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The 30-Day Declutter Challenge

Johnna Kaplan

It has perhaps never been easier to accumulate clutter. Even if you’re not trying to acquire new possessions, you can suddenly find your home filled with items you don’t need. Fortunately, it’s also pretty easy to get rid of all that extra stuff; all it takes is a little dedication and a good plan.

If you’ve been feeling distracted, overwhelmed, or simply surrounded by things you don’t like or use, following this 30-day declutter challenge for a month will help you clear the clutter and put you on the path to maintain a clutter-free life.

This  challenge can be done at any time, whether you start on the first day of the new year or at the start of a new month—or on any day you decide it’s time to make a change.

  1. The challenge is designed to start simple, easing you into the habit of decluttering.
  2. It then guides you through larger but more satisfying decluttering projects that will instantly improve your daily life.
  3. Finally, it prompts you to deal with even the most daunting of spaces, which you’ll now be ready to tackle.

The challenge also is flexible. Because everyone’s lives and homes look different, you can substitute a daily task that doesn’t apply to you with a different one, or switch a task from one day to another to accommodate your schedule.

Let’s get started…

Day 1: Pens and Pencils

Start small, by collecting all the pens and pencils in your home. Make sure to look everywhere, as small items like these tend to migrate from room to room. Test pens to determine whether they still work, and discard any that don’t. Sharpen pencils that need sharpening. Then organize them all neatly where you intend for them to “live” permanently: for example, a cupful of pens in your office, another in the kitchen, and a few pens in your bag.

Day 2: Bags and Pockets

Clean out all your bags, backpacks, wallets, and luggage. While you’re at it, go through the pockets of your coats. Check every pouch, pocket, and hidden section for gum wrappers, scribbled notes, and receipts. (If you’re lucky, you might find some cash, too.) Throw away any junk, and put other items back in their proper place.

Doing this can jump-start a habit of cleaning the clutter from your bag and coat at the end of each day. Start that now, and you’ll never have to do a major decluttering of them again.

Day 3: Food

Go through your refrigerator, freezer, cupboards, pantry, and any other food storage areas you have. Throw away anything that’s expired or unwanted. (You may also choose to donate unopened, nonperishable foods.) Organize what’s left, so you can see and use what you have.

With food, or any item you shop for and use often, keeping your current stock well-organized—so that you can see everything when you open the fridge or cupboard—will help you avoid buying things you don’t need in the future.

Declutter Challenge Checklist

Day 4: Junk Drawers

A junk drawer (and this does not technically have to be a drawer; it may be a bedside table, a large bin, a shelf, etc.) is a handy solution to the problem of where to put those necessary odds and ends that don’t have an obvious “home” in your home or apartment. It should not, however, be a receptacle for literal junk, that is, stuff you will never use. Today, sort through your junk areas and separate the useful things from the clutter.

Day 5: Entryways

In any home, the spot just inside the door is crucial in terms of preventing clutter. These areas tend to become a dumping ground for jackets, shoes, keys, glasses, bags, mail, and everything else we want to put down the minute we get home.

The first step in fixing this problem is to tidy the area, putting everything away where it belongs (for example, coats into the hall closet).

The second step is to set up your entryway so that it doesn’t become a clutter hotspot in the future.

In your entryway or any high-traffic area, cut down on clutter by giving specific items a dedicated home, for example, a hook or dish for your keys. Also remove anything that encourages the collection of clutter; no one will ever sit on that decorative chair by the door, but it will practically beg people to pile coats on top of it.

Day 6: Unwanted Clothes

Hopefully, those first five days went well and you’re feeling ready to take your decluttering to the next level. For the next five days, the challenge will focus on your wardrobe. We’re giving that area extra attention because (a) most people buy a lot of clothes and find it difficult to part with them, and (b) clearing out your wardrobe can be one of the most satisfying decluttering projects. When done thoroughly, it can help you move on to decluttering the rest of your home. If you don’t need the full five days for this, take some time off or concentrate on another cluttered area that needs extra work.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at this stage, here are eight reasons to declutter your life and take back control of your home.

On this first wardrobe day, do a quick sweep of your clothes, shoes, and accessories and gather together any obvious candidates for donation or the trash. Don’t stress about doing a major closet overhaul today; just grab low-hanging fruit, like items that are damaged beyond repair, do not fit, or haven’t been your style in 10 years.

