I’m thrilled that you’re ready to take the plunge and start this 30 day challenge! The goal isn’t to spend thousands of hours going through every item you own, or to induce any anxiety or stress. Each day you will tackle one simple project, never spending more than 30 minutes a day - sometimes even less! By the end of the 30 days, your home will feel lighter and more organized, and you’ll feel the joy and mental clarity that comes from living in a more organized space.
Be sure to start each day by removing all relevant items from the space you’re working on! Taking everything out allows you to see everything you own in each category and makes it easy to do a quick wipe-down of the space.
Elsa + the CL Team
Let’s get started!
Set your intentions for the next 30 days
Grab your favorite notebook, a good pen, and write down what you’d like to see happen in the next 30 days. Is there a specific feeling you want to experience, or a room you can’t wait to transform?
Share your goals with others
Sharing your goals with others increases the likelihood that you’ll achieve them. Tell your friends and fam what you’re working on, and share your progress!
Create a dedicated space for donations
Gather a few boxes or bags and pick a spot in your home where donations will live. At the end of 30 days, you’ll be so excited to see how many items you were able to part with! (See resources at the end for ideas on where to donate!)
Streamline your beauty products
Go through all makeup, skincare, and hair products - only keep what you use! (Now is a great time to wash your makeup brushes, ladies!)
Tip: Don’t take the mini toiletries from hotels, or accept cosmetic samples from department stores...unless you truly use them!
Clean out your medicine cabinet
Eliminate expired medications, and take note of any essentials that are missing. If you have the space, containing and labelling items by type is helpful (Pain relief, Allergies, etc.)
Declutter your linen cabinets
A good rule of thumb is to keep two sets of sheets for each bed in your home, and two towels for each person. This allows for clean sheets even on laundry day, or when you need extras for guests!
Tip: Most Petco locations will accept old bedding and towels, even in poor condition, for local animal shelters. What could be sweeter than a pup in need getting a cozy new bed?
Tackle your tupperware
Make sure everything has a lid, and is in good condition. I prefer storing them with the lids on, so I never have to go searching for a match; if you don’t have space, nest the containers and stand lids on their side.
Littles! Go through kids toys, books, and clothes (If you don’t have little ones, take the day off, or skip ahead to #9)
Toss clothing that is stained or beyond repair; donate items they’ve outgrown. Depending on the age of your little one, elicit their help in eliminating toys they no longer love. Kids often love the idea of creating space for new toys!
Tip: During birthday and holiday seasons, set aside a few of your kids’ gifts to be brought out at a later date (or regifted!). Kids get overwhelmed by too many options, and they’ll be so thrilled to have a new toy a few months after the initial excitement wears off.
Streamline your PJs and workout gear
Keep only what fits and what you use!
Jackets + Hoodies, Scarves + Mittens
Make sure everything fits, repair anything that needs fixing.
Simplify your shoe collection
Holding on to uncomfortable shoes you’ll never wear? Today is the day to let them go! Nice quality shoes in good condition can be sold via The Real Real, or you can list them on apps like Poshmark. (See resources)
Unjumble your jewelry
Gather all your jewelry, sorting by category. Take the time to polish or clean items that need some extra love. Set aside items for repair. We love organizers that allow you to hang necklaces separately, keeping them from tangling, and allowing you to see everything you have.
Get creative! You can use nails, cute little hooks, anything will work! If you have a drawer, consider using stackable jewelry organizers - the individual compartments are great!
Digital detox! Delete unused apps
Don’t waste valuable phone storage space! Get rid of all those apps you downloaded and forgot about. Or, if you’re like me, all the games your kids downloaded when they stole your phone (major eye roll).
Box up your old books
Eliminate books you’ve never read and don’t intend to; old college textbooks; piles of magazines from 2004. Donate them to your local library!
Gift your favorites to friends who you know will love them. You can even surprise them by sending it in the mail with a sweet note - people love getting presents!
What’s in your wallet?
Empty out your purse and/or wallet.
Do you need to keep all of your membership cards and credit cards with you at all times, or can you store them elsewhere and only carry the ones you use frequently?
Do you use all of the keys on your keychain?
Clean out your car
Go through your glove box, trunk, and center console.
Consider creating a small tote of items to keep in the car at all times, such as sunscreen, extra sunglasses, a picnic blanket (we always need this to stay warm during kids’ evening baseball games, or to sit on when I forget to pack the chairs).
Kitchen Part 1: Cups, Bowls, Plates, Utensils
Toss anything chipped or cracked; donate any mismatched pieces.
Bamboo drawer inserts are essential for keeping small separate and organized
Kitchen Part 2: Cookware + Bakeware
Keep like items together so you always know where everything is!
