2017 Declutter Challenge – Starts January 2nd


It is almost time!!! The 91 Day Declutter Challenge will start January 2nd. Woohoo!!!!!

If you want an organized home, getting rid of the clutter has to be your first step because organizing clutter is a huge waste of time. There is no real way of doing it well, so there is no system to keep it up without compromising your quality of life. During the 91 Day Declutter Challenge, we will take care of this important first step!

Even if you’ve done the challenge before, clutter is creeping back in all the time, and everyone needs a tune-up!

This is the 5th Declutter Challenge. It has come so far from its beginnings. It started out with a few hundred people participating and has grown to thousands of participants. The feedback I get is amazing. People have cleared their clutter and because of that, their lives have improved. After decluttering, people experience improved relationships, more time for lost hobbies, and just plain feeling better. This keeps me motivated to improve the challenge each time, and this Declutter Challenge looks to be the best one yet.

See the Success

Last year was very successful. See some of the stories people shared with me about their experience …


How the Challenge Works

The format is the same as always –

  • The Challenge is FREE to anyone. You simply access the weekly challenges here on the blog. I suggest you subscribe to my blog emails (you get an email whenever I publish a blog post) and my Facebook Page to be sure you won’t miss anything.
  • For 13 weeks, we will go around the home, area by area, and declutter. We want ALL of the clutter out. This is your fresh start.
  • Inspirational Blog Posts help get your brain in the declutter mindset.


Supplemental Materials

There is a new Printable Pack that goes along with Challenge. This is a supplement to the challenge and is not necessary to completing the challenge successfully, though of course I think it helps!

The Printable Pack contains:

  • How To Declutter, step by step
  • Questions to ask yourself while you’re decluttering
  • Tips to a successful 91 days
  • Suggested Reading
  • Modifications for various lifestyles
  • 13 Checklists, one for each week of the Challenge
  • Coupon for your next Mary ORGANIZES shop purchase

Buy the Printable Pack HERE

I seriously appreciate every single order. Because of purchases made at my Mary ORGANIZES shop, whether it is a planner or a Printable Pack, I don’t need to do many ads on my blog to make an income. (Notice the lack of ads all over the place while you read this?! This helps me focus on what I’d rather focus on: helping you organize your home and life. Thank you!)


Join The Group

Doing the challenge with group support makes all the difference. A group of people united and working towards the same goal is powerful!

FREE Public Group*

Motivation is often where change starts. We are motivated to try, but the real lasting change doesn’t come through motivation, it comes through commitment. When our motivation starts to falter, the group reminds us of our commitment.

I expect that the Facebook Group* will be very active like it has been before! People share before and after photos of their spaces, there is a ton of cheering and support, and there are weekly and daily reminders to stay on track.

A group is not required to be successful, but it helps!

* Access to this group is not guaranteed. Group Rules, like keep on topic and no spamming, must be followed or you will be removed. Rules are very important for a large group like this! See the group for complete list of rules.

How To Get Ready


Get your mind ready for the challenge by reading about decluttering! I have written a lot about that! That is the perfect way to get ready.

You’ll hear more from me before January 2nd. I could not be more excited. The declutter challenge always gives me a fresh start to the New Year, for my home and life.

Anxiously waiting for January 2nd,



There is also a very active Facebook Group for those participating in the challenge. It is FREE to join the group. You will be very motivated by all the real people making amazing changes. Be sure to read the rules when you join! Join the Facebook Group HERE and Like Mary ORGANIZES on Facebook HERE.

Don’t forget to go get your Printable Pack!


232 thoughts on “2017 Declutter Challenge – Starts January 2nd

  1. Laundry room first :) Maybe this time I’ll get it totally done!

    Mary as far as the Printable Pack is it totally different from 2015? Just wondering if it is different enough that I should purchase.

    Thanks again for all you do.

