Welcome to the 12 Days of Decluttering!

Are you ready to take action in order to ditch the embarrassment, frustration and overwhelm caused by the clutter in your life? Let’s do it together!

Check back here daily for updates

DAY ONE

1 Countertop

Today is all about getting a quick win that gives you a dopamine hit which makes you feel good!

Your tasks today are as follows:

1. Watch the introduction video HERE.

2. Print out your 12 day progress page HERE and write the answer to the question at the bottom: “How I want to feel.” Pin it somewhere where you will see it every day.

3. Choose ONE countertop! It could be your kitchen, your bathroom, your ensuite or your dining table. Completely clear it, and lay all of the objects on the floor nearby to sort. Set a timer for 15 minutes and quickly sort the objects into 3 piles: to keep, to toss and to donate. Have a 60 second dance party at the 15 minute mark, then repeat until done!

Put the sorted items away, in the bin, or in your donation box, then wipe that counter down. Now stand back and admire. 

How do you feel? That is the feeling that you want to have EVERYDAY!

4. Tick off Day 1 on your progress page.

DAY TWO

2 Surfaces

Remember how good you felt when you saw that sparkling, clean countertop yesterday? Well today, you are going to feel TWICE as awesome as you tackle 2 areas!
 
Your day 2 tasks are as follows:

 1. Walk through the most used living areas of your home. In my case, they are the dining room, the lounge room and the kitchen. Are there any piles of clutter on the surfaces? Coffee tables, dining tables and kitchen counters can be real magnets for clutter as people offload on them when they enter the house. 

 2. Choose 2 of these areas, take your before photo, then remove EVERYTHING off the surface and lay them on the floor. 

 3. Using the same method as yesterday, work in 15 minute sprints, sorting the clutter into your 3 piles: donate,  toss and keep. In between those 15 minute sprints, make sure to do your 60 second dance party (be warned, I might ask for video evidence that you did them lol! Trust me too, there is method in my madness in getting you to do these.) 

 4. Once you have sorted the clutter, give those surfaces a good clean, then stand back and admire. 

 5. Make sure to tick off day 2 on your progress sheet, and write a note about which surfaces you tackled today. (Not printed yours yet? You can find it HERE.) Don’t forget your after photo!

You may have found some objects that you weren’t sure about in regards to which pile they should be in. If this is the case, you are allowed one small box labelled “undecided.” You may add a maximum of 2 items only to this box per day. You will be making a final decision on each item at the end of the challenge, so if you can avoid using the box in the first place, things will be easier at the end

DAY THREE

3 Small Areas

Doesn’t your house already feel like there is more space with clear countertops? 

 

Let’s keep that momentum going as we head into today’s tasks. Depending how much time and energy you have today, you have two options: 1) You tackle 3 small areas such as the junk drawer in the kitchen, (you know, the one that is in every home!) the cupboard under the sink and the cutlery drawer that has all of your odd bits and pieces like ice cream scoops and egg slicers. OR 2) You choose one large cupboard like your linen cupboard and make sure that you donate or toss AT LEAST 3 items! I actually took 2 large bags of old towels, sheets and blankets to the SPCA last month for the animals to use. So much better than these items sitting doing nothing in my cupboard for a few more years. 

 1. Focussing on ONE area at a time, put some music on or your favourite podcast, (like the Rocking Midlife® Podcast which you can find HERE!) take your before photo, then empty ALL of the contents onto that clean countertop!

 2. Using your timer for count down 15 minutes of work followed 60 seconds dancing, hold each item in your hand and ask yourself these questions: “Do I love this item?”

 “Do I have more than one of this item?”

 “Do I use this item enough to warrant keeping it?”

 3. Sort the items into your 3 piles: donate, toss and keep

 4. Once you have sorted the clutter, organise the remaining items neatly back in their space, and take  measurements if necessary to reward your hard work by grabbing some snazzy containers from K-Mart or a dollar shop next time you are   out. Notice I didn’t say get the containers first? That’s because our emphasis in this challenge is on getting rid of clutter, not rearranging it into new containers.  

 5. Make sure to tick off day 3 on your progress sheet, and write a note about how you felt doing those spaces. Don’t forget your after photo

 

DAY FOUR

4 Items Removed from your Fridge AND Pantry
 
How did your three small zones go on day 3? 

 

It’s time to tackle 2 more of your kitchen areas, so that you are ready to entertain over the holiday season. We’ve   done the countertops and the junk drawers, but there are 2 larger areas that need to be sorted: The fridge and the pantry. These are 2 areas that you want functioning well when catering for friends and family, so let’s get stuck into making them look and work brilliantly!

 1. Like yesterday, focus on ONE area at a time, put some music on or your favourite podcast, (like the Rocking Midlife® Podcast which you can find HERE!) take your before photo, then empty ALL of the contents onto that clean countertop!

