I’m a big fan of decluttering, it gives me such a sense of accomplishment, never mind the fact that our home is less messy, runs more smoothly and we get to donate a bunch of goods to charity. I love doing a really big overhaul once a year and what better time to do a declutter challenge than in January?
I’ve put together a months worth of decluttering challenges and will post them to the blog weekly so as not to overwhelm you or make the tasks seem too big to accomplish. Each day will have one task to complete, and one task per weekend. I’ll expand on each task in the blog posts and give tips and tricks, as well as give you some suggestions of extra decluttering you can do if the mood strikes.
So, here is week one, starting on 1 January. Feel free to print this out and pop it onto your fridge.
Deep clean your washing machine and dishwasher: This is something that should get done once a month but if I’m honest I only get around to my dishwasher. I use this dishwasher cleaner by Rinse and it works like a bomb and is really easy to use. Their rinse aid is also brilliant and makes a massive difference. Cleaning the washing machine takes a little bit more effort but it’s important to do as often as you remember to – so much dirt and mildew builds up in the drum, it’s actually a bit gross when you think about it.
For top loaders: remove the washing powder dispenser and give it a really good clean with hot soapy water, use and old toothbrush to scrub it if you need to. Rinse it well and then pop it back into the machine. Set your machine to its hottest cycle, with the most amount of water or to the “drum clean” cycle if it was one. As the water pours in, add 2-4 cups of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda. The two will react together and deep clean your machine’s drum. While the cycle runs, give the outside of your machine a really good wipe down, make sure to get inside all off the nooks and crannies.
For front loaders: Using a water/white vinegar mixture, wipe down the rubber seal of your machine to remove any mildew. Next add 2 cups of white vinegar directly to your machine drum. Mix together ¼ cup water with ¼ cup baking soda and the pour it into all of the detergent wells of your washing machine. Run your machine on a normal hot cycle.
You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the drum when you clean it to give a lovely fresh smell, and don’t forget that you should always keep your washing machine door/lid open to prevent mildew from building up.
Clean out your fridge: I try to do this once a week when I pack in new groceries, but I hardly ever wipe everything down so this is definitely something that I need to tackle. Begin by taking out everything out of your fridge, dispose of anything that has expired and make sure the rest of the food is in proper storage to prevent it from spoiling. Next wipe down all of the shelves in your fridge so that everything is sparkling clean before putting back all the food in an organised fashion.
Refresh your medicine cabinet: This is so important to do, you want to be as prepared as you can be should disaster strike. The first thing you want to do is get rid of any medication that is expired, make sure to dispose of it in the safest way possible. Next, you want to make sure everything you need for a full first aid kit, if you want to purchase one to make sure that you have absolutely everything, have a look at One Aid. These kits are super comprehensive and you can actually do first aid course through them. Lastly, organise your medication in a way that makes sense to you so that when you need something quickly, you know exactly where to look.
Deep clean your stove, oven and microwave: Urg, this is my worst, I put it off for as long as I possibly can but at some point it just needs to get done. For our stove top I use good ol’ Handy Andy. However if you have a glass stove top, follow the manufacturers suggestions as far as cleaning agents go. Now for inside of the oven, this takes a bit of forethought as you can’t use the oven for 12 hours but it also means you don’t have to do any hardcore scrubbing. Mix together ½ baking soda with 3 tablespoons of water to make a spreadable paste. If you need to, add more water until you have the correct consistency. You can also double or triple the mixture if you have a larger oven. Make sure you have removed everything out of the oven that you can so that you can clean them a bit later. Take a clean paint brush and coat the inside of the oven with your baking soda and water paste. You can also go over the glass door but not the heating elements. Leave the paste to do it’s magic for a minimum of 12 hours. While this is happening, soak all the baking trays and racks and then give them a good scrub. After 12 hours, use a damp cloth and wipe off the baking soda paste, if you need to, use a plastic (not metal!) spatula to remove the more stubborn bits. Once this has been done, give your oven one last wipe down to make sure it is perfectly spotless and that all the baking soda has been removed. Pop the racks and trays back in and enjoy your clean oven!
Cleaning the microwave isn’t as much hard work luckily! Take out the microwave plate and either pop it into the dishwasher or hand wash it. Half fill a microwave safe bowl with water and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, you can also add a few drops of essential oil. Place it in the middle of the microwave and set the timer for 5 minutes on high. While this is happening, give the outside of your appliance a good wipe down. Once the microwave has stopped, remove the bowl (be careful, it will be hot!) and then take a damp cloth and wipe down the inside of the microwave to remove any last little bits of old food and splashes.
Feeling super energetic? An extra task that you can tackle this week is defrosting your fridge and freezer, don’t forget to put towels on the floor, the last thing you want is a massive puddle on the floor!
And that’s week one done! Don’t you feel so accomplished? I’d love for you to tag me on social media if you’re taking part in the challenge – it would be a great way for us to keep everyone’s spirits up and feeling motivated!
Week two will go up on Sunday night… see you then!