The Decluttering Challenge: 100 Items in 100 Minutes

BY Mollie Donghia TIMEMarch 25, 2022 PRINT

To us, obtaining a clutter-free home and owning a smaller number of items is not the goal, but a means to an end. We desire to own less so that we have more time and space to pursue what matters most to us. Decluttering and reducing are two of the best ways we know to to do this.

Less stuff equals less stress, less items to put away, less choices to make, less money spent.

Since we began our simplicity journey over a year ago, we’ve been mindful to create habits and expectations that are realistic yet challenge us to live intentionally.

But keeping a home free from excess and clutter isn’t as simple as it sounds. We’re 5 human beings (some less tidy than others!) living in a small space, driven by our own desires and tendencies.

Before embracing simplicity, we were constantly having to navigate the issues of too many toys, too many items to maintain, too many spaces to tidy up, and too many items that don’t get put back into their homes.

To help us conquer the clutter and teach our children that “more” doesn’t always mean “better”, we’ve developed a 4-step plan that we aim to follow each day. This simple system has allowed us to maintain a home that’s not crammed full of items and simple enough to tidy up at the end of the day without feeling overwhelmed by the process.

Over the next month, I’ll be sharing these ideas in a “Decluttering Series” of blog posts. To introduce the series, I’m going to begin at the very core of why so many of us face problems with cluttered homes.

We have too much stuff.

Decluttering a home should be done mindfully so that the root issue is addressed and we can learn habits that encourage us to move forward and own less. But whether you’re doing a giant whole-home decluttering or just maintaining on a weekly basis, removing the excess and hanging onto only what you use is an important first step to take.

This challenge is designed to remove 100 items from your home, in 100 minutes or less! I encourage you to remove 10 items from each area listed. Feel free to remove more, but 10 is a good place to begin! Consider donating items to a local charity if they’re still in nice condition.

Next to each area of your home I’ve included suggestions or items to declutter, but do what works for you and allows you to feel less cluttered and more simplified.

Decluttering Challenge

10 items from your closet– Remove any shirts and sweaters you haven’t worn in the past year, shoes that don’t feel good, or jeans that are past their wearability.

10 items from your pantry– Remove herbs and spices you don’t use, expired items, or items that you bought but haven’t used in the past year.

10 toys from the playroom- Remove toys that are broken, toys that can be stored away for a season (in a toy rotation bin), toys that just cause clutter instead of being played with, or toys that have missing pieces.

10 books from your bookshelf– Remove any duplicates, books you’ve read but don’t need to read a second time, books you’ve been gifted but have never read, or old textbooks from college that you don’t plan on referring back to

10 things from your kitchen- Remove small appliances you don’t use, duplicate measuring cups, cooking utensils that serve limited purposes, extra coffee mugs, glass/plastic storage containers that don’t have lids, old dish towels or dish cloths

10 items from your art/craft storage– Remove broken crayons, dried up markers and paint, old coloring books, scraps of fabric, or supplies you or your kids don’t use

10 items from your kid’s room– Remove clothes they don’t wear or ones that no longer fit, duplicate blankets or pillows, stuffed animals that aren’t played with, games that are missing pieces, or wall art or pictures that they’ve outgrown.

10 items from your bedroom- Remove extra books next to your bed, items under your bed, clutter on your dresser, unused furniture that just takes up space, or extra decorative pillows.

10 items from your car– Remove CD’s you no longer listen to, outdated maps, napkins from the drive through, trash, or books and toys left by the kids

10 items from your linen or medicine cabinet– Remove old towels that are no longer used, extra bed sheets, expired medicine, old bottles of shampoo or lotion, dried up bottles of nail polish, or cleaning supplies you no longer use.

Once you’ve completed this decluttering challenge, use that motivation to keep your spaces free from the build-up that so easily occurs.

If you’re looking to further declutter your home and establish some simple habits into your daily routine, check out some of our previous posts such as 7 Closet Clutter Problems5 Simple Tips to Make Decluttering Easier, or 8 Common Questions When Decluttering Your Home.

This article was originally published on This Evergreen Home

Mollie (and her husband, Mike) blog at This Evergreen Home where they share their experience with living simply, intentionally, and relationally in this modern world. You can follow along by subscribing to their twice-weekly newsletter.
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