The Tannehill Homestead
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2017 Declutter Challenge: Week One

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Welcome to the 2017 Declutter Challenge: Week One! I am so excited you decided to join me in decluttering our life from all the things that have finagled their way into your home, car, and/or life this past year. I have got some big goals for us to be able to remove clutter and distractions from our lives. We deserve more than worrying about our surroundings, what we need to clean next, or what may be lurking behind closed drawers and cabinet doors.

Let us make 2017 a year of working towards our goals with nothing in our way or holding us back! 

What do you say? Are you ready to declutter?!

How many times do you reorganize your clutter? Probably more than you care to admit, right? Well no worries! The 2017 Declutter Challenge is going to help you clear out the clutter for good, so that you can enjoy life and stop reorganizing the clutter.

2017 Declutter Challenge: Week One

For week one, we are going to jump right into the heart of the home and its sidekick. We are going to get it clean, decluttered, and organized! I know you are probably thinking I am crazy for making us start in the kitchen and dining room, but honestly, I see better way to start this challenge! We are going to get the hardest part over within week one, and then the rest of this challenge will feel like a breeze!

I am not sure about you, but if my kitchen is a mess so is my cooking and mental state. It is hard to think of relaxing when the kitchen is not clean and tidy. Random thoughts prowl through my mind, and I cannot shake them until my kitchen is spotless. This week’s tasks are going to weed out these random thoughts we may have, like:

Dishes need to be done….

Why do these bowls not have matching lids?

Where did I get these cups? Did I purchase these cups, or was it my husband?

No, I cannot read your mind or see into your kitchen, but I can tell you all of these things are far too common. 2017 is the year to change this madness! Let this year be the year we take the time to organize it, keep it organized, and keep our mind clear of our kitchen. We all deserve peace of mind when it comes to the heart of our home. Am I right?!

The tasks I have lined up this week will take our confused, cluttered mess and transform it into the best working space possible. You are more than welcome to tackle these a day at a time or all at once. Also, if a task does not pertain to you, feel free to alter it accordingly or replace it with another. Please do not eliminate a task altogether, because the goal is to get decluttered.

Before you get started…

I want you to close your eyes and envision what your dream kitchen and dining room would look like. Think about what attracts you to a kitchen or dining room. Then think about how your kitchen and dining room will transform into this vision.

Personally, I envision mostly clear counter tops, a place for everything, and unexpired food! When I look at my kitchen and dining room, I want to think peace, essential, and organization. My dream kitchen and dining room is possible, and so is your dream kitchen and dining room!

Week One Tasks

  1. Clear and clean all counter tops and dining table.
  2. Declutter and organize cups, plates, and storage containers.
  3. Declutter and organize pots, pans, and small appliances.
  4. Clear out, clean, declutter, and reorganize the pantry and refrigerator.
  5. Empty, clean, declutter, and reorganize drawers.
  6. Declutter and clean any extra furniture, such as a buffet, china cabinet, and/or drink bar.
  7. Declutter linens, such as table cloths, wash cloths, kitchen towels, etc.

Guidelines

  • Deep clean as you go and you will have a spotless kitchen and dining room when you finish.
  • The simplest way to declutter in the kitchen is to remove everything from the cabinets, clean the cabinets, then rework what you are keeping back into them.
  • Check expiration dates. If we have pasted the expiration date, chunk it! If the expiration date is approaching, find a way to use it.
  • Keep in mind how many things you USE versus THINK you use. You may be surprised by how many extra things you have.
  • Do not be afraid to move things to another cabinet or drawer. I am already planning on moving my spices to the opposite side of the kitchen to make sure they last as long as possible. [Right now they are too close to the stove and the steam is clumping up some of them.]
  • Duplicates are not your friend! They only take up space. If the item you have is of quality, the duplicate will be a space waster. If the item you have is not of quality, consider replacing this item with something of better quality.
  • Just in case items are another space waster. If you have not used it in past 6-12 months, you do not need it! If you have used it within the past 6 months, consider if there is something else you already use that can do the job.
  • Ask yourself if an item deserves to take up space in your home. If you do not value it enough to let it take up space, you can remove it from your home.

If you have problems, feel free to contact me. I do not mind guiding you through this process. You can comment on this post, through one of my social media platforms [in the column to the right], or by email [erin@thetannehillhomestead.com].

Also, if you did not grab my FREE printable from the challenge introduction, be sure to jump over there and print it! It will make tracking your progress much simpler! There is even a goal section for you to write out the goal you have for yourself!

To be sure you are notified each week of the new declutter challenge, subscribe via email [If on desktop it is in the column to the right. If on mobile, it is located below a photo of me.]!

I cannot wait to read about how your decluttering goes over this next week! I know you will do great! Make sure to count how many items you decluttered, because I want you to share them with me next for the week one recap as well as the start of Week Two!

