It’s that time of year again to get your home organized and to finally make the changes around your home that have been on your mind all year! Here’s a list of over 50 items you don’t need in your life that you can either tackle one task per week and make this a 52 week challenge, or if you’re ready to get these items out of your home ASAP, you can also do one a day!
You of course can jump in and start this at any time of year, I’ll even forgive you for changing up the order to best suit your own life! 😉
I truly wanted to make this a realistic and manageable list, so I assigned one task for each week of the year. I’m sure we all realistically have more than 52 different areas we can organize in our lives, here’s simple ways to add on extra tasks if you have more time!
For example, when you clean out your purses, an extra challenge can be to go through your wallet too. Make sure to cut up expired cards and filing receipts you want to save.
The KEY to success with an organizational challenge, is you MUST work to MAINTAIN that space going forward, so you don’t end up back in the same spot as before 🙂
HERE’S A 52 WEEK CLUTTER CHALLENGE PDF DOWNLOAD TO MAKE THIS CHALLENGE AS EASY AS POSSIBLE! 🙂
This is what you’ll receive in your download:
- A weekly family task for each week of the year
- Tasks are organized by season to make things easier for you!
- Extra tips on how to stay organized once you accomplish each task
- An area to check-off what you’re doing with that weeks task: sell, donate, recycle or toss
- Space for your own notes about each mini project
- An extra BONUS page for you to fill in extra challenges you want to add if you have more time! 🙂
- A 2x/mo newsletter featuring cleaning, budgeting and organizing tips. PLUS any other freebies we create!
Tips on How to Maintain an Organized Space
- Store your items within a container or a basket. Once it’s full, it’s an easy reminder to clean it out. For example, I keep my magazines in a basket. so if the basket gets full I know it’s time to purge last months issues.
- Don’t touch paper more than once. So when you get the mail, go through it immediately! The junk mail instantly gets tossed in the recycle and the statements get filed after you look at them.
- Give every item in your home a home and work to keep items in their home. (I’m trying to work on this one myself 😉
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52 Weeks to Declutter & Organize Your Home
- holiday decor you no longer like or use. Just get rid of it now so you don’t have to store it all year!
- do a yearly bill purge- I keep my bills for an entire year, while “best practice” would be to pull out the prior years bill when you go to file the current one, we all get busy and for me at least, this doesn’t consistently happen. What I do instead is go through my filing cabinet once per year and pull out the ones I missed that aren’t needed.
- go through household manuals – you’ll be surprised how many you still have for toys and gadgets no longer in your home!
- get rid of old magazines- strive to only keep the current month and donate to charity or your local library or recycle last month’s when the new one comes. If you really have a lot of them or collections from years past, re-selling on eBay might be a good option.
- freezer foods- Unless you’re using a Seal-a-Meal (which has been a lifesaver for me!), probably most food from before fall isn’t even good anymore! You know, all those things that lurk at the bottom and get pushed to the back you forget about?
- family knick-knacks- anyone else have tons of family hand-me-downs that don’t have importance to you? Time to donate! Keep your house calm, cozy and clutter free. Hang on to only items of personal value to your life that make you happy.
- receipts- I have a separate storage container with dividers for each month to keep track of receipts for larger purchases. For every day items, you only need to keep receipts until you know it’s cleared your bank account and know it’s an item you won’t be returning.
- storage containers- so where exactly do those missing lids even go?? It’s time to replace your containers and get that cupboard or drawer organized! While I keep smaller plastic storage containers on hand for lunches, I’ve replaced the rest with glass since it’s microwavable and open proof!
- beauty products- these should be replaced every 6 months
- expired medicines- instead of dumping these down the drain, many pharmacies will take these back and safely destroy for you.
- coat hangers – many dry cleaners will take old metal hangers if you have them, call around to be sure. My local Goodwill won’t take hangers, so this is a great way to keep them out of the landfill.
- organize bathroom cupboards & drawers- here’s a few ways to better organize bathroom spaces.
- return items that belong to other people
- broken things- if it’s not fixable, why keep it?
- chipped and cracked dishes- I used to keep dishes that still had little cracks or chips, until I read bacteria seeps down into those spaces. Now I buy a couple extras or mix and match patterns so occasionally tossing a broken dish doesn’t mess up my collection
- dead plants- anyone else still trying to keep dead plants alive because they feel bad for killing them off? Composting dead plants and flowers at least makes me feel slightly better.
- Old tax documents- you only need to save your tax returns for 7 years, but of course check with your tax advisor if you have some documents you should keep longer like business records, real estate transactions, etc.
- old water bottles- water bottles aren’t meant to last forever. Replace the ones with missing lids, the ones that leak or even the ones that taste like yucky plastic when you drink out of it. I have all glass water bottles and I LOVE them! No plastic or metallic taste and no they aren’t breakable (and yes, I’ve dropped mine many times!)
- junk mail- go through those paper piles, make a new goal to only touch something once! When you get the mail, instantly recycle junk mail instead of adding it to a “go through later” stack.
- cleaning supplies you don’t use- I have my favorite cleaning products and supplies, why keep the others? Instead of dumping them down the drain, check to see if your community has a hazardous waste drop-off for items like cleaning products, medications and old paint.
- pet supplies- whether it be old medications, broken leashes, toys they’ve shredded or don’t play with, or pet costumes they hate, time to go through their belongings also!
- meaningless memorabelia- this is a tough one, but do you really need to keep it all? I’ve limited myself to one storage basket dedicated to memorabelia with meaning and and one storage tote for each member filled with childhood memorabelia. Having a limited space will force you to evaluate what really matters.
- organize old photos
- donate expired pantry items- my son and I volunteered at the Food Bank last year, I was surprised to learn many canned items are still good past the expiration date. I used to toss these items! Donate expired items anyways, if the Food Bank can’t use it, they give it to farmers for animal feed.
- go through kids schoolwork
- organize kids artwork- I use small tubs with dividers by year. With having older kids, I’ve since taken photos of large childhood projects and recycled the original.
- craft/art supplies- supplies wear out and as kids get older their interests change. When the kids were young, I literally dedicated an entire closet to craft and art supplies. Now that they’re older, it fits neatly into one little kitchen cupboard.
- games and cards- time to get rid of the games and cards no longer played or those with missing pieces. You might be able to get a piece replacement from the manufacturer, so check into that before paying to replace the entire game.
- old electronics- Goodwill takes broken electronics and will make sure they get disposed of properly.
- sports equipment
- cooking items you don’t use
- paper & plastic bags
- books you don’t love- we have one small bookshelf so only keep our favorites and ones worth re-reading.
- jewelry- repair broken jewelry if it still has meaning to you
- DVD’s & CD’s
- old household paints- take to hazardous waste if you’re able to. ONLY toss empty or close to empty paints that you’ve completely dried out first.
- clean out your purses and bags and donate old ones
- herbs and spices
- kids clothing- Family clothing is grouped into the fall because this is the time of year you’ll receive the most money for them if you sell online, plus this is when other families have the most need for warm clothing items. Have your kids help!
- family coats
- clothes you don’t wear- Selling online or taking to a consignment shop will make you a little extra money. If you donate some of your items, why not consider taking them directly to a shelter instead of somewhere people have to pay to buy them?
- kids toys- I used to make over $1,000/mo working PT selling kids toys and items on eBay (here’s how you can get started). I got started by selling my own kids items, it’s easy to do and you can even do it from your phone!
- old towels and rags
- projects you honestly won’t finish
- things you hate- why bother hanging on to items that annoy you or don’t give you enjoyment?
- kitchen gadgets
- wrapping paper supplies- get this organized before the holidays! And replace what you need for the whole year while you can get it on sale.
- old candles and candle-holders
- table linens and napkins
- People that make you unhappy- self explanatory! Life’s too short to put energy into people that bring you down or cause you stress. Focus your time and energy into people that appreciate you and care.