Day 7: Closet, Part 1

Today, evaluate everything in your closet and decide what you want to keep. If you have a large wardrobe, split this task between today and tomorrow, using today to focus on the clothes you wear for work, on weekends, on evenings out, and on dressy occasions. If you store your off-season clothes elsewhere, you can either include them in this declutter, or plan to do another round of closet cleaning when the seasons change. The most efficient way to declutter a closet is to take every item out, try everything on, and put back only those things you truly like, that fit you well, that work with your lifestyle, and that you know you will wear.

Off-Season Pieces

A good way to minimize closet clutter long-term is to pack up your off-season pieces and store them elsewhere, like in the back of the closet or under the bed.

This way, you won’t be distracted by clothes that are temporarily unwearable, so you’ll have a much better understanding of exactly what you own. Though it may seem confusing, the method of storing off-season clothing (and other seasonal items, like holiday decorations) out of view has the same effect as clearly displaying frequently used items like food and makeup. In both cases, you’re minimizing possible distractions and organizing your belongings so you can see exactly what you’re working with, removing any confusion about how much you already have, and preventing the purchase of duplicates.

Day 8: Closet, Part 2

Today, continue with the rest of your clothing, concentrating on workout clothes, sleep- and lounge-wear, undergarments, socks, and anything else you didn’t cover yesterday. When you’re done, you should have a pared down wardrobe and two or three piles of clothes you don’t want.

Tip:

When cleaning out your wardrobe, sort the pieces you don’t want into three piles: one for trash, one for donation and/or sale, and (if applicable) one for tailoring or repair.

Day 9: Outerwear

Today, continue to clear out your wardrobe by sorting through your coats, jackets, vests, and other outerwear.

When clearing out your closet, you may notice wardrobe gaps that you want or need to fill (maybe you have a light jacket and a heavy-duty parka, but nothing appropriate for the in-between weather). Take the time to write those needs down, so that in the future you can shop with a purpose. This works well to prevent buying whatever strikes you in the moment, thus collecting more clothes that will go unworn, cluttering up your closet once more.

Day 10: Accessories

Finally, take care of the little items like shoes, boots, bags, hats, gloves, scarves, jewelry, belts, etc. In addition to removing items you no longer want or need, think about how you organize these small pieces and how you can improve your setup to prevent your accessories from getting cluttered again. While decluttering, you may come across broken or otherwise unusable accessories that you’ve been meaning to take to the jeweler or cobbler.

Be very honest with yourself here; if you really wanted to wear these things, would you have had them repaired by now? Did you simply forget or been busy, schedule a specific time into your calendar to take these items to be fixed. Have you been hanging on to them for vague, aspirational reasons (think satin stilettos that you’ve never worn, but kept in the closet for ten years just in case you’re invited to a fabulous party) this might be the time to let them go.

Day 11: Paper

For the next five days, we’ll focus on decluttering paper items that tend to pile up, if you’re not paying very close attention. Stacks of magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and other incoming mail can be difficult to declutter. (If the thought of finally getting rid of this stuff doesn’t motivate you, consider that excess paper can also be a fire hazard.) It’s just so easy to convince yourself that you really will read them all…someday. Take this day to sort through all those stacks of reading material and mail. Rescue anything important, and deal with it, then recycle the rest.

Day 12: Books

Even if you take pride in your book collection, you probably own at least a few volumes you’ll never, ever read again. Sort through all your books (including those that have escaped from your bookshelves and are scattered around your home) and donate the ones you no longer want.

Day 13: Office Supplies

Whether or not you have a home office, it’s likely that you’ve accumulated a bunch of notebooks, labels, envelopes, stamps, paper clips, staples, etc. in your home. Round them up today and organize them, getting rid of anything you no longer need. While you’re doing this, check up on those pens from Day 1, and reorganize them if they’ve gotten out of control.

Tip:

Tasks like this are a good reminder that decluttering is a daily habit. When you return lost pens, or any household items, to their home every time you come across them, you won’t have to do regular major cleanups just to keep your place looking neat. Additionally, you won’t keep buying more pens because you can’t find the ones you already own.

