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2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two + Week One Recap

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Welcome to the 2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two! If you are just joining in on the fun, jump over to the introduction page, and print out the free printable for this challenge! You will also want to go through Week One’s tasks before you start on Week Two’s tasks! If you have followed this challenge from the beginning, let us do a recap and introduction to Week Two’s tasks!

First I want to say, I am excited to have all of you participating with me to rid our homes of clutter so that we can shift our focus to achieving our goals we set for the year. I know I started us off with a daunting task last week, but I hope you made great progress with your kitchen and dining room organization! Before we discuss Week Two’s tasks, let us review Week One’s tasks to check our progress! I bet we all did better than we anticipated!

[If you want to skip this past week’s review, keep scrolling until you see the 2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two.]

Week One’s Task Review

  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.

How you did with each task.

I want to hear all about your progress!

Were you able to declutter enough to make your kitchen and dining room completely organized?

What was the hardest part of Week One’s tasks?

What was the easiest part of Week One’s tasks?

How many items did you declutter?

Let me know below in the comments!!

How I did with each task.

  1. Cleared and cleaned it all, and I have been everyday since!
  2. I was able to let go of all of my plastic cups and wine glasses! Plates were at a good number before I started. A few mismatched lids and an abundance of small containers we never use left as well!
  3. The pots and pans moved to a new space for better ease of access. Small appliances moved around to create more space for mixing bowels and canning supplies.
  4. The pantry and refrigerator are clear of expired foods, foods we were not going to eat, and things we finished off during this week! The pictures of my pantry do not reflect my normal food storage. I avoided grocery shopping at all costs during the holidays, so there are many things missing that we normally have on hand, such as green beans, tomato sauce and paste, etc.
  5. We do not have drawers exactly in our kitchen. I do have one basket that holds my kitchen utensils. It was also holding my canning lids and rings. By finding a new space to store the lids and rings, I was able to free up a lot of space in this basket!
  6. We live in a pretty small space, so we do not have a formal dining room or extra furniture to declutter. However, I wanted to include it within this challenge, because I know more homes do than do not. Instead, I decided to remove everything from each cabinet as I went, cleaned it well, and made a list of anything I needed to make my space better organized. I will include these items within my pictures to explain.
  7. Over the past few months, I have implemented a new linen system in my kitchen. I love the idea of all white linens! So I put all of my current ones in a box, just to see if I would like this new system. I actually love it, and have been able to declutter all 14 of the kitchen towels I previously used! [If you would like to know more about why I switched my linen system, let me know in the comments!]

Hardest Part: Making the decision to get started. This was a big task to start this challenge, but I am so glad it is complete!

Easiest Part: Culling things I knew I no longer needed.

Here are a few before and after photos to give you an idea of how out of wack my kitchen was and where it is now!

2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

Kitchen Utensils Before: I keep all of my cooking, and canning utensils in this basket due to not having drawers. Somehow it also accumulated my canning lids and rings.

 

2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

Kitchen Utensils After: Removed 3 spatulas and one cork screw. I also found a new home for the canning lids and rings. Love all the space it created!

 

2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

Lower Cabinet Before: I use curtains for my lower cabinets, so I popped them off to have all the space I need to move things around a bit. This used to be a space for odds and appliances. Horrible use of space!

 

2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

Lower Cabinet After: Switching things around, I decided my pots and pans would be easier to access than tucked back in the corner they were before now. On the bottom, I decided to store my egg cartons. [I have chickens, hence the cartons… Since they are not laying as often, my extras have grown! The empty space if for my husband’s lunchbox. He was at work during this process, but when he is home, this is where his lunchbox will now reside. I love how everything has space to breath and is easily accessible!

2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

Upper Cabinet Before: There is not much to do to this space, but I am getting rid of all of my wine glasses and cork screw set. They just are not something I need any longer. Also, you can see that more lids and rings found their way into a space they do not belong.

