How to Declutter Your Home in Just 4 Weeks (FREE Printable Guide)

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You only need 4 weeks to achieve a more organized, decluttered home! 🤩

hand holding bamboo wood knife drawer organizer

Let us help you get organized!

Our helpful 4-week cleanout challenge. We show you how to declutter your home in just 4 weeks going room by room with our free printable.

hand holding paper with 4 week declutter your home cleanout challenge checklist

Even though there are so many ways to keep your house spotless every day, sometimes you just need to do a good cleanout to get things in tip-top order. To help, we’ve created this challenge that gives room-by-room tips on how to declutter your home in just 4 short weeks!

We even have an easy-to-follow printable to keep you on track and if you read until the end we’ve even included a bonus checklist. Marie Kondo style! 😍

Week 1: Kitchen

woman pulling pantry organization container from shelf

1. Food pantry

Empty everything out of your pantry. Throw out expired food and make a separate pile for duplicates that can be donated. Group remaining items accordingly (spices, pasta, dry baking necessities, etc.). Place your most frequently consumed foods at eye level and kids’ snacks a little lower so they can easily grab one if needed. For more pantry tips, check my Hip sidekick, Lina’s, pantry organization post.

Rule of thumb: Make sure to do this before your next big grocery shopping trip so you know you won’t be stocking up on food that could go to waste again.

Hip Tips:  I highly recommend investing in some organizational items. Check out how I organized my pantry using affordable containers from Walmart!

2. Plastic storage containers

Plastic storage containers are a huge culprit for messy cabinets. It’s time to clean out the cabinet, make sure you have matches for each piece, and only place those sets back in the cupboard so they’re easily accessible. See about donating those missing pieces and recycling ones that are broken.

As an idea, you can also check the warranty on your plastic storage containers, like Tupperware. You may be entitled to a replacement set if your current ones have broken!

Rule of thumb: Keep about 3 pieces per family member and 4 pieces extra if you constantly have leftovers or use them for lunches. Keep a week’s worth of the same size containers so they’re easy to stack if you meal prep frequently. 

Hip Tip: Get more bang for your buck by checking deals on top brands like Tupperware, Rubbermaid, Lock n’ Lock, and more! Also, be sure to check out our favorite meal prep containers on our sister site, Hip2Keto.

3. Water bottles

Empty out your cabinet of water bottles and match them up and throw out any bottles that are broken or leak. You can also donate the ones that don’t have a lid or that you just might not love anymore. Put the remaining bottles back into your cabinet.

Rule of thumb: You really only need one great water bottle per family member. In case one gets lost or broken, keep up to 2 extras on hand. This will limit your cabinet chaos.

4. Utensils

Empty out your entire utensil drawer onto your counter. Donate things that you never use and throw out anything that’s broken. Group remaining items (spoons, ladles, tongs, etc.) together. Consider buying an adjustable utensil organizer so items stay in place and put them back into the drawer by their designated groups.

Rule of thumb: To minimize clutter, 2-3 place settings per person will suffice, and only keep a maximum of 2 duplicates of larger utensils. For extra utensils that you only use on special occasions, consider storing them elsewhere.

5. Sample condiments

Chances are you won’t ever eat the 50 packets of soy sauce at the bottom of your drawer. Especially considering you’ll likely get another 10 packs of the same sauce for your next takeout order. Empty out your collection and ask a neighbor if they’d like them and maybe consider saving just a few for the kid’s lunches.

Rule of thumb: Unless you find yourself using these on occasion, most people don’t need them laying around. Throw them all away or at most, keep up to 5 of your favorites.

6. Cups & mugs

Empty your drinkware cabinet of plastic cups, coffee mugs, and other drinking glasses. Group them all by matches and donate any mix-matched ones that don’t mesh well or that you just don’t love. Place back into your cabinet by groups, stacking any plastic cups that you can, or display them on a mug rack.

Rule of thumb: Keep up to 2-3 everyday drinking glasses per person, 1-2 mugs, 2 wine glasses per adult (extra if you entertain on occasion), and a stack of plastic reusable cups.

7. Cookware & baking

Empty out all of your pots & pans, baking sheets, cutting boards, etc. Match each pot and pan with its designated lid, turning upside down to make stacking them easier. Donate any pots and pans that you never use or have a hard time cleaning up. Place back into the cabinet stacking pots and pans from largest to smallest or use an organizer. Nest casserole dishes and stack cutting boards, baking sheets, and muffin tins on their sides or place them in an upright organizer.

Rule of thumb: You only need one matching set of pots and pans, 1-2 muffin tins, a small and large baking pan, one set of nesting casserole dishes, one really great cutting board for veggies, and one for meat.

Hip Tip: We shared our team’s favorite chemical-free cookware and bakeware if you’re in the market for a new set!

