Lent is a time of reflection and often a time of giving up something as we approach Easter every year. Lent is 40 days long, and it begins on Ash Wednesday. Use this guide for 40 items you can declutter during Lent from your home and from your life.
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A society of excess
As a society, we are often caught up in the power of having things. This can contribute to an abundance of unnecessary “stuff” in our homes, with our houses often busting at the seams and even overflowing into storage units.
The overabundance of stuff can cause anxiety for those living in the home, and it can often shift the focus from the relationships and experiences in our lives that truly matter.
Lent is a great time to let go of our addictions to having more and more stuff. It is also a time for giving. You can do a lot of good with the excess you have in your home, in addition to preparing your home and your family for a simpler way of living.
Lent is also a great time to get your family involved with the decluttering process, even if they were not on board before now!
How to use this checklist to declutter during Lent
I have split up the checklist into categories. Feel free to work through it in any order, but I encourage you to take on one decluttering or simplifying task every day.
It may not feel like you are making progress, but as the days pass, you will see a noticeable difference in your home and in your life.
Those small, daily changes can make BIG life changes!!!
To sell or give-away?
When people declutter, there is often a hesitation to just give an item away. I mean, you paid good money for it, right?
Giving away your excess is always the fastest way to get it out of your home. If you come across something during Lent that you want to declutter that has monetary value, I challenge you to think of a way you can help someone by giving it away.
Remember, Lent is about almsgiving too!
For example, when our daughter outgrew her crib, we could have easily sold it. It cost hundreds of dollars, and it was still in amazing shape. It also had the ability to convert to a toddler bed and to a headboard and footboard for a full-sized bed. There was a long life left on this crib.
Since we already had a big girl bed for our daughter, we decided to get rid of the crib. Rather than sell it, we found a charitable organization that helped young, single moms, get started on the right foot with their new babies. It felt great to know a young mom would have a bed her child could use for many years to come!
When donating your items, remember to track them on ItsDeductible.com (free app or website) and get a donation receipt for your charity of choice.
40 ways you can declutter during Lent from your home and life:
Declutter your bedroom
Decluttering your bedroom is almost my first choice of where to start in your decluttering mission. It helps you set an example for your family, as you are getting rid of YOUR stuff first!
1 – Remove enough clothes from your closet to fill one bag.
Don’t shy away from nice clothes either. If you don’t wear them, help find them a new home. There are many charities that take suits and other business casual clothes for women to help them be prepared when job hunting.
Related post: Declutter Your Closet Fast
2 – Get rid of at least one pair of shoes.
We are fortunate to have shoes on our feet. We are rich by having multiple pairs of shoes for our feet. Give a pair (or five pairs) away this Lenten season.
3 – Declutter your jewelry. Find at least one piece of jewerly to get rid of today.
I love costume jewelry and nice jewelry as much as the next person. You know what I realized though? I wear nearly the same pieces every week.
Find one piece of jewelry a new home today.
4 – Remove any knick-nacks that are cluttering up your dresser or chest of drawers.
Clutter attracts more clutter. The more stuff you keep on any flat surface, the more likely it is to attract more clutter!
Related post: The Flat Surface Clutter Rule
5 – Remove enough clothes from your drawers to fill another bag.
I am a collector of pajamas. I don’t know why, but I like them. I finally had to be realistic about how many pairs of pajamas one really needs in a given week. Probably not twenty different sleeping outfits!
Declutter your kitchen
Our kitchens are often the family hangout location. It is where homework gets done, meals made, and conversations shared. Don’t let the clutter keep you from enjoying your kitchen the way it was meant to be!
Use this time to declutter during Lent as a chance to recreate a space for your family to gather, without the chaos of clutter.
Related post: Declutter Your Kitchen
6 – Remove all unnecessary duplicates in your kitchen.
Do you really need five spatulas? How about six Pyrex dishes, all the same size? True story.
Remove any unnecessary duplicates you have in your kitchen, and it will instantly feel lighter!
7 – Get rid of one small appliance you don’t use.
When’s the last time you cooked rice in the rice cooker and not on the stove? Be honest. If you use it, great, keep it if you like! However, if you haven’t used a small appliance more than a few times in the past year, find it a new home.
8 – Create a solution for your mail.
Create a workable solution for processing your mail, rather than tossing it on the counter to work “one day”.