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48 Comments

  • Reply
    Cristina
    January 4, 2017 at 5:27 am

    I like to declutter before the holidays. I helps me to start fresh and be more calm and comfortable during the holidays.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 10:46 am

      I do as well, Cristina. For me, the holidays are so busy and so much comes in and out of our home, so starting the year off decluttering prepares me for the rest of the year.

  • Reply
    Kiara
    January 4, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I’ve been working on my kitchen more and more and I’ve found it to really decrease my stress when cooking and meal prepping. I’ll definitely be using this list along the way as I finish off this space!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 11:00 am

      I know what you mean, Kiara, and that is exactly why I wanted to start with the kitchen. When the heart of the home is in order, everything seems to fall into place. I cannot wait to hear about the progress you make!

  • Reply
    Jamei
    January 4, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I need to do this! I like that this challenge is done by week instead of by day, that’s more doable for me!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Thank you, Jamei! I appreciate the feedback, and am so glad you are joining me in this challenge!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 4, 2017 at 9:40 am

    This goes perfectly with my Wednesday post – my diary confessing how ready I am to de-clutter my studio apartment. I have acquired so many things over the years, and run out of ways to reorganize and repurpose. Time to purge!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 11:02 am

      That is great, Michelle! I am so glad this fell together with your timing! I love when things work out like this!

  • Reply
    Katie Kinsley
    January 4, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I’m participating along with Apartment Therapy’s: The January Cure to help with my organization process. I’ve already changed so much in just three days!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Katie, how awesome! I have not heard of this challenge. I will have to look into it!

  • Reply
    Cara
    January 4, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I’m so excited for this challenge! You would be proud Erin, I managed to tackle my monstrosity of a basement over christmas break using all your tips and I feel so accomplished! Now to focus on the day-to-day routines and minimize daily clutter. Great tips! 🙂

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 11:13 am

      I am very proud of you, Cara! Tackling a basement over Christmas break is not an easy task, and I know you rocked it! I am so excited that you will be joining me in this challenge! It is going to be amazing for our homes and lives! Clutter does not stand a chance in 2017!

  • Reply
    Mistle
    January 4, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I love this!!!!!!!!!!!! I plan on decluttering my entire house through out year. These are all great tips on where to start and what to keep in mind. I will def be using this!!!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 11:15 am

      So happy to hear this, Mistle! Definitely follow the challenge because I will be sharing tips on decluttering for every aspect of your home and vehicle! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cassie || The Brunette With a Blog
    January 4, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I’m in the middle of purging my wardrobe, and it feels SO good to get rid of things. I did the same thing with my kitchen a month or two ago, and it’s so much easier to manage. Minimalism for the win!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      I bet it feels great, Cassie! I cannot wait to have my kitchen in tip top shape! It is pretty organized now, but my plan is to move a few things around to improve it a bit. Thank you for sharing your minimalism win!

  • Reply
    lisa
    January 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I started de-cluttering this year without even realizing it!
    But I am loving and needing to use these tips! So helpful!
    Goals this year: De clutter and Eat better using the Fit & Fabulous challenge

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 4, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      I love it! That is exactly how I started my journey to minimalism. I hope it goes great for you, Lisa!

  • Reply
    Kathryn | Fashionably Frank
    January 4, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Seriously though… I came across this unexpectedly and I am totally bookmarking, pinning and returning for the next week! Yaaasss!

    xo Kathryn
    http://www.fashionablyfrank.com

  • Reply
    Justine Y @ Little Dove
    January 4, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Oh my gosh, yes! My kitchen is one of the messiest places in my house and it drives me bonkers. My countertops seem to always be littered, despite my best efforts. I’m going to try and do these tasks with you, wish me luck!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 6, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Good luck, Justine! You can do it! Just jump in and go for it. If you need anything, just let me know!

  • Reply
    Katie
    January 5, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I feel like I’m in a constant state of decluttering because it drives me nuts! Even this morning I started thinking about more ways to declutter!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      I understand completely, Katie! I am not sure of your exact circumstance, but mine was putting things away after I am finished using it. I have set as a goal/rule for my home of a one touch rule. If I get something out, I try to put it away as soon as I am finished with it. If not, anything could be left anywhere, and I am surrounded by clutter! Maybe this will help you, too!

      • Reply
        Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
        January 8, 2017 at 5:47 am

        Oh for sure, this is definitely what I do! I don’t like clutter; it makes me anxious. I mean more from a place of things that are maybe packed away and out of sight or hardly used (like various books/movies/CDs) or decorations, etc. Or just feeling in general like I have “too much stuff,” if that makes sense.

        • Reply
          Erin | A Welder's Wife
          January 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm

          Yes! I totally get that, Katie! My post about 250+ things I tossed after I downsized was all things I thought I wanted to keep for when we built our house. I have found great freedom in no longer storing things I may want to use one day, or barely use now. You sound like you are still in a transition of what simplicity means to you. You will find balance, you just have to keep working at it!

