The annual Organized-ish 28 Day Declutter Challenge is halfway through, and here’s a recap of what we’ve done so far plus bonus tips and donation ideas for the things you’ve purged.
If you are participating in the Organized-ish 28 Day Declutter Challenge, today is a day to celebrate! You’ve made it to the halfway point, and that means you’ve successfully decluttered fourteen spaces in your home! And whether you’ve purged a lot or little, you’re seeing a big difference already.
There’s something about seeing one small area cleaned up and uncluttered that motivates you to keep going, and that’s why I designed the challenge this way. So today I want to recap what we’ve done so far and offer a few extra tips and ideas to keep you on track.
28 Day Declutter Challenge Recap Part One: Days 1-14
Day 1: Nightstand
How great did it feel the next morning when you woke up, opened your nightstand drawer, and it was spacious and tidy inside? Amazing, right? That feeling is the exact reason we start there.
Maintenance Tip: To keep your nightstand looking this way all the time, train yourself to straighten it up once a week on the same evening at the same time. This builds a habit you won’t even think about.
Day 2: DVDs, CDs, & Video Games
On day two, we did a major purge sesh on all of our discs. DVDs, CDs, video games, even computer discs if you have those at home.
Donation Tip: Instead of throwing old discs in the trash, call your local library and offer the lot of media to them. They’ll gladly add them to their collection.
Day 3: Gift Wrap
You probably have quite a bit of random gift wrap leftover from the holidays, along with the generic wrapping supplies you keep the rest of the year. Get rid of anything that’s damaged or you know you’ll never use.
Donation Tip: Offer the lot of purged wrapping supplies on Facebook Marketplace for free to a local small business. They might want to use it for shipping or packing.
Day 4: Makeup & Bath Products
Cleaning up all your makeup and bath products can be a bit overwhelming. If you get stuck, just get rid of things that are old, clumpy, damaged, dried up, or the wrong shade. You can always do a more mindful purge another time.
Donation Tip: Post-pandemic, local shelters can no longer accept beauty and bath products that have been opened. You’ll have to safely dispose of the purged products. But some wildlife rescue organizations do accept mascara wands for cleaning tiny animals.
Day 5: Refrigerator Door
Cleaning out the refrigerator door might be the most satisfying job ever. I got more DMs about how great this felt than any other challenge to-date. Plus it’s fun (and horrifying) to see some of the expiration dates on the condiments you come across.
Upcycle Tip: If you’re purging the contents of items in glass jars, empty the jar, wash well, and let it dry completely. It can serve as a great reusable container for the pantry or lunchboxes.
Day 6: Cleaning Supplies
You might have cleaning supplies stored in a few different places around the house. Do a quick runaround and gather them all together. Combine two half-full bottles, refill reusable containers, and restock bathroom cabinets. Safely dispose of any cleaners you no longer want or need.
Donation Tip: Box up any cleaning supplies you don’t want that are still in good condition, and save them to donate to animal shelters after you purge linens. You can take both after you’ve finished that task. (Side Note: Animal shelters cannot accept bleach, they aren’t allowed to use it anymore.)
Day 7: Jewelry & Accessories
Be really honest with yourself when you’re purging jewelry and accessories. We seem to hang onto pieces with the mindset of I might wear this someday. If it’s been more than a year and you haven’t touched it, that someday period isn’t going to come. And if it does later, you probably have something else you can wear instead.
Donation Tip: When donating old jewelry, I love to drop them off at women’s refuge shelters. A lot of these centers help women prepare for job interviews, and they provide business clothing and jewelry to help them show up as their most-professional-looking selves.
Day 8: Under Kitchen Sink
This is another super satisfying job as long as you don’t get hung up on the organization aspect of it. Don’t worry about organizing and making it look Pinterest-Perfect under there. Simply remove anything that doesn’t belong and purge things that are so old you don’t even know where they came from.
Under Sink Storage Tip: Add a waterproof liner or mat in the bottom of the cabinet. Leaks and spills can destroy your cabinet’s bottom leaving you with a pricey repair and demo job.
Day 9: Household Linens
Household linens consist of towels, bed sheets, table cloths, cloth napkins, throw blankets, pillow covers, duvet covers, window curtains, shower curtains and more. Whether you have a full linen closet or just a basket in each bedroom closet, go through it all and get rid of the things you don’t need.
Donation Tip: Animal shelters love receiving blanket and towel donations. Call the center beforehand to ensure they’re accepting these items at the moment, and load them up into trash bags to donate with the cleaning supplies from day 6 of the challenge. Make sure the linens are freshly washed with no scented softeners which can irritate some animals’ skin.
Day 10: Games & Puzzles
Decluttering games and puzzles is actually pretty fun, in my personal opinion. You get to open up the boxes, check for missing pieces, and you almost always end up playing one you forgot about that evening. My post-it note tip is really helpful for this day, so check that out in this blog post.
Donation Tip: Donate adult-friendly games to local senior centers and nursing homes. The residents will love to have something new to do on a rainy afternoon. And donate children’s games to a teacher friend or a daycare. Just make sure all the pieces and instructions are in the box before you donate. You can download and print new instructions if they accidentally got thrown away.
Day 11: Two Kitchen Drawers
Want to make this day more challenging? Let someone else pick the drawers for you. Just ask a family member to point to two random drawers in the kitchen and don’t tell them why. Bonus points if you can get them to help you declutter one of them! Don’t worry about reorganizing right now. Just focus on removing things that don’t belong and purging items you don’t need.
Donation Tip: Have a friend with a kid who will be going away to college or moving into their first apartment soon? Give them a call and see if they might need kitchen supplies. If not, you can offer to a local shelter or church.
Day 12: Coats & Winterwear
Whether you have a coat closet or your outerwear is stored in your regular closet, there are probably things you haven’t worn in a long time. If it doesn’t fit, it’s not your style anymore, or you just have too many coats, it’s time to purge. Don’t forget about hats, gloves, scarves, and boots, too.
Donation Tip: You can donate outerwear to homeless shelters in any size, and they typically don’t mind if there’s a slight tear or zipper malfunction. For kids’ coats still in perfect condition, contact a local school to see if they are accepting donations. Schools usually discreetly give coats to children in need and keep it under the radar so no one ever knows.
Day 13: Tupperware and Food Prep Containers
You don’t need 123,456,789 food storage containers, and they likely don’t all have their mates anyway. Go through your stash and get rid of any lids that don’t have containers. Purge damaged containers and try to get your collection down to only the amount you need on a weekly basis.
Repurpose Tip: If you find containers that don’t have lids, you can use those as drawer organizers or inside larger containers to make compartments for better organization.
Day 14: Desk Drawer And/Or Office Supplies
Whether your office supplies are contained in a desk drawer, storage cabinet, or just a container shoved under the bed, get rid of anything you don’t need that’s taking up space. Check pens and markers to make sure they still work and purge broken items.
Donation Tip: Overflow office supplies that are still in good working condition can be donated to a teacher friend. Teachers have to buy their own supplies out-of-pocket, so extra pens and markers are always something they need.
Watch Each Day’s Challenge Video On Instagram
Every afternoon on Instagram, I post a video with tips and tutorials for that day’s challenge task. Follow along @lelaburris so you don’t miss any, and catch up on past videos in the IGTV video tab. You can also download the Declutter Challenge Checklist here for the full 28 Day list.