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

Michele | Get Organized Gal

Michele is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

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

  1. FLO says:

    I can deal with 50 items every day. I have lots and lots of clutter to go through and get rid of. Tomorrow is paper’s turn.

  2. Jenny says:

    Managed to part with 50 items – mostly rubbish cosmetics but also several notebooks. Just whizzed through, tore out any pages that contained words of wisdom and stuck the rest in the recycling. Still have about 30 to go through but the box is by my bed and I’ll do them in the next couple of weeks.

  3. Lene says:

    Finally! I´ve decluttered and decluttered and decluttered some more. Result: 7 huge thrash bags full. My house is still not completely empty of clutter, but it is so much better. And I can see how it will be a lot easier to keep it tidy now.
    I guess I expanded the mission quite a bit this time, but it needed to be done and now I feel ready to move on to mission # 9.

  4. Joan says:

    Done! Over 100 books that I’ll never read again are ready to be taken to the thrift shop. My husband will help me with that.

  5. Patricia says:

    This program is so great! I did Mission #8 over the course of several days instead of 30 consecutive minutes. I keep noticing more things I can purge. It’s so liberating! I feel like I can breathe better because there is less stuff in my house. Onward!

  6. Shannon R says:

    Whew. That was intense. I gathered more than 50 items and only 15 minutes passed. I’m dreading the moment my husband realizes I took out some of his stuff that he hasn’t used in a long time. I think from now on, I’ll have to hid the “to charity” items in my car trunk, and push the “trash” items deep into the trash bin. Based on the number of times he uses these things, I should be good for at least two years!

  7. Le'Ann says:

    For this mission, I focused on my junk drawer and two utility drawers in my kitchen. I was able to get rid of over a hundred things. Most went straight to the trash. Now I can open and close my drawers without worrying about them getting stuck!

  8. Pingback: Control Clutter « Daily PlanIt

  9. Carrie says:

    Decluttered my closet back in February to the tune of SIX 30-gallon trash bags (counted that as Mission 1: Fill A huge trash bag). Did it again yesterday (took me entirely too long to get this mission accomplished, so I went back to my closet since it felt so good last time) and decluttered well over 50 garments. I’m thinking more like 100. Feels good to pare down (again)!

  10. Vinil says:

    Damn… I found more than 40 items in my wardrobe. I knew they were there and I wanted to get rid of them but just didn’t make the time to get rid of them. Today, was such a relief. Got rid of them! Thank you!

  11. Jan E says:

    Found 24 items in the garage, and then I decided to go through the receipt files, which goes back to 2008. It took longer than 30 minutes, and made me a little cranky, but now that it’s over I can say that it was worth it. 🙂

  12. Carla says:

    My family is in the process of moving from Oklahoma to Texas and this mission has been such fun for. Before I started packing I did the 30 minute room-to-room declutter, but the move has given me an opportunity to take the project to a different level. I keep 3 boxes in each room of the new home and as I unpack I either put the item in its place in the new home, in one box for donation, give to a friend or family member, or the box for trash.
    Since every room in the house is full of boxes in various stages of unpack, it just makes more sense to place a separate set of boxes in each room otherwise the mission may slip our minds. My husband and son (avid packrats) have really gotten into the spirit of the project. My son because I have told him that he will not get any new items until he donates at least 5. My husband because he does not want me to decide which of his things go into the boxes. My new home is starting out organized!!!

  13. Amy says:

    That was easier than I expected it to be, but I can definitely do a lot more. Maybe I should schedule a ‘declutter 50’ once a week.

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