Tis the season for Spring cleaning! Or so I’ve heard. I don’t know about you, but after cold and flu season, and all this self-quarantining, my house is in need of some help. With all the chaos, I’ve been doing the bare minimum to get through. And that has lead up to a lot of piles, not knowing where things are, and overall just feeling really overwhelmed with where to start.
My goal for this 30 day decluttering challenge is to lessen the anxiety of “EVERYTHING IS A MESS AND I’M SO OVERWHELMED I CAN’T THINK STRAIGHT”. If that resonates with you at all, I invite you to join me.
If you post to social media, I’d love if you tagged me so I can see: @Shynnz and use the hashtag #MMDCleanOut
30 days may seem like a lot. But I took that into account and built in “Free Days“. During these Free Days, you are welcome to:
- Take a break.
- Catch up on a day or days you didn’t get to finish.
- Take donations to your local Women’s Shelter, Auxiliary Shop, Goodwill, etc.
- List the items that are still usable in your local Buy Nothing Group or Marketplace on Facebook.
- Get a head start on an upcoming day
- Or whatever feels right to you!
This is about going at a speed that works for you. Don’t like starting in your bedroom and would rather start in your kitchen? Go for it!
30 day decluttering challenge
A note on an eco-friendly purge. Before you trash something, consider doing one of the following:
- Donate it or list it for free in your local buy nothing group or for free on Facebook Marketplace. BUT – before you do this, ask yourself: would you give it to a friend? If yes, proceed with your donation. If not –>
- Find a local textile recycler! A quick google search will tell you if there are any in the area. Or if you have an H&M or Zara, they take clothing and textile donations.
- Use it for rags! Cotton tees you no longer wear and that aren’t in great condition are perfect for DIY cleaning and dish rags.
- Get crafty! Cut items up to use as stuffing. Look at how you could upcycle!
One thing I do when decluttering, is I place a big box or trash bag in the area I’m working in. This way, I can add to the box / bag as I go. This way, the things I’m getting rid of don’t just get moved into a new pile. Instead, they have a place where they belong! And I make a deal with myself that once it goes in the bag or box, it can’t come out. During a free day, I’ll take them outside and sort into things that can be donated / given, sold, and trashed.
Let’s get started!
Days 1 – 6: BEDROOMS
1. Socks and Underwear:
Your new slogan: “if it has a hole, it has to go!” Those single socks that have been sitting in a basket for months? Either embrace the mismatched sock game, search Pinterest for diy sock projects, or get rid of it. Underwear that doesn’t fit? O-U-T.
Use whatever method works best – for me, it’s grabbing all of my shoes from all the places and putting them in one giant pile on the floor. Something about the visual aspect of seeing them all together makes it so much easier for me to go through and get rid of excess.
Do you have shoes you put aside or arent wearing anymore because they need to be fixed? Do you actually think you’ll fix it? If so, go and grab the superglue or order some online and give yourself a timeline of when you’ll do it. If you don’t do it by then, really ask yourself if you think you’ll ever actually get to it. Because all they’re doing now is sitting there useless, taking up space.
Shoes you havent worn in forever? Again – ask yourself if you will ever actually wear them. I know I’m guilty of buying pairs when they’re on sale because “ooh I might need something like this” aaaaaand spoiler alert: it’s been 4 years and I think I wore them once the first week I got them.
3. Turn hangers around + get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last year.
This is something I actually devoted an entire blog post to 2 years ago. This hanger trick has legitimately revolutionized how I clean out my closet. Now I don’t have to wonder when I wore something last. Or struggle with what to keep or get rid of. By turning hangers, you take all the guesswork out! No more excuses.
Once you have all your hangers turned backwards, get on with life as usual. BUT as you wear pieces and hang them back up – hang them up the correct way! So let’s say you wear a different top every day Monday through Sunday. After you hang things up, you should have seven hangers turned.
If you’re struggling with going through your closet and getting rid of things – check out this post. I do a few easy steps that barely take any time at all.
If you get overwhelmed – remember, it’s okay to take a step back. Get a glass of water, go play a game, whatever. Take a break. But set a timer and come back to it!
4. Kid’s clothing
Do the same thing here that you did in your closet, flip their hangers and make sure everything fits. The only thing we do different with kid’s vs adult clothing: we don’t get rid of clothes when they have holes in them. They just become part of the boys’ play clothes.