    1. Hi Diane! The checklists are all rearranged with even tasks in a different order. It is completely up to you if you’d prefer a new one or not, but I do think it would be useful. :)

  2. I started this with you earlier this year. Then my husband passed away so I did not get to finish. But it was so nice for the rooms I had finished. When some of the family came to funeral they stayed with me. They would all say how neat all my closets were. It was so nice not to worry about anyone going through things because they were organized. Now to get back and finish all the rooms especially my husbands office. Thank you for your encouragement.


    1. Brenda – I’m so sorry to hear of your enormous loss this year. I’m so glad you’ve decided to join us again. I hope your experience is healing and refreshing. :)

    2. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband ! We lost my dad three years ago and my mom still isn’t ready to handle his office. I know everyone grieves differently….but your ambition even during the holidays is awe inspiring!
      Big hugs!

    3. Dear Brenda, First I’m sorry for the loss of your husband. It’s over two years according to the date I’m joining this, but good for you! Maybe new and different reasons to de-clutter your home, mind and life. The saying goes”if it, they, don’t add to your life-get rid of it.’. Praying for you.

  3. I’ve decluttered for the last three years, so I’m ready to paint and refurbish, remodel, etc. Maybe you could eventually develop a program where we go room by room, fixing it up, getting new furniture or flooring, or even new tile and appliances. Would that be feasible???

    1. The plan for next year is to start with the declutter challenge, then we’ll do spring cleaning, then during the summer we’ll organize, and then next fall we will decorate. I really recommend going along with the group. There is something so inspiring working with the community – and everyone needs a decluttering tune-up. I’m a pretty fierce declutterer, and I still do a yearly tune-up. You might be surprised what pops back into the nooks and crannies!

        1. Do you mean the link for subscribing to blog emails or the link to purchase the declutter printable pack or joining the facebook group? As for joining, if you are following along, you are joined. :)

  4. This will be my first declutter challenge with you. We used to move every 3-5 years due to work. That forced me to declutter both before and after every move. Now we’ve settled in to retire in this house and have been here 10 years already. Desperately needing it now!

  5. This will be my first declutter challenge. I desperately need to be more organized and that has to start with declutter first. I also think this will be a great motivator knowing there are others doing this at the same time.

  6. I started a challenge last summer but sprained my ankle then infection in my foot, so I didn’t get to finish. I’ve been trying to work on my own. After four years of my daughter and 15 year old grandson living with us, I need to declutter and deep clean. This challenge will help stay focused. My big problem right now is paper clutter, back bills, taxes, ect. I am the only person in the family that’s trying to declutter and clean but I know I will get through this eventually. Thanks Mary.

  7. Count me in! This will be my third time around and I love my home again. When my husband asked for a receipt/warranty something … wha-la… I went to the file and handed to him. His comment to me “You are so organized.” My. Proud. Moment.. Thanks Mary! You’re a home-blesser!

  8. I love your challenge! It is inspiring and so helpful to have a guide in de cluttering and the support to back it up!! Can’t wait to begin!
    One thought I had was to maybe begin January with organizing and de cluttering all holiday decorations and where they are stored. Since they are already out, it would be the perfect time for this;). If not for the challenge, maybe a mini session after Christmas? Or any suggestions you could give would be so helpful. Thank you.

    1. That is a great idea, though I do it a little differently. I declutter when I put my stuff out and put it away the day after Christmas … that is as long as I can take it. :) Definitely adapt for what works for you, though. The group will still be there for support! I love the idea of sharing ideas for putting away Christmas, though. I may have to squeeze that post in to what I have planned. So glad you are joining the challenge again!

  9. Last time I did this, it made such a huge difference!! Everything needs a bit of a refresh now, so definitely joining in again. Who would have thought a person could be so excited about decluttering? I totally am, because I know how much it improves your daily life. Can’t wait!! :)

  10. i joined the group on face book a few months ago. just ordered the printable pack. excited to get started, im new to all this.

