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30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge

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Do you feel like clutter is taking over your life? Are you constantly reorganizing, but never actually feel organized? Then you need to try this 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge I created! This challenge not only focuses on decluttering physical things, but also mental clutter. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as decluttering your physical things.

Do you feel like clutter is taking over your life? Are you constantly reorganizing, but never actually feel organized? Then you need to try this 30 Day Minimalist Declutter Challenge I created! This challenge not only focuses on decluttering physical things, but also mental clutter. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as decluttering your physical things.

30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge

Decluttering your possessions to only necessities is a true challenge of personal strength and determination. However, when you are able to do so, great things happen! Mental clarity returns, cleaning your home does not take nearly as long, and you actually know where everything is within your home.

This challenge will not purge every space in your home. The intention of this challenge is to get the decluttering process off to a great start! It will also show you different ways to take care of your mental health, because without it, decluttering may get overwhelming, at least from my experience.

Do you feel like clutter is taking over your life? Are you constantly reorganizing, but never actually feel organized? Then you need to try this 30 Day Minimalist Declutter Challenge I created! This challenge not only focuses on decluttering physical things, but also mental clutter. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as decluttering your physical things.

Daily Challenges Explained

Day 1: 5 items // Find 5 items you can toss or donate. I am going to keep a box for the entire challenge of donate items. If an item needs tossed, I will do so instantly.

Day 2: Countertops // Clear your counter tops of everything, wipe them clean, and add back only what is necessary. Everything else needs a new home, tossed, or donated.

Day 3: Meditate for 15 Minutes // I read the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris, and learned about the benefits of meditation. I am a skeptic, but I wanted to give it a try anyways. The instructions I have read for beginners include: concentrate on your breaths, focus on the in and out motion, and if you find yourself drifting, bring yourself back to your breath. I thought this would be great to try before bed, to help unwind from the day.

Day 4: Junk Drawer // We all have them, but why? It’s time to break up with the Junk Drawer for good! Find a place for everything by giving a new home to the item, tossing, or donating.

Day 5: Clothing // Time to cull your wardrobe! I am trying a capsule wardrobe for first time, and loving it! I started at the beginning of October, but I feel after some time there are pieces I don’t wear. It’s time to find these pieces a new home!

Day 6: Digital Cleanse // Turn off all electronic devices for one day. Take this time to enjoy the company of your family, time outdoors, reading a book, etc. I realize this is hard for a lot of people [myself included], but I am really excited for this day’s challenge!

Day 7: Accessories // Time to clean out jewelry, hand bags, belts, scarves, etc. Just leave the shoes for another day. I did this one about a month ago, and I should have gotten pictures of the before and after. It was amazing what I was able to let go of. That being said, I still feel like I have a few things I can part ways with.

Day 8: Shoes // Time to purge shoes! Another hard one for me. While I don’t have a lot of shoes, I still have more than I probably need. Until recently, I had my old cheerleading shoes from 2002! They are still in great condition, but they had ran their course. Now I just need to decided on everything else.

Day 9: Pamper Yourself // When was the last time you took time for yourself? Today is all about you! Enjoy a nice soaking bath, an all natural face mask, or maybe even go get a pedicure/manicure.

Day 10: 10 items // Find 10 items to donate or toss! I’m sure over the past few days there have been some things that have stuck out to you. Grab them up and give them a new home.

Day 11: Social Media // Social media is designed to help people connect through multiple platforms, but how many of these people only post negative posts, do you actually know that person, and why did you follow that person to begin with? If a person isn’t adding anything to your life, it is time to defriend them. Don’t worry, they won’t be notified. You should only follow or friend people who add something to your life or make you happy.

[Added bonus: Clear out and sort your emails. Unsubscribe from all promotional emails. You have much more important things in your life than to delete multiple promotional emails everyday. Even if you feel you can’t do without a certain store’s promotions, unsubscribe! Give it a try and see if you miss it. I didn’t! Plus, if you do miss it, you can always resubscribe.] 

