There are so many good reasons to do a 30 day declutter challenge. People always talk about the adverse effects that clutter has on a person. It is said to cause anxiety, loss of productivity, loss of focus and concentration, among other things. If you need to be convinced of the negative effects of clutter, look at this slideshow from WebMD. That being said, let’s talk first about why you should do a 30 day declutter challenge.
Why should you do a 30-day decluttering challenge?
Let’s face it when our homes are free of clutter, we feel better. We can accomplish more because the clutter is not interfering or weighing on our minds. I want to encourage you to do the challenge and see its effect on your well-being and productivity. Give it a try. It will be easier than you think to accomplish. It will only take 15 minutes of your time per day, and you will be amazed at the results. You can read more about how to declutter your home here. However, this is an actual challenge to help you make significant progress on decluttering in 30 days.
How the 30-day declutter challenge works
I created this challenge for myself. I was able to make it in about one hour. At the bottom of this post, you will find a free printable of this 30 day decluttering challenge as well as a blank 30-day calendar in case you want to fill in your own items.
For some reason, I find that if you take the time to create your own items that are specific to you for the challenge, you are more likely to follow through. Whichever you prefer, do that.
The point is to get started to gain momentum, and the decluttering will become easier for you to complete each day. Once you begin to see progress, you will feel so much better and be inspired and motivated to complete the challenge.
Once you have completed it, you may even want to keep going as you will most likely have developed the habit of decluttering daily during the initial 30-day challenge, and you will love living clutter-free.
Declutter for 15 minutes at a time
Each day you are going to tackle the decluttering task for that day. Set a timer on your phone or elsewhere for 15 minutes. You will work on the task for those 15 minutes.
It may surprise you how many of the tasks take you less than 15 minutes to complete. My suggestion is to work for the entire 15 minutes. If you have completed the task for the day, move on to the next one and stop when the 15 minutes are up.
You can pick it up the next day to complete the task. Or you may find that you want to continue working until you complete the task. If you extra motivation to do so, then, by all means, continue until it is completed. The point is that you are only committing to 15 minutes of decluttering per day.
Fifteen minutes per day seems very doable and will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. You will know that you only have to do it for 15 minutes, and that will make you more likely to stick with it.
Once you see progress, it will get easier. We will start with the junk drawer so that you can see how something that may seem overwhelming can be done in a short amount of time.
After that initial task, we are going to first focus on visual clutter and surfaces. This will give our homes a calmer and cleaner feeling right away, which will keep us motivated to complete the entire challenge. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a 30-day challenge but would like to start decluttering, you can start by getting rid of these 12 things.
Now on to the challenge! Let’s get started.
On day one, you are going to tackle your junk drawer. Start by emptying it and discarding everything that you do not wish to keep. We are starting with the junk drawer because it usually takes less than 15 minutes to complete, so it will be an eye-opener on how you can finish something that seems so overwhelming in so little time.
Tackle your kitchen counters. Ensure that anything that does not belong there either gets put in its proper place, a place created for it, or thrown or given away. If you have appliances on your kitchen counter that you hardly use, put them away and bring them out when you need them. Your kitchen is going to feel so much better with the counters cleared.
Declutter your entryway. If there are hooks, go through everything on the hooks and make sure only what you want in the entry. If there are tons of shoes or coats there, put the extra coats you want to keep in the coat closet. Put the excess shoes in each person’s room or wherever you keep them.
Today, we are going to move into the living area. Look around your living room or other living spaces. Do you have too many things cluttering the surfaces of your furniture? Do you have too much furniture crowding the space? Take 15 minutes today and remove anything from your living area that does not belong there. Only display items that you love. If you don’t like it, it is okay to give it away or throw it away.
Today, you are going to tackle your dining room. If your dining room table becomes a hot spot for papers, you will go through them and put them where they belong, such as a filing cabinet. Throw away any junk mail. If your dining room table is cluttered with stuff, put it away where it belongs. If your dining room table is clear, make sure the rest of the room is also clear of excess clutter. Take a look around and make sure that everything you see is something you want to display intentionally, something you use, or something that belongs there.
Today we are going to declutter the laundry room. If you have excess cleaning supplies located there, make sure they are items that you are going to use. Discard what is no longer needed. Make sure there is nothing in there that doesn’t belong there. If there are clothes that need put away, put them away.
Clean out the bathroom that your guests use. Make sure to clean under the vanity. Put away anything that is in there that does not belong.
Today we will tackle a toy room or a sunroom depending on which one you have in your home. Now, I realize that you may not be able to declutter some toy rooms in 15 minutes. But remember, that is okay. You can continue working past the 15 minutes if you want. If you don’t, though, you will still make more progress than you think in those 15 minutes, so do what you can. Plus, you have a catch-up day tomorrow to continue any tasks you wish to work on.
This is going to be a catch-up day. Use today to finish anything you could not during the previous days. For example, some people may have a lot more toys to declutter than someone else. So they may need two days to complete decluttering them.
Today we are going to move into the master bedroom. You will want to clear away anything that does not belong there and put it where it belongs. Look around the room. Is there clutter on the dresser top? Clear the top of your dresser, leaving only what you want there. Clear the tops of any nightstands. Just take a good look around and get rid of or give away anything you no longer need or want.
