How To Quickly Declutter 100 Things From Your Home

posted by Andrea | 09/5/2017
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When it comes to decluttering, the hardest part is often JUST GETTING STARTED!

Can anyone relate? 

You might look around at your house, your garage, your office, or your closet, and wonder how things got so bad, what your first steps of action should be, where you should start, or how you will ever finish.

Those types of thoughts are very overwhelming for almost anyone — they are enough to paralyze even the most motivated person. So instead of doing SOMETHING, you decide you don’t have time right now, so you’ll do it “LATER”?

Sound familiar? 

I know it’s often easier to push things off until “later” — whenever “later” is — but I can speak from loads and loads of experience (in my own life and helping others get more organized) that once you actually bite the bullet and get started, the project at hand usually goes faster than you initially anticipated, and it’s not nearly as overwhelming as you made it out to be in your head!

If you’d like to get a little more organized, clear some of your clutter, and whip your home into shape — but you just don’t know where to start — I think today’s post might be just what you need!

Here’s what I want you to do.

Grab a couple of large garbage bags, a laundry basket, or a large box and purge at least 10 items from each of the 10 areas below. I have a feeling it won’t take you more than an hour or 2, and at the end of that time, you’ll have purged 100+ items from your home, and you’ll be one step closer to a cleaner, more organized, less cluttered home! 

Let’s get started…

1. Closet:

I’ll start you off easy — purge at least 10 items from your own closet (or dresser). This could be clothing, shoes, accessories, undergarments, purses, bags, coats, etc.

You could also take this one step further and purge at least 10 items from each of your children’s closets too — and of course, encourage your spouse to purge a few items as well.

For the purpose of this post, I’m only counting “closets” as one of the 10-item purges — so if you do more than one closet, you’ll be ahead of the game!

2. Bathroom:

Purge expired medication, old makeup, grimy hair brushes, empty bottles of shampoo or lotion, frayed towels, and of course, anything you don’t actually use or need anymore.

Again, I’m only counting this as one 10-item purge — but feel free to repeat the process with each bathroom in your home!

3. Food:

Go through your fridge, your freezer, your pantry, and anywhere else you keep food and purge 10 items that are moldy, freezer burned, expired, or just past its prime.

And if you have any not-expired non-perishable foods that you know your family won’t consume, feel free to box those up for the local food pantry.

4. Kitchen:

While you’re in the kitchen, take a few minutes to purge at least 10 gadgets you no longer need or use, duplicate small appliances you don’t need, anything that’s broken, outgrown kids items like sippy cups, bottles, etc. and anything else you don’t need.

5. Paper:

Yes, I’m only asking you to purge 10 paper items — but feel free to do more if time allows!

Consider recipe cards you no longer need, all those papers plastered on the refrigerator, the piles on your counter and/or desk, all the sticky note reminders around your home, and even your filing cabinet. They are all fair game for your miniature paper purge!

6. Toys (for kids or adults!):

If you have children, you probably have a large number of toys you could easily part with — now is the time to do that.

Even older children and adults have their own version of “toys” — think gaming systems, sporting equipment, collections, etc. If it’s not your property, you might consider asking the owner first… but try to find at least 10 “toys” to put in your donation bag/box.

7. Books / Magazines / CD’s/ DVD’s / VHS’s:

This should be SO easy — I’ll even let you include cookbooks in this list if you want!

8. Garage / Basement / Attic / Storage Closet:

I realize this is a HUGE category, but some people don’t have a garage, a basement, an attic, or a storage closet — so by including them all in one category, I’m hoping to hit every home or apartment situation!

If you have all of the above, feel free to get “extra credit” by purging at least 10 items from EACH of the different spaces!

9. Hobby:

No matter who you are, you most likely have some sort of hobby that requires you to accumulate at least a few tangible things — and if you’re like most avid hobbyist, you sometimes need to purge before things get out of control!

Purge extra fabric, yarn, photos, scrapbook supplies, tools, baking or cooking gadgets, canning supplies, paint, or any other tchotchkes you don’t need anymore.

Even if your only hobby is reading ebooks on your phone or other electronic device, you can still go through and clean up your book files!

10. Miscellaneous:

This is sort of a freebie for you to determine based on your home and your life. You can choose any area of your home and purge at least 10 more items — bringing your grand total to at least 100!

If you need a few suggestions on where you start, I’d suggest the linen closet, holiday decorations, mudroom, junk drawer, or filing cabinet — it should be easy enough to find at least 10 non-needed items from those spaces!

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Like I mentioned above, I feel fairly confident even the most indecisive person could accomplish a 100+ item purge in a matter of an hour or two — especially if you don’t have many interruptions and if you stay focused on your task.

Purging 100 items will not magically transform your home, but it WILL get the ball rolling.

It will stop you from saying “later” and  instead, propel you to do something to better your situation.

Next week (or sooner) you can challenge yourself to another 100-item purge. Sooner or later, you will start to notice a big difference in the state of your home — and I’m pretty sure it will feel REALLY amazing!

Where will you start purging first???

