As moms we sometimes can't find the time to organize and much less discard the items we don't need anymore. This 30 day challenge will help to start minimizing your life and de-clutter your precious space. There is a task for each day and all you need are trash bags. Download the guide pictured below and use a a guide and read the tips below.
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I started this minimalist journey after reading Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism. It spoke about the results of being a minimalist. Some of those results include less time cleaning, less chores, spending less money and shopping less, focusing on what is important, no more comparing yourself to others and what they have and having more time for what you like. I mean who wouldn't want these things in their lifes. Give it a good try!!
Day 1 Shoes
OMG! What! Donate my shoes? Yes, Girl. If you haven't worn them in over a year, toss them. Are they missing their sparkle? Toss them! We really don't need five pairs of tennis shoes, ten pairs of boots, ten flip flops. If you haven't worn them in the last year, donate them. Today's challenge should take 20 minutes tops.
Day 2 Clothes in Closet
The second day of this challenge can be the most challenging. Getting rid of clothes that we have had for years, or that we could one day wear is a bit daunting. For this first day I suggest you go all in. Get rid of all the clothes that you haven't worn in over one year or that are too small or too big. When I did this I got rid of four big trash bags.
Day 3 Pajamas
I was one of those people who loved pajamas and every Christmas for about four years I received at least two pajamas. Who really needs 20 pajamas?! Come on...just let them go now. Just leave 3-4 for winter and 3-4 for summer. That's all you need or even less.
Day 4 Books and Magazines
Donate or give away all your magazines. Let's be honest with ourselves! Are you really going back to read and look at these magazines. Probably NOT! About five months ago I gave away about 30 expensive photography magazines to someone who recently got into photography. And right now, I don't even miss them. Also, tackle all those books that are piled around you in your office, bedroom or where ever. In Good Bye Things, I read that some people hold on to books to impress their guests, to show them how smart they are by all the books they have. Honestly, who cares what people think.....give away or donate them. Start with 20 books and see how better you feel.
Day 5 Home Office Drawers
For day 4 if you have a home office, pick one or two drawers and throw out everything that is not essential, things you haven't seen in a year or things you forgot you had.
Day 6 Pantry
Take a trash bag and 15 minutes to through your pantry. Throw out any items that are expired or you know that you've for a couple years. Yeah! Some people still have baking flour from 4 years ago...throw it out!! While you're at get rid of those unhealthy foods too. Start fresh with fresh and healthy foods.
Day 7 Tupperware
This should be an easy one!! Get rid of all your plastic tupperware. Besides probably having too many containers, these are just bad for the environment and for the food you eat. Please let them go. I will say that you can replace them by buying a couple of glass containers.
“Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for the happiness in the future.”
– Wayne L. Misner
Day 8 Workout Clothes
Ok!! Unless you workout every single day, seven days a week...do you really need more then five sports bras, five workout shirts and shorts? No, I haven't worked out in about three years...I mean a real work out. I got rid of a trash bag full of workout clothes. I know you can do it!! Get rid of 15 items now!
Day 9 Junk Drawer
Take 15 minutes today and empty out a junk drawer. Throw away anything you don't need, haven't missed or anything that is just plain old trash. And this is not the time to be creative! Don't talk yourself into keeping something by telling yourself that you will do something with or turn it into something different.
Day 10 One Corner of Your Bedroom
Do you have a favorite part of your bedroom where you hang out alot? For example, I have a soft arm chair, and a foot stool with a tray table where pile books, laptop and magazines on. I have to make an effort not to let myself pile everything on there. So this is my favorite spot. Find your favorite spot and clear it out. Have it spotless.
Day 11 Kids Clothes
Don't think to much about this one!! Seriously!! If your babies are under the age of four they probably won't have any emotional attachments to their clothes as much as you do. Get three bags or boxes. One for donating, selling, trashing. Only have the selling bag if you seriously intend to sell your items. My first choice for this is ebay. It's cheap, easy and can be quick if you post for the right price. The throw away bag is for items that are in bad shape. If they are torn, stained, or too faded. The only items I suggest you keep are: heirlooms, two items from the first year, first birthday outfit, first shoes and socks. Put these in a zip lock bag and place in a memory box (a wood or fabric box for each child). Shoes are also included in this day's challenge.
Day 12 Jewelry
Are you someone who takes 10 minutes every morning to pick out the jewelry you are going to wear that day? What a waste of time! Time that can used better. Unless you professional jewelry maker, seller or fashion blogger you don't need 50 pairs of earrings, 20 rings, etc. I use to have tons of jewelry and about 15 years ago I paired it down to three rings, three necklaces which honestly i don't even wear, two bangles, and six earrings which are tiny and don't take up any space. For the longest time now I've been wearing faux black diamond studs. These black stud earrings go with everything and most importantly I don't have to think about it every morning.
Day 13 Unsubscribe to Email Lists
You never realize how many emails you receive until you don't open your email for days and when you do open it there are 300 emails writing for you...urgghh. Lets get this cluttered email cleaned out!! This challenge can be done through out the day as you check your emails. It will be easier if you do from your phone since that is the one device you always have on you. Unsubscribe to all those emails that you don't even open and delete right away. But this time instead of deleting them, open the email and go to the very bottom and click on "unsubscribe" or "email preferences" and unsubscribe. It can be time consuming if you have alot of emails to unsubscribe. So like I said through out the day is best or every time you check your email. Have fun!!
Day 14 Underwear/Bras
There are three criteria to toss bras and underwear. 1) If they don't fit 2) looked dingy, old looking 3) you would die if someone saw you in them. If your bras and undies fall under any of these three criteria, TRASH THEM! NO Donating these please!
Day 15 Kids Toys
When your kids are no where near to be go through all their toys and books and only keep what they have actually played with in the last two to three weeks. Everything else donate, throw away if unsellable or sell on ebay. If your kids are really young (under 3 or 4) they probably won't notice that some of their toys are missing.
Day 16 Pet Toys
This one should be a quickie! Take 10 minutes or less and a trash bag and throw way all doggie or cat toys that are torn, filthy, and abandoned. Easy Peasy!!
Day 17 Old Bills
Depending on how many old bills you have this could take up to an hour. Credit card statements are the worse and these can add up and take up a lot of space. I personally throw out (shredded manually) all my credit card bills, student loans and mortgage statements every January. You could do this every six months or even better opt-out of mailed statements for the digital version. This will save you the time of going through all those paper statements and will save the planet. These days you can actually get most of those bills digitally including cell phone bills and utilities.
Day 18 Cleaning Products
This one should be quick and easy. First, just throw away any old rags and sponges. Then throw out any and all chemicals. Yes, you heard me right. You really don't need all those cleaning products. Bleach is unnecessary and products with fragrances are just plane bad for you and your family. That doesn't mean you will never clean but clean in a better way. Four things you really need besides a sponge and paper towels are: 1. Borox which is white alkaline salt deposits 2. Organic lemon essential oils 3. Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap - Baby Unscented 4. Distilled Vinegar
Day 19 Makeup and Skincare
This was an easy one for me. I only threw out some old mascara and eyeliner pencils. If it's older than six months, clumpy, empty...then trash it. If you don't use it any more...trash it now! Today's challenge should only take five to 10 minutes or less.
Day 20 Hair Products
Simple and easy! If you don't use it throw it away. If you have multiples trash it. You don't need more than one shampoo, conditioner, gel or hair spray. Donate extra hair dryers, hair straighteners and hair curlers. Easy Peasy!!
Day 21 Socks and Swimwear
This is an easy one too! You really don't need 20 black socks or whatever color they are. Or do you really need 10 bathing suits or bikinis? NO you don't! If they don't fit, haven't worn in the last year, are out of style or have multiples, just throw all those away. You really won't miss all those socks and bathing suites.
Day 22 Purses and Bags
I know you probably have a favorite purse or five favorite purses but lets pair these down. First, first donate or sell any that you haven't used in the last eight months. Then get rid of those that have broken straps or look worn out. Finally, get rid of those that are duplicates. We really don't need three black tote bags, or two white purses. Just let them go! I promise you will be ok.
Day 23 Refrigerator
Take 30 minutes and take out every from your refrigerator and freezer, clean them both and only put back the healthy items that you eat regularly and those items that haven't expired. Easy!
Day 24 Vitamins and Medications
Go to all the places you store your vitamins, medications and over the counter medicine. Throw away all expired bottles and medications you don't use anymore. Simple as that!!
Day 25 Old Text Messages and Voicemails
Take 20 minutes today and delete all texts and voicemail. There is no need to save these. They are just slowing down your cell phone and sucking up valuable storage. Delete away!!
Day 26 Night Stand
Believe it or not sometimes clearing your night stand of clutter can be the most challenging of all challenges mentioned in this post. Well, for me it was difficult. That not I have a lot junk on night stand. My drawer is basically empty due to have a toddler that gets into everything. But my top and bottom shelf are packed of books that I'm reading or want to read. I have to be honest, my night stand is still full of books. I seriously want to read them first before I take to my home office. I know for me at least that if it's out of sight then out of mind. If you cleared your night stand...GOOD FOR YOU!!
Day 27 Home Office Desk
One of the best ways to have a productive work day at home is to have a clean and clutter free desk. If need be please grab a box and put everything in it that's on your desk except for the essentials. What are the essentials you may ask? It all depends on what you do at your desk, crafts, work on your computer, calculator, printer...only the essentials. Once it cleared of all the paper clutter, clean it well and don't clutter it again. As for the box, go through it and throw anything useless and if it's seriously important to you and related to work file it away. You can take a step further if it important papers; scanning them and organizing them in the cloud or digital dropbox would be even better. That way you can shred and throw away the original paper.
Day 28 Phone Apps
This should be a quick day and can be done anywhere. Delete all cell phone apps that you don't use, aren't planning on using or have no idea how to use and don't need. Besides de-cluttering your phone it will also give you more storage and improve phone functions if nearing storage capacity.
Day 29 Brain Dump
Today's challenge is pretty easy! Just take five minutes and write everything you are feeling and thinking about on paper. I provided a small brain dump box on the check list that you can download and write. There is no right or wrong way to do this...just write what's on your BRAIN.
Day 30 Five More Things
This is the last day and your last chance to throw out or donate another five items. Look in areas not previously mentioned and pick at least five items to thrash or donate. Some ideas on where to look are your garage, back yard, storage shed, attic, dining room area, living room, and foyer. Be creative! Say good bye to all those THINGS that you do not need any more.
BONUS DAY!! Clear Your Wallet
Find your wallet, empty it out, and only put back in the items that are essential. If your wallet is old, falling apart, or ugly then throw it away. I have a pretty red wallet which I buy a new one or get gifted (from my mom) every 2-3 years. Why red? Because in the feng shui realm, red attracts abundance and wealth. It can't hurt! Treat yourself to a new wallet as a gift to yourself for finishing this 30 day minimalist challenge.
Don't forget to download your free checklist, right here!