    1. So glad you are joining us! You are in the right place for getting started. My advice is to take it day by day, just focus on the task for that day. You’ve got this!

    1. You can subscribe to the blog email (I call it a newsletter) either on the sidebar if you’r at a computer or near the very bottom of the blog or a blog post if you’re on a mobile device.

    1. You can subscribe to the blog email (I call it a newsletter) either on the sidebar if you’r at a computer or near the very bottom of the blog or a blog post if you’re on a mobile device.

    1. You can subscribe to the blog email (I call it a newsletter) either on the sidebar if you’r at a computer or near the very bottom of the blog or a blog post if you’re on a mobile device.

  11. I really need help de-cluttering. But I live in a 617 sf retirement cottage w/only 4 rooms and a carport (full of stuff) w/storage closet. Your categories don’t exactly fit my living situation. Do you think I could gather enough ideas/help even though you are aimed more towards a large house? I also can’t pay for workbook as this is the year (2016) I’ve planned to get out of debt and I’ve promised no expenses other than necessities. But you said it wasn’t necessary.

    1. You should definitely do the declutter challenge with us! There are many people who participate and live in small apartments and homes. Instead of defining by whole rooms, use the guide to separate areas. Like, during office week, do your desk and paper area. During dining room week, do the area around your table. Etc. You can follow along completely, but the weeks will be very do-able. The printable pack is a great supplement, but all the information you have to have will be posted to the blog each week. There is a bit more in the printable pack, but it is more icing on the cake. :)

  12. I am really excited about doing this again. Although I live in a very small apartment this really help me out a lot the last time we did this. This time around I do hope to keep up with it. Although some of the clutter did come back it’s not as bad as it was the first time around. I’ve been keeping up with my dresser drawers, bed stands, kitchen junk drawers among other things through out the apartment. I still have a problems with my craft room though. I do hope I can fix that problem this time around.

  13. Yay! I can’t wait to do this again! It was SO helpful in prepping the house for my second baby’s arrival earlier this year. It really helped GI ve me a guideline/plan for my decluttering and organizing and it put my nesting to good use lol. Thank you so much for putting this together! Hoping I can find a group to post before and after photos because that was SO helpful for me with accountability. Come on Jan. 4th!

    1. The Facebook group is still going strong and will be a great place for befores and afters. I agree, those help so much with accountability and support. I’m glad you’re joining us!

  14. I am so ready to go on the decluttering adventure with all of you. I am a pack rat so to speak but fortunately my husband is not. I bring it in and he throws it out. My goal in 2016 is to be the throw out person. I have medical issues so I hope I can keep up.

  15. I’ve never seen this b4 I have really bad mobilty. If you have heard of the spoon theory that’s how I have to live, I have good n bad days so if I do a project its possible to do more on one day but be down for weeks at a time. I’ve been working on this kind of project on my own over the past 2+ years but feel I need help in some areas but not sure this is what I’m looking for. My major issues would be mail, paper n a place for a spouses works log books n work papers I feel like I’m being over taken by paper. Because I and my son have life time illnesses we get medical bills eob daily several a day along with tons of other mail. Not to mention we get mail for other people that we shouldn’t because we are to nice n let family stay here in time of need but then their mail never stops coming. I’m a mom of 4 n 2 step kids n 2 grab babies n i spend most of my energy watching our grand babies for my kids to work by the time I do that & my doctors appointments I have nothing left. So I need things as simple as possible. I have stocked fridges on each floor, n a chair lift I use mobility devices sorry its long I thought by giving u some info about me u could tell me what u think about this that may help me.

    1. We do address paper during the challenge. I have a lot written about paper. Search for “paper” or “paper trail” on the blog sidebar and it should lead you to some great resources. As for the challenge, I do thing it is important and I’ve tried to make it as easy and straightforward as possible. You just do the task outlined each day, not more or less, and you will declutter your home in 91 days. Clutter is the source of all evil when it comes to the messes in our homes. Without clutter, everything is easier. Everything! :)

  16. My husband and I are building a house in the spring and I would love to make the moving process as organized as possible. I’m planning to dive into your challenge in order to help that happen. Thanks for facilitating the process!

