Follow this 30-day de-cluttering calendar for a cleaner, more organized home. Each day features one simple thing you can do -- usually in no more than 15 minutes -- to clear your home.
1Take a few minutes to get clear on your goals. Then break each goal into bite-sized tasks.
2Go through the mail and toss or recycle all the junk. If you don't have a shredder, just rip up potentially sensitive documents.
3Set up mail- and key-drop stations. Ideally, pick a mail organizer that has various slots for categories such as "pay me" and "file me." For the key drop, use anything from a large seashell to hooks to a small fabric storage bucket.
4Put a colorful recycling bin right by the mail-drop spot.
5Pick up all papers on the kitchen counters. Put unpaid bills and relevant correspondence in the mail sorter. Toss all paperwork that is out of date or no longer relevant. Toss your child's lingering artwork, or limit it to two pieces at a time and display those on the fridge.
6Teach family members how to use the new mail system and key drop. No mail gets placed on a table or countertop. All junk goes immediately into the recycling bin, and mail into the sorter.
7Pat yourself on the back for your good work so far. Then set up a donation box in your kitchen.
8Organize the cupboard or drawer holding baking sheets and pans. Tension rods can serve as separators.
9 Go through your utensil drawer and put all utensils you haven't used in the past six to 12 months in the donation box.
10De-clutter your collection of drinking glasses. Put any sippy cups, plastic cups and rarely used misfits in the donation box. Toss or recycle orphan sippy-cup parts or chipped, cracked glasses.
11Take a hard look at kitchen appliances. Are there any you really don't use? Better for them to go to a home where they will be used than to gather dust.
12Go through your spice cabinet and organize -- either alphabetically or by type (Italian, grilling, etc.). Discard any past their prime; they will have lost their aroma.
13Got too many flower vases? Again, drop them in the donation box. Churches can often use more of them.
14Organize canned goods in your cupboard or pantry.
15Go through the freezer and toss items that are seriously long in the tooth. If you haven't used them yet, you're probably not going to. Use the general rule of thumb that food will be good for three to six months.
16Remove all orphan wire hangers from closets. Drop them off at your dry cleaner or recycle them.
17Remove all plastic dry-cleaning cover bags from hangers in your closets. These bags lock in chemicals that can damage clothes.
18Pick up all clothing items that are either on the floor of your room or your closet. Either put them in the hamper or put them away.
19De-clutter your belt collection. If you haven't worn one in more than a year, or if it no longer fits, put it in the donation box.
20Edit your sweaters and sweatshirts. If you haven't put it on in at least one year, put it in the donation box.
21Edit your shoes. If you haven't worn them in at least a year, donate.
22Find five other items of clothing you haven't worn in 12 months. Place them in the donation box.
23De-clutter, then dust, the tops of bedside tables. Toss useless papers, recycle old magazines and put books back on bookshelves.
24Put a loose-change jar on a bureau.
25Go through your underwear drawer. Edit/toss items that are no longer usable (ripped tights, socks with holes).
26Clean under the bed. If you're feeling extra-motivated, turn the mattress.
27Toss all outdated toiletries and makeup.
28Get rid of any hair accessories you haven't used in six months.
29Take your donation box to a center where the items can be put to good use.
30Now, stand back and pat yourself on the back for all of that amazing work.