HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME IN 30 DAYS: THE DECLUTTER CHALLENGE
If decluttering your home sounds too overwhelming or time-consuming, try out my 30-day declutter challenge. Break it down into manageable chunks by decluttering just one room, area or type of item each day. You’ll soon start to notice a difference and hopefully your home will be clutter-free and much easier to keep clean and tidy! Keep reading to follow my Declutter Challenge and learn how to declutter your home in 30 days!
HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME IN 30 DAYS
The aim of this little challenge is to get you started with some easy decluttering projects.
Decluttering can feel difficult or off-putting for many reasons. Hopefully by the end of this challenge, however, you’ll have overcome the biggest hurdle – just getting started.
Day by day you’ll be able to tick a few things off your list and your home and heart will feel a little lighter because of it!
TIPS TO MAKE DECLUTTERING EASIER
Here are just a few things to make a note of before you get started…
- If you get stuck – If you get stuck on a particular day, then skip it for now and come back to it another time. Some items, areas or rooms are more difficult to declutter than others. It can take practice and the right frame of mind to declutter them.
- Getting rid of unwanted items – Don’t get caught up on what to do with your unwanted items. Decide on whether they’re good enough to donate and recycle or throw away the rest.
- Unsure whether to keep or not? – If you don’t know whether to keep an item, keep it simple and ask yourself 3 questions. Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I want it?
- Lack of progress – If your decluttering doesn’t seem to be making much progress or you’ve got a lot of stuff, then do the challenge this month and do it AGAIN next month. Sometimes decluttering is best done in waves. The first time around you usually get rid of the obvious clutter. The second time around there’s generally less stuff. You’ll be able to spot some smaller items or things that you’d overlooked or couldn’t decide on the first time around. Keep going in waves until you’re happy there’s no excess clutter lurking.
- Maintaining a clutter-free home – Clutter builds up in every household. So, once you’ve completed the challenge, don’t sit back and think you’re done forever. You’ll have to keep an eye out for clutter coming into your home and have a plan for how you’re going to deal with it!
WHAT THIS CHALLENGE COVERS
This is a decluttering challenge and primarily it’s designed to give you tips on how to declutter your home in 30 days by breaking a big project down into manageable daily steps.
However, clutter invades more than just our physical space!
Clutter can build up in our schedules, our minds and hearts so a few of the days will also involve us decluttering things that aren’t actual physical ‘things.’
I hope these days will give you a sneak peak into what simplifying your life more generally could do for you, as well as your home!
So, with those points in mind, let’s get started…
30-DAY DECLUTTER CHALLENGE
Over the next 30 days, just take one day and one project at a time.
DAY 1: Grab a box
Grab a box, bag or some sort of container and put it by your front door, in the hall way or kitchen, or somewhere you’ll notice it often. Find something you don’t want to keep and put it in that box. Set a reminder on your phone to take that box to the charity shop, recycling centre or rubbish dump. Try to put something in that box once a day for the next 30 days.
DAY 2: Make your bed
When you get up in the morning, make your bed. A tidy bed gets your mind ready for the day ahead and is lovely to come back to at the end of the day.
DAY 3: Fill a bin bag with clothes
Go through your clothes and take out any that you know are damaged, don’t fit or you don’t ever wear. Throw away what isn’t good enough to donate. I’ve written a whole post on decluttering your wardrobe if you want some more information on this.
DAY 4: The kitchen
Go through your kitchen and find five items that you no longer need. Pop them in the donation box you created in Day 1 or throw them away.
DAY 5: Your living room
Look at your living room. Is it full of stuff that doesn’t belong in the room but has ended up there because it’s where your family spend a lot of time? Do you need a nice looking basket or toy box which can stay in the room? The toys can be thrown in there at the end of the day without having to spend time collecting them all up and taking them to your child’s bedroom each evening. Are the table tops cluttered with stuff, drawers overflowing? Sort through them!
DAY 6: The bathroom
Head into the bathroom and get rid of empty bottles, toiletries and bath products you won’t use. The bathroom is a great place to start decluttering if you’re new to it.
DAY 7: Your books
Work out what storage space you have available in your home for books. Only keep enough books that will fit in this space. Give away any excess books (unless you really feel you need to buy more storage because you’re a bookworm and love books). Donate or throw away books that you no longer want, that are in bad shape or you have multiple copies of.
DAY 8: Your cook books
Do you use them or are they there to just look pretty or for the occasional reference? Think how and when you use each cookbook and make sure that you only keep the ones you turn to regularly.
DAY 9: Flat surfaces
Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how many table tops, shelves or worksurfaces you can clear. We’ll look at the kitchen worktop on another day so perhaps think about your desk, or a shelf with ornaments, or even the stairs! Keeping the surfaces clear makes the whole home feel and look clearer!
DAY 10: Your emails
Go through your emails, set up folders for different areas (school/personal etc), delete the ones you don’t want or need and archive the rest. As new emails come in, make sure you deal with them there and then and don’t let them build up.
