Updated: Jan 12, 2018 10:26 am
A fresh new year means a fabulous new you, and we’ve gathered 31 decluttering tasks and tips that will help you feel accomplished and organized in just one month. Our lives are busy, and the process of doing a big, deep, life-cleanse all in one sitting can be overwhelming. This challenge is broken up into one task per day to help with decluttering your life, home, and your mind. Along with your 2018 bucket list, you’ll be all set for having fun and making this year one of your best!
Decluttering your life: 31 decluttering tips you can do instantly to feel great.
1. Go through your sock drawers
These drawers get piled up and are often overlooked for years. You most likely have a few single socks that are missing their other halves and plenty that are discolored or have holes in them. By removing socks that make you feel stressed in the morning, you open yourself to a daily treat of picking out the socks that you’d actually want to wear.
Worry about wasting those single socks that you may still feel attached to? Old socks have plenty of multi-purpose uses. Here are just a few:
1. You can reuse them as Swiffer mop pads. Save a few for some DIY cleaning tools and toss the rest!
2. You can use them as window and glass-cleaning gloves.
3. Put 1-2 cups of uncooked rice or beans in the sock and sew up the end — this works wonderfully as free weights for workouts.
What to do after you toss away all those joyless single socks? Roll up your favorites and place them in these chic fabric organizers. You’ll never have a missing sock again! Where to buy: $18.99, Amazon
2. Clean out your makeup collection
While makeup seems like something that lasts a long time, it too expires. In fact, mascara is only good for three to four months and six months to a year for lipstick before bacteria, mold, and fungi start growing. If you’re not careful, the bacteria in expired makeup can cause infections and skin blemishes. Check to see which products you no longer remember when you bought or last opened — that’s usually a good indicator that they have been opened for longer than what they are good for. Toss those old containers and make room for some lovely new cosmetics. Your makeup can give back too! You can clean off and mail your used mascara wands to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge where they use them for removing grime and larva from wild animals’ fur.
Ready for your new beauty/vanity setup? Beautify your bathroom counter with this makeup organizer: Where to buy: $17.29, Amazon
3. Open up credit card bills to consolidate
This can be one of the biggest stressors, but it does not have to be. There are plenty of online software and apps that can help you aggregate all of your incoming and outgoing expenses so you can stay on top of your savings and expenditures. It takes less than 30 minutes to sync up all of your credit and bank accounts with the app Clarity Money. Once you are logged into all of the financial services you use, Clarity will show you where you spend your money and even makes clever suggestions on recurrent subscriptions that you may want to cancel and choosing the best credit card deals based on your spending.
Love it old school? You can also keep track of bills and your budget with a stylish financial planner. Where to buy: $17.29, Amazon
4. Sort through the medicine cabinet
Medicines, over-the-counter aids, and prescriptions all have shelf lives. It’s important to clean out your medicine cabinet regularly so you aren’t ingesting something that could potentially harm you. Usually the biggest issue with a prescription expiring is lost potency. If you’re ever unsure, call your pharmacist and ask. Declutter that cabinet and make room for fresh medicines with maximum benefits! The FDA also has a list of resources that you can use to find the best place to dispose of prescription meds.
A clear cabinet wall hanger makes it easier to see and keep track of your medications and vitamins. Where to buy: $11.99, Amazon
5. Create first aid kits
If you’re someone who has a tendency to worry about what could happen, this resolution will certainly put you at ease! Many people don’t consider the importance of having a first aid kit at home, in the car, and even at work. To make one, simply buy a plastic tub and fill it with items like bandages, wound ointment, scissors, and gauze. Think about the special needs your family may have and tailor the content accordingly. If someone has a severe allergy, stock your kit with an EpiPen, or if headaches seem to be a common occurrence, keep pain relievers and a hot/cold compress handy.