  17. I am in! This is my greatest weakness. My home always looks neat and tidy but there are cluttered drawers and closets snd a garage with stuff we don’t miss or need. Thank you

  18. Ok… I am scared and excited all at the same time (if you saw my hell you would understand!) My MIL is a full blown horde and my husband has been developing over the years… mix that with me who shuts down when I get overwhelmed and you can imagine… I need this. I HAVE to get my home back! My sanity is in jeopardy and my husband, thank the stars, is 110% on board to help!
    My biggest fear is like most diets, once I fail or “slip off the wagon” I get discouraged and give up. My goal this year is to not give up… set backs or not… there is no quitting!! Phew… We got this… 2016 is my year!

    1. What if you ended up skipping a week? Wouldn’t be the end of the world. Don’t stop if you miss a day. Start back right where the group is. And if you can put in the effort to do each of the 91 days … imagine that! So glad you and your husband are joining us. I think this plan can really help if you are willing to do the work!

  19. I have been trying to organize my home since we moved in 6 years ago whend it was juse me, hubby, and the kiddo. I have succeeded dreadfully. Now my household includes myslef, hubby, our two kiddos, my mother, and four nieces and nephews. Decluttering and organization now seems nearly impossible. Any suggestions?

    1. Focus on what you can control. Declutter ALL that you can. Anything extra just takes away from your sanity. Follow along with the challenge and just do the tasks day by day. You may not get your ideal, but what you do will make a huge difference and that will be worth it.

    1. It is as difficult as you make it. If your life is busy, I’d say you need this even more. Less clutter makes a busy life so much more manageable! Do what you can each day, get the rest of the household to join you. You can do this!

  20. With 3 adult kids (in college but bring crap home), 2 year old twins AND a ranch, our small house is overrun! Hoping this will help me thin out things to maintain sanity until the new house is built. I don’t want to fill it with crap as well!

    1. Yes! You need this! Take it one day a time and don’t get discouraged. Some days will be hard and some will be easy, but the end result will be so worth it!

  21. Will this cover a garage? We have moved a lot and probably still will move a few more times. We have a garage full of totes…my house could use some de cluttering too

    1. We will do a separate garage clean out after this challenge is over, but no, this challenge doesn’t cover the garage, just the inside of the house. :)

  22. I desperately need to declutter! 17 years in this house and I have accumulated way too much stuff. I will miss the first week as I’ll be out of town Jan. 04-11. But plan to get started when I return.

    1. We will do a separate garage clean out after this challenge is over, but no, this challenge doesn’t cover the garage, just the inside of the house. :)

  23. I stumbled upon your 91 day challenge through Facebook. I checked out your blog and then signed up. I’m not looking forward to it and I’m not excited like those above wrote but I am looking forward to a clutter free and organized home when it’s over. So that’s motivation enough for me! Thanks :)

  24. What are your thoughts on a pile to sell first before donating? I’m thinking it may keepsake clutter around but this is something I’m struggling with that everything has value

    1. I understand wanting to sell some things. If you are going to sell, I would focus on things above a minimum cost. And force yourself to sell immediately, with a deadline to donate if it doesn’t sell. From the Required Reading Post, read the post about Decluttering Nice Things!

  25. This is the first time I have seen this, and I need this so much! I got married 5 years ago and I have not been able to get rid of the clutter! I never had a junk drawer in my kitchen before and now I have two! There is too much clutter everywhere. I actually started last night with a drawer in my bedroom, so this is perfect! I look forward to this project!