Next, declutter the master bathroom. Today, we will only work on visible surfaces that we can see when we look around the room. You do not have to declutter the vanity drawers or any cupboards/closets in the master bathroom today. We will get to those at a later date.
Pick a child’s bedroom and have the child spend the 15 minutes with you getting rid of or giving away anything that the child no longer uses or wants. By this time, they will notice that the house is becoming less cluttered, so hopefully, they will want to do this with you.
You will do the same as yesterday with another child and another child’s bedroom. If you don’t have another child’s bedroom, you can use it as a catch-up day to continue working on any tasks that you have not finished.
This will be for the third bathroom if you have one. Look around and get rid of anything that you no longer want or need. Make sure all surfaces are clear. If you have time, go through the drawers in the vanity and under the sink.
Clean out your coat closet/hall closet. Get rid of any coats that your children have outgrown. You can give these away to someone that can use them. Get rid of any gloves that have lost their mate or any hats that you no longer wear. Any unused items lingering in your coat closet should be removed and either given away or disposed of.
Clean out your linen closet. Get rid of all the excess linens that you don’t need. You don’t have to have 15 pillowcases. You get the point. When you open your linen closet, you want everything to be neatly folded and not stuffed in there.
Clean out your medicine cabinet. Dispose of any expired medicine. Make sure only necessary items are in your medicine cabinet. If you have another bathroom cabinet, clean it out today too. Please get rid of anything in it that you no longer use.
Declutter the drawers and under the sink in the master bath vanity. If you have any closets in the master bath, declutter them also. Get rid of all the old bathroom toiletries that may be hiding in there. Also, get rid of anything you do not use or no longer use.
Clean out your kitchen cabinets. Get rid of any storage containers that are missing lids. Also, get rid of extra tableware that you either don’t use or don’t like. Those souvenir plastic cups may be overtaking your regular dishes. Get rid of anything that you don’t love or use. Some people may have many more kitchen cabinets than others, so we will have a catch-up day tomorrow. That way, you can continue the cabinets if you were unable to finish them, or you can continue on any other task you did not complete if you were able to finish your cabinets yesterday.
Continue with kitchen cabinets or catch up day.
Clean out the refrigerator. Get rid of all expired food and leftovers. Throw away the “science projects.”
Clean out the freezer. Get rid of food that has freezer burn. Get rid of things you are never going to eat. If you are like me, the freezer space is always tight in my home. But when I clean it out, it is wonderful how much free space is created.
Clean out the pantry. Ensure there is no expired food there, and make sure that you want to keep everything there. I always take everything out. Wipe it all clean and put only the stuff I want to stay back in.
Declutter and clean out your entertainment center. Do you have old movies in there that you never watch? What else is in there that you no longer need or never use? Get rid of it or give it away.
Clean out your vanity or makeup drawer. Throw away any old makeup that you no longer wear. Make sure there are only the items that you use every day or often. This will make it so much easier for you to find things when you need them.
Today, you will work on decluttering inside your dining room furniture. This was a space where I kept lots of stuff I never used or needed. If it is something you love and want to keep, that is fine, but if you don’t like it or use it, it should go.
Today is going to be another catch-up day. If you didn’t finish any of the previous decluttering tasks, continue with them today.
Today, you are going to tackle your home office or workspace. You are going to work for 15 minutes to clear away any obvious clutter. If you have lots of papers in there that you have to go through, you can do what you can to organize them. Declutter your desk. Go through the drawers, making sure everything in there is something that you want or use. Make sure the top of your desk is clear, and you are ready to get to work!
Today, declutter your closet. Go through all of your clothes and get rid of whatever you no longer wear or like. You can use this article on how to get rid of clothes in 5 easy steps to help you. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can read about how to organize your closet here.
On this final day of the challenge, you will go through your filing cabinet. Discard or shred any old bills or things you are hanging onto that you don’t need. Only keep the essential or helpful stuff that you will need or use.
So, if you made it this far, then congratulations are in order! Although you may not have decluttered your entire home, you have for sure made a lot of progress. The space is starting to feel so much more comfortable.
Get the Free Printable of the 30 Day Declutter Challenge
I created this 30 day declutter challenge for myself. It is particular to the things and rooms that are in my home. That’s why along with this 30-day challenge that you can print out for quick reference. There is also a blank sheet that you can print out and fill in with your own 15-minute tasks or any extra spaces in your home.
You can also continue with things that were not included in this challenge. The hope is that you will continue. After all, if you decluttered for at least 15 minutes each day, you have most likely formed the daily habit, so why stop now? Some things that we did not address in this challenge are your garage, and outdoor shed, a basement or an attic. These spaces may take you longer than 15 minutes to declutter, but if you work on them for 15 minutes each day, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Since you have completed the 30 day declutter challenge, you might want to tackle a 30 day no shopping challenge next. Or, you might want to read about how to stop buying stuff you don’t need. You don’t want all your hard work to be ruined by bringing a bunch of new stuff into your home.
If you really feel inspired, try doing a 30-day social media detox. You might be amazed at how much more time you have to declutter! For more things to try that will improve your life, read about these 12 realistic New Year’s resolutions to set for your best year yet.
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