The Best Monthly Decluttering Strategy | Remove More Than 350 Items From Your Home This Year

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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Today I am sharing the monthly decluttering strategy I implemented in 2023 that helped me remove over 350 items from my house. 

Are you overwhelmed by your home? Looking to reduce clutter? Want to live more minimally but not sure where to start? This decluttering strategy is for you. I implemented it in 2023 and am continuing it this year, too, because I love it so much. These are my monthly decluttering tips! 

If you have done any research into decluttering or organization, you probably have heard of the strategy where for one month you get rid of the same number of items as day of the month. So if it’s the first of the month, you get rid of one item. On the tenth of the month, you get rid of ten items. The twentieth day of the month you get rid of twenty items. So on and so forth. This is a wonderful strategy and I think it can work great for people. However, it doesn’t work perfectly for me. I start out the month super motivated, ready to go, and successfully complete the first week or so of the challenge. But then day fifteen rolls around and I just can’t find 15 items. Or on day 3 I am cleaning out my medicine cabinet and find 20 things to get rid of and then get confused because it’s not the right day. Or, I'm just burnt out by day 20 because I've been doing this for 20 days! The strategy is useful, because by day fifteen I have gotten rid of over a hundred items. But it doesn’t fit my life perfectly. It also isn't perfect for me because it is an intense decluttering in one month... but it doesn't keep decluttering at the front of your mind for months on end.

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If you've felt the same, my monthly decluttering challenge is for you. I hope it works for you to keep your home maintained! During the last weekend of the month, I get rid of the same number of items as days in that month. In January, I get rid of 31 items. In February, I get rid of 28 items. (29 this year for leap year!) In November, I will get rid of 30 items. You get the picture! This is so easy and attainable.  This also helps with not having to keep track of something daily. This is also something I’m able to accomplish in one day/one weekend, as opposed to something I have to remembe each day of the month. It doesn’t take too long and I’m able to get the things I no longer want out of my house in a timely manner. By the end of the year, I will have removed more than 350 items from my home. This monthly strategy is a great way to declutter your home and live a more minimalist lifestyle. 

When I've shared this strategy with friends/family in the past I've been met with varied opinions. Some people think it's amazing, and others are questioning how I find the time every month or how I always find enough items. In terms of time, if its important to you, you will make time. Only needing to find around 30 items means it is usually a quick task. (An hour or two at most per month.) 

Finding the items is another story. I have two young kids so we are constantly growing out of clothes or toys. If I lived alone, it might be harder to meet the number every month if I only had my belongings to go through. Some months it is very easy to find things to get rid of as we've moved up a size in clothes. Other times, it is a little harder and I have to go clean out beauty samples or throw out bad pens in the junk drawer. However, I am always able to meet the monthly requirement.

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Another reason I love this monthly decluttering strategy, is it helps me give the the items the proper second life. Only having around 30 items or so a month I'm getting rid of means I can donate, sell, trash, recycle, etc. as appropriate. Think about it -- if you go through your house and come up with 50 items worth selling will you take the time to take pictures, post, and sell them? Probably not! If you go through your house and find 30 items to get rid of total, 10 of which are worth selling? You'll probably take the timeYou can donate, sell, recycle properly, or trash the items when there are less to go through at any given time. 

Additionally, there are a lot of recycle programs in each city but if you are going through your entire house you might not take the time to go to those various places to recycle things and it will just be more stuff in an landfill. Here is an example of this for me personally. I have been saving old mascara wands so that I can send them in to a wand recycling program that uses them for animals. I have probably 7 saved. How long would I hold on to those before I finally decided I had enough!? When I cleaned out my vanity I finally took the time to research where to send them, and dispose of them appropriately. If I was going thorugh my entire house coming up with hundreds of items to get rid of at once, there is a good chance I would have said “I don’t have the time for recycling these”.  Although they were saved with good intentions, it would have probably resulted in them being thrown away. Not ideal for anyone! Looking at your items monthly really helps get your items where you are intending them to go. 

I’m a realist and I know that despite your (or my) best effort, the house will fill up again. We are human – it happens. You buy a new face product and the company includes 5 new samples with your purchase, your child has a birthday, heck – you have a birthday! When this happens, take a deep breath, and know that at the end of the month you'll have another chance to declutter. 

My sister and I have a standing phone date every Thursday night after our kids go to bed. It always makes me laugh how often we talk about cleaning out our homes. No matter how often we go through things, a few weeks later there is already more than we want in our homes. It’s truly a never-ending effort in a busy household! This is why this monthly decluttering strategy is amazing. It makes cleaning and organizing a habit.  At the end of the day, the best organizing strategy to maintain all your hardwork is the one you will actually do! If you're looking for a decluttering calendar for 2024, consider this monthly decluttering challenge to keep your home organized in 2024.

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