This routine to declutter your home for 30 minutes a day for a week is developed with some flexibility baked in: you can focus on one room a day, or you can double (or triple) up to give yourself some days off.
Personally, I like to do a little bit everyday, I find that over time, doing something daily makes it easier to stay on task (think about how hard it is to get back into “work mode,” on Monday morning after 2 days off). But realistically, you may not have the time or energy everyday. The important thing is to touch every space quickly once a week.
If this is your first week following the Routine, know that each week will get easier and easier.
Declutter the kitchen
Decluttering your kitchen regularly is important for your health and sanity as it's the main source of food and many times the main communication hub of your household.
After a long day of work on Monday, coming home and spending time in the kitchen engenders a nice "nesting" feeling for me. Just me? OK, try making this ritual more palatable by treating yourself to a glass of red wine or your favorite beverage, listening to the evening news on the radio (watching TV is hard when you're trying to declutter your fridge) or talk to a friend on speaker phone.
Extra Credit: Work on your Meal Plan for the week.
Declutter the bedroom + closet
Don't fear, I am not advocating a full-on closet overhaul on a weeknight. (You can reserve that for a rainy Saturday morning.) I am asking that you take 15 minutes to do a quick clutter sweep which will make the whole getting-dressed-in-the-morning process markedly easier.
Manage your mail + paper
Time to go through the mail. Deep breath, because mail is the largest source of paper clutter in your home and the most time consuming to sort. Having a plan of attack at the ready will aid you in keeping this huge source of clutter under control. Tackle mail and paper clutter more easily by establishing 3 piles:
We're hitting the kitchen for the second time this week because it's such a high-traffic area (in fact, if you have the time I recommend decluttering your kitchen every day).
The second time around may be a bit easier than the first because you've already been through your cabinets, refrigerator and pantry and have swept over the counter tops and table. This time, maybe concentrate and spend a little extra time on the area that tends to be the most troublesome.
Extra Credit: Check in with your Meal Plan.
Fridays are for living rooms because the living room is the easiest room to declutter, and after a long week of work, I'm guessing you could use a break. Living rooms may actually accumulate more clutter than any other room, but since most are naturally organized into zones (entertainment, toys, reading, desk) it is by far the easiest room in which to spot and remove clutter.
Time to hit the bedroom again, most notably, the closet. The more often you go through your closet the less time each session will take.
After 4 weeks of regularly decluttering and straightening up your closet and dresser, you will notice a strange thing happening: less stress, less random piles, more cohesion. So get back in there!
Start the week fresh by cleaning and decluttering the bathroom. I typically wake up with a serious case of The Mondays most weeks and prefer to get ready for work knowing the bathroom sink and counter are clutter-free, my make up is streamlined, and I know exactly where to find my favorite cucumber shower gel.
Next stop is the entryway. If you can manage decluttering this space every single day, even better, but at least once a week, spend 20-30 minutes declutter this area.