How I’m Decluttering this Summer.

I like keeping a fairly small wardrobe, try not to buy too much stuff, and believe that living with less is more fulfilling and less stressful. (Interested in the topic, too? I wrote a big recap at the beginning of the year with all kinds of resources for decluttering, taking control of your finances, and natural cleaning.)

The thing with living with less clutter is that you’ve never arrived. Sort of like owning your own business, you can’t just stop working at it and assume it will continue to be successful. I’m not careful, the clutter builds up and builds up and suddenly I look around and wonder where all my hard work went.

Since I’ve moved at least every 3 years (my WHOLE LIFE), I’m used to doing a big purge when I move. But as of this month, I’ve lived in this apartment for the longest I have ever lived anywhere since I was 8.

Which means I’m getting the urge to purge.


So. Today is the 14th day of my summer purge.


So, not ALL my stuff. But 400 items. I’m loosely following this guide. A lot of it doesn’t apply to me, but it’s a great starting point. I copied the list into Evernote and added check boxes by each day.

One thing to note: I’m not getting rid of Mike’s stuff. Which makes it even HARDER. I have about two dozen books, he has about two hundred books (and let’s not discuss the CD and tape situation.) He’s not as into crazy lady decluttering as I am, and I don’t want to nag or force him. That just means I have to dig a little deeper and find more junk to get rid of that isn’t his. Marital peace > decluttering. Until the clutter affects the marital peace.



About Ashley

Ashley is a web designer, mother, and social media addict. She blogs about her attempts to live more simply and pursuing happiness while juggling a job she loves and life with two adorable sons and an academic husband.


  1. I like this idea. Thanks for sharing it. I need to do the same thing. Good-bye stuff. Hello space, my old friend.
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  2. I did some major decluttering and organizing back in April. I donated and recycled a LOT. Like you said, it’s an ongoing process. My plan is to do another big purge in August. I may do something like this where I get rid of a certain number of things a day, that way it won’t be as overwhelming :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. I think breaking down decluttering into 10 items a day instead of trying to do it all at once is a great idea. It seems much more manageable and not so overwhelming. Thanks for sharing. (Also, I think it’s nice of you to leave Mike’s stuff alone for the sake of marital peace. For me, I value space and an uncluttered life, but sometimes I attach sentimental value to items and that makes it more difficult for me to get rid of them. It takes me longer to declutter because of this, but I’m getting better.)

  4. Interesting. I read through that 8 week plan and there are a lot of good nuggets in there. I would like to try a more tailored-to-me version of this in my own apartment –where I’ve now lived for almost 7 years! Yowza! As I was reading through that list I thought of a lot of things immediately that I know could be cleaned out and a pile of items tossed.

    Thanks for posting this!

  5. I’m a decluttering addict too, but with three little kids underfoot (4.5, almost 3 and 2 months) it gets harder and harder as they too have their favorites that they just can’t part with. I find to keep us all sane we work as a team. I’ll go through the art cabinet with them and we’ll keep all the still useful things, toss the dried up stuff and reorganize together…my hope is that in the future they’ll be better about doing it all on their own. (myoldest already willingly fills up a grocery bag with toys, books and clothes to donate about once a month…win!)

  6. Melissa says:

    I need to do this. Thanks for the idea and the link to the guide!

  7. I love this post! I am constantly trying to keep my house in order, largely because we just have too much stuff (and neither of us instinctively picks up after ourselves, though we both split chores pretty equally, and we seem to have about the same level of “ugh! clutter!” triggers, so thank goodness for that). We itemize our taxes, so I kind of dread donations. I work best when I go through things categorically (eg, my ENTIRE wardrobe, the ENTIRE basement). I just did my wardrobe and I’ve bagged up 101 items so far for Goodwill or our local resale shop that caters to giving low-income working women access to work wardrobe items. That translates to 4 Trader Joe’s sized bags, three kitchen-sized trash bags, and one narrow box. Crazy. And I’m not really done! It’s hard to balance my evolving body (yay for being in my 30s) and style with a desire not to shop or to keep things around that don’t suit or fit me. That balance is what I’m struggling most with right now. How do I surround my self with the most lovely and useful things without living a disposable lifestyle?

    These are my favorite posts – I really enjoy your blog (your Project 333 post was the one that finally got me to try it – GAME CHANGER)!

  8. My problem is, I don’t have that much stuff, but the stuff I do have is not well organized. So it exists as clutter even though it is probably a semi necessary thing in my life. I guess I just don’t really like putting stuff away. Especially if it’s something I use or access frequently. I mean, if I added up how much time I spent thoroughly putting things away, I’m pretty sure it would be a lot. So I’m thinking of it as saving time that I could spend doing things I enjoy. This is how I justify the mess that is my life. In all seriousness, I do enjoy a clutter-free landscape in my home, but…I’m…kinda lazy. :)

  9. I need to do this. OMG. Thank you for sharing that list. I’m going to print it out and slowly but surely…I’ll get to everything :)

  10. This sounds awesome! Love this approach of just a few things a day!

  11. Wait, Mike still has tapes? Does that mean you have a tape deck or ghetto blaster, too? That’s hilarious!

  12. You have inspired me to do a similar project. Looking forward to the “purge” –

  13. Good idea! Moving might be not the most pleasant thing but at least helps you get rid of the clutter you otherwise will not pay attention to! I also moved few years ago and I had to toss 20 bags of unnecessary items! It was a good feeling to think of less things. :) Thanks for the post!


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