7-Day Minimalism Challenge: Decluttering 1 Room at a Time

Connie Riet
by Connie Riet

When starting a decluttering journey, I find it's more manageable and not quite overwhelming if we can break down decluttering into a 7-day minimalism challenge. Each day is focused on just one area of the house.

Before you begin decluttering each room, try to identify a couple of purposes that you intend for this space, then, as you are decluttering, try to stick to only keeping the things that add value to this purpose.

Decluttering a bedroom

Day one - bedroom

I like to begin decluttering under the bed. I like to pull everything out, vacuum it, make sure it's really clean underneath, and eliminate anything pushed under the bed. Declutter all items that don't need to be on the nightstand and focus on only keeping the things you truly need first thing in the morning or before bed, like an alarm clock, a phone charger, a lamp, and maybe a book.

As I begin to declutter my closet, I like to ask myself a few self-inquiry questions to help me determine what articles of clothing I want to keep and which I can donate. How many times have I worn this item in the last six months? Do I still enjoy wearing this? I only keep the articles of clothing that I love to wear.

As I go through my shoes and accessories, I apply the same rules I used on my closet, only keeping the things I love. I get rid of all the belts I never wear, old bags, and purses I rarely reach for.

Decluttering a living room

Day two - living room

Before beginning to declutter this room that has so many purposes in your life, take a moment and identify the top three purposes you would like the living room to have, and then keep that in mind as you start working through each category. Declutter all of the home decor and knickknacks that have found their way into the living room that either don't belong, don't fit your style, or have become cluttered and overwhelming.

I go through games and see if they're still relevant and if we still enjoy playing them. I go through the electronics and remotes, making sure that I only have the remotes that work and that match the electronics I currently have. CDs and DVDs used to be a huge thing all my life, but now we rarely watch them, and my children have grown up, so many of these can be donated. Take inventory of any extra or mismatched furniture you have that you don't use, or that doesn't fit your style anymore.

Decluttering a bathroom

Day three - bathroom

Beginning with beauty products, I go through all of my makeup and toss any old brushes that may be broken or makeup that are empty or that I no longer like anymore. Toss beauty and grooming products that are old, damaged, or expired.

Go through and throw away all expired medication, both over-the-counter and prescription. Declutter all lotions, sunscreens, bug sprays, ointments, and anything you keep in your medicine cabinet that might be old, something you don't enjoy anymore, maybe some empty bottles or containers.

Decluttering a kitchen

Day four - kitchen

Dishes are one of these things that we can gather many duplicates of. Go through the dishes you no longer use, your bowls, plates, glasses, mugs, to-go cups, pots, pans, mixing bowls, and baking utensils. I can always find several expired spices that need to be tossed. I also go through all of the condiments that I no longer need.

If this is where you keep any vitamins or supplements, now is the perfect time to throw out expired supplements that you no longer use. Go through the freezer and fridge and get rid of everything that has expired that has been in there far too long, and no one's ever going to eat it.

Get rid of any appliances you don't use. Go through the junk drawer and give everything a home.

Decluttering a home office

Day five - office

Go through and declutter all of your old technology that is broken, damaged, or unused, like phones, iPads, Kindles, and computers. As I go through the cords and chargers, I like to match each charger with the technology it belongs to. This is a really simple way for me to identify what I need to keep and what I can toss.

This is a fantastic opportunity to go through all of my papers and get rid of everything I no longer need. I'll go through old notebooks, receipts, bills, and documents—everything I no longer need. I toss the important papers I still need but don't need the original copies. I will scan these and put them into a digital file. I will put all the important documents I still need, their original copies, like birth certificates, passports, titles to vehicles, and things like this, in a fireproof and waterproof safe.

Go through your arts, crafts, and hobbies, and eliminate anything you no longer use.

Decluttering storage

Day six laundry and storage rooms

Take a look at your linen closet and towels and ask yourself how many changes of linens you need for your family. It's just one for each bed and one extra. The towels we're only keeping are the ones that are still in good condition and that are used most often. Toss anything that is an empty laundry or detergent container or ones you dislike using.

We have an area where we like to keep a lot of luggage in case we need it someday. If you can identify just the pieces of luggage you will use most often, perhaps one large suitcase, one carry-on, and one personal item, then you can declutter the other suitcases you will not use. Storage units always have the someday item in them. Look at all the items in the storage unit and donate or sell everything you know you're probably not going to use.

Day seven - car

This is the perfect opportunity to go through the glove compartment, throw away old papers that we no longer need, go through the trunk and side pockets, and take back into the house all the things that do not belong in the car anymore.

7-day minimalism challenge

A 7-day minimalism challenge can help you get started on the minimalist path that is right for you. What are some of the areas that you struggle with decluttering? I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.

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