DAY 11: Paperwork
Have you got a pile of paperwork sitting on a table in your entrance way, on your kitchen counter or desk? Take a few minutes to sort through it now. Action, recycle, throw or file as appropriate. Set a reminder for yourself to do this regularly (perhaps each day or once a week!).
DAY 12: Your computer desktop
Remove unwanted icons, empty the recycle bin, put on a personalised background picture.
DAY 13: Odds and ends
This is a day for clearing the odds and ends. Scout around your home for random stuff that you don’t need. Some ideas could be: mismatched socks, excess hangers in your closet or plastic bags, instruction manuals for things you no longer own, books or DVDs you won’t read/watch again, junk mail, the recycling… See what you can find!
DAY 14: Shoes
Throw out old, worn out shoes that don’t fit, are uncomfortable, you never wear or are beyond repair. Find proper storage for the ones you want to keep.
DAY 15: A calendar appointment
Cancel or postpone an activity or appointment in the coming month that you don’t want to do. How can you use that extra time for something you DO want to do?
DAY 16: Unsubscribe
Unsubscribe from email newsletters and subscriptions you’re no longer interested in.
DAY 17: One thing that weighs you down
Clutter isn’t just what you can visibly see. It could be too many things on your To Do list, too many worries in your head, too many activities in your diary or even an unhealthy habit. Take a few moments to think what really gets you down and is there anything you can let go of or find a way to remove from your life to ease the stress?
DAY 18: Your computerised filing system
Spend some time going through your computer. Clear your desktop of unwanted icons, get rid of unnecessary or unwanted programmes. Put on a desktop background picture that you love and makes you feel happy. Set up a filing system on your computer, clearly labelled, where you can keep all your important documents, emailed and scanned. Keep on top of this by allocating time each week to checking it over and make sure any new stuff is scanned, saved and filed neatly.
DAY 19: Front of the fridge
Remove magnets, old photos, paperwork. File, save, throw as appropriate and enjoy your lovely clear fridge front!
DAY 20: The kitchen work surface
Remove all the items, clean it thoroughly and only put back what you absolutely must have there. It’s probably less than you think! Find a new home/donate/throw away everything else.
DAY 21: Your bedside table
The surface and drawers shouldn’t be a dumping ground for random stuff. Only have what you need for the night and first thing in the morning, for example, a light, an alarm clock/your phone, a book, notepad and pen. Get rid of the rest as it will distract you from a calming bedtime and good night’s sleep.
DAY 22: Outdoor coats and shoes
Go through all of this and, in the case of your kids, make sure all the items still fit. Donate/throw away the rest. Work out which coats, if any, you need out for the particular season you are in and store the rest. For example, you don’t need a lightweight summer mac on your coat rack in mid-winter.
DAY 23: Your makeup
Tip all of your makeup out on the bed. Throw away anything that you haven’t used in, say, the last 3 months. Treat yourself to some new products if your budget allows to replace the old ones you love. If you love nail varnish, keep a set number of bottles and if you come across a new colour you absolutely must have, then adopt a one in/one out policy. Organise all make up, clean brushes/pencils etc so that they are tidy and neat and you can find what you’re looking for at the drop of a hat.
DAY 24: A drawer of your choice
Pick any drawer around the house and empty it completely. Sort into piles and throw away/donate anything that you don’t want to keep. Ask yourself whether you’re likely to ever use that item. Chances are that if you haven’t used it in the last 6-12 months then you’d probably forgotten it was there anyway. Only put back what should be kept in that drawer. Make sure it’s neat, organised and re-home what’s left over.
DAY 25: Your phone
Get rid of apps you don’t use. Re-organise the ones you’re keeping so that the ones you use regularly are on your home screen. Put on a background picture that makes you happy.
DAY 26: Your handbag
Empty the entire contents of your handbag out onto your bed or the floor. Pick out the really important items that you do need to keep in your bag. Make sure they’re all in good condition and do the job you need them to do. For example, if you’re keeping a pen, make sure it works!
DAY 27: Keys
Do you have a place in your home where you keep keys? Take a moment to go through each of the keys. Think carefully about whether you need to keep each one. Do you have a spare back door key, but you actually changed the lock a year ago, so it wouldn’t work anyway? For the random keys think what they might be used for and give your locks a try. If you can’t find a purpose for them, then really think if you need to keep them.
DAY 28: Fridge
Go through your kitchen fridge. Throw away anything that’s stale, you don’t like or is past it’s best. Can you make it more organised or tidy? Make a note of anything you’re running low on.
DAY 29: Your jewellery
Sort through your jewellery, keep the items you love, donate/throw away the rest. Give it all a clean and put it back, neat and organised.
DAY 30: That last cupboard or drawer that you’ve been avoiding!
Go on, you know the one! There’s always one area that we avoid or put off. Do you make excuses by saying you’ve run out of time, or there’s nothing that you want to get rid of in there? Just go and declutter it now!
I’ve created a simple printable which you can use to keep you on track. You can cross off the days as you work through each project.
Hopefully you’ll be able to see how small, little steps can help you tackle that clutter even if you’re pushed for time or don’t know where to start. Decluttering doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stress you out.
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