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How to Declutter Your House in One Week – A 7 Day Room by Room Challenge!

Clutter. It can weigh you down in more ways than one!  More stuff means more to clean, more to organize, more to store, more to keep you busy, and more to stress about.  I don’t want more.  I want less.  If you want less too, then read on for how to declutter your house in one week.

As a Mom to young kids, I am no stranger to clutter. Every time a birthday or Christmas rolls around, it seems that we just pile more and more stuff into the house.

And as we acquire more and more stuff, I feel more and more like a drill sergeant… “Clean this room now! Pick up your Legos! Get your toys off the floor!”

It’s amazing how my kids can understand computer coding, but they can’t seem to figure out how to clean up a toy when they’re done playing with it.

And the constant mess stresses me out.

So, I try my best to keep a clutter-free home.

cluttered house with text overlay "how to declutter your whole house in one week"

If you want to tidy up too, then use this easy decluttering guide to get started and eliminate the clutter!

And be sure to check out some of my other decluttering ideas if you think that tackling your whole home in one week is just too much to accomplish:

But first, why should you declutter your house in one week?

Because Marie Kondo says so…

Just kidding!

There are actually some very strong arguments for why you should declutter your house in one week:

Clutter causes stress

It’s been scientifically proven.  According a study done by UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families, mothers especially are susceptible to higher levels of stress if they feel that their homes are cluttered or messy.

woman sitting on couch overwhelmed by clutter

(Raising my hand!)  I don’t know about you, but I can definitely attest to the accuracy of this statement.

I don’t even really feel like we have that much stuff, but that doesn’t stop me from looking around and thinking “Why can’t we just sell everything and live in a tiny home?”.

Of course my daughter’s Barbie Dream house would take up half of it, so that’s probably not feasible.

Clutter is expensive

If you have piles and piles of stuff, you’re more susceptible to buying more and more stuff.

Think about it… If you put the work in to declutter your house in a week, then you probably won’t want to mess up your new neat and tidy space by buying more stuff that you probably don’t need.

Plus, after you’ve gone through the process to declutter your house, you’ll be confronted with the sheer amount of “stuff” that you are decluttering.  You spent your hard-earned money on that stuff.  Seeing it in big heaping trash piles is enough for even the biggest impulse-buyer to lock up her wallet.

Trust me… when we made a big cross-country move about 5 years ago, we took a serious inventory of what we had and what we actually needed.  We got rid of A LOT of stuff.  Seeing it in trash bags is like seeing piles of money going in the dumpster.  But, it’s helped us to think twice before making impulse purchases.

How to Prepare Yourself to Declutter in One Week

Do you just want to curl up in a ball in your jam-packed closet when you think about the sheer amount of “stuff” in your house?

It’s okay to feel that way!

But don’t be so overwhelmed by the clutter that you give up before you even start! And read this post for help: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed by the Mess

If you’re going to successfully declutter your whole house in a week, you need two very important things:

  • Time (preferably uninterrupted)
  • Dedication

Make sure that you set aside enough time to complete this monumental task. That means putting your phone out of reach so you aren’t tempted to grab it with each notification ding.

And, get in the right mindset. Maybe blare some Taylor Swift?

Commit to getting one whole room done each day. Or, if you can only work during your toddler’s nap time (so she doesn’t see you throwing her 28,000 stuffed animals in the donation bin), then commit to finishing one room per week.

Questions to Ask Yourself When You Declutter Your House in One Week

In order to successfully declutter your house in one week, you need to ask yourself some tough questions.

Yes, you will be getting rid of a lot of “stuff”.  Yes, you did spend your hard-earned money on that “stuff”.  But remember, that “stuff” is wearing you down – that’s why you’re here, after all.  Be prepared to part with some a lot of your belongings by asking yourself these questions:

  • Have I used or worn this in the last year?
  • Does this item bring me joy? (as suggested by Marie Kondo)
  • Does this item have sentimental value?
  • Am I holding onto this item with the assumption that I may need it in the future?
  • Would somebody else benefit from having this item?
  • Is this item broken, missing pieces, or worn out?
  • Is there a better or more efficient way to store this item? (i.e., for paper clutter/photographs – can I convert this to digital format?)

And when the questions get tough to answer, remember why you are decluttering in the first place.  

Maybe it’s because you want to be more organized to increase your productivity, or because you want to spend less time cleaning things up, or maybe all of the extra “stuff” around your house is just stressing you out.  

Maybe opening your “junk drawer” is like opening Panora’s box, and if you ever needed to find anything in that drawer…. well… good luck…

junk drawer with clutter

Whatever the reason, when the decluttering seems daunting, remember why you wanted to declutter your house in one week in the first place.

The 8 Piles ‘o Junk that You Need

Organization is the key to decluttering. You don’t want to just start throwing stuff all together in a huge mess, because most of it will probably never make it out of your house.

Instead, before you start to declutter your house in one week, gather 8 large cardboard boxes and clearly label them as follows:

**Note – I prefer using cardboard boxes because then you aren’t fiddling with opening the trash bag each time you need to put something in it.