 

2017 Declutter Challenge: Week Two | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

Upper Cabinet After: I removed the wine glasses and cork screw set, as well as the canning lid and ring. We no longer use plastic cups [in the before they are behind the pink coffee cup], and I downsized my coffee mugs from 3 to 2. Not a big difference, but I love it! I realize I could probably remove the shelf and move my mugs and glasses to the top with the others, but I really just like this setup! For now this will be how it is.

These are just a few examples of how much my space changed this past week! The rest of it is just as organized and spacious! I am loving it! I do have a few things I need now that I have decluttered to organize it a bit better, such as a Lazy Susan for my spices, another wire shelf like the one above, and a couple of dividers.

Now that Week One is out of the way, let us move forward to Week Two!

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 Two

For this week’s tasks, I want us to focus on a few spaces that seem to accumulate things easier than others. These spaces overrun with products, clothing, shoes, etc. The spaces we are focusing on this week include the bathroom, laundry room, and foyer/mud room.

We all know the bathroom is the place for products, samples, and toiletries. However, too often many of these are forgotten about. How many of us have purchased shampoo, conditioner, face products, etc that we already had? I know I am very guilty of doing this in the past! What about all the extra towels and washcloths we have, but never use?

The laundry room is something that many struggle with for many reasons. Before you know it, clothes stack up, the dryer eats a few socks, and your laundry products range from so many different things that you are not sure what to use anymore! It is probably scarier to think about if you keep all of your cleaning supplies in there as well!

The foyer/mud room is probably the easiest to whip back into shape this week, and that is why I wanted to include it. I wanted to give us a quick and easy success after all that we have done up to this point! The main focus for the foyer/mud room is the shoes, jackets, hockey gear, etc that seem to pile up over time. Am I right?!

Before you get started….

I want you to close your eyes and envision what these areas would look like in your dreams. Think about what attracts you to a bathroom, laundry room, and foyer/mudroom. Then think about how your spaces will transform into this vision.

My first thought is clean and clear. These spaces should make me feel as if I am in the clouds. My bathroom is my sanctuary. The laundry room is clean and clear of all things that need washed, and ready to go when I do need to wash a load of laundry. My foyer will be clear of all shoes and jackets. All things will be in their proper locations in my dreams!

I know this can be tough to envision. If you need motivation to see such spaces as your dreams show you, jump on Pinterest or Google, and search for your dream bathroom, laundry room, and foyer/mudroom.

Week Two Tasks

  1. Clear all contents from the foyer/mudroom and put everything in its proper location.
  2. Deep clean the foyer/mudroom after removing everything. [Do not forget the baseboards!]
  3. Catch up on all laundry. This includes folding/hanging it and putting it where it goes.
  4. Clear out and declutter all items in laundry room cabinets and/or shelves.
  5. Deep clean cabinets and/or shelves in laundry room. Then organize all products into the cabinets and/or shelves.
  6. Clear out and declutter everything in your bathroom cabinets, including linens, face and hair products, samples, and cleaning supplies [if you keep any in the bathroom].
  7. Deep clean EVERYTHING in the bathroom, including countertops, cabinets, shelves, toilet, and shower/bathtub.
  8. Put everything you are keeping in your bathroom back into the desired location to have an organized, and functional bathroom!