Need ideas, check out how I organize my mail without a big DIY project.
9 – Get rid of two coffee mugs.
Coffee mugs reproduce like rabbits in our house! Find two you don’t really love, and get rid of them.
10 – Cookbooks you don’t use any longer
Get rid of at least one cookbook (bonus points if you find more) that you don’t use any longer.
If you have an entire collection of Keto or Paleo cookbooks from that phase of your life but never plan to go back, pass them on to someone who will really appreciate them right now.
Declutter your bathroom
The bathroom should be a place where you can get ready in the morning for your day and prepare yourself for sleep at night, without feeling stress from clutter and chaos. When you declutter during Lent, you can create a space that is calming in your bathroom.
Related post: How to Create a Minimalist Bathroom
11 – Toss any expired medications.
Toss out any expired medications. (There are responsible ways to get rid of medications. Check out what options you have in your area.)
By knowing what you have in your medicine cabinet, you are less likely to buy in excess the next time you need something.
12 – Toss gross or broken bath toys
You know that plastic toy that has a build-up of mold inside of it? Get rid of it! That’s gross. Consider storing all the toys in a bath net on the wall of the tub.
13 – Get rid of old towels and washcloths
If you have twenty towels and only use eight of them on a regular basis, get rid of the excess. The same goes for any towels that are ripped, have holes, or are beyond use.
Now, don’t use this as an excuse to go buy all new towels! Just get rid of the excess. Keep what you need and use.
14 – Get rid of expired make-up
Toss or recycle any expired make-up. Old make-up can be really bad for your face, and it creates unnecessary clutter. You probably aren’t using it anyway.
15 – Remove any hair products you don’t like
Stop holding on to hair products you don’t like out of guilt. Yes, it stinks you spent the money on them. However, if you aren’t going to use them because you don’t really like them, they are just taking up space.
Related post: The Flat Surface Rule for Bathroom Counter Clutter
Declutter your living room
The living room is another family gathering place. Don’t let clutter keep you from being able to enjoy the space as a family. Declutter your living room as part of your efforts to declutter during Lent.
16 – CDs / DVDs
Go through your CD and DVD collection. If you have not listened to or watched something in the past year, time to give it away to a friend or donate it.
With so much of our lives going digital, you may be holding on to items you never plan to use again.
17 – Old magazines
Recycle any old magazines.
If you find you don’t read the magazines on a regular basis, consider cancelling your subscription. You can always look at magazines for free at the library or as part of your Amazon Prime subscription.
18 – Remove one piece of excess furniture
Technically, this doesn’t have to be from your living room. However, evaluate your home for one piece of excess furniture. It could be a chair, a shelf, or some other piece of furniture that really serves no purpose and creates more clutter.
19 – Excess pillows and throws
You probably don’t need five pillows on your couch, even if it came with that many when you bought it. If you find you are always removing pillows to sit down on the couch, go ahead and give them away.
At the very least, move one or two to storage. You can use them to replace the ones getting used every day once they wear out.
The same goes for blankets and throws. If you don’t use the throw on a regular basis, find it a new location to get used or get rid of it.
20 – Remove any old appliances
Remove any old or broken appliances from your living room. This can include video games, DVD players, VCRs, or speakers, etc.
Declutter your kids’ rooms
Get your kids to help with this category. It is important they too learn how to live a simpler life and that by doing so, they can also help other kids in need. Encourage them helping choose what they want to give away.
Related post: Teaching Minimalism to Children (9 Helpful Tips)
21 – Remove one bag of clothes that no longer fits your child.
Just as you did in your closet, remove at least one bag of clothes that no longer fits your child. Don’t hold on to the clothes if you have no other determined purpose for them. Pass them on to a friend or local group or charity.
22 – Give away at least 3 toys
Find at least three toys your child no longer plays with or has outgrown. Have your child be part of the process too!
Related post: How to Manage Toy Clutter (Guilt-Free)
23 – Create a storage solution for stuffed animals.
Don’t get fancy here. A large plastic bin in the closet will work. The trick is to find something that works for holding them all. If the bin isn’t large enough, consider giving away the excess.
24 – Toss any mismatched socks
Go through your kids’ socks. Toss or recycle any that have forever lost their matches. OR, if your kid think its cool, match up the mismatches. Don’t let them sit there unmatched and unused.
