8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home

This fall, my husband and I began to go through our possessions, attempting to really clear out the unnecessary items as much as possible. We got rid of almost 2 van loads of stuff, which is hard to believe.

Even harder to believe is the fact that we don’t miss any of it. At all. Instead, we found that we enjoy being in our home more, and we spend less time cleaning and maintaining things. Having less proved to be a very, very good thing.

So good, in fact, that we’re not finished yet. This summer we’ll be going through our home in a detailed, step-by-step decluttering process.

Over the course of 8 weeks, or 40 days (not including weekends), we want to purposefully assess each area of our house and our possessions, and pare down to what we truly need, use and love. Everything else? It will be sold at a garage sale, donated to others, or taken to the dump as a last resort.

Are you eager to free yourself from the demands of your material possessions, so that you can fully enjoy and engage in the parts of your life that are most important? Relationships with family and friends, time spent with the Lord, serving and giving to others, opening your home for hospitality, having time for creativity, for rest, and for purposefully pursuing the things you are most passionate about.

When we free ourselves from “stuff”, we have so much more to give to the things that really matter.

Will you join me in 40 days of decluttering our homes?

The goal:

To spend 30 minutes or less each day working on a specific area of the home

and

To find 10 items to get rid of each day

At the end of 40 days, we can expect to be released from 400 things that we don’t need… can you imagine the effect that this will have on your home and life?!

I do realize, though, that it’s summer. We want to be outdoors, enjoying time spent with loved ones, soaking up some sun, and having a whole lot of fun making memories. I don’t want to spend days or weeks cooped up in my house as I sort through what we own.

That’s why I created a plan to work through your house very systematically, but in 30 minutes or less per day. There might be the odd task that is a more daunting one for you and it will require more time. On the other hand, some of these tasks will be a piece of cake for you, and could be finished in 10 minutes flat. On average, most tasks shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, and the areas that I think will require extra time have been broken down into bite-sized or multi-day tasks.

Are you ready to join me?

To guide you through the process, I’ve created a PDF file, sort of a mini-ebook (8 pages) with some thoughts on decluttering and getting started, tips on working through the process, and then a step-by-step 40 Day Plan.

It’s available to everyone that signs up for our Keeper of the Home newsletter (which is free, and full of practical and relevant articles for your natural lifestyle, so it’s win-win!).

Get your copy by clicking on the link below.

8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home PDF Guide

I made this plan detailed and specific because that’s how I work best. If someone just tells me to take a week to declutter my house and go through it room by room, I’ll get lost and overwhelmed.

This 40 day plan was created by mentally walking through each and every part of my home. For example, the kitchen is broken down into bite-sized pieces over the course of 7 days (with individual tasks like drawers one day, kitchen linens another, and cookbooks/recipes on another). Clothing is split up into individual closets, dressers, and even a specific day for shoes. I included the random areas, like the medicine/supplement cabinet and first aid kit, videos/DVDs/CDs, and holiday supplies and decorations.

Every day, you’ll know exactly what to work on. It’s all spelled out, and organized into manageable tasks, to keep it from being overwhelming.

How you can follow along:

Since it is summer, and I’m actually taking some time off from writing actively for about half the summer, I opted not to make this a blog challenge or to use a link-up.

Instead, I’ll be working through the 8 week plan myself and tracking my own progress on the “8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home” Facebook page. I’ll go ahead and begin this coming Monday, July 2nd. 

 

(Note that this Facebook challenge is now finished.)

Please go ahead and “like” the page to follow along. I’ll be sharing my own photos as I work through each of the 40 days, and I would love to have you join me by sharing your own progress!

You can also share on Twitter, using Instagram photos or just regular tweets, with hashtag #8weekdeclutter.

It’s important to mention that you don’t have to follow along perfectly, day by day. If you start a week after I do, or even want to get going before me, that’s fine. The point of following along with Facebook or Twitter isn’t that you’ll necessarily be on the exact same step as me or anyone else, but rather than we’ll all keep encouraging each other as we press on!

This is going to be so good

Honestly, I’m excited to begin. Our household purge last fall was such a positive thing and I am eager to remove more and more of the clutter from our home.

I’ve also set some goals for what I want to use the garage sale money more… even more motivation!

I hope that many of you will join me on this challenge and experience along with me the increased freedom and peace that comes from taking control of your belongings, instead of letting them control you. You will be happily surprised by how much more less really is.