Can’t be bothered to build one from scratch? Feel free to start out with this perfectly packed first aid kit. Where to buy: $13.82, Amazon
6. Call your elders
Think about the last time you spoke to your great uncle, or perhaps your grandmother. If it’s hard to remember when that was, pick up the phone. Research shows that having a large family presence is associated with decreasing depressive symptoms for adults who are 50 and up. When you make yourself available for the ones you care about, it can ease your concerns and worries, but more importantly, it reminds your loved ones that you’re thinking of them. It’s truly a priceless gift.
A lovely family tree book will keep track of relatives and history for you and future generations. Where to buy: $12.87, Amazon
7. Take stock of toiletries
Hands up if you only have one shampoo bottle in your shower. Or are you getting close to three bottles? Or even ten? We’re guilty of it too! You want one for extra shiny locks and one for clarifying your scalp. But going overboard may clutter up your bathroom. Take a minute to see what you have and decide what can be tossed. If a bottle has enough to get a few more washes, rinses, or lathers out of, but you haven’t touched it in months, send it out. Once you’ve combed through your collection, it’s easier to see what you need for your next shopping list. Not to mention it’s going to make bathroom cleaning a lot easier.
Pro tip: Organize your soaps and keep the shower tidy with this caddy. Where to buy: $32.90, Amazon
Keep your travel toiletries tucked away in a chic roll-up bag until you need them. Where to buy: $9.99, Amazon
8. Flip your hangers and do a closet clean out
Pick today to swap the direction of your hangers. Flip the hangers for clothes the you actually wear in the opposite direction, and leave the clothes you don’t wear hanging in the usual direction. This way, by the end of the season you can easily split your clothes into three piles: keep, give away, and unsure / out of season. Donate your ‘give away’ pile to Goodwill or Salvation Army, or sell them online or to a secondhand store. Keep your unsure pile for the next season and sift through it again after to see if you wore anything.If not, perfect time to send them out of the house! While you’re at it, you might as well systematize your storage system by replacing your mix of hangers with these space-saving skinny hangers to make room and organize your garments.
Check out this incredible space-saving hanger set. Where to buy: $14.99, Amazon
9. Take count of your lip balms, sticks, and glosses
Lip balms have a way of sneaking into every nook and cranny — piled in your purse, under your bed, and in your desk drawer at work. As mentioned above, makeup and toiletries do have a shelf life so be sure to note how many you have, how long you’ve had them, which ones should be tossed, and which ones you should start using up before they expire. Once you work your way through them you’ll have room for another pretty shade or delicious scent!
Replace old products with these non-toxic, tinted lip balms for the softest pout. Where to buy: $11.95, Amazon
10. Sift through rewards cards and receipts
Crumpled up receipts seem to be a purse staple alongside your keys and lipstick. Clean these out, making sure you take note of the amounts, and check your debit and credit card statements before tossing. Then open your wallet and tidy up those pockets! Be on the lookout for rewards cards to places that don’t exist anymore or places that aren’t in your area.
A simple folder file is the best place to keep all your receipts and important papers. Where to buy: $6.49, Amazon
11. Audit your keychain
Searching through your keychain when you’re trying to unlock your door might make you wonder if you really need all of them. You know the mailbox, house, garage, and car keys like the back of your hand, so it might be time for the three little mysterious ones to come off. You may also have mini scannable rewards cards on there that you don’t use anymore. This will help lighten your everyday load!
Keep track of your keys with these happy, colorful tags. Where to buy: $6.97, Amazon
13. Sort out your running and athletic shoes
Time to reduce that pile of sneakers in your shoe closet. After a while, athletic shoes mold to your feet, which isn’t healthy for your posture or foot health. It’s worth purchasing a new, supportive pair and getting rid of the ones that have been taking up space for too long. Although it can be useful to save one pair for gardening or dirty work around the house!