    1. There will be posts on the blog each week. Subscribing to get emails is a good idea to keep you reminded. Just follow along with the tasks each week and you’re in. :)

  26. I have already started donating extra things to our local charity.
    we live in a old house with no storage and so everything stays messy, this new year I am bound and determined to get my house in working order! I have two kids almost 2 & 4 and will be planning for #3 and work full time. So it’s a slow process, but I feel great when I have a car load of stuff to get rid of:-)

    1. You’ve probably heard the famous quote “Keep only things that are useful or beautiful”, but there is a definite additional stipulation – keep only what you have room to reasonably store. Happy decluttering!

  27. I’m disabled and wheelchair bound so it may take some accommodations but this year I’m going to really accomplish something

  28. How do I subscribe to your blog emails? It may be because I’m looking on my phone, but I can’t seem to find any way to do that.

    Thank you

  29. This is my first time taking on this and I am in desperate need of it! I took part in the 40 bags in 40 days challenge last year and it was very helpful but my house has too much stuff! How would you recommend dealing with putting things “away” when there is no set place for it? My husband and I moved into a house that the owner didn’t take everything (both a blessing and a frustration) then we had two children within 4 years. *sigh* We have boxes and boxes of miscellaneous stuff that started to get sorted but never got finished. So thankful for any help you may offer!

    1. The hard truth is that if it does not have a place to go, it doesn’t belong in your home. Even if it is a nice, useful item. It is difficult, but so freeing when you learn to honor what is happening now instead of burdening yourself with all the “what ifs” of the future. You can do hard things!

    1. You join by following along and decluttering with us. You can get the updates on the blog each week, or signup to get an email reminder when blog posts are published, or get the printable pack (though that is not required to participate).

  30. I work from home and have a home business. My office always seems to be a mess and I can’t seem to get a handle on the paperwork. We have 2 rental properties and I take care of my dad’s medical paperwork as well. Will this help me?

  31. I so wanna join this. I need to is more like it. However i dont think i will be able to do it on time. I dont have the funds yet. I have been out of work for the las 6 weeks and just barely started back, (after having surgery).

  32. I checked out several “clean-up” challenges this year and yours looks like the BEST! I love how you plan to be interactive with us, have a fb group, reply to the posts, etc.!! I just bought the printable pack, printed it, and I am making a binder for this and a morning makeover challenge I am doing. 2016 NEEDS to be the year I finally get organized! Thank you for supporting each of us through this journey!

  33. I’m so excited to start your challenge! Just signed up for your newsletter. I love to organize but I’m bad at keeping on top of it. Feeling overwhelmed. I hope this helps!

  34. I really struggle to declutter clothing! There is clothing in my closet I have owned for over 20 years, and that I’ve only worn once or twice! I can’t bear to part with some, especially fancy gowns that hold special meaning, and which are entirely out of fashion now and useless to anyone else. How do I store these safely? Am I being too sentimental? And what about clothes I no longer fit into, with the eternal hope that I will “fit into them one day”? Looking forward to the challenge, my first one, and not sure how successful, if at all, I will be

    1. I’m going to be direct. If you have that many clothes that there are things you’ve only worn a few times, you probably enjoy purchasing clothes. That means if you could fit into some of them one day (no doubt you can do that), then you will want new clothes. I know it is hard to get rid of the practically new clothes because you feel guilty you didn’t get the value out of them, and you think by keeping them, you will get some value out of them. What is really happening is all the clothes you aren’t wearing are hiding the clothes that you could/would actually wear. That makes you feel like you need more clothes and it is a vicious cycle. Every woman I’ve ever met has bought clothes that she regrets purchasing. Don’t be hard on yourself, but stop the cycle. Get rid of anything that you don’t love RIGHT NOW. :)

  35. I’m going to give it a try. We’ve lived in our home for 32 years and we want to downsize. I just retired so I have the time and I don’t want to move all this “stuff” with us. It may take longer than your time line but I will have a guide which will be a HUGE help!