 2. Using your trusty time, count down 15 minutes of work followed by 60 seconds dancing. As you sort, hold each item in your hand and ask yourself these questions: 

“Is this food still okay to be eaten?” 

“Do I actually use this food?”

 3. Sort the items into your 3 piles: donate, toss and keep – be ruthless when it comes to food, especially in the fridge when left overs start looking like science experiments!! Your challenge is to get rid of at least 4 items from the fridge, and another 4 items from the pantry!

4. Clean the area thoroughly. Once this is done, you can then organise the remaining items neatly back in their space. Consider grouping similar items together. You can later hit up K-Mart or a dollar shop to get some containers that work for you. Again, notice I didn’t say get the containers first? It’s too easy to be distracted rearranging items, when you should be getting rid of items!

 5. Make sure to tick off day 4 on your progress sheet, and write a note about how you felt doing those spaces. Don’t forget your after photos.

 

DAY FIVE

5 items removed from your Wardrobe
 
How are your fridge and pantry looking now? 


I know that they are both big jobs, but wow, don’t you feel good once they are sorted? Make sure to tick off your 12 Days of Decluttering Progress Sheet and enjoy the result of your hard work!

Right – on to day 5. Today we are working on just one zone, but it is a zone that many women find frustrating when it is not working well. 

You might have guessed it, we are tackling your wardrobe!!!

1. Pull EVERYTHING out of your wardrobe and lay it on your bed. Do not try to short cut this process – it is important to see exactly how much you really have! Take your before photo!

 2. Arrange the pile into groups e.g: work skirts, black trousers, shorts, t-shirts. You get the idea. 

 3. Now pull out your trusty timer and start doing your 15 minute sprints / 60 second dance party cycles, until all of the items are sorted into 3 piles: donate, toss and keep. To do this however, you are going to be confronted with clothing that you will need to make decisions on, so here are some questions to help you:

 * Have I worn this in the past 6 months?

 * Does this item still fit me? 

 * Do I feel good when I wear this item? 

 * Do I really need 16 t-shirts?

 Your challenge is to get rid of at least 5 items from your wardrobe! Remember too, you are allowed to keep 2 items in your “undecided” box – only 2 though!

 4. Clean the area thoroughly. Once this is done, you can then organise the remaining items neatly back in their space, using whatever method works best for you, grouping items by type, by colour etc. 

 5. Make sure to tick off day 5 on your progress sheet, and write a note about how you felt doing your wardrobe. Don’t forget your after photo

DAY SIX

6 items removed

Catch up Day!!
 
Today is all about revisiting the zones that you have already been working on. 

  • Have you completed what you set out to do? 
  • Are there areas where you will need to purchase containers to help organise what is left?
  • Are you maintaining the area?
 
Today is a great day to play with organisation, to put the finishing touches on your zones and make small tweaks to make things work well for daily living and your challenge is to find 6 items to remove!
 

DAY SEVEN

7 items of Jewellery tossed, repaired or organised

Are you ready to kick back into decluttering mode? 

There are only a few days left, so crank up the music, get into the zone and let’s declutter!
 
 
We are continuing on in the bedroom today and tackling your jewellery collection. 

 

1. Find every bit of jewellery that you own from your bedroom and from every location throughout the home and lay them on the bed. Take your before photo!

 2. Go through every single piece and ask yourself these questions:

  •  Do I still wear it? 
  •  Do I love it?
  •  Is it broken?

 

3. Sort into your regular 3 piles: toss, donate and keep.  

4. With the keep pile, put aside any pieces that need repairing.

5. Thoroughly clean the area before you put your jewellery back in place.

6. Stand back and admire your lovely organised space and take your after photo!

 

DAY EIGHT

8 items removed from your bathroom cabinets
 
We are staying in your personal zone again today, as when your personal area is clutter free, it truly becomes your sanctuary – a place where you feel calmed and refreshed when you spend time there.  

We are hitting your bathroom cabinets!

 

1. Empty everything from your bathroom cabinets and lay out on the floor or on some towels on your bed. Take your before photo!

 2. Go through every item and group with similar items e.g: shampoos, conditioners, hair brushes, hair ties, eye   shadow, lipsticks, moisturiser, nail scissors  – you get the idea. 

3. Have a good look at these piles. You might be surprised to discover that you have 6 half used tins of hair spray or 5 eye shadow palettes with the same colours. You are discovering that clutter is not only annoying and overwhelming, it is also expensive because you’ve ended up purchasing items that you didn’t need because the items you already had were buried under clutter.  

4. It’s very unlikely that there will be any items from your bathroom cabinets to donate, so sort through your products and toss any that are out of date, (remember that makeup doesn’t last long before it is a major bacteria factory!)or nearly empty.

5. Thoroughly clean the cabinets, then organise the items you are keeping, containing like items into trays and boxes that will help keep the area tidy and your items accessible.