Support your feet and add these arch support inserts for the best walking or running experience. Where to buy: $10.99, Amazon
14. Pantry audit
Pasta sauce from 2008? Crackers that expired in 2013? With the start of 2018, it’s a good idea to go through your pantry and see what should be tossed. You might be surprised to find some things hiding way at the back that you forgot you even had. If you come across some non-perishable items that your family won’t eat with expiration dates that are still far out, drop them off at a local food pantry to spread some love and kindness. Plus leftover jam and pickle jars make for excellent rustic beer and cocktail glasses!
Never lose track of what you have in the pantry with this nifty, stackable can organizer. Where to buy: $19.97, Amazon
15. Toss or find ways to reuse old towels
We all have towels that have seen better days sitting in our bathroom cabinets. Whether you still occasionally use them or they’re simply taking up space, throw out most and save one or two for washing the car, drying off your dog after a bath, or cleaning the house. You can even find a neat craft project to recycle the old ones. Soft towels are a small luxury in life, so you deserve fresh new ones every couple of years.
Wine or towel rack? Why not both — they’re both essential items when soaking in the tub! Where to buy: $18.50, Amazon
16. Flip the mattress and do a bedding clean out
Switching the side you sleep on allows for you to have a bed in proper shape for snoozing. Over time, when you lie in the same spot, your mattress can become uneven and this can cause back pain and restless nights. After flipping, head to your linen closet to clean out the sheets that rarely make an appearance on the bed.
Keep your sheets clean and tucked away with this convenient storage unit. Where to buy: $9.99, Amazon
17. Organize kitchenware
Mugs are kitchen items that tend to multiply over time, as well as silverware that may have been taken home from work or leftover from potlucks. Take note of what you have and which plates, pans, forks, and cups can be boxed up and sent to Goodwill. If you’ve replaced items, make sure that old ones aren’t taking up space in your cupboards. You most likely won’t need your coffee pot if you’ve replaced it with a faster brewing system.
With a simple cabinet rack like this, you won’t feel like you’re playing Jenga when you take a pan out to cook. Where to buy: $16.95, Amazon
18. Comb through old toys and find better homes for them
Toys always seem to be coming in the house, but not being sent out. Take a moment with your kids to go through toys they’re not interested in anymore or have outgrown. Then donate, so you can provide some joy to families in need. The spare room and the kids’ bedrooms will look mess-free in no time!
Your home will look stylish and your kids’ toys will be stowed away with this storage bench. Where to buy: $34.99, Amazon
19. Open up a savings account
It’s never too early to start saving for college. Opening a savings account for kids and young adults gives you a chance to educate them about budgeting and saving. Learning these essential tools at a young age will set them up for success down the road. If relatives ask about birthdays and holidays for the kids, request they give money instead of toys so they can contribute to teaching them about money. And whether or not you have children, you can still invest your spare change in stock markets to help you save more every day on apps like Acorn.
Kids will love adding coins and seeing their savings grow in this money counting jar. Where to buy: $23.99, Amazon
20. Write a list of new things for you and your partner to try
Dating shouldn’t end after you’re married! Spending time alone is important for strengthening your relationship and keeps you both happy. We understand this is easier said than done, but you can take steps to make sure you follow through. Get your kids’ schedules ahead of time from teachers and coaches so you know any important dates. Then find a date that works for the two of you and plan something you’ll both enjoy. Book a babysitter early in advance and have a backup. If you prepare for problems that usually cancel date night, you won’t have to worry about pushing it back again.
This adorable date night idea book will make you two fall in love all over again. Where to buy: $7.99, Amazon
21. Start planning for your parents’ birthday ahead of time
Whether you call on their birthday, or send a card, it can often be the last thing on your to-do list and you can feel rushed for time. Plan something special this year to show them your appreciation for all they’ve done and the importance of their birthday. Have the family over and cook them dinner, or take them out for brunch. Being thoughtful will make them feel loved, and make you feel warm inside.
