My Best Tips To Declutter Your Home – January Checklist


Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday season. We have so many magical moments as a family and I adore watching the twinkling lights of the tree. But, the moment that Christmas is over I become a woman on a mission, ready to store away the seasonal decorations, clean our house, purge unwanted stuff, and get things organized!

My best tips to declutter your home

There’s just something about the new year that brings this urge for a fresh and clean start in our home. Not to mention, my kids got lots of toys for Christmas and our cabinets are practically bursting!

Today, we’re kicking off a January challenge to get our homes in tip-top shape. I figured if I shared this list with all of you, it would keep me accountable to get all of these spots organized in my own home.

My January Challenge

My messy hair drawer
My messy drawer of hair products!

I walked around my whole house and noted problem areas that needed some attention. I then divided up those spots into ten days, for this challenge, to create my own decluttering checklist.

  • Day 1: Personal Care Products & Toiletries
  • Day 2: Medicine, Supplements, First Aid
  • Day 3: Clothing, Coats, Shoes
  • Day 4: Office Supplies, Paper Clutter, Mail, & Important Documents
  • Day 5: Junk Drawers
  • Day 6: Kitchen Cabinets
  • Day 7: Kid’s Toys
  • Day 8: Cleaning Supplies, Laundry Room, & Linen Closet
  • Day 9: Pantry & Refrigerator
  • Day 10: Our Kids’ Rooms & Miscellaneous Household Items

These are just MY problem areas. Your list might look a tad different! The important thing is to write down the areas that need some attention so you can create a game plan.

Medicine cabine before
Medicine Cabinet Before
Medicine cabinet after
Medicine Cabinet After

I’ll be sharing my decluttering process over on Instagram stories each week, along with reels showing the before and after of each space. I already tackled Day One and Day Two earlier this week. You can catch up right here! I’ll then do a big blog post at the end of the month recapping my organizing progress!

Keep The End Goal In Mind

Servingware pieces

The first step is to think of your end goal before embarking on a decluttering mission. Do you want to get rid of stuff? Free up more storage spaces in your home? Tame your anxiety? Mine is a bit of all three of those.

My best tips to declutter your home

I consider myself to be good at giving items away. Finn and I each use this method to keep our closets in tip-top shape. (if you haven’t done this already, trust me, it’s a game-changer.) Finn even jokes that one of these days he is going to wake up in a box headed to Goodwill because I want to purge all the things in our entire house and someday he just might be one of them. Ha!

Our kitchen during our evening routine

Now with kids, a lot of stuff is constantly coming into our house. The toys, books, art supplies, school paperwork, and more are a constant struggle. If our drawers and organizational systems get off track, things can get messy around here fast. I like to tidy up each day or else it can be difficult for me to focus. Surfaces littered with stuff make me a tad anxious and paring down quiets my anxiety.

My Best Tips to Purge and Declutter Your Home

My best tips to declutter your home

As I embark on this January challenge, these are the decluttering tips I’m going to keep in mind as I go. I’m certainly not a professional organizer. I’m just a girl who loves a good decluttering project and storage solutions. I simply can’t beat the sense of accomplishment I feel when I open up a cabinet and I can easily access whatever I need!

Know your Pain Points

If you told me to go donate ten pieces of clothing from my wardrobe, I could do it in a hot second. But ask me to part with ten home accessories and it’s a whole different story. While I have no attachment to clothes, home decor is a category that I struggle with when it comes to paring down.

The file cabinet in the home office

I always think that I might need a random plant or vase to style something for the blog. Or maybe I’ll want to display it in another spot in our home. So I’ve kept random items that I don’t love and I have even filled up my home office closet with accessories “just in case.” 

I like to bring everything into one space to prioritize what stays and what goes. That means I’ll gather decor from all over our home and go through the big pile of items. Seeing that I have three vases that look practically identical, helps me realize that I can easily part ways with a few things.

No matter what category you’re working on, be sure to gather all of the items together in one spot before deciding what to purge. Visually seeing it all together will make a big difference, and you’ll be more likely to cut excess stuff when you declutter your home.

Take It All Out

Take everything out as you're going through it

When I recently worked on the drawers and medicine cabinet in our bathroom, I took out every single item as I went. If I was to just glance into a drawer and try to eliminate things, I would probably only part with a few items. Taking each item out and only putting items back that I need helped so much. It’s that intention that you need to focus on.

All of our cleaning supplies

Should I put this item back in that drawer? Do I need it? These are good things to ask yourself as you go through each category and space in your home. Yes, you will create more of a mess with this process, but it’s effective!

