Declutter the House
Cleaning

Challenge Accepted: Declutter the House in a Month (Week 3)

My house is looking…better. Kind of. To be honest, during the day when my kids are running around and playing, the house looks the same. But in the evening when we pick up or early morning when it’s just me awake, I see progress. 

If you’re new here, check out my Week One (main living areas) and Week Two (kitchen, refrigerator, freezer, pantry) posts to catch up.  

This week my motivation is waning. I’ve made some decent progress but I just don’t have the pep in my step that I had the first two weeks.  

My planned areas to clean this week are the playroom, our library room, and the hall closet.  

Declutter the Playroom

Declutter the House

Goal: to be able to see the floor regularly

Plan: Put everything back in its designated space and get rid of things that are broken or don’t belong there along the way. 

Time it took: 15 minutes

I only have one “step” in this plan because the playroom is really not as difficult to go through as it may seem. A few months ago I wrote a post on decluttering kids’ toys and I truly believe in it. If you want to read more about it, check it out here. 

I was feeling very unmotivated so I did exactly what I do in that situation: set a timer. I set a timer for 15 minutes and went all in.  

I started with blankets. My kids like to make forts and nests in the trampoline so we always have way too many big blankets. Once they are all folded in a pile on the couch, the room immediately looks more put together. 

Next, I started getting things off the floor. Play food, fidget spinners, pool noodle lightsabers, and cat toys litter the playroom floor at all times!  

I grabbed a few of the baskets that we keep on our shelves and laid them out on the couch. When I picked up something that belonged in that basket, I tossed it in. Simple. 

There were a few things I had to assemble or find pieces for, but to my kids’ credit, it wasn’t too bad.  

Declutter the House

When my 15-minute alarm went off, I was pretty much done cleaning. And to be honest, besides a few broken goody-bag toys and cat toys, I didn’t get rid of anything!  

I keep my playroom so paired down that everything in there truly gets played with. I cannot say that about other areas of my house, but I’m pretty proud of it in this room!

Declutter the Library Room

Declutter the House

Goal: To get rid of storage piles on the floor and have a little room to breathe in our bookshelves.  

Plan:  

  1. Go through the books. Remove broken or outgrown books and put them in the donate pile
  2. Sort through the storage pile in the corner and donate/put away as needed
  3. Sift through the closet (if time and motivation allow) and clean out craft drawers

Time it took: 40 minutes

My kids love to read and my husband and I encourage it like crazy. We hardly ever say no to more books and our shelves are often overflowing (see photos).  

It’s really hard for me to justify getting rid of books unless they are broken beyond repair. It’s probably the thing I hold onto best! But we’ve had several new book additions so it is time. 

I started with our book pile in the living room. I sorted through which books belong to us and which are library books. The library books will stay on the living room shelf and all others will reside in their library room home.  

Declutter the House

Categorize

As I took everything off the shelf in the library room, I started sorting into piles of different categories: board books, story collections, series, books in Spanish, chapter books, etc. This helped me to see what we have a lot of and could declutter. 

Sure enough, board books and readers won that challenge. We had so many board books that it turned into two piles. I went through and removed some that were worse for wear or that my kids just never really latched onto. 

Readers were easy enough. We had several that are based on characters that my kids love, but we’ve also gotten very random ones over the years that I’ve always disliked reading. Those moved to the donation pile.

After categorizing, I moved everything back to the shelves and admired my work. 

Toy Library 

As I’ve mentioned, this is our library/plant room. Toys are included in the library aspect. The toys on the shelves in this room are available to play with, but either have to stay in this room or have to be brought back and put away when they’re done playing.  

Living room toys are sometimes left out with tower magnatile creations, but library room toys must get cleaned up! The kids are pretty good about cleaning these up and putting them back in order, but they just needed a little tidying up. 

I keep my kids’ toys so curated that I will probably not declutter any of these toys until Christmas. These are our Montessori-type toys and can be adapted over multiple age ranges so I love having them.  

Declutter the House

The book and toy library corner took about 20 minutes to sort through, categorize, and tidy back on the shelves. Time well spent!

Corner pile

Declutter the House

This room is basically where things go to die…or sit in limbo before I figure out what to do with them. For example, our dining room bench is in that corner. The leg broke on it about 3 months ago and I still haven’t decided if I’m going to try to get a new leg for it and fix it, or just toss it completely.  

I have a decent pile of craft things I stack in the corner that need to be put away in my craft drawers. But for that to happen, I need to clean out my craft drawers! The other things in this corner are just random things that have a place but are not currently there. So I just have to dive in. 

I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel like cleaning out all my craft drawers at this moment so I just tidied enough for my yarn to fit back in the closet. I prefer to declutter crafts after the winter season because I go through a lot of projects when we’re holed up, hibernating. 

The next pile of stuff is things I don’t have room for anywhere else. The crates house our kinetic sand, tulle, and a few odds and ends of kids’ coloring stuff. I tossed a few things that have seen better days and reorganized the pile. 

One day I will either get a proper shelving/storage unit for this room or I will just end up tossing more things to make it all fit. I would prefer not to have crates stacked on the floor haha. 

My owl artwork. My mom recently renovated the sunroom in my nana’s house and I claimed this vintage owl artwork. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, so for now it hangs out here.

Declutter the Hall Closet

Goal: Everything has a place and fits in a bin

Plan: 

  1. Start at the bottom and work up to the top
  2. Go through each bin and discard or remove items no longer needed
  3. Find a place for everything that is not in a bin or on a turntable

Time it took: It didn’t. I didn’t do it. 

I don’t know if I keep putting off this hall closet on purpose, or if I just need to come to terms with the fact that 2 spaces a week is my cap when it comes to decluttering. Either way, I’m not going to put it on my to-do list for next week. But I will get through it eventually!

Make sure you stick around and find out by subscribing to my weekly blog updates: 

Next week I’m doing alllll the bedrooms! It’s about that time when summer clothes need to transition into fall clothes. So here we go!

Declutter the House

For more posts like this, read these!

Declutter the House in a Month (Week One)
How to Keep Your House Clean with Kids
Save Money & Time with an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Routine
How to Start Spring Cleaning (The Easy Way)
The Best Organization and Routines for Back to School
A Break from Laundry: Why You Need to Stop Doing Laundry 
How to Manage Kids’ Artwork

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