Week 2: Bathroom

hand holding organized clear container under bathroom sink

1. Cleaning supplies

Take out all of your cleaning supplies and group them by their purpose (bathrooms, hardwood floors, etc.). Properly dispose of or donate any cleaners that you haven’t used recently or no longer serve a purpose. Then consolidate duplicate cleaners where you can. Place cleaners back into the cabinet with already open cleaners towards the front.

Rule of thumb: Only keep one cleaner for each purpose in your home. For example, only keep Windex for cleaning glass and mirrors, Lysol for bathrooms, etc.

2. Cosmetics

Dump out your bag or drawer of cosmetics. Group all items together such as mascara, brushes, eyeshadows, foundations, etc. Throw out any cosmetics that are empty, expired, or haven’t been used in the last 6 months. Place it back neatly into your bag or drawer and even consider buying some acrylic organizers to keep everything in its place. Stand all makeup brushes in a cup that you have laying around.

Rule of thumb: If you’re not a huge makeup enthusiast or a professional makeup artist, you can keep just one of each item for your daily makeup and night-out makeup routines. (i.e. 1 mascara, 1 eyeshadow pallet, etc.)

3. Towels

Take out all the bath and beach towels. Decide which ones you’d like to keep and which you want to donate. If most of your towels are dingy and ripped, it’s also okay if you’d rather just donate them all to the local shelter. It frees you up to get a whole new set and start from scratch (we love these Costco towels). Either way, fold your towels evenly and neatly into stacks of 3-4 each. Place beach towels higher in your closet and bath towels at eye level.

Rule of thumb: Make sure to have 1-2 bath towels and 1 beach towel per person in your house, plus 2 extra bath towels and 2 extra beach towels on hand for when friends & family visit. When folding laundry, fold towels the same way every time so stacking stays nice and neat.

4. Haircare & bath products

This includes anything you use to do your hair including, gels, hairsprays, and so on plus any additional bottles including lotions, sunscreen, shampoos, and more. Empty out all contents from drawers and cabinets. Try donating any that you no longer use and don’t love. Place items either on a pull-out shelf for easy access or into a basket so they’re not just floating around your cabinets.

Rule of thumb: If you have random products laying around and you haven’t used them in the last year, it’s time to ditch them. Only keep one item per purpose. One hairspray, one good body lotion, etc. 

5. Grooming tools

Take out all of your brushes, combs, hair ties, and styling tools, and ditch any that are way overdue for a replacement. Now would also be a great time to clean your hairbrushes if you’ve been neglecting that task.

If you don’t already have a special place for these items, I recommend hanging all of these items using easy-to-hang Command hooks. You can even put all your hair ties on a metal ring to hang so you’ll never be looking for them again.

Rule of thumb: Only keep one grooming tool of its kind. For hair ties, throw them away once they start to lose their elasticity or start to break.

Hip Tip: You can use a $1.25 Dollar Tree paper towel holder to easily store scrunchies and it can double as decor.

6. Medications & first aid

Lay out all of your prescription and over-the-counter medications along with all first aid essentials. Check expiration dates for all medications and creams, then properly dispose of them. Group things according to purpose and place them on a lazy susan, in a basket, or even get an organizer for your cabinet.

Rule of thumb: It is never recommended to consolidate medications into the same bottles. If you’re trying to get rid of some bottles, dispose of all contents responsibly or make sure to use up the bottle with the least amount in it first.  

7. Countertop

This is an obvious area that might need some attention, but nonetheless, the countertop can be the quickest area to become cluttered. Start by clearing off the entire surface and clean your countertop and sink. Refill your soap dispenser and put it back in its place and clean your toothbrush holder and place it back by the sink. Lastly, place back any decorative items, such as a sign, towel, or small plant.

Rule of thumb: The only items that you need on your countertops are your toothbrush holder, soap, a hand towel, and one piece of decor. Anything else needs to find a new, permanent home. 

Hip Tip: You can also use this outlet shelf to organize your electric toothbrushes or even get your music devices off the counter.

Week 3: Bedroom 

organized kids closet with hanging clothes and baskets

1. Closet

This is likely going to be the most time-consuming task so I’d recommend doing it on a day you have a couple of hours to spare (Note: the time it takes will vary greatly on how many clothes you have). I want you to empty your ENTIRE closet. Yes, everything.

Then create three piles as you go, one for donating, a keep pile, and one for trash – these would be items that are stained or have holes beyond reasonable repair, but of course, I recommend first calling your local shelter to find out what they will and will not accept for donations before putting them in a textile recycling bin. And remember, even clothes with holes could be used as rags, sewn into napkins, or even given to animal shelters.

Once you’re done, clear out your donate and trash pile so you already feel a weight lifting from your space (and that nothing sneaks back into the closet). Then assess what you want to hang, fold, or put in storage if you’re a seasonal closet person. Hang items back into your closet by color and season (jeans stick together, long sleeves, etc.) and fold sweaters to put on shelves or in a drawer.

