30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Interested in minimalism but don’t quite know where to begin? Start with this simple 30-Day Minimalism Challenge. The challenge is comprised of 30 assignments that will help you simplify your home, schedule, and mental load. You will clear clutter, reduce the noise and demands of the everyday and create processes that will streamline your life. By the end, you will have more time, space, and energy for the people and things that matter most.    

All you have to do is choose one task to do each day for the next 30 days. The order doesn’t matter.

If you want to live a simpler, more intentional life with more time and energy for the people and things you love, make this month your month of change. Take the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge and grab your free printable below!

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You’ll also receive a printable download to help you tackle those tasks.

30-Day Minimalism Challenge Assignments

Here are your assignments. Let’s start simplifying!

1. Walk your house with a donation bag.

See if you can get everyone to add a few things and fill it up!

2. Clear one flat surface from clutter.

Declutter one flat surface you frequently use: a dresser, bedside table, bathroom counter, desk, bookshelf, console, dining room table, or kitchen counter. Find a permanent home for anything that does not belong there.  

3. Create an inbox system for papers.

The only way to eliminate paper clutter is to create and use an inbox system. Grab a few stacking or wall files and label them in a way that makes sense. Our papers are organized by deadline or by individual: This Week, This Month, Noah, Ines, Elle, Rob. 

4. Clean out your closet.

Set a timer for 30 minutes and remove anything you have not worn recently, clothes that are damaged beyond repair, stained, no longer fit, or suit your current lifestyle. Implement a one-in, one-out rule when buying new clothes in the future.

5. Turn off notifications.

Research suggests merely receiving push notifications can be as distracting as responding to a text message or a phone call. They also make for a very reactive workflow. Turn off all non-essential notifications and only check your email, voicemail, and social media feeds at designated times throughout the day.

6. Create a morning ritual.

Wake up early enough to get a little time to yourself. Read, plan your day, prep ingredients for dinner, or savor a hot cup of coffee before the morning chaos ensues.

7. Declutter something digital.

Delete unwanted photos and apps on your phone or on your computer and organize files cluttering your desktop into folders. 

8. Don’t check email or social media until lunch.

Use the most productive hours of your day to do what’s at the top of your to-do list, not someone else’s. 

9. Practice single-tasking.

Research shows that multitasking actually reduces efficiency and productivity, especially with complex tasks. Set a timer and practice focusing on one thing at a time, scheduling 10-minute breaks between short periods of concentrated work.

10. Go screen-free after six.

Be more present for your loved ones and improve your sleep quality by going screen-free after 6 pm. Instead of watching tv, checking email, or scrolling social media, do some writing, read a good book, take a bath, or get everything ready for the next day.

11. Do one load of laundry, start to finish.

Laundry is overwhelming when it piles up and can be a real source of friction at home. Do one load, start to finish today. Wash in the morning, dry after work, fold while you watch tv, and quickly tuck everything away before bed. See how easily it can fit into your day?

12. Write tomorrow’s to-do list before bed.

According to a small study, participants who took 5 minutes to write out a to-do list before bed fell asleep more quickly than participants who wrote about tasks they had already completed. Why? Researchers think mentally “offloading” responsibilities before bed frees the mind and primes it for sound sleeping.

13. Choose 10 toys, kids’ books, or knickknacks to donate.

Look for low-hanging fruit: duplicates, toys or books that have been outgrown, knickknacks, or decor you don’t feel personally attached to.

14. Go through your books.

Donate ones you’ve read, never finished (and never care to finish), or don’t intend to read.

15. Get a library card and download the mobile app.

Why buy (and accumulate) books when you can borrow them for free? In addition to having all the trendy titles, most libraries have digital apps that makes borrowing, reserving, and downloading books a snap. 

16. Take one step toward learning a new skill.

Fuel your curiosity, creativity, and career by learning a skill you’ve been curious or excited about. Find a class locally or online, gather whatever you need, and get started!

17. Do a nightly reset.

Set your mornings up for success by resetting your home before bed. Wash all dishes, leaving sinks empty and clean. Clear and wipe down kitchen counters. Vacuum the kitchen floor. Get the coffee ready to brew in the morning. Pack bags and set out clothes, shoes, and coats for the next day. Put dirty clothes in the laundry basket and quickly pick up toys and books.

18. Borrow, rent, or buy used instead of buying new.

Save money while reducing your consumer footprint.

19. Declutter your car.

Remove trash and anything that does not belong in your car, like coats, clothes, bags and backpacks, and shoes, and bring these items in at the end of every day so they don’t accumulate again. Give the interior a quick wipe down and a spritz of essential oil air freshener. 

20. Spend 30 minutes outside.

Research shows spending time outside has benefits on physical and mental health, from improving mood and concentration to increasing Vitamin D levels and the amount of exercise we get. 

21. Write down all of your go-to meals.

Tape it to the fridge for easy meal planning.

22. Clear your kitchen counters.

Put away appliances you don’t use every day and find a home for anything that doesn’t belong there. Once you’ve done this, it should only take a few minutes each day to maintain it.

23. Spend 10 minutes unsubscribing from emails.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many emails you can eliminate and how uncluttered your inbox will be. 

24. Declutter your bathroom drawers.

Get rid of old makeup and skincare products, used makeup applicators, makeup you rarely use, extra brushes, broken or unwanted hair tools and accessories, old hair products, etc. Keep only the things you use regularly.  

25. Block out some white space on your calendar for this weekend.

Fill the time however you like when the time comes: prep meals for the next week, get the family outside for a hike, watch a movie with your kids. 

26. Say no to something.

Maybe it’s a commitment you don’t truly enjoy, an opportunity that feels more like an obligation, or yet another after-school activity. Saying no will lighten your mental load and create time and space in your week for the people and things that matter most. 

27. Create a Box of Life for each family member.

This box will hold only personal and sentimental items — a treasured toy or piece of clothing, special greeting cards, ticket stubs, or artwork. Go through the box every 6 months and pare down what’s inside, keeping only the truly sentimental items. Remember, fewer things actually hold more meaning.

28. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions and memberships.

Things like magazines and newspaper subscriptions (digital and/or paper), tv or music streaming services, monthly or seasonal subscription boxes, shopping memberships (warehouse clubs, Amazon Prime, grocery delivery) etc. Then, put the money you’ll be saving into a savings account each month.

29. Purge 5 things from each closet and dresser.

Single socks, stained or damaged clothing, clothing or shoes that have been outgrown. Donate items in good condition to a local charity or shelter.

30. Establish a family donation box.

Encourage family members to regularly contribute things they no longer want or need. When the box gets full, donate the contents and return it to its designated place to fill again. 

Taking the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge?

Share this challenge with a friend for more fun and accountability. Oh, and don’t forget to snap a photo of your achievements and tag me on Instagram so I can share it with our community.

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Author: Elle Penner M.P.H., R.D.

I'm Elle, Registered Dietitian and minimalism-obsessed mama with a thing for simplifying, particularly when it comes to clutter, calendars, and family meals. Favorite things include carbs, cooking, kid-free workouts, and high-waisted yoga pants.

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  • Hi-now…I know this question might have a subliminal message within it that defies the notion of of minimalism but here goes…how big is the box of life for each family member? It’s hard to think that a life time of sentimental items can be held in one box. Thanks and I love your blog-I’ve really noticed how this challenge is making a positive impact in my life.

  • really loved this article. im looking to become more minimalist myself since ive noticed a sense of appreciation in the little things and freedom from so many things people usually have at their homes.