A drawer of neatly folded towels

Decluttering Challenge: 20 Bags in 20 Days for a Clutter-Free Home

Clutter can accumulate quickly in our homes, and sometimes it feels like an insurmountable task to tackle. But what if you could transform your living space by decluttering just one bag a day for 20 days? This 20 day decluttering challenge is a practical and manageable way to declutter your home gradually, one bag at a time. If you want to join in with the 20 Bags in 20 Days Decluttering Challenge, read on to discover tips, strategies, and motivation to help you achieve a clutter-free home in just 20 days.

Why a 20 Bags in 20 Days Decluttering Challenge?

Before we dive into the how-to, let’s explore why the decluttering just one bag a day for 20 days as a decluttering challenge is an effective approach:

  1. Incremental Progress: Breaking down decluttering into daily tasks makes it less overwhelming. Small, consistent efforts add up over time and are much easier to do than a huge effort.
  2. Establishes a Routine: By committing to daily decluttering, you develop a decluttering routine that can be sustained beyond the challenge.
  3. Clear Goals: With a specific target (20 bags in 20 days), you have a clear goal to work towards.
  4. Visible Results: You’ll see tangible results every day as bags of clutter leave your home, providing motivation to continue.

Getting Started with the 20 Bags in 20 Days Decluttering Challenge:

Let’s begin your journey to a clutter-free home, one bag at a time:

1. Set Your Start Date

Choose a start date for your 20 Bags in 20 Days decluttering challenge. Mark it on your calendar and commit to it. Maybe you’ll do it in January? Maybe September when the kids have gone back to school?

2. Gather Supplies

You’ll need a few supplies to help you along the way:

  • Trash Bags: For items that need to be discarded. You don’t have to fill a large trash bag each day, as some areas will contain more clutter than others. Some days you could just use a sandwich bag or unused (!) dog poop bag. The size doesn’t matter – it’s the intention that does!
  • Boxes or Bins: To sort items into categories (keep, donate, sell).
  • Labels and Markers: To label boxes and containers.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Cleaning as you declutter ensures your space remains fresh.
An organized clear box of cleaning products

3. Define Your Zones

Identify the areas of your home that need the most decluttering. You can start with common clutter-prone areas like closets, the kitchen, the garage, or your home office.

4. Daily Time Commitment

Allocate a specific time each day for decluttering. It could be as short as 15-30 minutes or longer, depending on your schedule.

5. Set Rules

Establish some ground rules for your challenge. For example, decide that you’ll complete one bag per day, regardless of its size or contents.

6. Prepare for the Journey

Mentally prepare for the challenge by reminding yourself of the benefits of a clutter-free home. Visualize how your living space will look and feel once the challenge is complete.

7. Share Your Challenge

Consider sharing your decluttering challenge with friends or family. Having an accountability partner can keep you motivated.

Practical Tips for Decluttering 20 Bags in 20 Days:

Now, let’s dive into some practical tips to help you succeed in your decluttering challenge:

1. Start with the Easiest Areas

Begin your challenge with the areas that require the least effort to declutter. This builds momentum and motivates you to tackle more challenging spaces later.

2. Sort Items Systematically

As you declutter each day, sort items into three main categories:

  • Keep: Items you use regularly or truly love.
  • Donate/Sell: Items in good condition that can benefit others.
  • Discard: Items that are damaged, expired, or beyond repair.

3. Focus on One Area at a Time

Concentrate on decluttering one area or room each day. Don’t jump around from room to room; it can be overwhelming.

4. Set a Timer

If you’re concerned about spending too much time decluttering, set a timer to ensure you stick to your daily commitment.

5. Declutter Digitally

Don’t forget about digital clutter. Dedicate some days to decluttering your email inbox, computer files, and smartphone apps.

6. Be Ruthless but Mindful

When deciding whether to keep or let go of an item, be ruthless but also mindful. Consider whether the item adds value to your life or if it’s just taking up space.

7. Create a Decluttering Playlist

Play your favorite music or an inspiring podcast while you declutter to make the process more enjoyable.

8. Involve the Family

Get your family involved in the challenge. Assign specific tasks to each family member to make decluttering a team effort.

9. Tackle Sentimental Items Gradually

Sentimental items can be the most challenging to declutter. Dedicate a few days to tackle sentimental items, focusing on one category at a time (e.g., photos, letters, mementos).

10. Proper Disposal

Dispose of discarded items properly. Donate or sell items that are in good condition, recycle what you can, and dispose of hazardous waste safely.

11. Document Your Progress

Take photos of your decluttering journey to document your progress and celebrate your achievements.

12. Revisit Problem Areas:

If you encounter a particularly challenging area that requires more time and effort, be willing to revisit it on subsequent days to ensure thorough decluttering.

13. Reward Yourself

As you complete each day’s decluttering task, reward yourself with a treat or a moment of relaxation. Celebrate your achievements along the way.

The 20 Bags in 20 Days Decluttering Challenge

You can use this list as a guide to work through or make a list of 20 areas in your home that you need to declutter. This is a super flexible challenge so don’t feel like you have to go through these rooms if you don’t need or want to!

  1. Nightstand: Clear out old books, magazines, and items you no longer use.
  2. Junk Drawer: Tackle that drawer filled with miscellaneous items like rubber bands, old receipts, and expired coupons.
  3. Kitchen Counters: Remove unnecessary appliances, utensils, and clutter to create a more organized cooking space.
  4. Closet: Declutter your closet by donating or selling clothes, shoes, and accessories you no longer wear.
  5. Pantry: Check for expired items, organize shelves, and donate non-perishable foods you won’t use.
  6. Under the Bed: Clear out dust bunnies and unused items stored under the bed.
  7. Bathroom Vanity: Dispose of old toiletries and expired medications, and reorganize your bathroom essentials.
  8. Refrigerator: Remove expired food, clean shelves, and reorganize your fridge to maximize space.
  9. Linen Closet: Donate old or unused towels, bed linens, and blankets.
  10. Home Office Desk: Sort through paperwork, organize supplies, and clear your workspace.
  11. Bookshelves: Dust and reorganize your book collection, donating books you no longer want.
  12. Medicine Cabinet: Dispose of expired medications and organize your first-aid supplies.
  13. Garage: Sort through tools, sports equipment, and seasonal items, and consider donating or selling what you no longer need.
  14. Kids’ Toys: Go through your children’s toys, donating or selling ones they’ve outgrown or no longer play with.
  15. DVD/CD Collection: Declutter your media collection by getting rid of items you no longer watch or listen to.
  16. Mudroom/Entryway: Organize shoes, coats, and outdoor gear to create a welcoming entrance.
  17. Home Entertainment Center: Organize cables, remove outdated electronics, and declutter your media consoles.
  18. Basement: Sort through storage items, holiday decorations, and other belongings, and declutter the basement.
  19. Garden Shed: Dispose of broken or unused garden tools, pots, and supplies.
  20. Car: Clean out your vehicle, removing trash, old documents, and items that don’t belong.

The 20 Bays in 20 Days decluttering challenge is an achievable and highly rewarding way to transform your living space. By consistently decluttering one bag a day, you’ll create a clutter-free oasis that promotes a sense of peace and well-being. Take the first step, set your start date, and embrace the journey to a clutter-free home. As you declutter bag by bag, you’ll discover the joy of living with less and the freedom to enjoy a more organized and harmonious living environment.

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