31 Days to an Uncluttered Home

March 1, 2017
Take part in this 31 day challenge and you'll find your home a much more peaceful and uncluttered space! PLUS: Find out what to do with the stuff you're getting rid of!

March means spring cleaning in my home and I’m tackling it head on this year!  Since we’re in the process of renovating (we’re scheduled to get new carpet soon and then I’ll be able to start revealing a few rooms!) we don’t have a lot of deep cleaning to do in the house…  Or we DO have a lot of deep cleaning to do but are waiting to get it done when we tackle that room…  Either way, the spring cleaning I’m talking about is organizing, downsizing, and getting rid of stuff!

I’m a want to be minimalist so getting rid of stuff makes my heart happy.  I don’t know why we always seem to have so much stuff we accumulate when we rarely buy anything.  Things just show up in our home and multiply like rats.  (Let’s not talk about rats multiplying in our home.  We’ve been dealing with a rat problem for a few months and it’s not a happy topic…  That’s what happens when you buy a house the previous owners didn’t take care of…)  I always love going through and getting rid of the stuff we don’t actually need.

So…  Without further ado, I’m going to introduce you to the 31 Day Uncluttering Challenge.  Every day this month we’re going to tackle one area of the house.  Some days the challenge will take five minutes and sometimes it will take five hours (hopefully not… but you never know) and by the end of the month your house should feel peaceful and serene, without stuff bogging you down!

Bedroom

Day 1: Clothes
Day one is a doozy!  We’re starting out the challenge right!  Go through your closet and dresser and purge, purge, purge!  Be critical of each and every piece of clothing you own.  If it doesn’t fit, you haven’t worn it in a year, or you don’t like the way you look in it then get rid of it!  No reason to keep those “I might wear it someday” pieces around!  Also, look for duplicates.  Maybe you don’t wear party dresses very often but own seven.  Consider getting rid of three or so of the dresses and only keeping the ones you feel most glamorous in.  Maybe you own four white tshirts.  Consider getting rid of the two (or three) that are more ratty and just keep the one that is sparkling white.


What to do with your stuff:

  • Sell your gently used clothing on Poshmark
  • Send name brand items in to ThredUp and get a percentage back
  • Send name brand items in to Schoola and support your favorite school
  • Donate professional clothing to Dress for Success to help women in need
  • Donate gently used clothing to Clothes4Souls
  • Donate all quality of clothes to Planet Aid
  • Donate clothing to your local women’s shelter

Day 2: Accessories
I always find that I’m overflowing with jewelry, scarves, bootcuffs, hats, purses, and all sorts of other things that I never wear.  I’m sure you’re in the same boat.  Time to change that!  Go through all your accessories and think about the last time you wore a particular item.  If it was over a year ago, get rid of it!  If you don’t love it, get rid of it!  If you have two extremely similar items, get rid of one!  If you have one purse you use 99% of the time, get rid of the rest of them!  You really don’t need as much as you have!

What to do with your stuff:

  • Sell your gently used accessories on Poshmark
  • Donate good quality accessories to Dress for Success to help women in need
  • Donate diamonds, estate jewelry, or specialty jewelry items to Diamonds for Dreams to support women with breast cancer
  • Donate purses to Change Purse to aid in the fight against sex trafficking
  • Donate jewelry to Indigo Rescue to benefit animal shelters worldwide
  • Donate eyeglasses to OneSight to help those with vision needs

Day 3: Shoes
Let’s be honest with one another, how many pairs of shoes do you own?  How many of those pairs do you actually wear on a regular basis?  Now, get rid of the ones you don’t wear!