Rule of thumb: Only keep what you’ve worn in the last year and items you absolutely love. Your clothes should make you feel great, not decent at best.

Hip Tip: Here’s how you can upgrade your wardrobe without spending a cent!

2. Dressers

Empty out all of your drawers and dressers. Similar to your closet, you’ll need to make a keepdonate, and trash pile. Ideally, you’d like to be able to put back each item per drawer, so make sure you’re grouping items together as you take them out: T-shirts in one pile, underwear & bras, pajamas, etc.

Fold all t-shirts, pajamas, sweatshirts, etc. using the Marie Kondo folding method so that all pieces are able to stand on their own. This will keep your drawers neat and much more functional. Then place them back in their coordinating drawer.

Rule of thumb: For a very minimalist approach, keep 1-2 weeks’ worth of underwear, 2-3 bras (one strapless), 3 sets of pajamas, and no more than 5 t-shirts and 2 sweatshirts. Most importantly, only keep items you absolutely love.  

Hip Tip: Use some drawer organizers to keep smaller essentials like socks, underwear, and even smaller kids’ clothes in order.

3. Bags & accessories

Belts, suit ties, handbags, hats, and any other accessories need to be gathered together. Decide what you’d like to keep or donate. Then think about where you’d like to place each item. Wide-brim hats hang great on walls and can double as decor or they’ll take up less space in your closet. Use a tie & scarf hanger along with a belt hanger to hang these smaller items back into your closet neatly. Handbags should be placed on top shelves or hooks.

Rule of thumb: Just like your clothing, only keep the accessories that you’ve worn or used in the last year, and most importantly only keep items that you absolutely love. Accessories are meant to enhance your outfit, not bring you down. 

4. Shoes

Whether you keep them in your mudroom, garage, or foyer, it’s time to empty all the shoes. Make a donation pile for any shoes that your kids have outgrown and that you no longer enjoy wearing. This is also the time to clean up any pair that look a little rough around the edges.

Consider parting with a pair you’ve only worn once or twice as it could be cash in your pocket. Then place them back onto your shelving unit or closet by season.

Rule of thumb: Make sure you keep at least one staple pair of shoes for each season or type of weather. It’s great to have one solid pair of rain boots, heels, sandals, etc., that can go with anything.

5. Winter apparel

Take out all of the jackets, hats, scarves, mittens, etc., and make a donation pile for anything that your kids have outgrown or that no longer gets worn. Match up pairs of gloves and mittens then assess what goes back in the closet. Place smaller items into baskets by groups: hats in one, matching gloves and mittens in another, then scarves, and so on.

For coats, I find wooden hangers to keep them the most organized, plus they’re sturdy enough to keep everything hanging in nice, neat order.

Rule of thumb: For each person, keep a maximum of 1 good winter coat, 1 raincoat, and 1 dress coat. Anything more than that is considered extra and not needed if you don’t have the proper space. 

6. Blankets & sheets

These items are likely hanging out in a linen closet somewhere, so empty out all the sets of sheets, pillowcases, and extra blankets. For the sheets, match up each set with its coordinating fitted sheet, flat sheet, and pillowcases and place them back into the closet. Blankets that you love need to be folded neatly and either placed in a basket or on upper shelves if not used frequently.

Anything without a match or that’s no longer loved can be donated to your local shelter or SPCA.

Rule of thumb: Each bed in your house should have 1 extra pair of sheets, totaling no more than 5 extra sheet sets. For guest visits, you should have two extra blankets. 

7. Nightstands

You’ll sleep more soundly with a clean and organized nightstand. Empty everything out, recycle old papers, and get rid of the trash that has accumulated over time. Find a home for smaller items such as coins, hair ties, etc. as they don’t need to go back in your drawer. Place back essential items that you use regularly such as lotion, books, or chargers.

Rule of thumb: The top of your nightstand should always remain clean. At maximum, you should have no more than a lamp, a dish for everyday jewelry (earrings, watches, etc.), a candle or piece of decor, and a book to read at night. 

Hip Tip: We love The Home Edit line at Walmart for all things organization!

Week 4: Living 

designer living room with built in cabinets and leather west elm couch sectional

1. Kid’s toys

Take out everything in your kid’s toy box (this is a great time for them to help get organized too!). Group similar toys together, such as Legos, building blocks, Barbies, balls, etc. Get rid of any small items that are broken beyond enjoyment and donate what has been retired at the bottom of the toy box for months.

Your donation pile contains items that don’t get played with anymore and is also a great way for your kids to participate in this cleanout so they can let you know what they no longer enjoy playing with. Place grouped items that you’re keeping back in bins or boxes by category.

Rule of thumb: Any toys that are missing pieces and/or haven’t been played with within the last 3-6 months are toys that should either be donated or recycled. Make sure there’s a balance between educational and fun toys. 

2. Baskets

Baskets are one thing that I can’t resist buying sometimes, but it’s important to gather up what you have and make sure that every basket you’re using has a purpose, and donate the ones that are just taking up space.

Rule of thumb: Only keep baskets that you actually love. Anything less than that shouldn’t have a place in your home. 

Hip Tip: These Room Essentials baskets at Target often go on sale for 50% OFF and are as cheap as $2 each!

3. Pens & other writing tools

Chances are about half of the pens hanging around your house don’t even work, so empty out that junk drawer and test out all the pens, markers, highlighters, etc. so you know which ones to keep. The next time you really need a pen, you’ll be glad you did this.

Rule of thumb: Keep no more than 5 good pens, 1-2 pencils per person living in your house, and 2 highlighters. 

4. Broken misc. items

The options for this category are endless and can vary greatly per household. Did you drop a knick-knack a few months ago that you’re probably never going to fix at this point? If it doesn’t have a significant sentimental value, it’s time to either trash it all or take the time to fix these items around your house so they can go back to serving a purpose in your home.

Rule of thumb: If something appears to be unfixable, it’s okay to trash it even if it has sentimental value. Something that you’re likely holding onto is better served as a memory (which can never break and no one can take it away from you). It’s a win, win. 

5. Games

If your hallway closet is anything like mine, it may be overflowing with board games and puzzles. Game nights are great and I’m totally here to encourage you to keep it up! However, it’s time to organize the chaos. Start by emptying out all of your games and puzzles and make a donation pile, a keep pile, and a trash pile (for games that are totally dilapidated).

For games that you’re keeping, go through and make sure they’re organized (you’ll appreciate this on your next family night). Then place them back into the closet, with larger boxes on the bottom. Place less-played with toys toward the top shelves and more frequented games where they’re easily accessible.

Rule of thumb: I’m never going to limit a family on their game nights, so keep all the games you want, but just make sure you have the proper space for them all. Any kid-appropriate games you’re parting with will be greatly appreciated at your local grade schools! 

Hip Tip: Shop our team’s favorite family, teen, kid, and adult games if you’re looking to add a few to your collection after getting organized!

6. Electronics & cords

Have a box filled with random cords, cables, and electronics laying around? Dump them out, match them to the device that they’re used for, and properly dispose of or donate any extras or miscellaneous cords and electronics. Neatly fold all cords or put them in an organizer. Don’t stress over the fact you may need them one day, chances are if they haven’t moved from the box since you last moved, you’ll never need them.

Rule of thumb: Each household should only have one charging cord per phone or device. Duplicates can be donated or trashed accordingly. 

7. Books

It’s time to go through that overflowing collection of books. While books are great, there might be some that you no longer want or some that are no longer relevant. Take them all off the shelves and give each shelf a good dusting before you do anything else. Decide which books you’ll be keeping and which ones you’ll be donating. If you have a lot of books, group them by genre and place them back on the shelves accordingly.

Rule of thumb: Books are knowledge, so just like your family game nights, the sky’s the limit, friends. Just make sure that you’re happy with your collection and are only keeping books that really bring you joy. 

checking boxes on 4-week cleanout challenge

WAIT!!! Want to take your decluttering even further? 

hand holding a decluttering checklist
You know that bonus checklist we were talking about? Well, here it is! If you need to go full-on Marie Kondo to all the rooms in your home, meaning you’re truly trashing anything that doesn’t “spark your joy”, then this in-depth checklist will help you tackle all your clothing, books, papers, mementos, and miscellaneous items in a focused, checklist format.

With this complete list to tackle literally everything in your home, you’ll be sure to have the most decluttered and organized home on the block. 😉

Here’s how to recycle EVERYTHING.

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 8+ years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 108

  1. Bunny

    I’m married to a pack rat. What can I say?

    Whenever I try to declutter it’s one step forward and two steps back LOL! 😉

    • Sara

      Oh gosh! Maybe you could casually send this post to your husband’s inbox?! haha!

      • Vane


    • christinemay

      Seriously, though. I couldn’t even read that Marie Kondo book because it just made me upset at my husband. I did get him to clean out the garage last summer and put everything he wanted to keep in a storage unit. Not cheap, but worth it! I feel for you. I wouldn’t say my husband is a pack rat, but he and I have completely different opinions on decluttering and it’s hard.

      • terrigilliamalbright

        You should see my husband’s nightstand. He doesn’t throw drink cans away. Currently there’s 5. Eventually, I’ll get mad and clean it up.

    • Feeling the squeeze

      Same here. I always have to hide the giveaway box and when I “declutter he “refills” places because it “fills empty”.