Day 12: Find a product to use up // Is there a lotion you have just a little left in, or a sauce that is about to expire? If so, take today and use it! Today you will gain some space!

Day 13: Pantry // Look through everything and check expiration dates. Throw out anything expired or you will not use.

Day 14: Pots & Pans // A hard day for anyone who cooks a lot. Be honest with what is your favorite to cook with and what pieces you neglect. A tip I have seen is to see if lids fit more than one pot/pan. If so, you can let go of a few lids, and free up some space.

Day 15: Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier // Wish you had more time in your day? Waking up just 30 minutes earlier can help you achieve a more successful day. Use this time to finish up some cleaning, write in your journal, take your time getting ready, etc.

Day 16: Linens // The truth is you only need 2 sets of sheets per bed. Everything else is only taking up space. You could repurpose the extras into reusable paper towels, toss them depending on their condition, or donate them. Towels are the same. I’ve seen some minimalist only keep one towel per person; however, that will not be the case for my husband and I. To each their own, but be sure you find new homes for what doesn’t fit in these means.

Day 17: Cleaning Products // Do you hoard cleaning products like I do? It’s time to be honest with what products you use and what you are holding onto just because it’s a cleaning product.

Day 18: Journal for 15 Minutes // One thing I have always wanted to make a habit is writing in a journal. Take 15 minutes to write down whatever is on your mind. Who knows, we might all be surprised at the end of this exercise.

Day 19: Skin Care // All cosmetics have an expiration date. Most are 1-3 years. Purge the expired and then see what’s left. From here, purge anything you haven’t used in over a month. If there is anything else left to question, it goes. You will be left with what you use and works best for you. Who knows, you may even develop your skin care system.

Day 20: Make Up // Same rules apply as did on Day 19. In addition, if it isn’t your color, purge it.

Day 21: Go for a walk // Enjoy today by taking a walk outside.

Day 22: Medicine // Purging the expired medicine may rid you of more space than expected. Remember to dispose of medicine properly. If there is more left than expected, see if there is any medicine you have that doesn’t work for you and dispose of it.

Day 23: Mail/Paperwork // This is probably my least favorite day. I don’t have as much as some, but I have enough to make this task a pain. It is something that has to be done, however. Only keep papers needed to pay your current bills and papers needed for tax purposes. Everything else can be shredded.

Day 24: Guilty Pleasure // Probably my favorite day of this challenge. We’ve all been working hard and need to enjoy ourselves from time to time. Today, we have the opportunity to take an hour to enjoy a guilty pleasure. This can be anything from enjoying dessert before dinner, watching reality TV, etc. I will probably use my time to read a book I’ve had my eyes on for a little while.

Day 25: Crafts // We all have those projects we said we would do, and they are still waiting for us. Time to push the guilt aside and purge these crafts. Only keep things you plan to make within the next two months. Everything else can be tossed or donated.

Day 26: Keepsakes // If you have followed my posts, you know I have purged my keepsakes. However, I feel by the time I reach day 26, I will have a new found hope in finding more I can part with. Keepsakes are extremely hard to purge, because most people tie memories to items. It is important to remember the memory, but not attach it to things.

Day 27: Evaluate Priorities // Make a list of everything important to you at this time. Arrange each item from most important to least. We may find some adjustments are needed.

Day 28: Phone Apps // How many of us have applications on our phone we don’t use? Time to uninstall! One thing I have previously done is uninstall Facebook from my phone. I found I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook for hours, and only finding myself mad and aggravated when I decided to stop. Since uninstalling it, I probably get on Facebook once or twice a week to check my notifications for event information from friends and family that aren’t local. For the applications you cannot delete, group together so they don’t take up so much screen space. This will declutter your phone and declutter your mind when you use your phone.