6. Stand back, admire your lovely organised space and take your after photo!

Doesn’t it feel great having a clutter free bedroom, wardrobe, jewellery collection and bathroom? 

    

DAY NINE

9 old cables or DVDs removed
 

Today we are tackling those cupboards under your TV that tend to attract every odd tech related object   like random cables, old phones, CDs, DVDs and even videos!
 
 These are the kind of clutter hotspots that quietly grow over the years because it’s easy to fall into that “out of  sight, out of mind” way of living. 

 Not any longer though! 

 Today’s mission is to empty, sort, clean and organise this space AND your challenge is to toss at least 9 items!

 

 1. Empty everything from your TV cabinet or tech junk drawer and lay the objects on the floor. Take your     before photo!

 2. Go through every item and group with similar items eg: phones, cables, gaming DVDs, videos etc. 

 3. Now it is time to get ruthless. No more keeping 5 random cables “just in case!” Sift out the broken objects, the no longer used DVDs etc into your 3 boxes: Toss, Donate, Keep.

 4. Thoroughly clean the cabinets, then organise the items you are keeping, corralling similar items into       containers.

 6. Take your after photo!

 Now pat yourself on the back and enjoy an hour of your favourite show!

     

DAY TEN

10 old, chipped or unused mugs, glasses and cups removed

 Today we are back in the kitchen as let’s face it, it is the heart of the home – especially during the holiday season when families gather to celebrate by eating together.
 

If your home is like mine, you’ve probably gathered an abundance of coffee mugs over the years. Funny ones, souvenirs, gifts and more. Mugs are a popular gift and it doesn’t take long to accumulate a stack of them. Then there are the drinking glasses of all shapes and sizes. I have a cabinet full of odd wine glasses that never get used as there are no matching ones. There is also an eclectic collection of regular drinking glasses as well as plastic mugs and a paper cup stash left over from parties.  

Today’s mission is to cull and sort the cup collection, AND your challenge is to toss at least 10 items!

 

 1. Empty every type of mug of cup from whatever drawers or cupboards they are stashed in and lay the objects on the dining table – which should be perfectly clear and free from clutter – right? Take your before photo!

 2. Go through every item and group with similar items eg: drinking glasses, flutes, cocktail glasses, mugs, plastic cups, paper cups etc. 

 3. Set your trusty timer and for 15 minutes, consider each item and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you use it?
  • Is it chipped or cracked?
  • Do you have matching glasses?
  • Are there any unopened boxes of wine glasses?

 4. Choose whether you are going to Toss, Donate or Keep each item. 

 5. Thoroughly clean the cabinets and drawers then organise the items you are keeping, corralling similar items together.

 6. Take your after photo!

 Now put the kettle on, or pop the cork and pour yourself a drink in your favourite mug or wine glass.   

DAY ELEVEN

11 chipped, cracked or excess pieces of crockery

Today we are continuing on with our kitchen blitz so that we are ready to create our culinary masterpieces for our friends and families 🙂

It’s time to cull and sort your crockery! Dinner plates, bread plates, soup bowls, pasta bowls, dessert bowls, serving bowls – you challenge is to toss at least 11 items!

 1. Empty every piece of crockery from whatever drawers or cupboards they are stashed in and lay the objects on the dining table. Take your before photo!

2. Go through every itme and group with similar items.

3. Set your trusty timer and working in your 15 minute blocks, hold each individual item and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you use it?
  • Is it chipped or cracked?
  • Is it part of a set? 

 

4. Choose whether you are going to Toss, Donate or Keep each item. 

5. Thoroughly clean the cabinets and drawers where your crockery is stored, then organise the pieces that you are keeping.

6. Take your after photo!

DAY TWELVE

12 random, stray items removed

You did it! You made it to day 12!

Today’s job is to do a final walk through your home from the front door, looking at every room from the eyes of a guest. What are your eyes drawn to? Are there random objects left out on the countertops or dumped in the hallway? Your mission today is to find at least 12 items and remove them – either by tossing, donating or returning them to where they belong.

You have a secondary task today too, and that is to make the final decision on any items that you had in your “undecided” box. No more delaying things, it is time to empty that box!

Once all of that is completed – take some photos and savour your home as well as that feeling of lightness that comes with the clear space. You are now ready to welcome people and enjoy their company fully instead of being embarrassed about what they might see.

It doesn’t end here though! Firstly, I’d like to gift you a printable copy of the tasks that you completed during the 12 Days of Decluttering. You can download it HERE and print it out to remind you of the different areas that you covered.

Secondly, I have a wee message for you, along with a fabulous invitation only workshop that you are invited to! Have a listen, then register HERE.

Enjoy your wonderful, decluttered and inviting home!

Rocking Midlife!®
The original community for women over 40 who want to ROCK their lives!

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