Originally published December 16, 2020 and updated October 7, 2022.
Often people start the new year wanting to make make a huge difference in their home, but any time of year is the perfect time for a 30 Day Declutter Challenge. This free printable with 30 days of decluttering ideas will focus you on a new task each day.
Sometimes you just need a decluttering challenge to get focused and moving towards your organizing goal. A 30 Day Decluttering Challenge is the perfect length of time to commit to decluttering.
Sign up for the 30 Day Declutter Challenge Newsletter. Sign up for free and each day you’ll receive an email chockful of tips to declutter and organize that day’s space. You’ll receive 30 days of realistic ideas and encouragement perfect for busy people. The email challenge starts for you as soon as you sign up.
How do you slowly declutter?
The best way to slowly declutter is to do a little each day. You can even use my 31 Days of 10-minute Decluttering Tasks Challenge to help. If you commit to decluttering 10 – 30 minutes every day, you’ll slowly work your way through an entire decluttering projects.
It’s most important to be consistent, so commit to an amount of time that you can realistically accomplish each day. You’ll also find that as your space begins to be less cluttered, you’ll be motivated to work for longer periods of time or more frequently.
Once you have decluttered and organized, then commit to 20 – 30 minutes each week to declutter to maintain your organized space and home. Here are 120 +Inspirational Declutter Quotes to help keep you motivated.
30 Day Declutter
To first step is to identify locations to donate items you declutter every single day:
- Your local Goodwill or Salvation Army are an easy way to donate.
- Local churches may take donations.
- Facebook Marketplace is one of the best ways to get stuff out of the house without taking much more of your time.
- You can find a list of I created of organizations that accept donations in my article on Where to Donate Clothes. Many of these organization accept all types of items.
- My Declutter to Donate course provides extra motivation for decluttering after the 30-day challenge by focusing what you have that can help someone else rather than focusing on what you can get rid of.
Then grab a trash bag, download the free 30 Day Declutter checklist and let’s get started on the decluttering process.
Use the checklist to guide your 30 day declutter journey. There is a different focus area to declutter each day. The declutter plan also has rest or catch up days scheduled. It’s important to be realistic so that you can sustain decluttering everyday for a month.
The first three days of the challenge start you off slowly with three (hopefully) easy wins. Then the 30 day declutter challenge picks up steams and has you declutter your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, living room, children’s items, digital and bonus areas.
This 30 Day Declutter covers these areas:
You carry your wallet or purse with you everywhere. There is no reason to be carrying extra stuff around that is just weighing you down. You’re usually in a rush when you use your bag, so it often becomes cluttered. When you get home you just don’t think about decluttering it. Now is the perfect time to clear all that extra stuff out of your wallet, purse or bag.
You’re usually in a rush in the morning and at night you’re usually exhausted and still rushing. That combination leads to clutter which leads to stress.
The key to reduce the stress is to remove the excess. For most of us, our coat closet or entryway is simply not big enough to hold everything we try to cram in there. You have to prioritize what you keep in that area.
Cords & Chargers
Gather all the cords and cables from all around your house and put them in one spot.
Next, remove all the cords that you know what they belong to. Use washi tape or masking tape to identify each cord with who or what it belongs to. If the plug portion detaches from the cable portion, identify both parts.
Remove all items from the drawer.
Sort them so that similar items are together.
Be ruthless in decluttering excess items.
- If it’s broken, torn or stained (with excessive stains), it should go.
- If you don’t use it, you don’t need it. Donate it to someone who will love it and use it all the time.
- If you have more than one or two of a type of item, you need to seriously consider how many you need. Only keep what you truly need.
Place items back where you will use them.
Your goal is to have open counter space that you can easily use and to have open space to give you mental and physical breathing room in your kitchen.
My best kitchen counter decluttering and organizing tips:
- I’ve shared my 5 favorite tips to declutter your kitchen counters.
- Organization tips for kitchen utensils stored on counters.
- Spoiler alert – use the vertical space on walls, cabinet walls and cabinet doors for extremely small kitchens.
Start by removing all expired food or products no one likes.
Sort all similar items together. This makes it easier to put items back in an organized system that makes sense.
My best pantry tips:
Start by decluttering the easy to get rid of items:
- Take out containers
- Free plastic cups
- Coffee mugs you don’t like
- Plastic containers with out lids or vice versa
- Broken or cracked items
- Things you never use (you know that gadget)
Be critical in deciding what to keep. You have limited storage space, so only fill it with items you use and love. The tips on how to have a clutter-free kitchen will help you make those decisions.
Fridge & Freezer
Remove all items and dispose of the expired items or products no one likes.
Wipe the shelves and entire area down well.
Sort all similar items together. Put items back in designated spaces that make sense for how you use your refrigerator.
Take every single container and lid out. Match every single lid to a container.
Repurpose, donate or dispose of containers that don’t work for you.
Store containers in so that they’re easy to access. You can find more tips in my 30 Day Declutter Challenge Email Newsletter.
Look through all your cabinets, drawers and closets for any appliance or gadget you use in the kitchen or for food preparation.
Place similar items together. Find the appliances and gadgets that you use every day and put those away.
It’s time to be realistic. Would you rather have the appliance or more space in your kitchen? Only keep the ones that are worth giving up space for.
Master Bedroom Dresser Drawers
Clear a big spot on your bed or on the floor. Empty every dresser drawer. If you have limited space, empty one drawer at a time.
Place all similar items together in categories. Gather any items that belong in your categories from around the house, even from the dirty clothes hamper.
Be ruthless in deciding which items to keep. Only keep what fits, is in good condition, you love and you can wear as part of an outfit.
Find my clothes folding tutorials:
Half of Bedroom Closet
Pull all the clothes out and lay them on your bed. You can pull out clothing by categories, if you prefer.
Try each piece of clothing. Only keep what you love to wear, what is in good condition and what you have a coordinating item to wear with it.
Other Half of Closet
Do the same process with the other half of your closet or your coat closet.
Rest & Catch Up – Remember, it’s important to pace yourself. This is a great time to set your long-term goals for a clutter-free home. Take 20-30 minutes today and think about your long-term goals for organizing your space and time. You may find this free 2-page SMART goals worksheet helpful in setting realistic, achievable goals.
Pull everything out of the cabinets, the drawers and on the counter. As you take items out, group them with like items together and throw away anything expired.
Try to keep your counters clear and look for other storage options.
Gather all medicine, first aid supplies and vitamins and bring them all to one spot.
Sort items in categories that work for how you use them. Throw away any expired items.
Put items away so they’re easy to access and are out of reach of children.
Gather all sheets, blankets, towels and pillows. Sort them into categories.
Critically examine each one and keep only the ones in good condition that you use. Two sets of sheets per bed and two sets of towels per family member is a good guide.
Go through all piles of paper.
- Throw obvious junk mail into the recycling bin right away.
- Remove letters, invitations and statements from the envelopes they come and immediately recycle the envelope and any additional papers included you do not use.
- Place all bills and papers that require action in one established location.
- Place important documents in a safe location.
- Dispose of old receipts you don’t need for insurance purposes.
Commit to 5 – 30 minutes a day of decluttering and organizing until you get through all your paperwork.
Go through all desk drawers, the junk drawer, cabinets and closets to gather all the office supplies.
Group all like items together. Look at each group of items and decide how many you need of that item. Think about schools or charities that could readily put the office supplies to use if you donate them versus how many you need for your own use.
Magazine, Newspapers and Brochures
Keep only the past two editions of old magazines or newspapers. If you haven’t read them by the time the third one comes, the best thing it to let it go and keep up with the newest ones.
Most of this information is available online and has been updated. Declutter virtually all of these items and start with a clean slate that is current and up-to-date.
Be ruthless in deciding the books you need to keep.
- Are you really going to read it or refer to it again?
- Is the information available online?
- Is the information in the book up-to-date?
- Do you have the space to keep it?
Consider how much space you have and the work it takes to clean and maintain the books. Make each book you keep earn it’s place in your home.
If your dining room is a dumping ground, start the declutter process with items that don’t belong in the space.
Then consider the items you are keeping;
- Do you use them?
- Do you love them?
- Are you keeping them for sentimental reasons or because they were a gift?
- Could you keep one or two pieces and let the rest of the set go?
- Could you start using the items more often rather than just keeping them for special occasions?
Make every piece earn the right to remain. Weigh keeping it against the value of having more space in your home.
Children’s Toys & Books
Unless your child is under three, declutter with your child. This is an opportunity to teach them important life skills and decision making. It also respects their wishes and reduces their instinct to hold onto things out of fear that they may just disappear in the future.
- Use the tips on how to teach your child to declutter.
- You’ll also find helpful ideas on encouraging your kids to keep their room neat.
When you’re ready to organize, there are 100 useful ideas and products in playroom storage ideas.
Use the same steps you used to decluttering your own clothing.
Be sure to ask children whether they like each item that still fits. There’s no reason to keep clothes that they won’t wear or that you’ll end up arguing over.
The laundry room often becomes a dumping ground. Start by removing items that don’t belong there.
Group cleaning and laundry supplies in categories of like items. Ruthlessly declutter by removing old supplies and ones that just don’t work well. Do the same with gadgets and small appliances.
When you have decluttered and only have items you like and actually use, then use these tips for laundry room organization.
Most of use have too many craft supplies and if you’re a crafter, I know you do. When we have too many supplies it actually prevents us from being creative. The decluttering effort you invest will allow you to do more of the creating that you love.
Start with these tips and free checklist to declutter your craft stash.
Because I’m a crafter, I’ve shared many craft organization ideas:
Go through and evaluate all the apps, documents and photos you have on your phone. Remove anything you don’t want or need to keep.
Find tips on how to organize your home screen to make it work best for you in my list of 10 5-minute tasks you can do while waiting.
Extra Bins & Organizers
I’ve never been in a client’s house that didn’t have unused plastic bins, storage bins, baskets and other organizing gadgets.
If after 30 days of decluttering and organizing, you still have these items that are not being put to use, then they’re clutter. If you don’t have a definite plan to put them to use in the next month, then let them go.
This includes the plastic bag of plastic bags, the pile of cloth bags that are never used and any other similar item.
If you are excited to do more or have areas that weren’t covered in in the 30 day declutter, here are some more areas to continue working on:
- Garage – Get tips and a free 17-page checklist for decluttering your garage.
- Under the kitchen sink if you didn’t get to it earlier.
- Sentimental Items
- Pet Supplies – Tips to clean and organize pet supplies for dogs for your pet’s wellness. Free printable checklist to keep your dog’s food and toys clean and organized.
- A storage unit, basement, attic or the garage.
Be sure to sign up for the newsletter support with tips and encouragement every day for the 30 days of the challenge.
Frequently Asked Questions about Decluttering Challenges
What is the 30 day declutter challenge?
There are two versions of the 30 Day Declutter Challenge. One involves decluttering 30 different areas of your home so that by the end of the month you’ve worked through your entire house. The other version of the challenge has you star the month decluttering one item on the first day, two on the second day, three items on the third day and so on. It’s a powerful tool to work through too much clutter.
What’s the fastest way to purge clutter?
This 30 day declutter plan is a great place to start. It provides you a plan so you know where to start. Consistency is the key to purging clutter. Have a set time every day or every week and stick to it until you’re done. One small task every day is a better way to purge clutter than trying to do it all at once.
How do I clean and organize my house in 30 days?
Use this free 30-day decluttering checklist and sign up for the 30-day declutter challenge newsletter. With these two tools, you have everything you need to get started and develop the skills you need to get and stay organized.
More Decluttering and Organizing Resources
31 Days of 10-Minute Decluttering Tasks – You can get organized in just 10 minutes a day with these purging tips. Let’s get stared purging and get ready for 31 days of 10-minute purging.
Disorganized? 5 Steps to Start Making Space – Do you have a disorganized space? Wondering how to get organized? Use my simple 5 steps to Make Space and you’ll be able to declutter and organize any space.
6 Easy Steps to Start Getting Organized Now – Are you read to get organized but just don’t know where to start? Use these 6 easy steps to start getting organized.
Simple Decluttering Checklists – Created by a professional organizer to help you work through the decluttering and organizing process on your own with the guidance and support you need. These checklists and tips work for any area in your home.
This downloadable 21-page checklist resource is the next best thing to having a professional organizer help you declutter and organize your space. You can print out your checklists and supporting worksheets now and get started immediately.
The key to decluttering is to set goals and schedule the decluttering sessions on your calendar. Make a commitment to keeping those appointments. You can do this, you just have to keep working at it.
Be sure to pin this 30 day declutter challenge so whenever you need it in the future, you can easily find it. Also, be sure to share with friends who are looking for ways to declutter and organize.
Find all my decluttering tips, printables and challenges in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.