5 Day Decluttering Challenge!

If you’re considering downsizing, it may seem like a daunting task- which is completely understandable. Packing up a home you have lived in 20, 30, or maybe even 40 years can feel like a never-ending process. Stuff accumulates. Over the years, a combination of sentimental objects, family keepsakes, things we used ones, and too many years of tax returns begin to fill the house up. However, small steps each day can make a difference. We’ve all heard the saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step- and the first step to downsizing is decluttering. Once you get rid of things (and go through that “junk drawer”) your stress of downsizing will ease and you be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Here is a 5 Day Decluttering Challenge to get you started. It will only take you a couple minutes each day, and you’ll be surprised to find how fast you can declutter when you put your mind to it and when you’re focused on one task at a time.

Day 1: The Medicine Cabinet

Medical needs change as we age- the medications and the dosages. But, all too often we don’t throw away the previous prescriptions. They usually just get pushed to the back of the medicine cabinet. Well, it’s time to get rid of them!

Find out if your pharmacy has a take-back program; if not, the FDA recommends that you mix the medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with dirt, kitty litter or used coffee ground. Then place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag and throw away. Be sure to scratch out all personal information on the prescription label too.

Day 2: The Closet

Take a couple minutes to look in your closet. Discard or donate any clothes you don’t wear anymore: clothes from working days past, clothes you’ve grown out of and clothes with a spot or tear that you’re never going to get around to repairing. Here’s a tip: if you haven’t worn it in the past two years, and it’s not your wedding dress, it’s time to get rid of it.

Day 3: The Linen Closet

Today, go through your linen closets/ cabinets. Get rid of any old towels and sheets that you no longer use or are in pretty bad shape. Ripped sheets, ragged towels and stained tablecloths deserve an honorable retirement.

Day 4: The Pantry

Go through your pantry. Take it one shelf at a time. Throw away any food that has expired. Don’t forget about your spices!

Day 5: The “Junk Drawer”

Everyone has one. The “I don’t want to take the time to find a place for this” drawer. A drawer that looks like you emptied your pockets in it for 5 years. It has pens, loose change, receipts, old mail- and who knows what else. Take the time today to tackle this space. Get rid of anything that isn’t important- pens that don’t write, old receipts and the grocery list from 2015.