Got Too Much Stuff? Here’s Your Step-by-Step Declutter Plan of Action

In this post we’ll review a declutter plan of action to get rid of 1000 items — inspired by my own 80 days of Slow Decluttering and these declutter tips.

[Oh, and there’s a printable!]

It all began with an impromptu one-week declutter challenge in the spring of 2018. Then, almost before I knew it, 80 days passed and I had decluttered 1000 ITEMS from my home and garage. I look around now at the areas that used to bother me — and now they don’t! Instead, I smile.

So, when I say Slow Decluttering WORKS, I’m speaking from experience. If you’re overwhelmed by the clutter you see every day, keep reading… I’m going to tell you how to get the same results.

Right now, imagine how your home would function without all the clutter. REALLY picture it in your mind. Then, imagine how your mind would function if you didn’t have to deal with all the clutter.

When things function well — in this case, our homes and our minds — everything is better. No piles, no moving three things to get to the one thing you really need. No nagging feelings of guilt about “that stuff I really should sort through.” Because it’s GONE. And life is SO MUCH EASIER.

But how do we get there? Heck, how do we even start when there is just so much STUFF?

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This declutter plan of action is written from my own experience. If I can do this without stressing, I know you can too!

The Decluttering Goal

Less stuff = more happy. Here's your stress-free declutter plan of action.Of course, the END goal is to have a completely decluttered home and life.

But let’s begin with something tangible: 1000 items.

Why 1000? Because that’s a LOT of stuff, but it takes a lot less time to get there than you think!

If you declutter 10 items a day, you can be there in just over three months. If you declutter 10 minutes a day, you’ll probably be there much sooner. Break it down into 100-item mini-goals, and it’s even easier!

So now there’s a solid goal — 1000 items. How are you going to get there?

The Declutter Plan of Action

Choose your first area. I usually recommend the bedroom, but it can be any space that really bothers you or makes life more difficult because you have to deal with or look at the clutter every single day. I began with an overloaded wire shelf that had been collecting too much stuff for YEARS.

Start today. Make the time. Build the momentum.

Commit to decluttering 10 items or 10 minutes every day. I decluttered for about 10 minutes a day and got rid of 1000 items in 80 days. Totally possible!

Make use of trash bags. Black bags are best. Some things are too icky to pass along and aren’t suitable for recycling. You’re reclaiming your home and your mind here, not saving the world. (You have to save yourself first.)

Set up a donations box. If you have space in your home, that works. Or put a box in the trunk of your car. Just make sure other family members don’t start going through the box and “reclaiming” things you’re trying to get rid of! This also means you should deliver your donations as often as possible to make sure they’re GONE. I dropped stuff off about every three weeks.

Take pictures. Always take “before” pictures of the space, and then photos of everything you declutter. Make sure to take an “after” picture when you finish an area. Be sure to look back at how far you’ve come!

Count every item. Even one old pen or broken cup counts, and those things add up fast.

Use the printable tracking sheet included in the Declutter Plan of Action and keep a running total of your decluttering. One sheet is enough to track one month. Print more sheets as you need them.

Don’t give up! It’s only 10 minutes or 10 items at a time. You can do this!

>> CLICK HERE to subscribe and get the printable file delivered to your inbox <<

printable declutter plan of action from

Related: Using Motivational Phrases as Part of a Positive Daily Routine

What to Declutter First?

Not quite sure what to get rid of first? Or maybe you’re afraid of tossing something you’ll wish you hadn’t? Here’s a quick list of 25 types of items you can declutter and never miss:

  1. clothes that don’t fit
  2. damaged clothing and linens
  3. uncomfortable shoes
  4. clothing you haven’t worn in over a year
  5. CDs (do I even need to mention cassette tapes?)
  6. DVDs (EVERYONE has movies they’ll never watch again)
  7. VHS tapes (for goodness’ sake, they don’t even manufacture VCRs now)
  8. storage cabinets that used to hold the above-mentioned items
  9. books you no longer love or never intend to read again (books are meant to be read and enjoyed, pass them on)
  10. magazines (NEVER save an entire magazine for one article, either find it online or rip out the pages and place them in a swipe file folder, but ONLY if it’s something you will pursue this year)
  11. expired food
  12. pantry items that you don’t know why you have
  13. chipped glasses and mugs (unless it’s your lucky writing mug — just sayin’ — that stuff is different)
  14. plastic dishes from when your children were little
  15. cooking tools, appliances, utensils you haven’t used in over a year (and if it’s something you only use 1-2 times per year, evaluate whether you can make something else work)
  16. phone books
  17. take-out menus
  18. non-working pens, dried markers, broken pencils
  19. old make-up
  20. plastic containers without lids
  21. plastic lids without containers
  22. excess plastic containers (especially if they don’t stack easily)
  23. expired insurance paperwork (homeowner’s, automobile, etc.)
  24. unnecessary tax paperwork (read more here: Here’s How Long You Should Keep Your Tax Returns )
  25. anything you’re tired of dusting

Related post: Exactly Where to Start Decluttering Your Home

What to Do With Your Stuff

No judgements here. If you need to chuck your decluttered items into the trash just to have it GONE, then you need to do what’s right for YOU. Use a heavy-duty black trash bag and lose the guilt.

Other options besides the trash, if you’re up to it:

Donate (immediately — you don’t want boxed clutter sitting around to be re-absorbed)

Yard sale (don’t try to sell adult clothing, and weigh the time investment vs. monetary return before doing a yard sale)

Sell online or in-person.

Give it to someone who will sell it, and either work out a deal for part of the profits, or wish them well with their sales and don’t think about it again.

Re-gift (haha, had to see if you were paying attention — please don’t actually do that)

Enjoy a clean and decluttered home

Okay, now it’s time to actually DO THIS!

Here are your immediate action steps:

1. Read these two posts:
The Slow Declutter: A Lower-Stress Way to Clear Your Home
4 Mindset Shifts to Help Clear Your Cluttered House

2. Subscribe to the Filling the Jars email list >CLICK HERE<to receive and print out your Action Plan.

3. Like/Follow the Filling the Jars Facebook page. Scroll back through the posts to see my decluttering photos. 1000 things in 80 days — it really happened, which is how I know you can do this too! I’m still decluttering and posting regularly, so please feel free to jump in and comment with your own progress.

4. Follow the Declutter Plan of Action and celebrate every milestone (100… 200… 300…) with a happy dance! 🙂 


If you like this post, please take a moment to share on Pinterest or your favorite social media. Thank you!

post with simple decluttering tips that really work…

6 thoughts on “Got Too Much Stuff? Here’s Your Step-by-Step Declutter Plan of Action”

  1. Great Tips! I have a huge shed full of STUFF that is so totally overwhelming. I will try our your 10 things/10 minutes strategy.

  2. There is no doubt that removing unnecessary ‘stuff’ out somehow results in a lot less stress. We will feature your post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop.

  3. This is a very motivating post, Julie! I so need to do some decluttering, but it is really overwhelming. And experts like Marie Kondo who advise marathon declutters where you remove every item of clothing and put it in a pile just don’t work for me – my chronic illness greatly limits my stamina. But 10 minutes a day? I could do that! In fact, I actually have a written goal to spend 10 minutes a day decluttering – but I rarely do it. You’ve motivated me to actually try to meet my goal.



    Book By Book

    P.S. My son just pulled out an old audiobook on cassette tapes last week when he had his concussion, and we do still have a VCR! lol But I know we are in the minority 🙂

  4. I love this post! This is exactly the kind of action plan I need. I’ve pinned it to my “Organizing” board.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

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