This is something that I Just did myself and IT FEELS SO DANG GOOD!
I’ve been listening to the minimalist’s podcast lately on the Podcast app and I’ve been so inspired. My room takes so long to clean and gets out of hand so easily and I’m tired of it! I decided that I would pick one area of my house/life to de-clutter each day so that it’s not super daunting. This is NOT an organization challenge it’s a de-cluttering challenge. Organizing is just re-arranging clutter. We don’t want that. If you want to feel lighter and have a cleaner space, or just straight-up have too much stuff, then say hello to Day ONE.
My biggest word of advice is only schedule an area to de-clutter if you’ll have time that day. You don’t want to fall behind because then it just gets frustrating and defeats the purpose of doing one thing a day because you end up pilling them up. For example, if you know you’re going somewhere and won’t be home, don’t schedule anything just because it lands on day 5… Be nice to yourself and do what you can when you can! Just try to plan in advance as much as you can so you have a schedule!
Day one: Purse/work bag & receipts
I set this challenge up this way so that I could start with some smaller tasks and work my way up. Get rid of receipts, empty gift cards, deposit your cash and/or checques, make online accounts for your gift cards and load them on to their respective stores. Most companies have this option; a simple Google search can let you know! I also discovered an app called “CamCard”. It’s free and I took pictures of all of my business cards and it stores them in there! I recycled all of my business cards and it left me with so much extra space. Really think to yourself if you signed up for a specific loyalty program and now have an extra card in your wallet… do you really go there enough? Can you get points by using your phone number instead? Good luck!
Day two: Cleaning supplies
I know this might seem like a weird one but I combined all of the like products into one container. For example, my family had 5 different glass cleaners and 3 were almost empty, so I combined them to make full ones and recycled the rest. I ended up recycling so many more bottles than I expected! I could’ve done more but some of the like products weren’t compatible and I wasn’t about to mix the toxic stuff we had sitting-around pre-cruelty-free/plant-based days with my natural stuff. Ideally, I want to make my own multi-purpose stuff and reduce all that clutter all together but this will do for now!
Day three: Bathroom cabinets
Get under there and donate any hotel sized shampoo bottles, mini toothpastes, all the floss containers you’ve collected from the dentist over the years. Combine shampoo with shampoo and conditioner with conditioner if you have extras. Be critical, you’re probably saying right now “but the hotel shampoos are perfect for travelling”, trust me, I’ve said that many times but then realized that I have BETTER alternatives for all types of travelling anyways... For business travel (Hotel will have more/ refill 1 set of small bottles with the stuff you already use/ or use a solid shampoo bar from Lush and don’t even blink when going through security at the airport!)… For backpacking (You should already know this. Biodegradable lush shampoo bar! Works like a charm, easy for airplanes, lasts forever, multi-purpose for face wash, laundry detergent, body wash)… For camping (You know what I’m going to say. Biodegradable SOLID SHAMPOO BAR).
Day four: Makeup and/or bathroom toiletries
This was a big one! I bet lots of your makeup or cosmetics have probably expired… check that out and get rid of anything that isn’t doing what you intended it to do anymore. Doubles? Can you combine or donate one of them? Something you’ve been keeping around for a just-in-case moment? Put it in your costume bin or just get rid of it! Personally, I was hanging on to so many different lipsticks and I don’t even wear lipstick. Even as I was putting them in my donation box I was like “Oh, maybe I should keep this for a nice dinner”, but no, I’ve had 2 years to use this once for one nice dinner and I haven’t so bye. Again, combine like-items and recycle the rest. I had a couple eye creams that I combined into one.
Day five: Jewelry (if you don’t have any, take the day off or get ahead)
I have a full jewelry box of rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that I never wore!! I feel like this is something that you collect because of the fashion phases and price! You can find lots of inexpensive jewelry that you might wear once and that’s it. I completely de-cluttered mine already but looking back, I have so many doubles or pearl and diamond earrings (that’s all I wear) that I want to sort through and separate the better quality ones and donate the rest. Do the same with your necklaces. Try and only keep the ones you REALLY love and wear often.
Day six: Socks and underwear
Ohhh, this is a good one. We all need to do this. If you are someone who has all matching socks, please contact me and teach me your ways… I would go through your drawers and anything that looks kind of ratty, get rid of it. If it’s socks, apparently clothing donation centers will still take them even without a match because they have a way of recycling it! We have wayyy too many pairs of underwear for our own good so if you have some in your drawer that you hate, or that aren’t comfortable, say bye! To keep this one maintained, for every new pair you get, get rid of an old pair! Buy quality items not bulk cheap packs and they’ll last much longer and be much comfier. I’ve been researching sustainably made underwear and I can’t wait to order some for myself!
Day seven: Nightstand or night table
Also known as a secondary junk drawer. I don’t even know how so much random stuff gets in there but get it out!! Ideally, in my nightstand I only want to keep a few things such as lavender sleep spray, eye mask, my current book, lotion, and maybe a small notebook. I had old birthday cards, old developed pictures (not even special ones, just entire packs), half finished candles, and other trinkets that are just plain clutter.
Day eight: Desk and/or dresser
I don’t know about you guys but I have a bad habit of putting stuff on top of my dresser… Modify this day to fit your needs and your space, I got rid of my desk entirely after I graduated Uni and giving myself less space to put things on has made me put more stuff away. How many pencils do you really need anyways? Extra pens, notebooks, erasers, staplers, etc., etc., etc. Stationary items are clutter!! I bet you can find a better spot in your house for these items! Donate the extra stuff you don’t need because there are tons of people that will find value from these items that you barely even glace at anymore.
Day nine: Shelf
This one was kind of easy because you immediately feel good… I got rid of lots of the “decorative” stuff I had on my shelf that really just made my room look messy. I didn’t realize it when I was originally decorating my room but things without functions or value are just things (therefore, according to the minimalists, are just clutter).
Day ten: Shoes
This might be a little harder for you but I bet if you took the time to donate everything that was out of style, nearly broken, and uncomfortable you’d have a lot less shit. For me, I was hanging on to old cleats and volleyball court shoes for that “just in-case” moment that truly doesn’t exist anymore…
Day eleven: Mud room or locker
Again, modify this to suit your space; this could be your sports locker if you really wanted it to be. I have a locker in our mudroom where I keep my toques, scarves, winter footwear, and some jackets. Make it less full, donate everything that’s out of season and that you didn’t wear last season. I sorted my ski gear, emptied by ski bag (c’mon it’s almost July and my stuff was still packed from closing weekend at the hill…)
Day twelve: Bathroom & hair supplies
I had so many headbands and hair ties and bobby pins in multiple drawers in my house so I gathered them all and put them in one place. I donated all of my headbands except one (which I’m now thinking I’ll get rid of because I honestly don’t know the last time I event thought about wearing a headband). I had a hairbrush that didn’t’ even brush through my thick hair so I donated that too. Get rid of extra combs and hair accessories that you haven’t worn in decades. I also had some old hairspray that I don’t use and some detangler. Honestly, go crazy! Any products you don’t need, they don’t need you either so…
Day thirteen: Books
I am a book hoarder. There I said it. I like to keep the books I’ve read. That being said, I have no reason to. I never read books twice and according to the minimalists, there is no value in the physical book, the value is in the pages and the experience of reading it. So donate, donate, donate! Or gift to friends!
Day fourteen: Tops
If you ever played sports as a kid (and also haven’t really grown much since then) you probably have a ton of MVP, tournament shirts, or camp shirts kicking around that serve absolutely no purpose. You MIGHT wear one on the off chance that you’re completely out of all of your other shirts, but even then, it’s rare. As for me, I had them tucked away literally just collecting dust in the back of my closet. It was time they had to go. So give ‘em one last good look and remember all the reasons you ended up with these shirts. Then remember that the shirt doesn’t represent the memories, it’s still just a thing. Donate that ish. Now, I’m not only talking T-Shirts from the “glory” days, go through blouses, tanks, long-sleeves, crop tops, anything that goes on the upper half of your body. You get it.
