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How To Clear Clutter From Your House This Year – The One A Day 365 Decluttering Plan!

If there is one article from our past that always gains steam at the beginning of each and every year, it is the post we first published way back in 2015 about our 1 A Day, 365 plan to clear the clutter in your home of the “things” you don’t use, need or want anymore.

When it comes to simplifying life and living without stress – nothing quite compares to being free of clutter. Freeing yourself of unneeded and unused “things” can truly be life-changing.

Clutter creates all kinds of havoc in your life. It can cause you to waste time looking for items you really need. It can also cause extra expense. After all, if you don’t know where things are, you often end up buying more of something you already had!

clear the clutter
The more clutter that exists in your home, the harder it can be to focus on accomplishing daily tasks.

I don’t know about you, but something as simple as having the bed made first thing in the morning and the dishes all put away in the kitchen can make both of us focus so much better on daily tasks – right from the start!

Let’s face it, clutter causes unneeded stress. The more junk and possessions that pile up, the more you feel like everything is out of control. But when you get rid of all of that clutter, it is amazing how simple and good life can be. And that is exactly where the One A Day, 365 decluttering plan saved the day some 8 years back for us!

The One-A-Day, 365 Plan – How To Clear Clutter From Your House With Ease!

The One-A-Day/365 Plan is actually a name we created some 8+ years ago. It was all in an effort to describe the simple but incredibly effective method that helped us finally streamline and organize our home.

Not only is the plan easy to start and stick with, you won’t believe how quickly it can clear clutter from your home, garage, shed, barn – or wherever clutter has entered the picture!

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 because you won’t be purchasing and repurchasing things you already had – or things you simply don’t need in the first place.

how to clear clutter from your house - One A Day 365 plan
Cupboards are a great place to start to clear clutter. Almost everyone has an overabundance of cups, bowls and dishes they never use. And all take up valuable space!

Over the years, we have loved getting email after email from others who implemented the plan with success. So we thought it might just be the perfect time to rekindle the magic of it all with the new year just ahead.

With decluttering once and for all in mind – here is a look a how to create your own One A Day 365 Plan!

The 2 Simple Rules Of The One A Day 365 Plan – How To Clear Clutter With Ease

There are only 2 main rules to our 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.

Eliminating One Possession A Day – How To Clear Clutter With Ease!

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

junk drawer - One A Day 365 plan
The dreaded “junk drawer” is a great place to start the One A Day, 365 elimination plan!

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. Getting rid of them all at once isn’t!

Why One A Day 365 Works – How To Clear Clutter With Ease!

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!

The Power Of A Daily Goal – How To Clear Clutter With Ease!

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.

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!

clear the clutter - One A Day 365 plan
Almost every family has a pile of old, never-to-be worn again shoes in the garage.

The Payoff – How To Clear Clutter With Ease!

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”? 

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 – How To Clear Clutter With Ease!

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.

Clearing distractions and clutter in our home and lives let’s us spend more quality time on the things we love – like our garden!

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 finding a way to clear the clutter in your house this year – and to living better every day. Happy New Year! – Jim and Mary.

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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