You can’t just organize your home once and say, “all set!” It’s an ongoing process. Homes need constant upkeep to stay organized. This is especially true for decluttering. If you’re not decluttering regularly, it piles up and then it becomes overwhelming.
The solution: Dedicate a little time each day and work in 15-minute increments. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how much you can get done decluttering and organizing a room in 15 minutes.
There are a few things you should do every day of the week to keep your home clutter-free:
- Clear kitchen counter clutter, bathroom vanity clutter, and coffee table clutter. This simply means sweeping these areas for clutter and putting everything back in its place. Because these areas accumulate clutter easily, dedicating time to them each day helps keep things in check.
- Make sure coats are hung and shoes are in their place.
- Dirty clothes should be in the hamper; dirty dishes should be in the sink.
Monday: Meal Planning and Kitchen Decluttering
Declutter and tidy the kitchen. This is your time to organize and put away kitchen items, clear off the countertops, and give everything a good wipedown.
Sit down at the beginning of the week––or whenever it makes sense based on when you usually go grocery shopping––and plan your meals. When you plan your meals, you waste less food and mealtimes are stress-free. Employ the “cook once, eat twice” technique here, meaning make enough so you have leftovers.
Prep lunches and snacks for the week. This could mean cutting up veggies, putting nuts or fruit in baggies, making sandwiches or salads, etc.
Tuesday: Closet and Bedroom Decluttering
Before you declutter the rest of your bedroom, you need to sort out your closet clutter. This is because closet clutter tends to overspill into the bedroom. Remember: when you’re organizing, always start with storage spaces.
Once your closet is sorted out, it’s time to declutter your sleeping space. Having a clean bedroom will help make it feel like a soothing retreat, rather than a chaotic mess.
Since you're already handling clothing today, do a load (or two) of laundry.
Wednesday: Decluttering the Entryway and Sorting Papers
Let’s start in the entryway. At this point in the week, your entry is probably a bit cluttered. Maybe you have mail piling up, maybe you need to rearrange your handbags or accessories. Spend 15 minutes decluttering this space.
Mail and Paper
All week long, place mail and paperwork in an inbox. Then, once a week, sort, shred, and action your incoming mail.
Thursday: Check In With Your Meal Plan and Tidy the Kitchen
Check-in with your lunches and snacks. Do you need to replenish anything? Add it to your grocery list.
We're hitting the kitchen for the second time this week because it's such a high-traffic area.
The second time around may be a bit easier than the first because you've already been through your cabinets, refrigerator, and pantry and have swept over the countertops and table. This time, spend a little extra time on an area that tends to be more troublesome. Maybe that’s your coffee station, the area around your sink, or your pantry.
Friday: Decluttering the Living Room and Bedroom
Everyone’s favorite space, the living room deserves some attention. This room tends to collect clutter in the form of piles of old magazines and books. Watch out for mail that belongs in your inbox, clothes that should be in the closet or hamper, and schoolwork that needed to be in your child's backpack this morning (oops).
Declutter your bedroom again, swap out bedding with fresh linens, and rearrange your nightstand so there is no clutter next to your head when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Bring dirty clothes from the bedroom directly to the laundry room and wash a few loads.
Saturday: Closet Clutter Sweep and Sort Paper Documents
In addition to decluttering your closet in 15 minutes, think ahead for the week. What do you want to wear to work on Monday? Are your gym clothes in the hamper ready to be washed? Take the time to plan ahead while you’re straightening and re-hanging.
Mail, Paper, and Workspaces
This is a great purge day. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, sort mail, recycle old newspapers and magazines, and tackle that stack of papers piling up in the entryway inbox.
Declutter your home workspace, whether it's an entire office, a desk, or even just a collection of files.
Another laundry day. We've included laundry two to three times a week in this routine so it's not overwhelming on Saturdays, but this may be the only day you can get it done. If it's your laundry day, try to pair it up with something enjoyable like reading a magazine, a book, or your favorite podcast. You could also spend time doing your meal plan and grocery list for the next few days.
Sunday: Declutter the Bathroom and Your Entryway
Swap out hand and bath towels with fresh ones and bring the dirty towels to the laundry room. Declutter the counter, drawers, and under the sink. Empty the trash and clear this space of clutter.
You sorted mail and paper yesterday, so today is all about getting your accessories like bags, backpacks, and gym bags ready for the work or school week. Declutter bags, and return umbrellas, keys, and papers back to their rightful places. This will make the Monday morning rush a little easier.
Did this routine work for you? If it did, great. Keep going and each week you'll find you're doing less and less decluttering.
If you need to adjust––do! The whole point of this routine is not to be too rigid. Just make sure you're devoting 15–30 minutes a day to decluttering, you're tackling your mail, and you're not letting your laundry pile up for too long.