Cleaning & Organization

New Year’s Detox & Declutter Cleaning Challenge

January Detox & Declutter Cleaning Challenge

Who’s up for a challenge? Before you run, don’t worry, I’m not talking about one of those New Year’s fad diets that is over before it started. I’m talking about a real, doable cleaning challenge. Pinterest-lovers unite, ‘cause this one’s for you.

My Crafts, Tips, & DIY board on Pinterest is loaded with cleaning and organizing tips, some of which I actually use and some that I just like to pretend I’ll use one day. One thing I have found myself pinning a lot lately is anything relating to decluttering and living with less. I know, I have a toddler and two dogs, how am I ever going to overcome the clutter? Well, friend, 2017 is the year that I say no to holding on to meaningless things “just in case I’ll need it one day.” So join me. Join me in this detox of all things random just taking up space in your life. Just say no to clutter.

January Detox & Declutter Cleaning ChallengeIn order to complete this challenge successfully you will definitely need to enlist a partner-in-crime, be it your husband or your bestie, because trust me when I say, you’ll need someone there to tell you, “it’s time to get rid of the sheet that Charlie chewed a giant hole through 3 years ago.” What? It’s a very soft sheet.

To make this challenge easier, I’ve broken things down into categories based on where most of us are likely to need a good detox o’ random things. I’ve also included a link to a Google Doc that you can print, stick on the fridge, and check off as you go! Whether you take the whole month of January to complete the challenge or you do this all in one day is up to you. For me, the quicker I get it done, the better I feel and the faster I can move on to something else.

January Detox & Declutter Cleaning Challenge

Be sure to let me know in the comments if I left anything off the list – and of course, how your experience with the cleaning challenge went!


Fridge/Freezer: Toss old, expired, freezer-burned, or unidentifiable food (you know, those Tupperwares in your freezer that may have gravy – or is that caramel sauce?)

Pantry: Toss old, expired food (some things like crackers you can toss in the lake for the ducks). Set aside food that is still good, but you know you’ll never eat, and donate to a food pantry. Consolidate dry foods that are the same (such as pasta or rice).

Junk Drawer/Mail Center: Toss or recycle pens that don’t work/pens with no caps, duplicate takeout menus, post-its that don’t stick, old business cards, and expired coupons. Shred old mail, checks with old bank account numbers, and old receipts.

Drawers/Cupboards: Recycle Tupperware with no matching lid/bottom or Tupperware that is scratched or stained. Donate measuring cups or spoons that aren’t a full set. Donate/Recycle small kitchen appliances that don’t work or are missing pieces.


Purse/Backpack/Diaper Bag

Wallet: Shred/Recycle old club or rewards cards, old receipts, old business cards, and expired credit cards. Empty some loose change into a piggy bank to lighten up your wallet.

Pockets: Toss dried out/old lipbalm or lipstick, old cough drops, broken toys, empty wipes containers, and any other random knick-knacks.  



Drawers: Toss stretched out or broken hair ties, old makeup, expired contacts, dull razors, dried out deodorant, and any hotel samples you know you’ll never use (some charities will take these as donations).  

Cupboards/Linen Closet: Donate old towels, sheets, or pillowcases that have gotten scratchy or faded, toss expired medicine (safely!), and consolidate half-empty bottles of cleaning liquids (that are the same).

Shower/Bath: Toss out old bars of soap, old loofahs, empty shampoo/conditioner bottles, and old body wash (be sure to recycle the containers!)



Toy Bins: Donate or toss out toys/puzzles with missing or broken pieces, torn stuffed animals, random mismatched toys, and broken crayons. Donate toys that have not been played with in a while.

Bookshelves: Donate or recycle books with ripped or missing pages.



Filing Cabinet: Shred old or unnecessary documents.

Desk Drawers: Toss out pens that don’t work or pens without caps, broken paper clips, post-its that don’t stick, pencils without erasers, and donate or toss out old cords/wires/software discs/computer manuals.



Closet: Donate clothes you haven’t worn in awhile, uncomfortable shoes or shoes that don’t fit, old purses/wallets you don’t use, and worn-out belts.

Drawers: Toss out any ripped underwear, socks, or tights, and loose buttons, donate bras that don’t fit, old t-shirts, mismatched socks, and bathing suits that don’t fit.

