I’ve decided to compile all my papers – both my recent ones, which mostly consist of my schoolwork before I left my dorm because of COVID, and my older papers, which include papers from back in high school and even in elementary. These consist of piles of papers, including papers from previous activities, thesis papers, receipts, schoolwork, sheet music, college exam reviewers. I’ve decided to split all these into two: stuff that could be useful in the long run, and stuff that I would eventually like to dispose of. Some of the useful papers include papers for arts and crafts, insightful handouts, and references from previous discussions, reviewers for college exams, and yellow pad paper. While cleaning these papers, I was surprised to have found old memorabilia, which I thought I had already lost.

Day 5: Komono

Some of the common items that I’ve compiled for the ‘komono’ part of this include my previous finds, such as clear books from where I stored my papers. Other finds include pencils, organizers, wiring, bags, file holders, notebooks: stuff that has accumulated in different areas of the house over the past years.  So I decided to arrange all these items into their respective spaces, with all the surplus to be either disposed or donated.

Along with this day’s challenge, I decided to improve where I usually work. I used to work in this small table with limited space, and it hasn’t been the best for me because there wasn’t enough arm room and storage space for other important items. I’ve optimized my work desk by switching another computer table in the house with more space. I’ve gathered some of the other items that I frequently use into these organizers, such as my pencils, hard drives, laptop cleaner, and chargers.

Day 6: Kitchen

While the kitchen is usually the place where the food we enjoy is being prepared and cooked, as a creative, I’d like to think out of the box. The sixth part of this challenge is something that I added a twist to. My kitchen is my editing software (such as Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro), and my ingredients are my different assets, such as my project files, brushes, textures, and properties.

In about a year that I’ve spent editing and creating with my file system, I haven’t sorted my files out: they are just in this one big folder labeled “Work”. This has been a loose mix of organizational work, commissions, school work, and I should have labeled and segregated these earlier. In this part of the challenge, I honestly enjoyed it a lot, because it was my first time doing it. I spent time segregating brushes according to their types, deleted unnecessary files, segregated previous projects according to their types, and made a backup of them in my other drive.

Day 7: Sentimental

Like I previously said in the beginning, I’m not the best person when it comes to organizing. I’m also not much of a sentimental person – or so I’d like to think. But this challenge made me realize that both of these aren’t really the case. Through decluttering over time, I’m really surprised to have found a lot of memorabilia. (which were scattered in different places). Some of these that I’d like to show are all my media IDs which I thought that I’d lost, lanyards, retreat letters, awards, and certificates mixed in my papers, souvenirs from friends. There’s also a lot of sentimental stuff, like my first ever camera, movie and concert tickets, and Polaroids with loved ones. I’m thankful that I’ve done this challenge because apart from the initial reason that I’d like to be more productive and organized, I’ve gone down memory lane and finally put all the things close to my heart in a fixed box.