What to do with your stuff:

  • Sell your gently used shoes on Poshmark
  • Send name brand items in to ThredUp and get a percentage back
  • Send name brand items in to Schoola and support your favorite school
  • Donate professional shoes to Dress for Success to help women in need
  • Donate shoes to Soles4Souls to help fight against the affects of poverty
  • Donate shoes to Share Your Soles to help those in need

Day 4: Husband’s Clothes
Don’t let him talk you out of this one, ladies!  Go through your man’s closet and purge the items he doesn’t wear, items he doesn’t look good in, and items that are too small.  This includes shoes, accessories, etc.  It would probably be wise to let him help you out on this task so you don’t end up in a fight…

What to do with your stuff:

Day 5: Nightstand
Open up your nightstand, pull everything out.  Only put the things back that you use!  Everything else needs to be put away elsewhere or disposed of!  Pay close attention to medications and… well… other things you may have in your nightstand that could expire…  If you know what I mean…  Get rid of anything that’s expired or is close to the expiration date.  Make sure you dispose of medication properly!

Kid’s Stuff

Day 6: Kid’s Clothes
Oh goodness, kids clothes are the bane of my existence!  I kept all of Caleb’s clothes from birth until now since I figured we’d probably be using them again. (And good thing, too, since baby Josiah already has a full wardrobe waiting for him!)  Even so, there are plenty of kids clothes I could get rid of.  Some things Caleb never wore and I know I’ll never put Josiah in so I should get rid of them!  You may be in the same boat so you may want to be holding onto clothes too.  But, if you’re not, don’t hold onto clothes you don’t need!  Be practical about what your kids actually wear and don’t let them keep more than they need!

What to do with your stuff:

  • Sell your kids’ clothes at a local Just Between Friends sale
  • Sell your kids’ clothes at a local Once Upon a Child store
  • Sell your kids’ clothes at a local KidtoKid store
  • Send name brand items in to ThredUp and get a percentage back
  • Donate gently used clothing to Clothes4Souls
  • Donate all quality of clothes to Planet Aid
  • Donate gently used clothing to your local women and children’s shelter

Day 7: Kid’s Toys
Caleb has way more toys than he knows what to do with and I’m sure your kiddo(s) do too!  I don’t think we’ve bought him a single toy and yet his room and our living room is constantly overflowing!  Go through and get rid of the toys your little one doesn’t play with!  If they’re old enough, encourage them to help pick out which toys they can part with.  Take your kid along while you donate the toys to a worthy charity so they know they’re doing good with their sacrifice!  Try not to let the emotions of who gave the item overshadow the fact about whether or not your child plays with it.  Just let it go!

What to do with your stuff:

Day 8: Kid’s Miscellaneous
We all have boxes and drawers that are full of baby and kids stuff that we just don’t know what to do with.  Attack each and every one of these locations today.  Maybe it’s a crayon drawer and you need to get rid of all the broken crayons.  Maybe it’s a bin of papers your kid has brought home from school and you know you need to do something with it.  This will look different for each of us but we all know what we need to tackle!

Day 9: Baby Supplies
Do you still have a baby at home?  If so, you probably have a million baby supplies that you thought you needed when you were pregnant but, since then, have realized you never touch!  Get rid of those things.  If you don’t have a baby anymore (and aren’t planning on having another one) get rid of things!  No reason to hold onto 241 board books and 82 binkies.  Let them go!

What to do with your stuff:

  • Sell your kids’ clothes at a local Just Between Friends sale
  • Sell your kids’ clothes at a local Once Upon a Child store
  • Sell your kids’ clothes at a local KidtoKid store
  • Donate to your local women and children’s shelter

Bathroom

Day 10: Linen Closet
Time to get rid of all your old towels, sheets, pillow cases, etc that you no longer need!  Make sure to find your bedding sets and then only keep two (or maybe three) per bed.  Get rid of bottom sheets that aren’t elasticy anymore.  Keep two (or maybe three) towels per family member and a set of guest towels and get rid of all the rest of your towels – especially ones that are falling apart! Do you use tablecloths, cloth napkins, or table runners?  Only keep the ones you actually use on a regular basis and get rid of the rest!  You really don’t need as many linens as you may think!

