You’ve finally put your foot down to say goodbye to months’ or years’ worth of clutter that seems to take up every corner of your home. But where do you start? Decluttering your home can seem like a daunting task. Some people are more attached to their objects than others, but this process teaches how to let go of those attachments and focus on living your life instead!
As our team often declutters to fit our less-is-more lifestyle, we have learned tips and tricks on how to clear things out efficiently. While some people may need more time and some people may only need a day or two, we have found that dedicating a month to this process is the most practical. Thirty days gives you enough time to evaluate each section of your home and determine what’s junk and what brings you happiness.
If you are looking to find more peace and clarity through living a less-is-more lifestyle, here is our month-long decluttering routine that you can implement for your spring cleaning this year!
Pre-Decluttering: Setting a Tone
Saying goodbye to old possessions and clearing things out can feel irritating that you have so much to clean. However, you want this to be an enjoyable process so that you don’t give up halfway through the month! Our team recommends setting a positive tone throughout the home to inspire optimism. This could mean playing your favorite playlist in the background! You could also light a scented candle or diffuse essential oils for a mood-setting aroma. Scents of peppermint and lemon are clinically proven to promote concentration and energy: perfect for cleaning and decluttering. Don’t have your TV playing in the background, as it can distract you from the process! Have boxes or biodegradable trash bags ready to go. We suggest having one section for trash, one for donation/resell, and one for keeping. By putting items into boxes immediately, you’re more likely to remove them from your home in a timely fashion. After performing rituals that help you feel comfortable in your home, you can start your course of elimination.
Week One: Wardrobe
The first week in your month-long decluttering process, we suggest starting with your wardrobe. Organization expert Marie Kondo suggests starting by tackling your clothes because we tend to have the least amount of attachment to them. In addition, seeing an organized and minimalist wardrobe that was once bursting at the seams can also propel you forward in your decluttering mission.
Start by undertaking what we all probably own most of- our clothing. First, ensure there is nothing left in the washer or dryer, and put all of your shirts, pants, dresses, etc., in the middle of your room. You should then start sorting in piles of what to keep and what to discard. To maximize efficiency, take photos of the items you are selling online as soon as you decide you no longer want them. You can sell these items on sites like on Poshmark, Depop, or Craigslist. When sorting, ask yourself when you wore it last, or if you think it will be in style next season.
When reorganizing, it is most visually appealing to hang your longer, heavier, and darker items towards the left and sort them into lighter and shorter items to the right. Another popular trick is to hang your clothes on hangers facing one way, and once you wear them, you face the hanger the opposite. This way, you can see which articles you care about at the end of the season, making it easier for decluttering.
When deciding which does to keep, there are certain concepts to keep in mind:
- Have you worn them in the past year?
- Did you buy them for a particular outfit that you don’t wear anymore?
- Did you purchase them for an activity you no longer participate in?
- Are they damaged or too small?
A plethora of shoes end up in landfills each year, so before tossing out your worn-out footwear, see if they can be reused in any way. Look out for shoe-recycling programs such as Nike’s Reuse a Shoe Program!
Donate old jewelry that you don’t love anymore. Consider repurposing old family heirlooms into pieces you can wear day-to-day!
This category contains hats, gloves, bags, ties, scarfs, socks, etc.! If it doesn’t bring you happiness, say goodbye!
Friday: Kid’s Wardrobe
Many children’s wardrobes are filled with items that no longer fit their growing bodies! Consider donating your children’s clothes that are too small to families in need.
By now, you may have boxes or bags of items you are ready to donate and sell. Over the weekend, take them to respective donation centers or resell centers near you. Check online for where you are looking to donate or trade to see if you need to make any appointments or if there are specified drop-off hours.
Week Two: Kitchen/ Bathroom/ Laundry
Monday: Cupboards and Refrigerator
If this isn’t a part of your regular cleaning routine, mark it in your calendar to keep your kitchen clean. Toss old and expired food and products. Check out our post on reducing food waste so that you can get the most of your groceries!
Tuesday: Kitchen Drawers and Cabinets
Today, you can go through your different cabinets and discard old pots and pans, cooking utensils, and smaller appliances sitting around. Make sure to go through junk drawers as well! Donate and sell what you don’t want to keep, or check out Terra Cycle’s Zero Waste Kitchen Separation box!
Wednesday: Cleaning Supplies and Linens
Get rid of expired cleaning supplies and replace them with green or DIY cleaning solutions. Sort through your linens and donate gently used sheets and towels you no longer use.
Thursday: Bathroom Cabinet
Clear your drawers with expired makeup and self-care supplies. Instead of tossing out old plastic bottles, refill them with shampoo, conditioner, and more at your local refill center!
Friday: Laundry Room
Sift your way through expired or unused cleaning products and get rid of any mismatched socks!
Weekend: Time to dispose of everything! Donate what is still usable or see if you can send it off to be upcycled! If you trash anything, ensure you are disposing of certain products the correct way.
Week Three Office
Take books that you have already read or no longer reference to a book reseller or donation box! Many specialized thrift book stores will give you cash in return.
Carefully go through mail and old paperwork that is no longer useful or relevant. Then, shred and recycle them! Consider scanning files that you must keep, and creating a digital filing system.
Clear your nightstand, dresser, under the bed, or any space in the bedroom where clutter might reside. Put usable items in the donation box, and everything else can go out to the curb.
Thursday: Living Room
How old is that magazine collection on your coffee table? Clear your living room of items that are no longer useful or entertaining. Be sure to check in places such as bookshelves, end tables, and TV stands!
Make it a family affair, and get everyone involved in helping to clean up old unused or broken toys, games or equipment sitting in your backyard or patio area. As usual, anything gently used can be donated or sold. Some areas will accept broken plastic toys as curbside recycled goods. Check with your local municipal recycling program to check if they accept plastic toys in the curbside recycling bin. Once you’re done, sit back and relax in your newly refreshed space. Having a clean outdoor environment can motivate you to spend more time outside this summer!
Same routine! Clear out these boxes to donation or recycling centers.
Week Four: Garages, Basements, Attics
Monday-Friday: Pace yourself. These areas of the home are where we tend to store all of our unwanted items. Each household has different places where they keep most of these miscellaneous pieces. This project can seem daunting, so have the whole family help out!
Clearing out the junk gives you a bigger space that you can dedicate to something meaningful. For example, why not turn your basement into your personal craft space or gym?
DONE! After a month of hard work, you’ve created a living space that feels like home. Without clutter, you can spend less time cleaning and worrying about objects and spend more time focusing on what truly matters to you.
Do you plan on embarking on this decluttering project? Take before and after photos of your home and send them to us on Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org