INSIDE: Want to clear the clutter once and for all? This decluttering challenge is the way to do it! Not only will it help you purge your home of the things you no longer need, but you’ll also get it done in just 30 days too. Want to know how? Keep reading!
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Are you drowning in clutter?
Are you sick and tired of the mess around you that seems to grow faster than you can clean it up? If so, I know exactly how you feel!
It’s SO disheartening to walk into a room and see an overflowing laundry basket, cushions all over the floor, dirty dishes in the sink or an unmade bed. And if your child’s bedroom is anything like my youngest’s, well it’s easier just to shut the door!
But what if you’re fed up with those messy countertops and drawers that don’t close? What if you’re tired of toys all over the floor and wardrobes overflowing with clothes you never wear? What if you want to clear the clutter once and for all? And stop it from coming back?
Enter the 30-day decluttering challenge!
When you’re drowning in clutter, it can be hard to know where to start. And the thought of decluttering your whole house can be so overwhelming that you either never actually start or you give up after only doing one room.
Fed up with seeing stuff everywhere and having too many things that didn’t have a proper home, I decided I needed to finally get a handle on things. I wanted a home that I was proud of. And one that stayed tidy for longer than five minutes – despite living with three boys!
And so, as part of my year of 30-day challenges, I decided that I would do a decluttering challenge and tackle the mess once and for all. Scouring Pinterest, I searched for a decluttering challenge but couldn’t find one I liked. So, I decided to create my own! And in this post, I’m sharing it so that you can do it too!
For the whole of last month, I did 30 mini decluttering challenges – one every single day – that helped me get things organised and my home finally looking nice again.
Want to clear the clutter too but daunted by the idea of diving in? Why not take this decluttering challenge too! It really did help me get my house clean, tidy and clear of clutter in just one month. And it can totally do the same for you too!
What is a 30- day decluttering challenge?
Well, just like the name suggests, it’s a challenge that helps you declutter your home! Taking away the struggle of not knowing where to start, each day for one whole month, you tackle a different part of your home. It could be an entire room such as your bedroom, or one specific spot like your kitchen cupboards or drawers.
Complete each challenge and when you’re done, your home is tidy and clutter-free. No more piles of paper piled up on the side. No more out of date tins or beauty supplies. Your wardrobe doors and drawers shut once again. And your kids only have toys they actually use. Pretty cool, huh?!
The benefits of a 30-day decluttering challenge…
There are SO many benefits to doing a decluttering challenge. The main one being that instead of not knowing what to do or where to start, the tasks are laid out right in front of you. All you need to do is follow them.
Another benefit is that challenges come with accountability.
I don’t know about you but for me, the thought of decluttering my entire house from start to finish is pretty overwhelming. With so many rooms and spaces that need sorting, it’s very easy to lose momentum and give up. But when you’re decluttering your home as part of a challenge, it’s different. Especially if you’re doing it with others.
Knowing that others are doing it with you too – and hearing about their wins – is incredibly motivating. Which is why when I did this decluttering challenge, I shared each day’s challenge inside the A Simple and Contented Life Facebook group so that the members could do it too. And they loved it! Here’s what one member had to say:
“Thank you so so much for this challenge and for inspiring me!! This has got me through lockdown and I’ve decluttered the whole house!! Wow, the difference it has made is amazing! Feeling so good this morning. Thank you!! Love your challenges as always.” Chelsey.
Reading comments like this and knowing that this decluttering challenge was helping others too was pretty awesome!
A few more benefits…
But accountability and having the tasks ready in front of you aren’t the only benefits of doing a 30-day decluttering challenge. Challenges like these also:
- Give you a quick win in a relatively short space of time.
- Break down big projects into small, bite-sized manageable tasks.
- Have a clear end in sight.
- Show you what you’re getting into from the start.
- Tell you how long it’s going to take and the kind of results you can expect to see.
- Stop the project from feeling overwhelming thanks to the mini daily challenges.
- Help keep the momentum going because they’re not too long.
Why do this decluttering challenge?
Spend a few minutes on Pinterest and you’ll find hundreds of different decluttering challenges. So, what makes this decluttering challenge different? Why should you do this one compared to all of the others?