Day fifteen: Bottoms
I don’t think I need to explain this one since it follows “tops” but I will anyways. Skirts, shorts, leggings or tights (that probably have holes in them), jeans, sweatpants, and whatever else you haven’t worn on your legs in a while! Get it gone! I for some reason had a hard time telling myself that I didn’t need 5 pairs of black jeans, 2 that nearly cut me in half if I ate in them without unzipping, and 1 that was extremely faded and fraying. In the end I was left with one high-waisted pair and one normal-waisted pair that fit me properly!
Day sixteen: Bathing suits
This one is embarrassing. I wish I had counted because I had an ABSURED amount of bathing suits. I guess that’s what happens when you haven’t grown since high school…
Day seventeen: Hoodies/ sweaters
Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’ll wear something next winter just because it’s summer when you’re doing this (assuming it’s summer when you’re doing this…). It was just winter. If you didn’t wear it more than once through our entire 6 month Canadian winter, adios.
Day eighteen: Dresses/ ties/ belts
I’ll say it once and I’ll say it probably at least 11 more times in this post. Get it gone! You should have it on lock-down by now. “If ya don’t wear it, donate it” because someone else will probably get much better use out of this than your closet.
Day nineteen: Linen closet
If you have more then one or two sets of sheets for your bed, or multiple duvet covers, it’s time to move on! Linen closets are always packed so full of stuff that barely gets used! Re-purpose old ratty towels into rags, reusable clothes, or face towels!
Day twenty: Garage
Now this is a slightly bigger task, do this on a day where you have more time! Go through camping gear, biking gear, ski stuff. This is an area where there will probably be a lot of stuff that you can sell! Don’t put this off, just take pictures and get them up on craigslist, let go, kijiji, or Facebook marketplace! You might have a lot of stuff to get rid of, so if you can load up your car and drop the stuff off at a donation center in the same day that you de-clutter, you’re set!! Just get er’ done.
Day twenty-one: Car
Your glove box probably has too much stuff in it. Check all the little nooks and crannies of your car and recycle all the random paper or receipts that you maybe kept for no reason. Keep only what you need in there! Take all pennies from your change holder and then I don’t know what to do with them but they are of no value, literally. If you have 3 pairs of sunglasses in your middle console, pick one and put the others inside or sell them! Empty gum packets be gone! If you’re able to take your car to the car wash in the same swoop, I highly recommend it! You’ll love yourself for it the next day.
Day twenty-two: Old School Supplies
I am guilty of keeping my old notebooks because I would tell myself that I would go back and read that information one day… Which is weird because I didn’t even go back and read that information when it was actually relevant to my degree! Old binders full of notes and handouts were just sitting in my closet taking out space! This also goes for your school supplies. If it’s just sitting there, donate or sell it! Sell your old textbooks too!
Day twenty-three: Facebook group
Leave all irrelevant Facebook groups! I know I had lots of groups on my Facebook that were dated, or no longer relevant, or no longer of any importance to my life. Stop getting updates from stuff you simply don’t care about anymore!!
Day twenty-four: Facebook friends
Do a scroll of your Facebook friends list, chances are, there are people on that list that you lost contact with years ago. Think about how much less distracted you’ll be with less of other peoples news to scroll through. Trust me, do yourself a favour. This can take a while and you also put yourself at risk for huge procrastination. I suggest doing this on a laptop or desktop so you’re less likely to close the app and start doing something else. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and just get through it.
Day twenty-five: Maintenance
Take a look back at everything you did, is there anything else that you feel doesn't serve you or add value to your life? If you've packed stuff away for different seasons or what not, go through those bags and clear the rest of it out of the way. I know for myself, I felt so much better having de-cluttered so much of my life. My room stays clean now, it's easier to maintain. Before this challenge I was looking at more shelving online to fit my stuff. Since then, I've actually gotten rid of two smaller shelves instead. It feels so good! If you are sitting on stuff that you still have to donate, or sell. Get that out sooner than later. Just do it otherwise it pills up faster than you think. Lastly, pass this on to your friends and family! If you feel this good, they probably will too!
Tag me in any before and afters you took! Let me know your feedback! What was the hardest part for you?
Happy cleaning <3