avatarMary Gallagher


Join the Let’s Get Organized Challenge

10 days to a clutter-free you!

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Join the Let’s Get Organized challenge for a 10-day challenge for a more orderly life.

It can be overwhelming to know where to begin. You’ve got an image in your mind of what you want your life to look like, but the reality is far from the ideal.

That’s okay! We all start at the beginning. An easy way to jumpstart your decluttering journey is by challenging yourself for 10 days. After 10 days, celebrate your accomplishments, and I bet you’ll have gained enough momentum to keep going.

Day 1: 🌟 Today marks the beginning of your journey to a clutter-free life. Today’s mission is easy: Take a picture of a space that needs organizing in your home. Start small with a drawer, a closet, or your desk — don’t try to tackle the garage on day one! Now visualize what that space could look like. Print or save pictures from Instagram or Pinterest to inspire you to start.

Day 2: Clearing the Clutter! 🧹Now you are going to tackle the space you identified on Day 1. Sort into categories: keep, donate, discard. Take a picture of your decluttered zone and compare it to the before photo! 📸 You’re on your way already!

Day 3: Tackle Bookshelves and Magazines📚 Readers, do not panic! There is no rule about how many books you are allowed to keep. However, I strongly challenge you to let go of:

— books you’ve read and will never read or reference again, — books you haven’t read and know you won’t, — books that you needed at a certain time in your life but are no longer useful (i.e., your children are grown and flown, but you are still hanging onto parenting books).

Here are some further instructions on how to declutter your book collections without stress or guilt:

Day 4: Digital Declutter 💻 Time for a digital detox! Pick 10 emails or subscriptions to unsubscribe from. If you have time left, delete your email Trash folder and any unopened emails in your Inbox.

Day 5: Organize Your Physical Files 📁 You may have tackled your desk; now, pull open some drawers or filing cabinets and ruthlessly eliminate things you no longer need. Get your shredder handy for sensitive documents and file the materials you need to keep with labels.

Note: If it’s been a while since you’ve done this, you may need several days for this task. No worries, start with the biggest file folder and work your way down.

⏱ Check-in Time: how’s it going? Feel better and lighter already?

Day 6: Tackling the Tangled Cables 🎧 Say goodbye to cable chaos! This is my personal favorite! Re-organize cables and cords so you can reduce the visual clutter. Check out hacks and helps like cord clips or labels. How has this small change made your space neater?

Day 7: Junk Drawers🌱I am going to challenge you to shift your mindset and ask yourself if you really need a junk drawer. My secret: I don’t have one! Everything has its place, and my drawers and cabinets are organized with a purpose. If you must have one, try to keep it organized and take a few minutes once a month to discard things that are truly junk.

Day 8: 🍽️ Mindful Meal Planning! 🌿 An organized meal prep area, cabinets, and frig goes a long way in helping you create healthy meals. Why does this matter? When we eat healthily, we have more energy to do the things that we aspire to do. Tips for kitchen clutter:

  • Clean out the pantry — look for old food, expired spices, and baking goods.
  • Give your frig a good cleaning and toss expired or unhealthy food.
  • Seriously consider if you need all those kitchen gadgets. Waffle maker, Instapot, rice steamer, bread maker, espresso machine, toaster oven…what are the essentials that you use and what appliances can do double duty? Free up counter and cabinet space by parting ways with some of these items.
  • Duplicates and multiples: give away duplicates of everything. Think about how many mugs, travel cups, and plates you need, then pare down to the ones you love.

👗 Day 9: Wardrobe Refresh! Time to declutter your closet and simplify your style. Start with the season you are in right now. If you haven’t worn it, toss it.

This process takes some time, but Marie Kondo’s method works well: take ALL items out of the closet or drawer and pile them in the center of the room. Pick up or touch each item and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If the immediate answer is yes, put it in the Keep pile. If the immediate answer or feeling is no, toss it in the Give-Away pile. Don’t overthink this one!

Day 10: 🌟 Daily Habits for Long-Term Organization. Create a routine for the areas of your life that you just decluttered. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. You’ll need to establish new habits and routines to keep this momentum going.

Here are some examples:

  • Set a calendar reminder for 20 minutes weekly to unsubscribe from email lists and read or delete old emails.
  • Make it a habit on or around New Year’s Day to clean out your physical files. Commit to scanning and getting more of your files into digital folders on the cloud.
  • Commit to the rule that for every article of clothing that enters the house, one has to go.

Well, how was that? Do you feel more organized in just 10 days? Can you keep this momentum going? Check out more decluttering and simplifying ideas over at The Decluttered Soul. I’m rooting for you!


If you find it particularly hard to organize and let go of items in your home, you might be a sensitive declutterer. Here are some specialized instructions for you:

If you enjoyed this article, consider trying out the AI service I recommend. It provides the same performance and functions to ChatGPT Plus(GPT-4) but more cost-effective, at just $6/month (Special offer for $1/month). Click here to try ZAI.chat.

Simple Living
Recommended from ReadMedium