Because not only does it help you clear the clutter, it helps you get your home clean too!
You see, when I was searching for a challenge to do, I discovered a problem. I wanted my home to be clean as well as tidy. But the majority of challenges were either cleaning challenges OR decluttering challenges. There wasn’t one that covered both.
And so that’s why I created my own.
My 30-day decluttering challenge…
In this decluttering challenge, I’ve included days that help you clear the clutter AND days that help you clean house too! Not only will you purge your home of the things you no longer need, but you’ll also clean all of those places that are hard to reach or often get forgotten.
Come the end of the month, your home will be spick and span as well as clutter-free!
So are you ready to find out what the challenges are so that you can do this decluttering challenge too? Here they are! Oh, and don’t forget to download the FREE cheatsheet with all the challenges on so that you can print it off, stick it on your fridge and tick the challenges off as you go!
The 30-day decluttering challenge…
Decluttering challenge #1: The ‘spot’
The one spot in your house (you know where it is!) where everything gets dumped. It might be the counter to the side of the fridge, or the table in the hall…wherever it might be, today we’re going to clear it!
Grab a box and dump everything in it. Everything! Wipe the spot clean and admire your work. Then, tackle the box.
Make piles for post, bills, books, magazines and anything that needs to go into other rooms. Throw away anything you don’t need. Once sorted, put everything where it belongs.
Decluttering challenge #2: Entryway
Get ready to tackle your hallway…pull out those shoes and coats, get EVERYTHING out and if you have a cupboard or closet, give it a really good clean. Next, before you put everything back, sort through it all.
What still fits? Which shoes have seen better days? Be brutal! Give yourself permission to get rid of anything you no longer need. Next, if you have shelves, do you have baskets or boxes you can use to store all your hats, scarves, gloves etc tidily? Then, put everything back and admire your work!
Bonus points: If you have time, take five minutes to step outside. Give your front porch a sweep, wipe down the cobwebs, give your front door a clean and shake out the door mat…then, admire how welcoming the entrance to your house feels!
Decluttering challenge #3: Lounge
Today is all about your lounge. More specifically, your DVD collection, books and magazines. Sort through them. Recycle any magazines you no longer need. Go through your books and make a pile of any you can donate.
Then tackle your DVDs. Ask yourself if you really need them all and if there’s a better way you can rearrange them so that you have more room. We took all of ours out of their cases and filed them in plastic wallets in boxes. Now they take up less than a third of the room!
Finally, go through any other drawers or cupboards you have in your lounge. Give everything a good tidy up and be ruthless about what you hang on to and can let go of.
Decluttering challenge #4: Kitchen counters
Do you really need everything that’s on your kitchen counters? And if so, does it really need to be stored on the counter or can it go in a cupboard instead? Give yourself more room and space to work by clearing items you don’t really need.
Decluttering challenge #5: Kitchen drawers
Empty out all of your kitchen drawers onto your now clear worktops so that you can see everything you have. Throw away anything that you don’t use, is broken or you have multiples of. When doing this challenge, I discovered I had 3 potato peelers and 2 pizza cutters. I have no idea why!
Give your drawers a good clean before you put everything back. And when putting things back, ask yourself if where they are stored makes sense. Use the opportunity to rearrange things if you need to so that your kitchen works for you.
Decluttering challenge #6: Cleaning supplies
Go through that cupboard under your sink. Pull out all of your cleaning supplies. Throw away any that you’ve never really used or that are out of date. Give the cupboard a good clean. Find some boxes to store everything in before you put it all back. Better still, get yourself one of those caddies that you can store your supplies in so that it’s easy to see what you have.
Decluttering challenge #7: Clean your windows
It’s amazing how much fresher and brighter your home looks when your windows are clean! Use today to give them a good clean inside and out. My favourite way to do this is to use a glass cleaning spray with vinegar in as it’s less smeary than others.
Decluttering challenge #8: Dust those hard to reach surfaces
The tops of our wardrobes. Those high up shelves. And our light fittings. Our homes are full of those hard to reach surfaces. Surfaces that we can’t really see, so we don’t think to clean them very often. But they’re a breeding ground for dust. Which is why today we’re going to clean them!
Grab a stool or step ladder and being careful, give those hard to reach surfaces a really good clean. Then, when you’re done, make a note for one month from now in your diary so that you can repeat the process.
Decluttering challenge #9: Sort your pantry
Today is all about the kitchen pantry. If you don’t have a pantry, clean out the cupboards you use to store all of your canned goods and staples. Get everything out so that you can see what you have. Throw away anything that’s out of date.
Then, before you put everything back, make a list of what you have. It might seem like an unnecessary step but I promise you’ll be so glad you did. Not only do you then know what you have in the cupboards, but it also saves you buying all those extra cans of beans you don’t really need. It makes coming up with ideas for dinner so much easier too!
Decluttering challenge #10: Clean out your junk drawer
The dreaded junk drawer! I have one in the kitchen, one in my office and I also have the cupboard under the stairs – which is well and truly my nemesis!
Whether yours is in your kitchen, the dining room or your bedroom, it’s time to clear it. We’re going to get rid of anything you don’t need and put everything else back in its proper place. Take each item out, ask yourself where it belongs and put it away. Can’t decide where to put it? You probably don’t need it!
Be brutal. You can do it…I’m rooting for you! Ready? Go!
Decluttering challenge #11: Clean out your fridge
Remove all the food from your refrigerator. Check the dates and throw out any expired items. Remove all the shelves, trays and drawers and wash them according to your manufacturer’s instructions and then clean the inside as well.
Replace the food and condiments in a way that makes sense. Group like items together. Then, take off all the stuff stuck to the outside of your fridge. Give the doors a good clean and put just a couple of magnets or pictures back. You’ll be amazed by how less cluttered it makes your kitchen look!
Decluttering challenge #12: Sort your freezer
You’ve declutterd your pantry and fridge, now it’s time to do the same with your freezer! Pull everything out. Get rid of anything that’s out of date or freezer burned. Then, try to put everything back with like for like. If you can, have one drawer for protein, one for veg and one for things like pizza, fish fingers, chips etc. Don’t forget to make a note of what you have too!
Going through my freezer, making a list of what I have and then making sure I only restock it with proteins and vegetables has made a massive difference in making my meal planning less stressful and more enjoyable. Be sure to do the same.
Decluttering challenge #13: Hoover under your sofas
I’m always amazed by the number of dust buns that accumulate under my sofa. Even if it’s only been a few days since I last hoovered. It’s just gross! Which is exactly why I included this task in my decluttering challenge.
Today, pull your sofas out and give the floor underneath a really good hoover. And if you have wooden flooring or tiles, take the opportunity to give the floor a good clean too. Then, before you put your sofas back, pull off all the cushions. Give the sofa bases a good hoover too and say goodbye to all those crisp crumbs!
Decluttering challenge #14: Clean your oven
Staying with cleaning, we’re going to tackle the oven, dishwasher and microwave! Give them a good scrub and clean inside and out. Top up the rinse aid and dishwasher salt. Put your dishwasher on a hot, empty wash. Then, stand back and admire your work!
Decluttering challenge #15: Regroup
You’ve reached the halfway mark! Well done for all your hard work so far…let’s keep the momentum going! Today is all about finishing up any jobs you’ve not yet had chance to complete…what challenges do you need to finish? Now is the time to do so…let’s do this!
Decluttering challenge #16: Medicine cabinet
What’s in your medicine cabinet? What meds do you need and what’s out of date? Go through your supplies and make a pile of what to throw away/return to your pharmacy next time you go. Don’t forget to sort through and restock your first aid kit too!
Decluttering challenge #17: Bathroom cabinets
Go through all your bathroom supplies. Pull everything out, see what you’ve got. Get rid of things that you’ve not used for a while or that are out of date. Give the inside of your cupboards a really good clean before putting everything back.
Decluttering challenge #18: Clean your bathroom
You’ve decluttered the medicine cabinet and your bathroom cupboards, now it’s time to give your bathroom(s) a deep clean! If you have more than one, start with the main bathroom before moving onto the en-suite and/or cloakroom.
