Welcome home lovers! This season we are going to be posting individual challenges for the months ahead. If you’re new here, join The Uncluttered Project for a fresh start to minimalism, healthy living and please subscribe because these posts will be updated often throughout the year. This 30 day decluttering challenge is set up to go at your own pace. We will break each day and week down for you but, ultimately uncluttering is a lifelong journey that needs attention often. How many of us accumulate things without even realizing it? Raise your hand Mama! I have been there, decluttered that many times throughout my life, so I know how mindful we have to be (especially raising children & a struggle with letting go).
30 Days Of Decluttering: The Challenge – Start Doing
Week 1 is a simple grabbing of your garbage bag and heading to the back of the house to open drawers and doors that hold our everyday ‘so called’ necessities. I like to start this way because it sets us up for a future of decluttering more often. The more you do something, the more it becomes a habit.
You have 3 seconds to determine whether or not you NEED an item.
- Open a drawer and take a peek around. Do you need those things? How often do you use it? Can you live without for several months? If the answer is a quick yes, I need it; leave it there and TOSS what you probably won’t need for a while.
- Remember you only have a few minutes per room, so don’t think too much about something silly like hair ties, products you never use, beauty supplies that sit there too long with crust on the opening, pillow cases with stains, etc, etc.
- Toss items each day until you get familiar with this new habit. Go in each room until you’re completely satisfied with what you’ve accomplished.
Don’t worry about organizing THE STUFF, just worry about tossing it.
For that whole week you will get used to ditching items that you now openly see by peeking in those closets, and drawers to get a sense of belonging, freedom and courage.
After week one of decluttering random drawers and cupboards around the house we are able to step into week 2.
Week 2 : Decluttering A Specific Area
I am not going to assign a laundry room declutter or a master closet purge on any specific week because we’re NOT all doing the same things daily. You and I are on separate parts of this journey and I focus more on decluttering monthly now than weekly. At first, I made decluttering a part of my daily routine with just the grabbing of a bag and going through things we didn’t need. You may be ready to start decluttering your fridge and pantry this week, so DO THAT. The goal is to FOCUS on one area that needs attention and for you, it may be the kitchen cupboards and for me, it may be under the sinks. The ROUTINES are basically the same in each room!
- Visualize from left to right, top to bottom. When you step in that area, look around and determine what needs working on. Don’t start decluttering anything until you have assessed this area.
- Next step is cleaning it up and making necessary changes to have this ‘said’ area be FREE from clutter. Grab items you’ll need for tossing and cleaning. Usually I will have the garbage bin open and ready with a new bag to toss things that can be thrown away. If I think anyone else can use it, I will either A.) Sell on FB marketplace or B.) Donate
- If it’s NOT something you are absolutely in LOVE with, get rid of it.
- Make room for this area to BREATHE. It’s important to remember that spaces within the home aren’t meant to be claustrophobic. Your space deserves breathing room as much as you do!
There’s an endless list of items that can be tossed each month. This 30 day decluttering challenge is targeted towards getting used to this lifestyle. I have been actively clearing out my spaces for several years. It’s not just a chore that you tackle once in a while if you want to feel the sense of freedom. Minimalism is really important to my health. I’ve struggled with depression and get really stressed out when I feel like my life is getting OUT OF CONTROL, so this is a way that I deal with it. When we rid things we don’t need, we own the day! It’s a feeling that I cannot describe, you just have to experience it to know that it’s beyond important to pay attention to.
Monthly Decluttering Helps Combat Stress, Depression and Anxiety
Do Not Handle More Than You Can In One Day or Week For That Matter!!!
I repeat: go at your own pace! Never overwhelm yourself with too big of a project. That’s why I focus on little things daily and if I only get a chance to throw 1 pair of underwear away today, then that’s GREAT!
Week 3: The Most Annoying Part Of The House
Going into week 3 I want you to step into the zone that annoys you the most! For me, it’s our closets because we lack space in our 2 bedroom apartment and only have so much room to store clothing, towels, linens and even beauty supplies. Mama to girls here!! But for you, I want you to go into the room that really needs attention because this is the area that you will be able to handle more frequently as the weeks go by.
- CLEARING OUT- if it’s a bedroom or the living room, dining; clear one part of the room by removing stuff to the other side or out of the room completely. When we focus on one room at a time for these bigger decluttering projects we get to envision what we want there rather than not moving anything around. If it’s furniture, consider rearranging to help you with that vision.
- Remove items that don’t belong in this room by tossing them into a temporary box, bin or basket until you get a chance to go through them.
- Keep items that you want to display in this room by placing them nicely out on a table or the counter space.
- Rearrange the room with new furniture or your old furniture. Since it’s a room that you wish to be more MINIMAL, only keep what belongs in there. Use the 3 pieces of furniture to a room trick when redoing this space!
- Donate any bulky or excess furniture or place on FB for sale.
Rooms only need so much! Consider decluttering to the point where there is only a few things in each room that serve you purpose.
I like the term:
Out With The Old, In With The New
When we remove the stuff that no longer triggers our ‘happy’ buttons we open up to new things; whether it’s with people, places or items.
Decluttering gives you the chance to be free with your mind, body and spirit. Tossing things that we had a hard time letting go of in the past makes us feel alive and well again. It’s a beautiful experience to say the least. A new space, a new home, a new you!
Week 4 Challenge: Declutter Refresh
Once you reach week 4 you would have been minimally decluttering areas throughout the home for several weeks now. I like to go back over my decluttering journey because like many of you, I like to HOLD on to certain things I believe I’ll need one day. In the first week we skimmed through drawers, closets, and pantries to see what we could toss and we slowly started getting rid of things that we could live without.
The items that you said ‘YES‘ to keeping now need to be re-evaluated. Have you used it in the past 3 weeks? If no, then it goes. No questions asked. If you didn’t wash your hair with that salon shampoo, get rid of it even if it’s half full. There’s no need for it to harbor your space any longer. The extra forks don’t need to be there because you only use 8 of them throughout the week. The sunscreen that has crusted over can now be tossed. That favorite t-shirt you wanted to wear the other night but it has some rugged dinge to it, toss!
Things that help me declutter often:
- waking up and making the bed
- brewing and drinking coffee, duh
- opening the blinds
- vacuuming and making sure things are not stored on the floors
- opening closed spaces often (even the shower curtain)
- rearranging furniture and décor
- window shopping
For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Victoria and I run several communities on the web! I’ve been a minimalist blogger since 2010 and I own a small cleaning business. In all of my years, decluttering has been the most powerful. I work with clients that see the potential and reward in ‘living with less’ and when I share my tips & journey, it truly makes a difference in their lives. They start cleaning more efficiently and their homes overtime become more healthier, comfortable and satisfying. It’s not a chore, it’s a lifestyle!