I truly do believe that you can declutter your home in just 20 minutes a day, because unlike the Marie Kondo system that proclaims the only way to tackle your home is to do the whole-thing-start-to-finish-top-to-bottom-until-you-are-done, I just can't clear my schedule to do nothing but clean and get organized. So instead- I declutter in 20-minute increments. Here are some 20-minute decluttering projects to inspire you to try it too!
20 Minute Decluttering Projects: Tackle a Kitchen Drawer
Clutter is usually the result of accumulation. You purchase a new food chopper- and it gets added to a kitchen drawer, without anything else being removed. But how much in those drawers are really being used?
In this case, I had a drawer that had become a cluttered mess of a dozen Ninja Bullet cups and lids, a mish-mash of fondue forks, skewers, and Cuisinart accessories, and all kinds of other kitchen utensils. The kicker? The drawer directly above this one was nearly empty!
Kitchen Drawer After Decluttering:
How nice is this? And truly- it only took 20 minutes to empty, wipe out the drawer and white containers, and to re-organize where everything should go. I accomplished this during a sliver of time between putting my older kids on the middle/high school bus, and the time when I needed to wake my younger ones up for school! Do you know what I otherwise would have been doing? Uh-huh- scrolling through my Facebook feed!
When our kitchens feel cluttered, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. But if you take things just one drawer or shelf at a time- conquering the kitchen is very do-able. You'll be amazed at how great things can look in just two weeks of this bite-at-a-time method!
Tackle the Space Under the Kitchen Sink
This is another area of the home where odds and ends tend to accumulate, making it hard to find what you need when you are looking for something specific.
Why is that so many things come to live under my kitchen sink that don't even belong there? Hair clips? Bug spray?
Under the Kitchen Sink After Decluttering:
This space has been driving me crazy for weeks- I couldn't tell what was in it so I ended up buying duplicates of items I already owned, and it took me less than 20 minutes to empty it, wipe it down, return what belongs here and find the right home for what doesn't!
My sons Kyle and Spencer have at least a dozen hats each- and they are tossed everywhere in their room, on desks, bookshelves, nightstands, the floor. All it took was 5 minutes to order some command hooks and then 15 minutes to hang them up in the boys' closets and the problem was solved!
20-Minute Decluttering Projects- Shelves
Whether it's a set of bookshelves in the family room or toy shelves in the kids' rooms- at least twice a year, it is great to go through them and remove items that you no longer love or use.
On our bookshelves, we had so many books that the kids had already outgrown that were taking up space, and it was making it hard for the kids to find books they hadn't read that would interest them. So I spent two 20-minute sessions with the kids just going through the kids' books for early readers and deciding what we were ready to part with. (We boxed up 5 cartons of books to donate!)
Bookshelf After Decluttering:
And then another 20-minute session for me to re-home the books we decided to keep. The best part? My kids spent hours afterward going through the books- it was as if they were all new again!
Tackle a Closet- 20 Minutes at a Time:
Closets often end up being the most cluttered place in a home, because it is so easy to stuff things deep inside, close the door, and forget about it!
As an example, this is a storage closet we have in our older boys' loft bedroom. I thought this would be a huge project, and so I kept putting it off.
But I decided that a good way to tackle this would be to pull out of this closet what we were ready to donate (which turned out to be about 6 small items). And then I just worked section-by-section over a few days to reorganize the space.
Loft Closet After Decluttering:
My younger ones can actually camp out in there if they want! Lesson learned: sometimes what feels like a big mess doesn't take that long to declutter and organize at all!
Toy Closet Before Decluttering:
This project took several 20-minute increments to tackle- and I did it just one shelf at a time- unloading and sorting each one.
Here I took advantage of the fact that this closet is located in our basement, so I could use the floor to “stage” the sorted contents over two weeks while I worked. Then once everything was removed and sorted, the kids and I reviewed what they wanted to keep, and what they were ready to donate. I put them in charge of boxing up the donations while I returned to the shelves the “keepers”.
Toy Closet After Decluttering:
The kids love the newly organized shelves- they are finding all kinds of things to do and play with that they had forgotten about!
After all of the decluttering projects- time to donate!
The house always feels “lighter” when we call for the donation truck to come and pick up what we no longer need, and it feels good to know that it will go to someone who can put it to good use. Our favorite donation pickup service is pickupplease.org!
Here are some more great ideas on how to organize your home!
- 15 Fantastic Command Centers to Help Busy Moms Stay Organized
- 20 Organized Kids Bedroom Ideas
- 10 Organized Laundry Room Ideas
- 12 Organized Closet Ideas
- 12 Ideas for Entryway & Mudroom Organization
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What decluttering projects are on your list?