Spray everything down, scrub the taps and give your shower screen a good clean too. Wipe down the windowsill and dust anything you have on it. Next, replace the towels and bathmat, hoover and mop the floor. Repeat with your en-suite and cloakroom.
Decluttering challenge #19: Bedside tables
The nightstand can be a real dumping ground for clutter. Take everything off and dust the surface. Then, before you put everything back on, ask yourself where everything really goes. If there are things you no longer use, get rid of them! Try to keep the space as minimal as possible.
Then, when you’re done, tackle your drawers. Go through them one at a time. Empty everything out and get rid of things you don’t need or that are broken. Ask yourself if the home for each item really is your bedroom. If not, where else can you put it?
Decluttering challenge #20: Closets
Don’t be daunted by this challenge. You really can clear out your closet in one day. I did and you can too! Like decluttering your drawers, pull everything out so that you can see what you have. Get rid of anything that you don’t wear or that no longer fits.
If you find it hard to get rid of items, try the reverse hanger rule. Hang things with the hanger the wrong way round and when you wear something, hang it back up the right way round. Then, at the end of 6 months, get rid of anything that still has the hanger hanging back to front.
My hubby and I decluttered our wardrobes together for this challenge and surprisingly, we managed to go down to just one wardrobe each instead of two! Our room feels SO much bigger now!
Decluttering challenge #21: Clean out your car
Ugh, my car is always such a mess! What with the dog, my messy 9-year-old and my habit of throwing things into the back footwell instead of just throwing it away, I knew I had to include a challenge about cleaning out the car!
Grab yourself a bin bag (or two!) and some baby wipes. Sounds silly but I’ve found that baby wipes are THE best way to dust and clean the inside of your car. Tackling it a door at a time, work your way around your car. Empty out the door pockets and wipe down all of the surfaces. Saving the boot for last, clear out anything you don’t need.
Bonus points: Hoover out the inside and scrub your seats clean too!
Decluttering challenge #22: Kids closets
It’s time to tackle your kids’ closets! Don’t be daunted by this challenge…you’ve done your closet so you can do theirs – I promise! Harrison hates it when I get him to help me. Because I make him try on EVERYTHING! After all, how can you get rid of things if you don’t know whether they fit or not, right?!
Pull everything out and go through it. Make a pile of everything you know doesn’t fit and a pile of things you’re not sure about. For the things you know still fit, fold them and make piles according to what they are. Make a pile for t-shirts, a pile for jeans, a pile for shorts etc.
Get your kids to try on anything you’re not sure about and when you’re done, put everything back in. Try to have a shelf for each type of clothing so your kids can find what they need easily.
Decluttering challenge #23: Linen cupboard
Today, we’re going to declutter your towels and bedding. Pull everything out of your linen cupboard – or wherever you keep everything. Throw away anything that’s seen better days. Refold everything you’re keeping and put it back in the cupboard neatly.
My favourite way to store my bedding is to put a whole set together. I put the duvet cover and the sheet plus depending on the size of the bed, any other pillowcases all inside one of the pillowcases. It makes it SO much easier to change the bed! And so, if you can, try to do this too.
Decluttering challenge #24: Home office
This is one of those decluttering challenges that I had been putting off for a while, so I knew I had to include a day for the home office in this challenge!
If you have a home office too…or a desk somewhere in the house…use today to clear the decks. Empty out your drawers, get rid of anything you don’t need. Make a pile of papers you need to sort ready for tomorrow’s challenge and put everything else back.
Decluttering challenge #25: Paper clutter
If you have a pile of paperwork from yesterday start with that. Go through it all and out of what you don’t need, decide what can be shredded and what can be recycled. Then, file the papers you do need to keep somewhere safe.
If it helps, have a file for each topic. Think bills, important papers, kids’ school stuff etc. Then, think about how you’re going to tackle new papers coming in. What will you do with your mail? How can you stop paperwork from building back up?
Decluttering challenge #26: Family room
Do you have a family room, den or playroom? We don’t but we do have a conservatory/dining room that often becomes a second home for all of Harrison’s Lego! Spend today decluttering your family room. Put away or get rid of things you don’t use or need.
