Hello, friends! It’s been a while! I’m not sure whether it’s because I was feeling uninspired, or I didn’t have the time to sit down and blog. Maybe a mixture of both? Regardless, I have some fun plans in store for the month of May (Also, I just realized…it’s May! We’re almost halfway through 2017!)! If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you know that minimalism and conscious living are two things I’m passionate about. I thought that since May and minimalism seem to fit nicely together, what with alliteration and the desire to spring clean that crops up around this time of the year, I would do a series of posts on minimalism, at least one per week. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you want to see!
I thought I would kick off the month with a minimalism challenge! 31 days of decluttering, so that at the end of the month, your home feels less chaotic and you can breathe easier, without the weight of unnecessary items bogging you down. I am at a point in my minimalism journey where I feel fairly comfortable with the amount of stuff we have in our home. Of course, there are always things that crop up, areas that can be revisited, and I will definitely be tackling some of those this month!
Even if a 31-day challenge isn’t your cup of tea, I hope that this list can inspire you and help you to find a good starting point if you are looking to declutter your own home. If you want more detailed tips to help you with decluttering, be sure and check out my post on how to declutter, and my more detailed post on how to declutter your closet.
So, let’s dive into the challenge!
We’re not starting this challenge off easy! Go through your closet, one drawer and hanger at a time, and pull out everything you neither need or love. Do this with your clothes, your baby’s clothes, and encourage your SO to go through their clothes as well.
2. Your Purse
Pull everything out of your purse. Toss any trash (gum wrappers accumulate in my purse like crazy!) or expired products, pull out anything that’s doesn’t belong, and give the inside of your purse a good cleaning. If you’re up for more decluttering, now’s a good time to tackle your purse collection!
Pull out all of your shoes and get rid of any that you don’t wear on a regular basis. I had a collection of pretty high heels that I loved but never wore because they were such a pain and endangered my ankles! They were so hard to let go, but I don’t miss them a bit!
Jewelry, scarves, hats, belts, sunglasses, you name it; pull them all out and keep only those that you really love.
I only recently learned that makeup has an expiration date. The little symbol on your makeup that looks like a little makeup container? The number in that tells you how long it’s good for. Go through and get rid of anything that’s expired. Also get rid of anything you don’t use anymore.
Josh and I have antique nightstands with huge, deep drawers that are absolute clutter magnets. Go through your nightstand and pull out anything you no longer need or love.
7. Under the Bed
If you’re like us, and use the under the bed space for storage (boxes of Magic cards fit quite nicely there!), you may have clutter built up there. Or at least things that have fallen underneath and need to be cleaned out.
8. Linen Closet
Go through all of of your sheets, blankets, and towels, and get rid of any excess, pieces you don’t use, or that are perhaps too worn or discolored for use.
9. Bathroom Cupboards
Empty your bathroom cupboards. Sort out unnecessary/empty toiletries and safely dispose of expired medication. This is also a good opportunity to scrub down your bathroom!
We had so many cleaning products when we moved! I got rid of the bulk of them in favor of a couple more all-encompassing cleaning products.
11. Laundry Room
We store so many things in our laundry room, mostly tools and cleaning things. And anything we don’t know where to store. It builds up fast! Go through everything in your laundry room and purge anything you don’t need.
12. Kitchen Cupboards
Go through all of your kitchen cupboards and get rid of excess or dishes and utensils that you just don’t use. I think this is an area where it’s important to be extra thoughtful. I know I’ve gotten rid of things that I thought we would never use, or had too many of, but later regretted it.
13. Kitchen Gadgets
I’m pretty sure we’ve all at some point or other purchased a gadget that seemed like the greatest thing ever and it was going to improve our quality of life exponentially, and then never used it. Time to sort through and donate any unused gadgets!
14. Under the Kitchen Sink
This can be another sinkhole for clutter! Honestly, if I don’t keep it organized, a bunch of junk just builds up. I don’t know how, but it does! Go through and give this area a good clean-out!
Pull everything out of your pantry and get rid of anything that’s expired or you don’t plan on eating. If the food is still good, see about donating it to someone you know will eat it, or to a local food bank. This is a great opportunity to take inventory of what you have so it doesn’t go to waste/you don’t buy anything extra.
Same thing with the pantry. Pull out anything you’re not going to eat, that’s expired, or those leftovers that never go eaten. Then take the opportunity to scrub down your fridge!
17. DVDs, CDs, Video Games
This is a challenging area for me, since my husband will not get rid of a video game, CD, or DVD that he spent money on, even if he hated them, or knows he won’t watch, listen to, or play them again. This mindset has slightly altered recently, and he’s more open to gifting them to people he knows will enjoy them. Do the same with your collections! Go through and purge anything that you don’t like or will no longer watch, listen to, or play, and either donate them or give them to someone who will enjoy them.
18. Hall Closet
Hall closets are notorious havens for clutter. We use ours as a game/coat/storage closet and it can be tricky to keep from getting cluttered. Go through your hall closet and purge!
19. Board Games
Josh and I both enjoy playing board games, and these guys take up an awful lot of space! Get rid of any board games that you no longer play or are missing pieces. And if you’re like us and somehow magically accumulate decks of cards, consider cutting down to one or two decks.
This one is hard for me, guys. It was a lot harder before I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Marie Kondo’s words struck home. I enjoy reading, but unless I really love a book, I don’t read it again. I also have (had?) a bad habit of buying up lots of books to read and never reading them. Go through and ask if you really love a book, if you really will read it, and get rid of anything that you won’t.
21. Junk Drawer(s)
Go through your junk drawers, pull out anything you don’t need, and then organize them.
22. Kid’s Toys
I think Josh and I have maybe bought two toys for Adelaide, and yet she has SO many! Kids accumulate things so, so quickly. Get rid of anything your kiddo no longer plays with or has outgrown.
23. Baby Things
If your baby has outgrown her Boppy, no longer needs spit rags, or has 53 binkies, it may be a good idea to go through all of her things and see what needs to be gotten rid of.
I feel like a lot of us have a hard time getting rid of old electronics, and so they just kind of sit around in storage forever. Go through and get rid of or sell any electronics you no longer use.
We have a box in our laundry room that’s just marked “cords.” Go through and get rid of any cords that don’t go to anything and you know you’ll never use. Get rid of chargers for electronics you no longer own, or if you have five for your current phone, maybe consider paring down.
26. Craft Supplies
This one is always hard for me, because I would hate to get rid of something and then want it for a project later on down the road! But go through and get rid of anything you know you won’t use is no longer something you’re into, or something you have unnecessary duplicates of.
27. Miscellaneous Decor
Assess your decorative items and ask whether they bring you joy and add to your space. Get rid of anything that doesn’t.
28. Storage Spaces
Go through your garage or storage space (if this is a really daunting task, maybe choose one area to work on) and get rid of anything you don’t need. Whenever the storage shed at our condo seems a bit overstuffed, I like to go in and take inventory of what’s in there and whether we actually need it. We also just just discovered we have another storage space that the previous owner left filled with stuff, so clearing that out is definitely on the docket for this month!
29. Your Car
I actually really need to do this one. I’ve been putting it off for ages because I keep thinking maybe, just maybe, Josh will eventually take care of it. Go through, clear out any trash, bring in things that belong inside (if you didn’t miss them, maybe it’s time to donate them?), get rid of things you don’t need in your car, then clean everything really well.
Birthday cards, thank you notes, old bills, pay stubs, old tax stuff, manuals to things you no longer own … None of this stuff is worth holding onto! Go through all of the paper stuff that you’ve accumulated and purge! Most manuals can be found online, and some things can be scanned and stored on a computer. Just be sure to shred anything with personal info on it.
31. Digital Space
Clean out your email inbox, your texts, your photos, your contacts, anything that’s bogging down your digital space. It’s a daunting task, but it’s well worth it in the end!
Well, there you have it! I’d love to know if you participate in this challenge! Let me know how you do! Happy decluttering!