If random crap is weighing you down, try this 30-day decluttering challenge! Easily declutter your home with the free printable roadmap.
About two weeks ago I dropped off two SUV loads – large SUV loads – of crap at the local Goodwill. My studio was a mess and I was tired of it, so I decided to try out my own “decluttering challenge.”
I was able to declutter my home and it changed my life, so now I want to you to change your life too by getting rid of your excess crap!
Getting My Life Organized
Let me give you a little background on where I’m at with “stuff” in my life these days.
In 2012 I packed up all of my items into a storage pod and moved across the country for a very short period of time. 2012 was a rough year for me personally, so I didn’t do a lot of purging then – I did a lot of just throwing stuff into boxes. When I returned from across the country, I got an apartment and a storage unit and stuck the stuff in both.
When I moved – 2 years later – I STILL had boxes in the corner of the apartment that I never opened. Who does that? Me, apparently. In 2014 I moved into an even smaller space and kept the storage unit.
In late 2015 I finally got rid of the storage unit and migrated that stuff to my studio. And two weeks ago? The clean out that should have happened four years ago finally did. And I feel FREE.
The clothing I never wear? Gone. The craft supplies I had good intentions of using? Gone. The toiletries I saved because I thought they might still be good? Double gone.
It made such a big different in my life! It’s easier to find stuff, it’s cheaper because I don’t have to store stuff. I find that especially for me, “things” weigh me down. Not just physically, but emotionally.
Do you want to be free from crap too? I’ve put together a 30-day decluttering challenge that breaks up the process into something manageable.
Before we jump into the decluttering challenge, I did want to answer one question. It’s a very important question too – HOW do you start decluttering? If you’re wondering, keep reading. If not, you can scroll from here to the bottom to get the free printable.
How do I start decluttering?
If you want to declutter, there are a lot of popular methods to try. Read through the methods below and start with one that works best for you and your personality.
You can always try one of the other methods if you’re not seeing the results you want! Not all of these span 30 days, but I wanted to give you some options in addition to my challenge. Pick what works best for you!
This method is named after the founder, Marie Kondo. You may recognize her from the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” OR from the popular Netflix Series.
Instead of focusing on what to ditch, this method is based on what you should keep based on what sparks joy in your heart. I like this method because it forces you to explore your connection to physical items a bit more than the others. Which, even though I’m not a very emotional person, somehow strikes a chord.
Pros: You get rid of those items that have been weighing you down in one fell swoop. It also reduces guilt, in my opinion. You can always fall back on the “it didn’t bring me joy” explanation if you have any doubts as to why you got rid of that t-shirt that’s been sitting in your drawer for seven years that you never wore.
Cons: It’s going to take a lot of time to do it, because technically you need to hold each item. Also my husband would say that everything he owns sparks joy, even his first cassette deck from the 80s that no longer works. I think that, to a certain extent, this method takes the right personality to execute appropriately.
Closet Hangers Method
If you haven’t tried this decluttering method before, you’re in for a treat – it’s REALLY easy. It’s a method that’s been around for a long time, and you don’t have to buy/watch/read anything special to make it happen.
All you’ll do is place your items in the closet with all of the hangers facing one way. After you’ve worn an item, place it on the hanger and then turn the hanger the other way on the rack. After a certain time frame, you’ll know what you’ve worn and what you haven’t in one glance.
Pros: Simple – no investment – you can start today. Well, maybe you need to buy more hangers.
Cons: This is really just for clothing, and it doesn’t necessarily work for items in drawers. I feel that you can modify this method easily though. You’ll just have to come up with a visual way to track what you’re using (perhaps it’s moving from one side of a drawer or shelf to another, etc.).
There ain’t no party like a packing party! I like the way that this method tries to make decluttering sound fun – at least, I appreciate the effort.
