One bite at a time…
Ok, honestly, I’ve always found that saying to be corny and a bit annoying, but it’s also true. The best way to accomplish anything significant is by doing it one step at a time.
If your house has seen better days, this saying holds the same truth for decluttering.
While it would be super awesome to be able to declutter your entire home in a day, it’s not practical, and even if you tried, it’d be impossible to do a good job in one or two days.
What is practical, though, is finding ten-minute pockets of time to declutter. And while that doesn’t sound like a lot, a bunch of ten-minute decluttering sessions can add up to a super organized house.
Ready to get started? Here are over 35 of the best 10 minute decluttering challenges for you to try.
10 Minute Decluttering Challenges for the Kitchen
Match Up Tupperware with Lids – Match your Tupperware containers with their lids. Get rid of old containers that are damaged, no longer used, or have missing lids.
Organize Your Junk Drawer – Pull everything out of the drawer, put misplaced items back where they belong, throw away the trash, and give the drawer a quick organizing.
Organize Pots and Pans –Go through your pots and pans, placing any that you no longer use or want in a box to donate.
Clean out Your Silverware Drawer – Pull everything out of your silverware drawer, wipe it down and place everything back. (Get rid of anything broken or useless.)
Go Through Dish Towels – Look through your dishtowel collection, getting rid of any that are worn out or that you don’t want.
Go Through Pot Holders – Go through your potholders and get rid of the ones that are holey, too dirty, or don’t do their job anymore.
Declutter Cooking Utensils – It’s so easy to accumulate way too many cooking utensils – now is your time to go through them all and get rid of utensils that are never or rarely used.
Declutter Canned Goods – Look through your canned items and throw out anything that’s expired or that you know you’ll never use.
Organize Kids Snacks – If you have kids, go through their snacks and get rid of empty boxes, stale and expired items.
Remove Expired Food from Fridge – Go through your refrigerator and throw away any rotting or expired food.
Organize Fridge – Organize the remaining items in your refrigerator.
Declutter Freezer – Look through your freezer, get rid of anything freezer burnt or that your family will never eat, organize the remaining.
Go Through Dry Goods – Go through your dry goods, get rid of anything expired, and organize the rest.
Declutter Cleaning Products – If you keep your cleaning products under your kitchen sink, go through them getting rid of empty bottles and products you don’t use. Organize what’s remaining.
Decluttering Challenges for the Bedroom
Get Rid of Old Socks and Underwear – Go through your sock and underwear drawer throwing out anything holey, stained, or more than three years old.
Organize T-Shirts – Go through your t-shirt drawer and get rid of anything that’s stained or that you don’t like anymore.
Go Through Hanging Clothes – Look through the clothes hanging in your closet. Get rid of items that haven’t been worn in more than six months, clothing that doesn’t fit, and items you don’t like anymore.
Go Through Jeans – Go through your jeans and get rid of everything you don’t like, and that is more than one size too big or too small.
Declutter Shoes – Get rid of shoes you bought but didn’t like as well as shoes that are worn out.
Organize Nightstand – Look through your nightstand and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong.
Go Through Extra Bedding – Evaluate your extra sheets and blankets. If you have items that are stained, outdated, or that you don’t like, get rid of them. (Sentimental items like quilts are an exception.)
Decluttering Challenges for Kids’ Rooms
Go Through Socks and Underwear – Look through your kids’ sock and underwear drawer and get rid of anything that no longer fits or is damaged.
Organize Kids Shirts – Look through your kid’s shirts, getting rid of any that no longer fit or that they don’t wear.
Organize Kids Pants – Go through your kid’s pants and get rid of any that no longer fit or are stained or holey.
Declutter Toys – Decluttering toys can be a big job, so you need to break this one down by area or toy type. Once you do that, spend a few minutes each day decluttering toys.
Get Rid of Old Shoes – Go through your kids’ shoes and get rid of shoes they’ve outgrown, are uncomfortable, or that they no longer wear.
10 Minute Decluttering Challenges for the Bathroom
Declutter Hair Products – Look through your shampoo, conditioner, and hair styling products. Get rid of anything that didn’t live up to your standards or that is past the expiration date.
Go Through Skincare Products – Have you tried skincare products that didn’t live up to their promise? Most of us have. If you have unused and wanted bottles of skincare products lying around, it’s time to throw them out.
Declutter Bath Towels – I can’t be the only one who has hung onto bath towels when they were well worn out. If you have any bath towels that are holey or super thin, get rid of them.
Go Through Makeup – Go through your makeup bag and get rid of any expired items or that you don’t use.
Organize and Declutter Other Personal Care Items – Any other personal care items left in your bathroom can be gone through and decluttered.
Other 10 Minute Decluttering Challenges
Get Trash Out of Your Car – Go out to your car and get all of the trash out. If you still have time, grab everything that needs to be put back in the house.
Go Through Paper Clutter – Paper can be a huge source of clutter in a house. If it is for you, choose one area at a time and spend ten minutes going through that area, getting rid of things you don’t need, and filing what you do need.
Declutter Your Entryway – Do a quick declutter of your entryway, putting out-of-season items back where they belong.
Organize Books – If you have an extensive book collection, go through what you have and get rid of the books you no longer need or want.
Declutters Movies and DVDs – Still have movies and DVDs? Go through them, keep your favorites or any sentimental items and donate the rest.
Declutter Knick Knacks – Knick Knacks can make your house look cluttered. If you’re aiming for a more minimal feel, go through your knick-knack collection and get rid of the ones you no longer want.
Go Through Craft Supplies – Go through your craft supplies, getting rid of broken items and trash. Organize what remains.
Free Printable Decluttering Challenge Calendar and Checklist
Do you want a decluttering calendar or checklist to keep handy? I’ve created a free printable decluttering calendar and a free printable decluttering list with these tasks. These will help you keep track of what you’ve done.
You can do one of these per day for ten minutes a day.
You’ll see significant results within a month!
- Download 10 Minute Decluttering Challenges Checklist
- Download 10 Minute Decluttering Challenges Calendar
What to Do With the Stuff You Get Rid Of
One of the downsides of decluttering is that you end up with many items you need to get rid of. And, if you don’t act, that stuff sits around and never actually leaves your home!
So, it’s best to immediately deal with the stuff you need to get rid of. Here’s how:
If it’s in bad condition —>Throw away anything with holes, missing pieces, stains, or otherwise is in bad shape. If you wouldn’t buy it at a thrift store, don’t donate it. Immediately trash these items.
If it’s in good condition —> Give it away to someone you know or donate it to a worthy cause. You can bring most household and clothing items to your local Goodwill or shelter. Here are more resources for donating books, strollers, baby clothes, and toys.
Make a donation box and once a week, EVERY week, drop off your donation box.
Decluttering Challenges are a Great Way to Make Progress on Your House
Even if you’re super busy, you’ll be impressed at how far you can get spending only ten minutes per day decluttering your house.
Within a month or two, your home will look like a more organized, clutter-free version of itself. And best of all, you can repeat this process to find more and more items you failed to get rid of the first time around.
Katie Barton is the owner of Cabin Lane. She's also a home improvement writer for Bob Vila and Homedit. Her cleaning and organizing advice has been featured on Realtor.com, Yahoo News, GoBankingRates, and more. In her spare time, you can find her with a paintbrush in hand, searching for her next project.