Get Your Home Into Shape With One-Day Decluttering Challenges

Updated on April 16, 2018
Room of My Own profile image

Sadie Holloway enjoys discovering simple ways to stay organized and manage her time better at home, at work, and out in the community.

When every surface in your home, including the floor, is covered in stuff, it's not surprising you're stressed out.
When every surface in your home, including the floor, is covered in stuff, it's not surprising you're stressed out.

Is your home cluttered with stuff you don't need or use? Are you overwhelmed by how much you have to do to get on top of the mess? Here's how to tackle home organization, one day at a time.

  1. Pick any project below and tackle one job per day.
  2. When you've completed one task, you're done for the day (unless you feel motivated to keep going).
  3. Depending on how fast you work (and how big the clutter), some projects might require an hour while others may take a whole day. But no matter how much time you have to devote to cleaning, you can find one little project on this list to work on.

Clean Out Your Pet Supplies

Don’t just declutter for your own peace of mind, declutter for the health of your pet.

  1. Wash your pet's bed or sleeping area thoroughly.
  2. Throw out any toys that are falling apart. Anything with loose parts can be hazardous to your pet’s health. For example, a dried out, cracked rubber chew toy can break apart and injure your dog’s mouth or cause choking.
  3. Leashes and collars should be checked to make sure they can still keep your pet safe and secure. Anything that is frayed or torn should be tossed.
  4. Dirty toys and accessories can become moldy or harbor bacteria.

Is your emergency kit in tip-top shape? Get it organized so that it's there when you need it.
Is your emergency kit in tip-top shape? Get it organized so that it's there when you need it.

Go Through Your Household Emergency Supply Kit

  1. Check the dates on food and bottled water and replace any expired items. The last thing you want in a disaster is to get sick eating food past its prime.
  2. Check the expiry dates on batteries and make sure flashlights, wind-up radios, and solar chargers are working properly.
  3. Inspect the first aid kit and replace any items that have been torn or damaged. Check the expiry dates on medications, ointments, saline solutions, and alcohol wipes. Believe it or not, a sealed, unopened wet wipe can still dry out, so make sure these vital supplies will be ready when you need them most.

Sort Your Shopping Bags

At what point does your collection of re-useable shopping bags become counter-intuitive to saving the environment? These days, stores that don't want to be accused of adding to the growing plastic bag problem are giving away free reusable bags all over the place. It's probably time to pare your stash of bags down to only the most efficient and durable ones, or your bags may end up all over the place!

If plastic grocery bags are taking over the cupboard under your sink, check out the video below in how to turn them into yarn that you can knit into a sturdy tote bag.

Clean Out Your Jewelry Box

Broken gold and silver jewelry can be traded in for cash at one of the many gold buying outfits that have cropped up over the last few years. There might even be a gold buying kiosk at your local mall. Give unnwanted costume jewelry to the kids in your life. Playing dress-up is always a more fun with a little faux bling!

Clean and Declutter One Drawer in Your House per Day for a Month

It shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes tops to sort through a drawer in your bathroom vanity, and you'll feel so satisfied when you open the drawer the next day while you‘re styling your hair and you find everything in neat and tidy order.

Once you've finished with the bathroom, move onto the kitchen, then the office, and so on. Clean out the stationary drawer under the phone in the kitchen while you're on hold with the cable company.

Organizing your home office is good for business.
Organizing your home office is good for business.

Not only are piles of newspaper, books, office paper and magazines unsightly, they're also dust magnets! And as they gather dust, they're also creating more dust as the paper breaks down and disintergrates over time. Plus, did you know paper is a food source for bugs like silverfish, cockroaches, termites, and book lice? Eww! That's a pretty good reason to get a handle on your excess office mess.

Organize Your Stationery

How many pens in the jar sitting on your desk still work? What about those stubby pencils with worn down eraser heads, are they really serving you any more? Go through your stationary and toss out dried up pens and markers. Get rid of excess supplies that have slowly accumulated over time. (Where did those 20 yellow highlighters come from?) Dried up glue and correcting fluid should be tossed. Dull scissors should be either sharpened or safely disposed of.

Give Your Computer a Tune-Up

Organize your email inbox and delete junk mail and spam. Look for hidden storage folders on your computer and delete unnecessary photos, downloads, and .pdf documents. Clear files off of your desktop and organize them into folders---you’ll speed up your computer’s processing time and memory when you purge it of unwanted files and images.

Pick the Junk off of Your Pin Board

Old expired coupons, store receipts for items you can no longer return, out of date calendars, appointment reminders that have come and gone...why are those things still hanging around? It's time to toss them!

Organize Your Charging Cables and Power Bars

Get rid of any frayed cords and cables that are worn out and kinked. Exposed wires could lead to a fire so don't take your chances. Make sure your cords are properly identified and labelled so that the right cable is used to charge up the right device. Roll up and bundle excess cord length to keep it from becoming a tripping hazard.

If a neighbor or family member stopped by for an unexpected visit, would you be proud to seat them in your living room? If not, try sorting through the following areas that seem to attract clutter and chaos.

Organize Your Home Entertainment Center

Do you have four remote controls sitting on the TV console but you one have one TV and a DVD player? Do you have four remote controls sitting on the TV console but you one have one TV and a DVD player? Sometimes when a TV or stereo system gets sent off to the electronics recycler, the remote control gets left behind, cluttering up your entertainment center. Match each remote up to a working device and then get rid of the rest.

Pare Down Your Family Photos and Display Only Your Most Beloved Pictures

Arrange the rest in a medium-sized, archival-quality photo album that can be brought out when you want to lovingly brag about your brood.

Donate Odds and Ends That You Don't Need Anymore

Once you start paring down your collections of books, DVDs, and so on, you may find that you have lots of room leftover on your bookshelves. Instead of creating a void that will start to attract more stuff, consolidate the remaining items onto one bookshelf and sell or donate the old bookcase. Not only will you be eliminating the temptation to clutter up the empty shelves again, you'll be creating a more spacious feel in your living room. The same goes for side tables, end tables and curio cabinets. As you declutter and get rid of all the the excess stuff that needs (i.e. picture frames) a surface to sit on, get rid of that excess furniture and notice how much more airy and breezy your place is.

Organize Your Car From Top to Bottom

Clean out the trunk of your car and vacuum it. Inspect your roadside tools and safety equipment so they’ll be ready to use in an emergency. Clean out your glove box and shred out-of-date insurance forms, maps and registration papers. Keep service records in a folio. Don’t forget to purge your sun visor of old drive-thru receipts or expired gas coupons. Clear your dashboard of old parking stubs. And finally, before you close the door on this decluttering project, inspect the side pockets for loose change and other ‘surprises.’

Household Items You Shouldn't Hang Onto

When it comes to decluttering and keeping your home healthy and safe, there are a few items you'll want to take note of and toss out of they've passed their prime. According to Canadian microbiologist Jason Tetro, here are some of the yuckiest items hiding in plain sight around your home:

  • Toothbrushes. Get a new one every month. Your mouth is worth it.
  • Old towels, bedding and linens. Wash your mattress pad/cover every three months and replace it with a brand new one yearly. Pillows that are washable should be washed every three months.
  • Dish sponges and scrubbers
  • Water filters
  • Slippers and any footwear worn without socks.

Some items I'd add to the microbioloisgst list include:

  • Cracked and chipped dishes. The exposed surface revealed when the glaze has been chipped off porcelain or ceramic dishes is porous, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and microbes to settle in and live quite comfortably, thank you very much. If you can't stand to part with an item because it once belonged to someone special, find a new use for it hat doesn't involve food. That pretty teacup your grandmother gave you would look lovely on your desk as a paper clip holder. Or you could plant small succulents in it or use it as a tea light holder.
  • Spoons and spatulas. Cookware, both plastic and wooden should also be checked for cracks, splintering and mold. Check your plastic and rubber cooking utensils as well for signs of disintegration. You wouldn't want tiny bits of rubber or plastic from and old spatula ending up in your scrambled eggs. Gross!
  • Reusable coffee filters.Your mesh coffee filter isn't going to last forever (but good on you for avoiding disposable ones). Find out from your machine's manufacturer how often it should be replaced so that it remains clean and germ free.

© 2017 Sadie Holloway

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)