Decluttering challenge #27: Toys
If you’re anything like me, your kids’ toys are probably one of the things that bug you the most. But I’ve deliberately left this decluttering challenge until the end so that they’re free to play with their stuff and make a mess while you get on with decluttering the rest of your home!
Now is the time to dive in though. If you prefer, do it without their help because guaranteed, the very second you try to get rid of something they haven’t played with for ages, suddenly it’s their favourite thing!! Go through the toys one by one, throw away anything that’s broken and donate or sell anything that’s still in good condition.
Decluttering challenge #28: Garage
So, my cupboard under the stairs might be one nemesis, but I also have another. And that’s my garage! No matter how many times I clean it out, there’s still more to sort. I’m pretty sure the clutter in there breeds all by itself.
And that’s why today is dedicated to cleaning out the garage! Go through your boxes and shelves. Ask yourself if what you have really is necessary to keep. Don’t be afraid of ditching it if the answer is no. Be ruthless and free up as much space as possible. And if you don’t have a garage, use today to tackle your shed or loft instead.
Decluttering challenge #29: Garage
I’ve given this challenge two days because if your garage is anything like mine, it’s going to take more than one day to clear the clutter! Carry on from where you left up yesterday and keep going until you’re done, you’ve got this!
Decluttering challenge #30: Finish up
Woohoo, you did it! Today’s challenge is the last mini-challenge of this 30-day decluttering challenge. First, give yourself a MASSIVE pat on the back for all of your accomplishments. You’ve done so well and I bet your house looks amazing!!
Use today to tie up any loose ends. Finish up any projects you’ve not yet had chance to complete. Take items you no longer want to the tip, the charity shop or the clothing bank. Then, sit back, admire your results and celebrate because you’ve just decluttered your entire home in one month!!
Decluttering your home in just 30-days….
There you have it! The 30-day decluttering challenge that’s helped me clear the clutter once and for all! This challenge was part of my year of 30-day challenges. Twelve fun and practical 30-day challenges I’ve specifically chosen to do to help me:
- Be more intentional about the way I live my life.
- Be more present.
- Have more fun.
- Use my time more wisely.
- Take better care of myself.
Last month’s 30-day challenge was all about self-care and working to make my wellbeing more of a priority. Having spent the month focusing on myself, I thought it made perfect sense for my next challenge to be one where I focused on my home.
And I’m so glad I did! After just a few days my house looked better and I began to feel better about it. Making so much progress and clearing so much clutter in such a short space of time spurred me to keep going.
Now it’s done, the best thing is that I’m able to keep chaos at bay by spending just a few minutes each day to maintain it. And if at any time I feel like things are getting on top of me again, I can simply repeat the challenge. And so can you!
So, if you’re wishing you could rid the clutter once and for all and be proud of the house you call home, why not give this 30-day decluttering challenge a try?
Pin this post so that you can come back to it later. Or sign up for my FREE decluttering challenge cheatsheet and I’ll email it to you so that you can print it off and stick it on your fridge!
Tempted but feel like a 30-day decluttering challenge is too long?
Why not try a 21-day decluttering challenge, a 10-day decluttering challenge, or even a 7-day one! Simply pick your favourite mini-challenges from this challenge and just do those!
Want more 30-day challenges like this?
Don’t forget to join the Facebook group too so that you never miss any of the challenges!
That’s it for this post! Have you tried a decluttering challenge before? Has this post made you want to give this one a try? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
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About the Author
Hey there! In case we haven’t met, I’m Sarah, the founder of A Simple and Contented Life. The online coaching practice that helps moms and mompreneurs with an online biz create more balance so that they can thrive both at home and at work WITHOUT feeling like they have to choose between the two.
A certified master life coach, transformation coach, goal success coach and self-published author, I’m also an Executive Contributor for Brainz Magazine, a proud mum of two, a besotted wife, breast cancer survivor and your mentor for making a change for the better.
When I’m not helping my clients and club members create a great home life and business of their dreams, you’ll find me in my favourite Starbucks curled up in a chair, book in one hand, hazelnut latte in the other or attempting to walk my somewhat lazy Frenchie pup Arthur!
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