  • Reply
    Christina @ Hugs and Lattes
    January 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Yes! I need to do this. I just got married, so our kitchen looks like we just moved in with all the new stuff we have in boxes! Out with the old & in with the new!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 7, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Congratulations on getting married, Christina! I cannot wait to hear how your unboxing and organizing goes!

  • Reply
    Angie Scheie
    January 5, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    What a great way to start the year off!! I’m tempted to join:). Starting off in the kitchen is overwhelming but I imagine it really gets you motivated once it’s done!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 7, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Angie, I promise that if you do join in, you will not regret it! Yes it is work to get your home decluttered and organized, but think about how great it is going to flow afterwards! You can do it!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Very Erin
    January 6, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Great tips! I’ve been in declutter mode since we starting our moving process back in April. I’m trying to be more honest with myself about whether or not I actually use certain items versus just telling myself I’ll use them someday.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you, Erin! That was a big thing for me when I started, and still can be today with certain things. For instance, I finally purged silver wear I have held onto, but not once used in 6 years! Yikes!

  • Reply
    Sam
    January 7, 2017 at 4:39 am

    I just found your challenge and I’m so ready to give it ago – well now that christmas/new years & my sons birthday is over – Its actually perfect timing since i start University in Feb! Thank you.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      I am so glad it is perfect timing for you, Sam! I cannot wait to hear about all of your progress!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ simmerandsprout
    January 7, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Great post. I just decluttered my kitchen. Which is a place that’s easy to get lost in the “I might need this one day” mindset. I took everything out I hadn’t used in over 6 months and boxed it up. I didn’t throw it out. But if this time next year, I haven’t opened the boxes, yard sale time!!!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 7, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      That is a great plan, Ashley! I did this with my wardrobe when I first started simplifying my life, and did not open the boxes once! It is nice to get rid of excess things you really do not need. I hope you participate in the rest of this challenge with me!

  • Reply
    Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life
    January 7, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Great challenge Erin! I’ve been trying to be really diligent about not letting extra stuff enter our house, but I think it still happens somehow!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 7, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you, Christine!! I know what you mean, and that is exactly why I decided to do this challenge. A good purge once a year definitely keeps my home in check!

  • Reply
    Christy
    January 7, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Just tripped over your blog on decluttering. Perfect timing! I have been taking a weekly class on this subject. My problem is moving from a large house to a much smaller one. Stuff is everywhere!!! I am in process of redoing the kitchen myself. (My son said he’d help when necessary.). Hope to start painting this week. Will get rid of a lot of stuff as I go (I hope!). Looking forward to your next challenge. Thanks so much.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      I am so glad you found me, Christy! I did the same thing last year [1,400+ square foot home to 600 square foot studio style apartment]! The number one advice I can give you is to take your time unpacking and declutter as you unpack. If there is something you are on the fence with, put it in a box, out of sight. If you have not went to get it out of the box within a certain time period, you can donate/toss/sell that item. Looking forward to hearing of your progress!

  • Reply
    Bobbie
    January 8, 2017 at 7:20 am

    This should be an interesting task-I currently work in 3 kitchens, the church, my house and my sisters- all right next door to each other. So I have duplicate tools, but I have to be sure that each house has one before purging, and that they are in their prop e r places 🙂

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Bobbie, that is great! I completely get that each kitchen needs to have all of the right tools, but not necessarily duplicates within each kitchen. I am excited to see how this goes for you!

  • Reply
    Candy
    January 8, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I purged 2 cabinets during fall break with the help of my Mom. I love opening those cabinets and everything is in perfect order. I struggle with not knowing what to keep and what to pitch. If I can’t catch up with your posts by next week, I’ll invite my mom back to help. She’s ruthless when it comes tho purging.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Candy, the best way to decide is to ask yourself if the item is useful in your life. If you use all the time, keep it! If you use it often, keep it! If you cannot remember the last time you used that item, you no longer need it. From there, simply ask yourself if you want to keep it any longer. Having a declutter buddy, such as your mom, is always a plus! Good luck! I cannot wait to hear of your progress when Week Two’s post comes Wednesday! You can do it!

  • Reply
    Deb
    January 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    We’re starting late on week one of our challenge. We started yesterday. The tasks really do give us a good place to start with this mess (Hoarder house left to me by parents). We’re going to probably do this numerous times over the next year so that we can be sure to minimalize as much of the clutter as possible.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Deb, I always say better late than never, especially with decluttering! I am glad you are finding the tasks helpful! I cannot wait to hear more of your progress during this challenge!

  • Reply
    Mia
    January 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you so much for the challenge, Erin!

    I simply can’t wait to get started…I’ve been on a decluttering binge ever since reading KonMari’s book, but it just seems like there’s always more and more stuff I need to throw out or organize. It’s as if clutter multiplies like dust bunnies…

    I will be following your challenge closely this year and hope it will bring me a much more airy, clutter-free house!

    Sending good thoughts your way,
    Mia

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 17, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Sending good thoughts right back to you, Mia! So happy to have you be a part of this challenge! I hope that you are able to accomplish as much decluttering as you hope to and then some!

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