With a packing party, you’ll simply put everything you own (within reason) into clearly labeled boxes. You’ll set a time frame, and remove stuff from the boxes as you need it. If you don’t touch it within your time frame, you can simply take the box to the Goodwill. It’s already packed.
Pros: It’s a very straight forward method to declutter your home that makes sense – and everything’s already in the box!
Cons: I like this method for everything but clothes. I’m definitely an “if I can see it, I’ll probably wear it” person. Just because it’s still in the box after a month doesn’t mean I’m not going to ever wear it.
Four Bag Method
You may have heard this method also referred to as the “four box” or “four pile” method. It’s a classic that professional organizers have used for years. You’ll simply organize your items into four piles (or bags, or boxes): Donate, Keep, Recycle, Trash. Every single item must go into one of four piles to declutter your home.
Pros: It works for every item in your home (very thorough), and it’s simple to understand.
Cons: You need the room to make your four piles, and essentially make a big mess. If you choose to use this method by room, I recommend leaving yourself time (a few hours?) at the end of each room so that you can dispose, recycle, donate, etc.
“X” Day Toss
The number for this method is up to you. For example, you can decide to do a 21-day toss. The number of items you get rid of on a given day corresponds to the day you’re at in the process. The first day, you only get rid of one item. Day two, you get rid of two. And so on. Everyone can do that, right?
Pros: You get to set the number of items/days! This method also eases you into decluttering as opposed to jumping right in. I feel like this method is especially good for kids.
Cons: If you’re looking for a big purge or big results, this might not be for you. Over a 21-day period, you’ll get rid of 231 items. Which sounds like a lot, but might not be if you have a lot of items or are decluttering for several people (kids!).
If you aren’t sure where to start with decluttering or are intimidated by the whole process, this is the method to start with. All you need to do is get rid of one item a day, whether it be into the trash, recycle, or donation pile. Not only is this method great for beginners, it’s great for those doing maintenance as well.
Pros: Probably the easiest to understand and abide by out of any of the methods. It’s one item a day, no rules. It can get you into the habit of normal decluttering so that you never have to do a huge purge.
Cons: You have to be disciplined for this method – potentially setting up notifications on your phone/watch. It’s also going to take awhile, and you need a place to allow items to accumulate before taking them to donate.
Those are the methods to declutter your home. Are you ready to get started on the decluttering challenge??
Grab your free printable HERE or click the image below to get it. The full list by day is below that, and you have two days at the end to fill in other areas not mentioned (or use them as filler days for things that might take more than one day). You can start to declutter your home today!
30-Day Decluttering Challenge
- Day One: Bathroom 1
- Day Two: Bathroom 2
- Day Three: Linen Closet
- Day Four: Refrigerator
- Day Five: Freezer
- Day Six: Pantry Cabinets
- Day Seven: Kitchen Utensils
- Day Eight: Junk Drawer/Medicine Cabinet
- Day Nine: Kitchen Sink
- Day Ten: Clothes 1
- Day Eleven: Clothes 2
- Day Twelve: Cosmetics/Make-Up
- Day Thirteen: Jewelry
- Day Fourteen: Hats, Scarves, etc.
- Day Fifteen: Shoes
- Day Sixteen: Kids’ Clothes
- Day Seventeen: Kids’ Toys
- Day Eighteen: Books/Magazines
- Day Nineteen: Movies/Games
- Day Twenty: Pet Products
- Day Twenty-One: Office
- Day Twenty-Two: Paperwork
- Day Twenty-Three: Computer/Phone
- Day Twenty-Four: Winter Gear
- Day Twenty-Five: Summer/Pool
- Day Twenty-Six: Garage
- Day Twenty-Seven: Car 1
- Day Twenty-Eight: Car 2
- Day Twenty-Nine: ____________
- Day Thirty: ____________
Don’t forget to download the free printable HERE.
What do you think of the decluttering challenge? Are you ready to declutter your home? Of course you are! Let me know how your challenge is going in the comments . . . I can’t wait to hear how you feel!
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