25 – Store like toys together
Try to store like toys together. This concept will not apply to all toys, but it works well for things like Barbies, Hot Wheels, Legos, etc. Put all like toys in a bin or basket. It will make clean-up for your little one so much easier!
Declutter you home office
Decutter your home office during Lent so you have a place to work, reflect, and many productive.
You can use your home office for working, processing bills, journaling, devotions, or for any other productive activities once the clutter is cleared.
Related post: Super Cute Small Office Ideas
26 – Writing utensils
Toss any pens, pencils, markers, highlighters or any other writing utensils that don’t work. Store the remaining writing utensils all in one area together, so you always know where to find them.
27 – Scrap paper
Recycle any scrap paper. Set up a recycling solution near your desk or work area.
28 – Outdated technology
Toss or recycle any outdated technology, like old CDs, old software, the original AOL disc. 😊
29 – Mystery cords and wires
You know those mystery cords and wires you have been storing for years? Time to let those bad boys go once and for all. If you have not needed them yet, chances are you won’t ever need them.
Worse case, you throw something away you actually needed, you can always buy a replacement cord, if you really need to. I bet that won’t be the case though!
30 – Give away five books
You don’t have to declutter your entire book collection in a day. However, pick out at least five books and find them a new home today.
Related post: How to Sort Through and Declutter Your Books
Simplify your schedule and make time for others
In addition to our homes, when we declutter and simplify our schedules during Lent, we open up ourselves to do more of the things we care about and that matter to us most. Don’t let your busy schedule take over you and your family’s lives.
Make time for each other this season, and carry it on throughout the year.
31 – Schedule a date with your spouse
Schedule a date with your spouse. Go ahead. Put it on your calendar.
So often we get caught up in work, obligations, and school activities, that we forget to make time for each other. This season, take the time to schedule a date with your spouse. You will not regret the time you make for each other to reconnect.
31 – Drop one activity
You know that activity you hate and adds no value to your life or to that of your family? Drop it.
Instead of rushing there after school every day, cook dinner as a family and talk around the dinner table.
32 – Make a meal with your family
Make a homecooked meal with the help of your family. Even if you have super young kiddos, they can still help you do simple tasks.
33 – Delegate one task
Whether it is at work or through a volunteer activity, find one task to delegate to someone else. Let others use their strengths to help you.
34 – Let go of a social event you don’t enjoy
You know that event you were invited to but would take you away from doing something else that matters more? Let it go. It’s ok. Do what matters most to you and your family.
35 – Schedule a coffee date with a friend
Our friends carry us when times are tough. Friendships take work, and if we don’t make the time to kindle them, they won’t be there when we need them.
Call a friend and schedule a face-to-face coffee date. Saying hello on Facebook or Instagram doesn’t count!
Declutter your mind
36 – Journal
Start a daily journaling habit. It can be a devotional, a daily journal update, or even a gratitude journal.
Don’t have the time? Write down just one sentence, that’s all. Over the course of a year, you will have 365 sentences to reflect back on!
Not sure what to write about? I really love this journal which is the Story of My Life. I figure my kids may enjoy reading it one day. I was surprised by the things I wrote in it.
37 – Exercise
If you don’t exercise regularly, choose an activity you enjoy, and go do it today! You can go on a walk with the dog, go to your local Zumba class, or sign up for Barre to do online classes.
Whatever you do, do something you think is fun, so you will want to do it again!
38 – Read
Take the time to read today, even if only a couple pages or one chapter.
Not into reading? Check out Audible. I am obsessed with it! Ever since I signed up, I can listen to several books a month. Some of these books I’ve been wanting to read for years, but I could never find the time to sit down and enjoy them.
I listen to my Audible books while doing laundry, cooking dinner, etc.
39 – Practice mediation
You can even practice meditation with your kids! I love the Smiling Mind app. It is free, and it has guided medications for different skill sets and age levels. It is by far my favorite!
40 – Limit your social media
Take a break from social media. Not sure how? Check out my post on how to end feeling addicted to your phone. Some of these tactics have helped me immensely over the years!
Good luck as you work through the next 40 days to declutter during Lent! Be persistent and don’t give up on yourself. Decluttering your home and life isn’t always easy, but small changes make big differences.