Do you have a Monica closet? I have about five of them!! And they’ve definitely gotten worse in 2021. Plus, one of my stuffed closets was in the basement, right next to the bed where our youngest son now sleeps. (It’s not ideal, but this is what happens when you have a very cozy (small) house. We’re saving for a renovation and would love to make a big bedroom for the two boys to share.)
A few weeks ago, right around New Year’s Eve, I stumbled onto Ruth Soukup’s website and book, 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life: One Month to Clear Your Home, Mind & Schedule. She suggests decluttering a different area of your home every day and sets out a schedule: for example, on Day 2, you declutter your entryway; on Day 3, you tackle your mail and set up a system to manage it. I really liked the logical, paced way she approached decluttering, instead of trying to declutter your entire house in a weekend.
I edited her categories to fit our house and our clutter areas, and I came up with a list of places or items I need to tackle:
To avoid additional stress, I told myself that I didn’t have to complete one area each day. I’ll do them when I can–urgent ones first–and I’ll hope to complete the list in the next twelve months.
I’m happy to report that I’ve tackled quite a few of these tasks right out of the gate, and now my list looks like this:
I’m counting that as a win!
And here are some before and after pics. The basement closet was full of stuff for our Airbnb rental. We donated a bunch of stuff (including the pillows) and moved a few boxes to long-term storage.
One of our daughters is on the verge of outgrowing dolls, and her American Girl doll stuff had migrated to the basement and blocked the walkway to the closet. It was a bad situation, and I’m a little ashamed to show it on the internet.
I cleaned out one of the closets in the girls’ room and moved the American Girl doll stuff up there. Maybe she’ll play with it again now that it’s easier to access.
We don’t have a linen closet in this house, and we’d ended up storing a lot of linens in the girls’ toy closet. But those extra sheets and towels were taking up valuable real estate, and we never used most them! When we wash the sheets, we usually put them back on that same day, so we don’t need multiple sets of sheets. I saved one set of sheets and pillowcases for each bed, in case we need to change the sheets during the night, and found a space in each bedroom to store the extra set of sheets for the beds in that rom. For towels, I put a basket in each bathroom, filled each basket with folded towels, and donated everything that didn’t fit in the baskets.
And here are some pics of our son’s new basement space. It’s certainly not fancy or expensive–the only new item I bought was this lamp–but I’m so happy that he has his own area now.
I’m busy working on a few other clutter-filled spaces and will share more pictures soon! Are you decluttering everything, too? Let me know in the comments!