Clutter creeps into every room of the home, invades our cars, and fills up our phones. While some of us are able to say no to stuff, most have a far harder time when it comes to accumulating things we don’t really need.
That doesn’t mean you have to live with clutter forever! Instead, you just need a game plan to get tough on clutter – and keep it out for good. To help, we’ve created a 30-day declutter plan to get rid of all that excess stuff and help you get on the right track to a clutter-free home.
30 Days to Zero Clutter
Ready to get started? Here’s your blueprint to a neater, less stressful living environment. Remember, it’s perfectly fine if you need to skip a day – what’s important is that you stick with it as you can. And if you find days that don’t apply to your situation (let’s say you don’t own a car, for example), feel free to use the time for a more relevant task.
Stop Clutter in the Common Areas
Day 1: Entryway/Foyer
Remove items that truly don’t belong and bring them to the rooms where they should be. Add a hall tree like the one shown below or a coat stand to organize outerwear, school supplies, shoes, and more.
Day 2: Kitchen Cabinets and Counters
First step: get rid of any paper messes on counters by storing them in pretty storage boxes or better yet, file them away. Next, empty the cupboards and only put items you really use and love back inside. The rest can be donated if in good condition. Still need more room? A kitchen cart creates space for items you use on a regular basis and provides extra room for prepping as you cook.
Day 3: Refrigerator/Freezer
Remove everything, scrub shelves, and throw out expired food. This is a good time to start keeping a list on paper or with an app so you can avoid buying food you don’t need.
Day 4: Pantry
Give the pantry the same treatment. Donate any unwanted nonperishable food items to your local food pantry.
Day 5: Under the Sink
Throw out empty containers, take stock of your cleaning supplies, and scrub away any dust that’s accumulated.
Day 6: Dining Room Table
If clutter has taken up residence on your dining room table, sort through school papers, work documents, and mail to determine what should be saved and what can be tossed. To keep future clutter at bay, find storage in other rooms for necessary papers and add a sideboard for storage of dining related items.
Dig Deeper Where Clutter Hides
Day 7: Purses/Book Bags/Accessories
Go through your bags and your kids’ school bags and donate those in good condition to a local charity. Toss out anything inside the bags that’s unnecessary, damaged, or in need of replacement.
Day 8: Medicine Cabinet
Look for expired medications, unfinished prescriptions, and toiletries you don’t use anymore. You should also check your first-aid kit to see if replacements are needed.
Day 9: Bathroom Vanity
Organize any cosmetics, toiletries, and supplies. Are some items beyond those you use daily? If not, store them elsewhere or toss them out. If room is still scarce, it may be time to upgrade to a larger vanity with more storage options like the double sink sliding barn door model shown below.
Day 10: Bathroom Cabinets
Donate or dispose of towels, linens, hairstyling tools, and other items you no longer use. Take inventory of your paper products and determine when you’ll need to replenish to avoid overstocking.
Day 11: Adult Clothes Closets
Comb through your closet to find items you no longer wear. If clothes no longer fit but remain in good condition, bag them up for a local shelter or other donation site.
Day 12: Kids’ Closets
Box up gently used items for someone who could use kids’ and baby clothing and supplies. These items also make great donations, but should be discarded after excessive wear, staining, or other damage.
Get Control in the Rooms You Use Every Day
Day 13: Kids’ Playroom
Many kids have a ton of toys they no longer play with. Donate these to charity or share with loved ones, then toss out broken toys.
Day 14: Entertainment Area
Dispose of remotes for which you no longer own devices, outdated gaming accessories, and unused components. The items you will keep can go inside cabinets on a TV stand like the one shown below.
Day 15: Media Collection
Box up movies, books, music and games for the local library, donate them to charity, or stow them away for a future yard sale.
Day 16: Magazines, Newspapers, and other Periodicals
It’s okay to keep some newspapers and magazines for kids’ craft projects, moving paper, or another specific goal. Otherwise, these belong in the recycling bin.
Day 17: Junk Drawer
Every home has one! Give yours a long, hard look and dispose of all those takeout sauce packets, dried-out pens, and receipts.
Day 18: Laundry Room
Empty lint traps, throw out empty detergent containers, and organize any shelves and cabinets.
Get Down to Business in Work Areas
Rachel Moriarty, award-winning designer from the San Diego area, sees even more reason to clear the desk clutter in 2020. “Since we’re all working from home now, it’s time to challenge yourself to remove non-essential items from your desk daily.”
Day 19: Your Desk
Go through paperwork on your desk to separate items you must access on a daily basis from those that can be filed away or stored until needed, such as tax records, medical records, and other family record keeping. Relocate photos, candles, and other decorative accents that clutter the desktop to a bookshelf where they’ll be proudly displayed.
Moriarty suggests going beyond your desktop and attacking your drawers as well.
“Our desk drawers are magnets for clutter! To tackle this area, you have to take everything out of the drawers.” Moriarty says. “Get rid of anything you haven’t used in six months.”
Day 20: Office Bookshelf
If files, paperwork, and supplies are filling your bookcase’s shelves, eliminate unnecessary items and move the rest to an accent cabinet for neat, concealed storage.
Day 21: Kids’ Study Area
Give the kids’ homework nook the same once-over you gave your own desk. If teens can no longer use kid-size desks, chairs, and other accessories, consider selling, donating, or disposing of them.
Day 22: Old Technology
Gather up aging laptops, computer towers, monitors, printers, cell phones, and other technology that’s no longer used for recycling.
The Extra Rooms
Day 23: Guest Room
If you’ve been stowing laundry, seasonal items, and other clutter here before guests arrive, move everything to the room where it belongs. If it doesn’t have a home, throw it out.
Day 24: Craft Room
Move scrapbooking, sewing, and other craft supplies to neatly labeled tubs. If you’ve lost your passion for crocheting or haven’t made jewelry in ages, consider gifting or donating your supplies.
Day 25: Basement
We tend to stow things we don’t really need but aren’t ready to get rid of in the basement. Do a thorough inventory and decide what has to go.
Day 26: Attic
The same goes for the attic! When you do come across items you want to keep, make sure they’re properly stored.
Stop Clutter Everywhere Else
Day 27: Garage
Items like lawn mowers, outdoor furniture, and pool toys can stay, but half-empty cans of paint, long-unfinished projects, and items you just don’t have room for inside should go.
Day 28: Deck
Move gardening supplies, winter necessities, and other items that aren’t for daily use to the garage or a shed to free up room on your deck. This is also a great time to add a storage chest to hold toys, extra cushions, and other outdoor must-haves. If your outdoor furniture shows signs of wear, consider upgrading to a new patio set, like the kathy ireland Homes & Gardens Madison Ave. 5 Piece Sectional Seating Group with Cushions shown below.
Day 29: Car
Get rid of receipts, empty takeout cups, old hair ties, and other items that fill up your cupholders and dominate the backseat. Don’t forget the trunk – you probably have a few unnecessary items back there, too!
Day 30: Electronics
Don’t forget about the virtual clutter that fills up our favorite devices. Delete unused apps, extra selfies, and emails you’ve already read.
Less Clutter, More Happiness
Eliminating clutter isn’t easy – you need time, motivation, and hard work. At the end of 30 days, however, you’ll be glad you made the effort. To help, Twin Star Home offers everything you need to keep your home organized, efficient, and stylish. For more information, visit our blog or subscribe to our newsletter.