Make your parents and family members feel extra special with just the right touches from this book of how-tos for stunning parties. Where to buy: $20.30, Amazon
22. Toss and find a use for tupperware
Tupperware can make one big jumbled mess in the kitchen. Dispose of the ones with missing lids and leaky compartments. Organize and stack the ones you’re keeping and consider learning about meal prepping to put them to good use. It’s a great way to plan healthy lunches and dinners, especially for the days and nights where you don’t feel like putting together a meal.
Kickstart your meal prepping with a cookbook that delivers on its promise of healthy, delicious recipes. Where to buy: $9.59, Amazon
23. Ditch old art supplies, pens, and pencils
You’d be surprised how many writing utensils, pads of paper, and paper clips you collect throughout the years. Go through your office desk or art supply bins and throw away pens and markers with dried up ink, old paint, and any objects with missing pieces. This clears space for working supplies and important documents that you haven’t been able to find a place for.
Store art supplies in this colorful, rolling storage unit. Where to buy: $43.88, Amazon
24. Clean out cleaners, chemicals, and/or detergents
Another place where things tend to pile up is our laundry room or under our kitchen sink. Only a couple of detergents, cleaning chemicals, and soaps are necessary for keeping the house clean and tidy. Water soluble fluids can be poured down the drain and the bottles can be recycled. If you’re unsure about the proper way to dispose of something, call your local garbage and recycling facility.
A cabinet storage bin will keep your supplies organized and help you be mindful of what products you do and don’t need to add to the grocery list. Where to buy: $18.99, Amazon
25. Choose a new, healthy dinner recipe
Cooking the same few meals can become boring after a while, and if you find your family resorting to take-out more than cooking at home, work together to find a nutritious dinner recipe that you’ll all enjoy. Cook together as a family, or take turns picking out nights where someone will cook a new recipe and the rest can clean up after.
This darling cookbook will create a fun, exciting environment when making dinner with your loved ones. Where to buy: $17.18, Amazon
26. Make care bags for the homeless
Creating care packages for those who are less fortunate is a great way to give back and volunteer your time. Homelessness is an unbelievably hard thing to go through, and it’s much more difficult during the winter months. A few important items to include are: feminine hygiene products, a blanket, socks, a snack of some sort, a water bottle, and hand wipes. You can even host a party with friends to make these, then distribute them. Volunteering at a homeless shelter or kitchen is another way to make a positive impact in your community.
A few of these hygiene product bags are a good start for creating your care packages. Where to buy: $7.65, Amazon
27. Go through cords and wires bin
Old phones, adapters, and cords (that you have no idea what they are supposed to do) are probably taking up storage under your TV. Because of the dangerous chemicals inside of them, finding a recycling center to dispose of them correctly helps you and the environment. If you have electronics that still work just sitting untouched gathering dust, donate them!
These hook and loop cord straps are perfect for placing around your device cords so they don’t get tangled while they’re stored away. Where to buy: $6.99, Amazon
28. Clean out hats, gloves, and scarves drawer
Time to clean out that drawer. You know, the one with all the hats with holes, gloves with a missing match, and worn out scarves. While we’re often conscious of cleaning out our closet, these winter items tend to be overlooked. Unworn items or pieces in very good condition can be given to shelters to help keep others warm.
Tuck away your winter essentials in this stylish over-the-door hanging compartment. Where to buy: $17.99, Amazon
30. Pick a new class or activity to enjoy with your family
Many resolutions focus on getting fit and losing weight. While staying active is important for your health, forcing yourself into a Crossfit class or picking up running may not be the best way to keep you moving. Instead, research something that’s fun and will make you want to go. This puts the focus on boosting your mood, and holding yourself accountable to doing something for you, rather than adding pressure to lose weight. By picking something out with your family, you’ll all look forward to spending quality time bonding and strengthening your relationships.
If you’re stumped for ideas, this book will let you and your family pick out a new activity every week! Where to buy: $9.83, Amazon