    1. Adapt as you need, but use the inspiration and momentum! You can definitely do this – what a difference it would make for your move and the quality of the rest of your life! Make sure to read Your JUNK or Your LIFE, because I feel so many retired people make the mistake of choosing stuff. Sounds like you are heading in the right direction, though, so that is great!

  36. I’m not receiving emails. I got required reading but that was the only one. Should I look somewhere else?

  37. I’ve lived in my house (husband and two kids) for 22 years. Needless to say, 91 days isn’t going to fix it but I’ve made great progress on the laundry room already. For the areas that you just can’t finish, do you recommend to FIDO (forget it and drive on) at the end of each day and not try to complete each day’s assignment, just move on to the next day’s assignment, or finish the first day no matter how long it takes even if you don’t get to the next day’s?

    1. Yes! Just do what you can and move on each day! At the end, your house will have much less stuff and will be a lot easier the next go-round.

  38. This is my first time doing the ‘challenge’… Laundry room done and it feels really good. Kitchen feels intimidating though … Is there a more detail list or tips on how to tackle the kitchen?

    1. Are you using the Declutter Pack? Have you read the Required Reading List? The Kitchen will be posted tomorrow. :) Just take it one day at a time and do the best you can. Even an imperfect attempt can make a great impact.

  39. Big Question…. How do you clean out your lint filter, that pulls out of the top of the dryer, WITHOUT GETTING LINT/DUST EVERYWHERE?

  40. So excited I completed my laundry room and dh helped! I just love how fresh and clean it feels! Thank you for this inspiration!

    1. If you are on a mobile, there is a box at the bottom of the website, or if you are at your computer, there is a box near the top of the sidebar on the blog. :)

  41. I started out in wrong year. Lol just did kitchen and pantry to the 90% done. Looks like I will go back this coming week and do the laundry room. Gotta do taxes on kitchen table now anyway and have one junk drawer we both have to sort. Gonna also pull out stove and dishwasher and deep clean. Once ya start just can’t stop But all else is done and looks great

      1. I got it to work. I had to go back up and hit “shop” each time before it would let me click any other tabs, but I’m up and running now. Thanks for your quick response. Shout out from an Arkansas girl in Georgia :)

  42. I would love to do this challenge. It’s the fourth week, but being motivated I think I cod catch up. Where do I state now ???

  43. Got the dining room done and spent all day on a small entry way. I got baseboards recaulked, touch up painting, floor really cleaned and waxed well. Thank you for all of this. Even got new hinges on kitchen doors. What your challenge does is allows me to focus on one area at a time. Otherwise I would be all over the place trying to do all at once. Thank you Mary.

    1. Not shopping is a great part of decluttering … you’ll find you are much less likely to shop when you know the pain of pulling stuff you don’t need back out.

  44. Do you start this decluttering challenge any other time throughout the year. I’ve already missed too much to catch up.

    1. Great question! I haven’t announced this yet, because it just got confirmed, but I will be starting another round in a few weeks. Look out for the announcement with more details! :)

    1. Last years has most of the content for this years and the tasks are 97%-ish the same. I did add some new sections this year, though, so it would have some added value. :)

  45. Everything looks great! So ready to start again! I got about 1/2 way through last year! This year will be amazing. I’m ready!

  46. I am in, I have already started decluttering. I decided that I have to remove 10 items every weekend. The first weekend I removed over 100 items. I am on weekend #4. I want a clutter free home.

  47. 2017 is my year! My oldest son is graduating in May and a HUGE party will follow – there will be so many out of towners and guests at my house…I can’t wait to have everything in order for them!

  48. Looking forward to doing this again. I talked hubby into switching rooms because he’s not in his as much as I would like to be in my craft room, so that’s something new to look forward to. I just want it done. So starting off the new year I’ll be working on that. I keep you posted on our progress and take note on what you will have us do.

    1. Absolutely! I’d recommend getting the pack and working along at your pace. You can follow Instagram and comment on the weeks for some support. :)

Leave a comment! I love to hear what you think!