Decluttering Cure

Grab a Box (or Three) and Get Ready to Declutter with Apartment Therapy’s September Sweep!

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)
(Image credit: Kath Nash)

Fall always feels like a fresh start to me. Maybe because it’s the unofficial start to nesting season—the time of year when we all begin to pile inside, sip hot drinks, and relish in our homebody tendencies.

Being at home more means wanting to love your home more. And after spending some cozy nights inside, maybe you’re a little more apt to notice that, yeah, the cluttered TV console really does kill your vibe on Netflix night.

All of these are reasons why we think September is the perfect time of year to get a handle on decluttering your space. (Who decided spring cleaning should get top billing on the housekeeping calendar, anyway?) And the best part is, you don’t have to tackle it alone; Apartment Therapy is here to help.

From today until the end of the month, we’re hosting a (totally free!) decluttering challenge we like to call September Sweep. Each weekday until September 28, we’ll be posting a new assignment in our plan to get your home into better shape. Some days we’ll be doing fast-paced, low-touch, 20-minute sweeps to get rid of everyday clutter. Other days will be more ambitious, inspiring you to finally dive in and sort through some blind spots where you, readers, have told us you struggle with figuring out what to let go of—and of course we’ll share Apartment Therapy’s best tips and advice along the way. And then there’s this part that I like to call “slaying the monster,” which will happen a little at a time, all month long. It’s just one way that we can help you really make an impact on your space.

The whole challenge is about progress, not perfection. We just want to leave your home feeling lighter and less cluttered than before.

And the best part is you can sign up to have the assignments delivered right to your inbox, so you don’t miss a thing.

Ready to jump in?

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

Today’s Assignment:

Figure out where you’re going to set up your drop zone.

All month long, you’ll need a spot to set aside the things you want to get out of your home. So try and gather up boxes lying around from recent deliveries, or baskets or bins you can repurpose. Whatever works. You’ll need three of them total.

Grab your three containers and put them somewhere out of the way of daily activities. As the original Apartment Therapist Maxwell likes to say, make it “a place you can comfortably allow to get messy and chaotic for a short while.” A closet or guest room is perfect for this, but any small area or corner will do—maybe under a table or even under the bed, if it fits.

Label one box “sell,” which will ultimately be for items you think have value, just not for you right now. Label the next one “donate,” for things that are in good shape but not worth selling. And label the third one “wanderers;” we’ll use it along the way to collect objects that you want to keep, but that don’t exactly have a home they belong to yet. I find those objects—important papers, action items, and sometimes new and useful things—are the most tricky sort of stuff to manage.

That’s it for today! Don’t worry about filling up these boxes just yet—we’ll get to that tomorrow.

All month long, we invite you to share your progress here in the comments and on Instagram with the #septembersweep hashtag!

Check out all the assignments so far on the September Sweep 2018 Main Page.

(Image credit: Kath Nash)

Download the printable PDF calendar:
September Sweep 2018