  2. Emily

    I am all in on this. My house needs a good declutter. 🙂

    • Sue

      Yep, me too…………gotta really lean in on this………..I really need to purge clothing and old housewares………I need to make an organized plan and stick to it. Thanks for the inspiration Hip2save……….: )

      • Sara

        You’re very welcome, Sue! Make sure to print out our free printable to help guide you along the way! Best of luck!

        • Jan

          The printable is not showing up now 🙁

          • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

            Hi Jan! I still find the printable available when clicking through the link above. Maybe wait a moment and try again or switch to a different browser. Hoping you can grab it soon!

    • Sara

      Yay, Emily! Let me know how it goes!

  3. mimi519

    OMG thank you for this!! I’m super excited to declutter. It’s kind of funny that it’s posted on a site where we always take advantage of freebies though! Those little samples I’m always thrilled to get are what contributes to my clutter!! 🤣🤣🤣

    • 5pink1blue

      That’s why I’ve become more selective in what I order. I try to use right away or give away shortly after receiving.

    • Jennine

      I’m passionate about recycling! And am ALL in for this post! I’m troubled when /DONATE /recycle are not used throughout. Games with missing pieces can still be donated, yep! People sell replacement parts for people who need them. Water bottle parts can defiantly be Recycled! Fast food packets can be donated! Or send them in your kids lunches!

      There is a time to keep, donate, and toss. just know your junk IS another persons treasure. Yes, your wool sweaters with moth holes are turned into gloves. Check eBay people actually buy lots of sweaters for this purpose. Those “tossing” consider Any non molding “toss/garbage” item for free porch pick up. people Can use it! Let the market decide if your stuff is worth landfill space first.

      • Staci

        Love this. Thanks for the ideas!

      • Corey

        I agree with recycling!! Our schools and other public buildings in town have textile recycling bins and our town now has pink trash bags for recycling. Both are great areas to get rid of stained, holed clothes, bedding, pillows, stuffed animals even! Our bins even take old shoes.
        PS- don’t forget the BUY NOTHING facebook group if your area has one. People often give away food, toys, half used things they don’t want, everything! Easy to just leave it on your front step to give away!

        • Leslie

          Buy nothing FB groups are AMAZING!!! I have done much cleaning out of my parents home with this group. Maybe 2 dumpsters of things have been given away.

          Buy nothing groups deserve a Hip2Save post of their own. I have given away lots and even gotten some great things too.

      • Sara

        Thank you for sharing such great ideas with us Jennine! I will be sure to update this post to reflect those tips since we are just as passionate about recycling!

      • joni

        great post like the sweaters into gloves Im all for repurposing

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      LOL! You’re very welcome! Glad these tips will be helpful!

  4. Alice

    I’m exhausted just reading this😂😂, but I do agree with thus process. Now, if you can come up with steps to de-clutter my mind, you’d be onto something 😂

    • Sara

      I love that idea, too, Alice! I’ll be raking my brain for a solution to that! LOL!

  5. Liz

    Tip: Don’t toss your chipped, cracked, or peeling Tupperware! They are guaranteed for life not to “chip, crack, or peel”. Nowadays, you have to pay for the shipping; but, in the past that was also free.

    • Sara

      Thanks for the tip Liz, I didn’t even think of that! I made sure to add this info to the post for readers. Have a wonderful day!

  6. Tammy S.

    I needed this, thank you! We have an RV and I love how uncluttered it is and I get anxious looking at all the crap in my house! Big time cleanup coming!!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Oh good! You’re so welcome!

    • Sara

      That’s so exciting, Tammy! Let us know how it goes!

  7. Sonya

    I recently found a receipt under my bed from October 2006!!! 🙁

    • Amanda

      Hahahaha! I love this!!

  8. Meg

    Eh, I do this on a regular basis. The only things we can’t seem to declutter are stuffies. My kids love them all.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      We have had that issue in my house too, Meg! They seem to let more go as they get older.

      • Lesly

        I have that problem too, with four kids they accumulated too many, I made two “bean bags” out of fabric and stored them there, the place looks a little more organized and they have easy access to them 🙂

        • SavingsMama

          A great idea for some organizations/ churches…implemente a clothing closet. Members bring their used items or even things bought 90% off 😉 that are new…and the community is able to come and get what they need, as well as members of the church etc. As not to overwhelm your volunteers, it can be a quarterly event…maybe before summertime and let some deserving children receive flip flops, beach trunks etc …and one for winter time, coats, hats, boots…Always ways to declutter+ keep the landfills low.

  9. Lase

    You’ll be surprised how many expired food items you’ll find in your pantry. I just emptied a cabinet for my supplements and found some that expired in 2017. Lol

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      LOL! Thanks for sharing that, Lase. I just recently went through my medicine cabinet and spice racks and found many items in the back that had expired! Always good to go through them!

