Decluttering challenge: declutter your house in 30 days!

by Anousheh

Do you feel like your house needs a good decluttering? But you don’t know where to start to declutter your house?

This decluttering challenge will give you a simple and easy guideline to follow so you can declutter your house in 30 days! Getting started on your way to a more minimalist and simple home was never easier. I will tell you exactly what to do on each day of the decluttering challenge so you will have a clutter-free and tidy with only 30 minutes a day.

The ultimate decluttering challenge

Decluttering tips

Before you get started with the decluttering challenge, let me give you a few tips for your decluttering journey the next 30 days.

Ask yourself questions

When you go through this decluttering challenge and sort through your items, asking yourself a few questions makes it easy to decide if you want to keep or toss something. When you’re unsure what to do with something, ask yourself:

  • When was the last time I used this?
  • Does it make my life easier on a regular basis?
  • Do I have something similar that serves the same purpose?
  • Looking at it, does it spark joy? Or does it make me feel overwhelmed with what to do with it?

Answering these questions can help give you a guideline on how to handle those items.

Categorize your things

When you go through an area in your home that you want to declutter, the easiest way is to gather everything and categorize it in piles.

Get everything out and sort your things into categories. Examples could be “keep”, “donate”, “move to another room”, “sell”, “trash” or “recycle”.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Find a home for the things you want to keep

In this decluttering challenge, we will get rid of a lot things. But there will also be things that we want to keep.

In order to get to a clean and tidy home, we want to assign homes to the things that we keep. This is the easiest way to a home that always looks tidy. So for every item that you decide to keep, give it a home and keep it there.

The 30-day decluttering challenge

Alright, let’s get to it! I will walk you through all the 30 days of the decluttering challenge and tell you exactly what to do on each day so you will have a clutter-free and tidy home by day 30.

Day 1: Paperwork

I always recommend starting with paperwork. It’s incredibly easy to do because we are usually not attached to those items at all.

Gather all the paper that is lying around in your office, living room, or anywhere else (receipts, invites, take-out menus, bills,…). Sort them into 3 piles: trash, keep, or organize. If you’re trying to make this a quick challenge with only a few minutes each day, you can simply toss the trash and put the rest away.

If you want to take this to the next level, you could also start organizing your documents. I will show you how to do that in this post on how to organize paper clutter.

Day 2: Dining and coffee table

Next up, let’s go through all the things that are on the dining and coffee table and also inside the drawers if there are any.

Once again, decide what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of. Usually, we store a lot of things on the dining and coffee table that doesn’t belong there. So think about the right home for every item and only keep things on tables that you use there on a regular basis.

Day 3: Kitchen counter tops

Clean kitchen countertops and sink

Clear all the counter tops in your kitchen and gather everything in one place.

Put away electronic kitchen items that you rarely use so they don’t clutter your working space. Store everything that is not used multiple times a day. Clear countertops, especially in the kitchen, make it so much easier to work. Because after all, the kitchen is a working space.

Day 4: Cleaning products

A lot of people store cleaning products all over the house. The average American household spends 40 – 50$ a month on cleaning products! That’s insane and way more than anyone really needs.

Get all of your cleaning supplies in one place and toss everything that has gone off. Get rid of those old cloths and sponges you never use.

Think about the different cleaning products you own. Do you have any that do almost the same thing? It’s okay to use them up. But you usually don’t need a different product for every area in the house. Decide on the basics (bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, toilet cleaner, and an all-purpose cleaner are usually enough) and only repurchase those.

Day 5: Bathroom cabinet and drawers

On day 5 of the decluttering challenge we are going through the bathroom cabinets and drawers.

Get rid of all the cosmetics that have expired (skincare, body, make-up…). Everything else can be used up, but don’t purchase anything new until they are. You probably have your go-to’s, so stick to those in the future. Wipe all the surfaces and put back your essentials.

Extra points: Go through your shower and keep only one of each. Store the rest to use them up later.

Day 6: Laundry room and linen closet

towels, lemons, and natural laundry detergents

Get rid of stained and ripped towels and bed sheets.

Organize your laundry room by only keeping one of each (detergent, bleach, and softener if you have to). Store the rest, use them up and stick to only one of each in the future.

Day 7: Front entry / mud room

The front entry room can be a common place for clutter. This is where we enter the house, most often with full hands. That’s why it can easily get cluttered with things that don’t belong there.

Gather all the items and see if you want to keep them or if they need a different home. Only keep the things that you need when you leave the house or come home.

Day 8: Medicine cabinet

It’s time to go through the medicine cabinet. First of all, check all the expiration dates and toss what has gone off already.

Next, make a pile with all the things that you needed only once (and you probably won’t ever need again). You can usually get rid of those things too. No need to keep the mono medication, but you can keep staples like cough drops or anything you need regularly.

Day 9: Purses and bags

Get all of the purses and bags that you own, including every tote bag and rucksack. Empty everything out.

First thing, you want to throw away all the trash. Then put everything away that doesn’t belong in your purse. Decide on your go-to purse you take with you most of the time and put everything you need on the go in there.

You could also get a little pouch and put all the things you usually keep in your purse in there. This way you can easily transfer them to other bags. However, while you’re at decluttering your purses, think about how many you actually need. One go-to everyday purse, one rucksack or big shopper, and one purse for special occasions should be enough.

Day 10: CDs and DVDs / TV area

tv area with a gaming console

Today we’re tackling all those CDs and DVDs or maybe even video games in your TV area. To be honest, I would advise you to get rid of all of them.

When was the last time you listened to a CD or watched a DVD? We often only keep these for sentimental value. Go through all of them, save your favorites on Spotify and Netflix, and sell the rest. This is easy money and is a big step towards a clutter-free home. If you need help separating from the emotional attachment, you can take a look at this post on decluttering sentimental items.

Day 11: Socks and underwear drawers

Let’s start with the closet. Empty out your socks and underwear drawers.

Look for ones that have holes, are stained, or uncomfortable. We’re getting rid of all of these. And I know you have some underwear in your drawer that you never wear because you don’t like them or they’re just not that comfortable. Time to get rid of those too.

Let’s only keep the socks and underwear that we wear on a regular basis. No need to keep anything we don’t like for wash day.

Day 12: Junk drawer

Almost every household has a “miscellaneous” drawer. Everything that doesn’t have a clear home will land in here. And, if we’re honest, will stay there forever.

Empty it out and throw away all the trash, which will probably be most of the things in there. There’s probably also a lot of things that are not in the right place. Find them a proper home and keep them there.

You don’t need a junk drawer. Everything that you own should have a proper place. So the goal here is to eliminate the junk drawer and use it for something more helpful.

Day 13: Desk and office supplies

desk area with laptop, notebooks, glasses and phone

We have already sorted the paperwork, so today we will declutter the desk and office space. Pile up all the pens and throw away all the ones that don’t work. Only keep a few that you regularly use. Be honest with yourself. Do you need 5 different colored markers and 4 notebooks?

Office supplies can be easily donated and there’s probably someone out there who could use them a lot more than you.

Sort through all the post-its, notebooks, and scribbles that pile up. Only keep the things that make your workflow simpler. The rest goes.

Day 14: Kitchen cupboards

Sort out all of your chipped dishes and stained cutlery. If you have a lot of extras, keep the amount you actually use and sell or donate the rest.

Take a look at all of your kitchen utensils. Decide which ones you use regularly and which ones may serve a similar purpose. We’re only keeping the ones that actually help us in the kitchen on a regular basis.

Day 15: Books and magazines

Collect all of your magazines and booklets. Throw away everything you have already read. If there’s an article you really want to revisit, take a picture of it. Do you have a huge pile of unread magazines? Again, be honest and ask yourself if you will realistically still read them. If you think you are, the last 3 issues will probably be more than enough to read.

Consider donating or selling the books you have already read and the ones that are collecting dust in your bookshelf and you probably won’t ever read.

Day 16: Closet

This might take a little bit more time, depending on your closet. Take out all the clothes you own. Put away everything you haven’t worn in the last couple of months. You can also make a pile of occasion wear. Everything that’s ripped or stained beyond repair will be tossed.

All the things you wore a couple of times in the last months can go back in the closet. If you have a “maybe” pile, check if there are similar items. Only keep one of each category max. If you still haven’t worn them the next time you’re decluttering, they’re going.

Clothes can be sold quite well and also donated. I have entire post on how to get rid of old clothes.

Day 17: Electronics

laptop, headphones, smartwatch, and smartphone

On day 17 of your decluttering challenge, go through all of your electronic items. Take out all the chords and figure out which device they belong to. One type of chord often works for many devices, so no need to keep more than one or two. If you can’t figure out which device the chord belongs to, you probably don’t need it anymore.

Sort through all of your old phones, computers, and other devices. You’re not using them anymore, so save all the files and reset them. You can either sell or donate these. If they’re not working anymore, recycle them.

Day 18: Kitchen pantry

Empty everything out and check the expiration date. Throw out everything that has already expired.

In order to use up the things in your pantry, put the things that will go off soon in the front of the pantry and make sure you use them up soon.

Day 19: Nightstand

This is also a common place for clutter. Clear out everything in your nightstand and check which items you actually use when in bed.

Get rid of anything you don’t use anymore. For the things you want to keep, but don’t belong on your nightstand, you can find a better home where they will be used more regularly.

Day 20: Accessories

Let’s get out all the jewelry, belts, scarves, hats, and sunglasses. For most accessories, one of each category will be more than enough. Figure out your favorites and get rid of the rest.

Toss everything that is broken or stained.

Day 21: Fridge and freezer

Clear out your fridge and freezer. You can do these separately so your frozen foods don’t melt. Everything that’s expired will be tossed in the trash. Everything that’s expiring soon will be moved to the front so you will notice them the next time you’re cooking.

And while you’re at it, give your fridge and freezer a good clean before you put the rest back.

Day 22: Garage

Cleaning out the garage is probably more of a weekend project than a 30-minute session. So for this decluttering challenge, we will do a quick skim and get rid of all the trash or any obvious clutter we notice right away.

Day 23: Phone

smartphone screen with apps

Let’s get to some digital decluttering today! Go through your phone and sort out your pictures. Get rid of all the duplicates and organize them in folders.

Deinstall all the apps you haven’t used in the last few weeks. Delete old text messages and take a look at your storage. See if there’s anything that’s taking up a lot of space but you don’t need on your phone anymore.

Day 24: Toolbox

Get out your toolbox and all of the stray tools that might be lying around. Categorize them all and get rid of all the duplicates.

If there are any broken tools, toss them. Organize your toolbox and make everything easily accessible for your next crafting project.

Day 25: Shoes

Gather all of your shoes from the entryway, your closet, or wherever else you store them. Categorize them into seasons, style, or where you use them.

Figure out which ones you wear the most. You can keep one or two pairs of each category, but I wouldn’t go for more than that because it’s simply not necessary. So decide on one or two pairs of sneakers, boots, sandals, and so on.

You could donate the rest or sell them.

Day 26: Outdoor areas

If you have a balcony, terrace or any kind of outdoor area, gather all the things that are lying around there.

Get rid of anything you don’t need and decide which things should actually stay in your outdoor areas. The rest will go where it belongs.

Day 27: Basement

Once again, the basement is probably a bigger project than we are aiming for in this decluttering challenge.

We will still tackle it today with the 30 minutes we have. Take a big bag or box and throw all the trash in there. Check if there’s anything you haven’t used since moving it to the basement or you didn’t even remember existed. This is a clear sign that you do not need these.

Day 28: Computer

desk with a person working on a laptop

We have decluttered our phone, so today it’s time for your computer. Declutter your pictures and back them up on your cloud storage.

Go through all the applications on your device and deinstall everything you don’t need anymore. Check all the folders, delete the documents you don’t need anymore, and organize the ones you are keeping.

Day 29: Car

Time to declutter your car. Get a big box or bag and get out everything that’s in your car.

Throw away the trash and find a home for everything that doesn’t belong in your car. Only put back the things you actually use when you’re driving or on the go.

Day 30: Freestyle

This is the day where you can go through any area in your house that hasn’t been covered yet or you now feel needs a little more attention. This is the final step in your decluttering challenge, so take a good look at your house or apartment and tackle what still feels too cluttered.

You did it!

Great job! You have finished the decluttering challenge and are probably left with a lot more space and only the things that bring value to you.

If you want to take the next steps in your decluttering journey, move on to this post on how to declutter sentimental items or tackle your home office with this post on how to organize paper clutter.

Or does the 30-day decluttering challenge sound a bit overwhelming to you? Go easy and start with these 37 easy things to declutter within the next 30 minutes.

What day was the hardest for you? Share your experience with the decluttering challenge in the comments below!

Do you want to save this challenge for later? Pin the decluttering challenge to your decluttering board and revisit it when you’re ready to transform your home!

join the 30-day declutter challenge

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