Day 14: Filing

There’s no use pretending this one is fun, but it’s necessary, and it will make your life so much easier when you need to find your car title or the name of that doctor you went to in 2005. Go through your filing cabinet (or whatever you use as a system for storing paperwork) and organize everything—recycling or shredding papers you no longer need. It’s worth the effort to shred any materials that contain personally identifiable information, such as bank statements, bills, and credit card offers.

You’re doing a great job. Keep going!

Day 15: Tech/Electronics

If you have a cache of old laptops, cords, cables, plugs, chargers, memory cards, and so on, gather them all in one room and go through them. Also grab small appliances that may no longer work, like lamps or clock radios. Research how to responsibly get rid of tech equipment that you don’t or can’t use, and organize the rest so that the next time you need a spare pair of earbuds or a phone charger, you’ll know where to find it—and that it works.

Day 16: Bedroom

You’re already halfway through your 30-day declutter challenge! The next seven days will address the main rooms or areas in your home, starting with your bedroom. Most people want their bedroom to be a calm space, conducive to sleep and relaxation. To achieve this, get rid of superfluous furniture and decorative items in your bedroom, and return items that belong in other rooms to their homes. Put away anything like clean clothes or extra blankets piled on the bed that might be cluttering up the space.

A Bit of Advice:

If you share a bedroom, don’t move or discard someone else’s belongings without asking. Hopefully, this challenge can be done by all members of your household but, if not, concentrate only on spaces and things that are yours alone. This goes not just for bedrooms, but any shared areas or belongings in your home. Everyone has their own definition of what is and isn’t clutter, so focus on your own clearly defined clutter first.

Day 17: Bathroom

Many products stored or used in the bathroom have relatively short shelf lives, so check expiration dates and make sure your makeup, skincare, and medicines are still good. Also check that you’re not holding on to any empty bottles of soap, shampoo, or cleaning supplies. If you have shelving units, shower caddies, or similar storage containers in your bathroom, consider whether they make the space easier to use or just add to the clutter.

Storage containers can help you corral small items or manage a difficult space (such as a bathroom with no built-in shelves or cabinets). But, more often, we buy these containers without fully considering whether they’re needed, and they soon become clutter themselves. When in doubt, don’t buy storage containers unless you know exactly how and where you’ll use them.

Day 18: Linen Closet

Linen closets, or wherever you store those extra towels, sheets, pillowcases, and blankets, can easily become overstuffed and disorganized. Today, sort through your linens and remove anything that you don’t use. Unless you really keep on top of it, your linen closet can become a black hole of unused, yet useful, items. If you find you’re creating extra space in your linen closet, you may choose to store seasonal linens or decorations there, as well.

Day 19: Storage Area of Your Choice

On this day, clear out any indoor storage area that hasn’t been covered yet. This could be a hall closet, a bedroom closet that wasn’t covered in your wardrobe clear-out, a chest, or the space under the bed.

During this seven-day room-clearing section of the challenge, leave the attic, basement, garage, and outdoors alone for now, as you’ll get to them later—unless, of course, you have some extra time and really feel like tackling them.

In general, if you’re ever motivated to declutter something, go with it!

Day 20: Kitchen

Today, clear your kitchen of any unused or unwanted items such as cookware, dishes, cutlery, glassware, mugs, utensils, and so on. Don’t forget to assess gadgets and small appliances, like potato peelers or blenders, and be honest with yourself about whether you really use them. Especially be on the lookout for duplicates of items that may be taking up your kitchen storage space. To prevent future kitchen clutter, organize those items you do use regularly so that everything is easily accessible.

Day 21: Dining Room

Dining room clutter is usually made up of items that drift in from other rooms. Today, grab anything that doesn’t belong here and return shoes to the closet, mugs to the kitchen, etc. You may also have too much dining room furniture, especially if you downsized from a larger space or have fewer people living with you and visiting than in the past. If you have 10 chairs and never host more than four people, those extra chairs may now be functioning as clutter, and you might be better off without them.

If your home or apartment doesn’t have a separate living room and dining room, you can either adapt Days 21 and 22 to cover other rooms, or split your space into sections. In a one-bedroom apartment, for example, your “dining room” can be the area where you eat (even if it’s just a table) and your “living room” may contain a couch, coffee table, and TV stand.

Day 22: Living Room

Much like the dining room, the living room can collect things that people bring from elsewhere and forget to put away. Scan the room for this type of clutter, being careful not to miss out-of-place items that have been lying around so long that you don’t normally notice them. Depending on how often you actually use your living room, you may find a variety of rarely used items cluttering up the space.