    • Sara

      That has literally happened to me as well, Lase and I consider myself pretty tidy. LOL! Thanks for sharing your honesty with us, have a great day!

    • Vee

      Our recycling center has a few days a year where you can drop off old medicine. Also, some pharmacies will take your expired meds for you so they don’t end up in the landfill.

  10. Jlinsey

    Awesome post! I’ve been doing this the past month myself! I’ve been struggling with ways to organize my tiny closet. I purged but still so messy and unorganized! Ugh! I have slidding doors so that doesn’t help to use door space either. My bed is to low to put shoes under my bed! Hmmm ideas?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi there! My son’s room has a small closet and we have used these hanging shelves. Many items can be folded and stacked within each section. They have also been useful in our small coat closet. Hoping that might be helpful in your closet too!

      • Jlinsey

        Awesome, thanks! I knew about these but not the ones with hangers that might be strong enough to hold my sweaters which is a big problem.

        • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

          You’re very welcome!

        • Melie

          I found some heavy duty ones at Bed Bath and Beyond that are wrapped in plastic and zip shut. I’m using them in our spare closet to store extra sheets and bedding, so they’d likely work for heavier sweaters 🙂

    • Elizabeth

      When I was growing up my room didn’t have a closet so I had one of those closests that have shelves in them with the 2 doors that open up and I folded all my clothes and made stacks that way… Could be used for shoes too

    • Kb3

      Get bed risers! They are usually pretty cheap and I see them at thrift stores all the time. Best thing Ever. If you have a king you will definitely need to support the middle as well.

  11. Suzanne H

    Please try to donate and/or recycle items you wish to get rid of including toiletries, etc. Shelters will accept used items – even 1/2 bottles of shampoo, etc. Also, look for a textile recycling program in your area that accepts stained, ripped items. WAY too many textiles end up in landfills. Also, I have to disagree a little with the “rule of thumb” for the kitchen. You really need at least 2 good cutting boards – 1 for veggies and 1 for meats. And I don’t like matching pots and pans – I have an odd assortment specifically geared towards the purposes I need but, admittedly, I’m weird about that one! 🙂

    • Sara

      Thanks for all of your great feedback, Suzanne!

  12. ~Ann

    Towel can be donated. Animal shelters or even your nearest vets office will happily take them if there is any life left in them.

    • rebecca

      animal shelters will also take blankets with holes in them, or old sheets that have the hems coming unstitched, or have elastic that is done, etc. i heard they love old flannel baby blankets that may be too faded to donate to a thrift store!

    • Elizabeth

      I buy towels at my local thrift stores for my dogs! Definitely donate them

    • Sara

      You’re so right, Ann. Thank you for the reminder, we were sure to update the post so we can help readers recycle their old towels rather than trashing them.

  13. Amy

    Try to declutter a home with 6 kids all under 12. Most of the house will look great then the tornados come home from school. Almost there though, pantry, kitchen cabinets, garage, basement, bonus room. It takes longer than 4 weeks let me tell you.

    • Sara

      Oh, I can imagine that would certainly not happen very quickly, Amy! LOL! It sounds like you’re doing a great job organizing the chaos though! Keep up the great work!

  14. Lora

    I love the comments about donating stuff even if it is flawed. I just learned a few things. I would prefer for items not to end up in a landfill either if someone else could benefit from them.

    • Sara

      We are right there with you, Lora! Thanks for letting us know your thoughts. We updated the post to reflect better recycling habits in hopes that readers will follow through before contributing to landfills. Have a great day!

    • Hipgrandma

      Me too, Lora. Some great ideas I never thought of were posted. I’m all in!

  15. Rebecca

    Yay! Perfect for lent!

  16. Nancy

    Love all your tips. We did a major home down-size about 15 years ago so I learned to stay on top of things. Storage space is at a premium in my home so instead of folding blankets and putting them on a shelf I fold thim in 1/2 or 1/4 and keep them between the matress and the box springs.

    • Sara

      That’s a unique idea, thanks for sharing, Nancy!

  17. Nancy

    also wanted to say I also cut up old sheets and sew a border around them and use them as napkins.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      What a neat idea! Thanks for sharing with us, Nancy!

    • Hipgrandma

      Our church uses old sheets cut into squares for quilting. Quilts are shipped to third world countries or places where natural disasters have occurred. Very useful when you’ve lost everything

  18. Sarah

    I love the idea of decluttering, however there is a lot of casual talk in this article about just throwing things that aren’t up-to-par for the donation bin in the trash (like Tupperware, etc). It would be nice if there was a heavy emphasis in this guide on trying to recycle anything possible (ex: plastics, textiles, etc). Like other commenters have mentioned, animal shelters love getting towels, blankets, and old clothing for bedding. Many U.S. cities have textile recycling bins (I also saw a lot of these in the U.K.) I know our local homeless shelter is always happy to get unused condiment packages and hotel shampoos, etc. The items can be utilized at the shelter, but can also be taken along easily by a person. Just because it is gone from our living space, doesn’t necessarily make it less of our problem. Waste and pollution reduction is EVERYBODY’S problem.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the feedback and suggestion, Sarah! I’ll be sure to pass this along to the team!

