Starting a 30 Days of Decluttering Challenge

Midjourney image by Jenna from showing a person in a cluttered room, surrounded by items that need to be sorted and organized. The person should be holding a timer or calendar, indicating the timeframe or duration of the challenge. Convey a sense of motivation to inspire readers to participate in a 30 day decluttering challenge.

So you want to declutter but don’t know where to start. I’ve been there. Here’s what my game plan looked like, and how you can proceed, too.

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Inspired by the Netflix feature The Minimalists: Less is Now, it seems fitting to take advantage of the extra time we have at home during lockdown to jumpstart some spring cleaning by starting 30 days of decluttering.

I’m not aiming to become a hardcore minimalist in doing this. So much stuff has accumulated around the flat these past few years though, that I just want to clear out some clutter and simplify things a bit.

This challenge might also give me the impetus to finally put together a home inventory spreadsheet for my insurance company, and take stock of my overflowing closet full of stuff I never wear.

The Plan

Every day for a total of 30 days, I’ll be shaking off some excess bit-by-bit as I weed out one item on day one, two on day two, three on day three, and so on. These items will either go to recycling, be donated, or sold.

Along the way, I’ll show you my thought process and decluttering progress on Tidymalism’s Twitter.

What Are the Rules for a 30 Days of Decluttering Challenge?

Letting go of stuff can be hard! But life feels easier in a tidy, well-maintained space. A space where you know where everything is and don’t have to dig through stuff you no longer love or use.

So what are the rules for doing a decluttering challenge? Totally up to you. I prefer to proceed in a less dogmatic fashion than The Minimalists and have made my own improvements to the challenge.

Midjourney image by Jenna from showing a person in a cluttered room, surrounded by items that need to be sorted and organized during a 30 days of decluttering challenge.

For me, 30 days of decluttering does not have to equate to 30 consecutive days. What’s important is to get the process started.

I’ve also tossed out the “everything gone by midnight” rule. It’s entirely unhelpful if you’re donating or selling items. In those cases, you obviously need to wait for your stuff to be picked up or you have to get it ready to be dropped off at a donation point, auctioned off, shipped, etc.

So take your time! The point of the whole exercise is to ultimately de-stress by creating tidier surroundings. Not to add additional stress to your life.

Update: How My First Decluttering Challenge Went

Since first writing this post, I completed 30 days of decluttering. It was honestly easier than I thought it would be! If you need some inspiration to get started on your own decluttering challenge, check out all 465 items I decluttered from my own small home over the course of this minimalism game in the links below.

It was amazing how once I got started, I just kept finding more random stuff to declutter.

At the end of the challenge I felt like I could keep going for another 30 days. So I’m sure this wasn’t my last minimalist decluttering challenge!

You can find the entire minsgame series in chronological order here:

- Starting a 30 Days Declutter Challenge (this post)
- A Ruthless Week 1 in My Simplified Declutter Challenge 
- Week 2 of Decluttering in a 30 Day Minimalism Challenge
- Embracing a Minimalist Declutter Challenge in Week 3
- Declutter Your Home in a 4 Week Declutter Challenge? Done!
- My 30-Day Decluttering Challenge Experience (incl. best tips)

Have fun!
Illustration of a messy room before starting a 30 day decluttering challenge
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