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Take the 30 Bags...30 Days Challenge!

Grab a grocery bag or a garbage bag and begin filling your way to a tidier home.

Let's start outside!

Day 1: Remove garbage and anything that doesn’t belong in The Car.

Day 2: Declutter The Deck by removing broken pots, old toys and anything you don’t use anymore. Sweep and add a colorful new mat at the door!

Day 3: Choose ONE wall of The Garage/Shed and remove any unused or broken items.

Day 4: Continue with the ONE wall of The Garage/Shed and sort the rest putting like with like.

Day 5: Clean up ONE SMALL area of The Yard. (Yes! A bag of yard waste counts) Rake leaves, pull weeds, and remove unused toys that are lying around.

Moving inside...

Day 6: Declutter and edit belongings in The Entrance Closet. You don’t need ten hats, six pairs of gloves and 15 pairs of flipflops. Keep only the coats you love and wear and then bag the rest for the shelters.

Day 7: Remove the accumulation of items you no longer need or use from Under The Bathroom Sink. Grab a few clear dollar store containers for what remains.

Day 8: Edit Your Makeup. Powdered makeup lasts 2 years, concealer one year and mascara only four months. Wash your brushes in a mild detergent.

Day 9: Edit The Toys in the bathtub. Use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water and soak the keepers to remove mold and mildew. Don’t have children? You can edit the number of bottles in the shower – vow to use up what you have before you buy more!

Day 10: Declutter The Laundry Room. Remove items that you do not use any more, for example, the steamer, dirty clothes pegs, etc. Get rid of your “to mend” pile – you will likely never get to it. Containerize loose change and buttons, toss stray socks that have been mateless for months.

Day 11: Edit The Linen Closet. As a general rule, keep only two sets of sheets per bed and three towels per person. Put sheet sets inside their pillow case and fold towels in half, then in three and then in half again (the department store fold) to save space.

Day 12: Edit The Pet Supplies. Does Fluffy really need five brushes, four coats and six different bags of food? Vow to use up the food before buying new stuff. Dispose of old medication by taking it back to your veterinarian. Toss the “cone collar” – you can purchase a new one if you ever need one again. Don’t have a pet? Go through YOUR hair accessories and see if you can part with a brush or two.

To the office...

Day 13: Edit and declutter A Bookshelf. Choose ONE book shelf and remove books you will never read again. Keep only the trinkets and treasures that you truly love and remove the rest. Color code the remaining books just for fun!

Day 14: Choose ONE File Drawer and edit the contents of the FIRST HALF (warning: start small and you may just be motivated to do more once you get going!). Shred/recycle papers that you don’t need to keep, simplify your filing system, scan and digitize paper where you can, toss manuals if they can be accessed online and, just for fun, make new labels on pretty stickers.

Day 15: Clear Your Desktop. Remove any trinkets and treasures you don’t truly love, move your printer to a shelf if you can, choose ONE of your desk organizers and remove the rest (you only need two or three pens and pencils out on your desktop, the rest can be in a drawer), file or shred/recycle the piles of paper and set up an inbox to put stray papers in from now on.

Day 16: Edit Your DVDs and CDs. With Netflix and online streaming, you should be able to pare down your DVD collection, drastically. Pull the discs out of their cases and put them in disc sleeves and then into a cute colorful container to save space.

Day 17: Edit Your Remote Controls. Remove any that don’t work. Program your devices so that you only need to use one or two remotes for everything. Containerize them or velcro them to the device or the side of a table or cabinet where they are used.

Day 18: Edit Your Cords, Adaptors and Chargers. If you haven’t used a cord, adaptor or charger in a year you can probably remove it. For the ones you use and for any that you bring into the home from now on, label them!

Day 19: Edit Your Magazines. Choose about 5 that you haven’t read and schedule a time for reading and remove the rest. If you haven’t read them by now, you likely won’t read them. Start anew and vow to either read incoming magazines immediately or flip through, tear out the articles that interest you and file the articles in your To-Read folder and recycle the magazine. Make it easier on yourself by having only ONE subscription whether it be paper or emagazine.

To the bedrooms...

Day 20: Deciding what to keep in Your Closet is difficult. Today just remove FIVE items of clothing, ONE handbag, ONE scarf, and ONE pair of shoes. You can do it!

Day 21: Remove FIVE items of clothing from The Kids and/or Husband’s Closet. You should find this easier than doing your own!

Day 22: Without the kids around, remove Toys from their Bedroom that you haven’t seen them use in a while. If you like, choose just a few toys to put in another bag in the garage or basement and on a rainy day you can surprise them with a “new” old toy in exchange for another one from their room – the one-in, one-out rule.

To the kitchen...

Day 23: Scour The Pantry looking for outdated items. This alone can declutter your pantry. It also reminds you what you have in there. Tidy as you go.

Day 24: Clean out The Fridge. Toss rotten food, check expiry dates, vow to use a weekly menu and only buy what you need for your week worth of meals.

Day 25: Brrrr… time to see what’s in The Deep Freezer. Double your bag for this one – frozen food is heavy! Toss any freezer burned items. From now on, keep an inventory list of what lives in your deep freezer. Use a magnet to attach your list to the front of the freezer. As you take items, cross it off the inventory list. As you add items, add them to your list. This saves you from digging down into the cold depths of the ice box searching for a roast that doesn’t exist!

Day 26: Edit The Cutlery Drawer. Look for spoons, knives, flippers and obscure I’m-not-sure-how-to-use-this items to remove from the cutlery drawer and make room for the frequently used ones.

Day 27: Just for today don’t worry about organizing Your Kitchen Cupboards. Simply open each one and look for unused appliances and dishes. Remove them. Done.

Day 28: Yep! We’re going there… Under the Kitchen Sink! Decide what you NEED under here. Maybe a garbage can and the composter, some cleaners and garbage bags? Remove anything else that doesn’t belong. If you happen to keep your flower vases under the sink, edit them. You really only need to keep a couple of your favorites – after all, how many bouquets are you going to get at one time?

Day 29: If you have A Junk Drawer, you know how unruly it can become. Remove items that belong elsewhere like the garage or garden shed. Remove kids toys, nailpolish, business cards and loose paper. Containerize what is left. Remember to put an elastic band around loose batteries so that their terminals do not touch.

Last day!

Day 30: Here is something new… put the bag back. Today you will use a proverbial bag. Today it’s about removing the clutter from Your Schedule. Take a long hard look at your schedule/calendar and see where you can lighten it up. Do you have to attend EVERY Dahlia Club meeting? Do you have to volunteer at EVERY event in your community? Do you have to host EVERY girl’s night? See if you can free up some time for R&R. You deserve it.