Want to declutter your home after the holidays, but don’t know where to start or don’t have a lot of time? Then you’ve come to the right place! Our simple, do-able decluttering tips and handy printable calendar will have your whole home clutter free in 4 weeks flat!
Ok, I’m not lazy.
I’m sure you’re not either.
But let’s keep it real — who actually likes to declutter and clean up? Unfortunately, if you don’t stay on top of clutter, it builds up SO fast (ask me how I know!)
I’ve seen a lot of decluttering tips and challenges, especially around this time of year. However, they’re often super intensive and a bit intimidating.
I mean, I watched one episode of Marie Kondo and was already overwhelmed. She’s so GOOD at organizing…and she LIKES it! I don’t. So any decluttering challenge that I’m actually going to finish needs to be simple and do-able.
That’s why I created my own!
How to Declutter Your Home in 4 Weeks
Each day of what I’ve dubbed the “Lazy Girl’s Decluttering Challenge” is ONE simple task. And if it’s a big task (I’m look at YOU refrigerator!) I’ve given myself two days to get through it.
I’ve also incorporated one break/make-up day each week, because, well, life happens! And falling behind only makes it less likely that I’ll finish a challenge.
In this guide I’ll break down each week with suggestions for each specific task. At the end of the post I’ve provided a printable calendar for you to keep as inspiration.
We can do this!!
Week 1 — Holiday Clean-Up
We start our decluttering mission with getting the house “back to normal” after the holidays. Decorations are cheerful, but when the occasion is over, they can actually become a source of stress!
PS – If you’re taking our 30 day decluttering challenge at another time in the year, feel free to skip any of the steps in this section that don’t apply.
- Get rid of holiday food — Whether it’s week-old leftovers from a family potluck or snacks from a company gift basket, it’s all gotta go! The number one New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, so this item on our list does double duty. Not only are you clearing out kitchen space, but you’re getting rid of temptations!
- Take down holiday decorations — You might think that this would be the first task on our list, but I just love Christmas time, so it’s always a little sad for me to put everything back away. I usually give myself a few extra days in January to enjoy the tree and lights before packing it all up. Click here for my Christmas decoration storage tips!
- Donate old clothes — Clothing is a staple gift at Christmas, so this is the perfect time to clear out the closet and make way for the new arrivals. We box up any outgrown children’s clothing as well as any items that my husband and I don’t wear anymore. My rule of thumb: if it hasn’t been worn in a year, it’s time to find it a new home.
- Break down boxes — After the holidays we always end up with a TON of cardboard boxes and gift bags. We break down boxes to take to recycling and sort through the bags – keeping those that are in good shape and tossing ones that are to torn up to re-use.
- Clean up kids’ craft supplies — My middle daughter especially is a BIG crafter and budding artist, so for birthdays and Christmas she always gets fun new art supplies. That’s when we go through and get rid of anything that is no longer usable: broken crayons (or you can save these for other projects like candle-making), markers without lids, etc. This is a great project for kids to do with you. Mom isn’t a maid after all!
- Donate old toys — We usually do this before Christmas too, but sometimes when kids get a bunch of new toys they are more inclined to let go of some of the things they don’t use anymore. Click here for our 2-step approach to get kids to clean and organize their own bedroom!
- Break/Makeup Day
Week 2 — Kick Clutter Out of the Kitchen
- Sort food storage containers — Toss any that are missing lids, as well as any plastic containers that look warped or melted. Place all the containers that you’re keeping back in the cabinet with their matching lids – it makes it super easy to find what you need when you need it!
- Purge the pantry — The pantry is a BIG task, so I’ve allowed two days just in case. If you get it all done in one day you can relax on day two or move on to something else. To start, I go through every item and toss things that are old or expired.
- Pantry day 2 — Once you’ve pared down your stock, pull everything off the shelves, wipe them clean, and put everything back in order. Whew! Done! Click here to see our list of pantry essentials that we always keep on hand!
- Fix the fridge — Like the pantry, cleaning the fridge can be a big task, so you can do this in two steps if needed. One day one, grab a trash bag and round up all the food that is old, rotten, or expired.
- Fridge day 2 — The next step is to wipe down the shelves and drawers and organize the good food that you’re keeping. Click here for my top 5 fridge cleaning hacks!
- Clear the counters — Now that you’ve cleared some space in the pantry, you may have room to move some things out of sight that were previously clogging up the counters. We keep a lot of small appliances (blender, rice maker, etc.) in our pantry instead of the countertop. It makes a BIG difference in how cluttered the counter looks!
- Break/Make-Up Day
Week 3 — Declutter the Closets & Cabinets
- Bathroom — One surprising place in my house that seems to attract clutter like a magnet is the bathroom, especially under the sink and in the cabinet drawers. A few times a year I go through and sort everything into baskets of like items (extra toothbrushes, first aid, etc.) and pitch items that are empty or old. Click here for my guide to organizing your bathroom for under $10!
- Hall Closet — I don’t know about you, but our hall closet is essentially a catch-all for everything that doesn’t seem to have a place. Strollers, umbrellas, jackets — you never know what might be in there! A few times a year I like to make a quick sweep and get things out of the hall closet that could actually be better stored somewhere else. That way our hall closet isn’t so stuffed that it’s unusable!
- Linen Closet — Sort through all the towels and get rid of any that are threadbare or torn up. Group sheets and pillowcases with their matches and stack neatly.
- Under Kitchen Sink — Get rid of items that are empty, old used sponges, etc. Put things into baskets to keep them from falling over. Click here for my handy clothespin hack that’s perfect for under the kitchen sink!
- Clean out the makeup drawer — I am so guilty of using makeup way longer than I should and forgetting to wash my makeup brushes. However, old cosmetics and dirty brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause breakouts or even eye infections…yuck! Take a few minutes to do a sweep of your makeup drawer and throw away makeup that is past its prime – click here for my cheat sheet of makeup expiration dates! To clean makeup brushes, add a squirt of mild dish detergent to a bowl of warm water (not too hot or it could loosen the glue on your brushes). Swish brushes in the cleansing solution and rinse until water runs clear. Place on paper towels or a clean cloth to air dry.
- Sort Shoe Cubbies — Whether your shoes are in a cubby in your closet or in a mudroom/entryway area, they seem to take over the whole space after a time! We periodically empty out the shoe cubbies, make sure they all match and still fit, and put everything back neatly.
- Break/Make-Up Day
Week 4 — The Rest of the Mess
- Sort the sock drawer — Get rid of mismatched socks. Just accept that if you haven’t found the match by now, you’re not going to find it. While you’re at it, take a moment to go through the underwear drawer too and get rid of anything that’s got holes or is threadbare.
- Clean out the car — Throw away trash (crazy how fast that builds up!), vacuum, check car seats.
- Purge your purse — Literally…flip it over and dump it out. That way you can see everything that’s been hiding in there and only put back what you truly need.
- Pretty up the back porch — Kids toys, grilling supplies, pet stuff…it seems to take over the backyard and porch after a while! We got a big outdoor storage trunk and it’s help a lot for keeping small riding toys, balls, etc. in place and protected from the elements.
- Organize kids backpacks — With all the papers and worksheets kids get from school, backpacks become cluttered so quickly! This is actually something we do weekly: get rid of old homework and sort notes into folders.
- De-junk the “junk drawer” — This is the bane of my existence…the dreaded junk drawer. You know the one, that drawer that contains everything from spare batteries to rubber bands to who knows what else! I saved the most challenging (in my opinion) task for last. When you’re done with this one, you’ve truly earned a celebration!
- Celebrate! You earned it!!
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