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The One-A-Day / 365 Plan – The Best Way To Declutter Your Home Ever!

When it comes to finding the best way to declutter your home of the “things” you don’t use, need or want anymore, it really is hard to beat the simplicity and effectiveness of the One-A-Day/365 Plan.

Not only is the plan easy to start and stick with, you won’t believe how quickly it can help you simplify your living space – and your life!

Chances are, you may have never heard of the One-A-Day/365 Plan. And to be honest, that is completely understandable. It is actually a name we made up some 7+ years ago. All in an effort to describe the simple but incredibly effective method that helped us finally streamline and organize our home.

best way to declutter
One of the best ways to reduce stress in the home is to reduce the clutter in it! Getting rid of unused and unneeded items can make day to day life so much easier.

When it comes to simplifying life and living without stress – nothing quite compares to decluttering. Freeing yourself of unneeded possessions can truly be life-changing. But the process itself can be a hard one to start, and even harder to stick with!

For us, that is where the One-A-Day/365 plan works like a charm. And the best part of all, it doesn’t cost a dime. In fact, not only is it free, it will actually help you to put more money in the bank. Now that is a win-win all the way around!

With that in mind, here is a step by step look at how the One-A-Day/365 plan works!

The One-A-Day/365 Plan – The Best Way To Declutter Ever!

Two Basic Rules

There are only 2 main rules to the plan. And they happen to be extremely plain, simple, and easy to follow!

  • Rule #1 – For one entire year, you need to get rid of a minimum of one possession each day that is no longer necessary or needed in your life. (more on the necessary/needed part later)
  • Rule #2 – With the exception of food, you can’t purchase any new item for your home unless it either replaces something already in the house, or fills a new need.

For example, if an old blender gets tossed, a new blender can come in. As for the “new need” rule, if you happen to take up the guitar as a hobby, obviously, a new guitar can come in.

With just two rules, it sounds pretty easy, right? Now let’s take a look at how those two rules work with the entire process. We will start with rule #1, getting rid of one possession every day.

Eliminating One Possession A Day – The Best Way To Declutter Your Home

For rule one, you will be eliminating at least one item each and every single day. 7 days a week. 365 days straight.

Here is the important part, it doesn’t matter where it comes from! For us, one day it might have been an old pair of sneakers in a closet. The next day, a broken rake in the garage. Then perhaps a pile of sweatshirts that no longer fit, or 47 coffee cups stuffed into a cupboard that will never see coffee again.

The key is to find something every single day that you simply don’t need, and get it out of your home! You might ask, why not get rid of everything all at once? Because quite honestly, eliminating an item or a set of items each day is a very attainable and viable goal. (See : The 3 Simple Secrets To Setting Goals)

You know all of those old shoes piled up in a closet or corner of the garage? It is time to get rid of them!

Why One-A-Day Works – The Best Way To Declutter Your Home

It is easy to go through a pile of old sweatshirts in a single day. But trying to clean an entire closet out all at once can be hard. First, just finding the time can be hard. But it also can quickly get overwhelming. Remember, 1 item or set of items each day, that’s it!

Getting rid of everything at once is not only stressful, it can be wasteful. You may throw things out you truly will need just in an effort to complete the chore. That means having to buy it again later when you need it.

But throwing it all out at once also means you don’t have time to find to recycle, sell, or give away items that can help someone else. And at the end of the day, that is just wasteful all the way around! (See more on this at the end of the article)

The Power Of A Daily Goal – The Best Way To Declutter Your Home

What that daily goal accomplishes is that it keeps decluttering at the forefront of your thoughts. As you go about your daily routine, you will start to notice and think about other things that can go the next day. And the day after that. And so on, and so on. See : The Power Of Do – How To Accomplish Daily Goals

Junk drawers and kitchen utensil drawers can be the catch all for clutter. We took our one a day approach to these drawers, counting cleaning out one drawer as a daily chore!

But here is something even better: As you rid yourself slowly of the clutter, it allows you to see the importance of what still remains. And as days turn into months of eliminating, that is where the real progress takes place.

The first few weeks were simple. Mary and I had mountains of clothes that we had never worn nor used in years. Those were easy targets to clear out. As were the old shoes, an old car bag phone (remember those?), and 47 coffee cups!

But a few months in, we began to really have to think what to eliminate. We would go out the garage, basement or kitchen and really have to think about what we needed and used. That is when the items that are always passed over in an annual clean-up begin to finally disappear. And along with it, the clutter!

The Payoff – The Best Way To Declutter Your Home

I cannot begin to express the feeling that comes over you when you walk into your garage, kitchen or any room in the house for that matter and begin to see the clutter gone. It is less to clean, less to take care of and less to store. But most importantly of all, less to stress about!

Some added advantages we never knew…

For us, it made us realize we need far less than we ever thought we did. It’s also nice to realize that through the process you start to unknowingly reduce what you now purchase. You will find yourself asking “do we need it”, “why”, and “what will it replace”? 

There are so many better options than simply tossing your old items into the trash!

Those three little questions keep impulse purchases to near zero. And in the process, keep more in your bank account!

Finally, it makes you realize the true importance of what you do hold on to. For us, it was objects like a special coffee cup from the boys to their mom for a mothers day gift and a wine rack built from my dad’s old barn wood. Both of which now stand out more since all of the other “stuff” is gone!

Don’t Just Throw Things Away! The Best Way To Declutter Your Home

A bit earlier in the article we talked about what to do with the items you no longer need. It was so important to us to not just throw everything out. It really is such a waste, especially when many items still have value or more life left in them.

Sure, it would be simple to back up a dumpster and go at it. But here was the way we approached the process, and it really worked well to make the most of what we no longer needed:

  • First, if an item can serve a second life or purpose for someone else – then we donate it or give it away – (i.e. clothes, kitchen utensils, and yes, those coffee cups!
  • Second, if the item has real value (i.e. three chain saws I somehow had on hand), we sell  it and put the money into our savings.
  • Third – if an item has no value but can be recycled, it goes to the recycling center.
  • Fourth, and only as a last resort, if the item had no value and cannot be recycled – then and only then we toss it in the trash

Here is to one of the best ways ever to declutter your home! Happy Simple Living – Jim and Mary.

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