Day 29: Contacts // Are you like my husband, who still has contacts from 10 years ago? Do you still talk to that person? Do they have the same number? If the answer is no or I’m not sure, it’s been long enough, and it’s time to delete it. A cleared contact list will save you time and distraction from thinking of the past. You are meant to live in the present, so let’s clean that contact list up a bit!

Day 30: Reflect on the Past 29 Days // Take time today to think of where you started and how far you have come. Do you have more space? Is your space less cluttered? Have you discovered things about yourself you didn’t know before this challenge? How did you enjoy the mindful exercises? Did you develop new habits? 

If you have any questions, let me know! I want to encourage all of you to join me in this challenge in taking our minimalist journey to the next level.

Please comment below if you decide to participate and share with me which day you are most excited and least excited for!

Challenge Update 1: Days 1-6
Challenge Update 2: Days 7-13
Challenge Update 3: Days 14-20
Challenge Update 4: Days 21-27
Challenge Update 5: Days 28-30

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41 Comments

  • Reply
    Breanna Catharina
    January 19, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Great post! I clean out my space religiously, but there are some items you listed that I might add to my rotation. Thanks! XOXO

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 7, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Glad I could help! I go through my belongings on a pretty regular basis, I’m hoping this challenge will allow a little longer between declutterings. Do you mind sharing which items you might add to your rotation?

  • Reply
    Emily @ My Love for Words
    January 20, 2016 at 4:50 am

    This is a great post! I'm striving to declutter and liev a more minimalist lifestyle. I have a loooooong way to go lol, but this is inspiring!! I love the variety of your tasks.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Thank you so much, Emily! I need to share some of my before pictures, so you can see how much I have decided to live without! It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am, but if I can do it, anyone can! I hope you will participate with me!

  • Reply
    erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
    February 6, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

  • Reply
    Jovanhanna
    February 16, 2016 at 7:14 am

    This is a great idea. I know I could benefit from getting rid of a lot of stuff. I may give this challenge a try. Meditation is great! I highly recommend it.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

      That’s awesome to hear! Thank you so much! I tried meditation, but it didn’t work out so well. I may have been too comfortable 😉 However, I have been wanting to give it a second try.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    February 16, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Our counter tops are so cluttered! Mostly my husbands stuff from his pockets…wallet, pocket knife, keys, etc. I always move them and somehow they always end up right back there the next day.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 16, 2016 at 8:44 am

      My countertops used to be the same way! I found that using a small basket as a catch all helps quite a bit! This way it keeps it centralized. For us, leaving things on the counter became a habit we couldn’t seem to break, so this was our compromise.

  • Reply
    Brittany
    February 16, 2016 at 8:24 am

    What an interesting challenge! My husband’s a pack rat and I would really love to do something like this.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 17, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Thank you! Mine can be too! When we were packing up to move he finally let go of some things, but it was only because he didn’t want to move everything!

  • Reply
    Carmen Gomez (Lilly)
    February 16, 2016 at 8:50 am

    This is a very ambitious list, I don’t think I can get it done in 30 days! I could really benefit from doing this though!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 16, 2016 at 9:01 am

      You definitely don’t have to complete it by then! The important thing is to go at a pace comfortable for you, so if you need longer that’s okay! Make it work for you!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
    February 16, 2016 at 9:44 am

    LOVE!!! I’m pretty good about decluttering or throwing things away as I realize I don’t need or use them, but there’s always room for improvement! One of the things I do to help that is every time I buy some new clothes, I find something else to donate. Or every time I pick a shirt out of my drawers and don’t remember the last time I wore it or wanted to wear it, it goes in a pile to donate. When time comes to donate, if I haven’t gone looking to wear that shirt, then away it goes!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      I love your ideas of choosing what stays and goes. It is nice to only own things you love and use/wear. All of the things I have chosen to let go of are being stored until I completely finish the process, and I have not went looking for a single item. It’s amazing how you can be torn on whether or not it goes, but if you make the right choice, you never regret it.