My thought process when the boys grow out of something: Is this something we actually think *insert younger sibling’s name* will actually wear? Will it be the right season? Is it still in good enough condition that it will be wearable? And we only keep if a younger brother will be able to wear it in the not too distant future. At some point I have to remind myself that keeping everything for 3+ years just might not make sense.
Think about it. You keep every single one of the kid’s clothes and hold on to them until a younger one can use them. They’re about 3-5 years apart in age. How long will those clothes sit there? How much space will they take up – both in the physical aspect but also emotionally. It’s just adding to the clutter and “too much-ness”. Instead – is there someone else who can use them now? A neighbor, a schoolmate, a family member? We don’t know if we’re done having kids. So clothes that R is growing out of is basically the same thought process. I have one drawer where all of the “maybe next baby” clothes can go.
What to do with baby clothes and clothes your kids have outgrown? Vacuum space bags! Each bag is a several month run. So we have newborn to 6 months in one, 6 to 12/18 in another, 24m+ in another. Usually 3 of the now flattened bags will fit in each tote. Now everything is not only organized, but protected as well.
5. Toys and Books
This can go two ways. You could do this on your own after the kids are asleep / distracted / whatever. Or, you can have them involved. I highly suggest getting them involved if you can. The boys did not like it at first, they didn’t want to get rid of anything, everything was their very favorite most special really important toy. And it was just a little broken and totally fine and even though they haven’t read that book in almost a year they just really loved it.
Here’s how we got them involved and made it easier for everyone involved: break everything down into categories. We did cars, animals / dinosaurs, blocks, stuffed animals, etc. Everything out on the floor, separated into sorted piles. “Okay H, you have 37 hot wheels. Are there maybe 7 that aren’t your favorite?” Then he goes through and takes out 7. And we do the same thing with stuffed animals, books, etc. “Hmm… look at all these stuffed animals. Hey H, what are your 3 favorite ones? J, what about your 3 favorites?” You give them a feeling of importance in the decision making, and even if you only get rid of a few, consider it a win!
For books, we separate them by baby vs older kids, holiday themed, books about dinosaurs, books about insects, books about construction vehicles, etc. You don’t have to get as intense as that for organizing and purging, but it works well for us because we have so many books now that H is reading. And I’ll be honest – books are something I am very lenient on. They’re educational and important. As long as they all fit on our bookshelf, and they’re ones we enjoy reading, they stay.
Remember: we’re going for progress here. Not perfection.
If it’s broken and can’t be easily fixed, it’s an automatic out. And because we live in close quarters (family of 5 in 1,000 sq ft), the rule is 1 out for every 1 in. Our local Buy Nothing group on Facebook has been great for this!
6. Bed – wash sheets and all covers, pillows, take everything out from under bed and clean.
When was the last time you washed your comforter? Your pillows? STRIP ALL THE THINGS, and get to washing. Pillowcases, mattress protectors, pillows, sheets, blankets, etc. Your bed, the kids’ beds, the crib, extra blankets you have laying around the house. I do this at least every 3-4 months, especially during cold and flu season!
If you’ve got stuff under the bed – take it all out. When was the last time you vacuumed under there? Like really vacuumed? Do it now. We have thin storage totes under our bed for sheets, winter clothes and shoes, so I also peek through those to see if there’s anything we can get rid of from there.
This is a heavy laundry day, but otherwise very easy!
Day 7: FREE DAY
Days 8 – 14: KITCHEN
- Kitchen counters
- Refrigerator (clean fridge, throw away old / expired, wipe down shelves)
- Utensil drawers
- Mugs, cups and to-go / water bottles
Day 15: FREE DAY
Days 16 – 20: BATHROOM
- Under the sink
- Linen closet – go through sheets, etc.
Day 21: FREE DAY
Days 22 – 29: AROUND THE HOUSE
- Car – vacuum too!
- Junk Drawer
- Go through your paper pile – you know the one, things you’re keeping for taxes, receipts, warranties, etc. Get rid of manuals (you can find them all online), switch bills to autopay and e-billing statements
- Mail – junk mail, coupon mailers, fliers, magazines, etc
- eMail – un.rollme, delete old, unsubscribe.
- Camera Roll – organize into folders on your phone, delete screenshots of coupons, etc you no longer need, pictures your kids took of their feet, duplicates.
Day 30: FREE DAY
Click the image below for a free printable so you can cross off days as you go!