Day 23: Your Personal Clutter Hotspot

This day is another wild card to allow for the quirks of your space and your life. Many homes have a tricky no man’s land where clutter builds up, like the stairs or a little corner nook; you may also have a room not covered in this challenge, like a laundry room or sunroom. Alternately, you can take this day to deal with a clutter hotspot outside your home, like your desk at work, or to revisit any of the prior topics that didn’t get fully addressed in one day.

Day 24: Attic and Basement

You might think the expression “out of sight, out of mind” would apply to clutter—after all, it’s easy enough to shove any objects we don’t want to make decisions about into one of these spacious storage areas. But just being aware that there’s a mess of stuff hiding above or below can be a subtle source of stress. Venture downstairs or upstairs today and sort through those items you’ve stashed away. You may find many things that were difficult to part with at the time, but that you’re now happy to get rid of.  Precious memories may fall into this category, if so, here are more tips on how to declutter sentimental items.

Day 25: Car

Most of us spend so much time in our cars that, if we’re not vigilant, they can end up filled with junk, like empty coffee cups, and misplaced items, like scarves or books. The good news is, it doesn’t take too long to clean out your vehicle, so do that today.

If you don’t have a vehicle or any outdoor storage areas, consider taking this day and Day 26 to start planning a yard sale to get rid of the items that didn’t make the cut in this challenge.

Day 26: Outdoor Areas

If you have a garage, shed, porch, steps, or any other outdoor area that’s a magnet for clutter, take this day to sort through everything that’s out there. If you’ve recently moved or downsized, you may have donated or gotten rid of a lot of the items that tend to live in these spaces, but, if you haven’t, clearing cluttered outdoor areas can be a real game-changer. Organize the things you use, and get rid of the things you don’t.

Day 27: Pet and Plant Supplies

With pets and plants come toys, food containers, tools, gloves, and other necessary (and not so necessary) accessories. If you haven’t already dealt with these things on another day, figure out which stuffed toys or terracotta pots you still want, throw out anything that can’t be used, and pass the rest on to another pet- or plant-lover.

Day 28: DIY and Emergency Supplies

You may have encountered some of these in your junk drawer or elsewhere, but today is the day to round up and sort out all the little things you reach for when something needs fixing: batteries, light bulbs, tools, user manuals, tape, screws, hooks, buttons, scissors, needles, thread, and other assorted household bits. Also check out your emergency supplies like flashlights, candles, and matches. Your goal is to organize everything so that it’s readily accessible when you need it, and, of course, to discard anything that’s broken, expired or that you’ll never use.

Day 29: Hobby Equipment and Collections

You may not want to get rid of any of your art supplies, exercise equipment, DVDs, or souvenir refrigerator magnets. But you should go through it all anyway, because—despite your best intentions—collectibles and hobby equipment and supplies can quickly become unmanageable clutter. You may discover that you don’t really use every item you own, or that you’re holding on to some things that no longer make you happy. If so, consider gifting these items to family or friends or donating them to someone who will use and enjoy them. Even if you keep it all, simply reorganizing these items can seriously clear up space in your home, making it easier for you to practice your hobby or appreciate the objects you’ve collected.

Day 30: Email

Email might not seem like something you need to declutter—after all, it doesn’t take up physical space. But repeatedly opening an inbox full of messages you haven’t read or acted on can really drain your energy, making you less productive. Delete what you don’t need, flag what you have to take care of, and save messages you want to preserve to the appropriate folder. (If you don’t have separate folders, create some now.) There are also tools to maximize your email enjoyment and productivity. You can also choose to expand this virtual decluttering to your contacts list, digital photos, documents, music, social media, or anything online that makes you feel overwhelmed.

This last day also can serve as inspiration to declutter your physical environment further, or to move on to the next level of decluttering and revamp your schedule, the activities you participate in, and the people you choose to make time for. Once you start the decluttering process, it will become easier to manage the daily inflow of stuff—helping prevent the accumulation of new clutter and making your life run more smoothly overall.

And now, 30 days later, you’re done! Or, even if you’re not done, you’ve made a tremendous start. If you’re living in a home where you’ve stayed for more than 20 years, you may find that this 30-day declutter challenge equals round one, rather than the end game. Take a break if you need to, and then pick a new month and begin again.

Which types of household clutter do you find the most challenging to deal with? Have you created your own great strategies for managing the stuff that collects across our lives? Please share with us and other readers—both your successes and your ongoing clutter challenges—in the comments below.

78 Responses to "The 30-Day Declutter Challenge"

  • Kathryn Ann StewartMcDonald | September 19, 2019 at 3:33 am

    I inherited a house which I presently share with my aunt. The house contained the clutter from four generations of family who have occupied the home,. I am generation four. Another family dwelling, older than this was torn down after two generations lived in it, their descendants build this home. This process is time consuming, mind bending, involves strenuous labor, many headaches and a budget to spend on laborers who will haul things away. I am in my 6th month of refreshing, cleaning, repairing and throwing things away. Not finished yet, but I really, really work on it.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 26, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Gladys, thank you for providing this helpful information and sharing your experience. We hope you are enjoying your new space!

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 26, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Hi Joan, we just sent you an email! Thanks for reading.

  • Gladys Bernyk | April 26, 2019 at 7:26 am

    We downsized 12 years ago and 3 years ago started looking for Assisted Living places. Didn't like some, others had no rooms available. Then 6 months ago my health status deteriorated and my husband showed signs of dementia. Our kids and spouses, got involved and helped look. By the time we found it, I was incapable physically to go through everything and my husband was also not able to do too much. I tell this as a cautionary tale. I have the most wonderful family-they have taken, sold, given away the whole house full of stuff. They are still working on antiques and they moved furniture, wall hangings, paintings to our new rooms. My husband had to move to Memory Care so they then furnished his room. They are having painting and other things done and will put it on the market. I am 81, my husband is 83, so I suggest thinking ahead if you are heading into old age.

  • Joan Wysong | April 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Please send this declutter reprt to my email. It is GREAT but just popped up on my tablet and I want it permanently.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Great insight, Flo. Thanks for sharing.

  • Flo | April 8, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    I've been at this for a couple of years, but keep getting overwhelmed and taking breaks. It's OK to take breaks, just don't lose your focus. I found out that Animal Humane, here at least, can take many medical supplies. This includes human medications that have not expired, excluding narcotics. Many human meds can be used by animals, but in different doses. Anything they can't use, they have the means to dispose of. They were excited to receive the IV stands, too. So, there's an avenue that might be helpful for some.

  • Barbara | April 8, 2019 at 2:44 am

    Regarding boxes and albums of photos from a lifetime: I've been tackling this and here's what works for me (so far). 1. Photos of friends' vacations/kids - put in garbage (you can be pretty sure they have the original). 2. Childhood school photos of nieces and nephews - on their adult birthdays I make a collage card and send back to them on their birthdays. 3. Family photos are the hardest - with 4 siblings who probably don't have the photos I have, I make copies for them and mark on the back of my original who I sent to. And regarding this, follow the advice of one of the commenters, note on back who, what, where and when. Surprising how many of us can't remember Aunt Em's name or even know who that person is!

  • robin wong | April 5, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    my husband will be moving back to Hawaii to take care of his mom, my apartment could be used in a series of hoarding cause that's what my husband does. I decided I am not moving back and neither is my daughter. not ready to retire yet. so there is a LOT of stuff we really need to get rid of. mostly my husbands "junk". we also have 2 storage units that we need to go through as well. what's the saying: out of sight out of mind". I decided that on my vacation I will be going through his stuff and get rid of what we can donate, junk it or ship it. he has been saying this for 2 years about moving back and has NOT DONE A SINGLE THING about his stuff. he's very picky and doesn't want me touching his things. plus by cleaning out the "JUNK" we might get rid of the mice problems and patch holes. I will start with garage first. that way I will have room to get rid of what's in the house,. it will probably take more than 30 days but my husband had 2 years to do it. AND he keeps buying more stuff. My question to him is "WHERE ARE WE GOING TO PUT IT? plus we also have a dog. lot's of paper to be shredded that's for sure.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 5, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    We are sorry for your loss, J. Darr. We hope our article helps you take one room at a time. If you are moving and downsizing, this article can be helpful for decluttering as well.