  • Reply
    Katie
    February 16, 2016 at 9:46 am

    This is great! I have been meaning to get a jump ok my spring cleaning, but struggling on where to begin; thanks for a super helpful plan!

  • Reply
    kp
    February 16, 2016 at 10:17 am

    This was a perfect post for me to read today! I need to declutter so bad. I just moved into a new house not too long ago and I told myself I would declutter in the unpacking process – but of course that never happened! It’s time to get rid of the junk and for everything to find a “home” and not just lay around in random places 🙂

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 16, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      I know the feeling! I did that the previous time we moved, but this time I had a place to store things so I could take my time unpacking! It was so worth the wait. About 85% has left for good! I still have a few boxes to finish unpacking and then I am going to post some pictures of what I am letting go of, to show how possible it is to live without the unnecessary. I promise it will blow your mind!

  • Reply
    Stefanie (@LexieLooDylan2)
    February 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I need to do this! We just have SO much stuff! Thank you for sharing. I pinned it for later use!

  • Reply
    Neely (@Neelykins)
    February 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I am for sure doing this! What a great challenge!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    February 16, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    What a cool challenge!
    I’d love to do this for the month of March just in time for spring cleaning.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • Reply
    Cherish
    February 19, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    PINNED! I’m so ready to try this. The only line that made me stop was the “makeup” one. Most of mine is in good condition (powders last a lot longer than you think) but I did “toss out” a LOT of lippies the other day. Makeup is definitely were I hoard (I have a whole shelving unit for it). . . But I’m willing to try the rest! Thanks for the great “challenge”!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 20, 2016 at 8:12 am

      I used to be the same way with makeup, but after moving several times, the collection slowly started shrinking. I also realized I use the same products repeatedly. I was tired of holding onto the “just in case” items, so I purged them! Good luck with the challenge and let me know how it goes for you!

  • Reply
    Samantha
    February 26, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    This is an awesome challenge! I so need to declutter my home more 🙂 Thanks for linking up to the Weekend Wind Down Link Party!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      February 26, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you, Samantha! I’m glad I found the party! It has been a lot of fun finding different bloggers! Everyone is so nice in the blogging community!

  • Reply
    Larissa
    April 25, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Totally going to try this – or at least some of it!

  • Reply
    Christy
    October 7, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    I came across your blog from something I saw on Pinterest and I wanted to stop back by and say you have inspired me! I cleaned out our 2 junk drawers and threw out a lot of junk, put a lot of things back in their proper place and even added to our box of items to donate! Thank you for sharing your journey with us 🙂

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      October 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Oh YAY! Thank you so much for letting me know, Christy! This is one of the main reasons I blog, so it means the world for you to take the time to comment and tell me of your experience! I hope you enjoy this challenge, should you decide to give it a shot!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    October 19, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I am a longing to be minimalist….just starting. This is going to take me awhile….sigh. I am dealing with pictures right now. I am sectioning them all so that I can first attack the bigger items. The problem is finding a place for things. And books….too many self help books that I have kept for so long meaning to read them and keep keeping them because I know they would be good. Self help notes from the boundaries coarse I took and all the others. Sorry but my list is too long. Do you have any tips about getting rid of books and notes etc? I guess its a matter of what I think I want to read??? Sometimes I go into my spare room and walk out in tears because there is so much to deal with. Being tired from work doesn’t help. I could try this challenge but I want to print it out. Is there a printer friendly version so I can check off what I have done…..and accomplished? Thank you for sharing your tips and advice.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      October 20, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Tracy, I understand the difficulty in decluttering, especially with books. My advice to declutter books specifically is to read the synopsis. If it sounds like the next book you want to pick up, it is a keeper. If it does not interest you, time to donate or sell it. I used to have a decent book collection, and now I am down to one bookshelf that I cannot fill completely. Each time I look at my books, it now sparks joy! Before, it was a burden.. With notes, ask yourself when was the last time they were of value to you. I used to keep notes from conferences, but I found that if I was not actively applying them after the conference, I was never going to use them. I am not sure what all is in your spare room, but there are two ways you can start with it. 1. If you already have something in mind you want to declutter, start there. You will create motivation to continue. 2. If you do not have anything in mind, start with the pile closest to the door and work your way through one step at a time. I have done it both ways, and to be honest, I did my best work when I was just fed up with everything and wanted to toss it all. Being in one of them moods works best for me, because I am determined to make a big dent. I am not sure if you are that way, but if you are, give it a try! I did not create a printer friendly version of this, but you may be able to print off the existing picture… I am happy to help in any way that I can, so if you ever need any help feel free to contact me! 🙂