Other areas that probably need a once-over: your car, garage, attic, basement, foyer, and backyard storage.

For more cleaning inspiration, check out 6 Things in Your House that Need to Be Cleaned ASAP.


Pin It for Later!

This is the ultimate detox and declutter cleaning checklist! Start the new year off right with a clean and clutter-free home! This post has a printable checklist so you can keep track!

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  • KIm
    December 30, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    I pinned this because it will be so helpful in getting all my life in order for the new year. Thank you for this post and all the work it took to put it together!!

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:07 PM

      Thanks so much, Kim! I’m glad you found it useful!

  • Meredith
    December 30, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    I love these ideas! If you can just get through a few a day, it would be huge in our house!

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:07 PM

      Thanks, Meredith! It definitely is manageable if you break it down over a few days!

  • Melissa
    December 30, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    We’ve started decluttering our house. These are helpful tips! Our biggest culprit is toys! 😳 I’m working on putting together a toy rotation and donating others.

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:06 PM

      I love doing toy rotation! I’ve found that it’s very useful in keeping her entertained with different toys – and you’re right, it’s also a good way to declutter!

  • Megan @ The Many Little Joys
    December 30, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Love this! I’m totally feeling the itch to simplify my life and my belongings right now. Count me in! (Oh, and your comment about gravy vs. caramel sauce made me laugh out loud, which is bad because the babies are sleeping).

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:06 PM

      Haha, I’m so glad you understand the freezer struggle! I started labeling things some time ago but you know things get missed every now and then. I keep saying 2017 is the year I get rid of half my stuff, so I agree, I’m all about simplifying and living with less!

  • Paige Rodriguez
    December 30, 2016 at 4:11 PM

    This is great!! I’ve been in the process of trying to get rid of old stuff that I don’t love, need, or use but there’s stuff on your list that I didn’t even think of! Definitely coming back to this for reference 🙂

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:04 PM

      That’s awesome, Paige! I hope you find this useful. Making this list actually reminded me of all the areas I needed to clean!

  • Charissa | thenotsobusymom
    December 30, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Today the hubby and I tackled the pantry. I looked in another cupboard and thought, “We need to keep doing this!”

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:03 PM

      Right? This type of cleaning is kind of addictive. I told my husband the other day, my new mantra is just “throw it out or donate it!”

  • Kathy
    December 30, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    I love this post! The ideas are great and easy to follow. We’re going through a super-organizing phase because our little one is on the move these days. Thanks for sharing!

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:02 PM

      Thanks, Kathy! We did the same thing when Harper started crawling. It really made me clean up and make sure nothing was in reach!

  • Andi
    December 30, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    Oh my goodness, this is EXACTLY what I needed! I’ve been itching to declutter but the whole process felt so overwhelming and I just didn’t know where to start. Thank you for this!

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 2:55 PM

      So glad to help, Andi! Sitting down and making this list actually helped me a lot.

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms
    December 30, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    I love this! I need to declutter and this will help me remember areas I may have missed!

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:01 PM

      Thank you, Vicki! I hope you find it helpful!

  • twoboysonepup
    December 31, 2016 at 12:30 AM

    Great ideas! We just moved and I keep finding things that I just don’t even feel that we have a need for!

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:01 PM

      Thanks! It is incredible what you find when you’re decluttering!

  • workingmommagic
    December 31, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    I LOVE starting the new year by cleaning and purging so this list is right up my alley!! Happy New Year!

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:00 PM

      So do I, it makes the house feel so much more clean. Thanks! You as well!

  • Krysten
    December 31, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    This sounds manageable, I’m going to start this on Monday!
    Do you have any ideas for ‘junk rooms’? I’m trying to make one room into a bedroom and right now it’s just full of crap.

    • Marla
      January 2, 2017 at 3:00 PM

      Hey Krysten, I totally feel you there! Our office has turned into a junk room and we are in the process of cleaning it all out now. Generally, if it’s something I forgot I had, I throw it out or donate it. If it’s something I haven’t used in at least 3 months, something I don’t absolutely love, or something that is broken/missing pieces, same thing. My scrapbooking supplies are getting out of control, so I’m going to start there. Try bringing 3 big trash bags in the room: one for donations, one for trash and one for recycling. Hope this helps!!