Can you really transform your whole world in a month? Yes, you can! Use the easy, daily projects in this Minimalize Your Life Challenge and have a whole new life in only 30 days.
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Minimalize Your Life
New Year, New You? You’ve made the obligatory New Year’s resolution before: I want to lose 30 pounds. I’ll go Keto all year. My idea will make me a million dollars in its first year. How long before those goals and aspirations were lost by the wayside and forgotten?
What if you really could change your whole life, home, and mindset in only 30 days by minimizing? Would you do it? Of course you would…and now you can.
This is Part 3 in our minimalism series and this decluttering challenge gives you 30 easy projects to do in January (with one free day for the time you just can’t squeeze a project in). Each day will get you closer to your new, more organized and focused life.
There is one extra rule though, everything that is kept throughout this process must have a specific place or spot in your home, where it goes. If you can’t find it a home, then it can’t stay. This is the only way to keep your home organized and maintained after this process.
Let’s get started!
The 30 Day, Life Changing Challenge.
1. No Spend Month. Now that the gluttony of Christmas has passed, here is your chance to really do something different to make a change. Make January a no spend month.
For this one month, you can spend money on your groceries and transportation but that’s it! This is a good way to find out what you are spending on “extras” in one month. A lot of times it’s those “extras” that are killing your budget.
Use today to plan out how to accomplish this no spend month.
2. Phone Clean Out. Today you will clear out things that are taking up space in your phone.
- apps you don’t use
- delete memes you saved months ago that are no longer relevant
- trash those text that no longer matter
- get rid of those blurred photos you won’t post or print
Make some space and gain some speed cleaning out that phone.
3. Email Clean Out. When was the last time you cleaned out your email…no seriously? The last time I cleaned out my email, I had over 1000 things I no longer needed. Today we will delete!
Also, take this time to unsubscribe from any email list that only encourage you to spend money. (Like the Bath and Body Works ones that encourage you to buy an 11th candle, when you have 10 you haven’t burned yet.)
4. Purse and/or Wallet Clean Out. Take your purse and/or wallet and remove everything. Trash anything you no longer need. Give it a good shake-out to remove any old crumbs or scraps. Put back only the things you really use or need. Give those things a good home in your purse/wallet.
5. Clean Out the Junk Drawer. Every house seems to have at least one. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the kitchen or a desk, empty out all the contents and get rid of what is no longer useful or what doesn’t belong.
6. Evaluate Your Subscriptions. Do you really need Spotify and Amazon music? Are you using Netflix and Hulu on the regular? Is getting a new perfume sample every month really important to your life? If the answer is yes, that’s fine. But if you have subscriptions you really aren’t utilizing, take the time to cancel them and save that money.
7. Go Through Your Cleaning Products. Did you switch to natural cleaning products but haven’t got rid of the toxic ones? Do you have an old container of cleaner that isn’t even recognizable because it’s so old?
It’s time to give them the old heave-ho. And don’t forget, cleaning products can be found in lots of places: under sinks, in linen closets, in laundry rooms. Make sure you go through them all.
8. Car Clean Out. Take a trash bag out to the car and clean out anything that doesn’t belong. If you are feeling really ambitious, give it a quick vacuum and wipe down.
9. Paper Clean Out. Today is the day you take control of your paper issues. Look for piles of old mail you haven’t gone through, expired coupons you still have, old statements you no longer need. It’s time to shred them all.
Then make a system to keep new paper from coming back in. I would suggest you keep the shredder right by your trash can, so you can go through paper right as it comes into the house.
10. Medications and First Aid. Grab all the medications and first aid supplies from everywhere you keep them in the house. Look for expired or old products and toss them out. Take the time to organize your supplies while you put them back.
11. Cookbooks. Cookbooks can be a problem for some of us because they can be beautiful or we got them as gifts. But with the internet and things like Pinterest, we really don’t need lots of cookbooks taking up space in our kitchens.
If you have a few favorites that you actually use often, then go ahead and keep them. If you have cookbooks you have never used, find them a new home.
12. Kitchenware. We all have kitchenware that builds up. Tupperware that’s lost it’s lid, fancy dessert bowls we like but never use. That appliance you swore you would use but now it’s been 3 years and all it’s done is collect dust.
It’s time to let those go. If they are worth a lot (like with an appliance), they might be worth selling. Otherwise it’s time to donate or recycle them.
13. Books and Magazine. Some people are just book people. I am one of them. I love to read, but this means my collection of books starts to build up. When going through your books/magazines, be critical.
Ask yourself, “Will I really read this again?” If you will, keep it. If the answer is no, find a friend that also enjoys reading and gift it. There are also charities you can donate them to.
14. Board Games and Puzzles. Our family loves board games. When we get together, we will spend hours playing. But that doesn’t mean every game is a hit. Games and puzzles can be expensive, so it’s hard when we make a mistake and buy one we just don’t enjoy.
Keeping it is just a reminder of the money we wasted. Hold on to all of your favorite, frequently played games. However, if there are games or puzzles in your collection that haven’t been touched in over a year, you can probably let them go.
15. Toys. If you have children that are too young to make decisions themselves, you can be the one to go through their toys. If kids are older, this is a good chance to teach them about keeping what’s useful and well loved, and letting go items that can be enjoyed by someone new.
Also, remember that any thing that is kept must have a home. This includes toys. It’s much easier for your children to clean up their own messes at the end of the day, if they know where each item goes.
16. Make-up and Nail Polish. It’s very easy to collect beauty products, but just like a lot of things, they too have expiration dates.
- That favorite mascara from 5 years ago, can give you a nasty eye infection.
- That color of lipstick you just had to try but ended up hating, is not going to magically look good on you one day.
- Any nail polish that stays separated even after a quick shake, needs to go.
- If anything is past it’s prime or isn’t something you love, it’s time to throw it out.
17. Toiletries. Toiletries seem to be another category of items that are easy to collect. You want to try that new hairspray. Your dry shampoo works just fine but what if this one works better? This shampoo bottle is pretty, maybe I should buy it (even though I have 3 bottles at home already).
Gather all of your toiletries from throughout the house. Keep what you know you’ll use, and get rid of the rest. If they are unopened you can donate them to a shelter. Then make a commitment to not buy new toiletries on a whim. If you really need them, then they go on the shopping list, otherwise, just stay away from that whole tempting section at the store.
18. Holiday Decor. January is actually the perfect time to go through your holiday decor. You just finished a full year of holidays. What got used and what stayed in the boxes? If you didn’t get it out this year, it’s probably not a favorite item, and it won’t be missed next year.
19. Tools. How many hammers does one really need? Unless you are a contractor or plan on doing a major remodel soon, then the answer is one. Tools are another thing that accumulates throughout the years. Because they can be expensive, we have a hard time letting the extras go. Unless you plan on hammering with both hands or doing a project with your spouse, it’s time to say goodbye to the extras.
20. Pantry and Fridge Clean Out. Do you have some science experiments growing in Tupperware in the back of the fridge? How about food you bought with good intentions, but has been sitting in your pantry for a year now untouched? Throw out anything expired and donate the rest to a shelter.
21. Office Supplies. This one has been a weakness for me in my life. I loved buying pens and journals that I did not need. I don’t know why, but they continued to pile up until I had more than I could ever use.
Gather all of your office supplies together so you can see where you have excess. Office supplies are easy to donate to schools, so you don’t have to feel guilty about them leaving your home.
22. Craft Supplies. We buy craft projects with the best intentions. For awhile, I was collecting watercolor supplies, because I was determined to learn to paint with them. I had them for years without picking up a brush.
I finally had to realize I just didn’t have the time to take up a hobby right now so they were donated. If you have supplies you use regularly, they can stay. Just make sure you are honest with yourself about the time you plan on dedicating to crafting.
23. Home Decor. Do you have a piece of art you loved 10 years ago but now it sits collecting dust in your garage because it doesn’t fit into your new home? Let it go. What about that gifted vase that you have on your bookshelf out of “obligation” but that really isn’t your taste.
The only things that should have a place in your home are things that are useful to you or things that you absolutely love. If you have decor in your home that doesn’t bring you actual joy when you look at it, then it needs to go.
24. Kitchen Linens. How many potholders are taking up space in your drawers? How many do you use at a time? Again, you only have 2 hands, so do you need 7 potholders? What about dish towels? Are there quite a few that have seen better days? It might be time for some of them to find a new life as cleaning rags or to just go all together.
25. Bed and Bath Linens. How many towels does one really need? Do you have multiple sets of pillowcases that you never use? Unless you have very young children that get sick or wet the bed often, you only need 2 sets of sheets, pillowcases, and towels. One for use and one for backup.
26. Seasonal Clothes. This includes both winter and summer clothes. Gather gloves, scarves, bathing suits, jackets, all of it. If you have only one glove of a set, a scarf you haven’t wore in 3 winters, a bathing suit that’s stretched out, a jacket that has been too small for awhile; it’s time for them to leave.
27. Shoes and Jewelry. What are you really wearing when it comes to the shoes and jewelry you own? Gather all of them together and take the time to look at each item. Keep what you regularly wear, or really love. Then make sure they have a home in your space. If not, then they need to leave.
28. Drawers. Now is the time to go through all of the clothing you keep in your drawers: socks, underwear, slips, stocking, pajamas, etc. Get rid of anything that is just plain worn out. Really evaluate anything else. If an item hasn’t been worn in awhile, it’s probably safe to get rid of.
29. Closet. Clothing used to have just two seasons. Now, with fast fashion, we are told we constantly need new clothes to stay “in fashion”. A lot of these purchases can be impulse buys that we don’t end up wearing.
If you have a closet bursting at the seams then go through each item in your closet and get rid of anything:
- you haven’t wore in a long time
- that doesn’t fit well
- that you don’t love
Clothing is easily donated to many places, so make sure you donate anything that’s in good shape so it gets a second life before hitting the landfill.
30. Sentimental Items. We saved this one for last because it can be the most difficult. Old keepsakes, photos, and gifts can be hard to let go of. And I’m not telling you not to have any keepsakes.
If you do have keepsakes though, they should be loved and have a place just like anything else in your home. Look at your items and decide if they make you truly happy, then they need a home, and can stay. But, if they give you anxiety or guilt, let them go.
How Will Your Life Look After A Minimalism Challenge?
Breaking a whole house declutter down into daily projects makes it manageable and YOU CAN DO IT! Imagine what your life could be like once you have completed this whole Minimalize Your Life Challenge.
Need some extra encouragement during the challenge? We’ll be posting daily support this month, Jan 2020, on our Facebook page. We’ll be giving challenge reminders each day and giving everyone a safe space to discuss how decluttering is going for them. We’d love for you to join us!