Guidelines

  • Catching up on laundry is the perfect way to feel that you have done something big! It will be this week’s big motivator to keep going and pushing through to the end.
  • If you have mismatched socks, see if you can pair them with a match. If not, get rid of them.
  • Have you ever considered owning one kind and color of sock? It makes life much simpler! I personally did this in December, and I love it! All of my socks are stacked up, flat in one pile.
  • See how well you can keep up with your laundry pile this week. [ You will want to for next week’s tasks 😉 ] You may come up with a new and improved system that makes doing the laundry easy peasy!
  • When it comes to laundry products, simplify it! You do not need a laundry soap for blacks, one for whites, and one for delicates. That is a marketing scheme! I have one laundry soap for all of my clothes, vinegar as my fabric softener [which works great by the way!], and my bleach for when I was whites.
  • For cleaning products, I challenge you to switch all of them to natural solutions! I have a great post on how to help with that, if you would like to check it out, click HERE! I guarantee you it will be much better and simpler than what you have right now!
  • For the linens in the bathroom, I want you to go through and let go of all the worn out, holy towels and washcloths. You deserve better than that! Your bathroom experience is supposed to be relaxing, pampering, and enjoyable! How can you do that with old worn out linens? It is time to invest in yourself, my friend!
  • Ladies, we have to tackle makeup and skin care this week, as well! I realize it may be a chore, but WE CAN DO IT! Cull the expired products, products you no longer like/use, and do not forget those brushes! For everything you keep, give it a good cleaning. Once a week, you need to clean your brushes to remove any build up and to prevent bacteria growth. If you use a beauty sponge, it needs to be cleaned every day! Your face will thank you!
  • For the rest of the products in your bathroom, pair up the products you use, the products you would like to use, and the products you know you will not use. The first and last options are obvious in what to do with them. For the products you would like to use, give yourself a time frame to use them. After this time, any products not used need tossed or donated. If you are brave enough, you will get rid of them now versus later. [I learned the hard way…]

I never promised this challenge would be easy, but stick with me and we will get through it! The hardest week is behind you, and it is only going to get easier!

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 [If on desktop it is in the column to the right. If on mobile, it is located below a photo of me.], 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!

To be sure you are notified each week of the new 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 went for week one, and how it will go for week two! I know you have and will do great! Make sure to count how many items you decluttered, because I want you to share them with me next week for our recap of week two as well as the start of Week Three!

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Sam
    January 11, 2017 at 4:29 am

    I loved week one of this challenge so much so I did it in 2 days! AND have kept everything clean and tidy. I also did my living room as its connected to the dining and caught up on several loads of washing (YAY head start on week 2!)

    I decluttered over 50 items – not including some of the kids toys. Threw out a bunch of food from the fridge, freezer & pantry (god knows how long its been in there for .. ). Gave away 2 boxes of non-perishables to different people. And im even selling a few items.

    The hardest part though was actually getting rid of things. Apparently theres a part hoarder in me and she really didnt like getting rid of a few items. The other part of me is loving my clean and clear spaces. My house seems bigger and its like I can breathe easier. So thank you. ♡

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 11, 2017 at 10:40 am

      WOW! You are so inspiring, Sam! I love everything about your update! Getting it done in 2 DAYS?! *Doing a happy dance for you!* You are rocking this challenge! I can only imagine how much space you created in your home this past week! I am so excited for you and cannot wait to hear how you rock this next week!

  • Reply
    Regan
    January 11, 2017 at 5:37 am

    I would be delighted if my “after” pics looked like your “before” pics! I have a long way to go!!!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 11, 2017 at 10:45 am

      You can definitely get there, Regan! If I had taken pictures before I became a minimalist, you would be blown away! I had so much junk. Just keep working at it, take your time, and most importantly, be honest with yourself when you are decluttering. That made the biggest difference for me.

  • Reply
    Ashley Stephenson
    January 11, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Keeping things off our counter tops and tables is my biggest struggle. There are so many times when I just move the mail to the kitchen table and I hate that! I hate having the clutter.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

      I know exactly what you mean, Ashley! That is one habit I have worked hard to change over this past year. Now I deal with it as soon as it comes in the door, so that it does not get out of hand.

  • Reply
    Cara
    January 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

    You did an awesome job! My cabinets are looking so much cleaner and spacious now that I decluttered. My spice cabinet was literally a nightmare and now it’s so much better! Cheers to another great week ahead!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 11, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      That is awesome, Cara! My spice cabinet was a nightmare as well! [Hence why I did not share it! haha!] So glad you are working through this challenge with me! Looking forward to hearing about your progress for this week!

  • Reply
    Kim Studdard
    January 11, 2017 at 10:53 am

    You did amazing! I love challenges like this, especially since I live in an apartment that is under 1,000 sq ft. With four people, it can seem crowded, but I know it’s just because we tend to make a ton of clutter! Lol

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 11, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you, Kim! Living in a smaller space does have its advantages, but it definitely is quicker to accumulate clutter. I hope you will dive in with me on this challenge!