Is your home in need of some major decluttering? Do you have any specific goals you’d like to meet, financially or otherwise?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. I know this post has been up for a while, but I’m hoping that you still check it. I just started the 8 weeks of de-cluttering and I have a question about de-cluttering pieces of appliances that you never use. Right now I’m going through my kitchen and I came across a box of attachments for my immersion blender. I use the blender, but have never even unwrapped the attachments and never will. What is the responsible way to get rid of the attachments? They are worthless without the blender as far as I can tell so I can’t see sending them to a thrift store. Should I just send them to the recycler?

    BTW, this blender was a gift. I would have opted for a single-piece appliance if I had purchased it myself since I have no need for the attachments. Single-piece immersion blenders are also more structurally sound. You know, in case any of you were thinking of buying one.

    • That’s a hard call. You could try putting it on Craigslist for free. Sometime people are looking for something like the specific things you want to get rid of. I’m sure the attachments are hard to find, but someone who already has the blender may appreciate getting them. Otherwise, recycling is probably your best bet.

  2. I will definitely repurpose and use this list! We’re moving in about a month (hopefully) and my fiancé has collected so many things in the time he lived here. And then I moved in and brought things with me. We’ve been meaning to start de-cluttering the apartment starting tomorrow, because then we’ll know whether or not we get the apartment we want, and this list will definitely help us stay organized.
    Now, our apartment isn’t as big as a house, it’s fairly small actually, and we don’t have kids, so we can use those days to start packing and to get that list done in a month rather than 8 weeks. But it’s still perfect as a check list, even if we work longer on it each day. Thank you very much! :)

  3. Thanks for you post. I love that it’s detailed. I de-clutter regularly, but want to do a whole house kind of thing and always find myself not knowing where to start. I am starting this journey today. Thank you.

  4. I will be starting tomorrow!! I am ready for this. So glad I found your blog post.
    I started a FB page to track my journey. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. That you for this post! This is exactly what I need to start decluttering. I blogged and shared your post here: http://www.paceathome.com/entry.php?201-Join-me!-8-Weeks-to-a-Less-Cluttered-Home
    Have a wonderful summer!

  6. Wow thanks been wanting to de-clutter for so long but when I look around I feel so over-whelmed and don’t know where to start. So this will help out a lot and won’t feel so over-whelmed but calmer in my approach. Thanks :)

  7. We usually end up decluttering when we pack to move somewhere… which is way to frequent.

    I also do quarterly go through of the house when it starts feeling like there is too much stuff building up.

    BTW, a friend passed your link onto me and I have to admit, the main reason I stopped by was the name of your blog. For years I have been getting the offline publication, Keepers At Home, which is put out by some Amish / Mennonite families. Were you aware of it?

  8. I was just doing this today! I was taking a break and was reading blogs and there yours is, talking about de cluttering.. with five children in a three bedroom upstairs (no garage, and min. storage) this is so necessary, I am so excited to keep going!

  9. I am in. My daughter shared your site with me … she’s very excited! Almost three years ago my husband and I moved from our sticks and bricks home (2,500 sq ft) to a 5th wheel RV (450 sq ft). We left a LOT of stuff behind … some went to the kids or friends, some was donated, some was sold and a lot was trash. But I did keep some and I know there are things I kept I haven’t thought of, much less touched, in the past three years! In order for our little space to remain livable, keeping it decluttered is a must! Looking forward to the next eight weeks with you! :)

  10. I love this idea! I think this is a perfect way to de-clutter AND pack for my big move all at the same time. No use in hauling things I don’t want or need to another state. : )

  11. This is very timely! I’m all in!

  12. I am so in on this challenge! I have lots of clutter and the summer off to get rid of it!

  13. Wish I was kidding… printed it and lost it. Glad it’s online!

  14. Just printed the PDF! Thank you for putting the time into such a nicely organized and compact document for us. I am excited to begin.

  15. This has been on my mind specifically as we just recently had to decide to move or not (for my husband’s job). We are staying the year, but likely that will mean moving summer 2013. I need to declutter over the course of this year. I’ll check out your list and see if that would help. I do find it challenging with the kids and with summer. (Family plans, visiting, summer preserving, gardens, and also, going through a challenging stage with my 3 year old etc). But perhaps breaking it into such small chunks I actually can do it.

  16. I’m ahead of you. I did a huge declutter a couple months ago, as next yr we will be moving into a new house about 1/2 the sq footage of this one (by choice, not necessity). It was a HUGE job – we sold 10 boxes of bks to HalfPrice Books, and gave away close to 50 boxes and bags of stuff. I also filled probably the equivalent of three large trash bags.