    • Sara

      Thanks for all your wonderful and crucial feedback, Sarah. We never want to condone contributing to all the waste our country experiences so we were sure to appropriately update this post to reflect that. We hope you appreciate the greater emphasis. I hope you have a wonderful day and thanks again for stopping by.

  19. Jill

    I was born to declutter. The only thing I would add to this post/comments is to learn to consume less. That can mean a lot of different things – use up what you have before purchasing more, buy quality over quantity, resist the urge to buy ‘just for the fun of it’. Cleaning naturally comes easier when you only own what you love and/or need.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      I love that tip too, Jill! Thanks for taking a moment to comment!

    • Sara

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Jill! Thanks for your feedback, have a wonderful day!

  20. Kay

    I agree with Jill. Best way to avoid clutter or waste: consume less in the first place. I do that best when it comes to food. My fridge does not look full like most people’s. That’s cause I hate wasting food. I buy what I know we (2 adults, 2 small kids) will eat, which usually lasts a week. Then back to grocery store (or even better, Walmart Grocery or Aldi Delivery if needed). We hardly throw away expired food cause we hardly have any around.

    • Sara

      That is exactly how I like to have our fridge, Kay. Thanks for sharing your feedback with us, have a wonderful day!

  21. Joy

    Just FYI. Tupperware is a brand name and shouldn’t be used as a catch-all term for plastic storage containers. Just like Kleenex shouldn’t be used as a catch-all term for tissues either.

    • Sara

      That’s a great point, Joy. Thanks for the reminder! We went ahead and updated the post to reflect your feedback. Have a great day!

  22. Tera

    H2S team, would you consider doing a weekly or daily email for this challenge? That would for sure help me keep on track.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for asking, Tera! I have shared your request with the team! 💖

  23. Beverly

    Thanks so much for this! We’re getting ready to sell our house and I know I need to declutter first. Thanks for breaking a big task into manageable bites!

  24. B.

    I’m married to a man in the military. We’ve tried to follow one specific rule for our household items: “For every one item that enters the home, one item must go.” It initially helped us keep a minimum load of stuff so we can move if necessary, but we’ve found incredible freedom in this too, by not being bogged down by clutter/stuff and by truly appreciating and loving what we own. It has also helped us prioritize what we use and enjoy and let go of what we just accumulate. We’re more intentional about what we buy, tending to buy smaller quantities with better quality, doing better research and striving to buy “made in America” products. We even having a running “Made in America” list! And we’ve saved SO MUCH MONEY because we aren’t impulsive buyers. It forces us to consider if the new desired item is worth removing a current, often loved item. It helps us to use and enjoy what we already have to the fullest.
    It’s obviously not a perfect system, but when I organize/clean/donate/purge, it’s simple and quick.

    • shop4mybabies

      a friend is “homefree” intentionally and lives in an electric car and travels the country…she makes a good living and enjoys not having the traditional tie downs of house bills. Her motto is for 1 item 3 things have to be donated, so she’s very intentional in her purchases, and asks that people be very intentional in their gift giving. It’s not a way for me to live, but I admire her small planet footprint and carefree spirit. But i love the get one get rid of one concept in a home, my children have so much accumulated it doesn’t make their spaces enjoyable.

  25. KR

    I love the article, but have to say that much of the very first entry isn’t something I would do. ‘Expired’ is a flawed concept when it comes to food, especially dried goods and canned foods. Would I throw away expired pasta, rice, beans, tea, cereals, seasonings? Granted, pasta and rice get eaten quickly at our house, and won’t expire, but otherwise not sure how necessary that is.
    And why would you donate duplicates (other than wanting to donate, on purpose)? I buy multiples of things I know will be eaten to a avoid extra trips to the store in the evening or when hungry.

  26. MUMonkeyMom09

    Thanks for this! My weekly declutter week is quickly approaching. This is the week my husband takes our kids to visit his parents in Florida while I stay behind and watch the animals while still working. This is the week I purge and organize the house to the way I want it and have the opportunity to get rid of all the things my kids think they still want and play with but never really do. I feel so accomplished after this week is over. Everyone tells me they feel sorry for me having to stay behind, but I really do enjoy my week of solitude cleaning the house and being with our dog and kitties.

