Decluttering Cure

A Tidier Home in 20 Days! The Decluttering Cure Starts Today with One Quick Assignment

published Sep 8, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Apartment Therapy’s Decluttering Cure is a free 20-day decluttering program, guaranteed to leave you with a lighter, leaner home. You can sign up here to get all 20 lessons delivered to your inbox.

I pride myself on being a Clean Person. It’s not only my job (Hi, I’m Taryn, Apartment Therapy’s cleaning editor)—it’s also my coping mechanism. When I need focus, or control, or a hit of dopamine via Instagram likes, I’ll tidy something up around my loft. But the last several months at home have shifted my priorities completely. I’m sure that’s true for many of you, too.

Maybe you’re a clean person like me who fell off their game. Maybe you’ve always been more laid-back about tidying up, but all this time indoors has brought the clutter into un-ignorable focus. Or maybe you’re already pretty clean, and looking for a low-effort way to check back in with your organizing and storage solutions.

No matter your relationship to clutter right now, you’re in the right place.

Today, we’re kicking off the Decluttering Cure. It’s a new name for a tried-and-true concept: Working smarter, not harder, to get your space cleaned up in just 20-ish minutes a day, for 20 days. (You might have known it as the September Sweep in a past life; this year we partnered with Libman to make it bigger and better!)

Sorry, this list is no longer accepting subscriptions.

Feel free to subscribe to our other emails.

Once you sign up for email updates, I’ll be sending you daily assignments designed to help you re-frame your relationship to your stuff. I phrase it that way for a reason: the goal isn’t necessarily getting rid of things. In fact, some days I’ll prompt you to just sit and think, or set up systems to help you better deal with the influx of things (mail, shoes, groceries) that come with operating a household. And yes, some days we’re doing the hard work of, for example, clearing out your wardrobe. But I’ll never give you a rule like “you can only keep five t-shirts.” My personal approach to decluttering isn’t to give you ultimatums, it’s to guide you to making those decisions for yourself. After all, this quarantine experience has made me appreciate more than ever all the things I kept “just in case.” You’re in the driver’s seat here, I’m just your decluttering coach.

So without further ado, make sure you’re signed up, and let’s get to the day one assignment…

Day 1: Set up three decluttering outboxes.

You’re going to have plenty of things to cast out of your home for good by the end of this challenge, so today’s assignment is just to set up a three-box drop zone.

Decluttering Tip: If you’re taking on a multiple-day decluttering project, you can save time by sorting each day’s haul into “sell,” “donate,” and “maybes” boxes. It makes it quick and easy to get everything out of your home when you’re totally done.

→ Create Your Own Decluttering Workbook

Find a spot that’s convenient but won’t get in your way—like the area under your desk, a spot in the garage, or just in a corner somewhere—and that’s big enough to stash three big boxes. Your “boxes” can be baskets or garbage bags or whatever you have lying around. All that’s important is that you have three of them, and label them accordingly:

  • “Sell”: This box will ultimately be for items you think have value, just not for you right now. If you’re not the selling type, feel free to skip this one.
  • “Donate”: For things that are in good shape but not worth selling, or things you want to give away to friends or family, or that you can find a better home for.
  • “Maybes”: We’ll use this box along the way to collect objects you’re not sure about. Maybe it’s something you’re on the fence about tossing, or that doesn’t really have a home in your home just yet.

Once you’ve got your three “boxes” set up and labeled, that’s it for today! Don’t worry about filling up these boxes just yet—we’ll get to that tomorrow.

More Ways to Participate in the Decluttering Cure: