I am itching to run through my house like a madwoman in the middle of the night and stuff my car full of everything from every cabinet and closet and drawer, like, tonight. You guys. Ever since I started this journey, reading the books and blogs, seeing the before and after photos, the stuff in my house has been literally crawling out of it’s hiding places to get me.
Yet I restrained myself. Why? Well, as I mentioned back in the first month of the challenge about how it all started I didn’t want this well planned new ambition to shrivel up and die like so many other
plants initiatives in my past.
NOW IT IS FINALLY TIME!!!!
confession 1:Ok. im not being completely honest. I minimalized my kitchen tools drawer AND did a first sweep of the toy room before this month! (Insert scared and wide-eyed emoji here) I couldn’t help it. I really couldn’t. – 10/22/17
confession 2: now I might have also minimized my mugs, water bottles, socks, under the kitchen sink AND started purging kids clothes. I mean, they were growing out of them anyway. So there. Transparency at its finest. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission right???- 10/29/17
I am so ready for this. And also like completely terrified of the work ahead. I am inherently lazy. I mean I have put off figuring out who I am and what I really want until my mid-thirties. I think that kinda illustrates my point.
HOW-EV-ER (said in the Sandlot voice)
I am here now.
I can see this space I want to live in in my mind. The cleanliness and functionality and peacefulness and beauty are just around the corner. Now it’s time to get the trash bags and the bins.
The plan is this. There will be one small challenge a day. 15 minutes each day to get eased into this minimizing thing. If that is all it takes for you then great! Or you can keep going on and dig deeper into your house in subsequent months. I’m going all in and I’d love the company!
This is in no particular order so feel free to do several in a day or space it out even more or rearrange to fit your needs. This is for each of us, personally. So tailor (haha taylor…pun) it how you’d like or see how it begins to flow for you. I may even do the same and I made this plan in the first place!
Grab some trash bags and some boxes or bins and have at it. If you are overwhelmed in an area once you’ve pulled its contents out, breathe, get rid of the garbage stuff, put any duplicates in a donate box, put items that should be there back in an organized fashion and then grab one of those other boxes and put all that “I’m not sure” stuff in it. Stash it somewhere like the attic or basement. Come back to it at a later date. Keep filling it from other areas. All the decluttering books say this is a great way to do it and since I cheated a little I can see the wisdom. There will be more time to address the iffy stuff. I promise. And sometimes a little distance and a second glance later is all you need to decide easier whether something stays or GOES.
If there is nothing for you to do in an area, pat yourself on the back and pick another!
Here is the day by day breakdown:
Day 1: Garbage day- Walk through your house with a garbage bag and pick up all trash, broken objects, miscellaneous toys, happy meal toys etc. You’ll know the stuff when you see it. Just trash today. Also- do your purse.
Day 2: Car- Remove junk from car. Yep. Take back the car, SUV, truck, van, whatever. Clean it completely out and only put back what is really needed in there. Trash or put away everything else. Kids- the HEB stickers, old goldfish and rocks in the cup holders gotta go, sorry.
Day 3: Paperwork- Everyone has the pile(s). The kitchen, the office nook, the desk. Find one. Sort, file, tackle, dispose of as much as you can in 15 minutes.
Day 4: Junk Drawer- or cabinet or bin or shelf. Empty it. Sort it. Tame the wildness. Lean and Mean. If you can eliminate this space completely then you get a medal. (well, a figurative one) All things should have a home; ask Marie Kondo. Find their homes and if they don’t have one they go. My desk drawer tends to become the junk drawer. No more. I have reclaimed it for good!
Day 5: Medicine Cabinet/First aid- Toss all expired medicine. Combine any duplicates. Group all the band aids back together in the box, throw in the Neosporin while you are at it so it’s in one spot. Now organize and put it all in a bin or box for easy grabbing. Use an old shoe (or Amazon) box for now. Or try one of these great Ziploc boxes. We use the smaller one for first aid and it’s great.
Day 6: Free day- After every five days will be a free day to catch up on previous days, spend more time in a certain area or take inventory of other areas in the house. Here’s your first one!
Day 7: Front entryway or garage entry– Where you enter your home is a magnet for dropping goods. Things here most likely belong in the trash (i.e. cheap toys and snack containers) or put back where they really live.
Day 8: Cleaning Supplies– Wherever they are just do a mad sweep of the house and bring them all together. Combine same products that are in multiple bottles, toss old ones and old rags etc. Decide where each goes (one place would be great!) and buy multi-use products when you can to cut back on bottles. Use up what you have before buying new.
Day 9: Fridge and Freezer– Throw out expired items, leftovers you won’t eat, minimize packaging to save space. Wipe down shelves.
Day 10: Pantry and food storage- same thing as yesterday. If it’s expired or you really aren’t going to use it (even if it’s still good!) toss it out or give it away. Lots of food drives this time of year! Combine packages, put things close to expiration in front for use soon.
Day 11: Kitchen cabinets– quick look through for broken, incomplete and unused items. Toss or donate. Eliminate duplicate gadgets and unused cookbooks.
Day 12: Free Day
Day 13: Entertainment/tv area– put all CDs and DVDs back in cases, get rid of (toss or donate) any that don’t work or you don’t like or ever use. Put cables and cords and small electronics in their proper homes. Group similar items together in bins or boxes or just bound together for easy access.
Day 14: Tupperware drawer/cabinet– go through and match up all food storage containers with their lids. Get rid of any that are broken, super old and unused and any bases/lids without their significant other. Organize neatly into containers and lids sections.
Day 15: Linen closet– goodbye ugly old towels and those sheets nobody wants on their bed cuz they are scratchy and stained. Blah! Assess how many of each item you really need…like maybe only one or two towels per person? one to use and one to wash? or you can get really crazy minimalist on me and do one of everything…..your call.
Day 16: Bathrooms- clear the counters and open cabinets/drawers. Toss empty products and any you don’t use. Organize toiletries and group similar items together. Purge at least 5 items from each bathroom storage.
Day 17: Desk/work space– just like on the paper piles day go through paperwork in your workspace and file, scan and shred as needed. Group office supplies neatly and get rid of unnecessary duplicates. Send things that don’t belong here back to their homes. Aka Legos, books and craft projects. Decide if you are really going to fix that frame or just donate it. Yeah, I’m taking to me.
Day 18: Free Day
Day 19: Bedroom closet- we will get to this spot specifically in like 8 weeks so for now set your timer and only spend 15-20 min filling a trash bag with items for donating. You know those things you really don’t like and never wear. Just say goodbye, you won’t regret it. Fold and hang as much as you can.
Day 20: Make up– expired, empty, broken, don’t use- get rid of it. If you are like me and have eyeshadow and foundation from when your sister got married three years ago ditch it. A simple beauty and makeup routine challenge is coming in a future month! We can deep purge and simplify then. For now we are just tidying up.
Day 21: Jewelry and small personal items- donate (or make a box to sell) all the jewelry and hats and scarves and tie clips and watches that have been collecting dust since they were gifted to you from grandma.
Day 22: Sock and underwear drawers– holes or no matches is all I’m gonna say. Get rid of ’em.
Day 23: Nightstand – clear that puppy off and then lay in bed and look at it and decide to put back only what would bring you joy when you first open your eyes in the morning.
Day 24: Free Day
Day 25: Kids toys- this will be a later big project but for now, sneak in after bedtime or while at school and grab all the broken, don’t have all the pieces things you can ninja and get them outta there. The kids will never know.
Day 26: Kids closets– too small, too many holes, too many stains. Grab what sticks out right away and worry about analyzing the serious content later.
Day 27: Craft area or school work area- (if it’s the kitchen table like at my house- clear it all and put each item in its home or make a box. Just get your dining area back) Group common items and see what doesn’t work. Toss dried out and used up stuff and organize the rest.
Day 28: Laundry room– toss old or not used products and lonely single socks that have been divorced for quite some time.
Day 29: Backyard/Front yard/Patio- are there any broken toys or furniture? Anything your kids or family has grown out of? Empty(i.e. dead) flower pots? Time to donate/sell them or set them out on the curb. Simplify your outside space and you’ll enjoy spending time there more.
Day 30: Free Day– Finish Day! Finish anything left undone or have a rest!
Wanna race to our purses? You know you are going there first too. On your mark, get set, GO!
What do you think your hardest area will be?
Day ideas were taken from various blogs, the book “The Home Decluttering Diet” by Jennifer Gifford, and my brain.
More information about dealing with decluttering, how to go through sentimental items and “keepsakes”, and motivation to really downsize can be found on various blogs such as: