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Before You Downsize, Take the 30-Day Declutter Challenge

 Posted by James Burnett on February 28, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Before You Downsize, Take the 30-Day Declutter Challenge

Do you need to declutter your home quickly? A 30-day challenge can be very helpful if you’re downsizing.

What Is a 30-Day Declutter Challenge?

A 30-day declutter challenge is designed to help you reset the space in your home (and your mental space) in about a month. This can be especially helpful if you’re about to move or downsize.

We’ve created a list to help you collect at least 30 bags or boxes of clutter in 30 days. You can adjust this to meet your own goal.

How Can a Declutter Challenge Help with Downsizing?

A 30-day declutter challenge can help you get a head start in any of the following situations:

  • You’ve been putting off downsizing.
  • You need to downsize by a certain date.
  • You’re set to move to a smaller house or assisted living facility.
  • You’re an empty nester and want your living space to be more open and conducive to your new phase of life.

Because you will be using our list of 30 rooms and categories to declutter, you don’t have to worry about creating a plan or figuring out where to start. You can follow the guidance provided by the challenge and get quite a lot of decluttering done by the end of the month, making the downsizing process easier.

Things to Decide Before Your Declutter Challenge

Before you get started, there are three decisions you’ll need to make:

Are you using boxes or bags, or both? Make sure you have at least 30 of your choice.

Where will you keep the decluttered items during the 30 days? You may decide to remove the clutter daily or weekly, or you might wait until the end of the month. If you’ll be storing the bags or boxes the entire time, we recommend keeping them labeled in your garage or shed, or in a room where they will be out of sight.

What will you do with the decluttered items? Here are some things to consider:

  • Where do you plan to donate items?
  • Will you be recycling anything? (Some donation centers recycle electronics or broken appliances.)
  • Will you set aside items to give to family and friends?
  • Do you want to sell any of your items? Caring Transitions offers downsizing and auction services to help make that process easier for you.

Tips to Make the 30-Day Challenge a Success

Remember this challenge isn’t one-size-fits-all. You get to define what success looks like for you. Here are some tips for how to personalize your experience to make the most of your 30 days.

  • Be flexible. Declutter for more than 30 days if you need. You can split up each day into two days or more if you have a lot of clutter. Or you can declutter for less than 30 days, especially if you are doing a light declutter.
  • Don’t go in order—unless you want to. We numbered our list so you know there are 30 categories; but you can work through them and cross them off in whatever order you’d like.
  • Choose any bags or boxes that work for you. They don’t have to be the same size.
  • Skip or modify sections as needed. If a section of the list doesn’t apply to you, you can choose another area of your house you want to declutter instead, or split a bigger task into two days.
  • Get an accountability partner. Invite a friend or family member to participate in this challenge with you! You can check in with each other daily or weekly. And, most importantly, you can encourage each other along the way.

Your 30-Day Declutter List

Are you ready to start your challenge? The following are 30 categories and locations you can use as a guideline to declutter at least one bag or box per day. Modify as needed.

Happy decluttering!

  1. Master bedroom
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Living room
  4. Entryway
  5. Linen closet
  6. Garage
  7. Indoor holiday decor
  8. Outdoor holiday decor
  9. Books
  10. Entertainment (games, DVDs, CDs, video games)
  11. Kids’ bedroom
  12. Junk drawer(s)
  13. Storage
  14. Toiletries & Makeup
  15. Seasonal wear (jackets, sandals, etc.)
  16. Shoes
  17. Dishes & silverware
  18. Pantry
  19. Kitchen appliances, pots & pans
  20. Cleaning supplies
  21. Shelves
  22. Office supplies
  23. Arts and crafts
  24. Tools
  25. Car & auto accessories
  26. Basement
  27. Guest room
  28. Play room
  29. Fridge & freezer
  30. Any remaining cupboards, drawers, etc.

Are you stressed about downsizing? Caring Transitions is here for you! We streamline the process so you can focus on your next phase of life.