  • Reply
    Sarah Jean Althouse
    January 11, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Great job, Erin! I’ve actually been reading more about how plastic is not the best for food storage or cooking SOOO am clearing my kitchen of plastic containers. Glass is so bulky but I guess in the long run it might be better. Now my shelves are REALLY clean and tidy. You would be proud.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 11, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      I can only imagine how clean and tidy everything is, Sarah Jean! Let me know what you switch to on containers. I am still in search of the right product.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    January 11, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    You’re doing great with the challenge! I started a little bit but mostly it was getting my Christmas stuff down 🙁

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Thank you, Rachel! I believe it all counts if it makes you feel more at peace with your surroundings. The point of decluttering is to free your mind from thinking of clutter, a “to do” list, or anything that does not help you relax or focus when you need that in your life.

  • Reply
    Jewels
    January 11, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Great job on the challenge! My task this week is to go through/ organize my mail. It’s piling up fast!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Thank you, Jewels! I understand completely! I used to have it all piled up as well! Keep following this challenge if you would like to know how I quit that vicious cycle.

  • Reply
    Krista Dial
    January 11, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    This is definitely a challenge I need to take! Lol The holidays have left our house in disarray! Normally we’re good about doing a clean sweep and getting everything back into proper order coming into the new year…not this time. Definitely gonna give your challenge a whirl! 🙂

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Awesome, Krista! I am excited to have you on board! The first two weeks are definitely the hardest, but I promise it is worth the effort! The final two weeks are what I am most excited to get to do!

  • Reply
    Kristan
    January 12, 2017 at 6:22 am

    I am so inspired Erin! Your spaces look so good. I am actually envious of your smaller space. I have noticed sonce moving to a bigger home that it is way more messy all the time. It’s not that we have more stuff but for some reason the stuff is everywhere! I’m going to take the whole day to get this place in order. Off to download your printable!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 12, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      I know your struggle, Kristan! The first house we purchased doubled our living space, and we did not have enough to fill it all. However, some how it managed to creep inside the cabinets, on counter tops, and even on our couch! The only way we survived was with the one touch rule: get it out to use, then put it away when finished. That has really changed my home from cluttered to tidy. Having a designated home for everything really makes a difference. Good luck, and I cannot wait to read about your progress!

  • Reply
    Kiara
    January 12, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I love how serious you make these tasks because let me tell you–it isn’t always easy to keep up with! But once everything is done, I feel amazing about getting the tasks done.I feel like I could go through my kitchen a little more, but I am happy with the progress I made!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 12, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you, Kiara! I honestly feel that if I would have done a daily task, it would have been a bit harder! [Yikes!] Maybe I should have named this challenge 2017 Declutter Bootcamp?? But I am glad you are keeping up with it! Do not worry about feeling like spaces are complete. Week 4 may or may not give you an opportunity to go back through things. I know that when I do a big declutter like this, I tend to think of things after that particular task was supposed to be done. As long as you are happy with the progress, that is all that matters.

  • Reply
    Minimalist-ing
    January 12, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Your pictures are so inspiring! I don’t have the time to dedicate to declutering rooms like you are, but I’m working on it as I go through other activities. I’ll definitely come back to this when my schedule calms down a little!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 12, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Thank you! It is not that I have the time, because right now my schedule is crazier than ever. I just cannot live with a cluttered space any longer. If you can find 10 minutes here or 45 minutes there, you would be surprised at how quickly your space can be decluttered.

  • Reply
    claudia
    January 12, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Ok I’m printing all of this!! I really need this…

  • Reply
    Stephanie Jeannot
    January 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    You are so very inspiring. You make me really consider getting into the real action of decluttering and not just getting rid of a few things here and there.

  • Reply
    Yana
    January 16, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I love this declutter challenge! Definitely need to participate. I’m so bad with keeping lots of things I don’t really need just in case.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 17, 2017 at 8:59 am

      I used to be the same way, Yana! Now I ask myself to be more honest about what I am or am not going to use. This has helped a lot, because if I second guess myself, out the item goes! I cannot wait to hear about your progress throughout this challenge!

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