It feels like my house is bursting at the seams with things. There is stuff everywhere. When I start to feel like this I know it is time to declutter my home. Decluttering your home can feel overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Join me in this 2 week decluttering challenge. Pick one spot a day and declutter it. I promise it is easier than it seems like it will be.
WEEK 1 DECLUTTERING
Day 1- Linen Closet
Everything may be folded and neatly placed where it belongs in the linen closet but, stop and take a closer look. How many of the items in there are used consistently? If it is anything like mine, not many. Even the backup items have backup items.
With so many extra things in your linen closet it can lead to extra unnecessary clutter. You really only need two or three towels per person in the house. When it comes to bed sheets I like to keep 2 sets for my bed and three sets for each of the kids beds (just incase they get sick).
Day 2- Recipe Box
I am notorious for printing recipes that look delicious and quite honestly, 95% of them never get made. There are several reasons why things don’t get made: too many ingredients, expensive ingredients, just doesn’t sound good anymore or I forgot about it.
Start by pulling out all of the recipes and going through them. Sort them into piles. I like to sort them into the following piles: made it and loved (or liked) it, made it and hated it, won’t ever make it and I forgot about it.
All of the recipes in the ‘made it and hated it’ and the ‘won’t ever make it’ piles will get tossed. Any of the recipes in the ‘I forgot about it’ pile can be kept. Keep them out in plain sight so they cannot be forgotten about again. Give yourself a deadline to use them by. If you haven’t used them by this point, they get tossed.
If you come across recipes that were overall good but need a bit of tweaking to get them perfect keep those.
Day 3- Book Shelves
When was the last time you went through your kids bookshelves? What about your own bookshelves? Book shelves fill up quickly no matter where they are.
I tend to buy books I want to read and than I never pick them up again. Keeping books is great but, don’t let them get out of hand. If you read something and didn’t really care for it, pass it on or donate it.
While kids tend to re-read their books, clearing out books that aren’t age appropriate can help to minimize the number of books they have on their shelf.
Day 4- Laptop or Desktop Computer
If your computer or laptop takes a long time to start up when you turn it on it could be because there are a lot of things set to start up when you turn it on. Take a look at what programs are set to turn on as soon as you boot up your computer. There is a good chance that you can minimize the number of things that start up right away. With fewer things set to start running right away your computer will run faster.
Day 5- Spice Rack
Spices seem to hang around forever. Contrary to belief they do go bad. Now, here me out here. They won’t make you sick but, after awhile they lose flavor. Not to mention the ones that have become rock hard in the bottom of the container. Take just a few minutes and go through your spice rack. Throw away any rock hard ones and get rid of ones that have been in there forever.
As you buy new ones, write the date that you opened it on the lid. This will help you in the future as you go through them.
Day 6- Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies seem to accumulate pretty quickly. It is easy to just blindly grab the product you are looking for and go about your cleaning. This can easily lead to several open bottles of the same product though. Pull out all of your cleaning supplies. Combine partial bottles of products and get rid of any of them that you don’t use.
Day 7- Cookbooks
I have a whole bunch of cookbooks that I truly never open. So why am I keeping them? Others I really only use a recipe or two out of. Save space by either photocopying the recipe or writing it down and placing it in your recipe box (like we talked about earlier).
WEEK 2 DECLUTTERING
Day 8- Jewelry Box
How many items in your jewelry box do you wear frequently? I’m sure there are at least a few pieces that you don’t wear at all. Thing out all of the pieces you don’t wear and things you wear infrequently and could part with.
Day 9- Fridge/Freezer
Yes, we have heard that it is important to deep clean our fridges at least seasonally but, what about all of those built up condiments? I bet it has been a while since you have gone through those. Toss any old ones and any items that there are multiple ones of, it is time to get it down to one.
What items are hiding in the back of your freezer? If you have any non-expired foods in your freezer that you won’t be eating, you can either donate them to a food bank or give them to friends and family.
Day 10- CD’s and DVDs
We are in a digital age. Yes, it is great to have hard copies of some items but, if you have a CD or DVD you don’t plan to watch or listen to again for one reason or another get rid of it.
Many DVDs these days come with codes for free digital versions. If you downloaded this digital version you don’t really need a physical copy anymore. Just be sure to remove the code from the case before you get rid of it as they only work once.
The same goes with music. If you don’t have a need for the physical CD get rid of it. You can find pretty much any song online these days so why keep all of the CDs?
Day 11- Small Kitchen Appliances
Kitchen appliances can take up a lot of space. If there are any appliances in your kitchen that you don’t use on a regular basis now is the time to get rid of them. Keeping the number of gadgets to a minimum will help you be more efficient in the kitchen. If you can find appliances that can be used for more than one purpose that can help as well.
Day 12- Electronics
I’m sure there are a bunch of old cell phones, tablets or game systems sitting somewhere in your house that you don’t use anymore. Gather them up and get rid of them. If they are still usable pass them on. Most of the time, even older devices can be used for something. If they are broken, dispose of them properly.
Day 13- Papers and Manuals
It is important to save things like past tax papers, bills, paycheck stubs and insurance papers. The trick is, not keeping them any longer than you actually have to.
Owners manuals seem to multiply quickly. If you’re like me, the manual doesn’t follow the appliance when you get rid of it. Take a few minutes and go through all of your owner manuals and recycle any that you don’t need anymore.
Day 14- Bathroom
The bathroom can hold a lot of clutter no matter what size it is. Any partial shampoo, body wash, or conditioner bottles should be disposed of. If you have any cosmetics that you don’t use but are close to new, you can pass them on to friends and family. What about hair products, appliances and accessories? If you use something occasionally see if there is a way you can get by without it.
All of these places throughout your home are places you may not typically think to declutter while you are cleaning. I hope that this 2 week decluttering challenge helps you to feel less overwhelmed when it comes to decluttering your home.