Do you want to reduce the amount of clutter in your home, but you can’t seem to get motivated? Are you tired of taking part in “declutter your entire home in just thirty days” challenges only to be left feeling like a failure when you can’t keep up the pace? Join me in the declutter 90/52 challenge where we will spend 90 minutes each week for a year tossing clutter.
A few years ago I challenged myself to clean an area of my home every week for a year and blog about my progress along the way. I considered the pace to be realistic for my stage of life and the time it allowed me for decluttering. Out of that challenge the Snail Pacing Clutter Removers Facebook group was born and in that group many members have been asking me to do another decluttering challenge.
My clutter piles might not be as big as they once were thanks to being reasonably consistent with tossing clutter since that year-long challenge. However, as my readers are asking for a challenge and I know my home needs steady decluttering year after year if I am to keep it reasonably clutter-free, let’s begin a new challenge that will help us kick that clutter to the curb.
The Declutter 90/52 Challenge: Declutter 90 Minutes A Week For 52 Weeks
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How Declutter 90/52 Is Going To Work
The 90 stands for 90 minutes a week and the 52 stands for 52 weeks in the year. Simply put: if you want to join the challenge, you need to commit to decluttering for 90 minutes a week, every week, for a year.
How you complete the 90 minutes is up to you.
- Do 15 minutes a day for six days
- Do 30 minutes a day for three days
- Do 45 minutes a day for two days
- Do 90 minutes all in one day
Divide up the time any way you like just get 90 minutes of decluttering done every week.
Why 90 minutes? You have probably heard decluttering gurus say 15 minutes a day devoted to decluttering will keep your home under control and that is true. But let’s face it–some days fitting in 15 minutes of one more thing isn’t possible. That is why I want you to concentrate on 90 minutes throughout each week.
I know that seven days of 15 minutes equals 105 minutes, but that number isn’t as catchy as 90 and it doesn’t break down into memorable blocks of time as 90 minutes does.
Try to declutter a bit each day, timing yourself as you go and making a note on your calendar of how long you spend each day. When you reach 90 minutes for the week, you can be done or you can do more if you want to.
Why 52 weeks? When it comes to winning the war on household clutter once and for all, consistency matters. A habit of tossing items on a regular basis is key to making sure that the clutter you remove doesn’t get replaced. By committing to tossing items for 52 weeks in a row, there is a good chance that the habit of tossing items you no longer need will become so ingrained you will do it with little thought or time spent. I can attest that this is true because ever since I did my first year-long decluttering challenge I find myself regularly spending small amounts of time here and there tossing items we no longer use in a box to give to our local thrift store.
What Areas Of The Home Should You Declutter
Again, this is really up to you. As for me, I am making a loose plan to follow so I don’t wander around aimlessly trying to decide on a spot to start on first. I suggest you do the same.
If you have a significant amount of clutter in all rooms, I would recommend starting with the areas of the home that are the most seen by those that visit–that will help you feel better about your home and spur you on to declutter more areas.
I plan on working in one room for at least four weeks, except for the bathrooms so that hopefully every inch of the room will have been decluttered and cleaned before I move on to the next one.
Here is my loose by month area plan
January: Master Bedroom
Our bedroom is the most neglected room in our home. I am guessing it might take longer 90 minutes a week for four weeks, but I am hoping that it will look significantly better by the end of the month. I like to shoot for progress and not perfection. Someone remind me of this during January.
February: Upstairs Bathroom/Hallway
Our bathrooms are small with not a lot of storage space so I am guessing two weeks of 90 minutes will be enough to give them an excellent decluttering and cleaning.
The second two weeks of February I will hit the linen closet and the study cubby that are both off the upstairs hallway. And the last spot I will focus on will be a cart of random remodeling leftovers that sits in the hall.
March: The Attic
I like to declutter the attic when the worst of winter is over, but the heat of summer has yet to come as it isn’t insulated well, so it is either freezing or sweltering most of the time. This is something to consider if you plan on including storage areas in your own decluttering plan. You don’t want to plan on cleaning out the storage shed in your backyard on the hottest or coldest months of the year. It just makes the whole process more uncomfortable than it has to be.
April: Downstairs Bathroom/Hallway Closest
Again, most bathrooms won’t take a month’s worth of 90 minutes a week to declutter so plan on hitting another small space in your home like a closet during the same month you do your bathrooms.
May: Catch Up On Any Missed Areas
I am making May a flex month for now as I feel like I will need more than a month’s worth of 90 minutes a week to get our master bedroom looking like the retreat I see in my head. My guess is I will get most of the room decluttered in January, but will need May to tackle the walk-in closet. Plus, I find that I always declutter more the second time around.
I declutter like an onion; one layer at a time! LOL
If I am wrong and the bedroom gets fully touched in January, I will use May’s 90-minute time slots to resell items that we no longer need and share tips on how I did this. This too is an important element of decluttering–making sure you sell what you set aside to sell promptly.
June: Back Door Area/Top Of The Stairs Closet/Cubby Over The Basement Stairs/Jacket Box
June will be a month of random small areas in our home.
And if you are wondering what a jacket box is, it is just as it sounds–a box full of jackets. We don’t have a proper coat closet in our home, just a few hooks, so all winter long we throw our coats in a big box kept at one end of our dining room. Once cold weather season is far behind us I like going through all our coats, washing those that need washing, donating those we no longer wear, putting the thickest ones up in the attic until winter returns, and finally hanging up the light ones we use in summer on the hooks by the back door.
Our home is over 100 years old and although the main floors have been remodeled, the basement is still a scary, old rough concrete walls with cracks basement. So if you follow along, be warned that July’s pictures will contain photos of me in what looks like a dungeon. Do not fear; I am merely in my basement. There is a little of everything down there so this could be a month of treasure and junk finds.
I want to hit every area of our kitchen. It is small, but packed floor to ceiling with cabinets. I don’t think I have given it a good go through since I did the 52 Week To A Simplified home challenge several years ago.
September: Family Room
Our family room is tiny, but again, packed with storage areas. I am also very neglectful about dusting it frequently. This could be the month that you see dust bunnies in uncomfortable proportions.
There are only two storage areas left in my study so I don’t see it taking more than two 90 minute sessions. We generally go on our last trip with our travel trailer late September or early October so this seems like the perfect time slot to go in it and give it a good top to bottom decluttering.
November: Dining Room
A year ago I got rid of two junk collecting pieces of furniture in the dining room. With just two cabinets and two baskets that could hold clutter in this room, I might get another week or two to resell items and share how it went with you.
December: Re-cluttered areas
Yes, re-cluttered is (sadly) a word in my life and re-cluttering is a verb. As the year draws to a close I plan to spend the last few 90-minute sessions hitting areas that I already decluttered once, but since then have become cluttered again. On a positive note, though, I find that areas I return to are rarely as bad as the last time I decluttered them.
This 12-month plan covers all storage areas of our property except the storage shed in the backyard and that is filled with 90% my husband’s stuff and only 10% mine so it seems only fair that I leave that to him to declutter.
Items I Recommend For Your Grab-And-Declutter Kit
If you are going to be joining me, I highly recommend you pick up these items before you begin decluttering and keep them all together in one place so you can quickly grab them before you start any decluttering
- 3 or 4 reusable totes—I prefer shallow clear plastic ones like these so they don’t get too heavy and you can see what you put in them. One is for donations, one is for is for recycling, one is for items that belong elsewhere, and the last one is for items you are not sure if you want to keep or toss. I explain in further depth how to use these bins in this article.
- All Purpose Cleaner–I suffer migraines and cleaners with harsh chemicals trigger them so I prefer to use either Method or Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner.
- Dusting Spray–Again, migraine sufferer here, so I use the Method brand and have been very happy with it.
- Several Clean Microfiber Cloths–You don’t have to spend a lot on these, any brand will do.
- Trash Bags–For most decluttering, I use grocery bags given to me by the stores I shop at. However, for rooms I know will have a lot of trash in them I like these heavy duty industrial trash bags.
- Gallon and Quart Ziplock Bags–I find these come in handy when you find small items while you are decluttering that belong to other items not in the area you are decluttering.
- Good music or an interesting podcast or audiobook to listen to as you work. I will be sharing what I listen to during my monthly updates–more on those below.
How You Can See And Read Updates Of My Progress And Share Yours
Weekly in my Snail Pace Clutter Removers Facebook group I will be sharing my before and after pictures for the 90 minutes that I spend decluttering. I will be encouraging members to share their pictures in the comments below my photos. Go here to ask to be included in the group.
Monthly I will be sharing a post here on Snail Pace Transformations that shows my progress for the month and my random thoughts about clutter as I worked on decluttering my home the past month. The posts will be going live on the last Friday of every month. Since I write a week ahead that means the update will be about a week behind as well.
3 Posts To Help You With The Most Common Decluttering Stumbling Blocks
- How To Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed
- How To Declutter Even When You Just Don’t Feel Like It
- How To Find Time To Declutter Your Entire Home
Stop Feeling Like You Are Drowning In Clutter And To Do Lists
Many individuals that struggle with clutter also struggle with time management, which is why I recommend Crystal Paine’s life management courses. As a mom of three who runs a thriving blog, she knows her stuff when it comes to productivity and making the best use of your time. She offers several highly effective courses that can help you gain control of your day instead of it controlling you including…
- Make Over Your Mornings
- Make Over Your Evenings
- Four Weeks To A More Productive Life
- Make Over Your Year
These courses are inexpensive and get right down to the helpful how to’s. Each of the 14 lessons contained in the courses take no longer than 15 minutes. The formula is 5 minutes of video, 5 minutes reading, 5 minutes of creating your plan of action. The 15 minutes you spend each day on these courses will quickly pay you back in hours each day to finally work on obtaining your dreams. When I took the Make Over Your Evenings course, I found one hour each morning–that is 30 hours a month that I can now use to reach my goals.
Isn’t it time to stop drowning in overwhelm and start living your dreams? Go here to grab Crystal’s courses.
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