Day 11: Toiletries and Medications
My cupboards always seem to be overflowing with medications, extra shampoo bottles, lotions, nail polish, etc.  It’s crazy all the things I have that I forget about before buying new versions.  Go through all your stuff and purge, purge, purge!  Get rid of all expired medications (safely, of course!)!  Take stock of your shampoos, body washes, and other self care products.  Make a note of what you don’t need to buy anymore.  If anything hasn’t been opened, consider giving it as a gift to a friend, kids’ teacher, post office worker, neighbor, you name it!  Get rid of any toiletries you know you won’t use.


What to do with your stuff:

Day 12: Cleaning Supplies
How come my cleaning supplies bin is always super full?  When we sit back and think about it, do we really need that many types of products?  Think about what you actually use and get rid of the rest!

Kitchen

Day 13: Under Sinks (Kitchen and Bathrooms)
What do you store under your sinks?  To be honest, I don’t actually know what’s under my sinks – especially in the bathrooms.  Today pull everything out, give the underside of the sink a good scrubdown, and get rid of anything under there that you don’t need!

Day 14:  Pantry
Time to pull everything out of your pantry and organize it!  Look for food that’s been pushed to the back and expired – toss it!  Find sealed cans and boxes of food you and your family doesn’t eat and get rid of it!  Don’t let it sit in your pantry until it expires – give it to someone who will use it!  Now that you know what’s in your pantry, start meal planning in order to use the stuff you have.  Try not to shop for more pantry items until most of the stuff you already have has been eaten.


What to do with your stuff:

  • Donate some sealed food items to Forgotten Soldiers
  • Donate unexpired, sealed cans and boxes of food to your local food bank

Day 15: Refrigerator and Freezer
Like your pantry, the food in your refrigerator and freezer may have been pushed to the back and expired.  Get rid of all that expired stuff and organize what’s left.  Clean your fridge before putting stuff back in!  Like with your pantry, start meal planning in order to use the stuff you have!

Day 16: Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets
Do you have a food processor sitting in the back of your cupboards that you haven’t used in years?  Do you have a rice cooker but hate Asian food?  Get rid of it!  Go through your kitchen cabinets and drawers and get rid of any appliances that you don’t use, are repeats, or are getting too old to be reliable.

Day 17:  Utensils and Dishware
Do you have 17 wooden spoons?  You don’t need all them!  Do you have 3 different place settings?  You don’t need all of them!  Do you have fancy silverwear and every day silverwear?  You don’t need both!  Get rid of the excess!!!!!

Day 18:  Spice Cupboard and Kitchen Miscellaneous
If you haven’t gone through an area of your kitchen, today is the day!  Maybe you have a plethora of cookbooks and need to pair it down to just one or two that you actually love.  Maybe you have 32 dish rags and can afford to get rid of a few.  Maybe you have an apron that you never wear.  Get rid of things!  While you’re doing that, go through your spices.  If you don’t ever use a spice in your cooking, get rid of it!  Make sure you don’t have duplicates of spices!

Miscellaneous Stuff

Day 19: DVDs, CDs, and Games
Pull out those DVDs, CDs, and Games.  Think about the last time you watched something, listened to something, or played something.  If it’s been a while then get rid of it!  Don’t keep things around that you aren’t going to use!

What to do with your stuff:

  • Donate your children’s DVDs to Kid Flicks to build DVD libraries in pediatric hospitals

Day 20:  Books
I’m a book hoarder.  If I enjoyed a book I want to hold onto it on the off chance I might want to read it again.  Thing is, I typically don’t read a book twice!  Go through your bookshelves and get rid of the books you’ve already read and won’t read again, the books you honestly will never read, and the books that just seem like they might be ok.  You can always check a book out at the library if you decide you actually do want to read it!

What to do with your stuff:

Day 21:  Paperwork
The dreaded paperwork!  Time to pull out your files and get rid of things!  Tax stuff that’s over seven years old can go, things that are not relevant anymore can go, things (like manuals) that you can access online can go.  Scan documents that you don’t need hard copies of and store them on an external hard drive.  Obviously keep what you need to keep but get rid of the rest.  Make sure you’re shredding or burning any documents with personal information.  You don’t want that to get out!

Day 22: Junk Drawer(s)
How many junk drawers do you have in your home?  We’ve only lived here a few months and we already have three!  Time to go through them and get rid of things or put things where they actually belong.  In my opinion, junk drawers should be mostly empty!

Day 23: Coat Closet
I love hats, scarves, and gloves and Nate has a thing for jackets.  Our coat closet can attest to this quite well.  Time to go through your coat closet and get rid of some of the cold weather clothes that you don’t actually wear.  If you store other things in your coat closets it’s time to go through those things as well and get rid of things!

What to do with your stuff:

  • Sell your gently used clothing on Poshmark
  • Send name brand items in to ThredUp and get a percentage back
  • Send name brand items in to Schoola and support your favorite school
  • Donate professional clothing to Dress for Success to help women in need
  • Donate gently used clothing to Clothes4Souls
  • Donate all quality of clothes to Planet Aid
  • Donate clothing to your local women’s shelter

Day 24: Electronics
We always seem to have cords lying around the house that we don’t actully know what they’re for!  Today’s the day that they leave the house!  Look around and see what other electronics you have that you don’t use.  Did you recently upgrade to a DSLR camera?  Consider getting rid of your old digital camera.  Do you no longer listen to CD’s?  Consider getting rid of your CD player.  I know we all love gadgets but it might be time to let some of them go!

What to do with your stuff:

Day 25: Craft Supplies
My name is Susannah and I’m a craft supplies hoarder!  It feels good to get that off my chest!  I have boxes and buckets of yarn, fabric, ribbon, scrapbook paper, and so much more!  It’s time for all of us to go through our craft supplies and purge the stuff we’re not actually going to use.  Be realistic friends!  Don’t simply keep things on the off change you might use it someday!

What to do with your stuff:

Storage

Day 26: Christmas Decorations
Time to pull boxes out of the attic, garage, or whereever else you store them!  Christmas decorations are on the docket for today.  Go through them and think about what you actually use.  Get rid of decor that you don’t love and/or don’t use!  Someone else may love it!

Day 27: Other Holiday Decorations
Many of us decorate for more than just Christmas so pull out the rest of your holiday boxes and purge, purge, purge!!!

Day 28: Every Day Decorations
Are you someone who likes to change out decorations based on your mood?  Me too!  That means I have boxes of extra decorations lying around.  Time for us to pull those boxes out and see what we’ve used in the last year.  If it hasn’t gone up it needs to leave the house!  No reason to hold onto decor that doesn’t fit your color scheme or style anymore.

Day 29: Memory Box(es)
My mom recently gave me a few boxes of memory stuff from when I was growing up!  I’ve added things to these boxes – like my wedding dress – and so they’ve only expanded.  Although these boxes have been fun to look through, they also take up a lot of room so it’s time to pull them out and be realistic about what you want to keep.  My boxes have a TON of school papers.  I can throw out some of the pictures I drew when I was five.  If I just keep a few then the memories are still there.  Maybe you’re someone who’s not sentimental at all and is ok with getting rid of all the stuff in there!  That’s totally fine too!!!

What to do with your stuff:

Outside

Day 30: Garage
In my household, the garage is Nate’s playhouse.  He keeps his tools and beer making stuff in there.  Even so, today’s the day it’s getting purged.  Of course Nate is on board with this and is helping out.  He gets the final say in whether something stays or goes but we’re doing it!  We’ve realized he has five of basically the same type of hammer and seven rolls of painters tape.  That’s just the start of what’s getting purged!

Day 31: Car
Now that the house should be spick and span, time to look toward the car!  Don’t let the items your getting rid of stay sitting in the car.  Take them to the dump, thrift store, donation site, etc today!  After all that is out of your car go through the glove compartment, under the seats, in the trunk, etc and put stuff away or get rid of things!

Congratulations, friends!  Your house should be a place of refuge by now – at least for the next few months!

Your Turn:
Do you know of any places to sell or donate any of these items?  Let me know!
What areas of your house would you add to this list?

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