Get Organized Mission #8: Declutter 50 Items


Welcome to Mission #8 of our 52 Organizing Missions.

One of the simplest ways to live a more organized life is to have less stuff – in fact, the less you have, the easier it is to get organized and stay organized.

So in this mission we’re going to get rid of 50 pieces of clutter from your home. It’s easier than you think – especially with my room-by-room, clutter-busting suggestions.

Now before you hyperventilate, please let me reassure you that you won’t have to part with anything you use and love. I promise. 🙂

Remember – you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below. If you’re new, check out 52 Organizing Missions.

Note: If you started with 52 Organizing Missions at Week 1 and Filled a Hu-uge Trash Bag, it’s been a couple of months since that mission – so now’s a good time to take another stab at stuff reduction.

Get Organized Mission #8: Declutter 50 Items

This week I’d like you to spend your 30 minutes finding 50 items to flick from your home.

It doesn’t matter where in the house they come from, as long as you can count out 50 of them.

Here are some decluttering ideas

Declutter the Living Areas

Get Rid Of:

  • Books you’ve read and won’t re-read, or will never read
  • Magazines from any month other than this one
  • No-longer needed magazine racks
  • Newspapers
  • Old coasters
  • Videos, cassettes, computer floppies, camera film – any storage device for which you no longer have hardware
  • Photos in frames – unless they’re genuinely special to you
  • Tatty cardigans, socks and other apparel strewn around the furniture
  • Knickknacks you don’t love
  • ‘Displayed’ items on shelves that collect dust but hold no meaning for you
  • Dead pot plants
  • Threadbare or stained cushions, throws, rugs, etc

Declutter the Kitchen

Get Rid Of:

  • Recipes and recipe books you haven’t used in the past 12 months
  • Knickknacks you don’t love
  • Anything in the pantry that’s old or not used
  • Photos on the fridge – unless they’re genuinely special to you
  • Broken appliances
  • Old, yucky utensils
  • Chipped, stained crockery
  • Rusty or ancient pots and pans
  • Take-out menus for places you don’t order from

Declutter the Closets,Drawers & Storage Areas

Get Rid Of:

  • Tatty bed linen
  • Tatty underwear, pajamas and t-shirts
  • Old, yucky toys
  • Junk jewelry
  • Old or broken exercise or sports equipment
  • Decorations and seasonal items in poor condition

Declutter the Home Office/Study

Get Rid Of:

  • Bills, receipts, mail items – all paperwork not needed for tax or reference
  • Birthday, Christmas and greeting cards – unless they’re genuinely special to you
  • Defunct phones, computers, cells, PDAs etc (check for disposal info with your local council)
  • Abandoned craft, knitting, scrapbooking and other projects and the various accompanying supplies, storage containers, etc
  • Old notebooks not needed for reference
  • School or college notes (unless you recently graduated)
  • Old lamps, chairs and other equipment in poor condition

Declutter the Bathroom

Get Rid Of:

  • Empty or old/expired toiletries and bath products
  • Tatty towels
  • Old or yucky make-up
  • Old perfumes and lotions

Declutter the Garden

Get Rid Of:

  • Rusty, yucky patio furniture
  • Chipped or faded garden ornaments
  • Dead plants
  • Broken lighting fixtures

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t be over-analytical about whether something counts as clutter. If your first instinct when you look at something is ‘euw – clutter!’, then out it goes.
  • Don’t worry about organizing at this stage – this mission is about decluttering.
  • Do let yourself off the hook for accumulating a lot of clutter to begin with. You’re changing now, so give yourself a big smile and a pat on the back.
  • Do move quickly and stay mindful of your ticking 30-minute timeframe.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • If other household members want to participate, then assign them a target number of items to declutter (based on how much clutter they have), and do the mission together.
  • If you run out of time or reach 50 items and want to keep going, then do.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Before You Go – Please Check In

You’re now accountable to your organizing mission-mates! Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment.

And see you back here next week!


You can now get your weekly organizing mission delivered to your inbox. Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

Image by Bern@t

70 thoughts on “Get Organized Mission #8: Declutter 50 Items

  1. Fran says:

    Spent a good portion of afternoon on this one. I am giving everything i have decluttered to my son’s church for their spring yard sale. So much to give away,I am amazed.

  2. Sylvia says:

    That WAS easy! I didn’t count my items, but just continued until the 30 minutes was up. I hope I keep doing this regularly!

  3. Pingback: Two Methods to Declutter Different Areas|Hot Mess House

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *