It’s that time of year, people. Time to clean house. Out with the old, and in with the new!
Today I’m sharing with you the single greatest way to jump-start your organizing and decluttering goals: The 100 Item Challenge. I recently completed my own 100 Item Challenge, but more about that in a bit.
How does it work? Simple. Go through your home and find 100 items you no longer need. 100 items to get rid of and jump-start your organizing and decluttering.
But this seems so wasteful…
No one said you have to throw anything away. Just find 100 items that you can get rid of: sell, donate, recycle, or give to friend.
Stumped on where to begin?
Here are my top areas when looking for items to get rid of.
Bedroom and Closet
- Go through your closet. Have you worn that shirt in the last year? In the last two years? Forget about how much you paid for it. Forget about how much you would like it if you only lost 5 pounds. If you are not wearing an article of clothing, it is for a reason. Get rid of it and make space for something new (or nothing at all!).
- Sock drawer – It is a scientific fact that your dryer eats, on average, 4.6 socks per year, leaving their sock mates all alone. Unless you are one of those quirky people who wear mismatched socks on purpose, pair up all of your socks and get rid of anything that does not have a mate.
- Hangers – How many extra hangers do you really need?
- Books – If you are like me, you form an emotional attachment to your books. I get it. It’s hard to let go. Consider donating books to your local library, knowing that should you ever want/need to read them again, they will be there for you to borrow. In the meantime, take comfort in that fact that so many other people are able to enjoy the books that you donated.
- Electronic Equipment – No, I don’t think you will ever need that case or charging cable for the iPhone 4 you replaced over a year ago. While you’re at it, get rid of any accessories that seem to linger long after their electronic device has left your home. Consider donating old cell phones, cameras, laptops, etc. to a good cause – like this one.
- Writing Utensils – How many dried-up hi-liters and pens do you have?
- CD & DVD Cases – Don’t even let me begin to rant on how much space these take up. Put everything in a nice CD sleeve and toss the individual cases. Instant space-saver!
- Junk Drawer – Everyone has one, and mine happens to be in my kitchen. Things you may find in your junk drawer that should get the boot: extra hardware (who can remember what it belongs to?), orphan keys, random things the kids seem to pick up off the ground in the parking lot (or does this just happen to me?!?), 6 wine corks you are saving for that “pinterest project”.
- Cupboards – Chipped plates and cups must go. How about those 73 plastic souvenir cups?
- Tupperware drawer – Just like socks, plastic containers are statistically destined to lose their lid, literally. Match everything up and toss any leftovers.
- Kitchen Gadgets and Accessories – If it’s broken or collecting dust, you know what to do.
- Fridge – Check for expired condiments or other food items. Seriously. Nobody wants that in their fridge. While you’re there, wipe down those nasty shelves too!
Bathroom and Medicine Cabinet
- Anything expired – Go through your medicine cabinet and get rid of expired items, especially multiples of things.
- Beauty Products – Do you have three half-full bottles of the same thing? Consolidate and move on. Or, maybe challenge yourself to minimize your beauty routine. Can you part with 2 or 3 beauty products that you don’t use all that often anyway?
Bonus – Holiday Decorations
You’re probably thinking about packing away those Christmas decorations right about now. Before you do, look through your holiday decor storage boxes and see what didn’t get set out this year. Is it the same stuff that didn’t get set out last year and the year before? It’s OK if it is. Personal styles and tastes change over time. Consider donating these items for another family to enjoy next holiday season.
Don’t forget about the kids!
If you include your kids, it is virtually impossible to not reach 100 items. Go through their toys and games. Anything that is no longer age appropriate, or that just doesn’t get used, let go. If your kids are old enough, include them in the process. This is a great learning opportunity for the little ones when you explain how donating their old toys helps those less fortunate than they are. And don’t forget their closets! Those little bugger grow so dang fast! Sell or donate any outgrown clothing.
My 100 Item Challenge
Like I mentioned earlier, I recently completed my own 100-item challenge. Here are the results:
- 20 articles of clothing
- 1 pair of shoes
- 1 purse
- 8 hangers
- 1 belt/tie rack
- 4 pairs of socks
- 1 scarf
- 12 books
- 3 old iPhone cases
- 1 iPad case
- 1 iPod
- 7 miscellaneous tech cables and accessories
- 2 DVD cases
- 10 magazines
- 4 cookbooks
- 9 spoons
- 10 pieces of mismatched plastic food storage containers
- 1 decorative wall hanging
- 1 sad houseplant
- 1 magazine holder
- 2 dried out markers
That’s a grand total of 100 items!
As an added bonus, I also got rid of 3 trash bags full of outgrown clothing from the twins. I know this is a difficult one, especially with baby clothes. Who knew we could become so emotionally attached to little articles of clothing? Consider keeping only the most sentimental items, and getting rid of the rest.
I’m so excited about completing my 100-item challenge, I think I my make it a quarterly event. Happy decluttering and organizing everyone!