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16 comments

  1. Linda K Foster

    09/08/2017

    I’ve purged a few hundred items this week! I somehow turned into a hoarder for several years. About 12-15 I’d say. I was never like that while raising our 5 children. So the last couple years I’ve been reforming and clearing a lot of clutter! This week I’ve been clearing out my workshop. Gave away many nails, screws, etc as well as three parts bins. Sent my husband to Habitat Restore on Alpine with a car loaded! Trunk, back seat and passenger seat! Yesterday I took a load to the recycle bins on 10 Mile.
    I’ve gotten rid of enough to get rid of two, four shelf units. I gave them away today as I spent the day helping sort and organize a entire room Full of boxes and boxes of doll house items at a miniature museum. It was fun and very rewarding. I have recently learned I very much enjoy doing such tasks! I took the shelves and some other storage items, which I donated to the cause.
    I’m on a roll with my house and not quitting until I’m done!
    One thing I learned from Peter Walsh is to not say “Later”. Do it now! That has helped me a lot!
    Thanks for this post. I’m going to do it again and again!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — awesome!! Keep on going Linda!

    [Reply]

  2. Tori

    09/05/2017

    I’m going to do this on Saturday!

    It would be a great thing to do every month. That would be 400 things purges by the end of the year. woo-hoo!

    That might actually make a small dent in the clutter. 🙂

    Thanks! Happy BABY!!!!!

    Tori

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, 400 items by Christmas — and then 1200 next calendar year. That’s A LOT of purging!

    [Reply]

  3. Luba @ Healthy with Luba

    09/05/2017

    Andrea, when I saw your post, it seemed overwhelming. However, when you broke it down into categories, it seemed so easy. It I do this a few times a year, it will keep our house looking so much better!

    Paper should be super easy to do, along with clothing. I’ve been “meaning” to get to my clothing for several months now.

    We got rid of about 25% of our books at the end of last year.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    and you certainly don’t need to do all 100 things in one day — even if you just do paper and clothing right now, that’s still better than nothing! Good luck!

    [Reply]

  4. Meghan

    09/05/2017

    I used to feel so overwhelmed when faced with getting rid of stuff, but thanks to your blog, I now enjoy it!
    Could you do a post on what you have on your kitchen counters? I definitely feel like I have too much out, but it’s all things I use regularly. Here’s what I’m dealing with: coffee maker, canisters with sugar and coffee, decorative stand with fruit, butter dish, mixer, knife block, drying area for wet cups/ bottles, lotion, kitchen soap, paper towel holder, box of Kleenex, and napkin holder. The list is embarrassing, but I have a huge kitchen so I still have tons of space.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay for decluttering!
    As for the kitchen counters — that’s a good idea for a post. We really don’t have much on our counters though.
    – fruit bowl
    – a few decorative antiques in the corner
    – 3 cutting boards propped up on their side next to the refrigerator
    – hand soap

    I’m not a fan of kitchen counter “stuff” but if it works for you and you have a big enough kitchen, then I don’t think there’s a “right” or “wrong” number of things to keep out!

    [Reply]

  5. Mandy

    09/05/2017

    I started purging stuff throughout my house regularly, thanks to your wonderful tips! It feels SO great to get rid of of unused items. I struggle with wanting to buy stuff – bad day? Buy a new top. Good day? Buy a new decor item. Stressed? Buy a new lipstick. Now when I get an urge to shop, I’ll declutter instead. It’s reverse retail therapy…and it’s so much better! Once it’s gone, I never think about it again. One of your tips has REALLY helped, especially….the maintenance part. Stuff keeps creeping into already decluttered areas….so it’s an ongoing effort. Thanks, Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay for regular purging!! and don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone in your ‘retail therapy’. I know LOTS of people who buy things as rewards. Good for you for acknowledging this and trying to change your behavior!

    [Reply]

  6. Deb

    09/05/2017

    I listened to your podcast as I rearranged and decluttered the kitchen. I didn’t get up to 100 items but I did get rid of 20 or so. I also moved the Kitchen Aid to the counter and the coffee pot to another counter. I liked having it put away, but I hated getting it out multiple times a week as it is VERY heavy.

    I consider myself pretty organized and clutter free, but sometimes just rearranging based on use is so helpful as far as simplifying.

    As always, I love your blog and the practicality of it. The tips are always things that anyone can do without buying something to accomplish a goal.

    Have a great week (full of contractions!) 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    20 is definitely better than nothing — hope you enjoyed the podcast!

    [Reply]

  7. How Mama Saves

    09/05/2017

    I agree!! My family knows I’m a “purger” and like to only keep things that I know will be used, as well as bringing joy to our family.

    If we no longer like it, need it, or use it, it’s often getting donated, given away, or sold ,if I can get enough from it for my time.

    I generally keep a bag or box in my laundry room and as I’m doing laundry, I’m also purging clothing that is too small, no longer needed (uniforms, seasonal clothing, etc.), damaged, etc. and either using it as rags, giving to friends, or donating, depending on the condition.

    It feels so good to have an uncluttered home, so I can have the room for the things we truly use and enjoy!

    Take care and I hope you have a wonderful day!

    [Reply]

    How Mama Saves Reply:

    Just listened to your podcast and my first comment sounds like I copied what you said in your podcast, but it was written before I even listened to it! Too funny!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — funny! great minds think alike — right!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yup, we have the box in our laundry room too — I actually JUST brought it away this morning. Feels good to get a few more items OUT OF THE HOUSE before the baby arrives!

    [Reply]