Declutter Challenge (Be Intentional #11): Get Rid of 5 Items Everyday for 30 Days Plus How To Maximize Your Stuff

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Welcome to the 30-day declutter challenge!

You are going to LOVE this challenge. It is easy, it is beneficial, it can make you money, it can simplify your life, it can make your life easier!

So what is a declutter challenge?

  • This challenge is to get rid of 5 items everyday for the next 30 days!
  • This will end up being a total of 150 items!  
  • After that, we are going to recommend that you get rid of 5 items a week as maintenance!

There will be some great results from this baby step!

  1. Your home will become decluttered!
  2. You will find things that you may have been looking for!
  3. You may be able to make a bit of money or get a tax write-off for donations.  Either way, this is helping your home and financial goals.

So why 5 items?

Well the answer is quite simple really….we are doing baby steps.  Five items a day is easy, quick and doesn’t require a huge change.  Finding five things somewhere in your home each day can literally take less than 10 minutes.  If you want to do more, don’t stop – just try to at least find 5 things!

Step #1 in Set-Up:

Set up a spot in a basement, garage or empty room with a few different boxes. Then mark each box with this label:

#1 = Donate

#2 = Garage Sale

#3 = Upsell

#4 = Borrowed Items

#5 = Garbage

The first three can bless others and make you a bit of money in the process.  Obviously, the donate box isn’t going to generate a lot of money as the money would come in the form of a tax-write off, just get a receipt.

Your garage sale box(es) will get you closer to making money in the form of a garage sale (and that season is coming up soon for most of us!) and we will be sharing garage sale tips again this year soon to maximize your garage sale opportunity.

Your “upsell” box are items that are best sold via other routes than a garage sale.  Really, garage sales use to be the only and main form of selling second hand items.  Today, you have the online world.  If you have something of higher value, rare, unique, or a large item – a garage sale is probably not going to be the best route.

Sell books, dvds and other items to Amazon for potentially a lot more. Sell furniture online locally for a greater return,  and the same for unique, rare and valuable items.

This way you are getting your clutter cleared out and making money at the same time to also help you and your family reach your financial goals sooner.

For even more ideas on what to do with your clutter to earn money is found in our ebook “How To Build Your $1,000 Emergency Fund in 30-days.”  If you are a subscriber to our regular email, you can receive this ebook for free!

Then you have the box for the items that you find that you borrowed from someone or somewhere (like the library) and need to be returned.  This is also a box that we use for not only “borrowed” but for items that I know someone needs and we don’t and I can put it in this box to give it to them specifically.

Finally, the garbage box really shouldn’t need explanation.  We want you to just find and toss trash, but try not to count these as the 5 actual items. Still find 5 items that can go into the first three boxes.

There is a caveat!

If selling your stuff is too daunting and difficult – don’t hold on to it! It is better to get rid of it in a donation or one-day garage sale (even if you aren’t getting top dollar for it!) then to hang onto it forever in hopes of selling it.

The goal is to declutter with the potential side benefit of making money.

Step #2 in Set-Up: 

The next thing we recommend setting up is a place for the memories and sentimental items to go, the ones you don’t want to get rid of, but are perhaps causing a bit of clutter or not necessary to be out right now.  These would be the memories and special items that you like to reflect on, keep for the future, pass down to someone, etc.

To prepare for this:

  • Set up a bin or box for each person or family unit.
  • Mark each bin with the person’s name.
  • Make this accessible during the challenge, but not in the way (thus causing more clutter) like in a storage room or basement.
  • As you find items that you don’t necessarily want to get rid of, but you don’t want out causing more clutter and collecting dust, place this item in the appropriate box!
  • At the end of the challenge, tape up or close the lid on this bin and store it (still making it somewhat accessible for future finds) in a storage room, basement, etc. OR give it to the person or family member it is intended for! The OR option works well for those family members no longer living at home. :)

For us, we still have 5 kids at home and will for a while.  We have a bin for each of them that we are keeping sentimental items, art work, etc. for them and when they move out one day, the bin goes with them. :)

This declutter challenge starts today and ends in 30 days and then go onto a maintenance program where you have a box out in the garage/basement where you can put 5 items in each week and then donate when it’s full!

Now we are going to have areas of focus each week to help you stay focused and on track.

To get started, you will want to request to receive the Weekly Focus Areas Schedule that will be delivered right into your email box.  This is a reminder that will lead you to the focus areas each week and help to keep you on track and motivated to keep going!

Will you join us for this 30-Day Declutter Challenge? 

What tips do you have for those deciding what to keep and what to get rid of? 

One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!


  1. Vicki says

    I am fairly new to “The Thrifty Couple” and just want you to know how much I am enjoying and appreciating it. Your suggestions are sound and broken down to be easily accomplished which brings success and a feeling of success! Thank you so much.
    Regarding decluttering: a friend of mine told me about a book that her mother used quite a few years ago. I checked it out and found it very helpful and enjoyable reading as well. It is CLUTTER’S LAST STAND by Don Aslett.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing with us Vicki! We haven’t read Don Aslett’s book (yet!) but have visited his stores numbers of times. He actually grew up and started his business not far from where Cassie and I first met. He has some great products and ideas so we can only imagine how great his book is. Thanks again!

  2. says

    We SO need this!!! We moved into his grandparent’s house about a month ago. After his grandparents had passed away, his mom and dad lived here and then when his mom passed away last year, his dad moved out. Unfortunately, no one dealt with the deceased family member’s items and they are all still here. Not to mention the mess from the mice that moved in while no one was living here. So we have a house full of antiques and collectibles plus all our stuff. :( Makes for a VERY cluttered house!!!

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