  • J. Darr | April 4, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    My husband recently passed and I cleaned out his clothing and personal things. Now, after 50 yrs in the same home it is time for me to clean out mine...so, I am going to think like he would and what he would think I need now. That is scary, as I have lots of "pretty things". I have one daughter who is a minimalist and says get rid of LOTS and one who, like me, likes "pretties" and wants the pleasure of going through everything when I too pass, to relive the memories. I can't/won't box them up for her, as she lives with me and that would not be good for decluttering! So, I decided I will use your formula and work on one room at a time and leave the unneeded items on a table and they have 2 weeks to decide if they want them. After that they go to charity or a garage sale. Also, for some of my special pretties, I decided I am going to have a tea/coffee party and put one of these in front of each chair and that person has the opportunity of taking it home with her and then my daughter will know it is going to be enjoyed by a friend. Any other good ideas please post!

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 4, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Great advice JimBo, thank you for sharing.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 4, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Great suggestion Val! Thank you for reading.

  • JimBo | April 4, 2019 at 3:52 am

    My thoughts on decluttering photos and such. I have well over 11,000 photos on my phone, several albums of world travels and many, many shoe boxes, plastic totes, envelopes full of photos along with many framed photos. My older sister suggested to me that she is in the process of culling her old photos and depending on who is in the photo, placing the photos into an envelope to pass on to that person. For the photos with multiple people in it, she will give to the head of that family. When it comes to travel photos, you just do not need 10 or more photos of the same mountain or beach etc and some you probably no longer recognize where the photo was taken. Most of the enjoyment probably came from the visit and that cannot be replaced. Good luck.

  • Val | April 3, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Great article! As an owner of a flea market, a few hints. Lot of people contact us or come by with items they would like to sell from downsizing. You can make a little money and those items will become a "treasure" for someone else. No landfill needed. If they are extra precious items, but you still want or need to part with the item, I recommend taking a photo before letting the item go. Photos mean a lot and you can still show and share the memory with others.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 3, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Great work, Marilyn!

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 3, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for reading, Vanessa!

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 3, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Best of luck, Nita! You are on your way to a clutter free home.

  • Marilyn Petty | April 3, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I have been doing this for the past 3 months. I have a very small apt. so cannot clutter too much. I decided to get rid of what I was not using because I don't want to leave that for my children. I am 85 so need to stay clutter free.

  • christythecat | April 3, 2019 at 4:27 am

    My problems are getting rid of gifts my kids and grandchildren have given me. None of them live near me and probably don't remember what they gave me. How can i justify letting them go in my heart?

  • Vanessa | April 3, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Excellent! I'm going to post this on the fridge. I'm sure it will take us about 60-90 days but it WILL get done.

  • Nita | April 2, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    How very timely! I started this project about 6 weeks ago. Am making good headway but it's 'oh so slow' with SO many years accumulation. My main aim is not to leave a mess for the kids to have to sort through. Am taking pictures of things and writing a little info about them. Then they are going by whatever method works best - trash or donate. I especially like your comment about pictures ... weed them down to just a few. It's your own memories that make them worth saving - unless they are old ones. If you keep them be sure to identify the people in them! It is so frustrating to look through the old albums and not know who the people are - especially if they are family!!

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 2, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Happy spring cleaning, Karen! Thanks for reading.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 2, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Great start, Annette! Good luck on the rest of your journey.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 2, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you, J. Calvin Taylor!

  • Jerry Green | April 2, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    We have no litter. Check yourself out.

  • J. Calvin Taylor | April 2, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    No better words have been written, started cleaning month ago, but some of your steps were helpful and had been overlooked. Thanks

  • Annette Lever. | April 2, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Started to declutter. Kitchen counters first... What a difference. Sent stuff to the Salvation Army and to the Humane society for the thrift shops. Good feeling to know someone can use what was just in drawers and counters. Thanks for your info.....

  • Karen Burwell | April 2, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    funny timing. This has been a priority for us lately. I like the way you break it down. Because we work, it will take us more than thirty days, but we have a plan and we're tackling it. It is always such a wonderful feeling, sense of accomplishment, to get things cleared out and tidied up. I'm a writer, and I'm guilty of piling my files instead of putting them right into the file cabinets. A recent back injury has also impeded my progress, but it will get better and we'll keep at it.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 1, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Carol. Our article "Decluttering to Downsize" has your name written all over it. Take a look for additional tips to help you prepare for your move.