Kitchen Part 3: Appliances + Misc. items
Store rarely used appliances in the difficult to reach cabinets
Purge the pantry
Toss expired food and donate unwanted items to your local food bank
Decant packaged foods into glass airtight containers - this keeps food fresher longer and eliminates the visual clutter
Label pantry shelves or drawers so everyone knows where to put things back (Baking, Snacks, Breakfast, Canned Goods, etc.)
Blurry old photos? Toss ‘em!
Go through your printed photos and toss any blurry or unflattering images.
We love using the Iris Photo Storage boxes to store photos by year (each individual sleeve holds up to 100 pics!)
Photos on your phone
Spend thirty minutes organizing the photos on your phone. Create folders to make finding things easier. Favorite your faves. Delete duplicates and pics that are just plain bad.
Clear the closet!
Now for the really fun part! There are so many ways to rid your closet of unwanted clothing - consign, sell via an app, donate, host a clothing swap with your friends. Whatever you do just don’t spend another minute of your life staring at clothes you don’t love.
Don’t overthink it - just look at each piece hanging in your closet, and if in the first moment if makes you feel bad, say buh-bye.
Go through your games
Toss puzzles missing pieces and donate any games you’ll never play
Give that junk drawer some love
Small tupperware works really well for containing like items and keeping them tidy (think phone charging cords, batteries, pocket change).
Clear the closet! (Round 2)
Yes, again! We know that there are still a whole bunch of maybes hanging up in there. Give it one more pass - you’ll feel SO much better when you have it paired down to items you truly love and will wear.
Tidy up craft supplies + gift wrap
Containment is key! Clear storage bins clearly labeled will save you so much time in the long run, and they’re stackable so you’ll save space!
Consider using only one neutral color of wrapping paper (we love kraft paper) so you don’t need to store paper for all occasions.
Beautify your bedside tables
Your bedside table is one of the first and last things you see every day. Keeping it clutter free encourages a sense of calm. Remove anything that doesn’t belong here, contain small items in a pretty dish, and consider adding a lovely candle or fresh flowers!
Clean out your cleaning products!
Gather up all the products from every part of the house. Condense any identical products. Toss anything you don’t use. \
Storing everything in one place makes it easy to see what you have - no more buying duplicates because you didn’t know you had Windex in the bathroom! (Exception: I keep dishwashing related items under the kitchen sink, because that just makes sense.)
Tackle the icebox! (Clean out the fridge + freezer)
Toss anything old or freezer-burnt, and give the shelves a quick wipe down.
Bonus points: add some beauty to the fridge! For how many times a day we open those doors, there should be some sort of a reward (other than chocolate)! I keep an amethyst crystal in our fridge because 1) it’s sooooo pretty, and 2) someone told me that amethyst encourages healthy eating choices. Ceramic berry baskets and egg crates are also a nice touch.
You did it! I am so proud of you. Making the decision to deal with your clutter takes a lot of courage and energy, and doing the work of getting organized can be emotionally and physically exhausting. I hope you feel a sense of accomplishment, and begin to enjoy the many benefits of living in an organized space.
Inspired to take it to the next level? Email or call us to schedule a consultation!
Don’t live in Los Angeles? VIrtual organizing services are available!
Our Go-To Resources
Amazon - I use Amazon for almost everything. Their prices are competitive, you can’t beat fast+free shipping, and when you don’t know exactly what you need you can just search by keywords!
A Sense of Home: Put your donations to good use! ASOH creates first-ever homes for youth who age out of foster care with donated furniture and household items. Depending on your items, they may even come pick them up for you.
Chairish - a great option for selling valuable pieces of furniture or art.
Container Store - Professional organization at its finest. More expensive than some other options, but they often have great sales. You can find a solution for almost any organizing issue here.
Madewell: Bring any pair of old jeans, in any condition, into one of their stores and they’ll give you a $20 credit toward a new pair of jeans. Bonus: they turn your old jeans into housing insulation through their partnership with Habitat for Humanity!
Nextdoor: A local marketplace for buying and selling virtually anything. You can also ask your neighbors for recommendations on contractors, etc.
OfferUp - an easy to use app for selling virtually anything in your local area. Similar to craigslist, but much easier to use.
Petco - donate old blankets and towels, in any condition. They donate to animal shelters.
Poshmark - download the app, and you can begin selling your clothing immediately! This app is easy to use, but can be time consuming. Pro: buyers pay for shipping; Con: you have to keep the items in your home until they sell.
The Real Real - online consignment store for high end fashion and home goods. Must be in excellent condition. Check their site for complete list of accepted brands. They will give you a free shipping label, and do all the work for you!
ThredUp - request a cleanout kit online, download the shipping label, and off your used clothes go! They will even send you a large bag if you don’t have a box to use. Pro: they responsibly recycle any clothing that they cannot sell. Con: They pay pennies for most items...but those pennies add up!
1-800-Got Junk - Great for getting rid of large quantities of trash. A bit on the pricey side, but they’ll usually come over same day and they haul and responsibly dispose of all your items - hassle-free!