There is no better feeling than spring cleaning, but purging for the fall and pulling out all those comfy sweaters and scarfs does come pretty close.
I wish I could tell you that I am the kind of person that lives like a minimalist and throws one old sweater away when I buy one new one, but I’m not. I come from a family that is full of hoarders and do have some hoarding tendencies of my own.
I don’t purge as I go and I don’t keep everything in order as I should but, I do a pretty good job of cleaning out my closet when the seasons change though. The 14-day bedroom clutter cleanse Fall Challenge was developed because I needed something to help me organize my bedroom and help me clean like a minimalist.
This challenge helped me to see this big mess and take small actionable everyday steps towards cleaning and organizing it. To get a project done it is important to break it down and just do a little every day, so the task doesn’t seem too scary and overwhelming.
START THE CHALLENGE
Day 1 Start with the closet
The closet is for sure going to be the worst part and that’s why you want to get it done first. I have 2 reasons for this: 1. getting the hard stuff done will make all the other tasks seem easier and 2. If you don’t get anything else done at least you can have peace of mind that you got a big portion finished.
Cleaning the closet
- Shoes: Put away summer shoes and throw away old summer sandals. If your fall/ winter shoes don’t fit organized in your closet you have to many, donate or throw some away. Everything should fit neat and organized in one place designated for your shoes.
- Books/photos/ miscellaneous: My closet is where forgotten projects go to die. Find half-finished DIY’s, unread or old books, and anything else that you havesn’t touched since last year get rid of it. This is about decluttering and if you’re telling yourself “I’ll eventually finish this”, then pick a date to start and finish. If it doesn’t happen, toss the project and move on.
- Clothes: The rule of thumb is if you didn’t wear it all summer it’s gotta go. When organizing your fall and winter clothes keep like items with like items. Jackets should be hung with jackets, sweaters with sweaters. I have my dresses, then blazers, cardigans, lounge sweaters, jean jackets, leather jackets, and winter jackets, all grouped in their respective places.
- Bags: I admit I have a big bag collection and I don’t use even half of them. If you are letting bags you never use collect in your closet it is time to let them go. If they are worth money try selling them online.
- Storage: any storage that you have should be neatly packed away in boxes and preferably labeled. That way you will have no problem finding something you are looking for. Everything has a place and everything is in its place.
Day 2 Jewelry
If you take a look at the trouble spots in your room there is a pretty good chance it will be the closet (which we just took care of) and your jewelry collection. I have a habit of buying jewelry wearing it once and never wearing it again. Plus, I feel a little more sentimental about my jewelry than I do some of my other items.
- Separate: first, separate out what is sentimental, expensive, wear-all-the-time, wore once. This will make it easier to see what is important and what you can get rid of.
- Minimize as much as possible: Give stuff away to your friends and family. I prefer giving jewelry away to people I know because it helps me feel like I’m not just throwing it away.
Day 3 Beauty supplies
Go through your vanity and get rid of old skin care and makeup, hair products, and nail polish. It is another one of those places that we seem to get more new stuff without getting rid of the old stuff.
- Throw away any old samples that you never tried
- Get rid of any expired product
- Give things away that aren’t expired but you only used once.
Day 4 Dressers and trunks
When you’re taking out last years fall clothes and putting away this year summer clothes go through everything while you have it out. If you didn’t purge your clothes last year before putting them away make sure to do that now. Don’t put any of your summer clothes away without deciding if it something that you will wear next year or if you’re better off donating it. Check out this link for a clothing purge with free printable
This list is perfect and helps eliminate the “should I keep it or not” question you keep asking.
If by the end your clothes don’t fit in your drawer keep purging until they do.
Day 5 Unidentified sock (drawer)
Overlooked but important. I bet you have a mismatched sock in there that you were waiting to find the pair to. How about tights with runs in them? Bathing suit pads that you couldn’t get back into their tops, anyone? Purging the sock drawer always gets overlooked we just stuff all of our miscellaneous clothing items in there hoping one day we will find their use.
Day 6 Curtains sheets and blankets
When the fall clothing comes out so do all the extra blankets. It is nice to have plenty of extra blankets, sheets, and curtains, but just go through your collection and see if you can donate a couple of items. You can only use one set of curtains at a time and you’re allowed a couple spares for season changes. If you still have those blue curtains from when you redecorated that no longer match anything, it’s time to say goodbye.
Day 7 Tops of dressers
We’re getting down to the easy stuff. I love having the tops of my dressers and desks look clean, neat and clutter free. Only, for some reason, they never seem to stay that way, and when I go through everything that’s collected there I realize that most of it, just junk that got thrown in there.
Check your flat surfaces for these items
- Business cards
- birthday/ holiday cards
- Expired coupons
- Spare change
- Important paperwork
- Hair ties
As your clearing, the clutter, remember to find a place where the items can live full time. Have a little glass dish for your hair ties, spare change should go in a change jar, pens in a pen holder, everything else goes in the trash.
Day 8 Paperwork
Everyone should have a file where their important documents go. Knowing that these documents were, and could still be important, makes us reluctant to throw them out. Go through it because there are probably a few things that you really don’t need any more
If you’re worried about throwing away something that might be important, check out this article on how to organize important documents
Day 9 Old technology
Isn’t it funny how we hang onto old technology even when we know it’s broken or we won’t use it again, it’s out-dated and we’ve already replaced it? It is important to properly dispose of technology that may have important information on it, but as for old phone cords and unused headphones, just toss them. If you think you’re holding on to them because they are worth money they probably aren’t worth enough to go through the trouble of saving them so just be like “Frozen and let it go”
Day 10 Junk Drawers
When I was a kid I remember my mom creating a drawer for me in my bedroom that we referred to as a junk drawer. That was a tough habit to unlearn. Junk drawers are exactly what they sound like a space in your room reserved for useless junk. If you happen to have one of these it is time to go through it and throw away anything that you haven’t used in a year. Most of the stuff that’s in there you probably already forgot existed.
Day 11 Clean your mattress
How many times have you actually deep cleaned your mattress since you bought it? Probably never, but think about how gross that actually is. Sheets help to protect our mattress but dirt, dust, sweat, and grime can still get in there, and now your sleeping on that every night. Gross. Here a little helpful guide on deep cleaning your mattress
Here a little helpful guide on deep cleaning your mattress
Day 12 Create the aroma
Burn candles, incense, or essential oils. One thing that makes my room feel like my safe happy space is that it is filled with the smells I like and that relax me.
Day 13 Set the tone
Now that we’ve done a nice deep cleaning and purging reward yourself! Buy 3 new things for your room. Don’t just buy three random things though make them particular make them special to your space. My 3 things are a plant, a candle, and a new book. The new items will give you the satisfaction of having a couple of new things in your newly cleaned space.
Day 14 Enjoy the minimalism and keep it clean
Everything should have a place where it belongs now. If you purged and cleaned in a way that downsized your unnecessary items then you won’t have any trouble keeping your room clean. All your items have a place and everything should be put back in their respective places.
Cleaning and minimizing your things is freeing. When you have a clean, minimal space, life seems a little simpler. Having all kinds of stuff, clutter, and mess surrounding you can overwhelm you. When you clear outa space that you spend most of your time in your psychosocial wellbeing will thank you for it.
If you made it to the end but you thinking “why should I bother making my room clutter free? I don’t want to get rid of my stuff and the clutter in my room doesn’t bother me”, good. Next week stay tuned on Thursday for how clutter messes with your mind.