  • Donate – Items to donate to local thrift stores, missions, or churches
  • Family/Friends – Items in good condition that you think your family or friends would love to have
  • Sell – Items that you feel are of value and are worth your time trying to sell on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or Ebay
  • Relocate – Items that you wish to keep, but belong in a different room of the house
  • Store – Items that you need to keep for sentimental reasons, or items that are only used seasonally
  • Trash – Items that are unsalvageable or worthless
  • Recycle – (Optional – if you have a recycling bin)
  • Repurpose/Fix – Items that you think can be up-cycled or that may require small fixes (Only save these items if you will commit to fixing or reusing them)

As you finish one room and move on to the next, take your boxes with you. Of course, some box categories may be so full that you need to create second and third boxes.

Once you are completely done decluttering your whole house in a week, all of your clutter is neatly separated into the appropriate boxes and ready to be removed from your home for good.

100 Things You Need to Declutter from Your House

Yes, you’re ready to go! (Cue Rocky theme song!). You’ve set aside time, you’ve prepped your boxes and garbage bags, and you are determined to reclaim your home from the piles of “stuff”.

But, what the heck should you declutter?

cluttered room with text overlay that says "declutter these 100 things today"

Read this for a HUGE list of 100 things to declutter that you probably have laying around, but really don’t need. And, there’s a handy printable PDF checklist so you don’t miss a thing!

How to Deal with Paper Clutter

Paper clutter is in a category all by itself! Utility bills, catalogs, coupons, insurance policies, credit card statements, birthday party invitations… The amount of paper clutter that comes into our house on a daily basis is crazy!

And if you don’t have a great (and SIMPLE!) paper organization system in place, then you can easily become overwhelmed… not to mention lose important documents or forget to pay bills. Oops.

organized family papers

So I’ve written an entire post on my EASY home filing system to organize paperwork! Be sure to check it out when you’re ready to tackle your paper clutter.

What to Do When You are Done Decluttering Your House?

Yeah! You’re finished! (Cue “We are the Champions” song!) – And ignore my overuse of cliched sports movies songs. 🙂

So what’s next?

Get your neatly separated boxes of stuff out of your house for good. Here are some tips for what to do with each big box of clutter:

sticky notes that say keep recycle sell declutter trash donate

Donate

Be sure that items from your donate pile are packed inside a trash bag or box that you no longer want.  That way, it is easier to just drop off the whole box at the thrift store. Your local thrift store doesn’t want items that are broken or missing pieces, or clothing with holes, so switch those to the trash pile.

Give Away

Separate items that you decided to give away to family and friends into piles for each person.  Make separate bags for each person’s pile and label with his or her name.  Store in your garage or the trunk of your car so that you have the items the next time you see that person.

Sell

If you plan to sell a large amount of items to local seasonal consignment sales, decide if it is really worth your time to prep your items.  Prepping items for seasonal consignment sales usually involves hanging them on hangers, pinning them in place, making price tags, and dropping off your items.  

This process can easily take 8+ hours for 2-3 trash bags worth of clothes. Or, for an easier option, sell gently used items to online consignment sites like thredup.com or swap.com.

Relocate to New Room

Go through items in this box and put them away where they belong.

Trash & Recycle

If you have a TON of stuff in this pile, contact your local waste center to get info about dropping off your trash and recyclables.  If you have trash pick-up service, make sure that they don’t have any restrictions on the amount of trash that you can leave for pickup. And if you do leave it all at the curb for your garbage man, maybe leave a little treat for him, too, as a “thank you”.

Store

Use my handy printable labels (available in my FREE 7 Day Declutter Your Nest Challenge) to label storage totes. Group like items together and store in your labeled totes for easy access when you need them.

Repurpose or Fix

Set aside all items from this box and then commit to actually fixing them.  If a few months go by and you still haven’t repurposed or fixed items in this box, trash them.

Free Printable One Week Decluttering Challenge

Want daily motivation and reminders to declutter?  Join my FREE 7 Day Declutter Your Nest Challenge to set off on the path to Stress Less and Nest Better! 

printable one week declutter challenge

Get help to declutter your house in a week! Here’s what you’ll get in your FREE 19 Page Printable:

  • A new room to focus on for each day, complete with a printable checklist to make sure you don’t miss a thing
  • Things you should keep for each room
  • Printable tags for each room to help you organize the essentials that you keep
  • My best decluttering tips and hacks for each room
  • What to do with the clutter to get rid of it for good
  • Plus, a bonus printable PDF list of 100+ Items that You Need to Get Rid of Now

The one week decluttering challenge is available in my freebies library, and I’ll send you the password as a gift when you sign up for my newsletter using the form below:

And be sure to check out some of my other popular posts on decluttering and cleaning:

printable one week decluttering challenge mockup

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2 Comments

  1. Am looking forward to getting the info. Can’t wait to get going on it!!!

    1. Best of luck decluttering Donna! I just did a little mini declutter of our fridge last night, and it feels SO nice to have it done!