Clean As You Go

Clean each drawer and cabinet as you go

Another perk to taking everything out of your drawers and cabinets is that you can clean as you go! I rarely take time to vacuum and wipe down the drawers and cabinets in our home. I mean, who does when they’re full of junk? However, when the drawer is empty you can easily get it looking nice and clean before you intentionally fill it back up.

Clean your makeup brushes when doing your personal care products

I also take this time to clean any bins or drawer organizers. My makeup bins were filthy and they needed a good bath. While you’re at it (and if you’re looking for extra credit!), you can clean any products that need cleaning. For example, when tackling my personal care items I cleaned my makeup brushes and hair brushes. I haven’t done that in a long time and they’re some of my most-used items.

So grab that trash bag for garbage, cardboard boxes for donation piles, and baskets of cleaning supplies as you tackle each category.

Order Replacement Items

Tips to organize kitchen cabinets

The kitchen category is one I’m anxious to tackle and that’s because it hasn’t received much attention since we renovated our kitchen three years ago. Our mugs, water bottles, and glasses collections have gotten out of control! I could use a different cup every day for three months and still not go thirsty. But the worst part is, nothing matches and we never use so many of our cups.

We’ve also had a lot of our matching glasses break and I’m looking forward to ordering replacements. I think we only have four cups left from our original set of eight, so it’s time to do a bit of online shopping and complete the set!

My best tips to declutter and organize

As you tackle your utensils, dishes, and glassware, take note of any missing pieces and order new ones quickly, before you forget!

Donate (or Sell) Immediately!

Make sure you take donations immediately

Instead of letting a donation pile hang around for a few extra days (which might give you time to second guess your firm decisions), load up the car and haul everything to your nearest donation center. We are pretty good about decluttering regularly, but the bags of stuff sit in our backseat for weeks before I ever donate them. Don’t be like me. Get yours out of your house quickly!

More Tips For A Clutter-Free Home

My rules for lighting

Here are other ways Finn and I keep our household clutter-free and as organized as possible.

  • One thing in and one thing out: If I’m buying a new pair of shoes, I better be getting rid of an old ratty pair to make room. That’s the general rule that I use to keep my decluttering muscle strong!
  • Give every item a place to call home: Everything in your house needs a designated spot. When you’re done using it, put it back where it belongs!
  • Don’t wait for “someday”: It’s easy to hold onto items because you believe you may need them someday. Well, that day isn’t today and that item is taking up extra space in your home and in your mind. Ditch it.
  • Always have a donation pile: I dive deeper into this idea in this post, but we always keep a donation bag in our house so we can toss items in there continuously.
  • Make regular trips to donate: This is one I need to be better at (see above!), but it’s an important one to keep in mind!
  • Make purging a part of your daily life: We tidy up our home every single day (you can read my daily home habits here) and I do my best to get rid of items as I go. The simple way to get rid of unwanted items is to make it a part of your routine. You’ll have a hard time if you only purge once a year or longer.

My Best Organizing Guides

I’ve written quite a few blog posts about organizing over the years. Here are some of my favorites to keep your home clutter-free.

Getting our closets organized

My best closet organization tips for medications, towels, cleaning supplies, and more.

How I organized our storage room to hold tools, luggage, out-of-season clothes, and sentimental items.

My best tips to declutter your storage room
My new organized makeup drawer

How to make an organized makeup drawer using my favorite clear dividers.

My daily home habits keep our household running smoothly.

Our laundry room reveal
Getting our garage organized

How I finally got our garage organized. It was quite the disaster zone for years…

The things we do to prep for the week ahead.

Our new temporary home office setup
Tips to add a charging drawer

We added a charging drawer in our kitchen to wrangle extra cables, chargers, and cords. This kitchen drawer has been a gamechanger!

My Favorite Organizational Supplies

organizational bins from Walmart

Finally, I want to leave you with a few items that I use and love around our home. The good news is that you can purge, declutter, and organize your home for free. I will be the first one to tell you that you do not need to go out and buy anything to organize! The entire purpose of decluttering is to take things out of your home, not bring anything back in!

However, there are some times when having the right storage containers or drawer dividers could help with a space. My advice to you is to wait until you’re done organizing that particular spot to buy anything. That way, you can measure and get something that works!

My favorite organizational products to declutter your home

Rope Basket // Medium Clear Bins // Wicker Baskets // Makeup Containers // Charging Dock // Large Clear Container

Join My January Challenge!

let's join my january organizing challenge

I hope you’ll join in on the fun and work with me to organize your entire home. I think it will feel good to kick off 2024 with a clean slate and a lot less stuff around your house! The easiest way is to take small steps and go one area at a time. I’ve broken mine down into ten days. What’s your plan of attack?

Casey


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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