A Declutter Challenge for Ang’s Birthday (and Women’s Day)

by | Mar 7, 2017 | Minimalism | 6 comments

declutter challengeTomorrow is International Women’s Day and it’s also my birthday (yay me!). After much deliberating we decided that a declutter challenge would be a really awesome way to celebrate this double dose of auspiciousness.

Now, before you get all: “Meh, that sounds super nerdy and boring.” *yawn* let me explain!

Last week we tackled the question of how to declutter when you have no idea where to begin. According to our survey results a lot of you were struggling with this, so hopefully that post has helped you side-step the overwhelm and knuckle down and get to work.

Why a Declutter Challenge?

declutter challenge

The declutter challenge is our way of making sure you finish what you started. A lot of times, we’ll read something that inspires us into action but then the going gets tough and we give up.

Hands up if that’s happened to you? It’s happened to me at least a couple of times. *laughs hysterically*

Seriously though, our hope for all you aspirant declutterers out there is that you’ll finish what you start. One way to do that is by committing to a challenge, but not just any challenge mind you.

Our declutter challenge is going to make a difference to more than just you and your home. It’s also going to have a positive impact outside of your four walls. Here’s how.

Side note: the cat photo has nothing to do with decluttering, I just wanted to use it. If you like it, then you should definitely check out Gratisography (all photos are free).

A Birthday With a Difference

declutter challenge

Every year, in the weeks leading up to my birthday, Sporty asks me what I’d like to do to celebrate. I’m not good with surprises, so she always lets me decide. The thing is, I’m not that great with celebrating either (at least not in the bells, whistles and streamers kind of way).

This year is a biggie though, because it’s the last year of my forties.

See, I even bolded it.

I’m not all hung up on age and actually quite like the idea of turning fifty, but for whatever reason, this birthday feels like it should mean more than just an excuse to pig out on the best damn vegan burger in Cape Town.

Which is not to say I won’t still be doing that (and chasing it with piles of vegan chocolate), because I so will. Who knows, there may even be incriminating pics posted online.

Who am I kidding, that’s not going to happen.

Birthdays are all about getting gifts and being spoilt, but I don’t see any reason why I can’t turn that around. My life is amazing and I want for nothing (yay me, again), but there are plenty of people out there who aren’t nearly as blessed as I am.

My birthday wish this year is that each and every one of you takes up our declutter challenge and declutters like crazy. Then, when you have your humunga pile of stuff, donate it to the people or organisations that need it the most.

In return, my birthday gift to you is a photo of me in a dress circa 1978 or thereabouts. It’s one of two anywhere on the interwebs, so be sure to soak up every ounce of silliness. If you want to see the other one you’ll have to sign up for our newsletter before it goes out tomorrow.

Women’s Day 2017: Be Bold for Change 

declutter challenge

The theme for Women’s Day 2017 is: Be Bold for Change. The vision is to create a better working world and a more gender inclusive world.

Change —the kind that truly matters— requires audacity. We need to step up, we need to speak up and we need to give those that need it, a hand up.

It’s time to stop thinking only of ourselves and our needs and wants. Let’s look around and see how we can make a difference in the lives of others. We’re living in some pretty weird times right now and our job is to make sure we don’t get sucked into the quagmire of negativity.

Big change comes about through small actions. Maybe on the surface cleaning out your house and donating your unwanted goods doesn’t seem like a big deal, but there’s always a ripple effect.

Your Actions Matter (Sometimes More than You Know)

Let’s say you have a business suit you no longer wear. You put it on the ‘to be donated’ pile, which you later drop off at a homeless shelter in your area.

There’s a woman at the shelter who has finally landed a job interview, but she has nothing decent to wear. She can’t go in her old jeans, because if she does she’ll give the wrong impression and lose whatever chance she has of getting the job.

But thanks to your donation, she’s able to show up looking every bit the professional she is. Her new job pays enough for her to afford an apartment, pay for her kids’ school fees and put plenty of food on the table.

Never underestimate the value of your actions. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant they might seem to you, to someone else they’re the whole world.

If you’re ever in need of a little kindness inspiration, I highly recommend reading Amazing Adventures of a Nobody: A Life Changing Journey Across America Relying on the Kindness of Strangers by Leon Logothetis. (Leon is the guy on a yellow side-car motorbike in the Kindness Diaries.)

Ready to Take on the Declutter Challenge?

Declutter Challenge

Our challenge is a simple one.If you want rules or guidelines, then you might want to consider signing for one minimalist challenges I mentioned in last week’s post and do it tandem with this one.

Don’t hold onto stuff you don’t use, it just weighs you down and takes up space. A much better alternative is to give it someone who needs it, because it’ll have the opposite effect on them.

Let’s be bold for change together, however that looks for each of us. Let’s also declutter our asses off and make March a month of birthday giving madness!

Lastly, happy birthday me! Here’s to ending my forties on a high note and entering my fifties on an even higher one.



  1. 3E

    taking on your challenge. continue to inspire!!

    • Ang

      Let us know how it goes! 🙂

  2. Susan

    Many happy returns! Hope you have a great day and a wonderful meal out! Looked up the pic of you in a dress – notice you had short hair even then…
    I have not got much to declutter so will have to think of something else inspiring. Listened to IWD on Women’s Hour in the UK this morning. Very inspiring woman who has come through a lot and runs a day care centre for HIV infected children in South Africa. No funding – she bangs on doors to ask for food and clothes for them. That would be worth supporting if you and your friends could get a donation for them? If interested, I could no doubt get hold of the details. What do you think?

    • Ang

      Thanks Susan!

      I responded via email but I’ll respond here as well so readers don’t think I’m too lazy to reply to comments. Ha ha ha. My hair has always been short except for a brief period in the late eighties when I was pretending to be straight. Thankfully this was before social media, so no incriminating evidence remains! We’d love it if you could find details of that day care centre. Sporty and I think it’s an amazing idea and are always looking for new people and organisations to support. Cheers, Ang 🙂

      • Susan

        Oh good, thanks Ang. I thought afterwards it may have been a bit thoughtless of me. I imagine you both have very busy lives indeed. I was just so impressed by this lady that I got carried away! Will be in touch.

        • Ang

          Not at all, we thought it was super thoughtful of you! 🙂


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