    • Reply
      Patricia
      May 7, 2017 at 7:04 am

      Books are my kryptonite too. I have a 6 shelf book case. And decided to keep only what would fit in this. I ended up with 2 1/2 boxes that I couldn’t part with so I decided to take one book at a time and read it to to determine if it’s worthy of my book shelf. Actually the first book, lost my interest halfway through and took me forever to finish. It’s gone. We have a half price book store that will give you 5 or 10 dollars a box for books. I had a problem of what to do with the discards. I also am using our local library. If the book can be gotten from the library, it’s gone. I have a kindle reader. If I can get it on my reader, it’s gone. Hope this helps.

      • Reply
        Erin | A Welder's Wife
        May 8, 2017 at 11:16 am

        That is great advice, Particia! Thank you for sharing that! I have decluttered my books over the course of a year, but it was definitely not easy! I love the idea of switching physical books for ebooks/kindle books.

  • Reply
    Patricia
    May 7, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I like the idea of minimalism. I have been working at it (kind of) for the last year. I am in my 60’s so, it might be the era I was raised in. Parents of the depression and having 8 siblings. The family moto was “keep it, ya never know when you might need it.” So, it’s a real challenge for me but, I’m not giving up. One thing I’m trying to focus on is stopping the flow of what comes into the house. My husband is a collector too so, I am trying to enforce the rule a place for everything and everything in its place. If it doesn’t have a home he needs to find a place or re home it. I am going to do this challenge. If it goes well the first 30 days, I plan to just keep doing it every 30 days until I am where I want to be. Counter tops are a continual challenge. I usually feel like I’m preparing meals in a war zone. Thank- you for the inspiration of the challenge.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      May 8, 2017 at 11:14 am

      I know exactly the situation, Patricia! Growing up was about the same for me. It took a while to transition out of that mindset, but, once I did, decluttering my home became so much easier! My husband was resistant at first. We boxed up a decent size box of clothes he was not ready to part with at the time. We kept it for almost a year before he looked in it again only to see that he would not wear 70% of what was in the box. Patience and persistence are key to getting others in your home on board. I cannot wait to hear how this challenge works out for you! It really changed my life, and I hope it does the same for you!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    March 19, 2018 at 9:17 am

    This has been awesome!!!!! I initially started on the first of this month and was making good strides, then I got sick with a head cold and missed a few days. However, I’m a determined soul so, I rearranged the schedule and did some of the lighter activities on the days that I haven’t felt well. So far, so good. We’re hoping to move within the next couple of years and I’m determined to “travel light!” I am so glad that I found your challenge. It is definitely on time for my family! My kitchen hasn’t looked this good in YEARS!!!!! I plan on completing the challenge and then continue for 3 more cycles of the 30 days and focus on the 3 most cluttered rooms in my home. Thank you for this life-changing challenge!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      March 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      You have no idea how much your sweet words mean to me, Sharon! I am so so glad you are sticking with it, even with a cold. Moving is definitely a great motivation to rid your life of the excess. I cannot wait for you to update me saying that your entire home feels as good as your kitchen does! It really does change things when you focus on necessity and use of the things you own [of course, necessity can also mean things you believe to be beautiful and cherish]. 🙂

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