Day 1: Linen Closet

Hey there!
Welcome to Declutter Challenge Day One!

This is the starting point for your clutter-free lifestyle.
We are going to be taking it slowly to start off with, so you can get a feel of what’s ahead.

To start off we are going to tackle that infamous linen closet.

If you are anything like me, then you will somehow have a magical closet full of bed sheets from 20 years ago, that are stuffed into the tiny gaps you find.

too much laundry makes mum go something something

It’s okay, don’t feel bad. It is one of the most common places for a mess to build up in most homes. Isn’t it strange, this closet has one simple task – hold linen. Yet we seem to shove everything in there that doesn’t have another home. “Where should I put these board games?” “Just shove them in the linen closet!”
It is definitely a huge case of “out of sight, out of mind”, but not for much longer!

Let’s take some pride in our linen closets! (sounds silly, I know)

Declutter challenge day one – Getting started

Make sure you have printed off today’s checklist and have it ready to go.
Quickly read over it so you have an idea of what you need to be doing and have the right supplies ready to go!
(If you haven’t already gotten access to our challenge-exclusive resources, then you can get it here)

Start at the beginning

Yep, that’s right. I went there. I made the most obvious statement that is used so often but overlooked constantly.

We are starting at the beginning! But where is that?
Easy – rip everything out of your linen closet and get organising!
On your checklist, you will also find a list of questions to ask yourself.
Go through them whenever you feel stuck on an item.

What should your linen closet consist of?

Well, obviously linen. Bedding, spare pillows, towels and face washers That kind of stuff.
Some people also keep their cleaning supplies in this section but I highly recommend that you relocate them if you do. If not sealed properly or covered in chemicals, they can evaporate and end up on your bedding. Not something any of us want!

I am not unrealistic, I know that in most households we like to keep various other things in our linen closet. Feel free to dedicate the top shelf to something that isn’t linen (such as board games or sentimental items). However, if you choose to do this I have some guidelines for you!

  1. Keep that top shelf dedicated only to your chosen object. It’s not a space to shove all the crap you think you want to keep
  2. Don’t overflow it, if you don’t have space to neatly store and access the items, then you still have too much stuff
  3. No Christmas decorations!; and
  4. Stick to the questions on your checklist. They are still extremely relevant!

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way!

Let’s dig a little deeper into our glorious pile of stuff!
You’re probably already thinking “When did I buy that!?” or “Oh, there’s that thing I’ve been looking for!”
This is because these things have been hidden for so long, that even if you needed them, you haven’t had any luck finding it because there is just too much stuff to look through.
That’s okay, this is what we are going to fix!

Start with the linen and towels. This way anything we want to keep that may be musty from being locked away can be washed straight away (multi-tasking isn’t always such a bad idea!)

Throw out anything that has holes, stains, or if it is something you no longer something you like, add it to your donation box. You don’t need them.
Yes, yes, I know. That towel is the towel you and your husband used on your first date – but you know what? You’ll still have the memories of that first date. Chuck the towel!

Follow this same method of thinking with everything in the closet.
You may think you want those CDs, but do you even own a CD player any more? If that’s in the closet too then add it all to the donation box!

Don’t forget

This is a decluttering challenge, not an organising one.
We need to get you into the right mindset.
All of those things that you are storing, does it make you happy to know its all in there or does it stress you out every time you open the closet and all of Canada falls on your head?

Get. Rid. Of. Everything. You. Don’t. Need.

change your mindset declutter challenge

After you’re done with the sorting

Once you’ve finished, it’s time to relocate everything you’ve decided to keep and wash anything else that smells a bit musky.
It’s time to put everything back!
Before you do that, make sure shelf tops have been wiped down.
If natural cleaning is your jam, I have a really simple DIY all-purpose spray in the printable resources that you can use!

Remember, you have one shelf dedicated to your chosen items. Make it count!
Fold all of your towels and bedding neatly and put them all away in a dedicated spot.

Look at your new linen closet – isn’t it glorious!
Now, look at all that crap on the floor. Do you see all that? We’ve only scratched the surface of how much we don’t need all this stuff to make us happy. If anything, it’s been making us miserable!

Make sure you put all of the things in the trash box/bag in.. well, the trash!
As for your donation box, you can either put it somewhere just for now and donate all of the stuff once you’re done, or take a trip to your local op shop (no, you can’t buy anything while you’re there!)
As for your Sell box, same applies. You can start listing things online now, or wait until it is all done.
If you can’t sell the stuff within a few weeks – it’s now up for donating.

Alternative homes for random things in the closet

There are some things that seem to build up in every linen closet around the world. Here are some alternative places for those things.
You can, by all means, leave these in your linen closet but only after you’ve decluttered, and only if there is a dedicated space for them (generally up the top of the cupboard)

Board games

Put them on display in your lounge, or in a cupboard in the kid’s room (if that cupboard is overflowing as well, don’t worry we will get to that!)

Christmas Decorations

Decorations are used for 1-2 months of the entire year, and yet we allow them to take up precious space in our home. The best place for these is the garage/shed, so go on, kick them outside!

Old toys and books

If you are storing old toys and books in the linen closet, there is a huge chance that you aren’t using them and probably won’t use them again.
It’s time to donate or throw out if broken.
For the items that hold sentimental value, or are being saved for a special person in your life, store them safely in a box in the garage/shed.

Wrapping paper, gift boxes etc

I am a huge hoarder of these. Rolls of wrapping paper are a pain to store, ribbon gets tangles and gift boxes take up space.
Here are some awesome storage ideas that I found on Pinterest that could help you out.
Once you have them organised, make sure that you find a new home for them.

Day one is in the bag!

.. well, it’s in a few bags!

Isn’t it nice to know that you’ve started this journey and that you’re going to start seeing some amazing changes to your lifestyle and moods?

Declutter Challenge Days

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