Intro: 30 Day Decluttering Challenge (with Over 40 Instructable Ideas!)
Clutter in your home creates clutter in your mind, so your living space should be nice and tidy. But it may seem impossible to be a minimalist if you like making things, are always coming up with new ideas to make and always have a lot in storage for your next projects. No need to go extreme - take part of 30 day decluttering challenge with over 40 added Instructables to satisfy your craftyness and get rid of the things you don't really need at the same time. Find what works for you and use these steps to make room for new ideas and projects!
Step 1: Medicine & Vitamins
Expired medicine and vitamins could do more harm than good. Ask your local pharmacy about utilizing expired medicine - don't throw it out in the trash! It harms the environments and creates medicine resistant bacteria.
Step 2: Old Magazines and Booklets
Junk mail has no place in your home. You can even read many magazines online. If you have a favorite article or an interview in some of the magazines - take a photo and save it on Pinterest, saving space at your home and megabytes on your computer.
Think of ideas how to reuse the magazines - here are some Instructables for inspiration:
Step 3: Duplicate Utensils in Kitchen
Yes, you probably need more than 1 or 2 of plates, mugs and forks. Maybe you have two blenders or three spatulas? They are probably just taking up your counter or cupboard space. Ask a friend if they need your extra items, sell or donate.
If you do have spare forks or plates, try these Instructables:
Step 4: Old Manuals
Step 5: Make-up and Bath Products
You should consider what you are putting on your skin - it is the largest organ in human body. Do you even use that shower gel? Do you remember how long ago it was opened? Jars and bottles usually have a pictogram with an information how long the product should be used after opening. You can switch to homemade beauty products after that - it will be healthy and natural. Here are some recipes:
Step 6: Old Markers, Pens and Pencils
Markers and pens tend to pile up fast. Check if they still write, sharpen the pencils and consider giving away some of your 4 pencil sharpeners or 5 scissors.
Did you know you can make watercolors from dry markers?
Step 7: Your Wallet
Do you know how heavy your wallet is? It may fill up with coins pretty fast.Different cards and coupons can also clutter your wallet. Free some space for the money. :)
Turn cards into guitar picks.
Step 8: Underwear and Socks
Undies or socks with holes - fix them or show no mercy. Toss out the worn out items. Lonely socks? If you are patient, set up a "solemate station" where you can put all single socks until a pair shows up. I have mine in a shoe box - I seriously don't understand where the missing children socks go.
If the solemate doesn't show up, become crafty. Make:
Step 9: Damaged or Unwanted Clothes
Step 10: Expired Food
If you haven't used it for a year, will you? You don't have to throw out everything that has expired - some foods are ok to eat long after the "best before" date. What is the difference between "best before" and "expiration date"? Expiration dates tell consumers the last day a product is safe to use. Best before date tells you that the food is no longer in its perfect shape from that date. It may just lose its taste, aroma or nutrients- like coffee or chocolate.
Check the cupboards, there probably are some packages you simply forgot you had.
Step 11: E-mail
Unnecessary subscriptions and ads fill up your inbox. Take some minutes to unsubscribe e-mails you never read or open.
Step 12: Social Network Clutter
How many accounts or pages are you following? How much time is being wasted looking at things you don't really care about? Again - take a moment to unfollow accounts or pages you don't care about anymore. Maybe some accounts on Instagram make you uncomfortable with your daily life - get rid of them. Maybe someone posts too many distracting or hurtful information - keep being friends but unfollow their posts. Research shows that much of the information on the social media make people uncomfortable or unhappy with their life - keep the part that inspires you and makes you love life!
Step 13: Computer Desktop
Ugh, mine is always cluttered. Clean it up, organize and get rid of distractions. The more you wait, the more work you'll have.
Step 14: Old Notes and Notebooks
Lists, lecture notes, notebooks, calendars.. copy the information you need on Google Disk or Evernote and recycle that pile of paper.
Step 15: Research Recycling Options in Your Area
Research the closet spots for recycling paper, plastic, glass, metal, textiles and organic waste. You will be saving resources, nature and helping the community to send less waste to landfill.
If you already recycle, check for new options or challenge a friend to recycle one kind of material for a week or month.
Step 16: Shoes
We often have too much of them. Do they still fit? Have you worn them in the past few years? Are they in good condition? Sell, organize a shoe-swap, repair, donate, repurpose or throw out.
Shoe refashiong ideas:
Step 17: Jewelry
Single earring, broken necklaces, out fashioned items.. maybe you loved in in school but now it has to go. Maybe your style has changed, your baby keeps pulling the hoop earring whenever you put them in or you still haven't managed to fix that broken necklace during 5 years.
Step 18: Boxes
Step 19: Knick Knacks
Insert every random item under this category. Unwanted souvenirs, rocks, figurines, small things you can't think of using that fill up your shelves - this is clutter too!
Step 20: Decors
Broken Christmas lights, holiday decorations, tablecloths, wall decors and so on.
Step 21: Your Phone
Your phone is probably full with photos of your lecture notes, cats, dogs, children or grandchildren (you can see stages of life here). Save the important information on a trusted cloud service and delete the other.
Step 22: Books, CDs and DVDs
If there are books you will never read or movies you will never watch on DVD - donate them. Also - the library is a great place for saving money, so you can still read a lot if you are a proud bookworm.
Step 23: Toys
Stuffed animals multiply when you don't look. Stop them before it is too late.
Step 24: Cleaning Supplies
Decide if you can switch to more nature friendly versions when you use up the existing supplies. Or make your own - for example start with a glass cleaner!
Step 25: Samples and Travel Sized Bottles
Extra travel sizes shampoos and shower gels, pile of body lotion samples - small things matter as well, so decide what to keep or toss.
Step 26: Try Quitting Plastic Bags!
Plastic bags fill up your trash can and tummies of wild birds and sea animals. Use a tote bag or small fabric produce bags for fruits and vegetables. If you save 5 bags each time you shop, it creates an enormous difference over a month or a year. You will also spend less time taking out trash. :)
Sew your own tote bag
Step 27: Brainstorming for Ideas
Look up ideas for reducing waste at your home. You could watch TED talks, look up what can you make yourself instead of buying or asking friends what works for them.
Step 28: Rest Day
4 weeks into the challenge - think about the impact is has created. Did it help you in some ways? What issues did you notice in your daily life, living space or habits? Was it easy or hard?
Step 29: Closet
This is the most common place to start decluttering with but it is also the most challenging - that's why it has been left for the end. Try the technique that works best for you and make your closet easier to handle. You will spend less time looking for outfits and feel better wearing only things that fit and look good on you. Organize your closet so you can see what you own and don't get overwhelmed with clutter.
Try hanger wardrobe organizer for scarfs, plan your outfits and buy only things that goes well with your existing wardrobe.
Step 30: Next Steps
The challenge has ended, but the clutter never stops to form if you don't pay attention. You have already researched ideas for continuing simpler life - decide what will be your next step or habit! Maybe you can challenge yourself to use your own containers, use a reusable cup or fabric bags, buy in bulk, not make impulse purchases and so on. Don't make it unbearable - continue with something that may take some effort but still brings you joy. When it has become a habit, it will be a part of your daily life. Inspire others to do the same.
Things are not bad but they should bring you joy. So keep the good stuff and make it work. Less clutter, more happiness!
Runner Up in the