    Everybody have fun – the effort is SO worth it when you get done!

  17. You can also give away stuff via freecycle.org which is handy because they will come pick it up. You would be surprised at the items people will take that you might think are trash. Many can use broken items for parts or know how to fix them when its not worth it to you. Its also a great way to save money on things you need that others don’t anymore. I have gotton most of our toys and both kids clothes from fellow freecyclers. Just make sure you don’t refill your house with clutter! ;)

  18. Tiffani T says:

    I can’t save the PDF file..I want to join..:)

    • Click to open the file. It should open in a new tab, as a PDF file. Then right click and choose the option to Save As. You should be able to save it as a PDF into a folder on your computer. Or, you can just print it out straight from the web browser.

  19. Great post! Another suggestion: If you don’t want to haul your “give” pile or your large items, you can always post them on freecycle.org. Then someone in your area who can use that item will come pick it up for you. It is a great way to pass on things that still have life and if you ever need anything for free, you have to “give before you can get” so once you post an OFFER, you are set to participate! I have seen many items that you would think would be trash, be posted and picked up. We freecycled a broken lawnmower, a broken printer, etc. There are folks who tinker or who can use things for parts, etc. Lastly, don’t forget to check your local recylcing centers because many items can be or are required to be turned in there (such as electronics, etc)

  20. Oh, what great timing! I have been buried in my S.T.U.F.F. for too long. I have always been a bit of a collector, shopping at thrift stores and garage sales but never have my possessions been so demanding as now. The main issue is my troublesome thyroid and adrenals: they so affect my memory and energy that I do not even remember where important documents got placed or how to start organizing! I used to love getting organized, not that I always maintained it but I at least had the ability to get back on track. So. I’m in. As much as I can be in. I have been doing some random decluttering and have taken four boxes of books to the used book store (so far), along with about half a dozen boxes of shoes and clothes to the thrift store and another three bags to the consignment store. Progress yes, but not enough to SEE yet.

  21. Great idea! I was just telling a friend this evening that I am on a mission…to finally create my home into what I have always wanted; calm, clear, and comfortable. Now I have a plan and a group to keep me motivated! Thank you, and I’m so excited. :-)

  22. Any advice for what to do with kids who collect. My 9 yr. old’s job is emptying the trash and recycling. I can’t tell you how many times that he digs out stuff to save. His room is the most cluttered place in the house. How do I convince him to part with his “treasure”?

    • I have a 7 year old just like that. If it’s something that I think she really doesn’t need, but she desperately wants to keep (like a small bottle that needs to be recycled, for example), we’ll make a deal that she can keep it for 2 days and then it gets recycled. We have also used “special boxes”, a small but set apart place for her to keep all of those little things that are treasures to her, but that I don’t want to see all over the house. This does help to limit the clutter and she knows that if I”m finding things all around or she’s leaving them out for younger siblings to get into, then they often go in the garbage. But we’re still struggling with the issue. I’d love to hear some suggestions from other moms, too! :)

    • With my kids, I have placed limits by doing this: Each child has their own “special things” box. I was going to have them decorate them, but haven’t done that yet. They are allowed to keep whatever they want that is treasure to them in that box. Its accessible to them. When its full, they have to go through it and get rid of some things to fit something new in. I thought it might not work for them (getting rid of stuff) but it works great. They get to choose what to get rid of or not when the time comes that its full. I also have a seperate jar (well washed plastic jar) for rocks with the same concept.
      Just one caution- I don’t let them keep nature stuff in there, instead we have another open basket on the dresser for that. When I was a child, I collected chestnuts in a bag and kept them and they went moldy.

      Anyways- this system works SO well for us (3 year old and 6 year olds). If they want to keep something, I just say “put it in the special things box” or often, they tell me thats what they are doing. They even have told me that its full and they want to go through it so we set aside a time for them to do that.

      • Thanks Nola I am having a hard time with my son and his many collections that we think is junk and he loves to collect rocks. So this is such a good idea will have to do this with him and see how it works. :)

  23. Thanks, Stephanie! I’m so ready to start!

  24. Your post made me start decluttering today.
    I found much more than ten things to throw away and I’m glad I did.

    Sal

  25. I decluttered a few months ago, so I am pretty happy with how my home is right now, but I am looking forward to reading this series!

    • Just so you know, it’s not going to be a blog series, but rather just a challenge through Facebook and Twitter. I would love to write a complete series like this sometime, but I’m actually trying to make it a regular, yearly thing to take one month off of writing each summer. Even bloggers need breaks. :)

Trackbacks