  27. tracy

    Freeze instead of tossing foods that are getting ready to expire. Peppers or onions-cut them up and freeze for soup. Canned dough can be unpackaged and frozen. Flour, bread, muffins, soup, milk and cooked pasta or eggs can be frozen. Lots of websites show proper storage methods.
    We also make wraps out of almost ANY leftover and freeze them for later. Stale bread makes great croutons, quiche or french toast.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Love those ideas! Thanks for the helpful tips, Tracy!

  28. Sue

    Interesting read, but it didn’t address what were the three worst areas of my house: the basement, the shed, and the garage. We just finished a major clean out of those areas and it took us literally 6 months from start to finish. We used an auction service to pick up and sell our items. I was amazed that there were only about 3 items that he refused to take because he said that they would not sell! We didn’t make much money, but the spaced we gained is incredible!

  29. Alyssa

    WEEK 3: One thing we do on January 1 is flip all hangers in the closet the opposite way. As we wear something, it gets washed and re-hung with the hanger the “correct” way. That way, mid-year or year end, we can clearly see what we have worn through the seasons and what needs to be considered for selling or donation.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Ooh! I’m loving that idea, Alyssa! Thanks for the tip!

  30. Gina

    Love this! I’m getting super motivated to start my decluttering process. I’m just curious in the picture of the closet with the white closet organizer, do you know what brand it is? looking for something similar for our walk in closet. Thanks!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Gina! Those are by California Closets. 😊

  31. Darla

    I am definitely keeping all of these ideas and tips. I’ve had too many back surgeries to count so my house has become just a mess because that’s the last thing that’s on my list of things to do. I’m going to join but this will take me more like 8 weeks but I hope I can get through it. Cleaning the house requires so much lifting and bending of which I cannot do but I will try! It’s only me and when spring comes that’s a whole another problem with the outdoors when you are the only one living in the house. I have no kids or husband so that’s why it will take me awhile. Thanks Colin! All great tips!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re so welcome, Darla! 💕 Glad these tips will be helpful!

  32. ShunShynes

    Good morning… thank you for sharing this, I am going to start my decluttering today after work, I have so much stuff I need to purge.

    Be safe and have a great week!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re most welcome! Hope you have a great week as well! 🥰

  33. flora

    Sadly, I’m a huge skincare fanatic and have tons of it, it will probably last me a lifetime but I still “stock up” on deals (yes, I do have a problem…and Ulta has their 21 days of Beauty event). I guess I’m lucky that I work for a construction company that builds schools, fire/police stations, etc. so we’re still deemed an essential business and I can work from home so it pays for my very full cabinet of beauty products. At least I do organize it 😉

  34. Audrey

    Free on Craigslist works like a charm

  35. shop4mybabies

    this weekend i’m helping my 22 and 16 year old marie kondo their rooms. the 22 year old has a full on libary…so we got some much needed new bookshelves for 4,000 plus books because we won’t let go of those…but the 16 year old is a clothes/shoes hound. we got rid of 7 bags. she still has a double closet, a sweater dresser, a full size chest of drawers and a fabric bin storage shelf. Tryin to Marie Kondo with her is a nightmare because every single item brings her a joy. She legit has a spoon with sentimental value, kill me now. we did our kitchen at the start of the pandemic…got rid of so many containers i’m regretting it lol

  36. Dee

    For those who find this list overwhelming, just break it down to working on one drawer or one shelf. Every time I see our overstuffed basement (full of clutter inherited from relatives), I feel the walls closing in. But if I focus on one small section, I can do a good job of cleaning and sorting that one section, then come back again in a week or a month to do the same with another section.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s a great tip, Dee! Thanks for sharing!

  37. smoresto

    6000 sqft…. It will happen when my 6 kids move out. In about 18 years lol

  38. didi18

    It’s impossible to organize without decluttering first. What helped me immensely was watching The Minimal Mom on Youtube. Life changing!

    • Jen

      Me too! The Minimal Mom, A Slob Comes Clean and Clutterbug. They joined forces for “Take Your House Back”, and it’s phenomenal. They actually advise *AGAINST* removing everything, sorting, then putting back because it’s overwhelming and will leave a mess if you have to stop (run out of time, emergency, etc.). Can’t recommend them enough.

  39. Dott

    There are some amazing tips on organization here. Thanks for motivating me to get going and to declutter.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re SO welcome! Glad you’re loving the tips! ❤️

  40. TMyers

    Printed out my 4 week challenge today and already started. Been wanting to clean out kitchen stuff. Hopefully hubby doesn’t come along and want to keep stuff.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      YAY! Wishing you the best of luck, TMyers! 🤗

  41. Skyday

    Quick question: On the picture of the bedroom closet… where can I buy the white cubes and the baskets inside the cubes?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m loving those too! 😍 I’ll check with Sara to see if we have any information on those!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      We sure appreciate your kind words, CaraCobble! Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts with us, I’ll be sure to pass this along to the rest of the team! 🤗💞 So glad to hear the site feedback and comments have been helpful for you! ❤️

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