  • Extra Mile Staff | April 1, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you much for the kind words, Joseph. Have a good day!

  • Joseph Watkins | March 29, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    This is a very nice article appreciate everything you do

  • Carol | March 29, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks! I needed this, starting to downsize from a 3 bedroom house to 1 bedroom-- moving in with my daughters!!! Getting rid of everything but clothing!

  • Dave O'Brien | March 29, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Day 31: begin recluttering

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 29, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Great progress, Ruby!

  • Ruby Schwanke | March 29, 2019 at 1:13 am

    I started declutering last Fall and have 3 rooms done so far, but have some things to get rid of yet, like furniture and clothes that made it to the boxes.

  • Lorenzo Durham | March 29, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Thank you for your thoughts and advice but the Nov. 8, 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, CA took my home and all possessions - totally. This was not my first fire but was the only TOTAL disaster. I think I have a leg-up on clutter for the next few years. Good luck everyone on your projects.

  • Cindy Logan | March 28, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    I downsized when I moved from my home in WI to NC.....I am now contemplating moving to NE to be closer to my family and I have been analyzing my "precious stuff" to decide if I should downsize even more. It's a never ending battle however I will tell you straight out, if you're saving stuff for your kids because their yours or family favorites -- forget about it.....they really don't want our stuff. Maybe a few items but truthfully the memories are Yours and probably not Theirs....happy downsizing days ahead again!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 28, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for reading, Linda!

  • Linda Holmes | March 28, 2019 at 1:30 am

    I cant believe I got this email today because I started this process 2 weeks ago and I just have to do my office at home a bit more organized. Thank you so much for the added tips that I didn't think of when I started. To me a well organized and clean home puts a smile on my face all the time. Thanks again, Linda

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 26, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, Pat. Happy decluttering!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 26, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, Judy!

  • Pat | March 26, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    I have been doing this for a while now but, when I received your email it got me moving again. I've already done the kitchen both bathrooms, working on hall closets and then the bedroom closets. I plan to keep at it until all is done but writing this I might need to go back to my bathroom and get rid of more make-up and hair products. Never realized how many hair products does one need. So, I thank you for getting back in the swing of getting rid of all my old junk.

  • Judy | March 25, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Love the gradualness of this process.

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks Melissa!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Nancy.

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, Lloyd!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for reading, Tom!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Shirley- that is a great practice to have to continuously declutter. Thanks for sharing!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Kate- a great place to start is your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. If they are unable to accept something, they most likely will have a suggestion of where it can be recycled or donated to.

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing your creative way of decluttering, Kathryn.

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Florence- this is a fabulous way to start decluttering! Thanks for reading.

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    We appreciate your kind comment, Kathleen! Great insight.

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks, Marion!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks, Lois!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 25, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you for your feedback, Sandra.

  • Melissa | March 25, 2019 at 2:46 am

    Thanks so much for the encouragement and support! I've got so much to do and this really helps motivate me. Not too many think of this topic because it's difficult and hard to measure!

  • Nancy | March 24, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    I made a print of this newsletter in the hopes that I can finally de-clutter. Because of my age (81 years) and various medical issues, it seems both reasonable on paper, but daunting during actual attempts. I have been told that it is "fun" to de-clutter with a friend. Nope, at this age many friends are in retirment communities and want no part of helping. Another suggestion is to enlist family members for help; and then have them set aside things they might want such as furniture, keepsakes, etc. ] Ha, that's even less probable. So busy, busy, busy, and who wants "grandmas old stuff?" I think the 30 day challenge will take me almost a year, but I have to start someplace (although I've started many times in the past, only to be overwhelmed.) My advice to younger people? Don't hang onto all the papers, photos, or clothes in the hopes that someday you will use it.

  • Lloyd Casey | March 24, 2019 at 10:47 am

    I am a 92 year old living in a three room apartment in a retirement facility. What you are doing is great for the younger crowd. I got it all done before moving into where I am.

  • Tom Gray | March 24, 2019 at 3:33 am

    This should help me keep up the decluttering of my house. I started 2 weeks ago, small like advanced. 2 junk drawers, utility countertop. Even been able to throw several items away. Thanks for the extra push!!!

  • Shirley A Brooking | March 23, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you for your advice. I will not go farther with this challenge as I have already accomplished everything mentioned in it. There is therefore nothing more for me to do at this time. I learned it is not a once in a life time thing, bust must be done frequently.

  • Linda C | March 23, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Brenda, I'm right there with you...same age & probably similar circumstances. One thing I found helpful, especially with keepsakes, collections etc was to find 1 or 2 things to keep that represent the whole & then let the rest go. To family if appropriate, or garage sale or donation. The plan here is great - just start small & keep plugging away...it does get easier! Good luck & best wishes.

  • Kate Birr | March 23, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks for all the good decluttering ideas! But what comes next? I have a hard time actually disposing of cast-offs, and I end up with a storage area or a car full of stuff I'm trying to let go of. What goes where? Can someone else use it? Is it recyclable? Is it hazardous? I don't want to send stuff to the landfill unless it really belongs there.

  • Kathryn | March 23, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    I use open-lid boxes, such as shoe, cheese, jewelry boxes, etc to separate and store items within my closets/storage areas. These are especially helpful for all the items stored in the bathrooms, kitchen, pantry, office and such areas. I do the same in my hobby room. This simplifies finding small items, medications, etc. To dress up these boxes I cover them with sticky-back shelf paper. Makes these boxes easier on the eyes. Of course, one could always buy clear plastic boxes as well. I also use "space bags" to store off-season blankets, extra pillows, etc which takes up a much smaller area of the linen closet. I do the same with some of my off-season clothing. Surprisingly, they come out of these airless sacks with few wrinkles.

  • Florence Hoyt | March 23, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    At 72 I have accumulated so much stuff I don't know which corner to start in. My favorite idea, one I have been toying with for some time, is to grab the few things I actually use and move somewhere else, leaving the new occupant to deal with it all. LOL

  • Kathleen Nanni | March 23, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I'm going to give this a try. As a "senior", I believe we should get rid of as much as we can, so our children aren't stuck with it...they have their own clutter to deal with!

  • Marion silva | March 23, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I found very helpful. Thank you

  • Lois D Darr | March 23, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    How did you know what I was starting? Thank you for this.

  • Sandra | March 23, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    This article is great, it is one that I TRY to live by and pass on to my child. There is a place for everything and everything must be in it's place.

  • Nan Grable | March 22, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    YES!!!! I am looking forward to hearing the response to JOANN above! Family memorabilia is a tough one!!!!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 22, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Alexandra, thank you for the other suggestions. We are glad you enjoyed the article!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 22, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks for reading, Carol!

  • Extra Mile Staff | March 22, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Brenda, thanks for reading. Best of luck with your decluttering exercise!

  • Alexandra | March 22, 2019 at 12:30 am

    Wow! Just what I need and just when I need it. Your categories made me feel you were peeking in my windows. They covered almost every area that I need to work on, and for myself (perhaps others too) I'd add: music CDs, video DVDs, sheet music and music books, contact information (address book, rolodex, computer files), personal writing, memorabilia other than photos. Also, I'll say I was pleased and proud to find that some of your "anti-entropy" tips I use already. Thank you for the Springtime jump start!

  • Carol | March 21, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Oh God, did I need this !

  • Brenda Snow | March 21, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t even know where to start! I have copied this article! I would appreciate any advice I can get! I am 70 years old and find it hard to know where to begin! I want to use everything I have! The stuff I have is not junk! I’ve just had a lot of issues that have taken my time! I bet you have heard that a million times! Lol! Seriously I’m read to talkle my dis- organization!

  • Extra Mile Staff | February 26, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Joann, thank you for your comment! We are glad you enjoyed the article. To declutter photographs, start by taking out each photograph from the albums and begin to sort. For example: If you have 85 pictures from a family vacation over twenty years ago, try to narrow it down to just 10 photos that really hold the memories. We hope this helps!

  • Joann Kutrik | February 26, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Your "de-clutter" letter so inspired me that I printed a copy and have it set up on a clip board as a guide for when I start this project, like today. We are seniors and live in a house that once was home for 7 - so this is a daunting task ahead of us, one which we have been planning to start and have not yet done so. One thing I would think helpful to include in your list is those tubs, suitcases and deteriorating albums of old family photographs, slides, and movies accumulated through generations of "avid" photographers. Where do we start and how do we remove the sentiment attached to these memories?

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